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Catching Big Chub on Boilies

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Catching Big Chub on Boilies

In this, his first article for FishingMagic, Peter Hayes explains why he prefers boilies for catching chub.

 

For many people the sighting and subsequent capture of their first truly big chub proves to be one of the most exhilarating and unforgettable experiences especially if they are an avid hunter of big chub like myself.

My own experience is no exception to this fact and it's here that I would like to share it with you.

Setting The Scene

I had been fishing my local stretch of the River Ivel since the start of the season when every man and his dog was down there fishing for the barbel 24/7. To say it was heavily fished was the understatement of the year. People regularly fished 2-3 day and night sessions at a time. It was getting impossible to find a swim that was vacant.

You could even tell the most popular swims by the amount of rubbish left in them! Through those long hot summer days I regularly talked to the locals who were after the barbel and heard stories, and the occasional picture, about the odd nuisance chub caught accidently. A whopper of 7lb 4oz was caught on a large chunk of meat one night and this got me thinking – what would actually happen if someone targeted the chub instead?

For some reason nearly every single one of the barbel anglers were using very light ledger rigs. Some had caught, some had not. The barbel were getting very elusive and twitchy as the weeks dragged on and as the season progressed the amount of pressure decreased.  For 3 months I slogged away using every light ledger rig and every chub bait in the book (apart from boilies).

100928chubboily_132035312.jpgWith only a few small chub to show to my credit and after a lot of blank sessions I was wondering what I had to do to get amongst the fish. While on the subject of boilies everyone told me that boilies were no good for the barbel. All of the barbel fisherman who had tried them said they had not even had a sniff on them but something had to be eating them........

Success – At Last!

After all those blank and mostly fishless, frustrating sessions, I decided to give myself a few weeks lay off to really think about what I was doing and question my sanity. My self confidence was at rock bottom and I was getting more and more disillusioned as time went on. It was at that point I decided to completely change my style and approach of chub fishing and believe me it took a great leap of faith to change from old ways

I'd been itching to get out on the bank for a while and I awoke early that morning. The weather was warm and overcast with a possibility of rain with blustery wind. The river itself looked in condition with fairly clear water with a ting of colour, almost milky.

I had this strange feeling that I was going to catch something that day - something big. Call it what you will, a premonition, a gut feeling, but one thing was for sure, no matter what I did or thought about, I couldn't shake it.

I took a leisurely walk through the town and down to the river dressed head to toe in camouflage clothing – I must have looked a strange sight to the locals. I had pre-baited two swims three hours previously with 6 bait droppers full of parti-blend, pellets, hemp and broken and whole boilies hoping any fish in the area would be waiting for more. I tackled up well down stream with my trusty Merlin centrepin reel and 1.75lb Free Spirit Specialist.

This was the first time I had ever been chub fishing without a quiver tip which at first seemed rather “alien” to me after having used one for so long. My first swim produced no bites despite fishing for two hours in a rather nice gravel patch amongst the streamer weed. Here we go again another blank becoming the norm for me. In fact the only fish I saw was a rather large carp of 20lb+ that swam past me along the far bank. Was this a sign from Isaac Walton himself? Who knows, but it certainly gave me some much needed confidence!

Around mid-day I then decided to move downstream to my second choice swim. Secretly I was hoping that someone was not in the swim as they would be reaping the benefits of my pre-baiting. As I crept quietly down the steep bank, through the polaroids I spotted two or three average sized chub hanging in the slack water made by the far bank tree. It's trailing branches and shade providing much need refuge that chub love so much.

100928the_swim_883075674.jpg

I started flicking in one or two broken boilies into the main flow so that they would wash down near the tree. Every now and then one or two of them would dart out to intercept my free offerings. It was like they treated them as sweets, each one a tasty morsel to be devoured with relish.

This feeding pattern was kept up for approximately ten minutes, each and every boilie was eaten with abandonment and each time they ate them their confidence grew – now was the time to cast.

