The tail of three fives.

Rick123

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In the 1970/1980s I not only had my roach head on but a chub head too. I had a good friend that owned an old Mill house on the river Wensum, that I got to fish it as often as I could. The Mill at the time held some big fish of all species, roach over two pounds, chub over five, good perch, big dace, and a twenty pound pike or two. I honestly cannot remember the river ever being too low in those days, maybe abstraction was in its infancy?

Several previous trips to the Mill had produced some nice big roach, and the odd big chub to 5lb+ trotting bread-flake or tip fishing with worm or bread. But I really fancied a big chub that hung out at the end of the run, under a large overgrown bush. This bush, some decade later, was where the once record Wensum barbel was taken from, it became a syndicate would you believe. So I set about dropping a bit of bait in for several days prior to fishing. I knew the spot was fished by others, but back then I was self-employed and could fish at odd times. The swim had been scoured out by fish over the years, and during the closed season you could see, roach barbel chub and dace moving in and out feeding, disappearing into the deeper part and re-emerging again further down the swim. The barbel were modest, I think 7.8 lb was my best then, still a decent fish in the 80s though.

This day I'd decided to fish until late, starting by baiting with a little mashed bread. My normal chub out-fit was a 11.6 rod with six pound line and size 6 hook, a two swan shot ledger that I knew would just move around to stop under the bush. An old Fairy bottle top with an isotope fitted was the bobbin. As the darkness took over I remember it got very warm for a winter evening, it was windy too, but I could see a light in the Mill House for a little comfort. I'd taken two flasks of coffee and had just opened the first one when the little bobbin slowly reached the rod eye. To be honest it was so slow I was unsure it was a fish taking. But after a little scrap I good chub was settled into the keep net some 20 yards above me. Chub, are the only fish I keep if fishing for a bag of fish. I just think somehow they tell the others you're about, crazy maybe but? I'd have been more than happy with that one fish, honest, but when the bobbin went a second time a few hours later, and another big fish was staked out, I knew I'd have to stay until morning now for some decent pictures. ( In those days, you had to prove to everyone that you had caught, nowadays if people don't believe me I don't give a fig.) Just on dawn I had another fast take that I almost missed as I was so bloody tired not sleeping, sitting all night on a little stool. I knew this fish was special maybe my biggest to date, so on first light I awoke my Mill house friend and phoned Mr John Wilson, who kindly came down to take some pictures for me, before going to work and opening the shop a little late that day. Many may not know but John was a very capable semi professional photographer, and used a Medium format camera, so all his shots looked amazing. We weighted three big chub that early morning, all over 5lb and one special fish over 6lb.

In remembrance of my friend John Wilson MBE.
 

Zerkalo

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Lovely Chub! My PB is bang on the nose 5lb. Also interesting about putting them back! I get the same feeling that they will spook a shoal.
 

NoCarpPlease

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Aye ... proper big lumps, lovely photo and nice story

Echo Squimp's comment - huge for that era as well

i had my first 5 in about 1990 on the Nene at Milton Ferry - on a fine wire 20 fishing for roach ... squeaky bum time!
just over a decade later, on the Great Ouse at Sharnbrook - I had a 6:1, a 6:0 and 5:15 in a match on the waggler ... definitely my best quality bag.
From that same swim I've weighed a 7:3 for a fellow angler about 5 years ago - absolutely enormous, but not as big as the Wye fish that Dave Harrell had on his facebook page recently!
 

Silverfisher

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Brilliant fish, you’ve certainly had plenty of good fishing in your time. Exclusive access to that spot in particular sounds perfect!

I’ve only had one 5lb plus chub which came from the severn at highley. Was made more special by coming on the float as my previous PB was a more luck than judgement 4lb something from the hants Avon on the feeder.
 

Rick123

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Aye ... proper big lumps, lovely photo and nice story

Echo Squimp's comment - huge for that era as well

i had my first 5 in about 1990 on the Nene at Milton Ferry - on a fine wire 20 fishing for roach ... squeaky bum time!
just over a decade later, on the Great Ouse at Sharnbrook - I had a 6:1, a 6:0 and 5:15 in a match on the waggler ... definitely my best quality bag.
From that same swim I've weighed a 7:3 for a fellow angler about 5 years ago - absolutely enormous, but not as big as the Wye fish that Dave Harrell had on his facebook page recently!

