It has been many many years since I nearly cried because of a fish. The last time was losing my first ever big carp at Sherwood Forest Center Parcs. Today I felt exactly the same, unfortunately I don't have any evidence for this story so its up to you whether you believe it.
This morning was beautiful weather, due to get worse the next few days so I thought I'd give my awesome Husky Jerk Rapala lure another go on the canal, see post below for pic and details. Anyway, I wasn't getting any action in my usual spots, so I jigged a rubber grub for some perch just to ensure I didn't blank (unimaginable!). After 3 perch around a pound each I decided to go back to the Husky Jerk and try some different spots, in case I was missing some good areas.
I had a take, and I could instantly feel that it was not a pike, it just fought completely differently. It was a big fish - stripping line off quite a tight clutch, and I knew whatever it was would be special. I saw a flash of bronze flank and initially thought it could be a carp - but then as I saw it better I realised it was in fact an enormous chub - easily pushing 4 pounds, probably more.
Now I travel very light as it is a long walk to the canal for me, and I don't use a landing net, as pike are fairly easy to pull out of the water by grabbing them under the gill flap. However, I really regret not having a landing net with me, as if I had this post would have been totally different and covered in pictures of me beaming holding an enormous chub. I tried to grab it out of the water with my hand but it was too fat to fit around. The 10 cm long lure looked small in its mouth - and as I was trying to get a hold it managed to shake the hooks loose and escape - also making me regret flattening down the hook barbs.
I'm sorry but I'm not saying where this occurred - I will definitely be going back to try and have another chance, and I don't want someone else to get there first. But now you and I know there are some very special fish in the canal, in some places that I didn't expect.
Somehow I can't see myself bettering that fish for a long long time, but I would love to be proven wrong.