The start of the week was quite mild, and with an evening to spare I headed for the local canal where I have been targeting carp in recent weeks, since the river season ended. I’m trying to get there fairly late as the boating season is now underway, and there’s nothing worse than having cast out and set everything up on the pod, only to have to reel it all in to let a barge past! I don’t know whether it’s a regulation, or just that they like to get tied up somewhere for the night, but I’ve never had a boat pass me in darkness on a canal.
With both rods positioned, I sat back to await some action. I was fishing another new swim, and didn’t have long to wait before the bite alarm started to bleep, indicating a fish had taken the boilie. Striking, I again found myself connected with a chub! If you’ve been reading my Angling Journal over the last few weeks, you will know that I have had a steady stream of the species. Not that I’m complaining, of course, but I am fishing for carp.
Some of the chub are actually decent enough fish, but in the same way you catch them when barbel fishing, the heavy tackle doesn’t allow them the real freedom to express themselves. And knowing my ‘luck’ if I decided to actually scale down and fish for chub, I’d probably hook a monster carp first cast and get broken! No, I think it’s best if I stick to my current species!
Throughout the rest of the session I had several more chub, but one in particular I thought was a carp. It came just before midnight, and I had a screaming run, with the spool going into overdrive. As I struck and the rod tightened to the fish, just for a moment I thought I was into a mirror or a common, but alas, within a few seconds I realised it was another greedy chub. I use the word ‘greedy’ carefully, as anything that can take on board the huge boilies I am fishing with on the one rod definitely deserves the accolade.
Fishing into the early hours, I eventually packed away and set off for home. With no cars on the road it is a quick journey, and in no time at all I have had a shower and settled into bed, dreaming of the next session and whether I will catch my target species or not. Even my non-angling wife is now asking me how many chub I have caught!
Lack of opportunity meant that it was the end of the week before I was out again, and with the wind direction having changed to a northerly, it was quite cold. In fact here in Sedgley we even had snow falling! What fish feed when the conditions are bleak, I thought to myself while driving to the canal? And I wasn’t wrong either, as this second session produced another string of…chub!
I again fished a new spot, which means that apart from returning to a swim once, I have fished somewhere different each time. The swim looked good, with some far bank reeds to my right and an overhanging tree to my left. Perfect carp-holding spots I thought to myself, but of course, other fish are around too…
At the moment I’m fishing boilies as bait and using a PVA bag containing pellets and broken boilies as loose feed. I say ‘at the moment’ because once (and I believe I will in due course!) I locate some carp I will increase the amount of bait going in. Until that time, I shall happily fish away, working my way through the massive head of chub that inhabit the canal.
As I lay there on my bed chair, although it was cold, I found myself dozing off. However, I am unlikely to sleep for long, as it seems that the chub are queuing up to get at my bait. I’ve lost count of how many I have actually caught, and would need to check the notebook that accompanies me on each session to relate the exact number.
But to borrow heavily from the famous Monty Python sketch, I think the title of this week’s article say it all! If you don’t know what I mean, I am referring to a particular brand of meat that was mentioned no less than 94 times in the short sketch. And whilst I am some way off that number of chub at the moment, as the sessions roll by, who knows!
(Originally published April 2005)