Chub (Leuciscus Cephalus)
9lb 5oz (4.224kg), Andy Maker, Southern Stillwater, 2007
6lb 2oz (2.835kg), L Breckell, River Annan, 1999
Chub are primarily a river fish but have over the years spread widely throughout the UKs canal system where they thrive, particularly on flowing sections. They have also been stocked in many commercial fisheries, as they are good winter feeders, and in some of the larger more traditional gravel pits where some huge specimens can be found.
The chub is a lover of features and will most usually be found close to underwater obstacles, weed beds or beneath overhanging foliage or undercut banks. In fact, where such features are found in a reasonable flow you will usually find a shoal of chub close by and often tucked right up underneath.
Like barbel, river chub also like weir pools, smooth glides between weed beds and rifled water at the tail end of pools.
On canals and still waters however they tend to remain close to features and require a bait presented tight to cover to entice them to bite.
Fishing for Chub
Chub are voracious feeders and well known scavengers and will eat almost anything put in front of them. They will also come up in the water and in summer are often seen swirling on the surface directly under where the feed is being introduced.
To put a good weight together you will to feed enough to keep the shoal in front of you and it is therefore advisable to take plenty of bait when targeting this species. Hemp maggots and casters are always good for chub as are larger baits like luncheon meat, bread and pellets.
When chub fishing it always pays to consider the weather conditions and time of year as well. Look about on the ground and amongst bank side vegetation – if there has been a lot of rain and the river is up then a lobworm on a big hook can often be unbeatable, if there are a lot of slugs about then these too can be excellent.
Chub are also a predatory fish and will happily take small fish and even spinners meant for perch and pike.
Chub can be caught on most methods. Feeder is often best when fishing tight to far bank features on rivers as it allows you to keep a good amount of feed going in, in reasonably tight area a to keep them interested, and helps to keep them on the bottom.
Where there are overhanging trees downstream on the near bank, the stick float or even a larger bait flicked under the feature on a link leger can be deadly.
The waggler covers the slower more weedy rivers and can also be effective for fishing up in the water across when the fish come up off the bottom, or for searching further down the swim.
On canals the pole can be the best method when fishing close to far bank vegetation as, with practice, the rig can be pushed right in underneath chub holding features.
One vital thing to remember is that chub are renowned for making a very hard initial run once hooked and will immediately head for the nearest available snag. It is therefore vital to select suitable hooks and line that will allow you to stop this initial run and steer the fish away from any such snag.
It also pays to tie your knots carefully! When playing chub it is always best to try to tire the fish out in mid river before bringing it to the net. This is because chub have a habit of making a final bid for freedom and many are lost as they dive into any nearside weed or snags.