Most anglers naturally want to catch the best of what's in the water in front of them. But many also feel instinctively that these two species belong in the river not the lake.
So the dilemma arises when you're sat on a lake which is well stocked with one or both of the species. Do you want to catch them at all? Are you a purist or a pragmatist (especially at this time of year when the rivers are closed to anglers anyway). And how would you feel if your personal best for both species were recorded on artificially stocked lakes?
The views I have read and heard vary wildly, but in one sense it's easier for me as a relative novice. I've not got a single barbel nor a single decent (over one pound) chub to my name, and I don't particularly want to break either milestone on a lake. It's just not the way I've dreamed about these things happening.
All of which means that you could argue it was good news on Friday when I lost my one decent fish of the day, a fairly chunky chub. Not that it felt like that at the time of course...
I was fishing with my Manchester-based brother in Partridge Lakes, a sophisticated commercial operation not far from the M60. In fact when we first arrived we were worried by how commercial it was - the tightly-packed mosaic of tiny lakes was unlike anything I'd ever seen before and certainly not my cup of tea, being clearly designed around the needs of match, not pleasure, anglers.
Fortunately a short walk revealed the two Holbar lakes which were much more to our taste - bigger, better spaced pegs, more natural surroundings and stocked with a good balance of carp and silvers - including those chub.
|Plenty of these lovely roach -|
fortunately(?!) the big chub got away
Sadly my brain didn't move as fast as the fish did. As it stripped line from the clutch my brain was saying 'carp' - so once I had that first run under control I anticipated a steady enough fight in open water (albeit a careful one, since I was on a size 20 hook and 2.5lb hook length).
I swear I looked away only long enough to locate my landing net - but by the time I looked back it was to see what appeared to be a decent chub doing exactly what chub do - diving into the reeds to my left. Attempts to draw it back out left me exactly where I thought they would - with a broken hook length, an empty net and a glum expression.
At least the weather held for us and we enjoyed the rest of the afternoon, with the best fish, a decent enough F1 carp, going to my brother.
And at least my dream of a river, not stillwater, chub breakthrough remains intact. Hoo-bloody-ray ;-)