With the majority of the country’s stillwaters frozen solid, anglers have been turning their attentions to the rivers, with chub being their target quarry.
Battling through heavy snow, Ted Bryan spent two hours making what would usually be a 40-minute trip to visit a southern river, with his efforts being rewarded with this 7lb specimen.
The Sydenham-based big-fish hunter had to break margin ice and recast two Nash Bait Fish Frenzy Soft Tutti-Frutti pellets every 10 minutes to find the fish. But after working hard to bank a chub of 3lb, his next bite saw him hook into the large specimen.
“I could see it was a big fish and I was shaking like a leaf when I netted it. I don’t know whether this was due to the cold or excitement,” Ted told AT. “A 7lb chub in the snow was the last thing I was expecting when I left home in the morning.” Ted beat his prize with a size 10 Nash Fang X hook attached to a 3lb mono hooklink.
Another angler to strike gold in the freezing conditions was John Mcgough, after the specimen hunter banked a 7lb 12oz chub from the Dorset Stour.
The all-important bite came shortly after he had lost another fish, with the big specimen beating his previous pb for the species by a single ounce.
A scaled-down presentation consisting of a single red maggot on a size 20 Drennan Super Spade hook and 2lb hooklink proved to be the successful tactic for John, who believes that the colder the river is, the better chance there is of catching a big chub.
“You don’t get many bites, but as a result the bigger specimens aren’t spooked by you catching numbers of smaller fish,” he said.
Returning to the same swim on the River Lea, from which he recently banked one of the biggest chub of the season, Keith Little has helped himself to another specimen - this time of 7lb 7oz.
Fishing a short afternoon session, the 67-year-old retired lorry driver presented a double 10mm halibut pellet hookbait with a PVA bag of freebies close a set of snags, beating his quarry with a 15lb braided hooklink and a size 10 Drennan hook.