Posts Tagged ‘Chub’

Well after a horrendous start to the week, I managed to get out fishing.  On Monday morning I discovered that my garage had been broken into and the vast majority of my fishing tackle had been stolen.  I was totally gutted.  It takes years to build up a collection like that and in just a few minutes some selfish waster has had the lot.  Luckily they missed a few bits and I had a couple of items locked in the car.  I also found some old rods and reels in a storage cupboard, so all was not lost.  I could still get out fishing.

So on Wednesday we headed to the Ivel.  The conditions looked pretty good.  The river was up slightly on our previous visit and there was just a slight tinge of colour.  I opted to float fish for most of the day and then swapped to the quiver later on.  I went for a slightly higher mainline than normal, in case of barbel.  So setting up with 4lb mainline and a 3lb hooklink, I opted to fish 2 maggots on a size 16 barbless.  I also used a 6 BB float.  This helped pull line off of the reel and through the rod rings better.  I wouldn’t normally have a problem of this sort, if using the Drennan, but alas that had been taken.

I tried numerous swims but the fish were not really responding well to these tactics.  Eventually, having waded out to fish a nice run off of a bend, I found a shoal of small roach.  Having kept the feed going in, the roach started feeding quite readily.  I ended up with 16 or 17 in a very short period of time.  I then swapped to the feeder in an effort to find some decent chub.

I moved into a good glide, of reasonable depth.  I set up a quiver rod with 6lb mainline straight through to a 4 hook with a large piece of crust.  This was anchored using 2 size 3xssg shots.  They held perfectly in the flow.  Over the remaining hour or so of the session I had a few taps on the bread but no real bites were forthcoming.  However a small muntjac deer appeared on the opposite bank and settled down to feed for a while, quite oblivious to me watching on.  It was a nice distraction to what had been a fairly poor session.  So eventaually we called it a day at about 5pm.  Geoff had just missed a really good bite but had at least caught a small chub.  Kevin had taken 2 small chub on the float plus numerous roach and gudgeon.

The day was a little disappointing, considering the conditions, but enjoyable nonetheless.

I would like to thank everyone who has offered help with fishing tackle, having heard my bad news of earlier in the week.  My friends and acquaintances in particular at The Association of Barbel Fishers and Barbel Fishing World, being particularly supportive.  Many thanks to you all.

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Without doubt (in my mind anyways!) the Kennet is one of the country’s most beautiful rivers.  The area I fish is wild, unspoilt and left to its own devices.  That’s a rarity in this day of flood prevention and housing estates!

The Warren Beat

I am a member of the Wasing Estate syndicate.  They have several miles of the Kennet from Brimpton to Aldermaston.  The river here varies greatly.  Some areas are shallow, gravel riffles, others deep runs with overhanging trees and lastly deeper, darker waters of Aldermaston, home of the big fish.

One thing is common though and that is the beats are left untouched by man.  The Warren in particular is a lovely wild section.  Its overgrown with vegetation and thick woodland.  Its dark and foreboding and yet on a bright summers day full of light and life.  The sounds of wildlife and bubbling water allow the angler to totally submerse himself in his surroundings.  Its a wonderfully relaxing place to spend a day.

9lb 12oz kennet perfection

So far this season the fishing has proved difficult.  In past seasons I have caught well here.  All the beats have provided me with some excellent sport.  The fish have ranged in sizes from a few pounds to over 13lbs.  Plenty of doubles have come my way, but this season I am struggling.  So far I have managed 8 sessions, some short ones and only 5 fish have been coaxed into the folds of the landing net.  Sadly I have had 4 hookpulls as well, which is a high percentage of fish hooked at the moment.  All in all very frustrating.

However fishing is not just about catching.  Luckily this area of the Kennet is so unspoilt and beautiful that blanking is almost a pleasure.  Actually no, that’s a lie.  Not a pleasure, but you know what I mean.  It doesn’t seem quite such a bore when you fail to catch when you are immersed in such serene tranquility.

On a recent trip to Aldermaston we were fortunate and perhaps privileged to watch 2 magnificent Red Kites quartering a freshly mown field.  These majestic birds circled overhead and then swooped down to grab at perceived carrion.  Sadly for the birds these were only lumps of cut grass and as they lifted off with them, they soon realised the error of their ways and dropped the useless bounty.

Red Kite

They worked the field for some time and I watched them on and off throughout the day.  It made my trip.  I was spoiled again because the following day we moved to a different beat and I witnessed a Kite floating on the thermals high above me. Later I disturbed another one in a quiet avenue of trees.  The bird lazily spread its wings and climbed over the tree tops.  They are an impressive bird at a distance but close up you realise just how big these birds of prey are.

The fishing as I have said has been slow.  Generally I fish Tuesday evening and Wednesday.  I am able to pitch a tent out of the way.  I use a small pop-up tent along with Geoff.  The two tents are small enough to be fairly unobtrusive and yet can accommodate an angler comfortably.  These are not pitched in swims of course, that would not be cricket.  Instead they are set up well away from the river.  When I’m fishing, I’m fishing.  When I’m sleeping then I’m sleeping.  I’m not in to the bivvy scene, but each to their own.  I have no problem with bivvies if the rules allow.

Anyway so far my biggest Kennet fish was 9lb 12oz from Aldermaston.  Not a particularly big fish for here but nonetheless a stunning example of a Kennet specimen.  The other 4 were of a smaller stamp but just as welcome and just as perfect.  Hopefully my angling ability will improve as the season wears on and I’ll start to improve on my success rate.  But I truly hope that I never loose sight of the importance of just being there even if I’m not catching.

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