This was the last day of my two days off and I decided to pop back down to the new mark id found on my river where the sea trout was. I wasn’t expecting another trout but in the back of my mind, I was hoping violently hoping for it to happen. id armed myself with the Salmo minnow 5cm again in “minnow” pattern to match the baitfish and I was super impressed with it on the day before and again it absolutely crushed everything that came in its way.
10 mins in and on the same corner that I had pinned the sea trout the day before another gleaming bar of sliver crushed the minnow putting up a super hard scrap and diving into weeds to try and get off the hook, ill be honest it did scare me a few times! Eventually, I just about managed to get her into the net and it was a lovely soldier of an adult chub maybe 4lb in weight brilliant!
The rest of the fishing was quiet even some of the shoals had moved on I swiftly got to the “chub corner” section of the river where I surprisingly couldn’t hook Into anything no one was home! As I continued down the river and reached the shallow and fast water my mind instantly thought of trout so I retrieved the lure quickly so it was smashing its way along the bottom and I managed to pick up another trout! I learnt from yesterday where I hooked into about 5 brown trout and lost them all was that the rod tip had to be kept low to avoid the trout coming to the surface and shaking the hook.
I had been getting quite wound up for the rest of the day after getting into a few snags and close calls so I packed up and decided to call it a day.
unfortunately, the footage corrupted and I lost all of my video files so I cant make a youtube video but be sure to check out my channel anyway there are some good things coming soon.
So on this day, I took the heavier gear and some jerk baits around 10cm and smaller. I went to the clear part of the river it sits at about 2ft with deep holes of about 4ft chub central. I found a lot of shoals but being a bright day it’s difficult fishing and managed to get a lot of followers however no takes.
I stopped sight casting thinking that the fish were not gonna be in the shallows, one blind cast resulted in a fish within the first twitch of the lure. The fish was fighting like a chub but when it showed up it was a pike of maybe 3-4lb I landed it in my 30cm trout net which was a comedy show in itself. but finally got the tripod set up and a nice fish
After spending more time with it going extra quiet I decided to move to deeper darker more weeder sections of the river I found a particular bridge I had been looking for for a while I knew it was covered in perch so I just wanted to find a couple of perch to save a blank. I ended up with one first cast which came out as a nice fish.
Last year I received a 7cm Salmo slider for Christmas after hearing this lure was a must-have for pike I decided to pick one up in real roach colour, and to say I’m impressed is an understatement!
As I have learnt more and progressed through my fishing I have come to realise that its also an outstanding big perch and chub lure! After starting freshwater fishing last October I have been determined to master the fresh and catch everything from dace to salmon. And this chapter is on chub.
I started the day by waking up at around 6:00 and got to the river at 7:00, the lure got a lot of attention from small fish and within 10 mins a follow from a big chub and not only big but my first! she took the lure and missed the hookup. Heartbroken. Anyway, after trying to find her again it proved unsuccessful so I carried on moving to what I like to call my honey hole. Every time I come here there is some sort of fish be it chub, dace, trout, perch there’s always something to save the blank. And that I very much did, a specimen perch showed its face and took a liking to the Salmo with a spectacular fight to put a massive grin on my face!
After this I spent the rest of the day trying to find another chub in the crystal clear urban setting, unfortunately, I spent most of the time pulling hooks out of my fingernail or net, what a pain. But I didn’t let it get me down I swiftly ripped the hook out and carried on fishing, after my repositioning proved unsuccessful I went back to where I got my follow hoping the fish had come back and was ready for another go. And there she was sat in the flow sunbathing I dropped my net and pitched a perfect cast to her face after the follow and a few twitches of the lures I felt it. BANG. Reel screaming, rod shaking adrenaline making me feel bulletproof, this was my first chub. As she neared the net I prayed she would stay hooked and everything came to plan.
I have recently been down to the river and noticed a massive population of chub and super big ones mixed in with the average size ones, due to the slider being 21g I cannot cast it with my UL set up but I will be picking up some rattling hornets and lighter Salmo crankbaits and getting some real fun on the chub, remember to check back in then!
