To judge by its looks, a chub could never be accused of being dainty or timid. Its streamlined body is almost incidental in contrast to its thickset head, large mouth, blunt snout and broad shoulders. A small chub can be differentiated from a dace by its convex dorsal fin; in dace, the fin is concave (hence the phrase 'curved chub, dented dace'). The flanks of a chub have a definite cross-hatched appearance because of the black edges to its scales.
Small and medium-sized chub group into large shoals, and their typical haunts are the middle reaches of well-oxygenated rivers. Large fish - often female - are much more solitary, and they usually take up residence near suitable cover, such as overhanging bushes, submerged tree roots or dense weedbeds.
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Chub will consume almost anything edible - aquatic plants, shrimps and other crustaceans, worms, insects (both underwater and from the surface), freshwater snails, etc. - and they will even tackle frogs, voles and crayfish. If you want to try out new or unusual baits, test them on chub! The largest chub often prey heavily on other fish, and deadbaiting or spinning are very successful if little-used tactics for specimen chub.
Before spawning, male chub develop small, knobbly tubercles around their heads. Spawning occurs amidst weedbeds in fast-flowing water when the temperature rises above 12°C, usually during May or June. The light yellow eggs stick to water plants, stones and gravel, and they take about a week to hatch.
Although chub adapt well to life in lakes and ponds into which they may be stocked, they cannot spawn successfully in still water. A l0lb+ chub has yet to be recorded in Britain, but fish of 161b and more have been reported from central Europe.
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