Session 11 – Canal Chub….

Monday 18th March, I set off at 0730 as planned for a local stretch of the Staffordshire-Worcestershire Canal near to Wombourne, Staffs. This particular stretch is under the control of the Wolverhampton Angling Association (WAA) for which annual permits can be obtained from local tackle shops at £15 for adults, £10 for OAP and disabled and under 16’s can fish for free OR day tickets are available at £2.50 on the bank – and they control other sections of the S/W Canal and Shropshire Union Canal too.

 

So, I’d arrived in my chosen swim and tackled up and was making my first cast at around 0815 (well, I did say ‘local’ :)) after baiting up with a few small ‘pults of hemp/sweetcorn and dead maggots previous to the tackling up. Tackle at start up consisted of my new 11’ Fladen ‘Collateral’ Avon rod out for its first trip, 4lb mainline, 3AAA peacock waggler and size 16 hook on a 6” hooklength of 4lb line attached via a quick change bead. The hooklength/q_c_bead system allows the hook size to be changed quickly but also allows baits such as worm to be quickly attached via a baiting needle through the entire body if required although I didn’t make use of this today due to a cold breeze affecting my finger tips albeit air temps which, although starting at 4’C early on, rose into double figures over the morning. And starting bait for the day was double/treble maggot fished into the centre boat channel as I reckoned the nearside and farside reaches were too shallow given the water temps still plus the fact that the water was almost crystal clear and I could clearly see the lead to my thermometer’s probe snaking out along the bottom…. The rig was fished so that the bottom shot (No.1) just sat on the bottom to hold the bait static against the flow as I’ve found a moving bait tends to get shunned in canals unless ‘on the drop’ and the drift was too much to do that.

Until 0945 all was quiet on the western front as they say apart from a few minor nudges and knocks which were not strikeable at but then the float quietly dipped and a welcome resistance felt – and soon a small chublet of around 4oz was swung to hand…

2019-03-18 Steve - 4oz Chub

Dead maggot feeding continued for a while and the occasional sign of interest was evident but all very timidly… and so around 1030 I switched to a size 10 hook baited with dendro worm and followed that by baiting with prawn and again with both the same nudges continued…

Then around 1155 a canal boat passed by – the only one of the day – and this churned up the bottom and stained the water a little and seemed to wake the fish up a bit as I started getting more attention – as much per cast as in the previous 3-4 hours in all – albeit still quick tugs. However, I did manage to hook into one more chub on worm, again not a mega lunker but slightly bigger at around 6-8oz…

2019-03-18-steve-6oz-chub.jpg

And so the nudges and knocks continued but despite switching back to a size 16 hook and maggots nothing else was landed when I packed in at 1400 as black clouds started to pass over and mini-showers happening and it was starting to look darker on the horizon.

SO… at least I caught again!

Also, I was pleased with the new rod – felt perfect for my needs. It was a replacement for my usual 10’ float rod which, as I’ve said before, was not to my liking due to the tip ring sizes on float rods these days being virtually the size that you’d expect on a quiver tip and thus totally unsuitable for fishing floats sliding style .. which is the way I always fish my floats regardless of whether they actually need to be sliding (ie in deep water). Last time I fished a float attached top’n’bottom I literally can’t remember … probably the 70’s or even 60’s! I attach my floats via a small sliding link swivel … between shot and float I use a single float stop so that I can set the float away from the shot if need be for casting … above the float I use a further two float stops to set the depth I want to fish at. Why two stops above the float? Well, when I initially plumb my depths I slide both up/down together until the optimum setting is reached with the bait resting on the bottom … however, if I later want to use a slightly depth setting for some reason (eg casting into a different area or want the bait suspended off bottom) then I just move the lower stop down to the desired setting and the upper stop acts as a reference point to indicate how much I’ve changed the depth and also makes returning to the original depth as easy as just sliding the lower stop back up to meet the upper one. As I say I fit ‘sliding style’ but in shallow water the float can be effectively locked/fixed by just trapping it between the float/shot stop and the above float stops and fished ‘peg-leg’…

PLANS:

The weather for the week ahead is improving with warmer air temps and less wind/breeze according to the forecast, so Thursday 21st March I’m planning on returning to the pool of last week and checking out ‘that area’ :)….

WATER TEMPS:

9.0’C rising to 10.0’C over the day…

ScreenHunter 29

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