Friday, 14 December 2012

River Soar chub fishing - using my loaf

Although bitterley cold the weather had at last become dry, for a while at least, and the rivers were finally starting to get close to normal levels. Tuesday had seen me head for the River Derwent after the perch but a blank was the result, the water was holding a bit more colour than I would have liked and still a little bit too much flow, the stripeys would have to wait.

The two rod perch trick, watching tip and float at the same time, efficient but fruitless this time

The forecast for Wednesday was bright and sunny with temperatures possibly just creeping above freezing point at best but I've never known that to stop the chub feeding and that's what I fancied fishing for. The Soar was to be the venue and I am usually confident of a bite or two on my local river. I did consider picking up a few pints of maggots but I wasn't sure just how much water was on, it wouldn't take much to make maggot fishing very difficult and so I settled on a bucket of mashed bread with another loaf for hookbaits, a lump of cheese paste went into the bag as a reserve.

I arrived at the swim I fancied at about ten am and after putting my kit down threw in three good hand fulls of mash straight away, once that job was done I could take my time setting up knowing that the swim was building. I had bought one of the Marco Cortesi centrepins a couple of years ago, more because it was a bargain than anything else to be honest but it certainly does seem to be a cracking reel for the money. The daft thing is that it had yet to see water and I thought it really was time that I had a go with it, there was no wind to speak of so that wouldn't cause me any grief so why not. I rigged up a 2 1/2 swan shot chubber with the 4lb mainline straight through to a size 6. A few practice casts were always going to be needed but a few ended up being about twenty and no matter what I tried I wasn't getting the range required to send the float along the far bank tree's, there was no point in fishing short of the cover so the pin came off and on went a fixed spool, the pin can wait until I fish a bit closer in.

With the trusty Carbomatic now in place and a dose of Mucilin applied to keep the line floating I was ready to go. The first few trots down were ignored but I gradually increased the depth until the float vanished after a few yards on one cast and a fish was on. I don't float fish anywhere near as much as I should and I tend to forget how much better the fight is without a feeder or weight on the line, the chub wasn't much more than 3lb's in weight but was good sport nevertheless.

A little un for starters

The next cast produced another fish proving that they were hanging near the bottom and wouldn't come up even for a tasty lump of breadflake., This one was a bit bigger and after returning it well upstream I introduced more mashed bread and sat down for twenty minutes to rest the swim. A few more casts gave me two more chub with the best 4 1/2lb's odd and again the swim was rested after being baited. I watched a fox work it's way across the frozen field, scratching away for anything it could find no doubt in the harsh conditions and it occurred to me that being caught isn't actually too bad a price to pay for a fish when it has had a good feed thrown in for it's trouble.

The fish were now definately starting to become a bit wary after four of their mates had gone missing and it took a good half dozen runs through apiece to bag the next two, the last one coming to a cast as far over as I dare let the float run. I knew I was starting to push my luck at this stage particularly as I had to limit the session to four hours but I gave it another rest and managed to scrape out one more small chub before deciding to move upstream for the last hour to fish the tip.

My favourite banker swim on the stretch was the obvious place to visit but I knew that it might not be a viable prospect with the extra water on and I was proved right. The chub in that swim hang right over the far side in a big back eddy, the main flow pushes through the inside and even with the rod as high as possible it wouldn't be possible to hold the line out of the turbulence resulting in the rig being constantly dragged out of place. There was one more possibility and I heaved the rucksack back on and trudged on upstream.

That swim was looking more like it, a few surface boils were visible on the near side of the crease but I was sure that I could get away with an medium sized open ended feeder. First cast resulted in a great big drop back bite and a good old scrap under the rod tip before a fish of maybe 4 1/4lb's was in the net.

It took a while to get the next indication but eventually I landed chub number nine before stopping for ten minutes to chat to a bloke walking the field who told me about the otter he had seen in his swim at the weekend. That is getting to be a very familiar tale this season and I wonder how much longer we have left before we notice the barbel population start to suffer. I had said that I was going to hang out for fish number ten but time was running short and I ended up bottling out on that one, nevertheless I'd had a cracking days sport when not many would have bothered to have left the house.


  1. Hi Rob I was out the same day blanking on the Middle Trent , nice catch and good write up , how much flow does the Soar have on it at normal level ?

    1. You can get away with two or three swan shot a lot of the time Bob, then some areas are virtually still, a lot of variety