The River Lea has once again proved why it is regarded as one of the best chub venues in the country following the capture of two different specimens over the 7lb-barrier.
Former Drennan Cup holder Darran Goulder set a new personal best for the species for the second time in as many months with a fish of 7lb 14oz.
The Shimano-backed rod landed a fish of 7lb 3oz from the Fishers Green stretch of the Hertfordshire waterway last December but upped it again on his latest outing.
Upon his arrival at the river he was greeted with a sharp frost and high water levels and walked over a mile to find the perfect spot.
A cheespaste and worm attack in his first swim choice failed to produce any interest so he upped sticks and switched to Dynamite Baits The Crave boilies. The change proved to be a wise one, as his tip pulled round shortly after casting out.
“The fish didn’t take any line so I knew it was a chub straight away. It failed to put up much of a fight and I was soon staring down at an enormous fish,” explained Darran, who used 8lb Shimano Tribal mainline and a short braided hooklink to a size10 hook.
“A few people turned their noses up at the thought of me chub fishing in such flooded conditions but this time my hunch was spot on,” he added.
Mark Hewett equalled his personal best when he landed a 7lb 7oz specimen from the Kings Weir Fishery section of the river.
Convinced the biggest fish would be held up among a set of snags, he cast a legered lump of paste towards a lightly prebaited spot and was forced to ‘hang on for dear life’ when he received a bite. He said: “I couldn’t give it an inch otherwise I’d have lost the battle. It equals my personal best which I set a few weeks ago and I know for a fact it is a different fish.
“I returned a couple of days later using the same approach and it worked again - this time a 6lb 10oz chub was my reward.”
Hot on the heels of his capture of two barbel for over 27lb last week, Chris Mutton returned to the River Lea and banked a new pb chub of 7lb 4oz.
The Warwickshire-based all-rounder headed for a swim that had a large slack on the far bank and was littered with trees. With a hunch that the fish might be held up in the area he offered a Pallatrax Winter Almond 14mm Squab wrapped in paste on a 12 inch Green Braid hooklink and a size 10 The Hook.
“A quiet day ensued but with time ticking on I decided to re-position my bait, casting to the back of the slack water tight to the far bank,” he said. “This decision proved to be a wise one as 10 minutes later I received a few sharp pulls on the rod tip. My strike was met with a solid resistance and after a few hairy moments I slipped the net under a very nice chub.”