Leuciscus cephalus (Linnaeus, 1758)
The chub (Squalius cephalus) is a European species of freshwater fish in the carp family Cyprinidae. It frequents both slow and moderate rivers as well as canals and still waters of various kinds. In North America this species is referred to as the European chub. Other names used for the species include round chub, fat chub, chevin, pollard.
The distribution comprises Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iran, Italy, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia and Montenegro, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom.
Fishing for chub
European chub are popular with anglers due to their readiness to feed, and thus to be caught, in almost any conditions.
Small chub are freely-biting fish which even inexperienced anglers find easy to catch. As they become larger, however, chub become more wary and are easily spooked by noise or visual disturbance. Consequently, large chub (in excess of 2 kg) are keenly sought by anglers who prefer to target specific fish.
The British angling record for chub was broken in May 2007 when Steve White caught a 4.2 kg (9.2 pound) fish from a southern stillwater on a mainline boilie. The chub can reach a maximum length of 60-80 cm (24-31.5 inches).
Small chub can be caught readily on light tackle: fly-fishing gear, a lure rod or a float rod, for example. Lines and hooks can be small but baits are often of a relatively large size due to the chub's "greedy" nature.
Larger chub, especially in floodwater conditions, need to be fished with more substantial tackle: a stiff to moderately stiff rod, a strong line, strong hooks and a large bait. Such enhanced equipment is needed due to the chub's predilection for taking cover in underwater snags. They frequently conceal themselves in deep holes or under the roots of trees, etc., and venture out to feed before returning quickly to cover.
As with most species, chub will readily take any natural bait. In addition to natural baits, however, chub are renowned for their voracious appetite and will often be caught on baits as diverse as cheese, sweetcorn, bread, earthworms, and wasp larvae.
As with many river fish, the best conditions for Chub fishing are when the water is "carrying colour". This means that the clarity of the water has been temporary clouded by mud washing into the river, often following heavy rainfall. Under these conditions a big, smelly bait is the best bet. Lob worms are a particular favourite, as is breadflake or paste. Another smelly favourite for chub are cheese flavours and a flavour called "scopex" which can be sprayed onto your bait.
When rivers are crystal clear or swims are heavily fished, big baits are unlikely to work. In this situation best baits to use are single or double maggot close to, or under, the far bank features like overhanging trees. Use a catapult to fire a healthy helping of loosefeed over your hookbait. Don't use groundbait as Chub hate the stuff! With the maggot method you are attempting to bring the fish into the upper layers of the water and catch them with a waggler "on the drop" (as the hookbait sinks with the loosefeed). In certain waters Chub can become predators and can be caught on spinners or spoons.
When unhooking a Chub with a disgorger be very careful not to poke your fingers into the Chubs mouth as they have sharp/bone crushing pharyngeal teeth at the back of their mouths.
- Best baits: Maggots, bread, cheese paste and lobworm.
- Best methods: Legering big baits, waggler and maggot.
- Habitat: Steady-flowing upper to middle reaches of rivers and sometimes found in still waters such as lakes.
- Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2012). "Leuciscus cephalus" in FishBase. 5 2012 version.
- World Conservation Monitoring Centre 2010. Squalius cephalus. 2008 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 5 April 2010.
- "Chub Record Broken - FishingMagic Catch Reports".
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Fishing by Gareth Purnell, Alan Yates and Chris Dawn