A simple underarm flick was all that was required to land the bait around a foot from the branches. I quickly settled the rod in the rest with the line draped over my index finger and waited. As it happened I didn't have to too long. Almost immediately I had a twitch on the line, followed by an almighty thump as the top section of the rod hopped over alarmingly. The reel began to sing its sweet music as I bent into the fish.

The pressure of the fast flowing water and the close proximity of the nearby snags made the fight a memorable one. The chub knew every snag and as it quickly made for the underside of the tree I could feel the sickening grating of the branches against the line. I knew I had to get downstream of the fish so quickly grabbing the landing net I started to walk down the bank, all the while keeping the pressure on to stop the fish burrowing even further into the cover. This chub was trying every trick in the book and as I made my way downstream I saw a great big golden flash under the tree as the chub did its best to rid itself of the hook.

When I saw the flash under the tree I thought at first I had hooked a small barbel. All I knew was that I hooked something big and it was giving me the right run around. It became a tug of war between me and my unknown adversary but in the end there could be only one winner and I was so glad I had stepped up my tackle. I decided there and then I had to hold my ground and haul the thing out – sorry but no finesse here folks!

By keeping the constant pressure on I managed to swiftly extricate him from his watery home to fairly open water and then I saw it properly for the first time - I had hooked a very big chub indeed. In fact it was bigger than any chub I had hooked before and was muttering under my breath “Please don't come off, please don't come off!” After a few more attempts to get me into the nearby streamer weed the fish looked ready for the net, but at this stage I don't know who was more tired – me or the fish.

I placed the net in the water to land the fish, but the pressure from the water on the line was absolutely incredible and I had to use every bit of the rod’s power to force the fish upstream against the flow. Quickly slipping the net under the fish I bent down to pick the net up. Now normally I can pick the net up with one hand, but on this occasion I had to use both of my now trembling hands, and there she was, my prize, like a golden jewel, laying in the soft folds of the net.

100928Peter_433330333.jpgThe first thing I noticed was the immense size and length of it, it was quite simply the biggest chub I had ever caught. I was quite literally shaking all over at this point as I quickly removed the hook with the forceps and got the scales ready. The needle kept going and going and the Avons finally settled smack bang on 6lb. I even had to weight it twice more to check I wasn't dreaming but I wasn't dreaming -  I had done it!

Smashing my personal best chub by over two pounds wasn't something I hadn't even dreamed of doing any time soon. I let out an exulted “yes” as my fist punched the air and I have to say with a little embarrassment that I even had a little tear in my eye. That captured fish meant more to me than any other.  I quickly decided to pack up for the day then and there, to chance my arm for another big fish would be very lucky indeed and to be honest I was more than satisfied with what I had achieved.

I walked home in more of a dream, a daze, my feet going through the motions automatically as I plodding along the tarmac in my state of shock. Everything seemed so surreal. Did that all really just happen?

Hoping my 6lb'er wasn't a complete fluke and to prove my point even further on my second session hair rigging for chub I returned to my favourite swim 5 days later and landed four fish of 3lb, 3lb 8oz, 4lb, and 5lb 2oz all with the same rig and bait above. My results speak for themselves.........

Rigs

In most normal chubbing situations I would usually opt for a light link ledger rig, but more and more these days I'm finding myself turning to the bolt rig/boilie combo.
 
My standard chub boilie rig consists of 10lb main line, a 1½oz running lead (flat pear), with a 9” hook-link of either Drennan green or brown Dacron to a size 6 Drennan Continental Boilie hook. While many of you may feel that this is rather heavy handed for chub my particular stretch also contains large barbel of 14lb+, dense streamer weed and a myriad of snags.


In the winter the only change I would make is to replace the flat pear lead with a 2oz-3oz grippa style lead to hold the bottom better in the stronger flows.

