Monday 18 September 2023

Chub or dace? Who cares?

Yes, I know its a perch 

Date fished 17/09/2023
8am until 5pm

I had not fished with or seen Ellis since December last year. DIY, work and Dorset being the reasons.  Today we met up on the Tees, travelling light with float gear, a few different baits and plenty to catch up on. I arrived at my usual 'early' time and Ellis was already parked up and sorting his gear! What was going on?? 

I needn't of worried, I was ready first and waited for him to faff about, just returning to the parked cars once.
We walked down to the river, to see how it looked. 
Perfect! The answer.

We walked a way and soon found a beach area where we could tackle up then both fit in and fish. The river was fast but we started to fish. Second trot through, I lost a fish. A good sign! 

As we fished a few metres apart, Ellis saw an otter spring from the bank and plunge into the river between us! We watched the bubbles as it swam away. 
A few chublets each here and it was time to move on. I still question every dace or chub but they never confirm what they are!

The second swim we tried again produced fish. It was also quite fast. A fast channel with a slower still bit by the bank where some trees had fallen in and to the left side of the fast channel cut towards the main flow in the river. It turned out to be a fish highway. 

I fished the left side, Ellis the right. I lost a fish whilst Ellis got snagged and had to tackle up again. A size 16 being the best!  I caught a roach from the faster bit that looked like it would only produce grayling. I also caught grayling.

The second much bigger than the first, caught on worm

Ellis tried bread, I have watched many a youtuber catch a lot of fish on bread, it looks so simple. It didn't prove effective today.

A change to worm on the hook, and my float buried and something bigger pulled back. The fast water helping the fish. I played it a while until the 2lb hook link snapped. Gutted.
Ellis was back and fishing, we were both catching fish, then it was his turn for a big one. He played it longer than I did, but then his hook came out. Gutted times 2.
Our luck changed and soon bigger fish found the net, we both had some nice perch from the fast water. 

Ellis noted the fallen trees in the now slack water, the river was dropping. He was sure the perch would be here. As I trotted he cast a worm to the still water and lake fished on the river! It worked and his float sailed away at least five times and a perch his reward every time. 
The faster section was still producing, and as a bird of prey, we are gonna say buzzard, but we "don't know our birds of prey" circled above us my float dipped away. A big smile on Ellis's face as he saw before me. A gonk the surprise! 

As close to a Tees barbel as we have ever come! 
We were chatting and laughing as hard as we were fishing, putting the world to rights as the maggots tumbled through the water. The sun broke through the clouds and the fishing didn't stop. A crazy 10 minutes brought chublets (everyone questioned about being dace) on a bite a chuck basis. Roach also kept featuring. 

Such was the fishing or maybe it was being out of practice, but my arm started to ache. We could of emptied the river here, that was my answer to Carole's question "have you caught anything yet?" But we decided to move on. 

We walked to the swim Ellis fished last time. In those conditions on that day, it was the first fishable swim we got to. Today was very different. We fished a swim each, shouting distance apart. Both from the bank now, allowing our waders to dry, glad my trousers were still dry, gotta love my new waders! Casting mid river and feeding breadcrumb, as it was much slower here, we both caught roach, chublets and perch. Nothing massive, but it was nice in the sun and great to be out fishing with Ellis again. 

Ellis thought we had some dace, I thought they were all chublets. On reflection, who cares? We certainly don't. We just had a great time fishing!

N.b I actually think Ellis was right, I think some were dace!! Ffs, seems I do care...........


  1. Those little dace/chub things can be a problem to identify. Not helped by the fact they can hybridise. Still does it matter?

    1. Yeah, we talked about hybrids too - It doesn't matter when you catch them all day!

    2. Yeah. As long as they're providing sport it doesn't really matter. Not sure why my post came through as anon though.

  2. You're right, fish identity doesn't matter as long as you're enjoying it. On the other hand, it's nice to be able to grant a clonking 9"+ dace its full monster status. Fwiw, I'd say those last four pics are roach (red eye), and three dace (lemon eye and concave fins) - beautiful fish all of them.

    1. Yes, had the roach sorted but I thought chub whilst fishing but when I got home, I looked at fin and thought dace. I have caught a lot more dace than I have been giving (myself) credit for.