When Lymm AC angler Graeme Roberts snagged up solid on a river Dane chub there was no question about how to resolve the situation, the shoes, socks and pants came off and in he went to rescue the distressed fish.
I had decided to have a night on the Daisybank stretch of the river Dane after Ian had landed a lovely 9lb 8oz barbel the week before. Arriving for around 7pm I found my first choice swim to be free and settled in for a 24 hour session. Day shelter up and bed chair installed it was no more than 10 minutes before the first sign of action.
The night passed with a number of barbel and chub keeping me on my toes the best being a fairly active 7lb 2oz that bolted off downstream and took a while to bring to the net but after returning the last fish at 6am it was time to reel in and grab a few hours sleep.
My good friends Ash and Uncle Phil arrived and set up a few swims away from where I’d based myself for the night session. The weather was fairly unpredictable and we had a brew and started fishing again. I must have nodded off because the next thing I heard was the screaming tone of my bite alarm as I reached over and grabbed the rod which was just inside the day shelter.
Instead of belting off downstream the fish decided to kite left straight into the undergrowth of the bank, I tried to bully the fish out but to no avail, the feeder was snagged solid on the marginal reeds and I could see the fish splashing around on the surface. I took the bail arm off to give it slack as the barbless size 10 usually pops out in these circumstances but it didn’t and the fish was becoming more and more distressed.
A quick call to Phil along the lines of ‘I’m going in mate don’t let me drown’ and I was soon down to my undies and club shirt (not a pretty sight!!). After tying my rope around my waist the landing mat was used to provide a launch pad and cover the nettles and I was in…not too cold to be honest. Using my landing net handle as a staff I edged closer to the fish feeling the line down to where it was occasionally splashing around.
Once there I could see the chub just resting on the other side of the snag so I scooped it up in my net to make unhooking a bit easier, it wasn’t deeply hooked to be fair and the forceps soon had the hook out from it’s bony lips.
It was a decent chub of around the 4lb mark so I claimed it as caught, netted and unhooked and held it up for a quick photo before resting it in the net for a couple of minutes before watching it swim off strongly downstream.
I’m certainly not the first to go in after a snagged fish and it probably won’t be the last time I do it but I would always ensure it’s safe to do so and ideally make sure someone else is about to watch your back especially on a river.