100928the_rig_320049175.jpg

Probably one of the controversial aspects of fishing for chub is hair rigging. The majority of people would never use a hair rig for chub fishing. If you read various forums there is a definite bias against using a hair when fishing for chub. Even the experts say its a big “no-no”. I have to say that from my findings I have experienced no problems hooking chub using this method as long as the boilie is hair-rigged tightly as possible to the hook.

If you find it a problem getting the bait tightly to the hook then just wrap the hair round the hook shank a couple of times until you get it how you want. I feel this is of utmost importance as chub have a tendency to mouth a bait with their lips before picking the bait up and moving off. With the boilie hair rigged this tightly it has resulted in much more hittable bites without the presentation suffering – in fact it has improved my results dramatically.

As a comparison - when using a light fixed paternoster rig with a hook-link of around a couple of foot or less with bread, worms or cheesepaste, I would probably get on average 6 bites and only manage to hook one or two fish - if I was lucky. Since hair rigging and using a much heavier lead, I have converted this to hooking fish in 5 bites out of the 6. Bites on this rig are generally spectacular with the end of the rod being pulled round by even small fish.
 
100928another_chubPICT1347_687772008.jpgThe real test will be a full on head to head comparison on the Wensum this winter with my father. Him with his traditional baits and rigs – me with my heavy lead and boilie. Only time will tell. I have a feeling that we will both have our good days and bad days, but I know one thing – I can't wait to find out!

While purists may scowl at my methods and tactics there is no getting away from the fact that on heavily fished venues which have been extensively fished with light ledger techniques the heavy lead/boilie approach can prove to be devastating. At the end of the day if it puts more fish on the bank and is safe for the fish – I'm more than happy to us it.

Boilie Choice

Choosing the right boilie for the job is of paramount importance to me and I suggest you extensively research the boilie you intend to use before committing yourself. You could do worse than choose a company's best seller to start with, eliminating the chance of wasting valuable time fishing with a poor bait. There are even a few specialist ready made chub base mixes and flavours available these days from makers such as John Baker.

Specialist chub and barbel boilies have come on leaps and bounds in last few years and it's a sign of the times that bait company's have recognised and are now fully catering for fish other than carp. After trying a lot of different boilies from various company’s I finally went for DT Baits Pukka Fish & Oily Chicken boilies.

Why that particular boilie you ask? Well really it was for a number of reasons -

  • My thorough research indicated that it has a proven track record for big chub.
  • It's been around for years and it has been thoroughly field tested.
  • The base mix is of the highest quality.
  • A great all year round bait.
  • Most importantly of all – I have supreme confidence in this bait above all other.

At first I was a little sceptical about using a fish meal based bait that contains pure salmon oil especially in the winter. The general consensus is that the oils tends to congeal in very low water temperatures and the bait’s effectiveness is greatly curtailed. After doing a little more research I found that pure salmon oil is different from other oils in that it has a very low freezing point. Just pop some in your freezer and find out.

In my experience shelf life baits are just as good as frozen these days and for pure convenience they can't be beaten. The only time I roll my own now is when I want to put my own  “specials” together with unique attractors and flavour labels, or roll them smaller than the normal 14mm-18mm available.

When rolling my own I find meat, fish or spice flavours – or combinations of each to be most effective. Fruit flavours appear to be the least effective, at least from my own findings. The actual flavour itself is not the most important factor but rather the way it is applied and the quality of the base mix. The flavour you use merely gives your bait its own label allowing the chub to recognise it as a superior food source.

Of course even the best boilie in the world won't help you catch if the fish are not there in the first place.

Lastly a good boilie is not the be all and end all when it comes to baits -  it is just another  option alongside the more traditional chub baits such as bread, worms and cheese paste.







