Coarse Fishing Fishing Reports

Blessed are we who chub fish…

Andy Burt with a fine Warwickshire Chub

After a difficult winter, Andy Burt looks back on a chub fishing session that would turn out to be one of the best he has experienced on the Warwickshire Avon.

My winter so far has been fairly dismal, very disappointing to say the least! I have been struggling to catch much worth talking about, and have a long list of excuses. A couple of which relate to the river conditions, which might have some merit.

I’d been keeping a close watch on weather and river levels as I was taking a mate Nigel out for some chub fishing. I desperately wanted a river that gave us a chance, after the recent rain, for the first time this season, it looked like we might catch it right! The level dropped steadily all week and some sharp frosts would, I hoped, drop the colour out.

Weather forecast

Friday afternoon I finished work early and went to have a look, my intel from James told me it was looking good upstream at Barford. It was still up a bit when I got to the car park at Marlcliff for my recce and walk Ted Friday afternoon. There was still quite a bit of colour, but it was definitely taking on a green tint, it easily looked the best I had seen it since last winter.

As is standard practice when we go chub fishing on a Saturday morning, we met at Porky’s for some breakfast. The weather had changed from the previous forecast -3°C going up to about 3°C and sunny to -5°C and freezing fog for the day. I can’t really say why; possibly it just feels so atmospheric; everything seems close and personal; in any case, I do like these conditions. The river itself looked good; I was confident we would catch, but the day turned out to be one of the most memorable I have had on the Warwickshire Avon!

The first swim

It was still well below freezing when I started fishing, choosing a peg that was once a favourite of mine, likely to hold a few chub in all conditions. I started on a bread feeder on the CR10 12ft 1lb Specimen rod about 3/4 over in the steadier water whilst feeding an inside line. Nothing really happened for a while, a few movements on the tip, possibly bites. I checked the Chub Study Group Chat, added a post, drank some coffee, returned messages to Kev and kept recasting. Out of the blue a definite bite, a hard scrap and I had a pristine 5lb 7oz fish in the net, chuffed to bits, my mate Nigel had caught a 4lb 11oz cub as well. An hour later Nigel came down and took a pic, whilst we chatted I had a bite in the inside line I had been feeding, this resulted in a smaller chub about 2lbs.

5lb 7oz Chub
5lb 7oz Chub
Cage feeder and liquidised bread
Cage feeder and liquidised bread

Not being too mobile I planned to fish about three pegs during the day so just as Kev arrived, I was in the process of moving. It’s days like this I really wish I was mobile enough to try more pegs as I didn’t think the chub would want to move around much coming onto my feed, more me go to them. I sat on a peg that had a nice steady far side with plenty of cover about 200 metres further down. I passed Nigel on the way, he reported losing a good one he estimated to be 5lb plus to a hook pull.

2nd swim

Kev sat with me for about half a bite less hour before having to return home to meet someone. Just as he was about to go, I had a good bite and Kev was able to take a couple of great shots, including an action pic of the chub trying to nail me! A great shot showing the rod’s action. As long as the hook held it was never going to nail me; the rod might be a 1lb test curve, but there’s plenty left further down, that one was 4lb 9oz.

Not long after another bite and another one, 5lb 1oz, then another 4lb 8oz. I had been feeding bread all the time and trying to catch on the float, eventually I got my only bite of the day on it and caught one about 3lb. Back on the feeder and another 5lb 12oz. This was the first time I had caught three over 5lb in the same session on the Warwickshire Avon.

5lb 12oz Chub
5lb 12oz Chub

Nigel came down and took another few pics, and we moved down river about 500m for the last hour or two. Here the river shallows and is wider. I missed a couple of bites before connecting with a powerful chub, I actually gave it line before thinking ‘what are you doing it’s going to nail you in a lump of sh*t’ so I applied the brakes; it all went solid. I steadily pulled more, thinking the chub was snagged, but it wasn’t! It just sat there for a few seconds, then started moving upriver. A minute later, another 5lber was in the net.

Hard fighting chub

That one weighed 5lb 4oz and was immaculate. Quite a day chub fishing in freezing conditions; at the end it was hard to fish, the ice in the eyes being so bad. The average size and condition of the fish for the Warwickshire Avon was outstanding, to add to that catching four over 5lb in the one session on this river, was something that previously hadn’t even entered my mind.

Andrew Burt