Piscatorial Quagswagging

...the diary of a specialist angler in around the Warwickshire Avon and its tributaries.

Sunday 24 February 2019

Warwickshire Avon - Bung Nippers and Buttock Brokers

What a lovely morning down one of my favourite sections of the Warwickshire Avon. The whole stretch to myself, a rovers delight. It's shallow here in places and with the river now more or less clear, it was time for a bit of sight fishing.

The problem is sometimes a big chub will be among five or six fish holding against the current on a gravel shallow, out of view of all seemingly unobtainable. At other times one stray chub may push it's way through a shoal of smaller fish in a clear, deep glide, but mostly in my experience, the chub is to be found in a secure hold under the bank.

They are shy and cagey, despite the boldness of their bites....

It is a fish of habit, on some rivers given to constant patrolling along with others of its kin, on other rivers a solitary fish to be sought beneath rafts of debris accumulated against trailing brambles, roots or breaks in the bank.

Sometimes an undercut bank will have deeper than average cut that is particularly favoured by a big Chub. Such spots should be kept in mind, remembered well, for the fish missed in that cut one day may well be caught on the next.

There is a temptation to cast a bait close to where the chub is seen, and while this will sometimes bring the fish out of his hold, it more often than not puts the fish on the defence. Intimate stretches of river like this gives the angler an opportunity up close to see the characteristics of this intriguing fish.

Once clear of his shelter, the chub will be fully alert and the angler's changes will start to diminish. I work on the basis that if the chub is in the sedge, that is where the bait should drift, and if it is holding up beneath a raft of debris the bait should go right under the raft.

It can be sometimes be a problem to get the bait to the fish, but bear in mind that the chub feels secure in his retreat and it will often take even an obvious bait in his complacency.I would rather tackle a chub a close range in a snaggy river than attempt to lure them out in to open water where snags present little difficulty in casting and presentation.

Generally, one cannot make rules for fish, there are so many variations on what fish may do that each situation must be handled on its merits, but I do have a rule for chub, on small snaggy stretches like this !!!. As soon as the strikes is made I hold the fish, and hold it hard.

When it makes that first run, and with chub it is invariably this one that causes all the trouble.

With some slack line on the water, the fish may well build up a speed which cannot be effectively checked before the snag has been reached, this is where one discovers whether the faith in ones tackle is justified. A rod with with an action right down to the butt, a strong line and good hook hold, should give the angler the best odds.

Bread flake was the only bait for this short morning session, it was initially cold but the sun soon cleared the mist and it was very pleasant indeed, in-fact it reached 15 degrees later on in the afternoon when I was out with the family, very unseasonal indeed.

I don't mess around when it comes to bait size, a big size 6 hook and a large piece of flake. In many of the swims you can actually see the bait well and when fished on a light link ledger the big piece, wafts enticingly in the flow.

I must have fished 7 or 8 swims maybe with 6 or so banked the biggest going 4lb on the nose which sadly was one of the smaller fish in the group, where the biggest looked 5 or over. But that's chub fishing for you and why I love them as a species. The swim where I caught it from a banker swims of there ever was one, I don't think I've failed to catch.

Roving a small rover, travelling light and fishing for chub, one of my favourite methods of fishing....

I just love it !!!!


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