Chubbing in summer can be an awesome way of fishing in the warmer summer months. Chub anglers will often line the river banks on cold winter days, but truth be known summer can be just as rewarding for catching chub.
Chub are one of our popular hard-fighting fish that can be found in a lot of our waterways up and down the country. But what is the best way of putting a chub on the bank? What baits are good for chub fishing? How do you go about catching chub in summer? These are all questions I hope to answer in this article.
The chub (Leuciscus cephalus) is Predominantly a river fish, preferring moderate to fast-flowing water. Saying that there are venues now such as canals and lakes where chub thrive due to stocking or flooding from the rivers. Quite a good number of commercial fisheries now stock chub as well, though to me it doesn’t seem right catching them in still water.
The chub can be mistaken for being a grass carp in certain waters, maybe this is because it is in fact part of the carp family. The chub’s lips are hard to miss though. They are thick and rubbery with a tint of white on quite an oversized mouth. A specimen-sized chub would be 6lb+ but a good-sized fish would be starting around the 3lb mark. When the chub are young (chublets) they tend to hang around in shoals, which can be great for bagging up on a river. As they get older they tend to become more of a solitary type of fish. So if you are lucky enough to pluck one out of a swim, it may then be time to move on and try another swim.
Where to go Chubbing in the Summer
As mentioned earlier, chub love the slightly faster stretches of rivers in the summer months. Look for bends on the river. These can often have deeper stretches of water and overhanging banks. Both providing a safe haven for the chub to hang about in. Overhanging trees and bushes are another favourite place to find chub residing.
Nicholas who is pictured above likes to bait up several different swims that consist of overhanging trees and bushes. Then fish them one by one. As soon as he gets a bite or a fish on, he then moves on to the next baited swim. The reason for this is that the chub is a very wary fish and can get spooked very easily. As soon as there is a disturbance in the swim the fish tend to go into hiding for a while.
Streamer weed and reed beds are another popular place to find big summer chub laying up. Weir pools usually have both such features and can prove an excellent well-oxygenated place for a chub session. There really is something quite magical about sitting on the edge of a weir pool with the smell of the weir and the sound of the water cascading over the sluice.
Best Baits for Catching Summer Chub
The chub has a very large mouth for its size. For this reason, they can take a pretty good-sized bait. They aren’t too fussy on what they eat but some baits just work better than others, here is my personal favourites.
- Black Slugs: If you are down any river early doors in the summer months you will likely see an abundance of big fat slimey slugs amongst the damp grass. Chub absolutely love these with a passion. Find some nice overhanging bushes on the far side and cast one of them bad boys free lined just up stream. The chub will be attracted to the plop in the water and more often than not dart out from under the shrubbery to investigate.
- Bread: Another top bait in the summer months is good old bread. You can fish bread several ways, with the crust, bread paste and bread flake. All will catch on float fishing, swim feeder, ledger or free lined. If you are feeling adventurous you could always try flavouring your bread.
- Luncheon Meat: Luncheon meat has helped me put a lot of chub on the bank on warm summer evenings. You can either put it straight on the hook or try hair rigging it. Loose feed a few chunks and wait for the rod to be pulled round. Just try not to eat all your meat!
- Worms: I have to admit worms are probably my all time favourite bait to use in the river. Not only are they free to collect out your own garden, but chub love them as well.
- Maggots: 100% the most popular bait among all anglers for all species of fish. Try putting a bunch of maggots on the hook just be sure to leave the point of the hook showing. Maggots are also perfect for loose feeding.
What Tackle is Needed for Chubbing in Summer
It’s good to try and keep it simple while chub fishing. Really you want to be mobile and keep moving around finding the fish. For this reason, try to keep your tackle light and to a bare minimum. Obviously, a rod and reel is a must. Make sure your rod has enough backbone to keep the fish from darting in the weeds and bushes. If ledgering look for a rod with about a 1.25lb test curve and about 11 or 12 ft in length. The reel ideally wants to be about a size 4000 with size 6lb or 8lb main line. This setup should be good enough to deal with most river chub.
Get yourself a nice light fold-away chair, there’s nothing worse than being uncomfortable while fishing. Brands such as Fox, Nash, Chubb, and JRC all make some good ones that would be perfect.
A rucksack-style bag or a holdall is highly advisable as well. This will be carrying things such as a small unhooking mat, catapult, scales, bait, small tackle box with all your bits in, forceps, and your lunch. Also, get yourself some polarised glasses. These will help you spot any chub lurking about.
Last on the list is a landing net. A good rubberised pan net is what I use. If you’re on the river you will probably end up fishing some higher banks than usual. For this reason, get a handle that will reach at least a couple of metres. A decent telescopic one would be a good shout.
Tread Carefully While Chub Fishing
When you are out on the bank shy wary chub can see and hear just about everything. You may be surprised just how much the vibrations from your feet can travel through the water.
Tread very carefully when approaching each of your swims, the last thing you want to do is spook the chub before you even get your line wet.
Place all your kit on the floor rather than just drop it on the floor, little things like this could make all the difference to your catch rate.
Is it Worth Looking for Chub
If you live quite close to your local chub water it is well worth going fish spotting before you go fishing.
Take a good pair of polarised glasses and see if you can spot where the chub are hanging out.
It is also worth considering doing a bit of baiting up while you’re there as well.Get yourself a little catapult so you can get the bait exactly where you want it, especially if it is on the far bank.
The Difference Between Chub and Dace
When chub are juveniles you could be forgiven for thinking they are a dace. Young dace and chub are very similar in appearance, but there are a couple of differences.
The other main difference is the mouth. A chub’s mouth is noticeably bigger and a lot rounder with big lips compared to the dace’s mouth.
Chubbing in summer can be hugely rewarding if done properly. Chub will feed happily all through the summer months, though it is worth paying special attention to dusk and dawn. Whether you choose to float fish for them, catch them off the bottom or take them off the top, you will find the excitement of chub fishing hard to beat.
So get your polarised glasses, and get out on the bank and find out where those big chub are hiding. Tight lines and enjoy.