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Comments (34 posted):

Cliff Hatton 2 on 28/09/2010 14:07:49
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Very, very well done, Peter - an absolute stonker! I admire, too (no matter how irrationally) your decision to 'cut and run'...I know the feeling: you don't want to break the spell, do you? You're reluctant to fish on for fear of diluting the significance of your catch-of-a-lifetime! You get a lot of chub for 6lb - if you know what I mean - and I bet the bulk of that fish had you gasping in disbelief!
Matthew White on 28/09/2010 14:49:51
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Great article Peter. What type of rod do you use when fishing this rig?
geoffmaynard on 28/09/2010 18:21:37
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Do you think hook size plays an important part when fishing these baits?
bigchub on 28/09/2010 18:59:57
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Matthew - For this rig I use my Free Spirit Specialist Stepped Up, 12ft, 1.75lbtc, old style chestnut blank. You would think that a rod with a tc of this nature would be quite stiff but not so. It has really quite a sensitive tip but with plenty of power of reserve to bully a big chub and or barbel if it comes along. I also have a quiver top section for my other Free Spirit Specialist but with this style of fishing its really not needed. For my lighter chubbing work with link ledgers and the like I have a custom built Tony Fordham, 12ft, 1.25tc rod with a built in 1 1/2 ounce quiver. It really is a delightful little rod. I was glad I got rid of my old Shimano Technium Specialist and replaced it with this. Geoff - I think hook size does play an important size but a 15mm boilie with a Drennan Continental seems to sit right. I will be conducting experiments at the start of next season and throughout the summer especially with midi or mini boilies of 8mm-12mm with a size 10 hook.
Lord Paul of Sheffield on 28/09/2010 19:42:38
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Nice write up Peter The hair rig bait approach is, as you say, not the norm and maybe that's worked for you.
Jeff Woodhouse on 28/09/2010 19:59:00
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I'd like to give Peter a big vote of thanks. That's a very informative article and the pictures and rig illustration are good too. Whether you agree or disagree with Peter and his methods is irrelavent to a great degree, it's what he uses and what he has confidence in that matters. If I'm fishing for chub specifically, I'll avoid a boily prefering to use pastes wrapped around the hook with only a hint of teh point sticking out. Saying that, my biggest chub came on ........... a boily! :confused: :o My next biggest chub came on 2 casters on an 18s hook to 1½lb hooklink. I had no idea until the fish was in the net that it was so big! It does knock the wind out of you!
bigchub on 28/09/2010 20:06:10
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Thank you very much for you comments Jeff. I'd like to say a big thank you to all those who have posted comments so far and to being so receptive to my methods especially as this is my first ever article.
Neil Maidment on 28/09/2010 20:39:18
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Excellent read Peter, thank you. The impact a big chub can have is quite extraordinary, they really do look the part! A couple of years ago I returned to my "home" river on the Dorset Stour (Throop) and finally managed to get a 6-02 and then equalled my long time pb at 6-06 (a positively huge fish for the 1980's), both on the float. I've since improved that pb to 7-02, which was a bit special, even though it came on the feeder :wh, but that first one stands out as the one.
john conway (CSG - ACA) on 28/09/2010 20:46:42
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Congratulations Peter on your Chub and your article. I’m not surprised that boilies are picking up big Chub some Chub Study Group members are doing very nicely with boilies and their popularity has certainly increased over the last three or four years. Most of the CSG lads targeting chub with boilies tend to fish them on a very short hair. The rig will depend on the river and water condition. On the Ribble my boilie set up is very similar to yours Peter but with a much short hair.
Dicky (Angling Trust PAC) on 28/09/2010 20:54:32
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A very interesting article... cheers Peter :) How close do you mount the boilie to the size 6? Do you feel the large hook increases the hooking potential? Just read some of the above comments and should contextualize... If I use boilies for chub they tend to be chopped down to 6-8mm with the bait mounted nearly snug to a 14s or 12s. Also if using braid and boilie I tend to go shorter with un-coated braid (3-6 inches) on semi-fixed rig. Just interested in your thoughts :-)
