Tuesday, 17 December 2013

When to stick - When to twist

Chain mail wearing warriors, lurker of tangled roots, debris and undercut banks, blunt heads and thick set lips waiting for lobworm, maggot, cheese paste or bread to drift past them.

The rivers were running clear, the scene one of fallen leaves and naked trees, Pheasants can be heard  their staccato calls breaking the silence at regular intervals and Blue Tits chatter infectiously to one and other.

I slowly make my way along the riverbank, a stick succumbs to my weight and breaks underfoot, I give it an annoyed look almost questioning why it had to make any sound at all and silently scold myself before moving toward a sunken tree, a few minutes later the rod tip twitches lightly and not long after I am met by the eager thud of a young chevin as it acts the rebellious teenager.

Knowing when to move and when to stay put is always a gamble, trying many spots is a very proactive approach and can put you on the fish, but equally it can move you away from them. Especially if the populace is lower and larger fish are present but in a less forthcoming mood, I personally prefer to try many spots and then pick a more permanent spot for a couple of hours fishing into darkness.

During one of my recent of trips this has worked well and resulted in a very short but stout fish and probably one of the nicest conditioned chevin that I have had the pleasure of catching, from a swim where I could not buy a bite earlier in the afternoon.

Perfectly formed chevin of 5lb with the girth on it of a 6lb fish

As is usual this time of year kamikaze trout are often about and generally doing their utmost to gatecrash swims, you can never mistake hooking one, especially once that all too familiar wiry tussle and trademark cartwheeling begins.

My most recent trip found me back out on the Loddon where I was hoping to connect with one of the rivers larger chevin. Planning to fish from lunchtime till 6pm and rotating a few swims in the process. Taking with me a small tub of liquidized bread mixed with some freshly crushed garlic and maggots, a couple of balls were placed into each swim and allowed to settle for half an hour before fishing commenced.

I received a few knocks and taps to lobworm tipped with maggot in the first three swims, but none of these developed into anything conclusive and by 1pm I was fishing the fourth swim which had produced another trout, I was pondering whether to move on to another swim or not, when I began receiving a few delicate plucks.

45 minutes later the quiver tip hooped round and I found myself on the receiving end of a rather bullish run, the fish taking line then heading off along the undercut bank and under the nearby trees. If this was what I was searching for then it felt like it was on steroids, after a few more fraught moments the fish finally surfaced and I could see that it was a very nice looking chub, once it slipped into the waiting net the relief was palpable as it was only lightly hooked in the upper lip.

Give me a kiss
This fish was simply beautiful with charcoal black tail, broad with a very butch look about it and had a pair of thick lips that looked worthy of a kiss or two.

6.10 bruiser
Weighing a plump 6.10 it put a rather large smile on my face, it's always nice when things come right and you get your line truly tugged, this bullish chevin had certainly achieved that and some, come evening time I went home with a real spring in my step.

I would also like to recommend a fellow angler whom has recently started writing blogs, a chap who has fished with me a couple of times and also creates some very enjoyable fishing videos on youtube too. Tom Aldous now writes regularly on his blog Hampshire Angling TV,  he has an infectious passion for angling and this comes across in both video and the blog.


  1. Another excellent catch and write up Mark, I also enjoyed the video on young Tom's blog, very well put together.

    I'll take this opportunity to wish you a very happy Christmas and a prosperous '14 with plenty more fat fish along the way.

    1. Cheers Dave,

      I have been very lucky to have had some good trips and I have passed on your comment to Tom, he does make some lovely vlogs in my opinion.

      Thank you for the Christmas wishes, the same to yourself and family, heres to reading more about your trips on the Wye and other waters in 2014.

  2. Awesome fish Mark! Those two chunky chub in are crackers. Now where did I put that cheesepaste...

  3. Cheers Ben,

    certainly the nicest couple of chub I have been lucky to have caught this season, especially the 5lb fish which was in spotless condition. Best of luck if you decide to break out the cheese paste and go after some chevin mate.

  4. Those are some great fish you caught! I still only catch tiny ones. 2014 is gonna be my year though. I can feel it!

  5. Hello there George, thank you, I felt very privileged to have caught them too. Unfortunately I have not been angling for the past three weeks and I am starting to get withdrawal symptoms, I must remedy that soon. Best of luck during 2014 my friend.

  6. Some beauties there Mark. That 6.10 looks a right old bruiser. It has certainly whet the appetite for some decent chevins this winter. Great blog as always Mark, thanks.

    1. Cheers Nathan,

      they have a certain warrior esque look about them Don't they? I don't think I could ever tire of catching the species, sadly the rivers are a tad botched right now and we can only hope to get a steady run of settled weather, as I much prefer clear and cool conditions for chubbing.