Rivers in top form for late-season chub catches

A four-year campaign for a big River Trent chub came to a stunning conclusion for Mick Tolan when he slipped his net under this impressive 6lb 12oz specimen - just one of many big examples of the species taken by the nation’s anglers this week.

Mick had been targeting the same stretch of the non-tidal river every winter for a number of years before his dedicated campaign was finally rewarded.

The Market Rasen-based angler baited a handful of swims with a beef mince and breadcrumb mix, bound together with blood, before offering a sliver of steak over the top.

“At times I thought I must be mad travelling to fish the river every week for the past four winters, but it has all come together with this fish. I’m fairly certain this is the biggest chub from a non-tidal stretch so far this season,” said Mick, who used a 2oz home-made groundbait feeder, a size 12 Korda Wide Gape hook and a 6lb hooklink.

Elsewhere, a pike fishing session on the River Swale saw Bradford’s Gary Thornton bank a surprise 6lb 15oz chub ¬ his biggest for 20 years. Shortly after suffering a dropped take, Gary connected with the fish after it picked up his legered roach deadbait.

“I assumed that I was connected to a jack pike, but then I saw it was a large chub and began praying that it didn’t fall off!” said the 55-year-old.

Kevin Stephenson beat his chub personal best twice in a week on Lincolnshire’s River Welland, topped by a  6lb 7oz fish.

Just a few days after slipping the net under one weighing 6lb 2oz, the Leicestershire-based specimen-hunter used a link legered lump of home-made cheesepaste to take his biggest chub to date, beating it with 6lb line tied straight through to a size 4 hook.

“When the water is cold it’s vital not to get stuck in one swim because the saying ‘five minutes in the right swim is worth five hours in the wrong one’ couldn’t have been  more apt in this situation,”  said Kevin.

Finally, Scott Gilfoy’s fine fine form on the Dorset Stour continued when he broke his personal best for the second time in two weeks with a 7lb 8oz chub.

Fishing a short three-hour session, Scott, from Southampton, missed a couple of bites before connecting with his prize in an area of slack water on the inside of a bend. Link-legered cheesepaste again did the trick for Scott.