The recent spate of huge chub from rivers across the nation continued this week with the capture of the two biggest fish of the season.
The specimens, both weighing 8lb 2oz and taken by friends Mike Staines and Phil Buckingham from the famous Kings Weir stretch of the River Lea, mark the start of what is shaping to be a superb conclusion to the river season with just over three weeks remaining for anglers to catch a monster chub.
For Chub Study Group member, Mike, his capture sets a new personal best and incredibly is his 98th fish over 6lb.
After a slow afternoon with legered cheese paste, a switch to a garlic spam hookbait as darkness fell on the Herts waterway brought a change of fortunes as a 2lb barbel was soon followed by a slower more powerful take and the monster chub was on.
“When I netted this fish I didn’t think it was that big but when we put it on the scales my jaw just fell open,” said Mike.
“I’m lucky enough to live very close to the venue and have been fishing it for big chub since 1999, so this fish means a great deal.”
Like Mike, 63-year-old Phil also opted for a ‘no feed’ approach and cast a running lead rig with just a large chunk of hair-rigged meat into a swim which contained a sunken tree.
Within minutes of setting his rod on the rest, his tip wrapped round and the colossal specimen was doing its best to test his 10lb Berkley mainline, Drennan Sinklink hooklength and size 8 Korda Longshank hook.
The catch, which regulars to the venue like to call, ‘Scarflank’ thanks to its distinctive markings, smashed Phil’s personal best by 9oz.
“The river has been spot on recently so I’m glad I have made the most of it but I think there are bigger fish in this stretch of river,” he told Angling Times.
It has not just been the River Lea which has witnessed some outstanding chub sport of late as Stoke-on-Trent angler James Brookes fished a Burton Mutual Angling Association stretch of the River Dove in Staffordshire where he banked three big chub topped by a new personal best 6lb 11oz specimen on bread.
Angling guide, Kenny Parsons continued his excellent winter chub fishing form by landing a 6lb 10oz specimen from the Hampshire Avon.
It was caught using a Kamasan Black Cap feeder filled with maggots with double-red maggot on a size 20 hook.
Specimen all-rounder Justin Grapes visited the River Wensum and slipped the net under a 6lb 8oz specimen.
The 40-year-old, from Norwich, tempted the fish using a lightweight 2SSG link leger rig and bread flake on a size 6 Nash Fang Twister hook.
Lastly, Terry Woodifield used all his experience of being a bailiff on Christchurch Angling Club’s Dudsbury Golf Course stretch of Dorset’s River Stour to bank a net of big chub including a personal best 6lb 4oz specimen.
He too found legered bread flake the most successful method.
Ten Specimen Chub Venues To Try
1: River Swale, Topcliffe, N Yorks
This stretch contains lots of bends, pools and riffles holding big chub to over 6lb, huge fish for this part of the world.
Contact: Leeds DASA Membership Office 01132 249721
Prices: £50 a calendar year, Leeds DASA
2: River Ribble, Hurst Green, Whalley, Lancs
A noted area for chub where baits like bread and cheese score well for specimens to over 5lb.
Contact: Ted Carter Preston 01772 253476
Prices: £40 a year, Warrington AA
3: River Ure, Ripon, N Yorks
Anglers have been catching plenty of fish to over 5lb from ‘The Streams’ section on baits like steak or bread.
Contact: Harrogate Angling Supplies, 01423 883270
Prices: £6 from local tackle shops, Ripon PA
4: River Dove, Eggington, Derbys
James Brookes caught his 6lb 11oz fish from the Marston stretch of the river. Monks Bridge is also great for specimen chub. Try the pegs under the aqueduct.
Contact: Burton Mutual AA, 07891 126910
Prices: £65 a season, Burton Mutual AA
5: River Wensum, Hellesdon, Norfolk
The mill pool here is renowned for its big chub. Downstream of these pegs chub to over 5lb are often caught at the end of the season on baits like cheese paste.
Contact: Angling Direct, 01603 400757
Prices: Free fishing
6: River Trent, Collingham, Notts
The whole middle reaches of this river contains specimen chub but one of the hotspots is Cromwell Weir. This big pool can be targeted using a maggot feeder or leger with big baits for chub to over 7lb.
Contact: Collingham AA, 01636 892573
Prices: £5 on the bank, Collingham AA
7: River Wye, Hereford, Herefordshire
The Belmont stretch and Field Farm at Hampton Bishop are two areas known for holding big chub to over 6lb.
Contact: Woody’s Tackle, 01432 344644
Prices: £7 from woody’s tackle Hereford, Hereford DAA
8: River Thames, Oxford, Oxon
The Channel in the Botley Road area has produced some huge chub to 8lb plus in the past.
Contact: J&K Tackle, 01869 242589
Prices: £8 on the bank or £5 from shops Oxford DAA
9: Dorset Stour, Throop, Dorset
Beat 2 and the deeper water at the top of Beat 3 are home to some of the biggest chub in the country with 7lb plus fish widely distributed along its length along with the odd 8lb-plus specimen.
Contact: Ringwood Tackle, 01425 475155
Prices: £10 from Ringwood Tackle, Ringwood AA,
10: River Lea, Kings Weir, Broxbourne, Herts
Where Mike Staines, Phil Buckingham and Mark Hewett have all landed 8lb-plus chub this season. Enough said!
Contact: Kings Weir Fishery, 01992 468394
Prices: £12 a day in advance, Kings Weir Fishery
Click here for more angling news...