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Martin James award-winning fisherman consultant,broadcaster,writer


12/01/2019 - A dream chub fishing session

My first chub of the session


A dream chub fishing session

Yesterday it was all trout except for 1 grayling, today it was so different, first I chose to fish a different stretch of river on the advice of the bailiff and not the weir pool I’d planned to fish, the weather wasn’t good with a strong gusting wind with rain showers, checking the water temperature I had a rise of 3 degrees F overnight giving me a reading of 43-44 degrees F.

The tree shrouded far bank swim I chose to fish had quiet water on the inside with faster water pushing through some fifteen twenty feet out from the far bank creating a good seam or crease. I balled in three tennis size balls of bread and bran, then catapulted several pieces of bread flake well upstream in the fast water. The tackle used was a 13 foot rod, centre pin reel 4lb BS line with a 4 AAA shot float I then attached a size 10 wide gape hook to 4lb nylon to the main line with the loop to loop system, I then run the float through the swim a few times until I was happy with the setup, having catapulted a few more bits of flake well upstream of the swim, I sat down enjoying a mug of tea made by the bailiff, while the swim settle down and hopefully a fish or two will start to feed with confidence.

Would the Chub Be Present?

As I guided the float down the swim close to the far bank crease, I thought hopefully to myself let there be some chub today, fifteen yards down the swim the float buried I felt a powerful surge as a fish made the reel screech as line was taken, chub I thought, then a few minutes later a fish swirled close to the surface, “trout” I uttered to myself. A few minutes later I netted a brown trout probably pushing 4lbs, a big cock fish which looked in excellent condition, having carefully returned the fish I said to myself “I will enjoy catching that fish on a dry fly in the season” next cast I had a trout around 12 inches.

Chub Take Over

On my next cast the float had travelled no more than ten yards when it dived sideways into the very fast water, as I lifted the rod I immediately felt the weight of a fish, no trout this I thought as a fish hugged the bottom in the fast water, “could it be a barbel” I thought, after a few minutes of head shaking and the fish moving in and out of the fast water I managed to get the fish into a quiet bay downstream of me, then slowly worked it upstream eventually into the waiting net. A nice chub certainly worth a picture, as it was a very dull day I added my float box to the picture to give it some colour. I then walked some twenty yards upstream before releasing the fish.

In the next two hours feeding with pieces of flake the odd ball of bread and bran, I fished a combination of baits crust, flake and punched bread, I had 13 more chub of similar size to the first fish. After an hour with no more bites I ended my day feeling on a high as I walked the mile or so back to my car, I was also thank full I didn’t catch any more trout, I reckon the chub could well have bullied them out of the way. It’s amazing how in this great pastime two days can be so different. Who knows I might fish the weir pool tomorrow.


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Martin James Fishing
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