Match fishing tactic produces huge River Lea chub

The South East’s River Lea has proved itself as one of the most prolific running waters in the country this week, throwing up two huge fish of different species.

Steve Fenton drew on past matchfishing experience to bank the joint biggest chub of the year from the river – a chunky specimen that topped the scales at a huge 8lb 8oz.

Targeting the tough Fishers Green stretch of the river on the Essex/Herts border, the Hertfordshire specimen hunter used a pouchful of maggots to coax the resident chub into feeding, despite river temperatures recovering from an all-time low.

This approach did the trick, with a homemade cheesepaste hookbait wrapped around a hair-rigged cork ball tempting the specimen.

The fish smashed his previous best for the species by 14oz, as well as equalling the biggest chub of the season so far.

“I used to be a keen match angler, and the introduction of a few maggots is a great way to get an indication if there’s anything in your swim because you will often get a few small knocks as the fish respond to the maggots,” Steve told Angling Times.

“This worked like magic because I had one quick pull on the tip, so I re-cast and five minutes later I hooked into the chub.”

“I knew the chub was over 7lb when I got it in the net, but it wasn’t until I put it on the scales that I realised exactly what I’d caught. It just goes to show that everything you learn in fishing comes in useful, even if it’s not from the same discipline.”

Steve landed it on a leger rig made with 7lb fluorocarbon hooklength and a size 12 hook.