Thanks buddy, you're right historical context is everything. I saw that fish of Dave's what a wonderful fish, do you know how it was caught? I'd love to think it was on a float, but whatever? I do remember fishing the common at Bungay (I lived in the town then) and catching some very big fish over 6lb. But one night I lost a huge chub at the net from a certain swim, I'd guess it was over seven. Not a month later an 8lb was taken from that very swim. It was all over the papers at the time, so maybe I came close, who knows NCP?
 

Silverfisher

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I do remember fishing the common at Bungay (I lived in the town then) and catching some very big fish over 6lb.
I was in Bungay last year and by the house by the bridge next to the common was the most impressive shoal of chub I’ve ever seen. Must have been a couple dozen 4-5lb fish!
 

Rick123

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My brace of chub in late 80’s 6lb 3oz and 6lb 2oz.never got that close again.

Nice fish buddy. This one got me an Angling Times payout and was my best at the time. Big chub are like buses you wait and wait, then?
 

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Me and my lad

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Brilliant fish, you’ve certainly had plenty of good fishing in your time. Exclusive access to that spot in particular sounds perfect!

I’ve only had one 5lb plus chub which came from the severn at highley. Was made more special by coming on the float as my previous PB was a more luck than judgement 4lb something from the hants Avon on the feeder.
Was this Burts stretch, the Ship Inn bit or the BAA water? I have had some big ones when fishing the Middle of those with big (for me) barbel.
 

Silverfisher

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Was this Burts stretch, the Ship Inn bit or the BAA water? I have had some big ones when fishing the Middle of those with big (for me) barbel.
Was the ship inn/burts bit just in front of the car park that’s a bit upstream of the pub.
 

tipitinmick

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I must have been match fishing all the wrong places in the 80’s. If you got a chub of 3lb most of the match anglers would come and watch you weigh it in they were that rare. I’ve been stuck on 5lb 4oz for about 5 years. Did see one dead in the edge of the Trent one day that I’d guess would have gone 7lb. That sadly was a stunning fish. What a shame. 😩
 

Rick123

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Tip. I actually took my first 5 when I was 15 years old in 1967. Try and find the picture out its black and white. I've had quite number 6lb plus now fortunately, 3 x 6 lb recently 2018 on bread flake from my local water..One the year before when fly fishing for them on the Welland near Stamford
 

Me and my lad

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Was the ship inn/burts bit just in front of the car park that’s a bit upstream of the pub.
Yep. Ship inn stretch was opposite the pub and was slower with a distinct chanel 2/3 across. Burts is the section above, I do believe there is a car park there now. This stretch was fast and shallow
 

Silverfisher

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Yep. Ship inn stretch was opposite the pub and was slower with a distinct chanel 2/3 across. Burts is the section above, I do believe there is a car park there now. This stretch was fast and shallow
Yes certainly was quite fast and quite shallow. Probably about 3-4ft where I was fishing and took 50g feeder and 5bb stick to be in control even in good September conditions.
 

Me and my lad

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Favoured area was the beach about 30 yards or so above the car park. The bigger fish used to come from the gully opposite the last cottage
 

NoCarpPlease

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I must have been match fishing all the wrong places in the 80’s. If you got a chub of 3lb most of the match anglers would come and watch you weigh it in they were that rare. I’ve been stuck on 5lb 4oz for about 5 years. Did see one dead in the edge of the Trent one day that I’d guess would have gone 7lb. That sadly was a stunning fish. What a shame. 😩
Same where I fished in the 80s - the Great Ouse above Bedford. They're MUCH bigger these days - although few and far between.
Older anglers talk about the days that Billy Lane used to fish the Great Ouse (60s) ... and anglers would walk up to see any chub weighed in they were that rare.
On the other hand I've fished the Warks Avon for 30 years and had my first 5 from it this last summer.

There are some massive fish in the Wye also, as well as loads of barrels and swingers up to a pound or so.
At the end of September I had a couple that must have been pushing 6 in a match winning bag - at a guess the average size of fish in my net that would have been 4 and a half pounds or so
Dave Harrell had one of 8 pounds on the next peg upstream (as referenced earlier in the thread) a couple of years back.
 
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