River Welland (23)
Arrival time: 11.30
Weather: Bright start with a light breeze but rain was forecast for later in the day
Tackle: 12ft Korum multi-feeder, Shimano bait caster, 8lb line, 6 hook tied direct. Three SG shots on a short link.
Baits - Luncheon meat and cheese (all fish caught on luncheon meat)
Fish: 10 chub. Best fish chub 5lbs 2oz.
I can’t believe that it’s almost exactly 12 months since I last visited the Welland. Only one trip last summer and with the horrendous winter I didn’t manage another trip. It was good to return.
I now have some regular spots that have produced fish in the past although in summer some of these are difficult to get to because of the vegetation both in and out of the water. On this occasion I was walking towards my first ‘spot’ when I saw some chub in a section that I don’t usually fish, just downstream of what I call the beach, a gravel patch where many of the dog-walkers let their dogs swim. My first few casts were from the high bank and resulted in a chub of just over 2lb. I then repositioned myself on the beach and cast downstream. What followed was a surprise, in that over the space of about three hours I caught another six chub. It’s very unusual, in my experience, to manage to catch so many from a single swim as they usually spook after the first fish or two.
Details: 2lb 4oz (11.35) : 4lb 6oz (12.30) : 4lb 0oz (12.55) : 2lb 9oz (13.30) : 3lb 3oz (13.45) : 2lb 12oz (14.00) : 2lb 5oz (14.25)
I then made my way upstream looking for signs of fish but the water level was low and spots where I thought I might see chub cruising were noticeably devoid of any. I did spot a couple of fish but in locations that were inaccessible. I tried dropping in a few places that had produced fish in the past but with no luck. I eventually arrived at the pool below the iron bridge and a large chub cruised past in the shallows at the bottom of the bank. I think it was at least a 4lb fish and may have even have been over 5lb.
I set myself up on the steep and somewhat hazardous bank and cast to the tail of the eddy that is formed in the pool. I soon had a pull on the rod top, but as I experienced last June, I couldn’t seem to connect. Again I think it might have been because of line bow caused by the currents in the pool. I continued by holding the rod and connected with the next bite. It felt a large fish but somehow it managed to transfer me to an immovable snag in a deeper area of the pool. A breakage followed and need for new terminal tackle. Having recommenced I missed another couple of pulls but then connected with what again felt like a good fish. This time I kept it out of trouble and netted my first 5lb plus chub! 5lb 2oz to be precise, at 17.10. Very pleased, obviously.
A couple more missed bites followed but I then managed to connect again, this time a fish of 3lb 1oz (17.25). At this point rumbles of thunder were heard and as I was intending to pack up around 18.00 I decided to make my way back to the spot where I had caught the seven fish earlier, as this was much nearer to the car!
Back at the first swim I soon had a pull on the rod top, which I missed. However, shortly after I connected with a smaller chub, which when landed weighed 1lb 7oz (17.55). At this point the evening dog-walking fraternity turned up and there were soon two dogs splashing around in the river with much chattering among their owners. I had decided to pack up at 18.00 any way, so this was the cue to do so, not before I had unfortunately lost my terminal tackle by casting into a tree, rather than close to it.
All in all a pretty special day.