Waggler tactics for winter chub

Discover how to get the best out of Dave Harrell’s ‘go to’ winter approach

Waggler tactics for winter chub

by Angling Times |

We’re at that time of year when water temperatures are at their lowest. Cold rain, frosts and snow, coupled with bitter winds, all send the mercury plummeting, but while many species shut up shop, you can always rely on chub.

They’ll feed when the river is tapwater clear or the colour of tea. A fish that’ll eat almost anything put in front of it, and on any method, it can be confusing when it comes to tackling up and loading the bait bag. Big baits are good for big fish, but when bites are the name of the game you can’t beat the float, with a waggler my top choice.

Here's how I do it...

When bites are the name of the game you can’t beat the float
When bites are the name of the game you can’t beat the float

Tweak the rig

In fast water I use thick-topped floats like Speci Wagglers, but if I’m not catching, I’ll change something and experiment with depth and how much tip is showing.

Tweak the rig
Tweak the rig

Be in control

A swim of 40m–50m in length is ideal for trotting. Cast downstream and further out than the line you can get your feed to, then draw the float back on to the feed line.

Be in control
Be in control

Trickle in the feed

My favourite tactic is to feed several times with four to six maggots before casting in. This ensures a small but steady stream of bait in which you can present your hookbait.

Trickle in the feed
Trickle in the feed

Take the temperature

Fish respond to a rise in temperature. Take the water temperature when you arrive at your swim. As a basic rule, if it’s rising, feed more, if it’s dropping, feed less.

Take the temperature
Take the temperature

Switch to a single

Chub will often come well off bottom to feed when you’re loosefeeding maggots. Have a second rod set up shallower and try it during the day with a single maggot hookbait.

Switch to a single
Switch to a single

Be aware of snags

Chub know where every snag is, so when you hook one, keep the pressure on and watch where the fish is heading. Many big chub are lost to a last-minute dive!

Be aware of snags
Be aware of snags
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