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So the glorious 16th of June is here at last, which puts chub, dace, roach and barbel back on the fishing ‘menu’. Yes, it’s the start of the coarse fishing season! We all know what that means. Yes, that’s right; all those chub we’ve been watching during the close season have got their diary out and disappeared. How do they do it? Well if we knew that we probably wouldn’t go fishing in rivers.

Anyway, I digress. This Monday was the first time in more years than I care to remember that I’ve been able to wet a line on opening day so I eagerly dusted off the trusty centrepin and trotting gear for a short afternoon session on the Wandle. The weather was good and my hopes were high that I’d get stuck into those big old rubber-lipped chub. The question was not whether I would catch them; it was how many would I catch? The answer predictably was, of course, the roundest number you can get. A big fat zero. In fact I fished that particular pool for well over an hour and caught 1 roach. Not even a glimpse of a chub. I guess that means I’ll have to try again soon. What a shame.

First fish of the season

Not to be deterred it was on to a new spot. This time a dace and then the fish got spooked by my over zealous casting on seeing a trout darting around taking the maggots. I guess another new spot was called for. On my trek to find another new pool I checked up on the weed we had planted a month or so ago. One patch had grown to very impressive proportions. Ok, the other two looked as if they were just clinging on, but we’re still learning where to plant them and we haven’t had a great summer so far. If we get a period of settled warm weather I think they’ll do very well next season and make some good habitat.

A Wandle dace!
After my long walk through the sunny south east London ‘countryside’ and just a few looks from people who clearly thought I was insane I arrived at my third fishing spot and it looked very promising indeed. Lots of fish gliding across the gravels. Out went a bit of bait just to get them going and a small roach first cast. This continued for the next hour until the bites dried up. The final tally? About 30 roach, a dozen chublets and 3 dace. It’s great to see dace in the river again; They seemed to be very thin on the ground last season. Maybe this could be their comeback year?

I left quite happy but looking forward to the next session.

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