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Martin James award-winning fisherman consultant,broadcaster,writer


02/09/2018 - Another Good Chub Day

My chub fishing rig


Another Good Chub Day

I pulled into the syndicate car park just after 0600 hrs, my first job was to walk across the meadow to the river where I put a dozen hook bait samples of meat in front of the riverside reeds where I was hopeful the chub would be in resident. I then went off with rifle to check my mink traps, for the first time in weeks one was caught and quickly dispatched. I moved on into a small wood where I scattered some peanut in a small grassy area, then sat myself down in the hide. Thirty minutes later the first grey moved in to collect the nuts, it was one less pest to cause death and destruction to the song bird population, they really are a greedy pest, within an hour I had dispatched three greys also a magpie another pest that creates havoc to not only song birds but also ground nesting birds. My next job was to cover a newly built stile with chicken wire so it didn’t become hazard when wet, after finishing that job I had breakfast, a bowl of porridge with some toast and marmalade along with a fresh brew. Then it was off to another beat to repair some fencing the cattle had trampled down, thankfully it’s the last year we have to put up with these beasts. The hardest part was humping a roll of barbed wire, posts, and tools along with a heavy crowbar. I finished the job around noon time, it was time for a brew with a bacon sandwich. As I sat outside the cabin I gave some thought of how I would fish for the chub, eventually ending up with threading on the line several float stops, I then attached a size 4 barbless hook with a Palomar knot. My plan was to use a small pieces of plasticine on the float stops, the first fixed some eighteen inches from the hook, with the others six inches apart, the idea is the chub would pick up the bait and feel very little resistance, as it moved away it would move the next small weight again it would a not bother the fish with just a slight resistance. Remember many of their food items will resist when grabbed by a fish, so hopefully this idea will work. Picking up my shoulder bag containing a small amount of tackle along with a bag of luncheon meat, I made my way across the meadow to the river, disturbing a small colony of common green grasshoppers on my way, these small creatures today are quite rare, in my young days they were everywhere, we often used them as bait when dapping for the chub, using a hook with a clip on the shank, I doubt if any are available today even in the oldest of tackle shops. At my chosen swim I threw in four pieces of meat, then baited with a chunk the size of my thumb, casting it well upstream of my swim, so I could carefully work it downstream in front of the reeds also under some overhanging branches. Second cast I had a take within a minute I had a chub about a pound, quickly followed by several other fish around the two pound mark, they were like peas in a pod scale and fin perfect, in fact you couldn’t wish to catch better looking fish. I reckon I had around fifteen chub the best might have gone 3lbs.

After a fishless session lasting around 30 minutes, I switched over to sausage meat paste, immediately catching a chub, my next bite was just a slow pull like all the other fish, but as I set the hook this fish shot off downstream about fifty feet or more in a very fast run, I immediately though I’d hooked a grilse, as the fish changed direction then kited into my bank ending up on the inside of a bend which stopped me from bringing it upstream. I immediately walked downstream until I was below the fish, where I now started to gain control, I soon realised it was a chub with its head shaking, eventually I started walking upstream leading the fish like a dog on the lead until I reached my swim where I could net a very nice chub which weighed 4lbs 5 ounces. I then had a couple more chub around the pound mark, before I hooked another good fish, this time I knew immediately it was a good chub by the fight, as I pulled it towards the net I could see this fish might go 5lbs, as I lifted the net I was even more convinced on its weight. On the scales it went 5lbs 3 ounces. I was more than happy with catching the two and three pounders along with the 4lb fish, but this was the icing on the cake. Time now was getting late, I also needed a pain killer for my shingles, and decided to go off home after a very long day which ended with another 5lb chub. I just love catching chub, roach and perch before any other fish.




My chosen chub swim

4lb 5 ounce chub

5lb 3 ounce chub

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Martin James Fishing
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