… fishing that is.
Rewind to 1988 and yours truly made the move from Gods own Country down to sunny Essex. Now while Essex has some outstanding stillwaters it would be fair to say that it is not blessed with big, fast flowing rivers such as the Trent which was my old stomping ground. Luckily the River Chelmer was just a 10 minute walk from my new house.
One of the key things with Chub fishing is location, after all if they aren’t there you won’t catch them. So I embarked on a month long reconnaissance mission ahead of the rivers opening on the glorious 16th June. The Chub were there alright, and one or two sizeable ones too, but the river looked challenging and in places was barely fishable due to weed beds and overhanging /fallen trees, but to a Chub fisherman it was utopia. That first season I set my target for a 4lb fish.
June 16th finally arrived…..Now as any dedicated Chub angler will tell you just because you can see Chub does not mean you will catch Chub and the first session on floating bread did not quite go to plan as I was smashed up by a Carp which was well into double figures, this River obviously had a lot more going for it than I had thought. Autumn, and despite my best efforts I had only managed a dozen or so Chub over 2lb – a rethink was called for. With the nights drawing in I switched to shorter evening sessions after work, fishing well into dark and with the extra flow that the autumnal rains brought a change of bait was called for. Lob worms, luncheon meat and cheese were my choice. Fishing once, twice or three times weekly my knowledge of the river was starting to pay off and pretty soon I had my fish – 4lb 10oz of pristine Chub caught at 10pm in late October.
Mission accomplished…. But what now?
A couple of weeks later I was having a walk along the river a mile or so upstream from where I had been fishing, and as I was stood on a footbridge I spotted a Carp slap bang in the middle of the river about a foot or so deep, slowly meandering upstream towards me. It wasn’t a monster, not even double figures but a reasonable fish never the less. As it approached I suddenly did a double take….and the big white lips came in to view.
That’s no Carp it’s a ******* CHUB!
And a very VERY big one at that.
It was time to re-evaluate my target.
A 6lb Chub from the Chelmer? … Why not?