This weekend saw the beginning of my quest for a PB chub, the target for the winter is a 7lb fish, but this weekend was all about exploring new water while it is shallow and clear. A ridiculously early start saw me and James on the first stretch just after dawn.
After walking the stretch James spotted a chub in the weeds and landed a four pounder first cast, great stuff. I fancied a spot a bit further down, a overhanging tree with a deep pool beneath. I fed in some meat and set up a freelined bait and it wasn't long before I saw some big white lips suck in a free sample.
I cast across and the chub nailed it straight away, a good fight trying to get in the roots before my prize was in the net. A new PB of 5lb 14oz, one good meal away from a six! And thanks to James for a cracking photo. We continued fishing but the brief feeding spell was over.
I had a plan, they wouldn't be able to resist a Beetle Spin would they? I thrashed the water to a foam, on this stretch and some others - and the chub loved following it, but they wouldn't commit - I don't think it was the lure, I think the bright conditions put them off. A perch and a jack nailed it though - not the target but great fun.
As darkness approached we opted for a bait and wait approach where we'd seen chub during the day. About an hour after dark I had the only bite - a rip round - and I missed it!
Day 2 and we were back one the first stretch to watch the sunrise. We had trouble spotting the chub, James managed to stalk out another four pounder before the sun came up. Then we spotted a couple of shoals of big fish but feeding time was over. I did spot a few pike to about 16 or 17lb, I'll be back for them!
With lots of water to explore we abandoned the kit and taking advantage of the high sun and clear water went fish spotting - reference for future trips. We eventually ended up trotting some long glides with maggots but James was getting plagued by salmon parr and I was upstream in minnow territory!
As evening approached it was decision time, bait and wait for chub or explore a nearby chalk stream? I think we made the right choice, spending the last two hours of daylight trotting a little pool we must have had well over 50 grayling with a few trout mixed in - fish to just over a pound were as easy to catch as the chub were difficult! Can't wait to get back after those chub though...