The weekend before last was my first visit of the season to a club stretch on the middle Severn. Known to be a hard water but with some specimen fish I’m looking to spend my winter chub campaign there so with a leisurely start and a midday breakfast at the Lazy Kettle cafe it was 2pm when I pulled into the car park at Bicton.
I was meeting Phil at 3pm so fancied an hour travelling light and roving in the wooded section which had produced in the past. I dropped into a fairly open swim upstream that had gathered plenty of cover for chub over the recently dry months.
As expected the level was painfully low and the flow almost still but if you put me in front of muddy puddle at the side of the road I’ll wet a line if I think there’s a chance of a fish. I primed a few swims for the way back with bread crumb glugged with Laguna Blue Cheese Special Edition SAC juice, I’d soaked it overnight and it balled easily into the swim, my plan was to make the balls quite firm and so they’d stay put and break down gradually attracting and holding the fish until I came back later.
I started on the Laguna cheese paste for the first cast and it landed close to a fallen tree. After ten minutes I switched to the other side and just dropped it in with an unannounced but gentle plop alongside the surface scum. A gentle pluck raised my pulse for a brief moment but didn’t develop so after half an hour I switched to meat left over from last week, it had been marinated in Banana SAC Juice and would surely gain some attention. Although the margins were deep enough I opted to try out in the middle and initially although I felt a couple of tentative enquiries through my fingers it didn’t develop so I moved downstream to another spot I’d baited earlier.
This spot wasn’t really a swim as such but the level was that low that the base of the tree would allow me to net a chub if I managed to make contact. Surrounded by snags I free lined a piece of cheese paste in between two fallen bows and left a slack drop in the line to indicate a bite, within seconds of the bait settling the slack line tightened and I lifted sharply to my left wary of clouting the tree trunk, it was fish on but no bend in the rod and when it came to the surface I realised why, a chublet of around 8oz had honed in on the paste in fact forceps were needed to remove the size 6 hook it had engulfed.
We packed up and returned to the car around 6pm, the plan was to get settled further downstream and fish one rod each into the night. The swim we chose was a cattle drink swim just before the island, a swim in which Phil had much success previously. The flow was virtually non existing and a cold clear night with a full moon didn’t bold well but we pressed on enthusiastically and joked about how much better than watching the X-Factor it was.
Time ticked away, a cow came for a drink a was a little startled by our presence, bats twanged the line occasionally making us jump to attention but apart from a half hearted take nothing transpired and so at 11pm we called it a night and trudged back to the car park. I was really glad of Phil’s company on such a fruitless night and will be back at Bicton in November once the river has recovered from the long dry summer, there is an autumnal feel in the air now and it’ll soon be time for early morning walks across frozen grass heading down to the river in search of monsters!!
I’ve just returned from a great weekends fishing on the river Trent with good mates and the Chub Study Group, it was a weekend of PB’s and much enjoyment as we celebrated my recent 50th, I’ll write about it soon but the photo’s are now published on my Facebook page, in the meantime I’m off to Poland with my daughter for the World Karate Championships where she’ll represent England, an honour for any father and no doubt I’ll have a lump in my throat on the opening night when the national anthem is played so until then tight lines my fellow Piscators and we’ll catch up soon.
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