When it comes to freshwater fish consumption in the UK, it is unlikely to commonly find much more than trout or salmon in fishmongers or shops.
This could partly do the fact that seafood is abundant in the country due to the country being surrounded by the sea and partly by the UK culture.
There are many species of other freshwater fish swimming in rivers and lochs but very few British people will actually eat them or have even ever considered trying them.
I’ve been writing a small series on how edible some of the coarse fish species are in the UK.
So today, let’s discuss if you can eat Chub.
Can you Eat Chub?
If you’re looking into eating “Chub” then depending on where you are in the world, your findings may differ. The type of chub you will find in the UK is the European Chub or the Leuciscus Cephalus.
In North America, you’ll find the Semotilus atromaculatus and Nocomis sometimes referred to as Chub and are actually sometimes consumed by anglers.
I’ve read some reports of them being smoked and sold in the great lake region, so if you’re here wondering if you can eat creek chub found in North America then yes, you can, and some people are fond of them.
In Utah, there is another fish referred to as a “Chub”, and these are the Gila atraria. These are generally seen as “trash” fish and are not commonly eaten.
When caught fishing for trout, these fish will often be killed and left to rot or taken home to freeze for dead bait fishing for larger predators.
These fish have a bad reputation as edible fish and are said to taste bad with a lot of bones.
I did find an article where a gentleman discussed smoking these fish to try and work out if they tasted as bad as their reputation.
The findings were that they tasted like any other smoked freshwater fish with white and moist meat.
When it comes to Chub swimming in UK waters, the consensus is not as great.
In a lot of cases, the chub has been deemed inedible due to it being full of forked bones and generally tasteless with unfirm flesh.
I also found reports of people referring to the chub tasting like “cotton wool” full of needles.
From these reviews of Chub, I would say that they are classed as inedible.
Not because they will cause you any harm by eating them but purely for the fact that they are full of small bones that make them a challenge to eat and also for their poor flavour.
With other freshwater fish such as perch, gudgeon and pike being abundant and largely easy to catch if you know where to look, then what I’ve read, I’d avoid giving the UK chub a miss for the dinner plate.
Well, that solves it.
Depending on where you are in the world, there is differing opinions on if you can eat chub depending on the type of Chub in your area.
In America, their “Chub” is sometimes eaten and can be made smoked to provide a tasty meal.
However, in the UK Chub is not commonly eaten and is deemed a mostly inedible fish that are not worth the time to catch and prepare.