RIVER anglers have this week enjoyed one of the best ever run in’s to the closed season with a variety of species falling from running water venues across the country.
It was the River Wensum that stole the show, however, following Steve Hunt’s capture of a new venue record chub weighing 7lb 12oz.
The Norwich-based angler had struggled to get on the bank in recent months but he capitalised on a rare outing when his new personal best fell for a blob of cheesepaste presented on a link-leger rig.
It is his sixth chub over the 7lb barrier from the Norfolk waterway during his distinguished career and he said: “It was my only bite of the day and until it came to the net I had no idea how big it was – this was the perfect way to round off the season.”
Drennan Cup holder Gareth Goldson also took advantage of the river’s great form as he banked 23 chub for a total weight of over 100lb.
The fishing was so prolific that he had to take two short breaks from banking chub to a best of 6lb 4oz, to take a trip to the shop after running out of bread twice in the space of six hours.
“Even after all of the rain that we’ve had I knew that the river would be in perfect nick for feeding mashed bread with a trotted piece of breadflake over the top,” Darren told Angling Times.
“I ended up using 12 loaves as the fish just couldn’t get enough of it,” he added.
Elsewhere, Kevin O’Kane made thousands of other specimen hunters green with envy after slipping the net under a huge 8lb 2oz chub and a 14lb 8oz barbel from the River Lea.
Amazingly both fish came within an hour, with the chub coming to the net first after it took a home-made piece of cheesepaste wrapped around a hair-rigged cork ball.
A move downstream proved key to his continued success and his second monster specimen was soon beaten after it took a boilie wrapped in homemade paste.
“The river was still pushing through but I really did fancy the chances of a fish, especially a barbel,” said Kevin.
“But to bank a brace of fish like this in an hour was out of this world and they both really put up a really great fight in the extra flow.”
Over on the Kings Weir stretch of the venue Terry Theobald was also sampling the action, trotting maggots to fool a 7lb 14oz pb chub.
During the outing – in which he also took a fish of 7lb 2oz – he fed over eight pints of maggots and presented a batch of grubs on a size 18 hook to attract bites.
But it wasn’t just the south of the country that produced huge fish as the North West’s River Goyt also found some late season form as venue expert Jerry Gleeson needed just an hour to land a brace of double figure specimens.
The fish topped the scales at 10lb 6oz and 10lb 4oz and were lured into the swim after he introduced a small bed of pellets and fished an imitation piece of bread from the Hookbait Company over the top.
In the Midlands, predator angler Dilip Sarkar had every reason to celebrate after he targeted pike on the Warwickshire Avon for the first time in 34 years and boated this 26lb 10oz specimen.
The Worcestershire-based specialist used a ‘paternostered’ roach deadbait to gain the take on a stretch that had no previous form for large examples of the species.