Hair-rigging his worm bait to the back of the hook was only a small tweak, but it paid off for Tom Stafford

by Angling Times |

“Conditions on my local river in Essex looked perfect for chub, so I headed down there at 8am with my quivertip rod, a net, a rod rest and a bucket of bait.

“With just a couple of hours’ fishing at my disposal, I could only afford 10 minutes in each swim and hoped for a quick bite on my link-legered cheesepaste and lobworm offerings, but before I knew it my time was running out and I was in my final swim without having had so much as a knock.

“It was an ‘S’ bend with an inviting slack on the far bank, and I nicked on a whole lobworm before flicking my rig out to the mark.

“After five minutes I reeled in to check the worm, only to find it chewed and covering the hook point, yet I hadn’t received any indication on my rod-tip.

“So off came the rig and I tied on a new, short hooklink incorporating a Drennan Quickstop before hair-rigging half a lobworm to the back of my size 12 hook. It’s a technique I often use when for perch, as I find it makes for better hooking efficiency.

“A couple of minutes after casting back out, there was a little judder on the tip before it smashed completely round and I connected with a strong fish that immediately tried to get into the marginal snags.

“I was adamant it wasn’t going to reach them, though, and by piling on as much pressure as I dared I steered this huge chub up to the surface and shouted ‘get in!’ as it slid over the net cord.

“It was a massive fish for my tiny local river and, at 6lb 5oz, it proved to be a new personal best into the bargain.

“I had made only a small rig change, but it made a huge difference at the eleventh hour of the session!”

Tom Stafford – 6lb 5oz chub
Tom Stafford – 6lb 5oz chub
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