This week saw my cousin and I tackle the Dorset Stour at Throop, one of the most prolific chub fishing venues in the country. With the tail end of hurricane Gertrude bringing heavy rain and gale force winds to the South, the river was up and colored. Fishing conditions were not ideal. We knew that if conditions didn’t improve by the end of the week we would have our work cut out.
Being two avid chub anglers the Dorset Stour is a river we have both wanted to fish for a long time. When fishing a new stretch of river the odds are often stacked against you. On the first day we decided to do what we knew best, roving with lob worms and cheese paste. Despite our best efforts only 3 small chub fell foul of our ledgered worm.
Wednesday was a new day, with renewed enthusiasm we awoke with a few swims in mind and a new plan of attack. I was to fish steak and mince in a swim feeder, whilst Chris was going to build a swim feeding regularly with a maggot feeder and a short hook link. Despite our confidence our rodtips remained stationary all day.
By the final day the winds had subsided and the float rods were out! I knew I would need something special to tempt these big wise chub, so I opted for an old favorite of mine, steak and mince, whist Chris trotted maggots. I knew that steak and mince was rarely used on the stour after speaking to several anglers and the owner Davis Tackle shop. I believed that this would give me the edge.
Several chub fell to this method in quick succession, while Chris caught a couple of chub to 4lb trotting maggot just before he snapped his new Drennan Acolyte float rod.
For those who are interested I have detailed exactly how I fish the method below.
My Float Set Up
A heavy float (Drennan 4 swan chubber) with the bulk shot close to the hook allowed me good float control and made it easy to hold the float back in the current when I needed to. I used 5lb mainline fished through to a loop to loop knot to which I attached a Drennan Size 14 Margin Carp (barbless) tied to 3lb Drennan Supplex Hook length. A combitation of lines that i find works extremely well with Drennan IM9 Classic float rod and gives me the backbone to handle very large chub.
Steak and mince combined with Sonu Baits Cheesey Garlic Crush is deadly for big chub. I Mix roughly 500g of ground bait with 750g of beef mince, breaking up the long strands of mince into small clumps. This ratio creates quite a dry mix, I have found if you do not add enough ground bait the feed will not break up in the flow, instead one large ball will bobble along the bottom. On arrival to each swim I throw 3-4 loosely packed walnut size balls upstream on the line I am going to fish, every 1-2 casts after that. You may recognise the photographs below from a previous article. I fished this exactly the same both times.
Cut a slither of steak no wider than your thumbnail roughly 1.5/2cm long and nick it through a bit of fat. I have found that Tesco Value stewing steak is best.