Bit breezy but otherwise decent weather again. Having established that the Belmont rowing course was now a bit past its sell by date, I opted for what is rapidly becoming my overall favourite venue anyway. And this was a Chub or bust mission, 6 pints of bronze maggot and not a lot else.
My initial thought process was to tackle one of the pegs at the bottom of the line of trees, 38/40/42/43/45/48. My only concern was the afore-mentioned breeze, so I stopped and had a look at 24 and 25 on the way down. Both looked inviting, wind was downstream but at least it was off my back, and both pegs are set down and reasonably well sheltered. In contrast, a quick look down the straight was enough to know that the wind was probably downstream and facing on all of the pegs from the straight down to the scout hut. I couldn’t see much point in walking 3 times as far to have a battle with the conditions so I opted for 24. It looked well set up for the waggler, although it was still carrying some colour and pulling off quite hard when the sluice opened.
I set up a 3.5AAA wag and set to work fishing single maggot. The wind varied from slightly awkward to total wipe-out, even though I was deliberately working from about 2pm to my right downstream to try to improve control. But I started to pick off some early Chublets and the odd Roach, and sort of on cue, 45 minutes in, Chub#1. Chub#2 followed 20 minutes later, then #3 at the same interval, but then it noticeably slowed. A switch to double maggot proved fruitless, but then I removed one and nailed Chub#4 first run down, so single maggot does seem to be more effective there at the moment.
Things were even quieter now and I was about 150 minutes in, so I opted for a short spell on a light stickfloat down the inside, thinking I might pick up a few Roach and possibly even a stray Chub. In the event, this was a total waste of time, I managed a solid run of Minnows!! But I’d continued feeding over, so when I went back in on the wag the rest paid off and I nailed Chub#5 pretty much straight away and shortly after Chub#6 which, frustratingly, pulled off. I then opted to have a look fishing a feeder down the swim, but found that I was getting ragged by Chublets and Minnows.
So the feeder was binned and I reverted to the wag, and picked up Chub#7 and Chub#8. Noticeably, both of these were down the swim whereas #1-#6 had all taken it up the swim in the feed zone, so they’d obviously dropped back. It was staring to get cold now and with little or no further response I opted to pack up soon after.
One of the days objectives (as well as catching a few Chub!!) was to compare hook options. So Chub#1 and 2 had been on a size 20 B560 with no issues. Chub#3 and 4 had been on a size 19 B711, again no issues. Chub#5-8 had all been on a size 20 B520 (shades of Evesham in the 80s!!!). Chub#6 had pulled but the hook was fine so I have to assume a dodgy hookhold. Important thing is that none of the hooks straightened or sprung out, so I might switch to B711 or even B520 for this application. I definitely want to try a smaller size again in B711, i.e. a 21, and also possibly a size 22 in the B520..
So, 7 Chub netted and 1 left in, plus a few pounds of Chublets and odd Roach, even one or two Dace and Bleak, decent big double figures bag to go with a reasonably decent day weather wise. Things are looking up, must be nearly the Close Season!!!!!!!!