From the water’s edge

June 2014 - Hot chub

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Another rainless week has passed, and we arrive at the water to find it higher and even more coloured. Not sure how that works, but speaking to a regular he reckons that this is its correct summer level and previous drier seasons had adversely affected the river last year. We’ll go with that, it makes sense, but the colour? We traced that to a tributary that was clearly being messed with upstream. Above the confluence it was a bit clearer and the amount of crap coming in there was worrying. In truth I guess they were just digging out a space for an extraction pump to go in, who knows?

However far from making the fishing worse, the tinge of extra colour was a help and in surprising ways too. Depressingly pike were showing in most swims and they really were a pain, snatching at perch on their way in and generally having me reaching in for the wire too often to be enjoyable. I actually had my first river fish of the season on a crayfish, a small perch which was nice, but  just as I was messing around with yet another jack, I got the big shout from Pete. Scales and camera required, and with good reason.

He has caught a fair few bigger chub over the years but this was his biggest on a lure and our biggest from this stretch too. One of our targets achieved at least even if the resolution to reduce pike catches has failed miserably. 4-2 was where the scales settled or rather stopped flickering ( how times change!)

It took Pete’s favourite 3” fluoro green-tailed quantum battle shad. It’s a good lure - no doubt about it. He catches lots of Zs and perch on them too.

It was a spectacular way to start the day off and gradually the background was painted in with lots of small perch. Pete’s on small spinners and shads. Mine, embarrassingly, on the drop-shot.

For a method that I have mentally ticked off as occasionally successful at best, it really scored for me today.

Of course today might just have been one of the ‘occasionally successful’ ones, but there were a couple of factors I felt made a difference. The first was beyond my control. The extra colour in the water may well have made the crap presentation less obvious.

The second was that I had changed down to a 4 lbs fluoro leader, both above and below the hook. The second was and is key to my way of thinking. I am now using a single swanshot pinched on to the end instead of a designated Ds weight. It means that in faster water it won’t stay put, but then all the takes came just as it settled on the edge of the current. That is a hotspot anyway and anywhere, but the extra light lead means that I can’t keep the line as taut. The current means that as the fish approach from downstream of the lure, they are not presented with a taut cable across their noses, the lure is on a slack line downstream of the rig.

I didn’t miss many, most came on the Dichoso 2.25" Umiushi Worm that I got from AGM a while back, and having worried and fretted about how to move the lure in the past, I found that any or no movement worked fine. Takes on the slacker line were just knocks or flicks of the line, but the fish were invariably well hooked on the size 4 spinshot hooks from the same source. Head hooking the lure seemed to matter little, few were missed.

Casting the lighter rig was more awkward, not because of the lack of lead weight but more because the bait and weight were so similar. The rig has a tendency to helicopter through the air like a bolas and one or the other would catch overhanging vegetation when trying to get close to cover. A few takes in each likely spot would then die away and another slack or piece of cover would have to be tried. Most swims had two or three likely holes within them and some of those were very tiny, but still held fish. For fish read perch, nothing else showed any interest unless you count the jack that flashed at the bait in the weir.

So there we go, another scorching hot morning, A pretty decent chub, a couple of dozen perch to a pound between us and a few jacks making a nuisance of themselves. Lots to ponder, lots to buy and replace thanks to the light hooklength. It definitely helps get bites but while 4 lbs is plenty strong enough for everything we have come across so far, it does let you down very easily when the inevitable snag leaps out and grabs the lure. I have got a quick fix for the pike now. I just whip the lure off its nose and clip a short handy wire-trace in between the lure and the fluoro. Catch the pike and put it back in the previous swim to ponder its indiscretions. Sorted.  

artificial lite

journal 2014.





journal 2014.

journal 2013.