Swinscoe Top On The Avon

Wayne Swinscoe topped the latest open on the Warwickshire Avon at Evesham with a quality double-figure bag of chub and roach. We got the river legend to explain how he did it:

wayne-swinscoe-evesham-winIt’s been a good few years since I fished a winter match at Evesham, but I decided to visit after hearing they’d started catching some decent weights on both bread punch and bronze maggots.

Looking at river conditions before the draw I thought there was a couple of inches of extra water and a tinge of colour. Although the air temperature was rising the water was extremely cold. Anglers were talking roach. I was thinking chub!

After drawing peg 50 at the bottom of the White House Bend, a really good peg any time of the year, I was dead chuffed. For me it was going to be a simple day; bread punch on the pole at 11m, stick float and waggler beyond the middle with bronze maggots.

To fish with bread I set up a top four of my Acolyte pole, with No5 elastic though the top two, a 1.5g G-Tip 2 float, olivette and three No8 droppers spread evenly four inches apart. A 0.8mm hooklength to a size 18 Kamasan B511 hook is perfect for the punch, although I didn’t fancy catching on this method half as much as the running line…

kamasan-b510-size-18Next, the proper gear! The waggler was probably going to be the main attack. I set up an Acolyte 14ft Plus float rod, which is an awesome piece of equipment, with a 4AA straight peacock waggler. This had a thickish top so I could drag the bottom and slow the hook bait down. Reel line was 2.9lb Series 7 with a 0.10mm bottom to an 18 Kamasan B510 – the best chub hook ever made! Shotting was just four No8 and a No9 evenly spread in 7ft of water.

The stick float tackle was a 7 x No4 Ultra lignum fished with a 15ft Acolyte Ultra float rod, with the same line and hook combo. This was shotted with a bulk of No8s and then two No8 and a No9 for droppers spread evenly eight inches apart.

On the starting whistle I cupped in a good-sized ball of punch laced with gravel to get straight down at 11m. On the second run down, the float buried and I had a 6oz chub. Four small roach followed.

acolyte15ft-4All the time I was priming the middle of the river with bronze maggots, 15 to 20 a cast, and after 40 minutes struggling on bread I decided it was chub time. Starting on the waggler at depth I was soon catching the odd small chub on double bronze maggot. Over the next hour, fishing up and down in the water, I managed the odd one to 12oz.

It was when I swapped to the stick float where things got better. I fished it down the middle and six inches off the bottom, holding back to slow the bait down and letting it rise before picking the flow up brought more bites from better stamp fish.

bait-bronze-maggotsAlthough the fishing was hard I was really enjoying it. What was interesting was that every chub had plenty of maggots down their mouths, so it was only a matter of time before you were going to get a bite! You only had to feed it nice and steady.

At the final whistle I’d had 20-odd chub from a few ounces to nearly 2lb and a few roach for 15lb 12oz and a comfortable win. I rarely get to fish like this any more, so when I do it brings back great memories of great times.

I never lost a fish all day either, so if you’ve never used a Kamasan B510 for chub, give them a try as they’re brilliant! They’re also brilliant for winter F1 fishing with maggots – although it’s definitely chub that I prefer to catch!