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Martin James award-winning fisherman consultant,broadcaster,writer


Tuesday 14th Feb Ribble Chub on the Feed

With the weather forecast starting to look better with a rise in the air temperatures, the River Ribble carrying an extra 18 inches of fresh water I reckon there was a good chance of catching some chub. Sadly the rise in the water level wasn't caused by warm rain, but mainly the run off from the snow on the hills, I chose to fish the last couple of hours of daylight. The water temperature was 40 degrees F up from 36 degrees F on Sunday.

I baited three swims with mashed bread laced with Pallatrax cheese flavour, adding some Scopex squabs in the feed. Tackle was a 11'6" Avon action rod, an old but excellent 1953 Mitchell 300 fitted with a roller bale arm loaded with 12 lb braid to which I tied on a Pallatrax size 4 barbless hook with a Polomar knot, I find this knot perfect when using braid. I used a small swivel stopped between two leger stops about 6 inches from the hook. Coming off the swivel was a few inches of line to which I attached three LG shot.

I attached two squabs with the aid of a small latex band. Having Multiple Sclerosis I find it difficult to band a pellets to the shank of the hook. Thankfully Kevin at Tadley Angling came up with the answer. The pellet bander. If you have arthritic hands or suffer from similar problems I can recommend this small tackle item. Having cast out I worked the tackle down the swim, within minutes I had my first chub in the net a nice fish around 4lbs. After walking upstream about 50 yards I released the fish.

Back in my swim I put in a handful of mash and half a dozen squabs, This time I cast an extra three or four feet downstream as I expected the fish to drop back. I was spot on no sooner had the tackle settled I had another fish. Again a fish around the 4lbs mark. This was quickly followed by 2 more fish of similar size. It was time to rest the swim, I was also ready for a fresh brew. After putting in some mash with a few squabs, I walked downstream to the cabin. On the way I met another member Paul who had been grayling fishing ,Paul said "I've had a good fish today of 2lb 4 ounces". Now that's a serious grayling.

Tea finished and back in my swim I fished for thirty minutes without a sign of a fish.Time to move, I headed upstream to the big alder tree, After putting in some mash with some squabs I rested the swim for about fifteen minutes. Within a minute of casting I had a good chub which took some line off the reel, it gave a good display before I was able to draw it over the net. "That's a good one I said to myself" Unhooking the fish I rested it in the net while I zeroed the sales, Having placed the fish in a large plastic bag I hooked it on the scales. The needle settled at 5lb 4 ounces. A quick picture then I walked upstream about 50 yards before releasing the chub. At dusk with a tricky walk through the wood I packed up having had 8 good fish. Tomorrow I will be back on another beat hoping the water temperature with have gone up a degree or more.

Martin James Fishing