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  1. #1

    Default Chub and the future

    This one is primarily aimed at Whitty ... but I'd welcome other observations from around the country!

    I'll start at the end: having not caught a chub between 2 oz and 3 pounds plus on the Great Ouse in about 25 years (yes - really!! well maybe one or two ...) I've had two match catches with several around the pound mark this year. Back in January at Kempston, then this last weekend at Willington (so either side of Bedford).
    Are these signs of a chub revival?

    When I started fishing more seriously, early 80s on the Great Ouse, Ole Rubber Lips was the staple ... by the mid 80s the stamp was between 1.8 and 2 pounds .... and they just kept on growing. Over the years larger but fewer fish. Some years lots of tiny fry, but no real succession of "barrels" and "pups". By the mid 90s it was big chub or bust (especially in the winter).
    According to google ... life expectancy is 22 years - I reckon some of the Ouse fish could be even older than that (given lack of succession evidence).

    Anyway - from my matchfishing point of view
    a) I've seen the same pattern on many midlands rivers (Thames, Warks Avon, Severn, Trent, even the Wye)
    b) it's not great for long term sustainability of chub as a target species.

    have any of you observed similar?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    The Nene Valley
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    12,200

    Default Re: Chub and the future

    Not sure which part of the Gt Ouse you fish but there are plenty of chub to the stretches that i fish - the thing is I don't fish it too often as it's a 20 minute drive and I have better river/stream fishing on my doorstep which are teaming with chub of all sizes from little finger size to 6lb+ (probably bigger but not caught by me).
    That's about as big as a fish that big gets
    If you understand what you’re doing, you’re not learning anything................

  3. #3

    Default Re: Chub and the future

    Hiya Barbelboi

    I grew up in Odell and fish it (infrequently now) from Newport Pagnell down to Bedford.
    It's not just the Ouse though, barring a handful of stretches all of those rivers I've named seem to have followed the same pattern (maybe just the match fishing stretches that I fish?)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    The Nene Valley
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    12,200

    Default Re: Chub and the future

    Possibly the main difference then is that I tend to fish where, in most cases, no one else fishes....

    To give you an example a couple of weeks ago I fished (which was) a shallow gravel dace swim where a back water meets the main river that I hadn't fished for over a year. Whereas before I'd take some 30-40 dace in a three hour session on the stick, along with a couple of chub and the odd roach and perch this has now changed. The stretch is alive with chublets (8-14 oz (ish)) along with some larger chub and in some 3 hours took some 40-50+chublets to around 15 dace.
    That's about as big as a fish that big gets
    If you understand what you’re doing, you’re not learning anything................

  5. #5

    Default Re: Chub and the future

    I love fishing for chub, and I thought I'd be catching plenty when I moved down to Nottingham. But aside from some big old chub that get caught in darkness by dedicated anglers, they're largely absent. The Trent nearby is teeming with roach,dace and perch, but I last caught a chub, summer chublets aside, about 10 years ago. There are some chub hotspots here and there, but the fish are not widespread. The lower Derwent was a match fishing mecca once, with huge numbers of chub ( and roach,too) but all I can catch from it now are grayling and a few small dace. I used to go over to the Dove quite often, but after a run of visits where only grayling and trout were caught, I gave up on it. In the winter, I've ended up in recent years fishing little tributaries, brooks and ditches in order to catch the odd chub here and there. Oddly, they seem to support chub where the main rivers don't. This is great fun, but you're only likely to catch one from a swim, and there might only be a swim that might hold one every hundred yards. It's good to hear some people find them in abundance locally. I'd be happy to see some more around here, and wonder why they've declined so markedly.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Chub and the future

    Fish numbers dropping in River Trent and River Dove, anglers say - Derbyshire Live

    You might find this interesting, certainly made think it wasn't just me.
    A seemingly very knowledgeable guy I met on the bank recently said he believed Chub grow to a size when they can be come the fish of choice for Cormorants.
    Well I think there could be may explanation to this mystery but in the interim I'm all for blaming them dreaded birds.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Chub and the future

    Only chub I've been catching on the upper Trent for the last few seasons have been fish up to 4-6 oz or over 3lb. Never seen so many jacks and very big perch in the river. Similar on the Avon around Stratford but there are a few 2lbers about.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    North Yorkshire.
    Posts
    10,721

    Default Re: Chub and the future

    I think that many rivers are in a similar boat, and not just for chub, barbel are certainly similar. Dwindling numbers of bigger fish, varying numbers of small fish (not that anglers generally see small barbel), until they get to a certain size, which then seem to disappear.

    Exactly how a river appears seems to depend on where a particular river is on this kind of cycle. Heaven help any river that has absolutely nothing coming through the middling sizes to replace the ageing big fish. If that happens, you end up with the reported disaster that the Great Ouse has been for barbel.

    For whatever reasons, natural recruitment in rivers seems to be very hit and miss, and mostly miss. Many rivers seem to have multiple year classes of fish entirely missing. Whilst this was, to an extent, ever thus, I've never seen it quite so obvious in so many rivers.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    South East England
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    4,024

    Default Re: Chub and the future

    Chub are a bit of mystery to me. A mate and I fished one river about 20 years ago on a regular basis. We caught lots of chub up to a lb. We were looking forward to them getting bigger, and then they just disappeared. I have not caught a chub in the last two or three years and in ever-decreasing numbers before that. It’s not pollution, I am fairly sure of that, would have heard about it.
    The other thing with chub, for quite a few years now there seems to have been a lot of chub lets about, I see them every year in another river I fish and often reported in the HDYGO thread and everyone states looks good for the future of chub fishing, but it doesn’t seem to be the case or, at least it doesn’t seem to be.
    I think the comment about cormorants could be something to do with it and you could add otters as well, or at least part of the reason but I only have cormarants here, no otters yet.
    Also, tench have disappeared from the river, used to catch a few but, not for the last 10 years or so, Roach and Bream seem to be doing OKish and I caught a carp in it a few weeks ago so, it’s not a general across all species thing.
    Last edited by markg; 08-10-2019 at 04:11.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Kent
    Posts
    4,571

    Default Re: Chub and the future

    Reading these posts makes me realise how lucky I am to have a few decent chub in my local Stour, however, they are under threat with fish traps and long lines being used recently by a group of EE’s. The river needs more anglers fishing (legally) to police the stretch.

    I have a few maggots in the fridge, think I’ll pop along there for an hour or two.

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