Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Waxing lyrical

Locally we have had some very heavy rain recently and the rivers have been topped up nicely, almost to the point of localised flooding, a stark contrast to how dry it has been previously, so at the weekend after a bit too much dilly-dallying, trying to choose between barbel fishing or some general roving, the latter was chosen and I decided to take with me what is to myself a fairly new bait and one I have used on three occasions this season, each time they have been nothing less than superb, that bait is wax worms.

These are the plump larvae of the wax moth, think super sized, buoyant, cream coloured maggot and that would lightly sum them up. They can be fished popped up or as a sinking bait and are a very natural looking food, something a fish might expect to see dropping from a bush or tree into the water invitingly. Earlier in the season I put them to use for chub and they worked very well trundled between the weed runs, I tend to fish these in two ways, the first is using an opportunistic approach by casting into a swim with no free offerings and trying to pick off an unsuspecting fish that sees a free meal rolling past, the second is to fish these in conjunction with a light feed of maggots.

The amount of liquid content is akin to a juicy orange, so when nipped on the hook they do give a superb leak off, on larger hooks I prefer to thread one on length ways and then nip one or two on the hook as you would with a normal maggot. They keep very well in the fridge just like maggots and from what I have seen seem to have a better heat tolerance than worms do.

You should be able to purchase these from your local pet shop, however I have been ordering mine from UK Waxworms, you get approximately 270 for £6, now I am unsure as to how that stacks up against the price for these in a pet shop, but baring in mind that the £6 also includes the postage and packaging I would suspect that it is not bad, plus these are mainly used as hook bait only, so 270 tend to go a long way.  I have detoured a little from topic but wanted to explain a bit about them.

On reaching the river this weekend I was met with a pacy, tea coloured scenario and part of me was kicking myself for opting to go quiver tip and link ledger, but there were still plenty of slacks to target and submerged marginal features which would allow fish respite from the burgeoning flow.

As I had not got down till 2pm I decided to concentrate on only a handful of swims, chopping and changing between fishing the wax worms as single baits and using them fished over the top of maggots which were trickled into some swims. The first couple of spots produced a few small perch and gudgeon, moving downstream I found a slack just off a glide and begun to receive some rapier-esque bites hitting the tip, now I have not had that many dace from this waterway in the past, many other species but not lots of dace, at least not from some of the reaches that I fish, well imagine my delight when I started picking up a few of these at regular intervals, not huge fish for the species, the largest was  probably 6oz's, but given this particular waterways thriving ecosystem who knows what sizes that they might go to? Certainly food for thought where a bit of trotting might be concerned, which in my opinion is a more enjoyable way to catch these silver arrows.

It was not long before afternoon was gradually turning to early evening and I was sorely wishing I had commenced fishing earlier, by now the river had risen more and I found myself in the final swim of the trip, a slack near to a sunken tree, this area having plenty of breaks in the flow and a very nice undercut bank next to said tree. Twenty minutes into fishing this swim and I received a slow, almost deliberate bite which I somehow failed to connect with, so a change of hook was made to a heavier gauged size 10 and three wax worms were soon rolling along the undercut bank.

A few trundled casts later and the tip twitched delicately before arching round, I soon realised that I was connected to a better fish as it moved into the pacy current, after a very enjoyable scrap I could see a lovely conditioned bream breaking the surface.

Wax worms, like the American Express advert "never leave home without them"

A perfectly proportioned Abramis from a small Thames tributary, an excellent scrap on the quiver (8.7)

Gold intermingled with a deep, burnished bronze colouration and without doubt one of the nicest river bream that I have had the pleasure to catch, this was the perfect way to end the afternoons fishing and it is safe to say that wax worms have cemented themselves as a firm favourite with me as a welcome addition to an anglers bait armoury. I have not used them trotted as of yet, but I would suspect with delicate presentation by float that they would be the downfall of many a good roach and rudd.