Wednesday, 1 February 2012

River Soar chub angling

Saturday the 28th of January

I found myself with a pass out for a few hours and thought it was about time I had a bite and so decided to head down to the River Soar for a bit of tip fishing for chub, one of my favourite methods going back to when I was a kid and something I look forward to every winter.

My first port of call was one of my favourite chub swims, quite a tricky swim to fish in that the fish are across towards the far back in a large back eddy containing a raft of rubbish gathered around an overhanging tree with a considerable amount of flow running through the inside line. The back eddy wants to pull your rig upstream and the main flow wants to pull the line downstrean, the way to fish it is to sit high above the water at the top of the bank which allows you to hold as much line as possible out of the flow. One of the ways that I fish the swim is to use a piece of bread flake on a swan shot link just heavy enough to hold bottom but which will occaisionally bounce around in the flow, the quiver contantly bounces and pulls back and forth and you have to read the signs carefully to determine exactly what's happening but its a captivating method and very effective as you can cover large areas, especially in the back eddy.

Today I had decided to go in with an open ended feeder filled with liquidised bread and flake on the hook, there's nothing subtle about my tackle for this kind of fishing, a 5lb Double Strength hooklink to a size 4 or 6 Drennan Specimen hook is all I ever use, chub have got mouths like buckets and with a big fluffy lump of flake on the hook size is largely irrelevant to my mind.

The problem with the swim was that the margins were still full of dead reeds still awaiting a decent winter flood to send them on their way and I had to decide how I was going to land anything hooked, the choice being to either walk upstream five yards or downstream ten, past experience told me that the fish always headed downstream and so that was my choice although that did involve negotiating a fence on route, I left my net propped up against it at the ready. Ten minutes into my first cast and the tip twitched a couple of times before dropping back and a fish was on, I was straight out of my chair and over the fence before applying too much pressure in the hope that the fish would hold mid stream which it did, allowing me to get a good angle and draw it down between two mid river reed clumps and into the net. Not a bad fish at about 4lb's which I unhooked and returned fifty yards upstream so as not to disturb the swims remaining residents. The next few casts didn't bring any response which is a little unusual for this spot and I decided to put a bait right across tight to the raft, that did the trick and once again the tip rattled for a moment before pulling round steadily and chub number two was on. This time the plan didn't work out quite as intended and the fish buried itself in the marginal rubbish before I could gain full control resulting in a hookpull. With the complication of landing fish and the fact that I know had a spooked chub in the swim I made the decision to move on and headed upstream several hundred yards to one of my other banker spots.


 Once again the swim was festooned with dead reeds but with a bit of persuasion and the reliable tackle I was using landing fish shouldn't prove to be too much of a problem and so it proved to be with another three chub gracing the net in not much more than an hour before I decided to call it a day and head back to a nice roaring fire with a smile on my face.

A Soar valley sunset

Monday the 30th of January

With a cold week ahead and not much sign of work I had it in mind to do a few short sessions locally rather than head down to Linch Hill, a break would replenish the old batteries and I do enjoy some variety in my fishing.

Something gave me a hankering to do a bit of trotting, I reckon its probably two or three years since I cast a float in anger and that was a one off, its just not something I do often and I really should do more as its great fun. With that in mind I headed back down to the Soar armed with a selection of chubbers and a loaf, I only had a couple of hours spare but in the right place that should be long enough to get a bite or two which is the beauty of winter chubbing to me, a few bits of tackle and a loaf and I can expect some sport on the coldest of days and be back to a toasty warm home in no time, lovely.

I headed to the area I started at on Saturday and made my first casts at the start of the field working my way downstream after three or four runs through on different lines in each swim. Four or five spots were tried without a sign of fish and I then arrived at the best looking area of the stretch with a long series of overhanging trees providing plenty of cover for old rubber lips, if I was a chub thats where I'd live.

Chub central
 A couple of handfuls of compressed liquidised bread went in at the start of the run and was followed shortly after by a big lump of flake carried downstream at a nice steady pace towards the first raft. The float was carried straight past the best looking spot and down into open water where I was just about to retrieve it as it disapeared and a swift strike hooked my first chub of the day, a small one of maybe 2 1/2lb's.

Another dose of free feed went in after I had walked the fish upstream to return it and the next cast was made, this time the chub had been reading the text books and nailed the bait right on cue inches from the dangling branches. This was a better fish and I had to lock the rod into its battle curve and plunge the tip under water to keep the line clear of the snags but the pressure worked and drew the chub upstream into the net, 4lb 1oz that one went. Once again I fed the swim and flicked the chubber back upstream of the tree and once again it sank right next the tree and number three was on and giving a repeat performance to his mate, that one made 4lb 3oz's. Happy with that and with my time ran out I called it a day and wandered back to the van with the winter sun in my face.


  1. Cracking Chub Ron, a very obliging fish in the coldest conditions.

    Kind Regards

  2. Thanks Mark, they're great fish aren't they I love 'em

    Rob (don't worry I get Ron and Rod on a regular basis!)

  3. Very sorry about that Rob, my memory with names is just abysmal, even when they are right in front of me so it seems.

    Kind regards

  4. I bet you I'm worse!

    I'll start worrying when folk reckon I'm Ron Thompson of the crap tackle range!

  5. They are nice fish and of a very good size, I think they like the free offerings though,
    Also you and mark have brought a smile to my face and it tickled me when you said "I'll start worrying when folk reckon I'm Ron Thompson of the "crap" tackle range!" hahaha
    Good luck,

  6. Some gorgeous chub there Rob. One of the few obliging fish in such conditions