The river that’s emerged as arguably the UK’s best running water venue for big chub provided an incredible end-of-season finale by producing four chub over 8lb.
River Lea expert Kevin O’ Kane banked an incredible brace of specimens that topped the scales at 8lb 6oz and 8lb 1oz when he link-legered a piece of home-made cheesepaste at the famous southern waterway.
The capture was the icing on the cake of a memorable few weeks for Kevin and came hot on the heels of another 8lb-plus chub and a 14lb 8oz barbel.
The venue regular moulded his bait around two trimmed-down hair-rigged cork balls that were mounted on a rig made from 10lb braided mainline and a 6lb fluorocarbon hooklink.
“There’s no other river capable of producing two 8lb-plus chub in a short evening session,” Kevin told Angling Times.
“If I’d been anywhere else I probably would have packed away my gear after netting the first one, but this just goes to show that you can’t afford to do that here.”
Welsh specialist Terry Theobald has also been focusing his attention on the River Lea and after spending two hours trotting maggots his only bite of the trip produced an 8lb 1oz chub.
Feeding his way through four pints of grubs he eventually coaxed the huge fish out from beneath a snag and then got the better of his well-earned prize with the help of a single white maggot on a size 18 Drennan Super Spade hook.
“On this river you’re not feeding a shoal of chub, but you still have to introduce bait in the same way as if there were more than one fish competing for food because this is what it takes to get these big chub out from tight under the snags,” said Terry.
Gary Knowles also found the allure of this incredible river too hard to resist and made the long journey from his home in Cheshire worthwhile when smashed his personal best by over 1lb.
His fish also tipped the scales at 8lb 1oz and was banked using a legered piece of cheese paste moulded around a size 6 hook and placed under a snag two feet from the bank.
He said: “When I saw the fish roll mid-river I’m not ashamed to admit that I felt my knees buckle and I was really trying not to descend into sheer panic as I coaxed it over the net.”