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Question Re HunspillSubject: RE: Huntspill
The agency is holding it's annual coarse angling championships on the River Huntspill this year. I've not fished it for many years so wondered if you could provide an insight into how it fishes nowadays. Last time I went, it was a gallon of squats and 12lb of ground bait. Bet that's changed. I particularly interested in how you fish the waggler there. I've heard you do quite well at it. Any guidance would be great.
Thanks KEITH JENKINS
Thanks for your email and enquiry. Yes the Huntspill has changed over the years and methods used then for bream have changed. Bridge areas seem to hold them but not in the huge numbers as seen in the past. Far bank fishing with the feeder is best if bream are your quarry. However there are loads of small fish to be caught on the pole or waggler line. In the last two years I have framed in almost every match I fished there using the waggler. There are two waggler tactics, first is my tried and tested loose hemp and maggot approach, fishing off the bottom at 20 meters out, single red maggot 20 hook. Catching roach on the drop over a catapult of two dozen grains of well cooked hemp and ÔŅĹ dozen maggots. Finally laying hard on in the last hour picking up eels and perch. The second approach is Brown and supercup groundbait little knobs every cast fishing the same distance with pinky and red maggot. This will produce small skimmers and roach with the odd big un coming in on the same line. Try alternating off the bottom and hard on. But you must decide before the start which approach is best for you. As you cant mix and match the two tactics together. Just keep one thing in mind, you must produce a bite and catch fish throughout the match and you will end up with double figures. I hope this has helped! Let me know how you get on!
Tight Lines Clive Branson
Thanks Clive............ Two useful approaches.. I guess you feed walnut size knobs. Do you ball any in on the initial all-in or just maintain the drip feeding. I appreciate that you have to keep your edge but any chance you could describe your waggler set up please. I know that the depths average around 7ft at 20mt and that picking up the tow is vital. How far off bottom do you place your strung out bulk. Do you use loaded wagglers atall ?? Going to be putting in a fair bit of practice on the 'Spill this year so may well bump into you....... I don't know if you remember me. used to fish with Cassnewydd back in the days of Martin Trueman, Tony Croomb, Niel Stephens and the rest.
Cheers Keith .
If you use the groundbait method then yes walnut sizes best. I may put in just a couple of balls first. Chuck out a feeder for 5mins (Middle) and expect a couple of quick bites either perch or skimmers will soon dry up though. Bulk or loaded inserted wagg will do fine. 3 number 6 shot down with a number 8 on the hook length 20 hook on 8 bottom Dead depth to begin altering as the match progresses
PS. Glad to see you back fishing. Are you working for the EA
Cheers Clive... Will give it a go as soon as the river opens. Yes still with EA, Been 26years now. Not bailiffing nowadays, TOO OLD (54) hence back into my fishing.
Hi Clive........ One last question if I may. Loose feed and groundbait approaches.............. Am I right to think that loose feed is used when there is little tow and the groundbait when it's pushing through.. or do you use some other criteria
Thanks for all your great advice.
The Secret is to know what species are in your swim. Loose feed for roach / groundbait for skimmers. Donít over complicate yourself with tow etc.. when you have fished there a few times you will know what method to use when you draw your peg. Any top match angler know that there is no hard and fast rules for every swim. This is where the Welsh manager Eric Humphries got it wrong and that is why the team has never done any good under his regime. When the Welsh team Won a Gold and Bronze medals and When I won Silver and Gold And R Bainton P Davies won bronze. Under John Mayers management We were left to fish as we saw fit with the swim we drew. Whereby under Doug Hornblow and Humpries the team have to fish their way. (They havenít got a clue)
Sorry I canít be more specific
Thanks Clive.............. Point taken. Knowing the water is key. As captain of the EA Wales Coarse Angling Team, I do everything I can to gain as much knowledge of the match venue as I can.( hence my chats with you and others ) I have team members from throughout Wales who will all be visiting the 'Spill but myself and a colleague will be fishing it regularly from the 16th. Although our Championships aren't till September every bit of knowledge is important. By Sept, all will have had a few practice sessions and we will have a general TEAM PLAN but on the day it will be down to the individual to make the most of their draw and fish it how they think best. The individuals talents must be allowed to come through. Only a fools would insist that everyone adopt the same approach. Are you fishing the 'spill much this year?? would be good to bump into you again after all these years.
I have enjoyed our conversations and wish you best for the upcoming event. And yes I shall be fishing the Spill as we have a South West super league event there this summer. This venue I believe is perhaps one of the last true silver fish venues around and looking forward to fishing most of the matches. However I will be juggling this with fishing the Warwickshire Avon at Evesham.
I hope to bump into you and tight lines
had a nice day yesterday on a crystal waggler. Water about 4-5 foot deep, slow and very clear now so I fished and fed a good way downstream. Overcast all day, almost no wind, kept a nice tight line to the float. Wanted to try for the roach and in the past have only ever got into them on caster. So I fished caster. Caught quite a few but missed 8/10 bites. Good sized fish - about 8-10oz. Was fishing a size 22 on 0.08 hooklength. Float dotted right down. They were biting the end off the caster and sucking the contents out. I tried nicking the caster at the blunt end, at the sharp end, in the middle, buried inside from the blunt end, buried inside from the sharp end. Nothing made any difference. When I tried burying the hook threaded from the sharp end (reverse to normal) they were biting off the blunt end. How smart is that! Even tried a size 28 to see if I could get them to smash the caster with a proper bite. No good. Have you studied how roach nick the end off the caster? I presume they do it with their throat teeth?Any advice? something you (and John Allerton) mentioned was that roach will follow the bait down as it descends. Can you explain what you mean by this? Are the roach following the loosefeed down, or the hookbait, or both?
