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Martin James award-winning fisherman consultant,broadcaster,writer


04/08/2023 - River Ouse Chub Fishing

A good chub on crust

 After having some enjoyable fish on three still waters, Martyn and myself chose to spend my last day of my holiday fishing the Sussex Ouse. I travelled light today, my old favourite chub rod matched with a small fixed spool reel line was 12b braid, I really do like this line as its most sensitive in detecting bites, as I usually hold the rod with line over my index finger. I had a small shoulder bag holding box of hooks, some LG shot also some plasticine, a box of lobs, loaf of bread with half a dozen prawns, I have found this latter bait can be hit and miss, some waters chub grab them immediately other venues they seem ignored. Of course when they are ignored it might be down to three reasons, I have spooked the fish, non were in the swim, or they were not feeding unlike what many anglers who seem to think. “That fish feed 24 hours a day, they don’t, often it’s a ten minute feeding spell”. After a thirty minute drive we arrived at the stretch we had chosen, Martyn went off downstream, while I chose to fish upstream, in a three hour period I fished eight spots but not a sign of a bite or any fish moving. I then walked down to see how Martyn was getting on. “Any fish or bites” I asked the answer was “Negative”


We then chose to move away to another stretch of the Ouse, twenty minutes later we arrived, I was surprised to see some vehicles in the car park. After a brew Martyn chose to go upstream, I went downstream which was hard going, it was a case often pushing through the riverside bushes to reach the water.

Chub From The Off


I chose to fish two lobworms on a size 4 barbless hook, using a soft plastic imitation gentle to hold the worms on the hook. With a gentle under hand cast I dropped the bait under a bush on the opposite bank, within a minute I got a savage pull I couldn’t really miss, a few minutes later it was in the net a chub around 3lbs, fishing on for another ten minutes with no sign of action I moved on.Twenty yards later, I found another small gap in the undergrowth, where I could wriggle through, I had a nine foot drop to the water, with my Drennan landing net handle I could just reach the water should I hook a fish. Throwing in three broken lobs, I rested the spot for ten minutes, as I did so I spotted a Kingfisher zip upstream then into a nest just twenty feet down from where I would attempt to catch a chub, I debated if I should move away, but the Kingfisher soon appeared again then returned shortly with another small fish. I chose to continue to fishing, out with two lobworms, soon another fish was in the net about 2lbs, I had three more fish from this spot of similar size.


Fifteen minutes later I moved on next spot nothing on worms, but a nice chub of about 3lbs on crust, on the next cast I lost what I thought might have been a small barbel, so I moved on. My next spot was at a wide bend in the river, probably thirty feet wide at this point, the far bank several of Alder tree branches were hanging low over the water making it an ideal chub location, the swim was well trampled down, showing it was used a lot. I started off with lobs catching three chub in three casts, all around two pounds, after a fifteen minutes without a sign of a fish, I rebaited with a big chunk of flake casting well down the river, fifteen minutes I hooked a better fish, around 3lbs also catching 3 more chub around 2lbs mark after a long break with no more interest I moved off to another spot.


Certainly A Lucky Chub


I moved off upstream to another spot that I had baited with a few bits of flake as I walked downstream. Eventually I arrived at the spot, it was difficult to get in, I had to slide down a clay bank to the small ledge below. “Talk about being lucky” I’d baited with a chunk of crust, as I’d not put a rod rest in, I laid down the rod of course the bait ended in the water, as I was pushing in the rod rest, the rod was suddenly being pulled towards the river, I grabbed it just in time to find I'd hooked a good chub, after a good scrap I managed to get the fish in the net. Resting the net in the water, I struggled up the bank on hands and knees, at the top I set up the camera, then lifted the net from the water swinging it in and setting it on the weigh mat along with a loaf of bread to give some idea of the size of fish. I released the fish well upstream, then fished on catching 2 more chub around the 3lbs mark. So ended my fishing in Sussex until September. My next trip is next week on the River Soar.

An Ouse chub swim

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Martin James Fishing
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