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Martin James award-winning fisherman consultant,broadcaster,writer


20/11/2017 - Chub at last

4 lb 15 ounce chub on cheese paste

After a week with just one bite and no fish, I was begging to think I was losing it, even more so today as I sat and watched the rod tip pull round nice and slow, what I would call the perfect bite, but didn’t strike, must be old age. Today I had a late afternoon session with my friend Brendan, it was around 1530 hrs when we arrived on the river, the idea was to fish the last hour of daylight then three or four hours in the darkness. As we sorted out our gear I heard Brendan cuss rather loudly something along the lines “I’ve left my rod at home” I was more than willing to go home but Brendan wouldn’t hear of it, “I will sit and watch you” he said.We walked across a soggy meadow that was more like a marsh, eventually arriving at our chosen swim. Within ten minutes, Brendan had checked the water temperature getting a reading of 42 degrees F, with a low water temperature

I chose to fish crust on a short 3 inch link, after casting out we settled back as we watched the rod tip we chatted about football rugby and the River Thames at Tadpole Bridge at the same time I was feeling guilty at Brendan not fishing while I was. I then noticed a slight tap on the rod tip, then sat hawk like waiting for a determined bite, ten minutes later with no more sight of activity, it was time to check the bait, it had gone, “minnows” I thought. I then chose to fish a freelined walnut size piece of cheese paste. Twenty or so minutes later the rod tip pulled round the perfect bite, I just sat and watched it even with Brendan shouting “That’s a bite” It was far too late when I decided to move, I was gutted. Rebaiting with another piece of cheese paste I cast to the same area, ten minutes later got a small knock then sat again keyed up for the bite to develop, fifteen minutes later I wound in the tackle to find the bait had been whittled down to marble size.

Then Success

Baiting once more with cheese paste I cast out then sat ready for anything, about ten minutes later I got a tap on the rod tip, I sat like a coiled spring then as the tip moved round I set the hook into what felt like a good fish, immediately Brendan picked up the net, eventually a nice chub appeared on the surface which was quickly netted, “That’s a good 4 pounder” I said Brendan though it might go 5lbs. Out with scales and weigh bag after zeroing the scales the fish was transferred from net to bag, The scale needle went to 5lbs then dropped back to 4 lb 15 ounces, I was more than happy. After a quick pic we watched the fish swim off strongly. I said to Brendan that’s it let go home, no have a few more casts, though I thought there were more chub to be caught I felt it was unfair to keep Brendan on the icy cold river bank when he could be back home with his girlfriend, he dropped me off home fifteen minutes later..

Sunday afternoon Dave Hurst picked me up around 1500 hrs for another late session, the day had been bright after over night frost, I thought the fish wouldn't feed until dusk, i put David in a banker swim while I roamed around in the dark trying several swims, we both caught all the chub were on crust David had 5 while I had 8 also I had a nice perch on lobworm. We fished from about 1700 hrs until around 1930 hrs, as David had work the next day we packed up after an enjoyable session.

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Martin James Fishing
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