Monday, 10 March 2014

Sucker Punch...

I’ve never fished deadbaits for Chub, I’ve never had to as I’ve caught hundreds on the traditional baits. Usually if I want to specifically target them then I use cheesepaste, it’s a great winter bait especially when the water is coloured. As the chub gets older and bigger I’m sure their predatory instinct kicks in and they change their feeding behaviour. I’ve caught them on lures and small deadbaits when I’ve been targeting other species so for my last session before the close season I thought I’d try some Lamprey. They are certainly equipped for it as they have a decent set of pharyngeal teeth, scientific studies of stomach contents show that crayfish and eel are part of their staple diet, to be honest a bit like my eldest son, they are greedy beggars.

Those that fish the Warwickshire Avon regularly know that a 5lb’er is a specimen and a 6lb’er a rarity. As far as I know the biggest Chub caught on the river is 8lb 1oz in 2004 by Tom McLoughlin. In the summer when the river was low and clear I spotted a shoal of Chub where a couple must have been well over 6lb, they were right clonkers. I’ve never managed to get near one though; I’ve had countless 3 and 4 pounders with my biggest 4lb 7oz. I could venture further afield than Warwickshire to rivers where bigger Chub are resident but I like fishing on my home patch and to be honest it’s difficult enough trying to find time to fish with a young family to entertain so travelling more will just reduce my fishing time.

I use two rigs for Chub, a link ledger and an inline feeder, with both set-ups I’ve found mounting the bait directly on the hook or via a hair gives similar hook-up results. I allow the bite to develop so ignore the knocks and rattles until the rod properly hoops over.

I never get bored of catching Chub where there are floating weed rafts, overhanging trees, undercut banks, areas of streamer weed or submerged roots that's where you'll find them. When hooked keeping them out of those snags is a right battle, where there is a snag they will find it. They are certainly up there for one of the best fighting coarse fish.

Last week I caught 3 decent Chub all from the same swim so a creature of habit maybe but I returned to the same swim as I knew there should be Chub in residence, this time though I decided to stay put rather than fish my usual roving approach. Being conscious it was likely to be my last session before the river close season the plan was to maximise the time the bait was in the water. I fed the swim with some Lamprey pieces and added a bait dropper full of red maggot, pellet and hemp, whilst the swim rested and trying to reduce my hangover symptoms after the previous night’s revelries in Warwick of real ale and Godfathers, I tucked in to a locally made game pie and a mug of Bovril.

The method for this morning session down the Brook was a section of Lamprey mounted directly to a size 8 Korum Xpert specimen hook tied to 5lb main line, a Preston jumbo locking shot was attached to a link-ledger secured to the line via a Drennan float stop. Rod is a 11ft 1.25lb/tc Drennan Avon Specialist series 7 with a budget but excellent Dunlop centre-pin reel. It’s a set-up that’s just right for Chub and the action of the Avon rod is ideal, you don’t want to over gun it and fish too heavy for Chub as you’re missing out on the pleasure of the characteristic fight.

So best laid plans and all that, ignore the above because the only fish I caught was a 8.5lb Pike :)


  1. Love it Mick! I was totally taken in by your approach work there. I started to recall an episode of the late Kev Green's Predators where James Crameri shows how to catch chub on lamprey (and heavy handedly smashes a landing net pole if I recall correctly!). I was just wondering how you would avoid the pike.... Then I scrolled down to the end!

    Fair play for trying though. I didn't get out at the weekend so that's me done for the season.

    1. I rarely fish for Pike and I've never used Lamprey before but you can see why it's one of the best deadbaits for them, the amount of bloody that comes out is unbelievable. I'ts not put me off trying again though :)


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