bigchub on 28/09/2010 21:15:54
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Thanks you for your comments Neil, John and Dicky. John - The picture of the rig is just a generalization but I agree with you that hair rigging as tightly as possible to be the most effective. It's interesting to find out that I'm not the only person that is targeting chub with boilies and I cannot wait to do more experimenting. The hardest thing was actually making the change to this style of fishing for chub. I was actually thing of joining the CSG next year (if they would have me!) Dicky - As stated above and in my article I always mount the boilie as tightly as possible to the hook no matter what size I'm using. A size 6 is my standard size for chub no matter what bait I'm using (with the exception of maggots, casters etc), but I'm always prepared to step down sizes to an 8,10 or 12 or lower. Probably teaching granny to suck eggs here but it's also worth remembering to match the size of the bait being used. I can't say I've had any problems using the larger sizes of boiles yet.
noknot on 29/09/2010 07:02:03
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Great article Peter, thank you! Nice rig too (good Ol carp anglers);)
David Rogers 3 on 29/09/2010 09:12:15
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I'm probably being thick here, but does the Korda Shok Bead fit snugly into the Solar Run Ring to make it a semi-fixed bolt rig?
bigchub on 29/09/2010 10:55:54
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No David the lead is completely free running on the line. The swivel on the end of the hooklink fits snugly into one end of the Shok bead.
David Rogers 3 on 29/09/2010 11:53:02
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Isn't a bolt rig with a completely free running lead not really a bolt rig, then?
Mark Wintle on 29/09/2010 12:00:10
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I did a lot of fishing for big (and heavily fished for) Throop chub with boilies 5 years ago. Never got close to hitting 5 out of 6 bites but you'd hit them any way in the end. I used as light a link leger as possible with longer tails. Some top anglers found them very hard work on boilies, others have persevered and done well. Wintle's World of Angling - Quest for a 5-16 Chub
Sean Meeghan on 29/09/2010 12:45:21
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Nice one Peter! That first 6lber is an unforgettable experience isn't it - although I must declare that my first 6 was a proper un, caught on quiver tipped flake;) It will be interesting to see what happens when the chub start to wise up to boilies. I must admit that I no longer use a hair when chub fishing and prefer instead to band a bait on to the hook. In fact I got a 4lb 15.5oz :( chub on Saturday (thanks for the photo Matt!) by switching to a banded SBS hooker. I tend to fish very short hairs anyway, but even with these I was getting inconclusive pulls. Matt White and Mick Chapman who were also there got lots of pulls on the hair without hooking any whilst I got 2 fish on the banded baits. Food for thought!
MarkTodd on 29/09/2010 13:24:07
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Isn't a bolt rig with a completely free running lead not really a bolt rig, then? On a river, if the lead is heavy enough not to move when the fish picks up the bait it is a bolt rig. The flow of water against the main line ensures enough pressure to prick the fish. A good read, thanks Peter. I make my own boilies which are kept soft enough to side hook prefering not to hair rig for chub.
Sean Meeghan on 29/09/2010 17:53:16
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This does raise a question though. When is a hair rig not a hair rig?
bigchub on 29/09/2010 19:24:12
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Wow! Never thought that my article would receive so many comments and thoughts. Mark Wintle - Great article there Mark and very interesting to hear of other people who have had experience with this style of fishing for chub. The only reason I switched to the heavy lead and hair rig was that it was completely opposite of what every other angler was doing on my stretch. Sean - I think of a hair rig that is any bait not presented directly on the hook but thats just my point of view. You could even argue that a banded pellet or boilie is a form of hair albeit on a very very short "hair". All in all this is certainly one area of chub fishing where there is a great deal of room for experimentation not just with rigs and lengths of hairs but also with different base mixes and boilie sizes.
Dicky (Angling Trust PAC) on 29/09/2010 20:07:44
