My first serious Ouse chubbing tripPallatrax Angling
I have combined this month’s trips into one story as there really isn’t much to relate on the fishing scene. During the first week in December I had planned my first serious Ouse chubbing trip, but that had to be cancelled when I suffered two days of severe loss of balance at home. That turned out to be due to an ear infection but it was quite frightening at the time, especially after my heart problems of last year. Even when the worst was over I didn’t really feel safe to drive and gave the fishing a miss for a week. The week after, Fran and I had a holiday hotel booked in Bournemouth and that was very enjoyable.
Eventually had my first trip to the Ouse in the week prior to Christmas and the plan was to fish for perch in the day, at the same time priming a couple of swims for the after dark fishing for barbel or chub. At the moment, the Ouse is seeing resurgence in the perch fishing and I know of several fours taken in recent weeks. I never managed anything of that stamp but did have a very enjoyable few hours taking eight nice fish to 2lb 2oz, missing lots of other bites off small fish. Before I’d left home, I’d sorted out my float rod for the perching and it wasn’t until I’d arrived at the river that I realised that the rod was still in the garage! So I had to use my barbel rod and quivertip for the perch, not nearly as efficient for successfully hooking perch as they dislike resistance. I also had some fun with pike on the lobworms, landing two of around 6lb apiece and being bitten off by a much bigger fish, certainly a mid double.
As the dusk closed in, I moved to the first primed swim and switched to my Meat Beast squabs, to be rewarded with an instantaneous bite. It resulted in a small chub of less than a pound, not quite what I was after! The stretch I was fishing gave me an average chub of nearly six pounds last winter, with the smallest I landed being 5lb 2ozs, so when a second bite half an hour later resulted in another infant chub of about the same weight I wasn’t best pleased! After those two little chub, everything went quiet and I packed up around 10.00pm in driving rain. By a strange coincidence, I then received a text from my good friend Alan Lawrence, who was fishing about four miles downstream, to say that he’d taken two chub of well under a pound just on dark, but nothing since. As he was fishing a known big fish stretch as well, this was quite a bizarre coincidence.
That would be my last trip before the New Year. As always, with three children, five grandchildren and my 95 year old Mum, I always enjoy a family Christmas and have a two week break from fishing. As I write, it is New Year’s Eve tomorrow and a family party beckons. Next week, I’ll be back on the Ouse. Alan and I have both had seven pounders there, my biggest 7-13 and Alan’s 7-10. We both agree that there has never been a better chance of one of us nailing a fish over the magical 8lbs.