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Martin James award-winning fisherman consultant,broadcaster,writer


07/11/2020 - A Fishless Day Followed By Losing A Good Chub Next Day

Following on from Wednesday when I had a nice catch of chub, I fished the same swim on Thursday, a big thank you to the Angling Trust for getting angling to be open during lockdown, if for no other reason, now is the time to join the Trust the only organisation that works for angling, though I don’t agree with it getting in bed with the EA a failed organisation in my opinion for fisheries. Conditions were even better than the previous day, I really did think I was going to have a good session, water temperature was 49 degrees F the colour had improved as had the speed of the water flow so I was able to use a smaller piece of plasticine, In had meat, cheese paste, crust and flake, also used the same tackle as I did on Wednesday. In a four hour session I had just oner bite which happened as I was putting in a handful of mashed bread, the rod pulled round, a bite I wouldn’t have missed if I had been holding the rod, it was the only time I wasn’t holding the rod.

Friday was a perfect fishing day as one could possibly wish for in November, no wind with warm spells of sunshine, a water temperature of 49 degrees F and clear water, it would have been a good day fly fishing day for grayling, my target fish today were chub with hopefully a chance of a perch. Sadly I had picked up the wrong box instead of gentles I‘d picked up a box of peat, thankfully I had a tin of sweetcorn in the car so the day was saved. I fished a swim well upstream from the swim of the previous day, with a good steady flow of water with a depth averaging five feet over a rock bottom. Today I used my new birthday present from Colin, Sarah and Zara Culley, the 12 foot Abbey match rod, it’s a black model with red whippings tipped of with gold, with a Spanish reed butt it’s nicely balanced with my Richard Carter centre pin reel holding 4lb bs line with slim balsa float made by Russ Shaw taking 5 AAA, to which I attached a size 10 barbless spade end hook tied on 4lb bs line for me by Mark Sarul one of his many skills. I then made up some ground bait to which I added a couple of handfuls of corn, I left the ground bait for fifteen minutes to take up all the moisture, I ended with what I reckon was a bowl of near perfect ground bait.

After putting in a golf ball size of ground bait with some corn I bated the hook with a larger grain then with as Wallis cast laying the tackle gently on the water, in line with the ground bait, then set the reel tension so the flow would pull line off the reel at the same time it would slightly hold back the float, which suddenly disappeared after about ten yards, the strike connecting with a nice fish, I quickly realised it was a trout, but these triploid browning do really fight in winter ass they don’t suffer from spawning stress. I then netted a trout averaging 2 lbs, in the next four trots through the swim I had for more fish of similar size, but the rod and reel performed as I expected, I couldn’t have wished for a better combination. Every cast I added a ball of ground bait in the hope of pulling some chub upstream, still no chub, though I did start catching some nice grayling around the pound mark, you can usually tell when a grayling is hooked by its twisting action.

Hooked Up To Something Good

I’d been fishing for about two hours, when I hooked a heavy fish around twenty yards downstream, “At last a chub” I thought, it was a dogged fight, the fish not wanting to come upstream, but staying close to the bottom, I had to be patient, the more I was connected to this fish the more I wanted it in the net, I really did feel it was good one. After many minutes, as chub often do, it started to weaken I was now taking in line, the fish wove to and fro across the stream, within fifteen feet I got my first look at what I’d hooked, certainly a chub well into 4 lbs, a minute or so later the fish kited towards my bank, then into some rubbish left by the recently floods. I could feel the line rubbish on what I though was a branch, when the fish got as far as the snag I was stopped from taking in any line but could feel the fish on the end. Quickly picking up the landing net I made my way downstream then I allowed the fish to take some line so it was away from the rubbish, I then pushed the net out past the rubbish which was clearly seen then tried dragging it closed the bank. I then started to gain some line hoping to get the fish next to the snag where with a lot of luck, I could net rubbish and fish, then drag the lot to the bank. I didn’t work out as planned. Suddenly the fish found a source of power then shot off downstream I was forced to give line then all went slack. After four hours or so having caught more trout and grayling, then running out of corn I ended the session, then returned home, feeling miffed at losing my prized, but feeling good with my Abbey match rod.

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Martin James Fishing
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