Times are hard and fish are thin on the ground. Just when i’d been telling people how many Zander are in the trent and how I always at least get a chance of a fish, my last two trips have been blanks and i’ve not even had a bite. Mind you I did fish a couple of new spots rather than my regular haunts. Now that’s the excuses out of the way I decided to head onto the river and try and get a few bites fishing for Chub and Perch.
Last time I headed out I managed 5 Chub which is quite an achievement under the circumstances. For more years than I care to remember Chub have been in short supply on the river. My own personal opinion is because the Barbel had been more prolific and therefore the Chub got their noses pushed out of joint. Now though with less Barbel in the river old rubber lips is making a bit more of a comeback. The first evidence of this was a couple of years back when I had a session roving with the float rod fishing worm. In one spot I had 12 small Chublets in not many more casts and even then I thought the future looked rosy.
So yesterday I decided to fish a couple of new spots. The river looked perfect. It had a bit of colour in it and it was up a bit, just the way I like it. Expectations were high. Straight away I started to get bites although they were bites that i’d never really experienced before. A couple of taps of then tip followed by a quick pull round but when I struck I was striking into thin air. This happened on both rods so whoever the culprit was, was obviously a shoal fish. At first I was thinking Roach but I quickly decided that the culprit or culprits were Grayling. I scaled down onto a size 12 hook to and a small section of worm but typically I didn’t get a bite once i’d done this. This happened in a couple of spots i’d tried and as I sat there waiting for the tip to pull round I heard a rustling in the undergrowth on the far bank. It was then that I noticed a mink come out of his hidey hole. I’m not a massive fan of the mink but it does far less damage on fish stocks than people like to make out preferring to feed on nesting waterfowl. If only they would feed on the young goosanders that proliferate on the river.
After an hour of watching the mink come and go and remaining fishless I decided to take the long walk back to the car and fish a spot that I had my eye on. It was just off some very fast water and I was surprised at just how deep it was under the rod tip. It was snaggy too and I really did fancy it for a fish or two. I settled in for the last couple of hours and poured a nicely stewed coffee that tasted bloody awful. Half an hour in and the right hand rod pulled round and I struck into a powerful fish. What I didn’t realise is that the bank was undercut quite a bit and at first it managed to get under some tree roots and after I got it out of there it went under the bank that I was stood on. After a bit of prodding about with the landing net the culprit, which I already presumed was a Chub, came free again and I quickly had it in the net. I immediately noticed that it was a very long fish but had no depth to it, which was a shame because if it did then it would have been quite a hefty fish. It was a proper minter though and every fin was perfect and it’s cavernous gob looked like it had never seen a hook. I really enjoy catching these Chub and on small rods they don’t half pull.
I recast to the same spot but didn’t really expect another fish and then a short while later another bite on the same rod. This fish didn’t feel very big and up popped a Brown Trout around the pound mark. Al lot of people are saying they are sea trout due to their colouration but they’re not. Admittedly they are very silvery but any sea-trout that has fought it’s way up through the Trent and then into the tributaries wouldn’t be this colour after that journey. Also the colouration of their fins give it away. Sea trout have ore silvery fins whereas these are dark like a Brownie. I popped it back further downstream so as not to disturb the swim and fished on until dusk. No more bites materialised but I quite fancy fishing with a maggot feeder before the end of the season just to see what’s about.