Huge haul of big chub was best session in 60 years' fishing

A float rod, a reel loaded with 3lb line and two pints of maggots were all Bill Bristow needed last week to compile his best-ever catch of big chub in over 60 years of fishing.

Wind and rain held no fears for the 68-year-old Chippenham, Wiltshire man who spent the day trotting a float on the Dorset Stour to take 17 big chub to an impressive best of 6lb 11oz.

Using just 3lb mainline and a size 20 hook baited with a single red maggot, Bill also took fish of 6lb 10oz, 6lb 1oz and 6lb, as well as four others over 5lb, for a total bag weighing more than 75lb.

He said: “I arrived at 7.30am and fed the swim for an hour, catapulting out a pinch of red maggots every few minutes, before making my initial cast. I took my first chub on about the third or fourth run down, and from then on it was steady action all day long. My second fish was a six-pounder, and so was my last ¬ it was a remarkable day and the fish just kept coming.” Bill has caught plenty of big chub from a host of venues in the past, and boasts an impressive pb of 7lb 8oz, a fish taken from the River Lea. But he ranks this latest haul as his best in six decades of angling.

“I’ve had bigger, and some great hits, including four ‘sixes’ in a day before, but to catch four sixes backed up by four fives and then nine other fish makes this the best catch of chub I’ve ever had,” he said.

Some may look at Bill’s fine tackle approach to catching big chub by design and wonder if it’s strong enough, but he was quick to dismiss such worries.

“I didn’t lose a single fish on the day. Balanced light tackle will land far bigger fish than you might think,” added Bill.