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This does raise a question though. When is a hair rig not a hair rig? A hair rig can be many things, but its action in hooking a fish is dramatically altered depending on the hooklength material used. A hair-rig tied with co-polymer, mono or fluoro produces a much more 'aggressive' (if you know what I mean?) hooking angle than braid (which pretty much draws a straight line from swivel to hook) and I exploit this when I fish for chub with small pellets or cut-down boilie. Hope that makes sense? :) ---------- Post added at 21:07 ---------- Previous post was at 20:57 ---------- Wow! Never thought that my article would receive so many comments and thoughts. It's a great article mate, that's why you've got so many comments LOL :)
Paul H on 29/09/2010 22:22:14
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A hair rig can be many things, but its action in hooking a fish is dramatically altered depending on the hooklength material used. And depending on the length of hair and hook pattern. I tend to use very similar hooklengths for chub and barbel, just scaled up or down accordingly. I'm becoming a big fan of braid, particularly Drennan Dacron, but I also use flouros a lot still in clear waters. I generally use a size 10 wide gape, short shanked hook and loop a bait-band round around the hook shank. This can then either hold a pellet in the usual fashion or be pulled through a boilie like a hair. Either way the bait is always tight to the shank. I work on the principle that a short hair doesn't seem to affect my barbel fishing and I'm not averse to catching chub when barbel fishing, or vice-versa.
Jim Crosskey 2 on 30/09/2010 12:31:04
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Peter I think it's fair to say that the reason your article is receiving a good response is because its very good!! Personally for me there's been a bit too much in the "centrepins and cane" vein on here of late for my liking, this is much more like it!! Having watched chub behaviour around a big bait I can understand how this works. I think sometimes there's what we could call the "slug" effect... occasionally when you drop a slug near to a chub, it seems like they just can't to it quick enough, the sound of it hitting the water is enough to bring them to the bait very quickly and it's engulfed without a second thought. If you could get chub feeding on bits or whole boilies confidently (as you obviously did for the big one!) then I expect they'd begin to nail these in much the same way. Like you say, it's all about the feeding pattern used before a line is even cast. However, I've also seen chub act in quite an odd way once a big bait has settled, particualarly where a group of fish is involved... in that the bait is initially treated with extreme caution, they'll swim up to a foot away from the bait and then drop back and do this several times... then they start to get closer, say six inches from the bait, but still keep dropping back.... then they start to get really agitated, getting really close, dropping, getting close.. and eventually one of them will take it. The interesting thing is that when this does finally happen, in my experience the fish will absolutely inhale the bait and frequently turn (a bit like a barbel) and swim away. I've even seen one fish try to take the bait, mouth wide open only to be shoved away by a larger member of the group which makes the final take. When they behave like this, it's definitely the case that the biggest bait will cause the biggest agitation amongst them. And also, it would make sense that a hair rig bait would work really well. At no point in the process did the bait ever get "mouthed" or tapped. So with fish behaving like this, you're either going to get a whacking great bite - or no bite at all. Like most on here I would LOVE to know how your tactics stack up against your dad's on the wensum... please please let us know. This is the time of year when pretty much all the river fishing I'll do through to the end of the season will be for chub (though unfortunately now mine gets conducted at invisible depths on the thames) so maybe I'll be popping some boilies in the bag with my cheesepaste!
bigchub on 30/09/2010 19:34:28
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Thank you for your kind comments Jim. They are very much appreciated. Its interesting (or may be more of a coincidence) that you mentioned cheesepaste at the end of your reply as I've been conduction quite a few studies with the pastry based cheesepaste recipe that we all know. I can't give too much away as a lot of the information is for another article to posted up on here some time. I'm also formulating a "winter special" boilie paste bait based on some of the interesting findings from the original cheesepaste. Watch this space!
Jim Crosskey 2 on 30/09/2010 20:33:39
