7lb 6oz chub on a size 18!

The benefits of fining down your tackle for big winter chub were proved by Nigel Davis, who smashed his personal best with a 7lb 6oz fish – topping a list of great specimens banked this week.
A size 18 hook baited with a single maggot was enough to overcome the powerful lunges of the big chub when the specialist, from Fordingbridge, Hants, targeted a Christchurch Angling Club stretch of the famous Dorset Stour.
After a biteless morning fishing with more robust gear and breadflake on the hook, he tackled up with his favourite centrepin reel, a 15ft float rod and a 3lb 2oz mainline tied to a 1.4kg hooklink to try to bring a response from the shy-biting chub.
“As soon as I began trotting I started catching small dace, then a chub well over 4lb,” said Nigel.
“I was so lucky that I had slack water on the inside of my swim, otherwise I wouldn’t have stood a prayer of landing it because the fish was so powerful in the flow and I had to keep it out of the reeds.
“It took me a good 10 minutes to land it, and as soon as I saw it in the net I knew it was a new personal best because it had a belly like a football.”
Moving further east, Jamie Cartwright’s first cast for chub this winter resulted in a 7lb 3oz chub.
It was the only fish of a short evening session on the River Great Ouse for the former Drennan Cup winner, and fell to a CC Moore boilie wrapped in matching paste and fished in conjunction with a PVA bag of crushed baits and pellets threaded on to a coated braid hooklink.
This is the second chub over 7lb to be taken from the popular waterway so far in 2015, and the Northampton-shire Specimen Group member beat it with a size 10 hook and 10lb line.
“This was my first cast of the winter and the best start to a campaign I could have ever wished for,” said Jamie.
“Many river anglers just nick their PVA bag straight on to the hook, but this can come off and just roll downstream in a ball.
“To ensure it stays in one place and that there’s no debris caught on the hook, I thread the bag on to my hooklink instead.”