Well, my canal carp campaign has pretty much fizzled out. After another session right at the end of July without a sign of anything other than micro pike and tiny roach, and in the knowledge that a fish kill a few years back may have decimated stocks more significantly than I first thought, I’ve knocked it on the head for now.
I didn’t get out in August and so the few hours I spent out roving the river on Monday evening were a real pleasure.
Although I was tempted to sit it out in the hope of a barbel or two, I instead opted to fish a slower stretch of the river a few hundred yards above some rapids in search of chub.
My thinking was that I’d try for the chub specifically in the slightly deeper, slower water in an effort to see if I could get through to a better stamp of fish. Fishing the faster, shallower runs this season has resulted in plenty of barbel and chub, but the chub have only been up to around 2.5lbs or so in weight. After seeing a photo of a stunning 5lbs 12oz chub from the slower water and with my own best Wye chub coming from the same section, albeit during a summer flood, I decided to explore a few new swims in the area.
The river was up a bit from my last visit and with a touch of colour running through, too. I must admit I was tempted to scrap my chub plan and target the barbel, but I stuck to my guns and began fishing a light-ish lead close-in with a chunk of meat as bait.
It was quiet at first and the sun was still quite strong, but it was only just above the trees and I knew it’d soon duck down below them.
I repositioned the rig and soon after a lively chub snaffled the bait – but it was another small fish of perhaps a pound-and-a-half. After that I hooked another small one that came off. So much for the better fish theory!
The swim went quiet, so I moved. The next area I eventually settled into, I almost walked past. It was quite well hidden and, in terms of access, one of the more challenging areas along the stretch.
But I’d travelled light and so had just enough room for my rod, net and bait. I was positioned a good six feet above the river, but there was just enough space to get down and net a fish, should I hook one.
The water in front of me looked great, with a clearly defined crease a quarter of the way across the river and with plenty of tree cover above the run.
I baited with a couple of balls of dampened pellets and flicked the rig out. First cast and I was in – another mini chub…
I balled-in some more pellets, well upstream of the target run and let it settle while I had a cold drink.
I cast again, just beyond the crease this time. Nothing happened for a while but I was content to sit in what was a lovely, warm early autumn evening.
When the tip whacked around, it caught me unexpected and my fumbled strike met with nothing.
Another wait ensued before another bite, and finally a much better chub was hooked. The fish really went well on the lighter set-up and it was a relief to get it in the net. At 4lbs 2ozs it was a reasonable chub for the Wye.
By now I was in to a routine of sorts and the groundbait going in on each cast had obviously drawn the fish in. As the light dropped, the chub responded and a succession of chunky fish made their way to the net. No sign of any real biggies, but they certainly were a better stamp of chub than I’ve managed this season. Great fun.