Canterbury Tales Part Six - Long hot summer

Tue 24 November 15


After the tench had started spawning the river season opened just a few days later,in truth I prefer autumn and winter river fishing,but summer stalking is fun and I tend to spend high summer chasing chub and barbel amongst the dense weed in the river,and I mix that with trips to stonar lake for some rudd action.

This summer was a bit strange weather wise,no heat wave to speak of bar 2 days where the mercury rose to over 36c (I spent one of these days in chesties which was very unwise!) ,and it always seemed windy too,the weed in the river was lush,and the level low with the water gin clear. conditions like this mean travel light ,wear the polaroids and look for little clear runs with a bit of flow amongst the weed,look for give away signs like the odd fin or a fish commuting from weed bed to weed bed over the gravel,chest waders are also a must really in denser areas,v ery helpful as you can get below fish to land them, puling fish upstream to be netted through thick streamer is nigh on impossible but please take care when wading, I’m not trying to teach granny to suck eggs but if you wade too deep and the waders fill with water you’re in serious bother!

June and July produced some barbel the best a 13lb fish on a rare for me session into darkness,I also had fun chub fishing with fish going to over 6lb,one of which was built like a breeze block,the barbel were caught on small Elips pellets from the hook bait company and the chub on boilies and paste of theirs called spicey meaty pro,just using 6lb line and split shot and working the bait to the weed rafts and areas where the chub were holding.

The highlight of the summer on the river though was a little trotting session further upriver in an urban area, I was trotting single maggot on a size 20 hook ,the level was extremely low,the ater gin clear and the flow slow,,so 2lb line it was and I was watching the dace react to my passing bait and modified presentation a couple of times,then the bites started coming,dace fishing is very challenging in these conditions ,the bites are quick as lightning,once hooked in the shallow water they fight like crazy, gyrating and splashing in all directions, nerve racking if you’ve hooked a good un on a size 20 !!.

Anyhow,the first 8 dace were hooked and landed,up to well over half a pound,but then I hooked a monster, I’ve had dace to over a pound but I’m sure this was in a different league. It went broadside in the current below me and was more like a small barbel, then the hook pulled, I was gutted but there were other big dace in front of me so next trot down I hooked another monster, not quite as big as the first I’m sure,but still big-and followed another hook pull!

This was a bit too much for my tiny mind to take, I checked the hook, and it was as sharp as a sharp thingy, yet again it was just good old bad luck! So I took a stroll to calm my self down a bit, then went back about 30 minutes later and decided to trot the float further down the swim. After a couple of trots the float buried, initially I thought chub as I pulled in to a good fish,but after the initial little run the fish started to give the jiggedy jaggedy fight of a good roach. It was squeaky bum time as a famous old jock would say but eventually a new PB roach of 2lbs 11ozs was in my net and as I was in an urban area I had plenty of people around for weighing and pictures.

As I mentioned at the start, I also love rudd fishing at stonar,and September is a good month for this. Stonar is a very deep lake situated next to Pfizer pharmaceuticals in sandwich. its around 50 acres and is deep, 53 feet deep in places,the margins slope away quickly,its a popular venue that contains carp, tench, bream, rudd, roach, perch, chub, eels as well as flounders, mullet and even a bass was caught here not so long back,its a brackish lake ,run by the Canterbury and district angling association.

after the tench had started spawning the river season opened just a few days later,in truth I prefer autumn and winter river fishing,but summer stalking is fun and I tend to spend high summer chasing chub and barbel amongst the dense weed in the river,and I mix that with trips to Stonar lake for some rudd action.

there really is something for everyone at Stonar but the rudd are the fish I like to target, bars of gold with crimson fins, really beautiful fish that fight well. The rudd are often visible rolling on the surface but they’re often a fare way out, too far to catapult maggots too. So I find casting a big old 5 swan waggler at them with a big bit of flake to be my favoured approach. I normally present the bait at between 18 inches and 30 inches beneath the surface ,the bites are often unmissable especially during late afternoon and early evening.
well anyway,this year I upped my rudd PB from 2-03 to 2-05 and had a few others over the 2lb mark ,but the rudd fishing does have its problems too, in the shape of carp!

When targeting rudd, I use 4lb line straight through and a float rod, so when a carp is hooked, its mayhem to say the least simply because as the water is deep and every time you get the carp to the surface, they flick their tail and they’re off again! I’ve had a few carp including this mirror of 20lb 9oz that took forever to land,I was knackered once I got it on the bank but the fish seemingly wasn’t, as it tried to give me a good kicking whilst on the mat, I’ve also managed to lose count of the number of bream I’ve caught just under the surface,not just skimmers but proper big old slabs and a 3lb tinca that had me thinking id hooked a monster rudd all the way to the net I was wondering how big this rudd was,,then a green fish with red eyes bought me back to reality!

As I write this, autumn is upon us and another summer is over. Time to think chub, roach and pike and maybe a barbel or two as well,

tight lines till the next blog