8lb specimen chub head a glut of heavyweight fish from across the country

One of the most prolific weeks in chub fishing history, seeing the capture of two 8lb-plus fish and several 7lb specimens, proved that there has never been a better time to beat your personal best for the species.

This was definitely the case for a trio of carp anglers who decided to spend a few days ‘chubbing’ on the Hampshire Avon. Switching to the river because all of their local waters were frozen, the anglers from Ringwood, Hampshire, managed an amazing haul of specimens, with featured fish weighing 8lb 2oz and 7lb 4oz, along with no less than five fish over the 6lb mark.

Catching the big eight was Mick Millborrow who hadn’t cast a line on the river for over 30 years until his first trot of a fl oat with a maggot hookbait, which produced the 8lb 2oz monster - a new personal best for the specimen hunter, and what is believed to be the river’s biggest specimen in over five years.

The most prolific angler of the group, though, was Richie Martin – also from Ringwood – who stuck to a game plan of floatfishing maggots and a little-and-often trickle approach to feeding, the result of which were chub of 7lb 4oz, 6lb 14oz, 6lb 10oz and 6lb, along with several smaller fish.

Last, but certainly not least, was Mike Fugar, who also used a fl oat rig with 4lb line and a size 16 hook to win the battle, with specimens topping the scales at 6lb 12 oz and 6lb 8oz.

“It was what fishing is all about,” Richie told AT. “We were all doing something a bit different to our normal style of fishing and shared an experience and catches that we’ll remember for the rest of our lives.

And what makes it even more special is that our biggest fish came from an area that isn’t one of the known hotspots.”

Another river angler who took advantage of the red-hot chub conditions this week was Simon Diblin, who showed the importance of taking a selection of hookbaits by smashing his personal best twice in one session, topped off with a magnificent 8lb 1oz specimen.

After failing to tempt any of his original target, the River Lea’s specimen perch, the all-rounder from Harlow, Essex, moved on to a swim at Carthagena Weir in search of big chub.

Finding the fish a bit elusive to start with, a quick change of bait to an inch section of the Hot & Spicy Peperami worked like magic as a new personal best of 5lb 8oz soon came to the net, quickly followed by the huge specimen.

“I tried fishing a bread feeder with a piece of flake on the hook and I got a few finicky plucks on standard meat, but I’m so glad I put a stick of Peperami in my bag because the others just weren’t working,” said Simon, who presented his legered bait on a size 10 hook to a braid hooklength.

“A lot of my time is spent carping, so the lightest rod I had for chubbing had a test curve of 2lb, which seemed a bit heavy,” Simon continued, “I’m glad I had the extra beef in the end though, because this fish had so much power.”