Match 12, The Cam, Boats section, 3rd December 2017

The match had been moved to the more reliable boats section but despite a reasonable temperature of about 6°C, a decent flow with a nice colour and a complete lack of wind to make presentation easy, optimism was low because of the poor catches reported from practice sessions only the day before.

Indeed not much happened, except in my swim, so I thought this week you’d mainly like to hear of my experience.

After trying bread down the nearside for 15 minutes with only one 'possible' bite and with neither side of me having had a bite either, there were clearly not going to be any great weights of silver fish. I therefore waggled across to the boat to check if any chub were interested.

I had fed a few pouchfuls while on the bread but was surprised on the first cast, when after travelling about 10 yds the float slowly disappeared. I thought I had set it too deep so half heartedly struck expecting to be snagged, only to find a small chub fighting to get back under the boat. As he went in the net I guessed he might be about 10 oz.

Another pouchful, another cast and exactly as before under she goes for another slightly bigger 12 oz chub. Some would call this a chublet but on a day like this I think specimen would be a better description.

Another pouchful, another cast and unbelievably under she goes again, a little further downstream than before. This time though I had snagged the bottom, except it started moving! Boy did it fight, I daren't pull any harder on the size 18 and light hook length and it took over 20 minutes to even see what I'd hooked. As it cruised by my keep net I thought it must be a good 4 - 5 lb, a real chunky chub. When Rob Turner downstream of me saw it go through his swim it was so big he thought it was a seal. Twice it hit my landing net when I thought it was beaten but it still had plenty of fight and several sudden runs nearly saw it free. Arms were aching but I eased off a little and eventually got it in the net, folded in half it only just fitted.

The whole bank of course had watched the spectacle and was moaning about my fortune and their lack of, so I sympathised by complaining that it had taken so long to land the monster that it had completely wrecked my feeding routine! That went down well.

Another pouchful, another cast and another chub of about 1 lb. So after 1½ hours I thought I must be back at Byron's Pool, four casts, four chub in the net and still 3½ hours to go!

All the action had spurred Simon to catch a few perch, all four of them went at least 8 drams and so were clearly from a late hatching. It didn’t help to see the baby grebe opposite him catching bigger ones but at least he’d get some points.

Between scoring spanners, Trevor the upstream side of me had also decided to go for the chub and after my fourth was soon into one that could have won it for him. Had he set his drag properly he might have stood a chance but once seeing who was on the other end of the line the chub frightened itself into trying to pull Trevor in. Clearly that wasn’t going to work and they parted company.

Despite trying everything my dream seemed to have ended, not even another bite, so after 4 hours I went for a walk to see what the others were up to, commenting on how chubby their swims were, trying to see what they were doing wrong, offering tips and stating that if they didn't start soon I'd be weighing in more than all of them put together, all I got in return was abuse and threats of a ducking.

It nearly backfired on me, three small chublets fell to Mike and Kevin, and ½ hour before the end Ken was seen with a good bend in his rod, which turned out to be a decent 3 lb chub. After hearing of his Dad’s close encounter Jason tried to show how it’s done and with all his knowledge and experience he managed to double Dad’s weight, with an ounce of perch fry.

So at the weigh in it was clear who had won, although there was a little controversy. I thought those who had not been busy catching must have conspired to 'fix' the scales because my total netful only went 6 lb 6 oz, when I thought the one chub was close to that, at least 6 lb! It was so big poor Bill Scott nearly had an orgasm when he saw it, "ooo, arr, corr its beautiful” he said in his gentle gruff voice, “the biggest and best chub I've ever seen from The Cam, in fact the best I've ever seen in my whole life" said he as he drifted in ecstasy. I made the scales man weigh again but 6 lb 6 oz it was and the one chub only went 4 lb 4 oz, honestly it looked much bigger than that, it was long, thick and solid muscle.

I’m looking forward to another day on The Cam but our next match, the Xmas sweep on 17th December, is scheduled to be on Reach Lode at Upware. Practice sessions before then will tell whether a change in venue might be called for so please check the website for updates. As usual please book your place via Trevor, details as per the club book.

Ian Claydon

Points match No. 12 Fished The Cam, Downstream of Baits Bite in The Boats section on 3rd December 2017
Ian Claydon6613
Ken Whitmore31512
Kevin Saunders11211
Mike Lynch01310
Trevor Sturge0109
Simon Deal0448
Jason O'Dell017
Trevor O'Dell0086
Rob TurnerDNW1
Bill ScottDNW1
Craig NicholasDNW1