Arriving at the river at mid morning we took a leisurely stroll to the bottom stretch we planned to fish. This bit off river was a chub fisherman's paradise and was full of over hanging trees and bends, deep mysterious holes, fast shallow runs, and every swim at least looked good for a bite or two. One swim in particular looked like a banker more than the others and this is where I planned my first prong of attack. As you can see from the accompanying picture below it looked absolutely perfect and if I couldn't catch a fish from that swim I might as well give up. Just looking at that swim gave me confidence. It just felt 'right' if you know what I mean, and that was one feeling I haven't had for a long time. The water had a nice bit of color so I decided on cheese paste as bait. No self respecting chub resist a bit of cheese can they?
If i couldn't catch in this swim I deserved to blank again!
I started off baiting the swim by flicking out a dozen thumbnail sized pieces of my new cheese paste concoction into the flow. This paste is certainly different from the normal cheese paste I've used in the past and its always a risk trying something new, A bait is all very well in theory but its only when you actually catch on it you can mentally relax knowing that your bait does indeed work. Its another thing that you don't have to worry about.
A classic bait, for a classic looking chub swim - cheese paste
I once again tackle up with my trusty Free Spirit Specialist Advanced, 11ft, 1lb 2oz rod, Shimano 4010 GTM, 6lb Fox Steel main line, and a size 6 Kamasan B983 Wide Gape Specialist hook. I've used this combination of tackle for a while now and its one I'm very happy with. Later on in the blog I'll go into detail about the rigs I use and why, but for now lets get back to the fishing.
Probably the best reel I've ever used for chubbing - Shimano 4010 GTM
After the initial baiting with the small pieces of cheese paste, and while I tackled up roughly half an hour had passed by but I usually leave it for an hour. I like to leave it a while after baiting up as I feel this gives the fish much needed confidence. I see far too many anglers simply just casting in and expecting to get a bite. Ok, I'll admit somethings this strategy can pay off but by giving those fish a small taster of what's to come they will gain confidence and actively search it out, so next time your out chubbing on your local river give it a go.
Although conditions today were far from perfect (bright sun is hardly ideal chub) the river looked in good trim, especially as we had some rain the night before that had tinged the water nicely, but even though my expectations for a bite were high, I knew that the chub would probably be seeking some kind of cover with the way things were. I baited my hook a with small blob of paste and deftly flicked it out into the flow where it settled nicely. After about ten or fifteen minutes I had a small pluck on the the quiver following by a lovely smooth pull round bite. It couldn't have been any more classic. Text book stuff indeed!
As soon as the chub was hooked immediately shot upstream and tried to get me into some far side rushes. I saw a big golden flash as it tried to free itself of the hook, then it suddenly came quietly to the surface without even so much as another flick of it tail, and before I knew it its big white lips saw it wallowing on the surface in front of me waiting to be scooped out into the awaiting landing net. It was quite possibly the shortest fight I've ever experienced from a big chub. I soon hoisted it out and knew it was a big four, possibly even a five. I was totally overwhelmed at this point with happiness. Bear in mind here I haven't had a fish for months so to even catch a small one would have been a blessing but to catch a big one was something special.
Quickly out with the scales and forceps, the chub was unhooked with the minimum of fuss, then into the weigh sling. The fish looked long and lean to me so I wasn't sure it would make a five. It still had plenty of room to grow out and hadn't developed the pot bellied look of a true winter chub. With the fish now safely ensconced in the weight sling it was time to weigh my hard fought prize. My hands were shaking again as I hoisted it aloft as the dial read a very, very pleasing 5lb 1oz fish. I really couldn't believe that after all those months of trying I'd bagged a big chub on my first cast, in a new swim, on a new bait. I let out a exulted "Yes, yes, yes!" as I fist pumped the air in the truest Daniel Bryan style! I'd banished my run of blanks in style and what a way to open my winter chubbing account on the Waveney this season.....