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Martin James award-winning fisherman consultant,broadcaster,writer


15/02/2019 - A Good Chub Session

My best chub 5lb 5 ounces


I arrived on a new stretch of the river Ribble today where I found near perfect conditions, low light level, a light upstream breeze, checking the water temperature I got a reading of 44 degrees F, the river was at a good height with some colour, I chose to float fish feeding with mashed bread, baiting with flake on a size 8 hook. I chose a Milward Swim Master matched with ‘The Beult’ centre pin made by Watermole with 4lb bs line. I chose a balsa float with a bright orange coloured top which I could see forty yards away, it was made by Russ Shaw taking 4 AAA’s bunched some 15 inches from the hook, after a few trial runs through the swim I found I had an average of seven feet of water over gravel and small stones, a few yards downstream I had a large tree in the water which would offer sanctuary from cormorants but sadly not otters as you will learn later.

Good Chub on First Cast

After putting in four balls of mashed bread the size of a golf ball, I sat and fed around twenty pieces of bread flake, pinched hard enough so they would sink. I let the swim settle for around fifteen minutes, before I made my first cast, I dropped the float ten feet or so upstream so I could get the float moving on the right line, as the float past downstream I used a light pressure on the reel so the bait travelled ahead of the float, it had gone twenty yards then dipped sharply, the answering strike caused the rod to take on its battle curve, I could immediately feel I’d hooked a good fish, unlike the big chub on Monday this one didn’t go off on fast run but done a lot of head shaking, at times a few feet of line would have to be given, but I soon got it back on the reel, it took me around fifteen minutes to bring the chub upstream towards the net, it didn’t give up, but proved a very worthy quarry. Eventually I got my first glimpse of the fish, saying to myself “That’s a big four might well be a five pounder, a minute or so later I had the fish in the quiet water then into the net. While I rested the fish in the net I set up the camera and scales, with everything ready I lifted the net, then spotted the tail where a chunk had been bitten off by an otter. Sliding the fish in the weigh bag I hoisted it on the scales getting a reading of 5lb 5 ounces, After a quick picture I released the fish well upstream, I was more than happy.

More Good Chub and Two Trout

I put in two more balls of mashed bread similar in size of the first balls I put in at the start of the session, then a few bits of flake hook bait size were thrown in well upstream. Two casts later I had another good chub 4lb 14 ounces, this was followed by another 5lb fish of 5lb 3 ounces then three more four pounders 4lb 11 ounces and two 4lb 12 ounces, My next fish was a good trout estimated at 3lbs, no way was I going to weight an out of season fish, I just unhooked it in the net then pushed the net further out in the water so the fish could swim off safely. In a 5 hour session I had 9 chub and two trout, all the chub were 4lb plus fish, it was one of those sessions that will stay in my memory for sometime, in fact until I get a better session if that’s possible. But I will be back tomorrow and see what happens. It was very quiet at the waterside, I spotted one kingfisher, a cock pheasant, two blackbirds, but no rabbits, hares, roe deer, ravens or buzzards.


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Martin James Fishing
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