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Martin James award-winning fisherman consultant,broadcaster,writer


28/01/2023 - A Very Good Chub Fishing Session

5 lb 4 ounce chub

Today was a perfect day for angling, I left home under an overcast sky, with a light drizzle, not even the slightest breeze. As I waited for the bus I thought how lucky I was to be able to go angling whenever I liked, which is often five six days a week, some times seven. After getting off the bus in town, it was Shanks pony, I had around an hour of that before I reach the river. I’d been going about twenty minutes when I felt a pain in my right leg just below the knee. “Will I make I thought or should I return home” after another ten minutes I was dragging the leg, I stopped then massaged the back of my leg, it didn’t ease the pain. Knowing the river would be in good nick, I didn’t want to miss out. Being bloody minded I chose to carry on, it was a slow walk dragging my right leg. An hour later I still had over half a mile or more to go, where I had to climb a steep uneven footpath through a wood, then descend the other side. If I could just reach the car park, I could collect my gear from the big house, then have a rest before going off to the river. I was a case of gritting my teeth, I just looked at the ground in front of me, not ahead. Eventually I got my tackle, in the cabin I put the kettle on for a brew, also enjoying two rounds of buttered toast. Half an hour rest certainly made me feel a lot better. I would worry about getting home when the time arrived. If need be I would bite the bullet and call a taxi, but I didn’t like the thought of paying £25-00, when I travel free on the bus, a big advantage of being old.

At the water’s edge, I put together my Peter Stone Legermaster rod with its honey coloured glass blank, attaching a small fixed spool reel loaded with 12lb bs braid, I threaded the line through the guides, then put on two float stops, finally tying on a size 8 barbless hook. Finally I moulded a small piece of plasticine around the float stops, extending the distance from the weight and hook to about fifteen inches. I next checked the water temperature getting a reading of 42 degrees F, I was quite pleased with the result, it’s a steady temperature from my last check on Thursday. I was surrounded by bird song, blackbirds, robins, wrens, I watched in amazement as a wren kept going on the wing among the overhead branches zipping up and down feeding on some very tiny grey looking flies, across the other side of the river were two pairs of mallard, a heron stood sentinel like hoping for a fish, every now and again, a small flock of fieldfare would fly from the opposite field, into the hawthorn and holly bushes, to feed on what is left of the berries. Sitting low to the water with a high bank behind me also a covering of maple branches overhead, I said to myself “What a lovely peaceful day with no disturbance of modern life.

The Hook And Bait Are Most Important Items

Forget the latest rod and reel, its not that important, bait presentation is more important, today I had bread, cheese paste, sausage meat paste and luncheon meat. Its also very important how you present the bait on the hook, also the length between hook and weight. Today I am going to start off with three bits of luncheon meat on the hook, as mentioned before, chub will more often than not, pick up the bait in their lips, then back off with it, as they do the rod tip often shudders or pulls round slightly, most angler immediately strike. I only strike if the tip moved round confidently, other wise I just sit and hold the rod. Perhaps in five minutes or as long as thirty minutes the rod tip will often bend slowly round in a confident way, that’s when I strike.

Two pulls On The Rod Tip

Baiting with three pieces of luncheon meat I cast well out then allowed the flow to move the bait down and across the stream until it settled in a quiet area of water, no doubt a place where free offering would be trapped. Fifteen minutes later there were two twitches on the rod then a slight pull round, I ignored these movements, thirty minutes later I wound in the tackle, one piece of meat had gone, rebaiting with three more pieces of meat I cast to the same area, ten minutes later similar movements, after quite a wait I checked the bait, all three pieces were still on the hook, on the first bit of meat, I could faintly make out where the fish had squashed the bait slightly. I recast the baited hook within minutes the tip pulled round firmly, striking I hook a good fish after some time I netted a 4lb plus chub, in fact it weighed 4lb 6 ounces. Rebaiting I cast again to the same area, as the bait rolled along I could see the line suddenly going out and upstream, winding down fast I set the hook into another fish, then thought is this trout? But soon I realised it was a chub, soon I had it coming to the net, “That’s another 4 lb plus fish” again it was hooked inside the mouth, I quickly weighed it at 4 lb 4 ounces, I was more than happy with a brace of 4 pounders.

A Better Fish

Rebaiting with three pieces of meat I cast back to the area, within minutes I got a gentle pull, then nothing, fifteen twenty minutes I felt the line tighten over my finger then the tip pulled round firmly, “that’s a confident take”, as I set the hook. Immediately line was taken off the reel, for some minutes the fish hugged the bottom with some really savage head shaking, I got quite concerned about the hook coming out. The it kited into my right, where there was a sunken bush that arrived with the recent floods. “No way must it get in there” I immediately moved upstream a few feet to get a better angle, this worked, the fish went out into the flow. If I didn’t make any silly mistake it would be mine, probably five minutes later it was in the net, as I lifted I thought it might be a five pounder. Once more scales and weigh bag were in action I got a reading of 5 lb 4 ounces, I quickly shot a picture before going upstream about twenty feet to release the fish. “That’s the icing on the cake today” I said to myself.

In the next three hours I had two more 4lb chub both at 4 lb 8 ounces, also four 3lb plus fish which I didn’t weight. It was now time to catch my bus otherwise, I would have to pay for a taxi, thankfully I just made it to the bus stop, though my leg was still giving me a problem, in town I was lucky to get the other bus within five minutes. Back home I had a hot shower then rubbed some DEEP RELIEF anti-inflammatory gel into my leg. I reckon it had been a “Red Letter Day”. Roll on Monday, as no busses are running on Sundays.



Length of hook link between bait and weight, also the bait in use is important

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Martin James Fishing
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