(This catch was reported before the river close season came into force on March 15th 2022)
TWO quick bites just 10 minutes apart resulted in what’s believed to be the biggest brace of chub in history being landed – with a colossal combined weight of 16lb 12oz!
Alan Stagg is no stranger to catching huge fish of many species, having won the Drennan Cup back in 2015, but on an evening session on the River Thames he could never have imagined that two hours in he’d be slipping his net under chub weighing 8lb 8oz and 8lb 4oz in quick succession.
The 38-year-old, marketing manager at Gardner Tackle, told Angling Times: “I netted, unhooked and weighed the first fish, which was the larger of the two, and then rested it in the landing net while I cast the rod back out and got the camera ready.
“I was just about to lift the fish out to do a few photos when my rod went again! I could tell it was another heavy fish from the off from the way it was fighting and holding in mid-river, but never for one moment did I think it would be another ‘eight’!” he added.
Alan, whose old chub PB stood at 8lb 5oz, then faced a situation no right-thinking specimen angler would enjoy.
“I had no choice but to bundle the second fish into the net with the other, which I’d already unhooked! It was only when they were side by side in the margins that I saw the sheer length of the second, and realised it was another special fish. Shortly after photographing them I cast back out and sat down to try to take it all in, but I packed up and went home before too long!” he said.
Both chub fell to paste-wrapped boilies, fished on size 8 Talon Tip wide gape hooks and combi-rigs made from 10lb Mirage fluorocarbon with short, supple sections of soft braid near the hook. He introduced no loosefeed at all, relying instead on small PVA mesh bags of crushed boilies threaded down the hooklink prior to casting out.