Macey's Leviathan Chub - Dean Macey

All of Dean Macey’s Christmases have come at once, in the shape of a truly gargantuan PB chub – here’s his story…

“Although I haven’t had much time to get down to my target stretch this year, due to filming commitments, I have at least built up a good picture of the best spots over seven years on the river.

I managed to nip down and was lucky enough to nick a 6lb 12oz chub before my recent trip to Thailand and couldn’t wait to get back on my return. Because the water is still so warm, I felt that I needn’t swap over to my usual cold-water baits; cheese paste, bread and maggots. For this trip, I opted to use 10mm Mainline New Grange boilies, and drip-fed them into my chosen swim. The swim I went for doesn’t hold barbel, so I was happy to feed the boilies and expect that the chub would get them all.

My setup consisted of seven inches of 10lb IQ2, knotless-knotted to a size ten MWGB, with a dumbbell hook bait on the tight hair. I lowered a PVA bag of boilie crumb into the swim and had a succession of slow liners over the next hour and a half. The nature of the swim meant that I couldn’t get my lines down, so the liners were inevitable really. When I got the chance, between the liners, I eased the rig out of the swim carefully, bit the rig off and tied a new one with a size-12 MWGB and a much smaller, whittled-down hook bait. It looked absurd to be honest – it was almost smaller than the freebies!

Twenty minutes later, I was in. After a decent scrap, I landed a big chub of 6lb 14oz, which I was delighted with. I spent the next hour and a half, carefully feeding the spot to encourage any fish that were left to resume feeding. I suppose I only fed about 20 baits during that time, but it clearly worked, because when I lowered the rig back in, it was taken within 20 minutes. Initially, the head shakes transmitting back up the line made me think that a small fish was responsible. However, when the chub headed into the main flow, it began to feel big. My mate Dave wandered up and asked whether I was into a barbel. I told him that it was a chub, which felt like a waterlogged bin bag at this point, all weight and no fast surges. I’d been calm right up until the point when the fish rolled in front of the net; I could see that it was huge, and called Dave back to net it for me. He salmon-swooped with the net and it went in first time. “What’s your PB?” Dave asked, as we both peered into the net. “7lb 2oz” I replied. “Well, that’s done it,” he said, and we agreed that it looked mid-seven.

When on the mat, we quickly reappraised our estimates – this fish was huge. I hoisted it up and the scales banged round to eight pounds. As soon as I saw the needle fly round to eight, I lowered the fish back onto the mat and asked Dave to do the honours, telling him that I would be happy with 7lb 15oz if it was close. Dave lifted it back up and said, “It’s not close mate.” “I’m happy with 7lb 15oz then,” I replied, but he interrupted, “It’s 8lb 1oz”.

With the pictures done, all I could do was wander the banks, even though kicking-off time was near, and try to take it all in. Seven years of effort had culminated in this fish. I often used to wonder how many times during that period that I’d walked past eights, or cast over them, or seen them ghost by. Along with catching a Siamese carp (a childhood dream), my only other target in angling was n 8lb chub. I’d always said that no fish could come close to replicating the satisfaction of a major medal, but perhaps that was because I’d never had to work this hard for one before! If it takes me another seven years to get another one, then it’ll have been worth it!”