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Bailey Payne

Roving the local River

As a lot of my regular readers will know, the Rivers I fish most often are the Wid, Chelmer and Roding. However with the new government guidelines on Angling and fishing local within your district it sadly means I can’t fish any of these venues. Staying within my district only allows me one River, the Crouch. This is a river which has sadly been plagued with issues having multiple spurts of pollution damage and kill a lot of Fish. Here are just a few stories of the issues with Pollution in the River.

https://www.essexlive.news/news/essex-news/dog-owners-warned-avoid-unsafe-4474624

https://www.basildonstandard.co.uk/news/18473507.paint-dumped-river-crouch-sparking-wildlife-safety-fears/

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-essex-10738876

The fire being bad was only in 2020, however being my local River, I do try and keep an eye on it, and want to see it producing Fish, and mainly want to know where it produces Fish. A few weekends ago at the start of the new lockdown I took a walk along a stretch of this River, most of the river is quick and shallow, however I did manage to find a few deep holes, and bump into a guy with his son who regularly fish this stretch of the river and to good value too, catching plenty of Chub, Perch and Roach from it, lovely to see young anglers coming in with the joy of catching fish from these small rivers we have.

Onto today, I managed to convince my Dad to tag along too, during a cold frosty morning, although he wasn’t too happy about it, and we were both sceptical of catching. We had similar setups opting to use a light link ledger with 3g bombs, however while my Dad went for a bread flake approach, I opted to use worms, I had a mix of Lobs and Dendras. We only had a quick 4 hour session, and there wasn’t too many swims to Fish so we gave each swim a good chance to produce.

The first swim looked great, a nice over hanging tree and small raft, however nothing was tempted by a bit of dendra, while moving to the next swim, I opted to switch up for a lob tail, this swim looked even better, and in my previous walk, this was where I was more confident of possibly catching from.

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The second spot, a lovely over hang and raft

In this swim after a small wait, it wasn’t long before I had a knock, which eventually developed into a quick pull round and bite, the feeling of striking into a bite is one every angler loves, however feeling nothing on the end gives instant disappointment, and can leave you wondering, was I too slow, too quick? I find you often remember the bites you miss a lot more than those you hit.

The morning kept going and it looked as if we both may blank, we had two spots left to look at, under low and wide concrete bridge, looking as if it had some depth under, and in-fact, I had spotted a Roach under this bridge in the summer and the last swim, a fallen tree at the end of the stretch cut off by a fence, if only the fence was a bit further down as the raft before the tree looks incredible and you’d bet for Chub to be there. The bridge provided no further luck, despite my Dad missing a bite there earlier on.

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The Final swim, you can spot the Raft just before the fallen tree, if only for the fence!

On this swim, I went for a nice fresh piece of lob tail, and dropped it within millimetres of the fallen tree trunk. Hoping a Chub or anything would maybe be hiding. The tip stayed still for a good 10 minutes, until a small tap, went to an instant pull round, and quickly lifting in, I was hooked into a Fish. It felt a good Fish and went straight for the snags in the undercut bank, however I managed to power it out, and soon saw it was a good Chub, bullying it up, my Dad swiftly netted it. The River I had overlooked for so long, and with a few failed attempts on different stretches finally paid dividends with a lovely Chub of just over a 1lb.

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A bit of the skinny side for a Chub of its length, it was still a lovely Fish, and a first from this very troubled River for me, and maybe there will be more to come, it just goes to show, those little Rivers you may think nothing off, can hold some good Fish. And maybe a few bigger than this Chub hide under the same tree?

Until next time, tight lines!

7 replies on “Roving the local River”

Since coming back to fishing last summer I have been keen to fish rivers again which is what I used to do as a boy around Chelmsford. My local river is the Blackwater and I tried it in the summer but I had to wade through the nettles in most places and only managed to catch the usual baby roach and minnows!
I found a better spot in the autumn and started to get some bigger fish, nothing special until I netted a one and a half pound perch! Since then the river levels have been too high for that spot so I haven’t been back.
I am beginning to think that our small rivers have some decent fish is them these days which are overlooked as they are not fished as much as everyone is on still waters catching carp!
Whereabouts can you fish in the Crouch? I only know it from the sea as far as Battlesbridge then it goes under the Chelmsford / Southend road and through Wickford in a concrete channel which doesn’t look great for fishing!
Keep writing about your river trips, I am learning a lot!

Between Wickford and Battles bridge has some fish apparently, I have blanked twice, but know people to have even caught Carp there and other Chub and Perch, I fished in Wickford, on the non tidal stretch

Pleased to hear that you caught a nice chub. We spoke to you yesterday as we arrived & managed to land fifteen fish. The biggest was a roach just shy of 1lb caught by my son. Hope to see you again on the crouch soon.

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