Chub are native to rivers but, as specimen angler Patrick Hartnett discovered, they can be found in some unexpected places and grow to huge proportions in still waters.
Patrick Hartnett, who I have featured in this article, was targeting specimen rudd on a Lincolnshire farm pond when he hooked into the huge specimen.
He was fishing with relatively light gear with a size 20 hook and single maggot but managed to land the fish after a good tussle.
He was throwing loose feed maggots in to try and feed off the smaller rudd but obviously this drew in the chub. A welcome surprise!
Chub are very greedy and will take just about any bait offered.
Favoured baits are worm, bunches of maggot, cheese and bread but they are highly predatory so often fall for small lures.
They cannot spawn in still waters but thrive on the abundance of small roach and rudd so can grow to massive proportions.
They can however be somewhat hook shy in still or clear waters and canals. This might explain why they are often caught by anglers targeting smaller species.
I’m sure chub are present in many more still waters that we realise. Whether they were stocked intentionally or found their own way in naturally through flooding or spawn being carried on bird’s feet is open for debate.
There wouldn’t be much point in targeting chub unless you knew they were there but they are certainly a worthy catch.
With the absence of other predators such as pike, they grow particularly big in commercial waters.
In effect they become the apex predator with little to do but feed, which they do very well. Without running water they burn off little energy gaining food, hence why they pile weight on so quickly.
If you’re missing the rivers, find a still water with chub in it and you’ll find they’re fairly easy to catch. Use a size 18 or 20 hook on a fine diameter hook length around 4lb breaking strain with 6lb main line.
If you’re on a commercial or private water you’ll have to fish in accordance with fishery rules but in any event, opt for fine diameter monos and hook lengths. Fish mid water under a waggler float and constantly feed in maggots.
You’ll probably catch plenty of nuisance silvers but when the chub move in, you’ll know; the swim will go quiet as the small fry make a quick exit. That’s the time to hang on to your rod.
Chub aren’t the best fighting fish but they’ll make up for it in sheer weight. So long as there are no snags for them to swim into, you should be able to land them on relatively fine tackle.
It’s certainly very exciting sport. Some commercial waters are starting to stock other river species such as barbel, which I suspect will also grow very big and these river species will also offer some great winter sport when most other silver fish drop off the radar.
Tight Lines, Alan Dudhill
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