I don’t think there’s a more iconic and revered coarse fish than the barbel. A bold statement perhaps when you consider the hold that carp have over the fishing fraternity but you could argue that the sheer over exposure and ubiquitous nature of carp angling in the UK has diluted the enigma and mystery of the carp itself. I don’t think that’s the case with the barbel as yet, although there are nowadays many anglers involved in their pursuit. It may be that the barbel will be spared the decline into mundanity simply because of its habitat. Whereas many carp are stocked into manicured, man-made, tackle-shop-on-site, bacon-butty-delivered-to-your-swim fishing fun-parks, barbel inhabit fast-flowing wild rivers with gravel runs, streamer weed, razor-edged rocks to slice through you mainline and swims so precipitous you need a degree in mountaineering to even consider tackling them. Such was the case with the peg I’d chosen to fish on the river Wye near Hereford, during a recent trip there with my kayaking wife Cath and mountain goat of a dog Indy.
This was my very first trip to the Wye and I have to tell you that it’s as impressive a river as I’ve ever seen, truly magnificent. Cutting its way through wooded, high-sided valleys and gently rolling farmland it’s a river that shouts barbel in every snaking meander, eddying slack and bubbling gravel run. Or so I thought. That first evening’s fishing produced four chub to 4lb on feeder-fished 8mm pellets. I was perched on a muddy ledge with barely enough room for my bony arse and a rod-rest. My landing net had to be fully extended to even touch the water. At the top of the back on a sun-kissed, grassy plateau sat my wife and dog, enjoying a picnic and totally indifferent to my precarious teetering. I had to sit to cast and to land fish as I darn’t move too much. Maybe it was just as well I didn’t hook a barbel as it probably would have pulled me in.
Nonetheless, four wide-mouthed, brassy-backed chub were a treat to behold and one of them pulled so hard I thought it was a barbel!
That afternoon I’d bought a day ticket for some local stretches of the Wye from the famous Woody’s Tackle Shop in Hereford and Woody himself told me that a second spawning period had made the barbel lay-low over recent days. Not the news I wanted to hear. This was verified by the numerous anglers I met in and around the caravan park we were staying in. They’d been catching lots of chub, very few barbel. “Bollocks! I thought, trust me to book a fishing holiday during bonking barbel week.” Saying that, the odd one or two had been showing so I wasn’t too downhearted, and the Wye is so spectacular it was enough just to sit by it and marvel.
One early morning, while my wife kayaked her way up and down a mist shrouded river, I settled myself on a rocky spit built for salmon anglers. Here, the river raced over a shallow gravel run flanked on the near side by a deeper, slower “crease” that was crying out for a cast. On the way down to the peg, I slipped the last six foot on my arse, nearly snapping my rod tip in the process. Indy my sure-footed dog just sat and watched me floundering around, offering no help whatsoever.
Eventually, and after some baiting up, I made my first cast, sat back and waited…and waited. I continued to trickle pellets in to try and draw the fish up but nothing happened until the sun had burnt the mist away and dog walkers began to appear on the footpath above me. Two pristine chub to 4lb in quick succession, then mild sun stroke. By late morning the sun was strong enough to make the stony spit hot to touch and the dog seek refuge in the cool, shady shallows. Time to adjourn to the caravan for a cold one.
That evening, after paying the wife off with the promise of a slap-up restaurant meal, I’d coaxed my way into another likely looking swim that boasted a small, pebbly beach and a gently sloping bank that didn’t require crampons to tackle.
The opposite bank was replete with a wall of huge willows that cascaded over the river. At some point, a massive limb had crashed into the water creating a gently eddying pool that looked promising. There was also one of those hospitable creases closer to the near bank that was also worth investigating, so I had a couple of options. For the first twenty minutes or so I fed both swims with 12mm and 8mm pellets. Then I sent a feeder over to the far bank. Despite fish showing with reckless abandon, the far bank produced not a single twitch. So I tried the near bank crease and straight away caught a small chub, followed by a bigger fish of about 3.5lb, then nothing for an hour as dark descended and pellet supply dwindled.
What followed was one of those events that never happens to you but happens a lot to other anglers you read about. The classic “one last cast” and “I’d packed everything away apart from the rod and landing net” scenario. Because that’s how it played out as the sun set fiery-red behind the willows. I engaged the bait runner and got up to delve around in my rucksack for a head torch. Like a woman’s handbag, finding anything in there is a major operation. Cursing softly as I delved fruitlessly around, I noticed a sudden movement out the corner of my eye and turned to witness my 1.75lb test curve rod bent double and twitching furiously. Then the rasping whizz as line tore from the bait runner. I couldn’t take it in for a second, an actual wrap-around bite, that mythical phenomenon so synonymous with barbel. I grabbed the rod and immediately the fish thundered downstream, ably assisted by the strong current. Its power was breathtaking and it took line in shuddering jolts and surges for a heart-stopping spell, but eventually I began to gain line and soon had a golden torpedo resting in the net. It wasn’t a big fish, maybe five or six pounds but my God what a fight! I took a quick, poor quality photo and had it back in the river resting again until it kicked away, back out into the now dark-silvered, rippling Wye, a river that had delivered my first barbel for over a decade, and a river that I will return to, because once fished, never forgotten.
