Saturday, 7 December 2019

Target ticked off

Date fished 7/12/2019
8am until 1pm

I only had a short session today. I planned to fish all day, but a great and busy week behind me and several busy weeks ahead meant I was content for a short session. This was made all the sweeter by ticking off a 2019 Target!!

Today's trip was back to the Swale at Morton. Since catching the pb chub from there last time, I had fished the Tees and caught a chub of 4lb 2oz, I had a target of 4lb 8oz plus for a Tees chub, but who's counting!?!

Today's tactic was float fishing. I had a target of a "proper" chub on the float. Now, I will leave this up to you, but for me a proper chub is 3lb plus.  It's a proper sized fish, great fight and looks the part! I have caught much smaller chub on the float, but all my larger fish have been ledger caught or on floating bread!

I set off early, hoping to be in my swim and fishing by sunrise. I was fishing Ellis and mine usual Swim, I thought conditions may be right, if not a little testing. The river had a good amount of water and was dropping. The colour seemed to be about right too!

The tactic today was a float rod, closed face reel and a fairly heavy float. I had hook links in all sizes and was going to use a size 12 to 4lb line for bread flake and size 16 to 2.5lb for maggots.

I have wanted to catch on bread flake for a while, so started with that.
I was casting to the far bank, but the flow was strong so I was not able to control the float properly. I started to fish a line closer to me. After an hour of nothing, I switched hook links and changed to maggots as bait.
A few trotts down, I was now fishing about a third of the way across and I was able to control the float properly. I watched my yellow tipped float follow a crease line and head towards my bank.  The float suddenly sailed away, I struck and was in. Playing fish on the closed faced reel is not like other reels, the drag is not as efficient, so I switched to back winding and started to play the fish. It felt a good fish, I hoped it wasn't a large trout. Ellis and I had quite a few large trout on maggots in this swim, but today I wanted a chub.

I played the fish in the fast current, it kept low and kept trying to get under my bank. I carried on back winding and then walked down the bank. I continued to play it and then I saw it. It was a chub!!! My legs started to shake, I didn't  want this fish to come off now.
I got it to the surface and quickly into the net. I had achieved a target, or had I??
The weight was not relevant, as this was in my eyes a proper chub!
Perfectly hooked, my prize laid in the net.

A few quick pics for the festive period and I let the chub rest in the net. Curiosity got the better of me, so I weighed it. 3lb exactly, it was a proper chub!! Phew.

I carried on the line and fed a small amount of maggots every cast. I could see the river visibly dropping, so I was able to alter the line I fished. Soon, the float buried again on this new line and I was in. Was this another chub? Within a few seconds of being hooked, the fish jumped clear out the water. This was no chub, a large trout could not resist the maggots. It jumped four more times, completely clear of the water on every occasion. Again, I was back winding and felt I had got to grips with the close faced reel.
A lovely trout lay resting in the shallows. A quick pic and the trout was released.

As the river continued to drop, I fished on. Switching back to bread for another chub but sadly none were prepared for a sandwich! I was however, and it was time for lunch.

I fed continuously ( the fish, not me!!) but soon the wind got up and the fishing was more difficult. I decided to move, a quick walk warmed me up, but I was now sat right in the wind.

A few trotts down but the wind was now bitter cold and with a target achieved, I deserved an early bath!

I would recommend setting some targets, they don't have to be extreme, and you don't have to berate yourself for not achieving them. I will soon be reviewing 2019 and setting some more for 2020.
But, let me tell you, if you are lucky enough to achieve one or two the buzz of the leg shake is amazing!!

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