This fishing trip was from the 7th of March and I have saved posting it till now, as I wanted to take time to savour it and having allowed it time to sink in, relive it by sharing it with you all.
The close season was just over a week away and my mind was racing with thoughts of what to angle for in these last few days, one thing I really lusted for was a large perch and it was this and my love for chub that my mind was torn between, the outcome was eventually a split decision, so the choice was made, why not fish for both? Early next morning lobworms and maggots were packed along with a healthy helping of liquidized bread mixed with maggots, seed and a small amount of shrimp and krill meal, something to entice both species.
Arriving at the river the sunrise was simply stunning, yet like so many times this season the weather flattered only to deceive and that warm glow was soon shrouded in cloud and intermittent rain, after a quick look about I decided to put my all my eggs in one basket as far as swim choice went, opting for a swim that had been kind in the past. A light amount of maggots were trickled in upstream, along with a few chopped worms, feeder filled with a small amount of the liquidized bread mixture and the rod was soon being lowered into place.
Within five minutes a pluck was soon followed by a very greedy and solid tug, I struck, the fish immediately diving for the snags to my left, surging downward repeatedly, as I allowed the feeder rod to soak up its lunges the first thought that popped into my head was chub, after a very vigorous and as is usual in this spot rather hair raising battle, I slipped the net under a very solid fish.
As I peeked into the net, I could see the lobworm hanging from the mouth of a rather long and solidly built chub, which tipped the scales to 6lb. Well what a lovely start! I was rather happy to say the least and I decided to not rush proceedings, allowing the swim a good thirty minutes to rest and trickled some more bait upstream, the liquidized bread creating that trademark puffy trail of white particles, as it along with contents made their way downstream, slowly breaking down in the process.
A sip of tea and some reflection about that nice chevin, the rod was eventually back out, by now the rain was pattering down with more intensity, I have to admit the water colour looked good, with an almost green tinge to it and the current was not reacting too quickly to the extra rain.
About an hour later the confidence of youth shone through when I received a rather boisterous bite. Tap jerk, jerk, the rod tip surged round and I was soon playing a very lively chub, this chap was smaller and a very clean looking, young fish of 2lb 2oz's, fin perfect.
The friendly robin had once again kept me company most of the day, landing on my rod on numerous occasions,before venturing down for a maggot or ten, the romantic in me always looks at such things as a good fishing omen.
This trip in many ways cemented that feeling, when a couple of hours later I received a very tentative and delicate pluck, one which barely registered on the quiver tip, followed by a few more heavier tremors, the start of this bite was neither bold nor brash, my hands were poised on the butt of the rod, like some kind of wild west gunslinger, my eyes however were certainly more bulging than those narrow poised stares you see in the spaghetti westerns and my hands were telling me to draw, I waited, the quiver tip eventually pulling round, with a light strike I lifted in and the reaction from my unseen adversary was to plunge and make for sanctuary, thud thud, I was not in mind to give any line if I could help it and this is one spot where doing such thing can prove disastrous, holding the rod out as far as possible, I tried to give the fish freedom of the rods action only, it was during this and as I slowly gained control that the fish broke the surface to my left, on seeing her raised dorsal and tiger stripes my mouth went instantly dry and all of time seemed to then pass in super slow motion.
Never have I felt time move so slowly when trying to slip a landing net under a fish and when I finally did I was in a right state, a complete and utter nervous wreck. On looking into the net the first words that tumbled out of my mouth were "no way,surely not", followed by another look and me saying "oh my days, you have got to be kidding me".
As I sat down to take it all in, the adrenaline overflowed and I just sat there with my head in my hands crying, I was well and truly overwhelmed with emotion.
But by golly at 4lb 2oz's what a beauty she was, full of spawn and replete with the most striking colourings and markings.