Here are some of the best chub fishing tips to help you catch a personal best next time you are out on the bank. To get the best chub tips possible we have gone to current Drennan Cup champion Dai Gribble.
For more great tips from top anglers head to this year’s The Big One Show
The link leger rig has to be one of the simplest set-ups in fishing, and I can’t believe more anglers don’t use it when targeting chub in autumn and winter.
What it lacks in complexity it certainly makes up for in its ability to put a hookbait in the perfect position – and its fish-catching prowess is unrivalled.
In fact, some of my biggest-ever chub have fallen to this rig.
My rig is made up of a leger bead threaded on to the mainline, followed by two float stops.
A large hook such as a Korum Power in size 8 or 6 is tied directly to the mainline with a five-turn grinner knot.
The weight for the rig is made up of an SSG or AAA shot which is attached to a doubled-over loop of line threaded through the small hole in the leger bead.
It might seem simple, but there are some great benefits. First, it only has one knot in the entire rig which makes it as strong as possible. The lack of hardwear makes it stealthy too.
It’s adjustable as well, and although I use two float stops to prevent the weights from sliding down to the hook on the cast, these can be moved by hand to vary the length of your hooklink.
If the rig gets snagged then the shot can easily slide off the short link, leaving the mainline free.
Combine the rig with a loaf of bread and you have the perfect combo for roving the banks and searching out those chub-holding hotspots.
How many fish?
This style of fishing is ‘smash and grab’, and in many small swims you are unlikely to catch more than a single chub as the disturbance of catching one will spook any other fish present for an hour or two.
In larger swims such as long creases, by starting at the upstream end and working down you can catch more than one. If you do catch a chub, hold it in your landing net for a few minutes while you try for a second.
Where to find the fish
Chub will be found in many different types of swim. In particular they love the cover provided by overhanging trees, and creases where slower water sits beside the main current.
The beauty of roving is that you are not committed to staying in one swim for long – if you don’t get bites, move on to another.
I like to bait three or four swims before fishing each one in turn.
The rig I use makes changing the amount of shot very easy, so I can add or remove shot to ensure the hookbait ends up where I want it. In some cases I add shot to get the bait to hold further out, in others I use less shot so the rig pulls under a tree or other close-in feature such as an undercut bank.
Prep your swim
When roving for chub I like to fish lots of swims, as I have found that if a chub is present and willing to feed I get bites very soon after casting.
To improve my chances I like to prepare a number of swims prior to fishing them by introducing a couple of handfuls of mashed bread.
I make mashed bread up in small amounts. I simply take the centre out of three or four slices of thick sliced white bread, which are saved for hookbait.
The remainder is put in my landing net and submerged until the air bubbles stop coming out. The bread is then lifted out and allowed to drain before putting it into a bait box and mashing it up with my fingers.
The aim is to break it up into small pieces but not turn it into a complete mush.
The mashed bread can then be fed by squeezing it into small balls. These should explode on impact, leaving a mixture of different-sized fragments of bread, everything from crumbs up to pieces about 2cm across.
Why not use a feeder?
The reason I don’t use a feeder filled with liquidised bread when roving for chub is that most of the time I want to move my hookbait into position after casting, for example, under a tree.
Under such circumstances a feeder won’t work. All the contents will come out as the bait is swinging into place, and rather than draw fish to the bait it will actually draw them away from it.
My approach is to present a bait to fish where they are living rather, than sit and wait for them to come to me.
My two hookbaits
I use bread in two forms for hookbaits for this style of fishing – flake and crust.
When using flake I like to fold a piece of bread about the size of £2 coin over and then squeeze the folded piece gently around the shank of the hook, before gently working the hookpoint clear.
I generally fish flake with a hooklength about 2ft long, but will lengthen this if I am getting only tentative bites.
Often, plain flake works really well but if bites are not forthcoming I add a bit of extra attraction with a squirt of Sonubaits Cheesy Garlic Lava. This adds a big hit of smell to what is already a highly visible bait.
Crust is hooked by pushing the hook through one side of the crust and then turning it and pulling it back. I like to use a piece about 2cm square and I’ll shorten the hooklength to 5cm to 10cm, which ensures the crust is anchored just off the bottom.
By priming swims in advance, if any chub are present then hopefully they will be on the lookout for more bread and bites often come soon after casting. Indeed, sometimes the bait is still bouncing around across the current when it is taken, so be prepared to strike straight away.