Canal Chub Save The Day

Drennan Oxford’s Ian Young managed a few bonus chub to win an ultra-tough canal match last week.


The going was tough on the Grand Union Canal at Marsworth, with just 2lb 9oz of gudgeon needed for 2nd place, but Ian managed a clear win with 9lb of chub. Here’s his account of the day:

Sunday’s match on the Grand Union at Marsworth was the first in a series of opens Dave ‘Down The Middle’ Stoddard is running on the Tring Anglers venues on the main Grand Union, Aylesbury and Wendover arms to raise money for the Tring Anglers fish fund. There was 19 on the first match, including names like Simon Wilsmore, Graham Smith, Mark Campion and Steve Joy.

Ian’s peg.

We had a section either side of the bridge and I drew peg 7, the first boat on the far bank, with Simon on peg 6. Pegs 8, 9 and 10 all looked pretty good with good cover on the far bank too.

A Slow Start
I fed liquidised bread at 4m, a ball of finely chopped worm with a few dead maggots and pinkies just held together with groundbait and a ball of groundbait at 13m just out of the boat channel plus a pot of chopped worm, caster and dead maggot at 16m against the boat.

I started on the punch and after half an hour I had raced to two gudgeon! Everyone was looking up and down and scratching their heads. It had fished quite well the previous weekend in a club match. I tried the 13m line (4×12 float, 0.12mm main line, 4in 0.10mm hooklength to a size 20) with dead maggot or a tiny piece of worm on the hook to no avail, then 16m against the boat (4×14 float, 0.16mm straight through to a 16 Kamasan B611) with double dead red maggot or a whole dendrabaena and still nothing.

I spent three hours going backwards and forwards and also tried a lobworm line down my peg, but the only place I could get a bite was on the 4m bread line which had now mustered ten gudgeon and a foul-hooked ruffe! To top it all, the village church bells rang and rang (and not very tunefully) for ages, giving everyone a head ache!

Chub Arrival
I went back out to 16m with a very small section of worm just covering the hook and got a few little indications. Gudgeon over there too, I thought, which was going to be hard work at that distance. Then, the float gently went under and I lifted into something which definitely wasn’t a gudgeon as it shot straight under the boat. I pulled back but the hooked pulled out. 1-0 to the fish!

I re-baited and as the canal pulled backwards and forwards I started to get indications again then, wallop, a fast bite, lots of pulling and 2-0!

I had to change my rig because the line was chaffed from the keel of the boat. I refed with half a pot of worm and caster, then briefly tried the 13m line before going back against the boat. The same thing happened with little indications then eventually a bite. This time I threw my pole straight back through the hedge and unshipped at 9m and then successfully landed a 3lb chub. 2-1!

Five minutes later, I got a 2lb chub out, making it 2-2, and then a 12oz chub for 2-3 to me.

All smiles with a hard-fought net of canal chub.

It then all went a bit quiet for a while. Even after refeeding nothing was happening but then again I had a little indication on double dead maggot and bang! I never had a chance with this one. It still felt like a chub, but bigger, and came off. 3-3. Next put in the same again. 4-3 so I had to change my rig again. I refed and tried double caster, then single caster, got a positive bite immediately and landed another 3lb chub.

Weighing In
That was it. I put 9lb on the scales for an easy win as 2lb 9oz of gudgeon was 2nd. Gary Campion was 3rd with 2lb 8oz 8drm of mostly one perch and Graham Smith won the other section with 1lb 14oz. Still, it didn’t rain or blow hard, but I think the weather had a lot to do with it. If Simon struggled then there was something definitely wrong.

The next match is in a couple of weeks on the Aylesbury Arm at Buckland. Fingers crossed it’s better.