Chub are one of the few species I seem to have a bit of luck with and I’ve managed to catch a few decent fish from different rivers over the years. My first five pound chub came from the majestic Dorset Stour in the late nineties; a long, lean summer fish that I’d spotted in a deep hole that couldn’t resist a free lined piece of bread-flake. A decade later I landed my first six pound fish from the same river, again a summer fish that took a little boilie presented tight to a willow. I also spent two years on the fishers green stretch of the river Lee trying to catch a real monster of seven pounds. During my time on that special stretch of water, although I witnessed some amazing chub both in the water and on the bank, I never landed one of its giants.
My favourite river for a bit of chub chasing is the Suffolk Stour, which provides a perfect habitat for the species in the form of oxygenated weir pools, shallow, snaggy backwaters and plenty of natural cover. It’s still a river for bags of fish rather than big individuals and the real fun is experimenting with tactics to see what works on the day. I managed to get out for two short sessions on the river at the end of June, and managed a few lovely chub on a range of tactics – a perfect start to the river season.
The highlight came at dusk after I’d settled into a favourite swim. I’d flicked out a small piece of spam as close as possible to a classic holding spot by some overhanging trees. 30 quiet minutes ended abruptly as the quiver-tip swung round violently, taking me by surprise and I missed the chance. Again, the bait was cast out gently to the same spot, perhaps even closer to the snags this time and the bite was almost instantaneous. The fight was memorable and initially I thought I may have hooked a rouge carp, but eventually I drew a deep, stocky chub over the net. Upon lifting him onto the mat, I knew he was a very good fish for the river. At five pounds and three ounces, he was not only a very good fish but my first ‘five’ from the Stour and my best chub in nearly 20 years of fishing the river.