If you can't stalk them, then you will have to bring stillwater chub to you and then encourage them to feed confidently enough to get themselves caught. However, in a lake with only a small number of shy fish this ain't going to be easy. You will have to use watercraft to find the fish, balanced tackle to catch the fish off-guard, and careful feeding to succeed.

There is only one bait that drives chub into a feeding frenzy and that is the humble maggot. Casters can work, but for sheer consistency a little and often supply of maggots is by far the best way to both attract and then stimulate chub to feed. In a stillwater situation, where you might only be faced with a small number of chub, then you are not going to need huge quantities of bait. A couple of pints of maggots will be quite ample for an evenings fishing, as long as you keep the bait going in regularly.

At short range I loose feed with the aid of a catapult. Ten maggots every minute or two is about right. Any other fish in the area will also be drawn to this feed, in turn attracting the chub. Beyond catapult range the blockend feeder comes into play. I normally use the Kamasan black cap feeder in 15 and 30 gram sizes, depending upon the distance. Open the holes up as much as possible to allow the maggots out easily and remember to keep casting every few minutes to keep the stream of maggots going out. Another simple tip is to keep your maggots as warm as possible when the weather is cold. Anything you can do to liven up your maggots and get them out of the feeder faster will help you catch more fish.

Although maggots are great for attracting fish and getting them to feed, we come back to the old problem of how to single out the chub from the other, much more common species of fish. With the chub often hanging back and being the last to sample a hook bait, using maggot hook baits can count against you.

If you have a decent number of chub in front of you then eventually they are likely to bully smaller fish out of the swim and it is only a matter of time before they become confident enough to be caught. You can often tell when the chub are getting really hyped up as they will start swirling at the maggots as they hit the surface and knocking the feeder as it sinks. This would be the perfect situation, but when fishing for small numbers of large chub this will rarely be the case as there will not be enough fish to get them competing with each other.

Paradoxically, one of the best times to use the maggot approach with a maggot hook bait is when the weather is very cold and the fish less likely to feed. Chub will continue to eat some food when everything else has stopped completely, so you can be selective by just fishing on those days when the chub are likely to be the only fish feeding. By its very nature, fishing when the conditions are unfavourable is unlikely to be highly productive. By adopting this approach you are also limiting yourself to a rather short season in which the weather is bitterly cold. (Okay, knowing our winters, this might not be a problem!).

The final solution, and the one that I tend to adopt, relies upon the catholic diet of chub. Whilst it is possible to feed maggots to get the chub interested in feeding there are some baits that swing the odds greatly in favour of the chub. In particular I am thinking about using small strips of fish as hook bait, whilst continuing to feed maggots. Although you will be amazed at what other fish will pick up, try a small chunk or sliver of mackerel, this favoured chub bait will sort them out.

Why not just use a chunk of fish on the hook? Well, whilst this will work, I like to have the fish feeding hard before I begin fishing for them. With these larger fish baits, the chub are likely to just pick at the odd bait and not feed hard enough for them to become easier to catch. The combination of the ultimate feed with a bait that is selective for big chub gives you the best of all combinations and might just be enough to fool that most fearful of all fishes.