River Welland (29)

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River Welland (29)

Fishing again - at last!

Arrival time: 09.45
Weather: Bright and at 15℃ warm for February, with a freshening wind.
Swim: Roving.
Tackle: 12ft Korum multi-feeder, Shimano bait caster, 6lb line, 6 hook tied direct. Three SG shots on a short link.
Baits: Luncheon meat
Fish: Three chub, best 3lbs 4oz

My grumbling back and resulting sciatica has put paid to golf, but this has spurred me into going fishing. My back, however, is also imposing some constraints on fishing, particularly at Stamford where the banks are difficult and crouching in tight spaces isn't easy when your mobility is reduced.

I was pleased to find that there weren't any other anglers on the stretch. There aren't many fishable spots and the chub are easily spooked. I started on the 'beach', where the dogs splash about. Fortunately the dog count was also down today.
  •  Chub 1lbs 12oz

    Chub 1lbs 12oz

  •  Chub 3lbs 4oz

    Chub 3lbs 4oz

  •  Chub 2lbs 4oz

    Chub 2lbs 4oz

  •  Winter chubbing

    Winter chubbing

  •  Chub 1lbs 12oz

    Chub 1lbs 12oz

  •  Chub 3lbs 4oz

    Chub 3lbs 4oz

  •  Chub 2lbs 4oz

    Chub 2lbs 4oz

  •  Winter chubbing

    Winter chubbing

Click/touch image to show all photos in a light box.
It was soon clear that this favourite spot of mine wasn't going to produce anything. I then tried another a bit further upstream, but again nothing was biting. Time for something different so, just above the beach, I cast across to where fallen tree branches were on the surface. After a short while I got a characteristic chub pull, and a 1¾lb winter chub was on the bank. I took a photograph just in case I didn't get anything else.

Casting again to the same spot I managed to drop the bait right at the edge of the tree branches. This time I was rewarded with a bigger fish, a chub of 3¼lb. Two chub from one spot is quite good going but I cast again. I started getting knocks on the rod top, very uncharacteristic of a chub. The knocking continued so I tightened and was surprised to find another chub on. This time a fish of 2¼lb.

I wasn't surprised when I didn't get any further bites and decided to make my way upstream, dropping into known chub haunts.

The chub usually make their presence known soon after you cast, so I didn't dwell too long at any one spot. But I never got a touch. Some spots that I've fished previously were now too overgrown to try without risking losing my terminal tackle. And I didn't go up to the bridge pool as it's quite a dangerous bank there, and I didn't feel fit enough to take it on.

It was now lunch time so I decided to return to where I caught the three fish, have lunch, and try again in the hope that the shoal would have settled down. The sun was now shining, which may have put the fish down, or perhaps they just hadn't settled from my earlier catches. Or perhaps they had moved on, as I didn't get a touch. The battle on this river is knowing where the fish are. In summer you can stalk them, but in winter it becomes a game of cast and hope, based on previous 'hot spots'.

I stuck it out for another hour, trying the glide below the beach again, but I didn't get the slightest knock. But not to worry, three fish is a good catch for this stretch and the bigger of the three was a good size.

I was stiff and achy as I packed up but glad that I had made the effort.
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