The chub is a fairly aggressive fish that is by far one of this country's most greedy species but, by the same token, it's one of the most wily of all our fish. Creeping close enough to catch feeding chub, moving out from under weed rafts of a clear, shallow stream takes some stealth. As soon as one notices the skyline being broken or senses heavy footsteps it will take the whole shoal downstream or under cover, never to appear again for hours.
This coupled with the fact that chub can ascertain great weights and they have the fighting power to back their weight up, makes these fish a very worthy target indeed.
There are three species that have and always will confuse anglers - chub, dace and grass carp. At a quick glance they all look very similar indeed. In fact the Angling Times has been sent pictures of record-breaking chub caught by pleasure anglers claiming the weight o be 12, 15 even 16lb.... if only the angler looked closely they would realise that their prize chub was in fact a grass carp.
Characteristics of a chub are:- a large head with protruding upper lip, a large mouth and thick-rimmed lips. Colouration of the chub is simply dark grey/brown along the back running into a brass colour along the flanks. Both the dorsal fin and tail fin are dark grey, while the underside pelvic and anal fins are a shade of orange - the colour of which will depend upon the clarity of the water.
The main point that helps anglers distinguish chub from dace (especially when small) is the shape of the dorsal and anal fins. The chub has rounded, concave fins - the dace has unwardly curved concave fins.
The chub's natural diet consists of many things - as we said, chub are extremely greedy fish! They will eat all manner of aquatic insect larvae, small fish, snails, shrimp, crayfish, any insects that accidentally land on the surface, even lobworms that are washed into the river in times of flood.
Anglers have found that the larger the bait, the better chance of it being taken by a chub. Triple maggot, a whole lobworm, a big chunk of bread flake, a lip-hooked minnow, a large blob of cheesepaste, even 20mm boilies will all account for big chub.
Spawning amongst chub takes place in the late spring or early summer. The females distribute their eggs within the likes of willow moss and amongst gravel. The males immediately pass over the eggs to fertilize them.
This is when hybrids are created as there are times when the breeding of other fish takes place in the same area at the same time.
One point to remember about the chub is that they absolutely love hiding away. If there are floating weed rafts, overhanging trees, undercut banks, areas of streamer weed or submerged roots that's where you'll find them. They are an angler's dream when it comes to providing the fisherman with great sport, but they are an angler's nightmare when it comes to lost tackle in all those snags!
So, if you are seeking chub in any flowing water, look for features such as those mentioned and you won't be too far away.
Chub in stillwaters are a little different - they could be anywhere as they will feed at any level in the water, from the very surface right down to the deep, dark depths.
Look out for...
You'll find chub in the smallest of streams countrywide.
Cast your chub baits tight to any marginal snag.
Weed rafts are a magnet to chub who hide beneath them.