Still on the Chevin Chase (Chub, entry 502)

With the bitterly cold weather still with us I decided to continue on the chub trail. Although I usually fish for a different species the following week, it’s not a rule I follow. Just that variety is the spice of life. But sometimes more of the same is the way to go, and as I was really enjoying my chub fishing I continued on the chevin chase this week!

Although they’ve been out for a few weeks now, it’s always good to see snowdrops. They’re a sign that even though we’re still in the grip of winter (and we definitely were this week!), spring is not that far away. As an avid nature watcher I’ve always got one eye on what’s going on around me.

An early sign of a stirring nature
An early sign of a stirring nature

My opening session was just a two-hour one, but it was enough to play, net, photograph and release a decent chub. All good angling-related verbs! With the temperatures – both air and water – being on the fall I was happy just to catch. Although of course I was after chub and not rudd, so it was hardly mission impossible.

I’ve gone through my tackle and bait approach in last week’s entry, with the former featuring in the video, so there’s no need to repeat it all this time round. My second visit saw me blank but I did have a couple of massive pull-rounds and a break just above the hook.

The first chub of the week
The first chub of the week

I located an underwater snag in the form of a branch, so the increase in the breaking strain was to put me more in the driving seat once a fish was hooked. Due to the size of fish I’ve been catching I’ve gone upwards by 50% from 4lb to 6lb, although I have no intention of increasing any further. Well not unless I locate some real record-breaking fish anyway!

Mashed bread ready to go
Mashed bread ready to go

My third visit to the canal saw my toes suffering – because of the cold that is. The temperatures had seriously plummeted and I didn’t need the weather presenters to tell me that. I could feel it. Or not as the case was with my frozen toes. But as we know, you never catch sitting at home by the fire.

And when I had an almighty wrap-round I thought my dedication had been rewarded. Sadly though the strike drew a blank. I started to wonder whether this would be a session two groundhog day, but fortunately sometime later I netted my second chub of the week. As I struck and felt the solid resistance of the fish the cold was temporarily forgotten.

Returning the second chub
Returning the second chub

As well as my weekly angling articles I also have a YouTube channel. It’s going to be a milestone year all-round as not only will my diary entries reach 520 (ten years) but also I’m on target for 1 million video views. I started the year with 800K plus so reaching 910K means it’s all on track. If you’re on YouTube why not subscribe to my channel? The link is on my website. (Note-for some reason the views have dropped back since I wrote that, not sure why. But I’ll get there, just take a bit longer, that’s all)

The million draws closer
The million draws closer

I managed a few angling sessions this week, mostly due to the fact I was on the bank at first light and they were short ones, ensuring I was back in my office by lunchtime. Flexibility is the name of my game. Not to mention a conscious decision to push myself and make the most of every day. Life isn’t a dress rehearsal, this is the real thing.

On my last-but-one outing I had another tremendous pull-round that amounted to nothing so I decided to reduce the hook-length to 4″ (10cm). This did the trick as my next enquiry resulted in a fish on the bank. Not my target species but a bream – but at least I had avoided a blank, and with the air temperature continuing sub-zero that was something.

A cold water bream about to hit the net
A cold-water bream about to hit the net

Then it all changed, literally overnight. The weather that is. As darkness fell we were being bombarded with heavy snow and freezing conditions. But a SW wind bringing heavy rain meant that by morning I was on the bank with no white stuff at all and the thermometer showing 5C! As this would be my final session of the week I wanted to end it with a chub.

My wish was granted when a fish picked up the piece of bread an hour or so into fishing. It fought really well and if I had lost it early on I would have been sure it was a real biggie. As it was, although it turned out to be less than expected, it was still a nice fish. And that was my one and only take of the three hour session before I headed home to hit my office desk.

Final session chub
Final session chub

Now that we’re moving on in the year and February is drawing to a close (whoever coined the phrase ‘time flies’ wasn’t joking) I want to do some more pike fishing before I say good-bye to Esox and turn my hand to more traditional spring species. So that’s what I’ll be pursuing over the next week and of course you can check out my Angling Journal next Saturday to see how I get on. (Published February 23 2013)

Visit my angling website, updated every Saturday since 2003 HERE