So, last week I was on holiday on the family boat which is moored at Brundall on the River Yare. We are very lucky to have a family boat on the Broads and in a lovely spot. I’m also lucky to have a tolerant wife who allows me to fish every day whilst on holiday. Obviously after family days out etc.
We arrived last Sunday and after unpacking and while the kids were being showered, I had a quick go as the tide was in, so it was nice and deep. Had one Roach which was a good sign of things to come. Then I had to go in like a little school boy to have my shower and bunk down for the night.
On the Monday we went to Mundsley just before Cromer. A lovely beach and miles of golden sand. Well the tide was in and people were sitting on the pathways etc, so we went to a local forest and spent a few hours there. On the way back we popped into Wroxham to pick up some mags. Once back at the boat we were fishing. We had around 10 Roach up to 1lb.
Tuesday, we went into Norwich as the rain was heavy, so we had a game of bowling which was great fun and I even got a strike. Once back at the boat the sun was out and fishing was back on. Whilst sitting there my wife genuinely got excited over fish and pointed under the boat. Wow there were 4 massive Chub just sitting there. I tried everything, mags, bread, sweetcorn and worms. I could see them just look at the lot and turn there nose up at it. Yes, I was very stealthy, but nothing worked. Nice to watch though and the other boat owners must of thought what the hell is that man doing hiding and sneakily looking over the stern of the boat.
Wednesday we were off to the Miniature museum in Wroxham and then met up with an old friend in Potter Heigham. Once fishing again, Harry struck into a nice Roach, as he was brining it in a Pike took advantage of the situation and decided it was his dinner time. So, we nearly had a Roach and a Pike but the Roach came off and the Pike won this time.
Thursday, I did try fishing, but the wind was really bad. Strong gales kept blowing the line into the weeds and I wasn’t in the mood to muck around with tangled line all afternoon. So, the rods came in and we watched a film instead.
Friday we were back on it, after a gruelling trip around Norwich which was quite funny in the end. My wife wanted to try this murder mystery trail, where you download the clues and you have to find who committed the crime. Well after she jumped from clue 5 to clue 11 without realising lol, we called it a day. We had another 13 Roach and 1 Perch which was nice.
Saturday was pouring down all day again, so we went to the Sea Life Centre and looked at fish instead. Showed the Kids some beautiful Mullet, Bass, Dogs and smooth Hounds. Then it came to the Black Tip Sharks and the Turtle in the main area. Sophie and Harry were in awe with it all. Then we met up with my friend and Fishing legend Nick Beardmore and his lovely partner Belle. We had a laugh and a good catch up. Now back at home I wish I was still on the boat trying for them big Chub, but that will be the next fishing trip.
My Saturday morning didn’t start as I wanted it too, after a week of prep and getting ready for Fishing a new stretch of the Chelmer with some good Chub in, waking up with a migraine is not what I wanted. Having to call off my early morning start to try and get a bit more rest.
After waking up around 10:30 and feeling good, I couldn’t resist but get an hour or so out on a River just to catch a Fish, so I headed 10 minutes down the road to the Wid, a River full of small Chub which should be happy to give me some good sport! It was also a nice chance to Christen my new Advanta River Ambush 5.5 ft Rod. I was hoping to test its paces with some nice big Chub, however this would have to do for now.
The perks of this new small Rod is I can drive with it already setup and ready to go, all I done when I got to the River as attached a very light flat weight and put a cube of meat on the hook.
For an hour session the Chub where more than happy to play ball with me, only after waiting a few minutes the tip tore round, great to see the small chub put up such a good fight and provide some good sport. It then didn’t take me long to add a second who again took a nice cube of meat with an aggressive bite. I was really happy with the action and feel of the Rod, will be interesting to handle big Chub on it too!
It went a bit quiet after this quick two Fish, adding a bigger cube and casting a bit further into the bend of the River, nicely placed between two over hanging trees. It wasn’t long before the feature Image Chub showed up, with another aggressive bite, wanting to pull the Rod in! After a nice little scrap he was netted, maybe the biggest Chub I’ve had from this particular stretch of the Wid. Although still a small Chub. These 3 Fish provided me with a nice hours Fishing, and just the ability to get out, not sure how much it helped my migraine though!
