The conditions have been harsh all year, with this week seeing them becoming even tougher from an angling perspective. With air temperature barely making zero during the day, and plummeting overnight, as you can imagine the water was also rock-bottom. It didn’t deter me though from getting out though, in fact I made a few visits to the local canal in pursuit of chub. And that’s the key really, target the right species.

One of the spots that wasn't iced over
One of the spots that wasn’t iced over

I actually got off to a decent start, relatively speaking, as I banked a small chub in my opening session. Although confidence is a big factor in angling, you always have to be realistic. It’s no good setting your sights too high as disappointment will be inevitable. Sometimes one small chub is a result. This was one of those times. The second and third outings provided blanks, although I did get some tip action. I was just thankful that this week I had several bites of the cherry and my angling wasn’t limited to just one or two sessions.

The best fish of the week, that's how tough it was
The best fish of the week, that’s how tough it was

On my fourth visit to the canal the water water temperature continued to fall. It was obviously going to be a tough day, and although I did blank, I was extremely encouraged by a few plucks. The key to fishing in these conditions is location; the fish aren’t going to swim up and down the venue. You have to be in the right spot, and fishing off overhanging vegetation I knew that I was casting where fish would be. But would I get one on the bank for my final session of the week?

At least I went out on a high of sorts
At least I went out on a high of sorts

Although the rate slowed down, the water temperature continued to fall, so I knew it was going to be another toughie. However, imagine my delight when a tap became a tap-tap, followed by a tap-tap-tap, at which point I lifted into what I hoped was a chub. Although I banked a tiny bream I was pretty excited. You know it’s been hard going when a fish like that gets you going. Anyway, I was just happy to go out on a fish, regardless of species or size. (Published February 7 2015)


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