Crafty, easily spooked and adept at ejecting baits, big chub are no pushover. Follow these tips to tilt the odds in your favour...
Experiment with bait colour
Chub have excellent eyesight, and the colour of the maggot you use can affect your catch results. Always carry a selection of reds, whites and bronze baits and try a number of combinations on the hook.
Stinky baits in coloured water
If the river is up and coloured use smelly baits such as cheesepaste or cubes of luncheon meat. Cinnamon-flavoured baits often work well. Add either a few drops of concentrated flavouring or a teaspoon of the powdered spice.
Use short hairs
When fishing with bottom baits, be sure to hair-rig the bait tight to the back of the hook. Chub are adept at nicking baits off long hairs, with the angler none the wiser.
Chub are a predatory species and will hunt moving baits such as a small live bait. Even the movement of a fat, juicy lobworm will prove irresistible to any chub.
Return fish away from your swim
After catching a chub always return it 50 yards above your swim, as they almost always bolt upstream when released. If you don’t, there’s a good chance it’ll spook the other fish in the area.
Freeline a slug
A freelined slug is about as natural as you can get, and will fool even the wariest of chub. A large hook – around a size 6 – is ideal and, being heavy, the slug provides casting weight to flick towards an overhanging tree on the far bank.
Bait multiple spots
Chub can be quite easy to spot in clear rivers, so try baiting up a few spots with brightly coloured cheesepaste. Revisit each spot in turn and you’ll be able to see whether the bait has been eaten or not. This is a good way to locate nomadic chub.
Feed before fishing
If trotting with maggots, the longer you can feed the swim before casting out, the better. Catapulting a pouch of grubs every minute for half-an-hour will massively increase your chances of catching.
Explore new stretches
Chub won’t tolerate a lot of angling pressure, so try to pioneer unfished swims. Go looking for overgrown areas which don’t look as if they’ve been fished for a long time. Make sure you have enough space to cast and land fish, though!
More so than any other species, chub will spook at the sight or sound of clumsy anglers, so keep out of sight as much as possible and tread carefully.