In Search of Monster Chub: Part Eight.

 With last weeks trip firmly in the rear view mirror of my season I really wanted to get back on track with the Chub, Sunday's phenomenal haul of Barbel had really boosted my confidence and put me in a mood to try hard for a good result today. On the bank today I was joined by one of my work mates who shares the same passion for angling, both of us were on the float and hoped to get some fish feeding on the maggot.

 Conditions again were changed from my last visit as a clear night gave way to a drop in temperature, just what we wanted.....but we were there and made the most of it. Initially we started on a section of river I'm fairly familiar with but the fish had other ideas as the first 4 hours drifted by with no enquiries at all, various swims of differing depths were tried but all in vein, the Chub were certainly there but simply could not be tempted, a change of venue was in order.

 After eating lunch and planning our attack we headed back to the river with a new plan, find a swim each and stay on it until dusk, before we arrived at our swims we stopped to watch a dog otter which was sat on the far bank preening itself as we looked on, fully aware of our presence it slipped out of sight and more than likely went on to terrorise the fish stocks. Just a bite would have been nice, just to confirm all of the fish had just got out and walked off, twenty minutes in my first swim again produced absolutely nothing and all of a sudden the float slipped away and a small Roach was swung in, I thought to myself that it could be the start of something good. I was right.

 For the next 45 minutes I caught over twenty Roach to half a pound on double white maggots, anything else for example double red or mixed I didn't get a touch, back on to the double whites I'd get the bites again, it was a good bit of fun and every single one was immaculate, complete with the iridescent sheen and orange fins they were perfection in miniature. A distinct lack of Chub still plagued me, I was enjoying the Roach but really wanted to catch my target. With dusk approaching that time was coming.

 A change from maggots to bread eventually paid off, the Chub weren't on the mags but seeking larger baits, more than 20 runs through a great looking swim provided me with no knocks then the float buried itself and I latched into a very good Chub, the rod went solid fairly quickly and without seeing the fish it buried itself in a tree and after a few minutes of trying to free the fish a bare hook was set free, the fish had escaped unseen and it felt like a good fish which knew exactly what it was doing. Next trot after that disappointment and the float slipped under again, another fish on and this time I made no mistake, a small fish around 2.08 slipped into the net, target fish but a little on the erm...little side, with time running out unfortunately we didn't get a chance to bag anything bigger, another trip and another lesson learnt. It's not been easy but I'll be back soon.


  1. James. I'm very into trotting too. I see you read my blog, so you will know I still don't find it easy. For barbel I use a 15' Daiwa I've just done a review on. The Trent is still a difficult river for me, and I feel I should be catching more on the float, but hay!
    Not had a barbel since November, very cold. Got three pints of gentles today for the days ahead, but it looks very cold. May try a new little river for roach. Not had a two for years.
    Nice to see the small fish appearing on your river, it's good for the future I guess.

    Is 4lb line your normal for all trotting, or do you step up for barbel? I use 6lb mainline, with varying hook links for barbel. 4.4lb being the lowest, but have taken some doubles on this outfit.
    Wonderful blog, nice pictures too. Richard.

    1. Hello Richard, when trotting for Barbel I try to use a lighter gear as possible, recently I have stepped down again to 3.6lb bottom (Drennan double strength), in coloured water I'm happy to step it up to 6lb straight through but in low clear conditions as we've experienced in the south the Barbel especially are very cautious even when approaching a trotted bait.

      Maggots are very good for Barbel and so underrated as is bread, on the Trent and many other river I know especially in cold clear conditions the maggots will outfish all the static anglers, well almost all the time, a couple of frosts seems to put them off but I've found maggots will arouse a response when nothing else will.

      Rod wise I use a Greys Prodigy TXL 12ft rod (specialist float) for 90% of my fishing and all of my trotting. Preferably all on the centrepin too, but on much wider rivers like the Trent I suspect you'd want to use a fixed spool, even if you can Wallace cast I know through experience it's an arm aching affair, not a great idea if your fishing for 10 hours a day for 3 days !


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