As a bit of a canal fishing addict, I always look forward to trying a new length of cut. A long walk with Seb Nowosiad was the plan, with the aim of fishing ultra light lures and searching as much water as humanly possible along the Kennet and Avon canal not far from Reading. Little did we know the surprise we were in for!
We set off early on Sunday. Very early, eschewing sleep in favour of an early hours drive to our destination. Weird places passed at strange hours in search of a coffee-I wonder if anyone else has noticed that the winding trails of the Newbury McDonalds car park resemble the inner circles of hell itself, complete with spaced out freaks walking about with no shoes on. Makes us look relatively normal.
Blackness covered the water for a while- torch light on the water revealed what allegeddly makes the chub and perch grow big here; crayfish! The canal was beautiful at first light though. Trout streams and estate lakes are always more celebrated, but is there anything more beautifully English than a canal? We cast amongst narrow boats and cover, keeping mobile but all we found early on was a small perch. The beauty of fishing small lures however is that you just never know what you might hook next. What Seb first thought was a reasonable pike suddenly emerged as an incredible, huge headed chub!
It was an ancient looking chub- more awesome than pretty, with one or two old scars. I knew it was big, but never expected an insane 6lb 15oz registering after we had carefully checked the reading! We were both absolutely gobsmacked- it was immensely long, its huge mouth having intercepted Seb's lure (a small Kopyto "Relax" shad) with an almighty bang. An incredible, special capture- lucky perhaps, but there is nothing lucky about the way Seb astutely works a small jig. Man alive what a chub! Perhaps it isn't such a miracle however- the water here is thick with bleak in places.
Bizarrely it was otherwise a tricky days fishing and we couldn't believe the lack of action given just how fishy the water looked. A very cold night and bright, sunny conditions didn't help and it was getting dark by the time I finally managed to connect with a couple of pike: