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surface fishing for chub on lures

Surface Lure Fishing for Chub

I’ve never had the chance to catch a Chub before. They always seemed like a nuisance while fishing for other species and required a silly “Chub brigade” hat to make them interesting. 

A nuisance or a challenge?

In a local area where I frequently fish, I’ve seen Chub swim around the shallows. They seemed very skittish and would quickly dart away at the slightest noise. I was unsure if this was the norm for all Chub or just this particular stretch of water, but I knew it would be a challenge to catch them. Nevertheless, it was exciting to see some big Chub among them after observing them for some time. 

Salmo Rattlin Hornet

Although my goal was to fish for Perch using a new lure I recently purchased, the Salmo Rattlin Hornet (3.5cm), I was open to catch any type of fish. Despite its small size, this lure has a lot of character and features that make it stand out. It produces a strong vibration when reeled in, making it hard for any hungry fish to ignore. In addition, the lure has a rattle and floats to the surface when paused, allowing the angler to present it for longer periods, which is especially useful for catching wary fish – including Chub!

I attached a lure and began fishing in a stretch of river where I knew there were decent Perch and Chub. With the help of my Polaroid sunglasses, I could see almost everything in front of me under the surface of the water. Occasionally, I spotted Jack Pike lurking around shoals of unsuspecting Roach and Chublets, waiting for a chance to attack. Whenever I saw a Pike, I avoided it, and if I noticed a follow of the lure, I would quickly pull it out of the water and move on.

To ensure that the lure worked as intended, I used a fluro-caron leader of around 8lb in conjunction with the Salmo Rattlin Hornet. I am currently experimenting with a new trace material that I have found, but I have yet to see how much of an impact it may have on the lure’s action.

Reaction to the lure

When the lure was cranked hard, small Perch quickly began attacking it. The lure would swim about a foot below the surface and dart erratically, which almost always resulted in a take. Repeating this process revealed what fish were present and how they reacted to different retrieves, patterns, and retrieval speeds.

The smaller Perch had no problem chasing down the lure, but when it stopped, they did too. However, the larger Perch often chased the smaller Perch and rarely attacked or chased the lure. This was the case on this particular stretch of river and this day, but it doesn’t mean they won’t in the future.

Back to the Chub…

After having some fun with a small Perch and encountering an uninterested Mega-Perch, I continued my walk downstream. By being patient and approaching slowly, I was able to locate the hiding spots of the Chub. My focus then shifted to figuring out the best way to present the lure to them to get a bite.

I started like any impatient angler and lobbed the lure in front of the Chub which spooked them off more often than inspiring any sort of interest from them. This was followed by various methods of casting at them, to them, behind them, waiting for them to hide and then casting etc. I was a bit lost, to be honest, and time was almost up so I decided to head back upstream to the car. 

surface fishing for chub on lures

As I made my way back, I noticed that the fish I had scared off earlier were still around. I decided to observe them for a while and was fortunate enough to witness them feeding on bugs from the river’s surface. I found it intriguing that they only seemed to go after bugs that landed very close to them. Perhaps this is why I wasn’t having any luck. It’s hard to say for sure.

I cast my lure upstream and immediately started reeling it in once it hit the surface. My goal was to catch some extra Perch before heading home. On my final cast, I got lucky! I felt a strong pull, saw a splash, and realized I had connected with a Chub. I had never caught this type of fish before, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. It put up a good fight, but eventually, I was able to reel it in and relax.

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Steve Evans
Steve Evans

Founder & Chief Editor of Predator Fishing World. Steve has been predator fishing for well over a decade and has amassed a deep knowledge base to share with you.