Over the last few weeks, I've hooked chub every time I've been piking. Most have been lightly hooked, mainly because I'm not giving them time to chew the bait, and have come off. I managed to land one today, 4lb on the dot, there isn't much that they won't eat!
In my experience, lamprey and smelt are taken with ease by chub, other baits tend to be ignored (though I've had a decent one on a whole sardine before now). Im certainly going to be adding lamprey / herring chunks to my armoury of chub baits, as they seem to be taken with gusto, and none of these quick bites either, they seem to sit there and chew the bait (as you can see in the picture), leaving a slow nodding on the rod tip. Today, I had a feeling it was a chub, so when I saw the nodding, I say and waited until the chub noticed it was hooked and bolted, which was about 20 seconds or so. Quite exciting holding the rod awaiting the slam of the tip, and knowing it's about to come. The use of baits that are rarely seen works very well with chub that are pressurised, and that have got used to the bread flake / meat / cheese paste / pellet baits. A clear sign of shy chub are quick, unhittable bites- if you are suffering from these, I would highly recommend a new bait, like steak or lamprey (or even pigs liver / heart). I've found that bites are, all of a sudden, very confident and unmissable.
That leads me onto my next point - how would I fish for chub safely, knowing the possibility of pike taking a bait. So, I'm going to give this stuff a try, apparently it can be knotted (dubious) but at the very least it's supple, which would be ideal for chub fishing.