I'd been hatching a plan in my head for the last few days and stuck to it, a bait tactic which is certainly no secret and one that i had been meaning to try before now but just hadn't got round to it. (last weeks Angling times had reminded me)
A 10gm cage feeder was to be filled with mince and a prime piece of steak was to compliment it for a hookbait. Although I did take my trusty lobworms as back up!
A 6lb mainline and a 5lb hooklink to a size 8 hook completed the setup.
I had decided to walk to the furthest swim from the car and bait a few on my way there, just a couple of small balls of mince were placed in some likely looking areas, I intended to give each swim around forty minutes or so depending on what had occurred?
Swim one produced a small chub of about a pound, and one other bite that saw me hit fresh air! but at least i was no longer a meat virgin.One thing i noticed was just how savage the bites were using this method with the rod nearly being pulled from the rest in an aggressive manner!
Then all went quiet, so off i trotted .
Swim two (pictured above) is one that I usually walk past as in general its very shallow and although it was normal level today, the water had a nice colour to it and the bottom could not be seen.
Just to the left of the swim there is a slight bend and the water rushes round over the pebbles and rocks and kicks off of a far bank bush which in turn forms a crease in about two ft of water. It was on this crease that I flicked the baited hook.
Thirty or so seconds later, just as i was positioning the lowchair, the tip on the rod flew round and it was fish on!
A spirited fight was had in the faster water and soon after a chub of 4.07 was in the net, full of winter colours that were reflecting off the sunlight from behind me.
I decided to have one more cast in the said swim while I had a brew from the flask and a smoke, not really expecting another bite due to the commotion that had previously happened. Then just as I had taken my eye off the tip to watch a kingfisher go flashing past the rod wrapped round and sprung back just as quick, I'd failed to set the hook and a lucky chevin had just got away with it!!
That was the last of the activity in the swim, so again I upped sticks and set off for another.
The third swim failed with no action at all, and it was one of those situations when only other anglers would understand, that it didn't feel right, so after thirty minutes it was time to take a stroll.
Although i had taken the odd barbel from the next swim, today they were not on the wanted list, although if I'd have hooked one I'd of needed a lot of lady luck on my side with the tackle I was using.
The swim was a fair bit deeper with a sluggish pace to it and looks like a classic perch swim, so off with meat and on with three large lobworms, off came the feeder and replaced it with a light arlesey bomb, a gentle flick out and all was set.
Three small perch up to a pound(ish) were taken in as many casts then all went quiet for twenty minutes or so, I wound in, cleaned a few strands of weed off the hook that was masking the point and once again flicked it back into position.
On sitting back into the chair, the rod pulled round and on connecting with the fish I knew that this felt different, a heavy plodding sensation was coming back at me, it felt like a chub.
Just to the right of me was a branch that had come down in last weeks winds, the fish had managed to gain enough line from me to reach its safety and after what seemed like a couple of minutes of trying every trick in the book, the rod fell slack as the hooklink had parted. This battle I had just lost, I gave the swim a further half hour or so and managed another chub of around a pound and a half and that as they say was that.
The day had been a total pleasure, the kingfishers, the woodpecker and the chub in its winter coat, I would have liked to have seen the one that didn't want to see me but there's always next time