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Martin James award-winning fisherman consultant,broadcaster,writer


11/06/2020 - Count Down To June 16th

A chub swim


I’ve now got serious with the June 16th getting ever closer, I thought I would write about my build up to the new season, hopefully some readers will find it interesting. The past couple of weeks have been hectic, certainly been a busy time on the river, working from around 0600 hrs until 1500 hrs each day. cabin have been given coats of preservative, 120 yards of fencing has been taken down, I now have to stack the fencing so it can be taken away. Some two miles of river bank have been tidied up after the big floods last February which were at record levels, I retrieved 18 bags of dog dirt, two nappies, a mass of old plastic bottles, cans, black plastic sheeting along with a few fertiliser bags, all this rubbish being thrown in the river further upstream, we get told litter is left by a minority, don’t you believe it. From the sewage over flow pipes have come condoms and st’s, in the areas upstream they are building some 1000 houses, before these applications are approved the house builders should be made to sort out in the infrastructure, improving or building new sewage works, road improvements, health centres and schools.

Thursday 4th of June I walked some 2 miles looking for suitable swims, I found seven spots, one was a tree in the water, I have started to feed the swim with mashed bread, along with a handful of sausage sizzle meat balls, in the quiet pool I have scattered a large can of corn. In the next half an hour I threw in some bits of crust also some slowly sinking chunks of bread flake, I was heartened to see an odd chub taking the crust off the top, also intercepting the bits of flake. My next swim was the tail of the Big Oak swim where I spotted some chub feeding, which greedily grabbed the pieces of sausage sizzle paste, having thrown in a big handful of sausage paste chunks, I moved on looking for other swims, the next spot was where a big tree perhaps forty feet had crashed down last winter during one of the many gales. A quiet pool had been created downstream of the tree which looks most inviting, though the water was too deep for me to see if any fish were in the swim but I baited with some mashed bread and sausage sizzle paste. Friday 5th June Today I visited the previous swims putting in some bait then moving on, until I arrived at a big alder tree, sitting quietly on the bank close to the water’s edge, where several branches of the alder dipped in the water, I was looking for signs of chub. Fifteen minutes later two adult Kingfishers flew from under the bank followed by three youngsters, I sat holding my breath, keeping as still as a heron, within ten feet I had the amazing sight of a family of kingfishers, the three youngsters watching their parent dive and return with a minnow which was whacked on the branch, then poked it down the throat of a youngster. The next fish caught was a bullhead, eventually the family flew off downstream, it was an amazing sight that you couldn’t buy at any price.


Tail of a pool where I expect roach and dace

A top chub swim

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Martin James Fishing
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