One fine afternoon this week, I decided to do some fishing on Throop. The main objective was to try out some self-take photography using a Gorilla Pod tripod, and along the way see if I could tempt a chub, or better still a barbel from a fast run that I’d failed on earlier this month.
I got set up, did some fishing for an hour and took plenty of photos. Not much sign of any fish though with just a couple of tentative knocks on a boilie. All the while, the sky was darkening, and as far as photography was concerned, the light had got quite grim. The famous Throop landmark of the School Bridge was not too far away, and with a slight tinge still present in the river, I wondered whether there was a chance of catching a roach or two by trotting flake under the bridge. It didn’t take long to get into position above the bridge and set up a trotting rod with an Avon float, 2lb main line, 0.10mm hook link and fine wire 14 hook. As there are still plenty of minnows about, I dispensed with groundbait and relied on the flake being sufficiently attractive to tempt a big roach.
It didn’t take long for the first roach which weighed about two ounces. The next bite five minutes later put an alarming bend in the rod. This was no roach! There is usually a small shoal of big chub under the bridge, which are often seen but rarely tempted, and I’d hooked one of them. This was no time to wonder about my unwise choice of tackle but instead to maintain as heavy pressure as I dare on the frail tackle. The concrete bridge supports are the main obstacle but there are also plenty of underwater lilies or ‘cabbages’ on the river bed. The chub knew all about these all right and quickly got stuck in them, but steady heavy pressure and the fact that the lilies were well rotted found the chub free and coming up in the water. Despite further attempts by the chub to get into the lilies, the tackle held and I was able to use the old matchman trick of getting it to gulp air to subdue it and draw it over the net.
Having unhooked it, I searched for my set of scales – Aaaaghhh! I’d taken them out and put them in another tackle bag which was still in the car. Fortunately, I was in calling distance of another angler who lent me his scales and I discovered that it was my lucky day – the chub weighed 6-2-8, my best this season and a superb fish in excellent condition. It certainly made my day.
I persevered with the roach but only had a few more tiddlers and soon returned to the faster water elsewhere after chub, finally getting a four-pounder on a boilie as the light went.
Whilst the big chub was unintended I had the feeling that it was a day when my luck was in, and that it’s sometimes better to be lucky than good. The tackle I use is extremely well matched and the rod – a Normark Avenger 2000 – an incredibly forgiving yet powerful tool that has tamed many big fish on light gear.