Is this something they do regardless of how much loosefeed you put in? Regardless of the size of the shoal? Regardless of the size of the fish? Are the roach up in the water waiting for the loosefeed, follow it down, and then go back up? Or do they wait nearer the bottom and swim to the top when the loosefeed
arrives, then follow it down? Or is it more the case that the roach follow the bait down only in the last third (say) of the water? What do you envisage is happening? Cheers Jon
In my experience the roach that nick the end are usually smaller fish fry (roach, chub, dace etc..) or maybe minnows. (Have you minnows in the river) Roach over a few onces generally give a smashed caster. (See next part of answer also maybe that may explain that phenomena) When roach follow the bait down they literally do just that and can swim with the bait in their mouth along the swim without any indication on the float. That is why some anglers in the midlands developed a stick float with a bristle (See float encyclopedia) allowing the most sensitive
bite indication possible. It seems mainly roach do this however I have noticed dace can do the same sometimes.
Kind regards Clive
Hi Clive, thanks for the answers. There are minnows yes in the river. And dace too. I caught some dace yesterday, but no minnows. Perhaps I should have tried a very small caster! So presumably when a minnow nicks the end off a caster they do it with their lips? Re following the bait down - I think I understand. I was thinking that when you said follow the bait "down" that down meant vertically, from top to bottom, but clearly you don't, you mean horizontally, getting
further away from you but at the same depth. You see how easy it is to get the wrong idea!
Hope you remember me, Arnie Palmer (Holbeach & District AC). We sat behind you for quite sometime during your recent Super League Match, the one where you were second. For me as captain of our team in the forthcoming Div One National, it was a great experience to see how you approach the river and receive the advice you freely gave to us. During and after the match I made notes and wondered if the methods you used would work throughout the river and on the other two drains and whether or not you would use the same method on all the sections of the Huntspill.Answer
Yes If all your team committed themselves to the waggler I am sure you would make the top ten. Some members may win a section if they are good enough. I suggest setting two waggler rods up. First rig should be just touching bottom allowing to slide the float up the line when the fish start to come off bottom. Some times 12" off bottom. Just keep moving the float around making sure that you are getting bites at all times. (3AA insert waggler, 3 number 8 down the line. size 20 hook 8Diam line)
2nd Rig should lay on about 3ft allowing to hold bottom when the Huntspill flows. (Usually opposite direction to the wind and remember that when casting and feeding) 2swan wagg with 6 number 6 down line with the last two on the bottom. This will slow up the tow Keep trying both wagglers making sure that you are getting bites. Work rate is the answer. If no bites are coming just keep feeding as they will come. In some section there are more roach than skimmers. However In my opinion you should put knobs of ground bait in every cast for the first 30 mins using about 2 kilo of mixed brown crumb and Lake. (I use supercup skimmers and roach love it) Then change to loose fed red maggot over hemp. Fill up a medium cup of hemp and sprinkle a dozen maggots on top. Catapult in an area over a dustbin lid size. Concentrate in that area just pass the pole line. 5/6 rod lengths out. Remember also to have a pole set up to hold back if the flow is strong. Just come a bit shorter. Try hemp on the hook on the pole line as this can catch also. All the best for the national and I hope this has helped I am sure if all the team used this method you will all do well. Including the King sedgemore. Although the pole may be better there.
SEE YOUR VIEWS FOR THE RESULT
Hi Clive Can you give me any tips on fishing a flooded river, where do the fish go?
Hi John Thanks for your email. I am asked often this question. Most people fish in the slack water away from the main flow. However I have often caught out in the main flow using feeder or ledger tactics. The flow in a flooded river would often be faster on the surface whilst slower on the bottom. The reason I know this is because a friend of mine who happens to be a diver experienced this phenomena when my local river was high. He told me that he could hold on to the bottom easily but when he came near the surface he could not swim against the current. This obviously means fish can also live in the main river, simply use enough lead to hold against the surface flow. (It helps by using a bow in the line method; see a previous tip of mine) I hope this has helped in your question where do the fish go in a flooded river.
hi clive can you give me some tips for fishing slow flowing rivers. there are roach gudgeon dace barbel chub and carp in this river and i want to catch them but what type of float and what bait should i use?
When I fish slow flowing rivers I always use the lightest float possible so that the flow of any current will help the float produce a natural bait as possible. However methods depends on the species of fish that I am after. Roach, gudgeon and dace use light tackle such as a stick float or pole float. For Carp, Barbel and chub use heavy tackle and in some instances use ledger tactics. For bait use maggot or caster for roach, dace and gudgeon. For Barbel, chub and carp try using halibut pellets as they are catching more and more fish these days.
I hope this may help in catching some fish please let me know how you get on.
hi there clive just found your sight look greats like some tips on winter baits as i,m fishing for carp at my local also how much to feed and what to attract them in the cold weather were having cheers m8 jason (wrexham)Hi Lewis
Thanks for your email. This time of year as the winter and colder water set in, a lot of fish slow up in feeding and carp being no exception. With this in mind we must now adopt a meaner approach with our feeding. Another words not so generous with groundbait or loose feed. Generally paste and large baits are left at home. The shallow parts of the lake when the sun comes out will produce the best sport. This is due to the water warming quicker in the sunlight. Try smaller baits such as pellets, red worm and even maggots this time of year. I hope this has helped
Tight Line Clive
Sorry to bother you but I am after some information as I am from the North East of England where I fish matches etc at woodlands however, I am venturing to WhiteSprings next week to fish on the New Canal and fish the HASSRA Nationals. Taking into account this is a three man team can you give me any info. Kind regards
Martin Rowell IT Support Technician Capita ITS DSU Northern Region
The new match canal was built 2 years ago then stocked with small carp and f1. We had the first match last year on this prolific small lake. The winning weight was 173lb The canal type lake is 13-14 meters wide. With 8" - 16" shelves on the far bank. Method is to fish the inside shelf first catching on pellet or worm. Switching to the far shelf after pre-baiting. If that goes dead then you have the option to fish down the track.
