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Chub Fishing Article,  By Chevin .         

Chub. The most fearfullest of fishes.

About the Author: Chevin  now lives in Australia where he concentrates on catching big fish - mainly saltwater species which include sharks up to an estimated 1200lb.  During the '60s and early '70s, Chevin   was a very keen chub angler but he did a lot of bream fishing too.  In 1976 , with a friend, he shared  the best bag of bream recorded in England. The bag consisted of 46 fish for a total weight of 373lbs.  Chevin  also holds the current  National record for the Monkeyfish Inornate  caught in 1986.

When speaking of the chub, Isaac Walton described it as being the most fearfullest of fishes and in that he was absolutely right.  However, the chub also has a voracious appetite and as long as it is remembered that they are easily scared and precautions are taken to avoid scaring them, they can be caught with reasonable frequency.

 Chub are found in many situations along a river, but it is quite easy to identify the most likely swims they will inhabit.  For example, chub love to have cover above them and so if you find a tree over hanging  a deep run or pool, you will almost certainly find at least one chub in that situation.  Very often a direct cast to where the chub is likely to be will be impossible and so it is necessary to devise other ways of getting a bait to them.  My favourite way is to sit a little distance up stream on the same bank as the swim and make a cast with as little weight as is necessary on my line to a point about midway along where I expect the chub to be.  I then allow the current to roll my bait to where I want it and then wait for a bite.  If there is more than one chub there, the bite might be almost immediate as the smaller ones rush to take the bait, but if there is only one big one there the bite could be immediate or it might be a little time in coming.  It is essential to keep hold of the rod though, because sometimes you get very little time to strike; chub rarely commit suicide.  Of course, on occasions it might be easier or better to float fish the swim and as long as the cover allows it, a bait trotted through the swim might well bring about the desired results.  On a nice summer evening even a piece of bread crust just free lined down the current will often pay dividends.  Chub will take most baits that anglers offer them, as long as they havenít been scared so the approach to the swim must always be stealthy, perhaps even on hands and knees while remembering to stay off the sky line.  


Chub also love well oxygenated water especially in the warmer weather and so a weir pool or spill way can be an excellent place to find them.  There are two good ways of fishing these places, either with an upstream ledger or a rolling ledger.  To use the upstream ledger method, you should position yourself downstream but within casting reach of the turbulent water.  Just enough lead should be used on a link ledger to hold bottom and you tighten up to it.    I used to use a single rod rest and have the rod tip quite high for this type of fishing , not only does it keep as much line as possible out of the water and the current, it also makes it very easy to see the bites.  If you have judged the weight of your ledger correctly, you will be able to tighten the line to the rod tip and bites will be indicated by the line suddenly falling slack.  Initially you will have a few false alarms, but you will soon be able to differentiate between them and real bites.  If you  are certain that it is just a matter of the ledger shifting, just retighten and continue waiting.  If you are unsure as to whether it is a bite or just movement, strike; better safe than sorry!  If there are barbel in the water then you might pick up those as well, both fish like similar conditions and take the same baits.


To roll a ledger you need to position yourself fairly close to the weir and cast across the turbulent water.  Again you need to use a link ledger adjusted so that the pressure of the current on your line just moves your ledger and bait across the bottom.  You might have to take up slack line from time to time and to keep in touch with what is happening, you need to hold your rod and touch ledger all of the time.  As with all chub fishing, stealth and concealment are of paramount importance.  Unless you are very careful a chub will normally see you before you see the chub and once it does see you or feel the vibration of foot steps on the bank it will not be there for you to see.


Some of the most enjoyable chub fishing is in narrow and heavily weeded stretches of river where you can creep along the bank, spot your chub and cast a bait to them.  This really does involve creepy crawly tactics, often on stomach and elbows just parting river side growth to see into the water.  Runs between banks of bulrushes and the bank are my favourite places and very often as you peer into the water, you will see chub drifting across the run intercepting anything edible that is being carried to them.  Sometimes you can fish for them from where you spot them, but more often you will have to work out a plan of approach, possibly preparing access that allows you to fish for them while remaining concealed on another day.


As I mentioned earlier, chub are voracious feeders and they will take a wide variety of baits many of which can be found on the banks of a river.  Black slugs are an excellent bait though they are revolting things to pick up.  A pair of plastic tongs is fine for that job and will save you from having fingers that will remain sticky all day.  Worms are good, as are frogs, though I have to say I really donít care to use frogs myself, I like them too much.  I used to catch a lot of chub on crayfish, though I believe that in some river systems they are no longer allowed as bait.  Bread is always a good bait as is cheese and my favourite cheese for them was Kraftís Velveeta.  I donít know if it is still available in the UK Ė or anywhere else for that matter.  (The last time I saw some was in Maine US in 1999; I bought some, and fished with it in the Moose Head River and caught a chub on it with my first cast!) 

If you can approach chub under an over hanging bank or branch it can be worth dapping a large grasshopper or anything else big enough to put on a hook.

While chub can be caught throughout the day, early morning and late evening are the better times during the summer.  They will feed throughout the day in the winter, but on those mild drizzly winter days, I used to love the first couple of hours of darkness.

Voracious they might be, but chub always learn quickly and once you have caught a few on the same method in one small area, you might need to change baits or methods to maintain your success rate.  I remember a stretch of the Avon I fished many years ago where I employed creepy crawly tactics casting worms to chub that I could see.  I caught nineteen of them in about three hours and didnít have a camera with me.  I went back the next day with a camera, saw the chub, cast my worm to them and failed to catch any at all.

Tackle for chub can vary but it is a mistake to go any lighter than necessary.  Chub are powerful fighters and there is no point in fishing too light and leaving fish with hooks in their mouths and line trailing behind them.  In the heavily weeded swims I used a carp rod with a one and a half pound test curve and eight pound line.  In open water I would use a lighter rod with six pound line.  Donít be afraid to use large hooks if you are using large baits.  I frequently used No 4 and No 2 hooks.

Chub fishing can be hard and frustrating work, but there are few lovelier fish to look at when you have them in your net.