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Martin James award-winning fisherman consultant,broadcaster,writer


06/02/2018 - A Great Result for Mark Sarul

River Soar Abbey Meadow


The River Soar at Abbey Meadows, Leicestershire.

This weekend I chose to fish Sunday as it forecast on Sunday was the better day of the two. Pulling up on the grass verge at 8:45am finding no cars about, I knew I had the stretch to myself. I was still not sure which venue I was going to fish, I could go upstream to the Broken Weir which involved the long walk or Abbey Meadows and fish opposite the ruins of the old monastery downstream with the shorter walk. As I pulled on my wellingtons the arthritis in my right knee made the decision for me, it was the shorter walk down stream to Abbey Meadows. The monastery here was called Garendon Abbey and is near the village of Cotes in Loughborough. The monastery was built in 1133, dissolved in 1536 by Henry VIII and then in 1540 Henry VIII sold it to the Earl of Rutland. Now it just ruin walls.

After a short walk I reached the river, I could see it was a good three feet up. During the week it had around five feet and very dirty brown colour but the colour today look good. The first thing I did was chuck in the thermometer while I was setting up the Peter Stone Ledgerstrike which was coupled to a 1925 Allcock Aerial centrepin. As I pulled the thermometer out of the river I read 44 degrees F, that cheered me up for a start. During the week I had been emailing Martin James as I thought I did not have much of a chance this weekend with the high coloured water etc but he soon put my mind at rest regarding the fishing.

I selected my first swim opposite the ruins and just to my left no further that three feet was a nice quiet spot just outside the main flow of the river. This is where the first cast went, not so much a cast but more of a swing and drop. A big piece of smelly cheese paste was the order of the day on a size 6 Pallatrax barbless hook tied to 6lb line as suggested by Martin. I left it in there for five minutes then reeled in, rebaited with cheese paste and then dropped it in the same spot. Almost immediately the tip tapped, I knew it must be a chub down there and then the tip slowly pulled round about two inch. I struck and connected with a big fish, it then shot straight out into the fast flowing water. After a minute or so the chub came to the top on its side still in the fast flowing water. I thought it looked a good four, I slowly brought it to net and as it slid over I thought it is a good four but when I lifted the net out of the water I had my first thoughts that it could be a five. As I placed the bag on the scales I saw the needle go past the five pound mark and stop at 5lb 2oz. I then started to shake with excitement, for four long winters I have been after a River Soar five pound chub and now I had done it. Any chub of four pounds is a good fish on the River Soar but a five pound chub is a really good fish. After a quick photo I put him back in the net lowered him down gently and watched him swim off. I did not care what happened for the rest of the days fishing as I had caught my best prize of the season, but it was not long before I set off roving looking for some more quiet spots.

I fished four more swims with one more chub being caught on two big lobworms, this one was 3lb 7oz and also put up a good fight if the fast water. At around 2:30pm the wind started to get up and it was bitter cold, I nearly lost me fedora hat twice and I had to tie my scarf around it and under my chin to keep it on but I cared not what I looked like as I had caught my five pounder. I gave it another half an hour and then set off for home to a nice hot Sunday roast. I had one of the best drives back home and one of the biggest grins in a long time.



Mark Sarul with his 5lb 2 ounce chub

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