The last time I fished that lake I won it with 52lb of small carp (8-12oz) fishing the far shelf with the pole breaking down using chopped worm
Hi thanks for your question
A simple loop of line from the hook could solve the problem. Just loop around the pellet in a hanging knot. I also like to use a pellet band as this is just as quick.
Iíve been having a lot
of trouble fishing for chub on the rivers this winter. I
fish a couple of stretches on the river Aire which hold good heads of
chub, the main tactic is ledgering a big bait, which I
do. My problem comes with bite detection, I fish a heavy
feeder rod with the stiff carbon tip, Iím constantly getting touches
and knocks which I am interpreting as fish playing with
the bait or debris hitting the line. I position my rod
tip high as to keep most of the line out of the water. I
canít see where Iím going wrong but on quite a few
occasions during the session when I bring the
meat/bread/corn/paste has been pilfered. Fair enough if
it was just the bread I would assume that it has been
washed off. Could you give me some tips/pointers?
During the winter most rivers tend to carry extra water and lots of debris such as leaves, twigs etc, especially after some rain. This can lead to phantom bites as the rubbish hits the line and cover the bait. A trick that I often use is to squeeze a BB split shot 3Ē above the baited hook and another one just above the feeder (If I am using one at the time) This will eliminate the bait from being covered therefore when I get a bite it becomes a positive one. Another thing you must consider is using a hardy bait instead of soft paste, bread etc. I find a large Lobworm to be the best bait for chub, although Halibut pellets is now becoming popular bait. Luncheon meat threaded up the line above the hook is also a good winter bait. Apart from that it seems as though you are fishing correctly with the line out of the water as much as possible, although I tend to strike at any movement on the rod tip, as fish in the cold donít attack the bait as they do in summer. Quite often I will hook a fish with just a small tremor, it also keeps you active and keeps the swim baited up in the faster flow.
this has helped please let me know how you get on.
Tight Lines Clive
I would like to know where I can get lob worms and how would you use this bait. Regards Keith.
Tight Lines Clive
Could you give me some
tips on hemp and tare fishing? In particular how the
bloody hell do you hook the
things? And feeding methods.Thanks
The easiest way to hook hemp is to pin prick on the top of the seed (One which has not opened after cooking) two small holes either side of the shell, so that you can pass a wide gape hook through (As if you are hooking a maggot) I use a knot picker or a small darning needle. This way you not only keep the hemp seed on but can catch quite a few before re hooking. If you are fishing close in you can push the shank of the hook into the split, however you may have to re bait when you miss a bite. Feed sparingly when you start to fish then increase when you attract a large shoal. I only use tares on the hook, cook them until they soften (Not to soft) squeeze one when cooking until they feel right for hooking..I hope this has helped, let me know how you get on.
I've only been
fishing for a few months and love every minute of it and
I've just tried my hand at feeder fishing. I set up using a feeder
that slides up and down the line and my hook length to
the bottom eye of the swivel. I've noticed quite
a few other anglers have tied their hook length to the
main line, 12 inches or so above the feeder, but
haven't seen any 'loops!?'.Could you tell me how this
is done please and in your opinion, the best way to
present everything when feeder fishing. Thanks very much Regards Paul Burgess
Tight lines Clive
Subject: small river pole fishing
MY tip. I fish a similar small river (Taff Feeder) and hold the match record of 33lb in 4 hours. By using a small river pole float in conjunction with a rod and reel I can cover a very long trot. (Using a pole you are limited in the length of your swim) Slightly over shotting a reverse pear pole float holding back the float and easing it through the swim will attract a lot of fish. Try this method and let me know how you get on?
Hi clive hope you are well and enjoying youre fishing
Would you mind helping me, i have been fishing an old clay pit ,its a mixed fishery
and i ve been after the Skimmers useing a Slider its 12 feet deep iv been feeding loads off balls of b crumb and fishing maggot over the top and as hook bait .i catch lots of roach ,but a few skimmers now and then .
Some guy had 25 skimmers the other day on the feeder ,but i like FLOAT fishing.
How can i put together a decent bag
of skimmers.Trying to find decent info on Slider fishing
is anightmare as well.
Thanks for your email
Try chopped worm in the crumb instead of maggot
and then a small piece of worm on the hook. Go to my
Thanks for your email
If you have an eyelet on the tip of the pole then I suspect you may have purchased what we call a whip. I also suspect that the whip pole is telescopic.You could just tie your terminal tackle onto the eye. (Terminal tackle is float line shots and hook, you can purchase a complete set up from most tackle shops)
What I normally do to my top section of pole, is first take off the eye and insert a pv bush available from tackle shops, also thread a pole elastic through the top section securing it with a small bung, on top of the elastic join a stompho (line attachment) from there you can attach the terminal tackle.
I hope this has helped! You could also try my friends web site
Tight Lines Clive
Sent: 16 August 2005 17:20To:
Thanks for your email
After receiving your 2nd email regarding the bait you use I would strongly recommend that you try a hair rig with your luncheon meat bait (please see previous question about hair rig))
Also I would suggest that you shorten your tail shot closer to the hook i.e.. 8"-10". I would also use a finer hook length say diameter 10 or 12
I hope this has helped. Please let me know how you get on.
HI CLIVE, THINKING OF DOING A BIT OF COURSE FISHING MAINLY FOR CARP WANT A ROD TO DO FLOAT FISHING PLUS CAN ALSO LEDGER BAIT WITH SMALL WEIGHTS.CAN YOU SUGGEST A GENERAL ROD TO DO BOTH? WHAT BREAKING STRAIN LINE DO YOU USE? THANKS ROB THOMAS
There really isnít a combination
fishing rod that will do both float and ledger
fishing. Because of the nature of each type of
presentation, for example a ledger rod would have to
be very sturdy for casting a weight at distance, where
a float rod would be lighter and a softer action for
casting much lighter terminal tackle such as a float.
