25/2/09 Lower Plough AS stretch after work, and with Pete.
During the post-fish analysis over a pint tonight two things became clear. Firstly, I appear to have caught only Chub so far this year. Despite my brief but best efforts with Grayling, Roach, Eels and Barbel it's only been the Chub pulling my string.
Secondly, the hair-rig is not necessarily always the most efficient means of hooking fish.
To deal with the second point first. I set up two rods tonight, one with a large bait designed for Chub / Barbel and one with double maggot on an 16 hook below a maggot feeder. As you might expect within half an hour and a few casts the maggot rod started to get some attention - mostly trembling on the tip signifying small fish bursting (chobbling) the maggots. Next cast, tip bends round and (bosh - as they say) I'm into a decent Chub - 4lbs 6ozs.
Seeing the Chub are liking the maggots I quickly switch the hooklength of this rod over to a small maggot clip loaded with about 10 maggots on a hair. the next hour is spent with plucky / jaggy bites that don't really turn into anything, and certainly not fish.
Bemused, I snip off the maggot clip from the hair and put three maggots directly onto the size ten korda hook. Next cast, the tip bends round and I've a second Chub about the 4lb mark.
With the right hand rod getting nothing much on the bigger baits I put maggots directly on the hook on this too. Within the next hour I've had a total of five Chub, all around the 4lb mark, and all giving bites that bent the tip round and pull line from the centrepins.
I think the Chub were mouthing the bigger baits or turning with them in their mouth but not hooking themselves against the soft rod tps. Either way, maggots direct on the hook 'scraped' five decent Chub.
To deal with the first point - catching only Chub; I think you could fish almost any method during January and February on most midland rivers and find yourself with mostly Chub. Thank god the blighter's keep on biting when most other species don't.
It was nice to bump into 'Swivel' tonight on the bank. I've only been running this blog for about a month and yesterday it had one public follower. What were the chances of bumping into him on my next fishing trip!?