Keith Arthur’s views on the news
Bread, cheese or a big lobworm are my top three offerings
THIS week’s chub special set me thinking about my beloved Thames, and how the species is on the increase on the tidal river.
Chub were always rare, rather than unusual – I reckon I’ve caught no more than 10 in 55 years, always fishing methods that produce chub everywhere.
In my mind there are three baits worth using for big winter chub. When the water is that horrible green colour after a hard frost bread will produce a bite when all else fails. In fact it will be the only bait worth fishing most of the time. A lump of crust the size of the key-fob of your car will do, nailed to the bottom with a bomb that won’t move, a hooklength of 10cm or less and a size 2 hook, tied direct to 6lb-8lb line.
When the water is fining down after a flood, smelly cheesepaste made with Danish Blue and either breadcrumb or boilie mix is what I go for, fished on a similar rig to the crust but using a size 6 hook with a grape-sized dollop of paste.
When the river is rising or in spate nothing outfishes a lobworm. My Leeds buddy Steve Fearnley told me the way Yorkshire wormers mount their bait – snipping off the head, threading the rest of it tailfirst up the hooklength using
a baiting needle, then putting the hook in the cut end and out through the side. You may need a longer hooklength if you’re from the North West, in view of the largest lobworm ever from the UK. From a Widnes vegetable patch, it measured 16ins long!
There are some huge chub lurking in Thames, like this 7lb 15oz fish taken by Peter Cranstoun last year.