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Martin James award-winning fisherman consultant,broadcaster,writer


06/08/2020 - A Handful Of Chub

Chub 5-2-0

Over night there had been some heavy rain, so I was hoping some would have given the river a slight lift. Checking the river height I got a reading of 0.662, that’s about an extra 0.18m on, better than nothing, I was confident I might catch a few fish on the float. The weather was perfect a light wind overcast sky with a rising air temperature. Breakfast over I got a cricket size ball of sausage meat paste from the refrigerator along with an extra thick sliced loaf.

Tackle Choice

In the garage I made sure I had everything I would need for a few hours angling on my local river, there are many times these days when I forget an item I would need, many times I’ve had to return home. Not knowing how I would be fishing until I reached the river, I chose two rods a 14 Acolyte with my 1939 Aerial Match 2 centre pin made for me by Watermole, another excellent engineering job, I then quickly added 25 yards of 3lb line. If I am at home I take the line off the reel after a day’s angling until I want to use the reel again. I display my centre pins in a glass fronted cabinet, the sunshine would certainly weaken the line if I left it on the reel. My second rod was my Chevin matched today with a Mitchell 300 with 10lb braid to which I added a size 4 barbless hook tied to the braid with a Palomar knot, at the waterside all I had to do was lightly pinch on a shot then moulded plasticine around the shot, outside the rain was still falling I certainly had a smile on my face, let it rain for another 24 hours I thought, also it would hopefully bring some salmon and sea trout into the river.

Big Surprise When I Got To The River

After doing some shopping on the way to the river it was 1000 hrs when I pulled into the car park, it was a big river, with at least 4 feet of fast, dirty, swirling muddy coloured water, “Just what we needed “ I thought. Two other anglers told me I was wasting my time, I just said “I will have a look” as they disappeared over the horizon, I got kitted out in my water proofs, as I was doing so I could see lots of rubbish floating down as the river continued to rise. Today it was going to be sausage meat paste on a size 4 hook using my Chevin, the conditions were not suitable for float fishing.

After walking about 1200 yards I was perspiring with the extra cloths but eventually I come to a small opening about two feet between several willow bushes, from my experience of fishing the area on a number of occasions, the swim today would have about five feet of water, no more than eighteen inches from the bank there was a distinct line between the slightly slower water close in, and the faster water two feet out, I would be fishing my bait a foot from the bank. Twelve inches to my right I had a several big willow bushes stretching some five yards, with many of branches trailing in the water, my aim was to fish the bait under the trailing willows where quite a raft had built up.

A Few Bait Samples Were Dropped In The Margins

Having got everything sorted I sat back watching the water flow from left to right lots of rubbish floated bye, plastic and glass bottles, plastic bags of rubbish which looked like beer cans, an occasional bit of BBQ rubbish, then a large plastic bin liner full of rubbish, no doubt thrown in from the caravan park further upstream, I have never seen as much rubbish strewn around as I have this year I despise these morons who are not in a minority, just look at your local streets and motorway junctions.

Good Fish First Cast

Lightly pinching on a split shot I moulded some plasticine around the shot, then baited with a chunk of sausage meat, dropping the bait down under my rod tip, allowing some line to be taken off the spool under pressure before putting the bail arm over, I sat holding the rod with the line over my forefinger. Fifteen minutes later I felt a distinct pluck, “That’s not rubbish” I thought, suddenly the rod tip was pulled round the answering strike connected with what felt like a good fish which quickly stripped a lot of line off the spool, I just love hearing the screeching ratchet and the whining of the roller as it spins under the line pressure my friends tell me it sounds like a coffee grinder but I’m happy with it in my old age. Some ten minutes later I felt the fish slowing down a bit, so put on more pressure eventually it was about five to six yards out from the bank and slightly down stream It was a case of slowly increasing the pressure then drawing the fish into the slightly slacker water. A minute or so late I caught my first glimpse of the fish, it looked a good 4lb fish, I was very happy having been told it’s a waste of time. Eventually I had the fish slowly coming towards the waiting net, then it was mine. On the scales it weighed 5 lb 2 ounces in lovely condition, if I didn’t catch anymore I was more than happy. Over the next hour I had four more 4 lb plus chub, weighing 4 lb 6 ounces, 4 lb 8 ounces, 4 lb 9 ounces and 4 lb 12 ounces. Having had more than an hour without a sign of a bite as the river was still rising fast with even more rubbish coming down I chose to return home.




Rig set up, (if it can be called such a thing

My swim

Looking across the river from my swim

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Martin James Fishing
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