Also the action on each rod fish very differently, for
example when float fishing, you will be holding the
rod at all times therefore this rod would be have to
be much lighter than a ledger rod. I do suggest that
you go to a local tackle shop for more information as
they I am sure would put you on the right path.
Breaking strain lines also differ. Heaver main reel
line for ledgering and lighter line for float fishing
again I would seek the advise from your local tackle
shop and I would mention where you intend to fish as
they would also help you their. (All depends on the
size of fish expected to be caught) Tight lines Clive
When I am fishing a similar method i.e. floating caster or pellet I smear the line to the hook with muslin. This is a fly line product that can be bought from most tackle shops. It is a small round tin with a pad included. Simple wipe the muslin on to the pad and then fold the pad and run the line that you want to float along the length. This may last for a good hour or two, them repeat as required.
Tight Lines Clive
Thanks for your question
I tie a small loop coming from the hook and by threading a bait needle through my bait I then pull the loop back through the bait (i.e. meat, pellet, boile etc) I then attach either a small piece of grass or spaghetti to the loop so that the bait does not come off. I hope that makes sense
i got your
site when i was looking on geers in belgiums site,i
wondered if you can help me find a supplier in the uk
where i can find some clubmen bream yellow groundbait. with thanks lee
could you please tell me how to get perfect black tares
i have tried the usual ( bi-carb and sugar )
many thanx ian
Hi IanThanks for your email. The secret in colouring black tares is to actually die them with a clothes die when cooking (Black dylon) This was a very close secret for the anglers in the know Definitely worth a try Tight Lines]
101 and more Tips..
A cheap alternative to pole float winder anchors. Use any left over pole elastic, just a few inches and tie a loop either end and use as a cheap alternative to expensive pole winder anchors. Simply loop one end to line and the other to the winder.
Small drip feeder cup. When fishing the pole and want a small drip of feed going into the swim. Use a plastic kinder egg container bought from a local sweet shop. Simply make a hole either end of the cup ready to slip onto the end of the Pole. Before doing so, either make a few holes so that maggots can crawl out and drop into the swim. Alternatively cut a hole large enough for feed to drop out when shaking the pole. The plastic kinder egg can split in the middle for filling.
Keeping hooks rust free. Simply drop a few rice seeds into the hook box. The rice will absorb any moister present. Change the rice when needed.
Hook traces. It is so much easier when changing hook lengths to have them made up on a readymade trace. Tie them up at home and lay them on a rigid card, 10 inches by 8 inches. Use either a cereal package or cut a piece from a cardboard box. Simply cut a groove either end and attach the hook to one end and loop the other and attach. Mark the size of hook and breaking strain with a pen on the card next to the trace.
Keeps hook sharpened. A small emery cloth 2 inches by 2inches kept in the tackle box is an ideal hook sharpener. Alternatively use a small sharpening stone and with a few gentle rubs along the point of the hook will keep them sharpened. Especially when hooking the bottom of a stone based waterway.
Hooking more fish. By turning the hook slightly outwards and to the side will allow the point of the hook to penetrate a fishes mouth much easier allowing more hooked fish when striking.
Easy joints. Use candle wax on joints of the pole or rods, This will help to protect the joints as well as making them slip easier together or apart.
Stop line freezing in rod eyes. When winter fishing use a dab of glycerine to each eye on the fishing rod. This will stop the eyes from freezing up in cold winter conditions.
Loading line on to reels. When loading line onto a fishing reel, place the new spool of line into a container of water (small bucket or sink will do) attach new line to reel either by a loop or tie onto backing line. Manually whip a few loops of line around the knot before reeling on new line. The water in the container will clean the line as well as loading the reel spool correctly without twisting.
Disposing of line. Cut up old or discarded line with a pair of scissors, into small one inch pieces before disposal.
Pole Cups. Use tops of old canisterís as pole cups. Either fix to end of spare pole top or Glue a small spring attachment to bottom of the top. Fix to pole as a cheap alternative to a pole cup. Available in small sizes.
Unhooking eels. Hold an eel upside down with the use of the top of the keep net or landing net. This will subdue the eel whilst holding the wriggling eel still. Use a stompo disgorger for deep swallowed hooks.
Swimfeeders. Use plastic hair curlers as a cheep alternative. Simply apply a small strip of lead to the side and attach a swivel to the top.
Mini feeder. Use a strip of thick cellophane such as an x-ray sheet. Roll into a small cone. Attach a swivel to the top and swan shott in the top of the cone. A cheap and ideal mini groundbait feeder.
Plummet for snaggy bottoms. Roll a flat piece of lead around a strip of sponge and flatten. Pass the hook through the sponge. Use as a plummet. If the plummet gets stuck on the bottom simply apply pressure. The float rig will come away all in tact. A convenient and cheap way of not loosing the float rig in a snaggy swim.
Camouflaging a float. Simply paint the body of a float white. This will camouflage the float against a bright sky. Allowing shy feeding fish to feed under the float
Degrease fishing line. Place the fishing reel spool in a tub of water, add washing up liquid and leave to soak over night. This will degrease the fishing line and allow the line to sink. Ideal when waggler or ledger fishing.
Floating line. Use a flat piece of cloth dipped in Vaseline. Cast the line out and retrieve holding the cloth so that the line runs between pinched fingers. Alternatively purchase musclin from tackle shop and apply the same. Ideal for stick float fishing.
Hooking worms. Break the worm in half and hook the two pieces on the top. This will allow the juices to leak from the bottom of the worm whilst the natural wriggle will attract those feeding fish.
Hooking maggots. Hook a maggot from underneath the two eyes. This will allow the hook to face upwards so not to snag on the bottom. Whilst lifting up when striking into a fish.
Double maggot hooking. Top and tail the maggot when using double maggot. This will help stop twisting of line when retrieving.
Shy bites. Thread a maggot or worm up the shank of the hook when fish are biting shy. This will conceal the hook allowing fish to feed confidently.
