A small summer chub

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 most 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 chubbing in summer? These are all questions I hope to answer in this article.

Chris Lyon holding a big summer chub
Chris Lyon with a nice summer chub

What Is A Chub?

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 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 in the river. These can often have deeper stretches of water and overhanging banks. Both provide 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 other popular places 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 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. 

A nice looking weir pool
Weir pools are a good place to find chub

What Are The 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 about what they eat but some baits just work better than others, here are my personal favourites.

  1.  Black Slugs: If you are down any river early doors in the summer months you will likely see an abundance of big fat slimy 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 the bad boys free-lined just upstream. The chub will be attracted to the plop in the water and more often than not dart out from under the shrubbery to investigate.
  2. Bread: Another top bait in the summer months is good old bread. You can fish bread in 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.
  3. 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 around. Just try not to eat all your meat!
  4. 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 garden, but chub love them as well.
  5. 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.
A big black slug for chub bait
Chub love a big black slug

What Tackle Is Needed For Chubbing In Summer?

It’s good to try and keep it simple while chub fishing. 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 are 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 a size 6lb or 8lb mainline. 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, a 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 first main difference is the fins. Dace fins are concave whereas chub fins are convex. This basically means the chubs fins are rounded whereas the dace fins are a lot more pointy.

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.

A small summer chub
Smaller chub can be mistaken for dace

To Conclude

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, get out on the bank, and find out where those big chub are hiding.

Tight lines and enjoy your fishing.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is chub fishing, and why is it popular in the summer?

Chub fishing refers to the activity of angling for chub, which is a species of freshwater fish. It is popular in the summer because chub become more active and readily feed during warmer water temperatures. Additionally, summer offers favorable conditions for anglers to access rivers and streams where chub are commonly found.

What are some key techniques for chub fishing in the summer?

Several techniques can be effective for chub fishing in the summer. One popular method is float fishing, using a fishing float to suspend bait at a specific depth. Another technique is ledgering, where a weighted rig is cast into the water to present the bait on or near the riverbed. Additionally, anglers can try using lures such as spinners, soft plastics, or crankbaits to entice chub into biting.

Where are good locations for chub fishing in the summer?

Chub are often found in rivers and streams with moderate flow and plenty of cover. Look for areas with overhanging trees, underwater vegetation, or areas where the current breaks, creating slack water. Chub also tend to congregate around structures like fallen trees, rocks, or bridge pilings. Pay attention to deeper pools, eddies, or areas where the current slows down as these are likely spots to find chub.

What are some recommended baits for chub fishing in the summer?

Chub are omnivorous and can be caught using a variety of baits. Popular choices include maggots, worms, bread, sweetcorn, and cheese. These baits can be used on their own or combined to create an enticing bait cocktail. Experimenting with different baits can help determine what the chub is most responsive to on a particular day.

Are there any specific tips for successful chub fishing in the summer?

Use light tackle, such as a medium or light action rod, to enhance the sensitivity and fun of catching chub.
Approach fishing spots quietly to avoid spooking the fish, as chub can be easily startled.
Try fishing during the early morning or late evening when chub are more active and the temperatures are cooler.
Keep an eye on the water’s surface for signs of chub activity, such as splashing or the presence of small fish.
Practice catch and release to preserve the chub population and promote sustainable fishing practices.

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