Ben Fairweather’s 7lb 11oz chub

Britain’s rivers continue their excellent run of early season form, with some remarkable specimens being caught across the country.

Ben Fairweather kicked things off on the legendary Hampshire Avon, with an immense 7lb 11oz chub.

Targeting the stretch at Winkton, persistence paid off for the Bournemouth-based boat builder, who fished six consecutive evening sessions before landing the fish.

“After a few reconnaissance trips I decided to concentrate my efforts on a particular swim that had produced during the winter for me” said Ben.

“The second session saw me bank my first chub of the new season, which weighed 4lb, but with more activity after dark I was convinced there were bigger fish about.

“The next three sessions resulted in blanks, but the next evening I returned and introduced some free offerings of hemp, pellets and a handful of my chosen hookbait via a bait-dropper.”

Just after 10pm Ben’s rod tip banged round and he was into a hard fighting fish.

When it was finally netted, he couldn’t believe his eyes:

“I was in disbelief of what I was seeing, and when I lifted the net my hands and knees started shaking.”

Ben’s chub fell to a single homemade boilie.