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Martin James award-winning fisherman consultant,broadcaster,writer


25/08/2023 - Two Short Sessions With A Big Surprise



I’ve been lucky over the past 2 days in having a fellow anglers picking me up for a few hours on the Ribble, On Tuesday Ian Chapman joined me, I went off wandering in the hope of spotting a chub or two, Ian went upstream to fish an area where he had fished before with success on other trips. Today he was going to float fish with bread flake as bait in the hope he might catch some roach.

Highlight Of My Day

Though I’d caught a decent chub with another about 3lbs, nothing could compare with what happened around 1830 hrs, as I sat watching the rod tip for some action, a Kingfisher flew in silently then perched on the rod, no doubt attracted by the numerous minnows feeding on the bits of bread I’d put in. About three to four seconds later, it dived returning quickly to its perch with a bullhead, this was tapped on the rod, then turned it head first before being swallowed, its tea time treat. A few seconds later it fluffed up its feather, had a good shake then as if to say “That was good” before flying across the river to perch on a rock. I quickly got out my camera, focused in then managed to get a quick picture before it shot off downstream, it made a super interlude to my day on the river.

An hour later I caught a second chub, I reckon not far off 4lbs, on sausage meat paste, I’d been having lots of small plucks on the rod tip, which I reckon might have been trout or small chub, I did think of changing the bait, but my thinking was the small fish might attract a bigger fish. Some time later the rod tip pulled round, the answering strike connected with what felt like a good fish, eventually I had a nice chub in the net weighing 3lb 12 ounces, I was more than happy. Later on I hooked a good trout which rolled on the surface before throwing the hook.

Back On The River

At 0920 hrs Andy and David arrived to take me down the river, while they went off trout fishing, I chose to fish for the chub, with my back problem I find I’m rather a danger on the river bank trying to cast a fly as I keep falling over. Thankfully according to my neurosurgeon who I spoke with on Saturday, my problem can be solved with an operation, so now waiting for a date, but I did say I was away in Sussex for the last week of September and most of October, I don’t plan to miss time with my daughter grandchildren and friends, I also want to try and catch a double figure wild carp.

Today I chose a new stretch of water, which is little fished, as its hard going down a steep bank full of trees, bushes plus barbed wire, to overcome my problems of walking I got a length of rope which I attached to a fence post, then slithered down to the spot I wanted, a medium size pool, with some fast water flowing down the centre from the rapids above. My plan was to put some bait samples of sausage meat either side of the fast flow, I would then allow the bait to move slowly downstream, first casting the far side of the flow, on the next cast repeating the process on the inside seam. The repeating the process in the hope of finding some chub. I reckon half an hour had passed bore I got a hook up, a nice chub about 3lbs, in the next hour I had five more chub of similar size, I was well pleased, my effort had paid off.

Hooked Up To A Big One

I then had a fishless hour with no sign of a bite, I tried bread, prawn, and luncheon meat, nothing. “Had the fish become spooked” I thought, or moved out of the pool? After a wait around fifteen minutes, I baited with a big chunk of sausage meat, virtually the size of a chicken egg, allowing it to roll downstream to settle under an alder bush.

I had about ten minutes before I had to make my way back to the farm house car park, for my trip home. Within minutes I had a powerful wrench on the rod tip as it was pulled round savagely, if I hadn’t been holding the rod, it would have been gone, line was stripped from the reel, before I could gain control, slowly the pressure I was applying started to tell, I was able to get line back on the reel at the same time slowly pulling the fish upstream, every now and again the fish tried to get into the fast flow, but thankfully I was winning this particular fight. Eventually I had the fish coming towards the net “That’s a big four pounder” I thought, eventually it was mine, taking out the hook, I put the net back in the water making sure the top was clear, so the fish wouldn’t get out. I was in luck just a few feet to my left was a grassy spot, with weight bag and scales zeroed I lifted the net from the water laying it on the thick grass, then I was able to slide the chub in the bag, on the scales I got a reading of 5lb 4 ounces, the tail on this fish was large, though the fish was hollow, I reckon it could be a six pounder come next February, so ended a very good session.









Ribble chub 5-4-0


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Martin James Fishing
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