Saturday, 6 November 2021

Warwickshire Avon - Colliforms and Colloquialisms

A little early I suppose to fish cheesepaste for chub I but the brass monkeys had been banging their drums rather loud this week and I fancied getting the winter chub gear out and having a dabble. 

Apparently the term came from a brass rack or ‘monkey’ in which cannonballs were stored and which contracted in very cold weather, ejecting the balls, but this explanation has not been proved, I lets leave it at that, I kinda like it. 

Now I prefer to use balanced tackle for hard fighting chub because their fight is so much of the character of the species and their make-up they deserve the anglers respect. 

Cheesepaste can offer bites when other bait are not doing the business. Chub are renowned for taking all manner of baits but cheesepaste must be up there with one of their favourites. 

It is a very selective bait as well so you know when that quiver tip pulls round what the likely culprit is on the end. 

Now this cheespaste of mine is not exactly a secret recipe because it changes year on year depending what I have in the bait fridge at the time. 

The base is always a few different cheeses and a pastry block grated and kneaded together. 

I love this style of roving fishing, it's my more thing. The minimum of tackle and moving from swim to swim to try and pick up a fish or two. 

I've lost more chub to hook pulls and snags than any other species I think, they almost revel in the tussle like a boxer getting in the ring, they just do what they do because they love it.

Especially when they know that they will be put back to see another day because they are not a good eating fish, and no I haven't tried buy there is plenty of literature on the subject. 

The older fish tend to take up residence in particular places where they make foraging expeditions along the reach, returning regularly to their holes under the bank or beneath tree roots. 

Throughout their seasonal wanderings they return repeatedly to such a stronghold, whether it is behind cut camp-sheathing, alongside isolated piles, or in the lee of bridge buttresses beneath the undercut below the masonry.

They love to hang about near bridges but always lie on the edge of the faster water which brings food down to them. They also like the streamy shallows and can often be seen moving upstream and downstream in an apparently aimless manner, returning over the same beat again and again.

Sight fishing in the summer when the waters are clear is a fantastic way to check out their character and also just how cagey they are. 

Even quite small rivers and streams support surprisingly good chub, which seem most adept at making the best of whatever conditions they find there. Their diet consists of practically anything edible, especially as the fish get older and become semi-predatory. 

They will eat slugs, silkweed, worms, insects, shrimps, snails, flies, minnows,frogs, tadpoles, crayfish, and elvers as well as the fry of their own and other species. 

Heck I've even targeted them on strawberry mushrooms. 

They are by no means above rooting about in the bottom when hungry. Chub are less conservative than most species and feed in temperatures which would put other fish down. 

In very hot weather they feed close to the surface, and during colder spells drop into middle-water habits, searching the stream for young fry or anything else which is brought down by the current. 

In-fact many of my most memorable fishing sessions have been catching chub off the top on bread and also surface lures.
They are very much less inclined to be fussy about baits than other fishes and do not seem to become preoccupied with particular foods to the exclusion of all others.

Anything floating down which might be edible is enough to evoke interest provided the fish are in a feeding mood, as they almost invariably are. The light set-up I use the bait is free to roll around the swim in the current and bites can often be had before the bait settles in a more static position. 

I use a softer rod with power lower in the blank because I prefer the rod take up some of the chubs initial powerful lunges rather than the drag of the reel. As much as I don't mind catching chub on barbel gear there is no better way to catch them on a set-up for suitable for the quarry. 

The depth bomb I designed and got printed really is a great way to present the paste bait. the small protrusions and hollowed out middle holding the soft bait rather well and being white even if the chub has managed to remove most of it they will still take it. 

But then these are chub after all, there isn't much they don't like and that's what I love experimenting with bait for them. Liver being one of late that has been producing the results from the bigger fish, if only it wasn't as messy, as I'd fish with it more often.  

The river looked a nice green colour when I got bankside but it was clearing fast compared to the day before because I could see a ridiculous number of leaves coming down the river. It's autumn after all but I've always found bites can be hard to find.

Still there are plenty of swims here to fish so I was hoping a few bites would materialise.  To be fair it didn't take long for the first fish but not the usual stamp that swim here.

In-fact I couldn't better a scraper 3 lber out of the six fish I caught. The larger chub could well have been in hiding to get out of the turmoil. 

I did bump one fish off that must have grabbed the paste on the retrieve but even that didn't feel like a fish that warrants my attention down this area of the Warwickshire Avon as I've had quite a few 5lbers here in the past.

It just felt dead, as dead as this badger I stumbled upon I cannot put finger on why id didn't produce the goods it as it did look perfect for a much bigger Chevin, still a lovely Autumn day and it was nice to be out.

The leaves were particularly a pain in the backside because even a small leaf caught around he line would move the quiver tip considerably. I shouldn't complain as a number of fish were caught albeit nothing that deserved the Rubens.  


  1. Replies
    1. Looking a bit sorry for itself Baz, looked fairly recent though

  2. Hmm give me bread flake every time over cheese or anything else for chub.
    Although they certainly aren't fussy in my experience.


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