Friday, 30 November 2018

Warwickshire Avon – Gobblers and Gormandisers

The chub is no easy antagonist and it has always occupied a position high in the angler’s estimation for the sport it gives, it’s a bold biter and an even better fighter. Though in olden days, when a good many fisherman were almost as much interested in the meals their captures might provide as in the sport of caching them, chub were eclipsed by more edible fish.

In these days though, sport is the only thing that counts and the chub provides it in good measure. It demands the utmost caution on the part of an angler in the approach, its habit of living near its holt and diving towards it immediately it is hooked, calls for dexterity and instantaneous timing by the angler.

The fact that it will accept so many baits presented by so many methods makes it the quarry at times of almost every type of freshwater angler.

They are oddly though “The fearfullest of fishes”….

A chink in the Chub armour though, you see cheese paste was King down the river last time, meat didn’t get a look in. Some nice chub were eventually caught in a frantic two hour session in to dusk where the rod tips were bouncing, banging and clattering as the Chevin were properly on it, as active as they’ve even been, they couldn’t get enough of it, they dropped their guard was down, big time.

Now as per the previous few years of bulk making my own chub attractor, I’m sure the addition of Roquefort cheese helped no end. You see with its characteristic odour and notable pungency of the naturally occurring butyric acid due to anaerobic fermentation it’s a smell like no other. Butyric acid has an acrid taste, with a sweetish aftertaste similar to ether, an unpleasant odour and is present in rancid butter and human vomit.

I remember the smell as a youth after consuming a case of K cider and chundering ones guts up, yeap, not pleasant and luckily there are easier ways to achieve the retched thankfully. Now Mammals with good scent detection abilities, such as dogs, can detect it at 10 parts per billion, whereas humans can only detect it in concentrations above 10 parts per million.

Chub I’m sure are a switched on to it like no other fish, then again Chub will just about eat anything you put in front of them, and maybe as a species they’ve evolved and could well be suffering the fishy equivalent of Prader-Willi syndrome, caused by a chromosomal flaw. All I know is that they need their food fix, their stomachs filled, they really do enjoy the feeling of their bulging bellies.

For this after work afternoon in to dusk session the only bait I had to fish with was cheesepaste, not only that but I’d only be fishing one swim for the main. Now that is not like me at all, I’m a roving angler at heart, but this swim in particular has form, as it’s not only home to my PB but I’d lost a fish here to a hook pull that looked a scale above again, a 6lber ? Quite possibly, but then unlike many I’ll have my scales with me just in-case something good turned up.

Luckily though on route there were two other swims that also produce fish, so I’d drop a bait in on route as well before settling down for the remainder of the session.

And what a weird session it was, the river was nicely up and a foot and a half of visibility but it took ages to get the first bite. I disturbed a cormorant quite early on that was on the hunt and the area didn't really recover whilst I was there. A couple or three swims fished without hardly a nibble, the last swim had to come up with the goods.

With an hour left of light and the sun setting eventually I had a few plucks and taps and then some big bites but didn't connect to anything. Very frustrating but eventually after leaving some slack line and letting the bite develop I was in to a fish, only a small fish though and a spirited fight it managed to get off the hook when he was due to be netted.

I was getting desperate now, with the light more or less gone and the session coming to a close, my left hand rod started to nod and knock and then luckily for me I eventually hooked a fish. I knew it wasn't very big straight away, but it was a fish after all.

Blank avoided, and a tough session....


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