Today (Sat 4th July 2020), marked my first early start for a while, arriving at my club River for the first time this season at an early 8am. I decided to Fish a stretch I haven’t yet, haven’t even walked this stretch before. After rain last night and a bit during the week I was hopefuly I’d catch the River at the right time, and it looked good, still had a bit of colour and had good depth. The worrying thing about fishing a stretch of Essex River for the first time is how overgrown is it going to be, am I going to be able to Fish it?
The first spot I decided to Fish looked good, it was just the entry to a small weir pool, although I’m not sure how I’d manage to Fish the weir pool, I can Fish just before the River runs into it, there were some nice reeds so I thought it was worth a shot. I used my normal aim towards River Chub Fishing, blended bread in a cage feeder with breadflake on the hook. My instincts were repaid quickly, missing a very soft bite after a few minutes, I rebaited, recast and waited with anticpation. However, it went quiet for a bit. Always in these moments you wonder if you lost the chance and should move on, that is until a few little knocks, which eventually turned into a forceful bite came along, after a good little scrap I managed to land the featured Chub, no record breaker, but a beautiful condition Fish one I was very happy to catch.
Now, my River Roding curse came back, It seems I am only ever able to catch one Fish from this River each session, I’m happy I don’t blank, but would love to be able to get a few more! My task now was to try and break my curse! I walked down and found some amazing looking swims, which must have been home to a few Chub
But frustratingly, this is where it ended for me, I had a few more knocks, and missed another bite which still baffles me when I think about it! However, for a quick morning session, all I was looking for was to catch, but, my curse continues…
At the end of my previous post “Exploration of the Wid”, I wondered what different species I could catch from the Wid and the size of them. A few trips will be crammed into this post, as I done some quick evening sessions with different setups.
Tactic #1 – Bread Flake
My first tactic is what I think is the best way to catch Chub, Bread. Buying a cheap loaf of Bread from Asda for 60p was all I needed for this session. I saved 2/3 slices for hookbait and the rest got some treatment from the blender to create some liquidised bread. I used a simple link ledger rig and decided to hand feed the balls of bread. The first spot I wanted to fish had some dog walkers sitting by it, so decided just to fish close by ready to jump in to claim the spot when they left. The first spot, wasn’t very deep, so didn’t expect any monsters, although while on my walks I did spot some maybe half a pound Chub which I thought could provide some good sport. It didn’t take long before I was getting notifications, although looking back, I think this was the sheer amount of small fish pecking at the bread flake, eventually, a Chublet managed to get in before the smaller fish and take the bread. This fish was only small, but was a good way to spend the time while waiting for the dog walkers to move on. Finally being able to get to the spot I had my eyes on, I had to decide what feature to fish first, it had a lovely over hanging tree and a bit of an undercut bank so was spoiled for choice! I first tried the over hanging tree, and weirdly the pecks from the small fish had stopped, but after a while and only a missed bite I decided to try the undercut bank and from a bit of luck I managed to drop the bread flake on top of a Chub’s nose, and he took it on the drop, providing the best fish I’ve caught from this stretch of the Wid on date of posting. This fish is the featured image Fish.
I then moved to another spot I saw which looked fantastic, as the River was bending and loads of reeds. I chose to stay in this spot a bit longer to see the evening out. It provided me two quick Chublets and then it went a bit quieter, and I was getting very weird bites, each one leading to being snagged. Eventually I managed to catch the culprit of these weird bites! It was a good size Crayfish! The Crayfish must have moved in after they got wind of the bed of blended bread on the bottom of the River, a first for me catching a Crayfish, the hook somehow managed to stay in its claw!
Results from Bread Tactic
Tactic #2 – Float & Maggot
My next method is also as simple as it can get, I used one of my homemade Pole Floats, a number 10 shot and then a small hook length with single maggot on the hook. I planned on just Fishing the one spot to build up the fish feeding and just catch anything that came my way.
This method provided constant bites, and reminded me of my childhood Fishing experiences, just catching anything no matter what the Size, and it was a good hour or so, catching loads of Fish. I probably caught over 30 Minnows on this session, some of them with beautiful little colours, they’re a fish not targetted a lot, but do have some beauitful colours, my girlfriend also quite enjoyed catching them! The Species I was able to rack up using this method are; Minnows, Roach, Dace (My first and PB) and Rudd (Not photographed) – I was disappointed not to see any little Perch as I was expecting at least one. However, it was a good session with a lot of Fish.
