River Great Ouse - Offord (20)
Arrival time: 08.30
Weather: Overcast & breezy - brightening later
Tackle: 11ft 6" John Wilson Avon quiver, Shimano 5000RE baitrunner, 2/3xSSG link leger, 6lb line direct to 8 eyed hook (14 hook for a while)
Baits: Bread flake, cheese paste, worm.
Fish: Two chub including a PB for the stream + small dace & perch.
After visiting a couple of heavily weeded streams this season, today I went to the Mill Stream at Offord. Weedy, certainly, but nowhere near as bad as those other streams. It was a slow start, a usually reliable swim not offering up anything.
I persevered in my fist choice of swim, which was actually two adjacent spots from where I have caught good chub in the past. But today all I managed were some knocks on the quiver tip that were almost certainly smaller fish. Since the chub are usually quick to oblige, if they are there and feeding, I decided to move to the head of the stream.
In terms of looks, the swim at the top of the stream is certainly my favourite. It offers a number of features and oozes potential. But in the past, although I've caught chub there, better fish have come from further downstream.
Today, however, it didn't disappoint, a chub taking my bread flake within minutes of the first cast. It fought well in the fast stream and felt bigger than its actual weight of around 2¼lb. But I wasn't complaining. I continued to get bites but these were, I think, predominantly dace, with the occasional roach, and I couldn't hit them. Hardly surprising on 6lb line and an 8 hook with bread flake.
I did in fact manage to hook a couple of small dace, one after scaling down to a 14 hook, and also a small roach. But I continued to miss most of the bites. I also took a couple of small perch on worm. If the hooking rate had been better I probably would have stayed there longer but instead I decided to finish off at the pool up by the road bridge.
I've caught chub from the pool, this being where the stream widens, forming an eddy, before narrowing and speeding up again to go under the bridge. There had previously only been one swim there, but the club had opened up a couple of new ones nearer the bridge.
I started in what was the original swim but didn't get a touch, so after a while I went down to the new swim that was nearest the bridge. I cast down towards the bridge, being unable to see exactly where my cast entered the water because of high bank-side growth. The first cast didn't yield anything but after casting the second time the quiver tip pulled round within seconds.
I knew immediately that I was into a good fish and, when I saw it, realised that it was almost certainly a PB for the stream. There were midwater reeds and I was worried that it would do the usual chub trick of transferring the hook to one of these. But it didn't manage to do that, possibly because it was hooked quite deeply.
It filled the landing net and almost leapt out of it as I drew the net out of the water. It a state of something between surprise and shock I weighed it the net at 5.62lb. The net was weighed at 0.71lb afterwards. So, by my calculation that's 4lb 14oz to the nearest ounce. Definitely a PB for that stream and my second best chub ever.
What an end to the session. I had considered packing up just before getting that chub and am very pleased that I tried 'just one more swim' before doing so.