Prawns, Pellets, Barbel Stix and Boilies (Chub, entry 505)

My wife left me. No, not good news, she came back again. But seriously, following the birth of our grand-daughter Nyah she moved in with the family to help out for a few days. Lots of short-term changes all-round, but from a fishing perspective I continued on my local canal after chub.

With my sessions being just three hours long, and my rod already made up, it meant I could get a few outings in. Although going for the same species, I decided to change the bait approach each time. My first choice, for the opening first-light start, was prawn. I fished one on a size 4 hook and threw in a few freebies – simplicity at its best.

Undercover pellets soaking
Undercover pellets soaking

I had a number of plucks early on but not one proper bite. Back home I kept my angling clothes on and was at work not much after ‘normal’ 9-5 people. And the reason I stayed in my fishing attire was because late afternoon I was back on the bank. In a new spot, this time I hair-rigged a 12mm SBS Undercover pellet, soaked in dip.

Again it was quiet, but at dusk I had a lovely pull-over, and after a feisty battle I eventually netted my first fish of the week. My approach, as it has been on the canal so far this year, was to leger using my Fox 1.5tc barbel rod. A small free-running bomb and a mainline of 6lb were the common denominators.

My fishing partner
My fishing partner

Session one I went straight through to a Drennan Super Specialist, but for the pellet I fished 5” hooklength of Drennan Team England and a size 6 boilie hook, by the same company. And for the first time this year I had company, albeit my Bedlington! She loves to potter around (my first Bedlington, Baloo, was the same). That’s Twinkle above getting ready to play with a stick.

A dusk chub
A dusk chub

Walking back to the car I saw a woodcock in flight. There’s a great natural world out there and that’s why my ears and eyes are always tuned in and open. I went home, did some microwave fries which made me feel like Jamie Oliver, then drove to see Nyah. And Debby. And Rebekah. And Miriam. In fact they’re all there, I’ve truly been on my lonesome this week.

The Barbel Stix rig
The Barbel Stix rig

I would have been out the following morning but I had a tackle delivery due from Harris Sportsmail. However, I made good use of the time both with some office work and a serious pruning job on a conifer in the garden. I lopped off enough for the next three green bins worth of council garden recycling stuff.

But with everything done I loaded the car and had session three on the canal. This time, as you’ve worked out from the title, the bait was Barbel Stix. An SBS product, they are available in three flavours, and it was the frankfurter sausage I opted for. And my claim to fame on the bait is that I suggested the spelling ‘Stix’.

A cracking chub
A cracking chub

It was back in the day when Des Taylor ran the company from Kidderminster. We were together in his office one day and he told me about the new Barbel Sticks.
I threw in the alternative spelling, Des liked it and the rest, as they say, is history. Soaked in dip and hair-rigged, you can see the rig set-up in one of the photographs. The swivel is hidden by a Greys top and tail rubber.

I caught two fish, one I would describe as good, the other an absolute cracker. Before I saw them, especially the first one, I thought I had hooked small carp. I really enjoyed myself and although I only caught two fish, my personal preference is always quality over quantity. And back to the bait, before I leave the session behind, I fished over SBS proactive multi-mix pellets.

A good chub
A good chub

After feeding the chub I went home and tried to feed myself, although not quite as successfully I’m afraid. Encouraged by my microwave fries I moved a rung up the culinary ladder and went for some porridge. I overdid the minutes, giving it some Fergie time, the result you can see below. Honey I blew up the porridge. Still, I just scraped it up and ate it. Waste not, want not.

Honey I blew up the porridge
Honey I blew up the porridge

The next morning was my fourth and final session on the canal. And as you’ve already worked out, it was boilie this time – and to be precise SBS M2. The night before I soaked a few 18mm in dip to give them a boost. I was not intending taking any prisoners, although even a small chub will engulf that with ease.

I have such a passion for angling that I don’t really need an alarm clock. Before it goes off I’m usually awake, with my body nagging me to take it fishing. In fact I didn’t bother setting it this week and I was always up and ready in good time. Well, to be truthful, I don’t know how to work it. My wife does it. Add alarm clocks to microwaves as no-clue-appliances.

Maxima let me down
Maxima let me down

On arrival I threw out a few handfuls of M2 pellets and loose boilies, then cast out and settled back. It wasn’t long before I was striking into another very good chub. However, after a few moments, the rod pinged back to normal out of its lovely active arch. All that was left was loose, limp hanging line.

Had a pike picked up the boilie, swallowed the whole rig and bitten off above the lead? It was possible, after all the distance between the weight and the lead this time was just 4 inches (10cm). However, as I investigated further I discovered the culprit was my freshly spooled Maxima Chameleon. Although 6lb it responded to the slightest pressure like it was 6oz.

A final session fish ready to net
A final session fish ready to net

Anyway as I peeled line off the reel it was all the same. Fortunately though I had tied it to some 8lb Sufix Synergy that I kept on as backing. Now that is one line that has never ever let me down in years of fishing with it. So although I didn’t want to go that heavy I was jut thankful I had a second bite of the cherry.

That’s an expression for a second chance for anyone that doesn’t speak English as their first language and is confused. I’m aware that my Angling Journal has regular readers from all around the world, and whilst your English is no doubt excellent, some of our sayings are peculiar. Such as ‘raining cats and dogs’ and ‘I’m so hungry I could eat a horse’. Then when we do, we call it an outrage!

Anyway the switch in line didn’t create too much of an inconvenience as I landed another two fish. The final one came as a boat passed, and as I’d done my allotted three hours it was cue to pack away, go home and get on with the other things I had to do that day. Don’t forget to visit my Angling Journal website, the link is below. It’s been updated every Saturday since July 2003. (Published March 16 2013)

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