Floating maggot. Introduce a small amount of water into a bait container, ľ inch. Cut out a square in the lid. This will stop the maggots from crawling out when wet. Add a hand full of hook bait maggot. Within a few minutes the maggot will absorb moister and the maggot will become floating. Use these maggots as hook bait as they will counter balance the weight of the hook, making the bait more natural.
Sticky maggot. Clean your loose feed bait (Maggots) riddle them through a sieve. Introduce them into a ladies nylon stocking. Tie the end and wash them under a running tap. Dry them with a cloth or hair dryer. Place in clean bait box, add a couple of spoonful of Horlicks powder drink. The maggot will stick together allowing them to be moulded into a ball, ready for catapulting into the swim at long distances.
Groundbaiting Rivers. Add small stones or aquarium pebble gravel into bread-based groundbait. This will give weight to the groundbait which will sink quicker in a fast flowing river, allowing the groundbait to break up whilst on the bottom of the river.
Baiting up a flowing river. Use a carrot mesh bag, add a few stones into the bag as weight. Fill up with bait such as maggot, caster, worms, groundbait etc.. Tie up the end of the bag. Tie a heavy fishing line to the top, throw the bag into the swim where you expect to fish. Leave whilst fishing. Retrieve when required. Repeat process.
Catapulting correctly. Turn the folk of the catapult upside down before using. The cup or pouch of the catapult will rebound without hitting knuckles or the back of the hand.
Camouflaging a pole over the top of feeding fish. When the water is clear or fishing near the surface, paint the top sections of the pole white or light blue. This will act as Camouflage against the sky or cloud. Allowing fish not to spook.
Stopping rubbish or weed covering the bait. When fishing a swollen river a lot of rubbish can attach itself to the line slipping down and covering the bait. Simply place a bb shot 2 inches above the hook. The weed or rubbish will stop on the shot allowing the bait not to be covered. Also place the same size shot above the swimfeeder eliminating the same.
Degreasing a constant floating line. Wrap a sponge around the head of a rod rest top, with the use of electrical ties, add a few drops of washing up liquid to the sponge. Retrieve the line through the sponge by resting the rod on top of the sponge.
Landing big fish on light gear on rivers. When hooking large fish on rivers, play out the fish and guide the fish above you in the swim, add a little pressure and bring the fish over the landing net.
Snag in the swim. When hooking a snag in the swim, try pulling from the opposite direction to release. If that fails try adding pressure with the rod pointed straight at the snag.
Breeding gozzers or Extra large maggots. Use a carcase of a chicken with a little meat left on the bone. Add boiled eggs to the centre then fill completely. Place chicken in shade. Watch over with stick and repel all flies until the large blue bottle fly arrives. Allow them to lay eggs. Wrap up chicken in newspaper and leave in a dry warm place. Check after 5/7 days when maggots are large enough place carcase over a maggot sieve. Introduce soft bran to maggots keeping them soft.
Collecting worms. A quick easy and convenient way of collecting worms for fishing. Find a cut grass lawn, use a water can and introduce washing up liquid to the water. Sprinkle over a square meter at a time. Worms will come out of the earth, collect and wash them quickly in clean water then dry in peat or moss.
Making fishing paste. Half fill a container with fine fish pellet. Add the same amount of hot boiling water. Leave to soak until cool. Add egg yolk and food gluten. Mix with hands until soft paste is required. Mould into medium size balls and seal in plastic bags until required.
Turning casters golden. Place white turned casters onto a damp cloth. Wrap or roll them up and place into a fridge. Leave for a few hours. The caster will all turn into the same colour, place them in an air-tight container until use.
Keeping maggot fresh. After purchasing fresh maggot bait, riddle them clean through a sieve. Place into plastic bag, take out the air and tie up bag. Place them in fridge and keep until fishing day. Open bag a few hours before fishing, place maggots on sieve and wait until they revive. Dispose of dead maggot and use fresh bait.
Dead maggots. When dead maggots are required for fishing (Bream or eel fishing) Place maggots into pellet pump, extract air then place in freezer for an hour. Open pellet pump and place maggot in water until use. Alternatively pour boiling water over live maggot. (However this may make the maggot tough)
Catching small fry. When required to catch small fish minnows, fry etc.. (Winter league etc) Pinch small hook together until the gape is extra small. Cut head of maggot or pinky maggot place on hook. Fish with light line. Alternatively Use the yolk of a caster, dip hook into open caster bait and twist. The yolk will hang onto hook, place bait in front of fish in view.
Punched bread. When using punch bread as bait, place fresh slice of bread into clear plastic bag, seal and place into microwave for 30 seconds. This will make punched bread more pliable and stay on hook longer. Alternatively place slice of bread into plastic bag and hold open end over steaming kettle for a few seconds. Seal bag until use.
Mole Hill. Locate mole mounds in field close to fishing venue. Collect earth mounds, sieve though ally taking out stones, grass etc. Add to small amount of groundbait prior to fishing. Add small amount of water whilst mixing. This mix becomes almost a non feed groundbait, ideal for keeping fish in the swim longer.
Laxative. Add natural salt to groundbait which acts as a laxative to feeding fish. Catch rate should improve for the need of the fish to come back to ground-baited area.<>
Preparing Tares. When cooking tares for use, add a spoonful of bicarbonate of soda to boiling water before intruding the tare to the cooking pot. For an ideal black tare add black dylon die after cooking.
Preparing Hemp seed. Soak un-split seeds in water prior to cooking over night. Add to boiling water in saucepan then add a few spoonfuls of bicarbonate of soda. For extra flavour When boiling add a few drops of honey
Float tips. Colour fishing float tips for changing light and backdrops. Apply white tipex to tip of float when fishing a dark backdrop and when the Sun is shinning. For light backdrop and gleam on water colour float tip with a permanent black felt marker pen.
