Among all the predators of the middle strip, the chub occupies a special place. Of course, we are not talking about the ubiquitous chubs, which cause an annoying grin even among novice floaters. A completely different matter is a seasoned chub, a welcome trophy of any experienced spinning player. However, regardless of size, this fish always fiercely fights when fighting. The chub is an inhabitant of fast streams, and its elastic muscular body resembles a heavy bar of silver. This is perhaps the most athletic fish in the middle strip. And the point here is not so much in the strength of resistance, but in the caution and special attentiveness of the chub to everything that happens around. For this reason, hunting for this fish requires maximum care from the fisherman, as well as compliance with camouflage.
There is an opinion among Moscow spinningists that there is very little chub left in the rivers of the middle zone, and the one that is there does not manage to grow to a normal size. Therefore, those who wish to fish this fish are usually advised to go somewhere downstream of the Don or its tributaries. Such an opinion, however, is not true: a large chub can be caught much closer. My friends and I, for example, successfully catch it on the medium-sized rivers of the Oryol region. There really is a lot of it, and quite large, up to 3 kg. Such specimens are very attractive in terms of fishing, but even there they are extremely careful and attentive, so to catch them with all the abundance is no easier than in other places.
However, in order to enjoy the fight with a worthy rival, such as an adult chub, it is not at all necessary to go even to the Oryol region, and even more so somewhere further: the chub is quite a lot in the Moscow River. The river is wide and full-flowing, there are sections with a variety of coastal and bottom relief. A variety of conditions and an abundant forage base allow the chub to grow here to quite trophy sizes of 4-5 kilograms. True, there are not many such specimens, and I personally didn’t catch such beauties in the Moscow River, but 2-2.5 kilograms of fish came across and delivered incomparable pleasure when fishing. However, most often the size of the chubs caught is 0.6-1.2 kilograms.
You feel the bite of the chub right away. Unlike other predators – asp, zander and pike – it continuously makes sharp throws in different directions, and their strength does not decrease in any way as the fish approaches the shore. The chub continues the fight to the very end and even in the arms is always ready to make a powerful leap to regain freedom. But although the fishing process and an important stage of fishing, this is still the result of long work to find a chub and select a suitable bait. This is a rather complicated matter, since during the year the chub not only repeatedly changes the places of its camps, but its feed preferences and, accordingly, the entire range of lures that it catches also change.
In the ice-free sections of the Moscow River, chub fishing lasts all year, except for the period of the spring ban. If in the winter chubs are more often caught by spinners in the form of by-catch, then from the moment the first meltwater begins to flow into the river, its nibble sharply activates. This fish, like other predators, has two peaks of activity during the year – spring and autumn. Most water bodies have the longest fall, when the fish prepares for winter "fasting". But on the ice-free Moscow River, where the predator feeds throughout the winter, the spring zhor is usually much stronger and longer than on other rivers. Now there is a spring ban in the suburbs and some results of spring forbidden fishing can be summed up. This year, the chub began to actively take from the end of February, when the first strong thaws began. This time he became active even before the asp.
In spring, the chub, like the asp, can be caught only at certain points. Most often these are places where small rivers flow into. Fresh water comes here, which attracts a large number of fry, and a predator is also pulled behind it. This season my friends and I successfully caught several of our usual places that have been working for several years, and found several new ones where fairly large specimens were kept. We did not catch anything outstanding, but fish of 1-1.5 kg came across regularly. It should be noted that in spring, with quite muddy water, the chub does not lose its caution. After catching a kilogram of fish, biting at this point stops, and the next one can be caught no earlier than an hour and a half. Then there comes a break again.
Bites in the spring begin even in the thick twilight, and the bite continues for some time after sunrise. The next exit happens in the afternoon, after 12 hours, when the water warms up a little. The evening exit begins at four o'clock and lasts until dusk. Most often, you can count on bite for another half an hour and after sunset, and then everything stops completely. Spring fishing is exclusively wobbler, if possible with long-distance release of the bait downstream. Since fishing usually begins before dawn, the first to go are colorful wobblers. With sunrise, you have to switch to more muted, better natural, colors. In spring, the chub, regardless of size, prefers very small baits with a length of 5, a maximum of 6 cm. Mine work best with a depth of up to a meter.
At this time, the chub occupies its characteristic hunting area near rifts, steep banks, washed trees. He is full of energy, he has studied his territory in detail and has a good idea of where the pike is when the asp is hunting. After several years of fishing, we have developed a firm belief that the chub usually adjusts to the regime of larger predators living in the river. The periods of hunting of the chub and other predators, especially asp, rarely coincide: usually, its exits to feeding are shifted relative to the time of asp activity by 20-30 minutes in one direction or another. In the summer, the chub can only be caught on surface baits. Most often, wobblers and small spinners are used. A lot of articles are devoted to this topic, so do not repeat. I only note that on the Moscow River, as well as on other rivers, small wobblers, up to 5 cm, work better, and fishing is carried out with the release of the bait downstream.
Despite the fact that such fishing has already become classic, recently my friends and I, hunting for a summer chub, use various fly fishing lures. We are not talking about fly fishing – the scorer allows the use of light flies in spinal rigging. You can recall many cases when you process the roll for a long time with all kinds of spinners, but you still do not achieve a single bite, and then you put a scorer, tie a suitable fly – and literally on the second posting you feel a quick bite of the chub.
In summer, the chub is easiest to find on the steep, steep banks with overhanging trees. The chub, of course, is a predator, but if possible prefers to eat insects that fall in abundance from the trees and cliffs. Most often, the chub is under the tree itself, but the bite occurs a bit downstream. If in front of an overhanging tree there is some kind of roll, where the current intensifies, and below there is a dump in the hole, albeit in a small one, then here the chub will stand for sure, and often very large. Such places are very convenient for hunting, so they are occupied by the largest individuals, crowding out smaller ones. Such points should be caught in great detail, but also as carefully as possible, observing the disguise. If there are no bites, do not rush to move to another place – it is better to try changing the bait first.