The quickfire chub bait mix – Dave Roberts

When time is lim­ited you need to do max­imise ev­ery avail­able minute. Dave Roberts re­veals the sim­ple prepa­ra­tions that en­able him to go fish­ing at the drop of a hat…

Improve Your Coarse Fishing (UK) - - Front Page - Words Dave Roberts Pho­tog­ra­phy Tony Grig­or­jevs

IM­PROMPTU fish­ing ses­sions have al­ways been the most ex­cit­ing for me. Those days where you find a win­dow of op­por­tu­nity be­cause you’ve fin­ished work early, or the fam­ily have gone out and left you alone. You think: ‘Could I squeeze in a cou­ple of hours?’ It can be easy to talk your­self out of it. The rea­sons not to cast doubt in your mind. It will take too long to load the car, I haven’t got any bait, or I’m not sure where to go. Some­times it is eas­ier to just not bother. Like many peo­ple I find these op­por­tu­ni­ties rare, but with a dif­fer­ent out­look I’m rarin’ to go and have en­joyed some crack­ing ses­sions re­cently.

If you don’t need it, don’t take it!

The first thing to look at is your kit. I am pre­dom­i­nantly a match an­gler so tend to carry a lot of kit – seat­box, holdalls full of gear, and a trol­ley to cart it all about. This is not go­ing to work when you’ve got lim­ited time. Over the win­ter when there wasn’t much fish­ing go­ing on, I put to­gether a ruck­sack of equip­ment to cover me for a rov­ing river ap­proach. A se­lec­tion of ter­mi­nal tackle for both float and feeder. Dis­gorg­ers, bait­drop­pers, scis­sors, hooks and split shot etc. Ev­ery­thing that I need, but just enough to cover me. I then sorted out a cou­ple of rods and reels – one float and one feeder – and a land­ing net with a short han­dle so they were handy if I was in a rush.

It’s all about for­sak­ing a few lux­u­ries. Do you re­ally need a large comfy seat for a cou­ple of hours fish­ing? No. You don’t. I like sit­ting on the bank or, like to­day, wad­ing in the river. There is noth­ing bet­ter than stand­ing in the wa­ter while you fish, es­pe­cially in late sum­mer when the river is alive with small fry and min­nows.

The goody bucket

All of the above takes up very lit­tle room in the car and most of the time it just stays in there. All I then need to con­sider is bait. This is of­ten the deal breaker to the ‘shall I go or not?’ ques­tion. Whether it’s mag­gots, cast­ers or worms, they re­quire a level of care and cost. If you want to take mul­ti­ple baits they also take up room. This is where my goody bucket comes to the fore. De­pend­ing on the venue and the time of year, there’s no rea­son why su­per­mar­ket baits can’t score as well as live baits. In­deed, in many swims at this time of year putting in mag­gots and cast­ers will only lead to masses of small bleak or tiny dace. Hemp is a bril­liant stock bait and easy to keep. I al­ways have ei­ther tins in stor­age or frozen down. These days I re­cy­cle so much bait through freez­ing. Frozen mag­gots and cast­ers are bril­liant feed, and in my ex­pe­ri­ence chub and bar­bel re­ally don’t care if they’ve been frozen. Any fresh bait that I have left over af­ter a match goes straight in the freezer. The way I like to use my bait is sim­ply putting it all in one bucket. But I do it in such a way that it be­comes very ver­sa­tile. To­day’s bait is two tins of chopped lun­cheon meat, one tin of sweet­corn and two tins of hemp. The hemp juice re­ally brings the mix to­gether. The BaitTech hemp I use comes with plenty of juice which has a real oil slick to it. If you boil your own hemp though, you can freeze the wa­ter too. It’s such a good at­trac­tant. These in­gre­di­ents are mixed to cre­ate a sloppy par­ti­cle mix. The fi­nal part is to add small amounts of dry ground­bait to soak up the juice and bind it to­gether. It doesn’t have to be a spe­cial ground­bait – try sim­ple brown crumb or a half bag of some­thing you have left over. The amount of ground­bait you add is de­ter­mined by how far you want to throw it and how fast you want it to sink. It’s not a case of

us­ing it as a tra­di­tional hold­ing ground­bait, it’s more about de­liv­er­ing a stream of par­ti­cles into the peg. Once the mix is right, I trans­fer it into a col­lapsi­ble bowl that I can carry sep­a­rately, or if I’m wad­ing I strap it to my waders. This is the only bait con­tainer in need. The mix is there to feed, but it also con­tains my hook­baits. I could do the same with mag­gots, cast­ers or even pel­lets. It’s all about what you have avail­able at the time, and how much you want to spend.

Float choice

With the wa­ter I’m look­ing to cover to­day I’ve brought my 14ft Tri-Cast Tril­ogy X Float rod set up with a clas­sic 4AAA Dren­nan loafer float. This is a ver­sa­tile float that can be fished through shal­low or deeper runs. Shot­ting is a sim­ple bulk of AAAs and two No.6 drop­pers. I’m fish­ing gen­er­ally fast wa­ter with big hook­baits and I need a float that rides the boils, and is vis­i­ble in rough wa­ter. The way the float is shot­ted means I can tell the depth of the swim by just mov­ing the float up un­til it starts drag­ging un­der. This only takes a few casts and means I can hop into a new swim and be fish­ing in a mat­ter of sec­onds. My reel is loaded with 4lb line should I en­counter a bar­bel or big chub, but doesn’t neg­a­tively af­fect my line con­trol too much.

Ex­plor­ing for chub

For this ses­sion I had five swims in mind, but I didn’t know if they’d be right un­til I got there. As it turned out the river had dropped away af­ter a re­cent rise, so only three were suit­able. It was just a case of drop­ping a cou­ple of goody balls into the swim and run­ning the float through. Be­cause you’re tar­get­ing ar­eas you know, or ex­pect fish to live, the re­sponse is usu­ally pretty quick. I’ve had a fish out of ev­ery swim I’ve tried. Some­times it was just a greedy dace or two tak­ing a piece of sweet­corn, but I’ve caught some lovely chub. The only dis­ap­point­ment was not see­ing a bar­bel, but on the right day with a bit more colour in the wa­ter, I’m sure we would have caught a few. A lit­tle later as the sun came out prop­erly the fish­ing got tougher. The beauty of fish­ing like this, though, means mov­ing and ex­plor­ing is easy. I wan­dered a fair way down­stream to an area of stead­ier wa­ter, where there were some over­hang­ing wil­lows. Us­ing my Po­laroid glasses I spot­ted some chub mov­ing around. It was a bit out of range for the loafer float so a quick change to a large thick wag­gler en­abled me to get over to the wil­lows. I had a cou­ple of casts with corn with­out a sniff, but when I put on a piece of meat, I missed a bite straight away. Next cast I caught the first of three de­cent chub. It’s been a lovely short af­ter­noon ses­sion, and trav­el­ling so light has en­abled me to move between swims to keep bites com­ing. Faced with bring­ing all my gear, I prob­a­bly wouldn’t have both­ered. I’m packed away in no time, the bait bill has been min­i­mal and I think I’ll leave the kit in the car in case I get an hour to­mor­row!

INGREDIE NT1 Two tins chopped of n meat lun­cheo INGREDIE NT3 Two tins of hemp

Three chub were caught from close to the over­hang­ing trees

NT4 INGREDIE h Bait-Tec Nat­u­ral Pro und­bait gro INGREDIE NT2 One tin of sweet­cor n

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