Results from Float & Maggot Tactic
Overall, I’ve loved the evening sessions I’ve had on this River and with it being so local and full of Fish it is definetly one I will see myself going back to often. And hopefully I can find some bigger Chub there too!
During the close season of the Rivers, I wanted to prepare and explore some new local Rivers I haven’t fished before to try and find maybe a hidden gem in possibly ignored Essex waterways. Now a lot of you may say, the River Wid isn’t an ignored Essex River, infact it’s quite well known. That’s true, at least the stretches around Writtle and Chelmsford are more well known. However, I was scouting a small stretch just behind Billericay. Which from what I found while searching the web, hasn’t got a lot of info about it.
On Arrival it was a typical small, overgrown Essex River, in the Essex spring time it wasn’t showing many of it’s secret spots to fish, unnaccesable from the lush foliage. It weaved around, fast shallow patches followed by slower, deeper looking areas. The River on my first walk around was quite clear and a bit lower than I expect it would normally be, but took this as a good opportunity to see some of the fish clearer.
Whenever I scout a new River I like to bring a few slices of bread, in the close season the Chub aren’t shy about showing themselves to enhale some free offerings of Asda special bread. Looking down on the River from a small seemingly unstable wooden bridge, I decided to drop a few flakes of bread to see if there was any interest. Straight away the offerings of bread were darting around from small Chub, Roach and I guess the odd Minnow grabbing and trying to quickly swim off before being chased by the rest of the pack. I thought it was a good sign to see so many juvenile Fish.
After a few minutes of feeding these, soon their bigger brothers started to show, after some confidence was built I assume. The Chub I was seeing weren’t monsters, however, they would definetly provide some good sport come the Rivers opening.
Walking the River only showed more the sheer amount of Chublets around 1-5oz, feeding them and seeing the frenzy of a flake of bread hitting the surface was good fun, and it was reassuring seeing a bigger Chub appear inbetween demanding a flake of bread from the surface. The stretch of the River I walked only had a handful of fishable swims, unless I decided to battle past the stinging nettles. I was confident from this walk I could get good sport from this River, from the smaller Chublets, but also the chance of some of the bigger Chub I saw.
A few questions were left from my visit of the Wid, How many big Chub was there? Could I battle through these Chublets for some bigger Fish? How many Species could I catch from here? The answers to these? Will be found out soon…
I started fishing when I was young, probably around 5, from what I can remember anyway. My Dad is who introduced me to the world of Fishing. When I look back on my view of Fishing as a kid, it’s so niave, I thought there was only one way to fish, just the way my Dad done it. I owe him a lot for showing me how to fish, it was such a nice way to pass the time and truly just think. I first started Fishing the Pole, which in Essex is a bit of a dying art. Just catching whatever species came my way, my early memories are Fishing Gloucester Park in Basildon, and arguing with my dad about unhooking an eel, why would I want to unhook a water snake?! And then as I got into Fishing more, we joined the Billericay Club, 4am mornings to get to the Southminster pits I loved, catching bags of small Perch and Roach, such an innocent start to the sport. The joy of catching a Tench on part of my peanut butter sandwich is one which sticks in my mind. I think those days as a kid, enjoying catching anything, shaped me as an Angler, in those early days, I learnt a lot of love and respect for the fish, and it made me enjoy catching anything, and to this day, I still don’t care what I catch, whether it be the smallest fish in the lake, or a new personal best, as long as it bites, it would put a smile on my face.
I guess the whole point here is to set the tone of what I am about when it comes to Fishing, and what you guys should expect moving forward with my blogs. And the truth is anything really, I love catching anything, on any day. Admitingly, at the moment I am loving my River Fishing, but, I have done so much more, I Pole Fish, Fish on the Tip with a Feeder or on the Bomb, I have a Fly Rod (Won’t say I can Fly Fish, yet!), Will be Lure Fishing too and will have trips Sea Fishing. I will talk about the gear I use, which is best descriped by Budget gear! The hope is to continue to grow as an Angler, and share my growth with you guys, and hopefully I can teach someone else something, or just spark a bit of passion to go and pick up a Rod, or to try something new.
I will leave you all with a few pics from the last year or so of some different catches, which is a bit of a mixed bag really! A few of the trips are recent and may get their own blog so if you see them again just go with it!