Stop groundbait from rolling away. Simply flatten groundbait prior to throwing into the swim. Ideal for moving waters such as Rivers and moving canals.
Loaded waggler floats. Wrap a lead wire around base of a waggler float to allow a self cocking float. Ideal for light presentation.
Bigger Squatts. Place a slice of bread that has been soaked in milk on top of the squat maggots in the bait box the night before fishing. The squats will feed off the bread and will enlarge the squatt magot ready for fishing.
Shotting up a pole float. Acquire a long cylinder from a chemist. The ideal size should be 24 inches high. Shot up float as required before placing on winder. Alternative to a long cylinder would be a large Lemonade bottle with the neck cut off.
Light Ledger. String onto the end of the fishing line a few swan shotts. Before tying off to the hook length. Space the shotts as required this will enable the weight to hold bottom of moving water. Add more shot as required.
Keeping worms fresh. When worms are in storage, either in a large container or large sack. Keep in either moss or light mixture of peat and earth. Place mashed bread within. The worms will feed from decaying food and keep fresh as well as growing
Picking up small hooks. When picking up a small hook from the tackle box, lick tip of finger and place on hook lift and the hook will stick, ready for tying on line. Alternatively use a small magnet to pick up hook from tackle box.
Keeping hooks tidy. Use a small magnet in each hook box to secure the hooks. This will stop hooks from dropping out of tackle box.
Holding bottom in a flooded river. Use a large 4-6oz round crab lead for holding bottom in a flooded river. Alternatively use a small breakaway lead or a flattened bomb. Flatten lead weight with hammer
Wash Odour away. Rinse hands in water prior to fishing. Ideally in the river or lake before handling hooks, bait etc.. This will take away salt, chemicals and humans smells that the fish may be aware of.
Air pressure. Keep an eye on a barometer for changes in air pressure. Sudden changes affect the way most fish feed. High pressure will spurt fish to feed, while low pressure changes will affect feeding patterns.
Try threading bait up the line. For bream and carp fishing. Hook the maggots in the middle and tread a bunch of maggots up the shank of the hook and then push them up above the hook. This produces a similar affect to a hair rig producing good quality bites from big fish.
Adding flavour to bait. Add flavour to bait, this will enhance the smell and flavour of bait encouraging fish to feed. Aniseed and hemp for roach, fish meal for carp, cheese for chub, sweetcorn or vanilla for bream, etc..
Attracting fish into the swim. Throwing a pebble or stone into the swim can attract fish to your bait. Simply throw a pebble or stone around your baited area this will have an affect of a ripple and sound and can attract fish into a swim.
Attracting fish when float fishing. Holding the line against the flow of a river or wind on still water can lift the bait off the bottom. This can attract fish and produce a bite.
Attracting fish on still water. When pole fishing, place tip on top of water and shake, this will produce a vibration that can attract fish to the area.
Sky lining. Fish are spooked by shadows on the water. Avoid walking on an open area above the swim. This will also apply to spectators who may inevitably walk up to an angler. Always crouch below an open sky line.
Colour in depth of water, Red is the most natural colour of most living natural food. Red colour can be seen in depth far greater than any other colour. Using red bait and ground bait in depth can produce more fish than any other.
Twitching. Either float fishing or ledgering. Try twitching bait by retrieving a few inches of line. This will produce movement to the bait and most fish will be attracted to a sudden movement.
Keeping unused groundbait. Unused ground bait can be frozen for future use. Simply put any unused mixed or damp groundbait into a sealed plastic bag. Take away the air and store in freezer. Un-frost before using by leaving out in warm area before using. Alternatively defrost in microwave oven.
Bait bags. Maggots or worms can be kept in a cloth bag or cloth pillow case. Using a cloth bag will allow the bait to breath and fit into any space in the tackle box or tackle bag. Hanging the cloth bag outside a moving car on a wing mirror can keep the bait cool when driving to the fishing venue.
Silkweed. Collect strands of silkweed from weirs and rockery in flowing rivers. Keep submersed in water in bait box. Wrap around the hook. Use, when Fishing moving waters.The most natural bait available for moving water, small worms live within the weed therefore fish associate this natural weed with food.
Temperature. Keep a thermometer in the fishing box. Make records of temperature drops. This will affect the feeding fish. Sudden drops will make the fish reduce their feeding. Whilst a sudden rise will make fish increase their feeding.
Hooking Hemp. The normal hooking method is placing the hook between the split where the cornel appears, the two halves holding the hook in position showing the point. Holding the hemp on the hook without the seed coming off during strike then use this method. Simply piece a hole either side on top of an under cooked hemp seed. Thread the hook through the hemp seed this will allow many fish to be caught on the same seed.
Keeping the Pole clean. Lay the complete pole on top of water and roll. Wipe the residue of water off with a dry cloth. Apply a silicone polish spray along the pole and polish with a dry clot.
Pulling stuck pole joints apart. This will take three people. One person will hold one end of the pole about 12 inches away from the stuck joint. The other person will do the same on the other part of the pole. Apply pressure by pulling. The third person will hold gently the middle part of the joint. Rotate in a circular motion and the pole joint will come apart.
Pulling stuck fishing rods apart. Hold each part of the stuck fishing rod just above the joint firmly. Hold them between the back of the legs and add pressure from the legs as well as the pressure from the arms.
Holding the bottom on a fast flowing river. Cast a heavy swimfeeder or ledger into the middle of the river straight in front. Sufficiently enough to hold bottom, (3-4oz) Let out a bow of line from the rod to the feeder/lead. Hold the rod in an upright position keeping as much line off the water as possible. Bites are projected by the arch of the rod straightening.
Making a maggot feeder float. Use a clear straight plastic waggler with long antenna. Super glue a small clear maggot-feeder (Without any weight) at the base of the float. Allow the top of the feeder to open for filling with bait. Slightly over shot the float allowing the maggot to escape into the water while the tip will raise slightly in the swim.
