Last day of River season – Barford Chub

Chump river fishing

I managed to get out yesterday afternoon for a last river session of the season.

The weather has been so bad recently I’ve hardly been able to get on the river and do any damage with a good old float attack!

Although conditions were far from ideal I decided to head to Barford near Warwick on the Avon with the intention of catching some chub on the float.

The river was dropping but still a bit pacey and colored, after all the hard frosts and snow this week it also looked cold!

Anyway it was fishable and when I got to one of my favorite float pegs I was fairly confident I’d catch at least a couple of chub.

Tackle – I set up to float rigs:

Stick Float

Rod- Prototype 15ft Shakespeare Superteam

Reel- Prototype Superteam 035FD

Reel Line- Berkley Sensation Float 3lb

Hooklength – Berkley XWR 0.14 and 0.12mm

Hook – 16 or 18 Kamasan B510

Float – Dave Harrell 8no4 wire stem dome top.

Superteam Rod and float

Superteam reel


Rod- MACH 3XT 15ft

Reel- Agility 035RD

Reel Line- Berkley Sensation Float 3lb

Hooklength – Berkley XWR 0.14 and 0.12mm

Hook – 16 or 18 Kamasan B510

Flaot – Dave Harrell 5BB straight Peacock Waggler

terminal tackle

Due to the extra pace of the river my main attack was using the stick float. I find a big stick devastating in the winter when chub fishing as its possible to slow the float and present the bait perfectly.

It’s important to select a stick float that is heavy enough to achieve this and I carry a good selection of Lignum and wire stem floats from 8no4 up to 20no4. The size and style of stick float is determined by the depth and distance out the stick will be fished. When I’m casting further out than 3 rod length I prefer a lignum based stick as they are heavier and easier to control. On this peg the main line is only 2 rods out so I selected the wire stem dome toped Dave Harrell float version. Wire stem floats are very stable when the swim is pacy and flow uneven / with boils – like today. Depth was only about 5ft at the most and the 8no4 worked perfectly.

superb stick floats

I started carefully feeding about 10 maggots very frequently slight upstream of me. I think it’s important to get a steady flow of maggots into the swim (feed 3-4 times per cast) and also feed in broad area to start with. I think this helps draw the chub into the swim and then onto the line I want to fish. Indecently I prefer to fish a line just inside or past the main flow on days like this.

After about 10 mins I had a bite and was pleased hooked my first Chub! It was only about 10oz but a welcome start!

first chub of the day.....

I was using double red maggot on a 16 hook on 0.14mm hooklength. May be the fish are more confident or stupid at the start of the session but I’d rather start like this as it gives me a better chance of landing bigger chub and bully them before they show me where the snags are!

After a small wait of may be 15 mins I hook my next chub which feels better

playing another chub

The chub fights hard in the flow and tries to snag me under a farbank tree and then on the inside. I like the action of this prototype rod! Its powerfull enough to control the fish without been to stiff, what a great feeling to be catching chub on the float again!

In the net......

This chub was punching above its weight and was about 2lb but in perfect condition!

I now start catching well and a shoal of chub is obviously feeding in the swim.

I find that I’m catching them about halfway down the peg and need to slow the bait right down. To help do this I increase the depth by 6 inches and fish overdepth.

I like to use a long hooklenth in these situations (40cm)with no shot on it. Then I have a string of number shot spaced close together in the bottom half of the rig. I think this helps get the bait near the bottom where the fish are feeding but by slowing the float the bait behaves very naturally and bumps along the bottom to the feeding fish like the lose feed.

The dome top stick float also helps by giving more buoyancy to the float and allows the bait to be dragged along the bottom easier.

It’s inevitable that the float will get pulled under by catching on the bottom most casts but slight adjustments will help to reduce this and present the bait in the best way.

Sometimes when the float pulls under it’s a Chub not the bottom, love it!

another chub comes to the net

I’m catching well now and the chub are ranging from 8oz to 2lb. In order to keep catching I find I need to keep changing my feeding, hook baits and presentation. I always like to try and vary the feed when I’m chub fishing as I think this helps to trick the fish that are feeding more carefully as the session progresses.

Sometimes it goes quite and it’s as if the fish have gone. However changes like this will keep the odd fish coming to the net.

Its cleaver fishing and I think very rewarding!

Towards the end of the session I find bites are getting hard to come by so I try my final trick! I fish the waggler past me stick line and change the feeding completely to this new line. I’m quickly rewarded ny the biggest chub of the day at about 3 lb!

the biggest Chub of the day.

So with that I decide to call the short session to an end. I’ve caught about 15 chub for about 20lb. I enjoyed that! It’s always the same at the end of the season, the weather improves slightly and the fish feed like mad! I only wish the weather had been better the last week or so. Oh well looking forward to June 16th already!

a nice net of fish....



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