Catch Fish with
For anyone unfamiliar with the site always check the FRESHWATER, SALTWATER and TACK-TICS pages. The Saltwater page now extends back as a record of over several years of (mostly) sea fishing and may be a useful guide as to when to fish. The Freshwater stuff is also up to date now. I keep adding to both. These pages are effectively my diary and the latest will usually be about fishing in the previous day or two. As you see I also add the odd piece from my friends and correspondents if I've not been doing much. The Tactics pages which are chiefly 'how I do it' plus a bit of science are also updated regularly and (I think) worth a read (the earlier ones are mostly tackle and 'how to do it' stuff).
Chub and pike.
I'd fished my little J7 Rapala for a good hour and not even had a bite when I saw a young bloke walking up the far bank with all his gear. Two rods, bag, chair, rod rests, the lot! He stopped opposite where I was standing, ankle deep in the river, and asked if I'd "Caught anything!" When I said "Not a sniff!" he seemed genuinely surprised (as I was) and offered to let me know if he had any trouble with pike. Clearly he thought I was pike fishing even though I was using such a tiny lure. Of course I did have a wire trace because pike, if not my target species, are ever present possibilities. Anyway, the other angler moved on and I saw him setting up his gear by a nice deep run a little way upstream. It had been hard work trudging through the head high nettles and reeds so I stopped, took the bag off my back, propped the rod against a tree and sat down to watch what he did.
As he was setting up his float tackle he began to catapult samples of bait towards the far bank. After about ten minutes he started to fish but when nothing was forthcoming after a further ten minutes I picked up my gear and moved upstream to wade and spin in a wide, shallow riffle. It was not long before I had my first sign of life when a small trout had a dab at the lure as I wound it across the flow. Eureka! I stood in mid-river and looked round for likely spots. On the far bank, a little downstream of my position, there was an overhanging bush. The water was rippling past it at a good clip but immediately under the hanging branches was a bit of a slack. "Chubby!" I thought. I cast down and across so that the lure landed in the small patch of slack water and as I tightened the line I could feel the little lure vibrating as it swung out into the flow. There was a heavy pull and I was in. The ensuing sluggish battle suggested that I'd hooked a chub and sure enough it wasn't long before I was able to slide a nice fish into the shallows. I took its picture, unhooked it and placed it carefully back into the clear water before returning to my stance. I flicked the lure into the same spot that had produced the chub and again there was a pull on the line as the lure started to wiggle. This was repeated on the next cast and I was pretty certain that there were more chub having a go. On the next cast, however, the rod whanged round as a heavy fish took the lure. No chub this but a six or seven pound pike. The fish was much livelier than any chub and rushed about tail walking and thrashing in the shallow water. Again I slid it towards the bank and took its picture before unhooking and returning it. Excellent! I was rather surprised that the chub and pike were in exactly the same spot but I guess that the former were a bit on the large side to be eaten by the latter.
I packed in and walked downstream until I came to the float fisherman. He said he'd had a small chub and a roach and was clearly surprised when I showed him the picture of my lure caught chub. Anyway, I guess that each of us had learned something from the other.
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