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mmm, winter specials? I will indeed be watching this space! Personally, i've found the chub I fish for are happy to take pellets up until the first frosts... I've had some great results loose feeding 10mm halibuts and then using an 11mm sonu s-pellet or hali-hooker on a hair. Absolutely agree it's got to be as tight to the hair as possible, I normally achieve this by hair rigging the bait and then tying the rig (rather than tying up the rig and mounting the pellet on the hair). However, as soon as it gets a little bit colder, I switch to cheese paste directly on the hook, and feed substantially less - say two or three hookbait sized samples per bite. I did experiment with using various devices as paste mounts... either hair rigging some fake corn or using the john roberts black rubber things that you put on the hook... however, I've found that the best bites seem to come to a decent sized piece of paste with the hook completely engulfed. I had one very memorable session two seasons back when I was getting really frustrated with what I thought were chub bites on a cold november day. I tried soft pellets, flake and worms but couldn't connect with any of the pulls on the tip.... then I tried cheesepaste (having fed the odd lump on the previous two casts) and had to grab the rod to stop it being dragged in on the next bite! No strike required.... and a 5.14 chub was the culprit. This was repeated 15 minutes later when I had a 6.04, at which point I packed up and went home a very happy angler. I look forward to hearing about the rest of the season... and the top secret baits too!! tight lines Jim
MarkTodd on 30/09/2010 21:55:14
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Surely a short hair is nothing more than a bait holder as it does not do what the hair was invented to do. It was never meant to use the hooklength as the hair. This has come about with the widespread use of the knotless knot. The whole point of a hair is to allow the fish to pass a bait into it's mouth without feeling the hooklink untill it's to late. So my answer to the question "when is a hair rig not a hair rig" It's when it does not allow the bait to move completely independantly of the hook. Len Middleton and Kevin Maddocks (the inventors of the Hair rig) used the first hairs at about 3" long but stated the ideal length (for Carp) was 1-2". The material used for the hair was, well a hair which changed over to 1.5lb mono. NOT the hooklink.
Jim Crosskey 2 on 01/10/2010 08:32:23
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Fair enough Mark, though things evolve right? Part of the beauty of coarse angling for me is fitting the pieces of the puzzle together and constantly looking for an edge... and that edge or idea could be derived from any angling discipline or technique. Personally, I think the shape of the chub's (big!) gob has to be taken in to account.... with a carp, bream or barbel, the mouth is bottom facing which I believe gives a longer hair a much better chance of penetration, as the hook will hanger lower than the bait as it exits when the fish moves or blows the bait, giving it an excellent chance of hooking in the bottom lip. The Chub's mouth points forward, so if he blows the bait out, it's got every chance of coming straight out. However, if you've struck already you'll hook up as the hooks right there with the bait. However, a few sessions striking at "unmissable" bites on the above will have you straight back to the drawing board, trying to work out what to try next, and that surely is the most challenging/ rewarding aspect of chub fishing... after all, here's a decent fish which will bite in pretty much any conditions (cept maybe a full on flood)... and even though they bite, we don't always catch them right? I know that's what keeps me coming back.
MarkTodd on 01/10/2010 09:19:54
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Jim, don't get me wrong here I am in no way knocking the rig or the concept. The way Peter has described his Chubbing whilst not revolutionary is sound (and well written). I was just putting my view re hair rigs (or not). I have to say I love Chub fishing because of the things you state above. Chubbing has to be one of the most thought provoking forms of our sport today esp bigger specimens, and all the time we have people who are willing to spend there hard earned free time trying to develope new ways (and pass them on) the "evolution" will continue.
Jim Crosskey 2 on 01/10/2010 11:56:32
