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Martin James award-winning fisherman consultant,broadcaster,writer


23/11/2018 - A Surprise Catch

My chub swim

When I looked out of the window this morning to see everything was covered in frost, the sky was overcast with no wind, I had visions of chub, checking the river height I was pleasantly surprised to see there was about two feet of extra water. After replying to a dozen e-mails, I had some breakfast then started to gather what I needed for a session after chub, I also decided apart from crust on a two inch link as I expected the water temperature to be very low, I also put in a bag of soft cheese paste along with a pack of lobworms, but crust would be my first approach. Arriving at the waterside I was impressed how warm it felt without the North East wind blowing at around 30 mpg as its done for the past few days.

A Big Surprise

On checking the water temperature I got a reading of 42 degrees F when I expected something around 38 degrees F, the water has a nice colour and flow so I chose a swim in a small copse, as I walked a to my swim I had the pleasure of watching 3 Roe deer feeding in the meadow, on my approach they looked up watched me for a minute or two then walked away without much concern, they have been hanging around for the past few days, in fact as I arrived in the car park yesterday they were crossing the river into the meadow that borders the car park, I just love watching their graceful leap as they go over fences.

Chub Were My Target

Sitting down among the leaves and reeds, I changed my approach from crust to lobworms with the water temperature at 42 degrees F, I started off by catapulting a dozen worms into my swim, then put together an Avon rod fixed spool reel with 10 braded line to which I attached two float stops then a size 4 barbless hook, around the float stops I moulded some plasticine then baited the hook with three lobs then attached a tiny square of elastic band to keep the worms on the hook, I have used the Griptz hooks, but to many times the worm wriggle off, so I have reverted to my old style of fishing worms.

Fish On First Cast

Within fifteen minutes I had my first chub around four and a half pounds this was quickly followed by three more chub the best weighed in a 4lbs 10 ounces, all bite were very positive. I then had a fishless hour so decided to try cheese, half an hour later I switched to crust then flake still nothing. After a quick brew I changed back to lobworms quickly catching two more good chub of 4lbs plus. Ten minutes later I had a slow pull round of the rod tip, striking I felt I had hooked something very big and powerful that really did make the clutch work overtime as several yards of line were taken as the unseen fish powered downstream. “No chub this” I though, “probably a carp” for some ten minutes I hadn’t a clue to what was on the end of the line but the power I was exerting started to tell, as I slow gained line, suddenly the fish swirled on the surface, an angry salmon, certainly a surprise they should all have been on the spawning redds by now. Another five minutes and I netted my surprise catch, hooked in the scissors so I quickly took the hook out and released the fish so it could continue its journey upstream. An hour later with no more fish with the temperature dropping as the very light wind started to increase I called it a day and headed off home more than happy with my day.

4lb 10 ounce chub on lobworms

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Martin James Fishing
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