How to Fish With Creek Chub


Creek chubs are found across much of North America, and are a main forage item for many predators, including largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, walleye, brown trout, northern pike and catfish. Popular as bait, creek chubs sometimes grow up to 12 inches, but chubs in the 3- to 6-inch range are ideal for bait. They can be purchased in many bait shops, and can also be caught by hook and line using tiny pieces of bread or worms as bait. Methods of fishing with creek chubs vary, but the most important thing is to keep the bait lively and active in the water. The scent and motion of a live creek chub is a huge attractor for game fish.

Things You'll Need

  • Creek chub
  • Fishing rod & reel
  • Size 3/0 bait hook
  • Tie a 3/0 bait hook to the end of your fishing line. You may use a 2/0 hook for slightly smaller creek chubs, or a 4/0 for extra large bait, but the 3/0 size works best in most situations.

  • Hold your creek chub firmly in one hand.

  • Insert the hook through the bottom lip of the creek chub and bring it out through the top of the upper jaw. Be careful not to bring the hook out too far back on the chub's head, as this can injure or kill the bait.

  • Cast the creek chub into the water and wait for a bite. The chub will be able to swim around naturally to attract game fish. Keep your line as tight as you can; this helps you to feel what is going on at the end of it.

Tips & Warnings

  • To fish closer to the bottom in deep water, add a small split-shot sinker to your line about 12 inches ahead of the bait.
  • You can also try fishing your creek chub like a lure by slowly retrieving and pausing it as you bring it in.
  • If you want to try fishing with a bobber, hook the creek chub through the flashy part of the middle of its back, about 3/4 of the way up the side of the fish. Be careful not to pierce the spine of the chub; this can render it unable to swim naturally.
  • Some waters have regulations about introducing non-native baitfish, so check your state's fishing rulebook before fishing with creek chubs. This is especially true if you caught the bait yourself.


  • Photo Credit fishing image by Zbigniew Nowak from
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