Chub Fishing tips | Catch them off the top in summer

Catching at the surface is one of the most exciting ways of fishing – and it’s not only limited to stillwaters.

During the early part of the river season, chub can lose their natural wariness, and that’s when you can tempt them from the top.

Chub Study Group member Martin Barnatt is a master of this type of fishing. 

Here’s how he does it…

Approaching bread.jpg

Priming the swim

“On shallow, clear rivers you really can’t beat floating bread for big chub, but they aren’t used to seeing large quantities of bait floating past above them and they soon wise up that something isn’t right.

“So all I do is tear off just one 50p coin-sized piece of bread with its crust and throw it in, standing slightly upstream of where I think the fish will be, and watch it run down with the flow.

“If fish are there it will get taken in an instant. If it doesn’t I will throw one more piece of bread in, and if that still isn’t swallowed then that swim isn’t worth fishing.

“Once I have spotted a fish it is a case of hooking on a piece of bread and running it through the swim. There’s a high chance the rod will hoop round seconds later.”

The simplest of rigs

“All you need to do is tie a size 8 hook to a 7lb mainline. It’s then a matter of keeping the bail-arm open to release line and let the hookbait run through the swim. 

“Make sure you keep your finger close to the spool as you’ll need to pin your finger on should a fish take the hookbait. That way you create resistance to set the hook on the strike.”

Swim selection

“Chub love to sit close to cover so if you are going to a venue you have never visited before, swims that have very obvious features should be your first port of call. These include large rafts of debris, overhanging trees or other areas with dense vegetation.

“Once you have caught a fish from a spot it is only worth one more run through the swim and the likelihood is that won’t produce a bite. It is then time to move on, but don’t be afraid to revisit later as the shoal will have resettled and there could be another opportunity to put another fish in the net.”


Tackle essentials

Rod and reel: An 11ft feeder rod with a bit of power and a 4000 size reel

Landing net: Use a lightweight net and handle to make it easy to carry when roving around

Forceps: Chub can swallow a bait in an instant

Bait: Half a loaf of crusty bread is all you need

Hooks: Take a couple of packs of size 6 and 8 hooks to deal with different hookbait sizes.