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Although the Chub is not much prized for the table, still it is an handsome looking fish when in full season and fresh caught. Being a bold biting fish, struggling gamely, it affords the angler much amusement; taking the bait from July till March; either at the top of the water with large flies, insects, moths and palmers, or at the bottom with greaves, bullock's brains, or the pith from the backbone. I have also taken very large Chub with the head of a lob worm; or a slug cut down the belly so as to show the white inside; using them like a fly, early in the morning; the splash the bait made on entering the water appearing peculiarly attractive. Chub spawn about May, and do not thrive well in stagnant ponds, though they do in ponds fed by a running stream, provided there are weeds that give a harbour for the breed of insects. They delight, in still holes beneath overhanging bushes or roots, the sides of tumbling bays, &c., in rivers, retiring during the winter to deeper holes, preferring at all times a gravelly bottom. When small they are extremely like the Dace in colour and appearance, except that the tail and dorsal fin are much darker than those of the Dace, the point of the tail being nearly black; the mouth and head also are much broader. I have taken with a very large black fly (called a "Marlow Crow") Chub in the Thames above Marlow, weighing six pounds and a half: and in some parts they grow to eight pounds.

Dibbing for Chub with a live Cockchafer or Beetle is very successful; the horny covering of the wings should be removed. The Humble Bee and Grasshopper are also good baits for dibbing during the day, and a large white or brown Moth late in the evening. It is necessary in this style of fishing to hide as much as possible from the sight of the fish, behind a tree or bush. Use a stiffish rod, drawing off as much line as will just allow the bait to reach the water. If you are fishing through bushes, twist all the line between the point of the rod and the bait round the top; and passing it through the bushes, untwist the line: with proper management the bait -will fall naturally and gently on the surface of the water. Where there are wide leaves on the water it is as well to drop the bait on each one in succession, allowing it to roll In from each. Chub, in the summer, at mid-day, often lie concealed under such leaves, ready to take any insect that drops off. If you see any fish, cautiously guide the bait towards the largest. When there are no trees, bushes or similar obstructions on the bank from which you are fishing, the winch-line should be of stout floss silk, and is technically termed a "blow line"; to this add a yard or two of gut with the hook length attached. Stand with the wind at your back, hold the insect-bait lightly between the forefinger and thumb of the left hand; and letting out as much blow line as may be required, let go the hook and the bait will be carried by the wind the requisite distance across the water. The rod for this style of fishing should not be less than twelve feet in length and lighter than for ordinary dibbing. Observe to keep the blow line as dry as possible, or it will be too heavy, if wet.

They are taken during the summer with the ordinary fly rod using red, brown or black Palmers, etc., in some parts of the Thames a large black artificial caterpillar is very successful.

I have also taken some very fine Chub with the Spinning- bait when fishing for Trout and Perch early in the season; towards the latter end of spring, angling with a live minnow or small frog is sometimes very successful.

The best time to angle with bullock's pith and brains is from November till March. To prepare them for use, take the skin from the brains, washing in fresh water two or three times to clear them from blood, and until they become white; the outside skin of the pith of the backbone is very thick and tough, this must be carefully slit with scissors (so as not to tear the under skin), and removed. When this operation is completed, slit the underskin in like manner, from end to end of the piece, open it so as to lay it flat, there will then be skin on one side and none on the other; the skin is to bind it to the hook. Wash clean, boil the pith and brains a minute, and they are ready for use.

The Pod should be light and about twelve feet long if used from the bank, but may be shorter to use from a punt. With forty or fifty yards of fine prepared plaited silk line on a suitable winch. The bottom tackle should be composed of three yards of fine gut line, a No. 5 hook, and a quill float of proportionate size to the amount of stream in the swim; using as small a one as possible. Choose a gentle swim about six feet deep where there are willow bushes overhanging the water; plumb the depth and fish an inch from the bottom, baiting with the pith and using the brains as ground-bait. Strike directly you see a bite, and handle your fish carefully; if a large one, it will probably rush furiously to the opposite side of the river, directly it is hooked, give plenty of line, unless he is going to dangerous quarters; put on a little strain and after his first or second effort, and a few plunges you may venture to bring him to the landing net.

The usual method of ground-baiting with brains is by chewing and then blowing them into the water; but as many anglers object to this, they may proceed in this manner: - take a quantity of brains, either bullocks' or sheep's, clean them as before described, and pound them in a mortar, mixing afterwards with house-sand and a little bran. Throw into the water in small quantities occasionally whilst angling. If pith and brains connot be procured, bait with the whitest greaves, or paste, made of bread, old cheese and honey.

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Pictures for Chub

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