Wednesday 28 February 2024

The Sweet Smell of Success

It's fair to say that apart from two lovely sessions trotting for dace, 2024 has so far been a bit crap as far as fishing goes. 

The Chubmeister General and a couple of his friends have been quietly catching chub on the upper reaches that dwarf the two to three pound fish that we usually get on the lower river. 

In addition to that, the lower river has been in semi permanent flood since mid October last year. The upper, as you'd expect, runs off quicker and conditions are often perfect while further downstream they're hopeless.

Yesterday I sacked work off early and headed deep in to Suffolk, to the upper reaches in search of a big chub. When I arrived, before getting the gear out, I looked over the bridge and checked out the river.

It looked perfect and I hurried off to the first swim, a classic holding area with near bank snag and a nice crease.  After nabbing a three pounder on lobworms I had a recce upstream before returning to the same swim.

After ten minutes the newly purchased (twenty five year old) Drennan Super Feeder quiver trembled, I struck and all hell let loose, as a very heavy fish crashed about heading for the near bank reeds. Dont they always ?

I was thankful for the 8lb line and had the clutch done right up, as I expected this reaction and the last thing I wanted was to give any ground. In no more than about twenty seconds the chub was in the net. I gazed down at it as it lay in the water, it looked massive compared to the three pounder caught earlier. 

I know that "fish on the net" photos are a bit boring and rarely do the fish justice, but I just can't be bothered with self takes any more. Anyway, it just reminds me what a ruddy faced, scruffy old bloke I look.

It went 5lb 4oz and I was chuffed to say the least.

Several other areas were fished without further action but I was almost certain I'd get another fish. Settling into a pre baited swim a flake/cheese paste combo was flicked out with a single swan shot.

Another slow, confident bite and after striking the rod hooped right round as I brutally tried to keep the fish from the snags.

Again, it was in the net in a few seconds and it looked massive.

After repeating "Oh my god, that's fecking huge" about twenty times I recovered some kind of sanity and put the chub on the scales. They hovered just under the 6lb mark and I settled on 5lb 15oz. 

It really isn't about what the scales say though is it ? It's that feeling, when the fish looks so big or its so prized, that you're shaking and reduced to a babbling wreck, like you've done every time something fantastic is caught, since you were a kid.

I drove home with that warm glow you get after a cracking day on the riverbank, endlessly replaying the days events. 


  1. As you say there is something about the frame on a big chub, they are just awe inspiring, a cracker that !!

  2. What's that bait bucket you have btw ? looks just what I need