Tuesday, 11 October 2016

In Search of Monster Chub: Part Five.

 Having just celebrated my 29th birthday and taking a step closer to entering my thirties I had a brief look back at what I had achieved angling wise, pleased to say I am beyond satisfied at how well I have done. The one species that stands out though is...you guessed it. Chub. Apart from a mad half hour on the Thames a few years back where I accidentally caught two 6lb plus Chevins it is a species that I personally feel haven't really had a fair crack of the whip and only this season have I actually set about really trying to better what is not a bogie species, just one that I haven't spent a meaningful amount of angling time on targeting.

 Having said that, over the years I have caught plenty with a handful every season surpassing the "five pound mark" but never really targeting waters where "sixes" are not commonplace but achievable. The Stour is the only river that over the last 40-50 years has consistently mesmerised the angling world at it's ability to produce special fish at special weight's. Over the last 12 months alone an angler I know by the name of Robert Young has taken the Chub world by storm by banking an 8.10 Chub from the river amongst a serious back-up of "6 & 7lb" specimen's, the uncanny knack and sheer ability to catch such creatures had made my appetite just that little more staunch, even if they are hard to locate and catch the challenge is there. Over the last two months I have to say I'm enjoying it thoroughly even if I am being made to wait to really unlock the true potential that I know only to well it's capable of.

 Time to get back.....

 Sunday morning, bright and early, pretty chilly and the sun still a couple of hours from breaking the horizon and I'd already met the Piking Pirate, loaded up, on the road and heading out to resume our challenge. Whilst secretly waiting for the weather to provide some slightly more conducive "big Chub" conditions the stalking aspect that we have both adopted is great fun, I can only hope at times during the winter we will get this opportunity still as it's a hell of a blast, nothing gets the adrenaline pumping more....first cast, what would it yield? well the answer was a 4lb 14oz Chub, the bait fluttered through the water column and settled on the bottom, with a slight twitch it moved down the run and the line pulled taught and I was in! great start. But as is so often the case, you have to get it right every time as opportunities seldom coming by so effortlessly, Sunday certainly didn't threaten to buck that trend.

A good start.
 The initial excitement of a wet net within two or three minutes of arriving on the bank is brilliant, I know for a fact it's usually the precursor to a tough day and my logic was to be re-enforced as I went through large swathes of the day just searching for fish!. Once I had conceded that the Chub had switched off I targeted a perfect run along a far bank, just the perfect lye for hungry fish, Barbel, Chub and Roach alike. A few trots through appeared to show very little activity when out of the blue, the aforementioned Roach made a welcome appearance, of ¾lb or so it was magnificent, not big but perfect in form, not a mark on it and it didn't take long for more of it's bretherin to nail the breadflake. Indication's became thick and fast as the Roach and Dace really started to feed confidently, it seemed the more I caught from the shoal the harder they fed but the swim was missing something. Chub.

One amazing looking trot!
 For all the bait that filtered through the run and along the crease I'd have thought at least a Chub would have slipped up, many permutations were running through my mind why they weren't at the races but nothing I could think seemed to work. Everything rested on dusk. Dusk came and my chosen swim looked the business, everything an angler could conjure in a Chub filled dream, the swim that if you were asked, "what would your'e perfect Chub swim look like" and asked to draw it I imagine it would be my dusk swim. Time passed and the sun had disappeared, the Kingfisher's calls ceased and the steady roll of the ever present Otter broke the sheen on the surface as the moonlight set the scene for a beautiful night, "I do love fishing on a clear night", just magical, it was so serine that my inability to catch another Chub almost didn't tally. My time will come and boy when it does, you'll know! Until next time, tight lines and remember it's not the be all and end all to catch...on the odd occasion.

Buzzard keeping a close eye on proceedings
Dusk weather system moving in.
Peaceful evening on the bank...beautiful.


  1. The Piking Pirate almost went for a swim before wetting a line! Magic river, can't wait to get back on it...

    1. I know, it's hard to keep off it, such a brilliant place to fish and we will get our rewards, I certain.

  2. I must admit, a big part of the pleasure of fishing the Avon/Stour for me is the clear water. Yes, it doesn't make the fishing easy but I just love fish spotting almost as much as trying to catch them. Really enjoying both yours and the Pike Blog reports of your chub mission.

    1. It is a brilliant way of fishing, just spotting is great fun and sometimes it's not the hard part ! Catching isn't easy but as it gets colder I really fancy it.

    2. Great to set some challenges, good luck!

    3. I believe so James, I think it makes me a little more focused on what I want, rather than the easy option and just enjoy my time of the bank. Just the chance would be enough....just one 7lb plus specimen and ill be happy beyond comprehension. Best of luck too James!