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Martin James award-winning fisherman consultant,broadcaster,writer


A New Personal Best Chub

I've just had a short session on the Ribble with Mike Osborne of Cumbria. Mike had 2 bites and a barbel about 5lbs I had 3 bites on sausage meat paste all missed. I then changed over to a big chunk of crust which I slowly worked down the flow. About half an hour later and several casts I felt the pressure build up on the line, I tightened into what felt like a heavy fish. Several yards of line were taken as the fish powered off downstream.
Playing the fish towards the net I thought I heard Mike say "Its a barbel" At that moment in time I felt gutted as I wasn't interested in catching small barbel. In fact Mike had asked the question "Is it a barbel?" Sinking the net low in the water I cramped on the pressure. As I was drawing the fish towards the net my headlight caught the body of a big silvery looking fish with a black tail. I quickly realised it was a huge chub. On trying to lift the net I said to Mike "Its a big six"

As Mike and I sorted out the weigh bag and scales I was shaking. I was all excited saying to Mike "It might be a personal best" Would it weigh more than 6-9-0 I thought.

We watched the scale needle go round just past the seven mark I gave a cheer, but then it settled back at 6-15-0 I shook Mike's hand and said "Yes" just an ounce off the magic seven. I seem fated not to get a seven. But I shall keep trying. Next week I have five days on the river Kennet Wasing Estates fishery where a big seven has been caught this year.

Checking my records I think this fish is the 3rd biggest from the Ribble. An 8 lb plus chub was caught by a salmon angler on a prawn at Balderstone back in the summer. In 1972 there was a report in AT that a match angler fishing a competition at Ribchester with a Liverpool angling club caught a chub of 7-2-0 The 4th fish on the list is one of 6-12-0 caught about 3 or 4 years ago.

I fished with an 11' light Avon action rod, Mitchell 300 reel 1953 vintage, 6lb line and a size 2 barbless hook with a big chunk of crust with just enough weight to allow me to bump the bait downstream. The fish was caught about 6-15pm just after a heavy rain shower as the wind dropped.
With no more salmon fishing, this stretch will get a rest and hopefully I can catch that fish when its over seven pounds. See picture by Mike Osborne in Catch of the Month

Martin James Fishing