Making a groundbait waggler. Use a clear straight waggler with or without antenna. Super glue a small groundbait feeder to the base. Shot the float normally and fill feeder with groundbait. When the float is cast and settles in the swim the ground bait will empty from the feeder and fishing will resume.
Knot Picker. Carry a knot picker within the tackle box. Numerous usage such as knot picking, removing glue from float eyes, making holes in baits etc..
Disgorgers. Carry within the tackle box various disgorgers. Mini head disgorges are used on small hooks and small mouth of fish. Medium head disgorgers are used in conjunction with 16 Ė 14 size hooks. Large head disgorger can be used for larger hooks and fish such as Carp, Barbel, Perch. Deep throat disgorgers (Stompo) have an oval shape on the end and are used for hooks that are swallowed deeply by the fis<>h.
Forceps. Surgical forceps can be a useful tool within the tackle box. Used as a disgorger for large hooks embedded firmly within the fish. Can be used for applying shots on the fishing line, useful for many other appliances.
Unhooking. Hold the fish firmly and upside down. This will disorientate the fish and stop it from wriggling. Place disgorger on the fishing line above the entrance of the fish mouth. Move the disgorger down to the bend of the hook. Push the hook with the disgorger and pull the fish apart gently in one motion.
Unhooking large wriggly eels. Make a groove on the fishing bank the same size as the eel. Place the eel upside down in the groove. The eel will become dormant within a few moments and will lay still in the groove. Hold the head firmly against the ground with finger and thumb. Unhook with other hand or use a disgorger.
Reviving fish. Barbel, Grayling, Bream, Carp and Perch just to mention a few, can sometimes be distressed when caught or held in a keepnet over a period. If the fish shows distress then release the fish as soon as possible. Hold fish upright in the water and against the flow of the river if possible. Making sure that oxygenated water is passed through the gills before letting the fish swim away naturally.
Sinking line quickly. Place the tip of the fishing rod under the water about 12 inches. Quickly strike upwards and this will allow the line to sink quickly under the water surface. Use when skim is on the water and when wildlife is present.
Quick Rigs. When finished fishing, place stickfloat or wagglers on large plastic winders. Mark them on side of winder with size hook and shotting capacity. These can be reused for future fishing. Tie line from the rig to the main reel line, using a double hitch knot when reusing.
Waders and Wellington boots. Store away Waders and Wellington boots by stuffing crumpled up dry newspaper down the whole length of the boot. The paper will absorb any moister and keep the boot in shape.
Hair rig. Using hair rigs can produce a natural presentation and account for more bites. Make a small loop close to the hook when tying hook to the line. The small loop will hold the bait away from the hook. Push the baiting needle through the bait. (The baiting needle will have a small hook on the end.) Attach the loop to the small hook and pull the loop through the bait. Pass a small blade of grass through the loop and pull until tight.
Band attachment. Tie a small silicone band on the line close to the hook. Use instead of hair rig loop. Can also be used as a banded attachment on pellets and particle baits as well as worms etc..
Hair rig hemp. Simply piece a hole either side and on top of an under cooked hemp seed. Thread and tie a cotton loop through the hemp seed. Hook the cotton loop and fish, this will also allow many fish to be caught on the same seed.
Quick sieving. Use the top of a micro landing net top as a quick sieve. Use by holding net with both hands. Swaying back and forth allowing the maggots to roll up and down net sieving off maggot sawdust or crumb.
Flat floats. Use a flat or rudder float when holding a float still in running water holding the bait static can produce bites in fast water. Over shot the float and hold back with either pole or rod. Lifting the tip of the float just above the surface. A very sensitive bite indicator.
Bouncing bomb method. When using a waggler at distance and the need to hold the waggler still against a wind drift use the bouncing bomb method. Tie a ledger to a length of line. Attach the ledger and line above the waggler allowing the distance of line greater than the depth. Use a long rod. Casting out with an over head cast the ledger will settle and hold the float still against any flow.
Know your depth. It is Important to know the depth of a venue. Always start fishing at full depth just on bottom. Most fish live near the bottom and feed off by scavenging. Laying on a few feet can also camouflage the line and create a more natural presentation. Adjust the presentation and come off the bottom as required
Plumbing the depth. Attach a plummet to the hook on the fishing rig. Firstly guess the depth of the water. Cast or place the plummet in the area that is intended to fish. Move the float up or down the line until the tip is just above the water surface. Once established make a mental note. Then explore the rest of the swim with the same plummet attached. Building a mental note of the depth all around the swim.
Pole depth. Use a white tipex marker pen or brush. Mark the depth of the float against the top sections of the pole with a line. When moving the float up or down seeking the feeding fish. The depth can be easily restored by moving the float to the white mark on the pole. Use a black marker pen if pole is painted white.
Plumbing at distance. Set up the rig under shotted or without any shot on the main line. Pinch lightly a swan shot just above the hook or attach plummet to the hook. Cast out at distance adjust the float by moving it up or down the line until the exact depth is found. Finish off by adding the required shot to the line before fishing.
Loose feeding while holding fishing rod. Hold the rod at the reel base using the arm as a lever against the butt. Holding the rod with small finger and two index fingers, leaving the thumb and first finger to hold end of maggot pouch. Using the opposite hand, hold the catapult towards the area of the swim intended to feed and by moving that hand outwards stretching the elastic releasing the pouch from the thumb and forefinger. Hold the pouch again with same hand on the rod, fill pouch with bait with opposite hand and repeat process.
Holding pole for loose feeding. Rest the pole parallel against and along knee and leg using an elbow for balance. Hold the pouch of the catapult with the same hand as the pole. Using the opposite hand to hold the catapult stretch out towards the area at the tip of the pole and release the pouch. Refill by holding the pouch and placing the bait into the pouch and repeat. Alternatively sit on base of pole cross the legs and rest the pole into the cross where the legs meet, leaving both hands for catapulting.
