After the heavy rain of a couple of weeks ago, which was much needed to clear out the dead growth and debris from the rivers, I was itching to break out the chubbing gear and put my new Korum Feeder reel to the test! I managed to sneak out for a few hours on my local river Derwent though it was still carrying a little bit too much water, and was full of dead leaves making it hard work, one small chub saved the blank.
A week later, and the plan was to head further afield. The van was loaded, and I made my way south, arriving on the bank an hour and a half later just as the light was beginning to dwindle. My standard approach to my chub fishing is to travel light and remain mobile, one rod, a net and bankstick plus my Supa Lite chair; everything else is contained in my rucksack. Between swims I pop the bankstick and my bait in the chair so I can be fishing again very quickly. My bait for chubbing after dark is usually cheese paste made from ready-made pastry mix, Stilton and Sonubaits cheese and garlic flavour shaker. Another essential consideration is bite indication and nothing beats a quiver tip, of course you need to make the tip visible in the darkness and the Korum Starlight holders do the job perfectly, but you need to use a pair to make them most effective.
I wandered along the stretch dropping a few pieces of cheese paste in each likely looking swim before walking back to the first spot to make my first cast. I had loaded the 4000-size reel with the new Feeder Line in 8lb to which I tied a link Leger rig using the small running rig kit, I add and remove swan shot to suit the requirements of each swim.
Two hours later and in my third spot the curve in the tip suddenly relaxed before repeatedly tapping, indicating that a fish had dislodged the swan shots and they were bouncing downstream after it. A swift strike saw the rod develop a healthy bend and I used the Feeder reel’s cranking power to haul the chub away from the snaggy far bank and into the net. It was a quite modest specimen but I never tire of catching chub regardless of size.
By 8pm the grass was crisp, a bitterly cold easterly breeze had persuaded me to add my extra clothing and gloves, the net now resembled a tennis racket and my waterproofs were showing signs of frost! One advantage of roving in cold conditions is that the walk between swims warms you up and I was certainly covering some ground. By 10.30pm I was in my eighth spot and was starting to think that I'd had my one and only chance. I was getting some small indication on the tip that I put down to small fish then suddenly a positive bite developed and I was in. Stalemate ensued for a few seconds as the fish tried to retreat into the woodwork and then the pressure took its toll and I drew the chub to the waiting net, defrosting in the margins. On lifting the mesh, I started to think this was quite a weighty specimen and I wasn't wrong when the scales gave a personal best equaling weight of 6lb 7ozs, proof indeed that effort equals reward.