“Switching to touch legering has transformed my chub catches”

Joe Royffe explains how a change in approach helped him bank this 7lb 8oz Ouse chub

“Switching to touch legering has transformed my chub catches”

by Angling Times |

“Ditching the static bolt rig approach in favour of roving with touch legering tactics has completely transformed my chub fishing over the past few seasons.

“Whereas I used to expect a fish once in every three trips, I now catch on most sessions. Feeling for the bite by holding the line has been a real eye-opener, and you quickly learn that not all knocks and twitches on the rod-tip are bits of weed and debris hitting the line – lots are fish picking up and dropping the bait. With practice, you learn when to strike immediately, and when to let a bite develop.

By holding the line, you can tell which ‘knocks’ are really fish
By holding the line, you can tell which ‘knocks’ are really fish

“The tactic came to fruition on a recent session on the Great Ouse above Bedford, where I arrived around 6pm and walked along the bank with minimal gear towards a few swims I’d lightly prebaited the weekend before.

“I’d been touch legering and after around 30 minutes, just when I was thinking about moving to the next swim, I had a sudden strong pull on the line across my fingers before the rod wrenched round!

“The fish headed for a near-bank snag, around a bend downstream to my left, and I had to slip down the bank through the reeds and nettles to gain control. By plunging the rod-tip beneath the surface and applying steady pressure, I managed to ease it away from trouble.

“I got a glimpse of the fish mid-river and could tell it was a big chub. After a few nervy head shakes and dives it rolled on the surface, and I slowly managed to tease it into the landing net.

“Pulling myself together and letting out a sigh of relief, I gazed into the mesh and saw my big, hard-won chub. On the scales it went 7lb 8oz – a superb summer chub and my second-biggest from the Great Ouse – it was an epic result!

“Staying mobile has always been pivotal to success in my chub fishing, and having less gear generally equates to more fish. The last thing you want is to be reluctant to move due to lugging unnecessary tackle around.

“Prebaiting can also tip the odds in your favour. I’ll deposit just eight 18mm milk protein boilies in each swim when I arrive for a session, and I’ll also spread 1kg of them around the areas before going home to prime them for my next trip.

“If you’re struggling to catch with a bolt rig, try touch legering. Pack light, bait a few swims, and get to grips with this deadly method.”

Joe Royffe – 7lb 8oz chub
Joe Royffe – 7lb 8oz chub
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