Winter chub trotting on the upper Adur

Sudden mild weather

Winter Chub – Since the new year the weather has either been too cold for me, or too wet flooding the rivers. It’s now mid February and suddenly the weather is mild, today the sun is out and the weather is calm. I decided to fish the upper Adur on a stretch that is not much more than a stream. Although this stretch is narrow, every year club members send in photos of fish caught, mainly Chub.

Trotting for Chub

Most of the bank is high or inaccessible, but there are a couple of places that are easy to fish from. Fortunately both spots offer runs that can be trotted down. Like many small rivers the depth varies from just inches to a couple of feet. Although a little watercraft is needed to find the fish. Under normal conditions the fish live in the deep parts, but they can be tightly grouped making them easy to miss.

Balsa or Avon

The two easy to fish swims were, on the day, both about eighteen inches deep and quite streamy. Float choice was not too difficult, either a small balsa or Avon. With such shallow water, variation in presentation is limited. Only changing depth by a few inches or changing the pace of the float. I could use a small stick, but I’m using cheese paste as bait and in very shallow water, I felt the advantages of the stick were somewhat lost. I decided to go with a small 3BB Avon, fished with the bait close to the bottom and lightly held back to allow the bait to precede the float.

Small Avon float

Being winter I knew the fish were not going to be ravenous, so I didn’t use any ground bait or loose feed. Instead I threw in just three or four pieces of paste now and then as a taster.

In the first swim I had three half pound Chub in quick order, but then the swim went quiet. The remaining fish had taken fright and gone to ground, time to change swims. In the second swim I caught two, 2lb Chub in under half an hour and once again the swim went quite. After a sandwich and cup of tea, I tried the first swim again and caught another half pounder.

River Adur Chub

The day had moved on to mid afternoon and I now had the company of another angler. Five winter Chub caught on an enjoyable trip made possible by a break in the weather. I was happy to head home, content with my efforts. Well no, I really should have caught more !

Winter Chub

Stick float fishing explained
Stick float for shallow water

Special thanks to Hassocks Angling for allowing me to film on their waters.