At last we had a great day’s chub fishing on the Ribble. Dave Colclough and I went to one of our usual haunts on this big, moody river and really got stuck amongst the chub.

feb01dcWe fished two swims about 30yds apart, using mashed bread in cage feeders, only this time we were armed with a new weapon, just in case the chub were up to their usual trick of giving good bites but proving extremely difficult to hook, which is exactly what happened.

The new weapon was the Drennan bread punch set. Can’t remember what they’re called but they’re green and punch bread out in pear-shapes. A nice little innovation is the that they flatten the bread really firm just where you need to slide the hook through. What we did was slide the hook through and then through again, just as you put on a piece of luncheon meat. They didn’t eliminate the missed bites problem entirely, but they sure as hell didn’t do any harm. We ended up with a double figure catch of chub each to 5lb 5oz (Dave) and 5lb 2oz (me). A catch that included a number of big ‘four’s’ and only two less than 4lb.

What also helped was that the conditions were at their best for a change. Cold, yes, as you can see from the pictures, but it had been cold for a few days, and the river level had been steady for a few days too.

feb01gmOh, and another thing. We fished from mid-morning, a deliberate change from our usual time of mid-afternoon. What had happened was that for the past few weeks we had been arriving at our usual time, having a couple of bites each, and then nothing for the remainder of the time we fished, which included several hours into darkness. I suggested to Dave that maybe the chub had changed their habits for some reason and were feeding more during the day, and that we should arrive earlier to see what happened.

And that we did. The chub fed right from the first cast, all the way through till we packed a few hours into darkness. I think we were able to keep them feeding with the mashed bread for far longer than they were willing to feed when we had arrived previously much later in the day. How much of that is coincidence I don’t know, but we’ll have more idea about that as we keep trying the different times.