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"Chubbing has to be one of the most thought provoking forms of our sport today esp bigger specimens, and all the time we have people who are willing to spend there hard earned free time trying to develope new ways (and pass them on) the "evolution" will continue." I could not agree more Mark. It's also the case that certain swims seem to evolve - though this can work in two directions. I found an absolutely brilliant far bank raft follwoing the 2007 floods that had was attached to a tree branch that stuck out into the water which was completely loaded up with debris. The first two seasons i fished it, it was brilliant... then unfortunately last year it seemd to lose a lot of it's structure which I guess just rotted away and fell off and doesn't overhang anything like as far. Not quite the hotspot it was now, though still good for a decent fish. The upside of that was that because it wasn't producing as well as it had done, I decided to go and fish a gap between two permanently moored boats that I'd been meaning to try for a long time... and started catching! So I think this season, I'll spend some more time focusing on the boat swim. Though here's a weird thing - in the raft swim, they can't get enough of my cheesepaste and ignore most other baits, whereas in the boat swim I don't seem to get a touch on the paste but they'll happily take bread flake? Another thing I love about chub fishing is that it suits the amoung of time I have for fishing, which isn't much! However, I can be on the thames within 10 minutes walk from my house, catch a decent fish or two and be back home within a couple of hours.
bigchub on 02/10/2010 19:25:57
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Well just had my last session on the Ivel this afternoon (1pm-7pm) before I move house and took another three fish of - 3lb 8oz, 3lb 12oz & 5lb 10oz It was a very nice way to end my fishing there with a big chub and its certainly been a mad last couple of weeks. Certainly been the best chubbing fishing I've ever had. So to sum it up from the 15th September to 2nd October I did three sessions altogether catching eight fish - 3lb, 2 x 3lb 8oz 3lb 12oz 4lb, 5lb 2oz 5lb 10oz 6lb Bring on the Wensum!!!! :) Last chub from the Ivel of 5lb 10oz Look at the length of that!
Jeff Woodhouse on 02/10/2010 20:44:36
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I told you that article would go down well, Peter. :) :) Well done on the catches. I remember fishing with a guy about 14 years ago now, he'd fished the Thames all of his 40 years almost and one day he caught a chub of 4lbs 5ozs and was over the moon. He'd caught bigger chub from the Stour and other places, but that was the biggest Tjames chub he'd caught at that time. It's not the size that matters, it's its significance to you and to the water you are fishing, but as Peter Stone always said - they all count!
bigchub on 03/10/2010 21:33:56
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I can fully understand what you mean when you say its not the size that matters. I love catching chub of all sizes from the smallest to the largest - they are all beautiful fish to me and each time I catch one it still gets the heart racing. You mention the guy that fished the Thames for 40 years and I can fully relate this experience. My father fish a quiet backwater of Nene for approx 3 years. In that time he caught hundreds of chub and it was only on one of his last sessions that he finally managed his first 5lb'er. I think its fair to say that fish meant the world to him and after all that time he put in he thoroughly deserved it! I will be comparing his results and giving a full analysis in a forthcoming article that I'm planning.
john conway (CSG - ACA) on 04/10/2010 18:57:20
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Just as a matter of interest regarding what months boilies perform best? This was a question I asked about two years ago while playing about in the CSG data base and the results were: - June 102 July 95 Aug 86 Sept 85 Oct 84 Nov 24 Dec 10 Jan 6 Feb 4 Mar 7 This was 4llb + Chub between 1972 and 2008 Bear in mind that there is a big element of tradition in the CSG and we all like to fish with bread flake and cheese paste during the winter months, and why not, these two baits probably account for 75% of all chub caught in the CSG. However, more members are now trying boilies. When I've got time I'll give you the % re the baits that accounted for over 15,000 4lb + chub since 1972.
Jim Crosskey 2 on 05/10/2010 12:03:25
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Thanks for the stats John, that makes very interesting reading - though like you say, it may be swewed by the fact that the anglers in question stop using boilies in the winter as they feel they have a better chance with other baits... Another factor in this is convenience and possibly cost. I reckon cheesepaste must be one of the most convenient and cost effective baits out there. It also doesn't seem to be done any damage by being thawed and then refrozen... I normally find that the batch I make up round about now from a block of puff pastry, a piece of danish blue and a piece of cheddar (usually 150g each I think) will last me pretty much all season... though as previously said, I don't loose feed a great deal. That said, I suppose shelf lif boilies are even more convenient as the defrost/ freeze process is removed - and if you're only feeding a few on a session then I suppose a bag would last all season. Possibly more expensive though?


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