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Martin James award-winning fisherman consultant,broadcaster,writer


31/12/2016 - A Brace of 5lb chub to End 2016

A good chub to end the year on

Sitting at home this morning December 31st I was feeling really fed up at not being able to go fishing on the last day of the year as I normally do, my right eye was half closed, meaning I couldn’t drive, how I hate these shingles it’s been 9 months without any relief. About 1030 hrs. Dave Hurst called me to see if I wanted to go fishing, my immediate answer was “Yes please as the river is low and clear with a dropping water temperature let’s go about 1500 hrs and fish into the dark” I immediately felt better, I would now carry on a tradition and hopefully catch a fish or two. I sorted some flavoured luncheon meat and bread baits for David, for myself I had some Lone Angler cheese paste, some cheese flavoured crusts, also sausage sizzle flavoured meat, along with some mashed bread for feed.

When we arrived at the river I put David in the swim I’d fished on Christmas day which had been regularly topped up with hook bait samples, having shown David where to fish and the tackle set up I use, I wished success, I then walked to the bottom of the beat then into the copse making sure I didn’t get caught up in the barbed wire. I see no point in fishing together and sharing what fish are in the swim. Before settling in my spot I put two handfuls of mashed bread into the head of the pool then added a few pieces of meat, I lightly pinched on an LG shot wrapped in plastacine two feet from the size 4 barbless hook, having got everything sorted out I made a cast across the stream then slowly worked it downstream so it rested a few feet upstream from an old tree trunk before putting the rod on the rest, I sat back thanking my lucky stars the David had called me. Suddenly I was startled as a pheasant perched on the branch of a tree no more than six feet away. It was some minutes before it flew higher in the tree for another perch for the night.

I’d been fishing some thirty minutes then had a light tap on the rod, followed by a slow pull, a bite I couldn’t really miss, setting the hook into what felt like a nice fish, playing the fish I kept thinking “Don’t get off on the last day of the year” eventually I netted what looked like a nice chub, as I lifted the net to drag the up the high bank the fish felt quite heavy, then I felt the net snag after a lot of pulling it was free, swinging the net clear of the bank I laid it on the unhooking mat, thinking that’s a very big 4 pounder, Taking the scales from my bag I zeroed them with the weigh bag, before carefully moving the fish from the mat to the bag, on the scales I got a reading of 5lb 2 ounces punching the air with delight I said to myself “What a way to end 2016” After a quick picture I released the fish thinking if I don’t get any more bites I’m more than happy. In the next hour I had four more bites catching, two chub including another one at 5lbs with one at 4lb 12 ounces also a trout about a pound, the chub were caught on meat, the trout on crust. Suddenly from know where the wind increased strongly blowing through the tree tops my hearing aids made it sound like a train passing through, the temperature plummeted the rod was shaking in the rest, thirty minutes later I called David he’d had three nice chub for a long while he hadn’t had anything, I suggested as we’d both had three nice fish we should call it a day, he agreed. Meeting back in the car park we agreed it had been a good session, after a fresh brew David dropped me off at home, saying I will call you when you get back from the Wye.


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Martin James Fishing
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