Angler's Mail|November 26, 2019
I’VE always liked fishing for all kinds of species, though once Great Ouse barbel started to come out at seriously big weights, my winter river fishing tended to be much more biased towards targeting them.
When otters reduced the Great Ouse big barbel population, chub become my main target.
I try to fish as often as I can. I’m chairman of the Predation Action Group, which takes up a fair amount of my time, along with various sponsorship duties that I’m involved in.
Being a consultant for Dynamite, Carp Spirit and Enterprise Tackle also takes up time that would otherwise be spent fishing. However, I am semi-retired from my job, working in IT, so I have more opportunities to go fishing now than I did when I was working every day.
River chub can be targeted with a wide variety of methods, and you can always rely on them to feed at some point in a 24-hour period, regardless of conditions and time of year. Believe me, fishing for them never gets boring.
Chub can be greedy at times, feeding boldly, but at other times they display an amount of caution bordering on paranoia, so they’re always an intriguing challenge.
I like fishing stretches that have plenty of character and intimacy, usually the upper and middle reaches of a river, always looking for a spot that may offer a personal best fish.
My favoured stretches contain very few really big chub, so the fishing is a real challenge.
My chub and barbel fishing tends to take place in autumn and winter, when the fish are in their best condition, as I prefer to switch to other species in summer.
The amount of colour in the water in the colder months often means that I’m not able to spot individual fish. I will still walk along the riverbank though, baiting any swims that I like the look of.
While the method that I’m going to describe has become my standard chub approach on most of the rivers that I fish nowadays, it’s also effective at catching any barbel that are in the same stretch.
Big barbel are a rare, precious commodity on the rivers that I like to fish, so it is paramount that I do all that I can to ensure that I land any that I’m lucky enough to hook.
Always on the move
Over the past few years I’ve developed a more mobile approach, preferring to use just one rod.
I like to keep my rigs as simple as possible, though they must be versatile enough for me to present a bait in a wide variety of swims.
I usually start by fishing a swim in mid-to-late afternoon, trickling a handful of bait into a few likely swims en-route, which I might fish later that night or on a future trip.
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November 26, 2019