River Welland (25)
Arrival time: 10.15
Weather: Sunny with a few clouds and a fresh light breeze
Tackle: 12ft Korum multi-feeder, Shimano bait caster, 6lb line, 8 hook tied direct. Two SG shots on a short link.
Baits: Luncheon meat
Fish: Three chub. Best fish chub 4lbs 7oz.
I just haven’t done enough fishing this year. I’ve bemoaned this fact before and I must plan my time better to fit in a lot more trips.
With the river season ending on Sunday I decided I must get down to the Welland for one more attempt at the chub. It was a glorious day after the variable weather we’ve been having. Surprisingly the river was very low, my last trip having been thwarted by the river being in full spate. In fact it was at what I would say was summer level, although more coloured. Unlike in summer, however, I couldn’t locate any fish visually.
I decided to work my way upstream trying spots where I’ve found chub before. I’ve come to expect fairly quick takes if I drop into a spot where the chub are present, but today I didn’t get a touch as I worked my way along the river. I ended up at the large pool below the footbridge and actually stayed a bit longer there as it usually produces a bite or two, if not a fish - but today nothing.
It was approaching midday so I decided to return downstream to another large pool that, again, is usually a fairly good bet. It’s easier to fish than the bridge pool so my idea was to put a bait across to the far bank and wait. A good place to eat lunch if nothing else. I catapulted over some pieces of luncheon meat. The river flow was gentle so even with only two swan shot on a link I could hold position. After half an hour or so I got a distinct touch, but didn’t connect. However, as this was my first sign of fish I decided to continue to work the swim. Shortly after recasting a firmer pull resulted in a fish being on. After a bit of a tussle a nicely conditioned 3lb chub was in the net.
I was convinced that there would be more chub in the swim but realised that I would need to let things settle down after landing the first one. Sure enough, just under an hour later (13.30) there was another purposeful pull on the rod top and the second fish was being played in. This time a chub of 3lb 7oz, in lovely condition just like the first.
Exactly an hour later a repeat performance gave me my third and best fish of the day, a chub of 4lb 7oz. It unfortunately had an injury near the tail but was otherwise in good condition. All three fish fought well and as usual it was a bit tricky landing them from the high bank, with the landing net handle fully extended.
I carried on until around 16.00 but that was to be my last bite in that swim. I toyed with trying another spot further downstream but the sun had dropped along with the temperature so I decided to call it a day, and a very satisfying day at that. It seems that the summer technique of dropping into known chub haunts and often getting quick takes didn’t work as well in today’s conditions. It was more a matter of choosing a spot that was almost certainly likely to hold some chub and sitting it out while one of them found the bait. All good learning experience - and roll on next season.