Dean Macey netted what he described as ‘the greatest fish of my life’ when an incredible hit on one of the UK’s toughest rivers produced the biggest chub of the season that topped the scales at 8lb 1oz.
After spending over seven years targeting chub on Hertfordshire’s River Lea the fanatical angler and former Olympic decathlete finally achieved his ambition of catching a ‘monster’ after smashing his personal best - only to return the next day and bank specimens weighing 7lb 4oz, 7lb 1oz, 6lb 11oz and 6lb 9oz.
The Guru-backed specialist from Essex got off to the perfect start when he slipped the net under a 6lb 14oz fish during the first stint on the river after he decided to ‘tweak’ his presentation by trimming down his 14-mm Mainline New Grange boilie and change his size 10 hook to a size 12.
But the best was yet to come as just an hour later Dean’s dream fish glided over the frame of his waiting landing net.
“It’s taken a lot more time and effort to catch this fish than it did to win major medals in my athletics career,” said Dean.
“I’ve banked massive fish from all over the world but none of them come close to this as it’s a childhood dream come true – I still haven’t got my head around this at all.
He used a simple running leger rig that featured a 1.5 oz lead, a 10lb Korda IQ2 Flurocarbon hooklink and his hook was nicked through the mesh of a small pva stocking filled with five crushed boilies that matched his hookbait.
“When I got home after the first evening I was trying to explain to my wife how big the eight ‘pounder’ was so I used my finger to draw the outline of the fish on our living room carpet,” Dean continued.
“I came down the stairs the next morning and it was still there and I stood there shaking my head in disbelief thinking …I’ve caught a chub that big.”
“But then to go back and take another haul like this is just crazy. I feel blessed and humbled by the experience.”