Sub Zero Chubbing

With things getting hectic at work I was determined to make the most of my day off, despite the temperature falling to well below zero. Chub or grayling were the sensible targets in such cold conditions and as grayling are a little thin on the ground near South Yorkshire, it was to be a day after chub.

I was joined for the trip by Bob Roberts and to be honest if it wasn’t for him I would have probably stayed in bed after making some lame excuse. Now us blokes from deepest Yorkshire are made of tough stuff, but Bob took that a stage further on this trip. Despite the temperature fluctuating between -1 and -3 (it felt a lot colder!) Bob decided he didn’t need a coat. Absolute hard core us Yorkies!

Anyway, the chosen river was the Trent and it was still a little high and coloured after the recent floods. Bit’s of debris were also coming down and we both knew it’d be tough. The area where I’d had good results from in the past looked out of bounds, but Bob found a couple of classic crease swims in an area where I’d yet to fish.

Simple running feeder tactics were the order of the day. Minced beef was squeezed into the feeder and a large piece of steak was impaled on a size 10 hook tied to a 3ft hook link. The whole lot received a glug of predator plus liquid. The scent and attraction from this, plus the meat, would hopefully tempt the chub to feed in tough conditions.

After a 15 yard lob, that put me right on the crease, I received a good pull after 20 minutes or so. I was bound to miss it as I was still warming my hands in my pocket, but I now knew fish were in the area. It was a couple of hours later before I had another bite, a very tentative affair this time. I struck in hope, not expecting to connect, but the rod arched round and battle commenced. The fight was short and unspectacular, the cold probably helping me on that score. I bundled the chub into the net and folded the mesh back to see how big it was. It was a lean fish of 4lb 8oz, small for this stretch, but more than welcome in such conditions.

Winter Chub

After a couple of pics I put it back and hoped that would be the start of some hot action. Sadly I never had another fish, but I did miss a few more good raps on the quivertip. I’ll make an excuse and blame the cold for this one, my hands were freezing and I couldn’t find my gloves, meaning my hands were in my pockets!

Bob was unlucky in that after finding us two cracking looking swims, he chose the one that had a big snag in it. That’s the drawback with this area of the Trent. It’s really snaggy and can be soul destroying at times as you constantly tackle back up. The upside to this though is that it’s more than likely the snags are what attracts the chub into the area.


With the freezing conditions and patchy fog making driving hazardous, we decided to pack up early and return in the near future. It had been a productive day though in regards of new swims found and the wildlife was fantastic. The amount of birds, ducks and swans always makes me happy, but the large numbers of cormorants did not. Bob summed it up perfectly when he said I’d be more surprised if I caught six 1lb chub than six 6lb chub! Makes you think doesn’t it?