Chub and perch

Both these species will fall to the same method of using small fish as baits. No wire trace is needed as these fish are not capable of biting through your line. Chub have very powerful crushing teeth in their throats but you should have struck into the fish long before your bait is swallowed. Livcbaits should be small and lip-hooked with a large single hook. Minnows, bleak, gudgeon and bullheads are all good baits for perch and chub. Large streamlined avon floats will support most small livebaits but failing this try a small bob float. Unless you are fishing in really deep water no extra weight is needed and the livebait will work better without split shot on the line. Experiment with fishing the bait at different depths. Perch will often be chasing fry between midwater and the surface during the summer months. When chub fishing, unless you are using a really large gudgeon as bait, strike shortly after the float has disappeared. Chub have large cavernous mouths and will begin to swallow the bait immediately. Give perch a little longer as they will frequently run with the bait before swallowing it, and so striking too quickly will lose the fish.

Spinning 1t is possible to catch all the predators except eels by spinning for them. This is a mobile method of fishing for predators and with a spinner you can search a lot of water. The size and shape of the spinner should be chosen to suit the species of fish you wish to catch. Small mepps and Devon minnows will catch plenty of zander, perch and chub. For pike use large mepps or kidney spoons. Special short rods are sold for spinning but a 10 foot (3 metre) carp or barbel rod works equally well. To prevent your line kinking as the spinner revolves, tie at least one swivel into your line a short distance away from the spinner. The spinners themselves are attached to a swivel but this is often in- adequate for preventing line kinking. When spinning always try to vary the speed of retrieval. Reel in a series of quick turns and then slow down. This way the spinner will lift and fall through the water in a very enticing way. Do not reel in too quickly, and do not lift the spinner out until it is right up to the bank – fish will often follow the spinner right up to the edge of the water and grab it at the last moment.

Plugs are used very successfully for pike in weedy water. Plug fishing is similar to spinning except that the plug dives and wobbles instead of revolving. On the front of the plug is a spoon-shaped vane. This causes the plug to dive as it is being reeled in. The faster you reel then the deeper the plug will dive and can look exactly like an injured fish.