Rake first, catch later

An intense raking and pre-baiting campaign paid off in style for Richard Whatley when he slipped the net under this 7lb 3oz chub.

The middle Stour specimen came from a deep glide running beside some pipe reeds - a likely looking spot for a big chub.

Richard moulded some scalded micropellets around an inline lead and fished that in conjunction with a 4ins long hooklength of 10lb coated braid.

"I hooked the fish within 30 minutes of a 6am start. It did bury itself in a few cabbage patches but with a bit of luck I managed to get it out!" said Yeovil, Somerset angler Richard.

The 49-year-old fished a homemade 10mm birdseed boilie on a size 8 hook to take the fish, which is 2oz shy of his personal best.