Maggots scoring for big chub

THE pulling power of maggots for specimen chub has been proven once again this week with two anglers catching fish over the 7lb-barrier.

Raphael Kyte demonstrated experience beyond his years when he twitched his hookbait across the bottom of a swollen River Great Ouse to bank this 7lb 11oz specimen.

The 14-year-old Northants-based schoolboy found his favourite stretch of the waterway way above its normal level, so headed to an area off the main flow where he thought the fish might be holding up.

After settling in a swim with an overhanging tree on the far bank he cast a simple maggot feeder rig towards the feature and repeated the process every 15 minutes in a bid to coax any resident fish out from the snag. And to make his triple maggot hookbait even more appealing he slowly edged his rig back towards him before reeling in.

“After about an hour I felt a very heavy fish pulling back against the rod tip,” said Raphael. “It took me about 10 minutes to get it to my own bank and even then it kept trying to bore under the rushes by my feet. I finally got the better of it and called my dad, Patrick, to come and help with the weighing. On the scales it smashed my old best of 4lb 9oz which I caught from the River Nene in the summer.”

Another angler to break the 7lb-barrier using maggot tactics was well-respected big fish hunter Alan Stagg - slipping the net under a superb 7lb 3oz specimen during a trip to a southern river.

A maggot hookbait and a PVA bag filled with around half a pint of white grubs proved to be the winning combination for the Hants-based Gardner Tackle media manager. After a spirited fight he beat his prize with a rig comprising of 10lb mainline, a coated braid hooklink and a size 12 hook. He said: “I had a feeling there was a chance of catching a decent fish from the river before the cold snap. It was a very long fish and not one which I recognise from venue.”