Line clipping. Use the line clip on the spool of the reel for casting accuracy. Whether ledgering or float fishing. Cast out to the required area of swim, far bank, bushes etc.. Clip the line after casting. Overcast each time the clipped line will stop on the exact spot.
Pegging out keepnets. Use the loop on the base of keepnet to peg out a the net avoiding the net to collapse on the fish in the net. For windy conditions use a large stone to hold out the net in the swim. Alternatively tie a plastic shopping bag to the end, place keepnet out in the swim, the bag will fill with water holding the net static and full stretch in the swim.
Releasing fish from the keepnet. Gather the end of the keepnet toward the mouth of the keepnet, keep the fish submersed whilst doing this. Lift the net from the water leaving the fish at the mouth of the net. Hold mouth of net on surface of water and release fish unharmed.
Landing fish. Hold the landing net in one position in the swim, when the fish is ready for landing after being played out, guide the fish over the net whilst keeping the net firm and steady. Chasing the fish with the net will spook the fish and may possibly shed the hook.
Magical WD40. Keep all moving parts on fishing box, levers, arms, legs, hinges and screws etc oiled with wd40 Keeping Reels smooth with wd40 spray. The spray repels water and avoids rust gathering, as well as keeping all moving parts lightly oiled
1) check the angle of the tip ring. You want it to be slightly less than
90 degrees. This helps prevent the line tangling round the tip
(especially on fine tipped rods)
2) a feeder reel with a double handle will balance itself and resist
annoying and troublesome free rotation.
3) line tends to bed in on closed faced reels. Minimize this by using as
little line as possible. 30m for stick float, 45m for waggler rod.
4) if bumping fish switching to a smaller hook can sometimes help.
5) to clean maggots run them through a riddle. Then wet your hand, shake
the excess wet off, and run your hands through the maggots. Any
remaining powder etc will stick to your hands.
6) Add regularly spaced marks to a bankstick so you can tell if the
river is rising or falling.
7) Look inside a fishes mouth before putting it into the keepnet. This
can tell you whether it has been eating your free offerings.
8) When feeder fishing always count the number of reel turns it takes to
retrieve the feeder. Your line clip might work loose!
9) Knot strength is generally lower on matt lines and highest on hard
5) Regularly check for wind knots - a knot in the line will weaken the
10) If line or braid is coming away from the line clip try wrapping a
silicone bait band around the line clip.
11) On a closed face reel, the spool moves forward and backward as you
turn the handle. The line comes off the spool easiest when the spool is
in its furthest back position (furthest away from the rod tip). This
position will always match up to the same reel handle position. So make
sure it is in that position before you cast and when trotting.
12) If your landing net is too deep use a cable-tie or rubber band to tie
off half of it.
13) Fine mesh on the landing net can stop a hair rig from dropping
through a hole in the mesh and getting tangled.
14) In cold weather roll your hookbait maggots between your fingers -
this stuns them and stops them shrivelling up when in the water.
15). Push a section of pipe insulation around the top of your rod rest to
help if float when landing a big fish. Let the net head sink - it will
hang just under the surface, bouyed by the pipe foam.
16). If you break or want to change your elastic while fishing and have no
pole threading kit, take a piece of long line 0.22mm or there abouts and
tie one end to your elastic and attach a string of No 8 or No 6 shot to
the other end. Then feed the line followed by your elastic through your
pole. A quick and inexpensive fix.
17)When you check your maggot check your hooklengths for wind knots too.
A knot in the line weakens it by a massive amount. You can see this for
yourself - take some 0.11 line and try to snap it. Now try to snap it
with a granny knot tied in the middle.
18) To keep the line from unravelling off spare spools simply place a
rubber band over the spool. It is important that the band can be easily
removable without any danger of damaging the line. Simply cut the rubber
band and then knot the two ends together. The tags ends of the band will
be easy to grab with your fingers.
19) Tie knots carefully and with patience. Wet the line then slowly
increase tension on the line to bed the knot, then maintain full tension
on the knot for three seconds, then release the tension slowly. Tied
this way you can cut the tag end as close as you like.
20) If you are getting bites on the feeder and cannot hit them it for
love nor money perhaps the fish are bumping into the line or attacking
the feeder. Test this idea by casting out with nothing on the hook and
see if you still get a "bite".
21) A very good reason to slow the bait down (eg when dragging bottom
when waggler fishing) is simply to ensure the hook is in the water for
13) The idea of the crystal bend hook style is that it holds the maggot
directly below the hook point and makes it harder for the maggot to
wriggle round and catch on the point.
24). If you are fishing double maggot and the maggot keeps on wrapping
over and covering the hook then try rolling the second maggot between
your fingers to "stun" it before hooking it.
25). If you miss a bite look carefully at the maggot. A limp maggot that
is crushed but not cut generally indicates a smaller fish whereas a
maggot that is cut generally indicates a larger fish.
26) If a spigot joint is slightly loose, pad it with a blade of grass.
27). Attaching the line to the reel with a good knot is important - if you
drop the reel into deep water and the bale arm is open you will lose the
reel if the knot gives.
28). Stick a piece of electricians tape onto your pole to act as a simple
29). Before fishing discard the top three yards of line (this will be line
used previously and will be where any weaknesses show). Alternatively,
discard it when tackling down.
30) Drop a few maggots onto a hard surface and watch how the crawl. They
always crawl along the same way up. When you have hooked your maggot
drop it onto the hard surface and see if it is still able to crawl in
the same manner. You will find that by hooking the maggot from behind
the two eyes it will behave more naturally.
31) Instead of putting your
locking shot directly on the line there is an alternative which avoids
any potential problem with them damaging the line....What you do is tie
a small loop of thick line onto the eye of the waggler. Then you nip the
locking shot onto this loop so both strands of line are locked inside
the shot. Leave a small loop protruding through the last shot and thread
the mainline through that, locking with small shot.