The Half Term Campaign Chapter 4 – ‘Chance of That?’
Last week I had a week off from online school. Me and my friend Jack decided to take advantage of our last free week before the close season to target anything which swims in our local river (except for ducks of course). This the fourth and final blog about our adventure so if you’d like to check out what else we caught throughout the week you can check out the other blogs below.
The day started early, at the same time as our other missions, 7am. We headed straight to the pipe swim and as it was Jack’s turn to fish, he got his rod in the water armed with a few maggots on the hook. We fed a few pellets and maggots over the top and within 20 minutes a small carp had slipped up. I’m not sure whether the fish was scared, had eaten a lot, or both but it left its stool all over poor Jack.
It was now my turn to try and catch one. I used the same tactics that we had been successfully using all week but the fish just hadn’t turned up. I think, being the fourth day in five that we had been fishing the river, the fish had been hammered at this spot and grown wary. After an hour or so without success, we baited up a little more and headed upstream to the tunnel swim.
It didn’t take long at the tunnel before my float disappeared. I was on my phone calling a friend and struck late, into nothing. I got the bait back out and then missed not one but 2 more bites. I decided my hook was too small and upped from a size 16 to a 14. I got the bait out and after 5 or so minutes waiting for a bite, I finally hooked one. The result was a small chub of under 2lb. The fish had a big dent / scar in it’s skull, my guess is that this little guy had survive an attack from a bird of some sort. I’ve seen kingfishers, herons and white ibis so it could have been any of those.
After I caught that chub, Jack had a go in that spot but wasn’t too confident. He left me and went for a wander downstream. Just as he got back, I hooked into a little mirror. It gave me a good run around before spitting the hook and shooting back off into the depths of the river. We decided it would be best to give the tunnel some bait and a rest before heading back to where Jack caught the carp.
After my catastrophe missing 3 bites and losing a carp, I let Jack have the first cast after we moved. Unsurprisingly it didn’t take him long to catch one. It was another little common, typical of this river. I definitely think the fish were becoming wary because within the next hour, we didn’t have another bite from that spot. Consequently, we moved back up to the tunnel.
Just like usual, it didn’t take long to get a bite after giving the swim a rest. Funnily enough I missed it, AGAIN! Fortunately, I was given another chance and hooked into a little common. We persevered by the tunnel but the fishing had died off and in an hour of trying, we caught nothing. On our way to the pipe, we decided to give a few different spots along the river a go, trotting maggots about a foot under the float. In one spot, Jack managed a little roach and in another spot I managed a little chublet and a little roach, the other spots proved unsuccessful.
Once back at the pipe, it was Jacks turn to fish. While he was fishing, I had a wander along the river through thick brambles and brush. I found a few ok looking spots and just ahead of me I could see a perfect looking meander. It was then that I heard my name being called by Jack, he’d managed to catch a small but beautiful chub.
I really wanted to see what was upstream so I headed back through the brambles to the meander. After nearly falling down the bank, I heard my name being called yet again. Jack had managed another chub from the river. I headed back to Jack to take some pictures for him in the sun. We fished a little longer by the pipe but the fish had obviously spooked so we decided to head back to the tunnel.
It was my turn to catch one but bites were slow. After half an hour of trickling in maggots, my float shot under like a bullet and I struck into something which felt big. The fish was holding in the deep water by the entrance of the tunnel and not showing himself. The fish felt heavy but wasn’t swimming around frantically like a carp, more slow and steady. After what felt like an age, the fish popped to the surface and I slipped the net under it. We weighed it and it weighed in at 3lb on the nose, it was a new PB chub for me.
After taking some celebratory photos, Jack had a cast. It only took 15 minutes for him to catch one. On closer inspection, we realised it was the same chub I had caught that morning. It had the distinctive scar on its head. We couldn’t believe what we were seeing, the fish had miles of river too swim around and it had stayed in the danger zone we had caught it from. We slipped the silly thing back before heading to the pipe for the last hour of the day. Jack stayed behind and chatted with a couple of anglers fishing a neighbouring lake while I headed to the pipe.
It didn’t take me long to hook another fish, this time it was a bream. I left her in the net and gave Jack a call. After he came, we got the fish on the bank and realised it was the same fish I had caught 4 days ago in the snow. It had a black mark on its shoulder about the size of a pea and after comparing photos we realised it was the same fish. What are the chances?
Despite fishing for another half an hour, we caught nothing and it was time to leave the river behind us. It will likely be the last time we fish the river before the closed season due to online lessons resuming, schools opening soon and me being busy with working at the garden centre. I think we’ve near enough completed the river now, Jack’s caught a 5lb chub and 10lb carp from the river and I’ve caught what we believe to be the only bream in there along with a good number of carp, chub and other species. I hope you have all enjoyed reading this series as much as I did fishing the river. Don’t forget to check out our social media links below.