Guest Blog! AS Fishing TV show you how to approach a venue
So, you arrive at your peg and gaze across the water thinking about how you should approach it. This is always the first question in my mind regardless of whether I’ve drawn it in a match, chosen it on a pleasure day or even returning to a familiar peg and this is simply because numerous variables will affect the way, the area and when the fish will feed day by day. Some of these variables we cannot control such as the weather however, there are many that we can to ensure we get the best from the peg on the day. What’s next?
Any signs of fish
The first thing for me is the lookout for signs of fish. Bubbles, rising fish or water being clouded up from feeding fish stirring up the bottom. If there are signs then take note of where they are, for example, near a visible feature such as reeds, bushes or an undercut mud bank. Remember, the fish maybe feeding on underwater features you cannot see such as snags, shelves or holes where there are changes of depth and natural places where food accumulates. Fish will patrol these areas throughout the day.
I always get comfortable in my setup and have everything to hand, I don’t want to be getting on and off my seat box and banging around on the bank. Make sure your bait is prepared and ready, top kits and rods are secured on a roost and terminal tackle ready if you need to make a change later in the day.
Rod, Pole or Both?
This is where I see anglers make a decision too early when it really depends on the water in front of you.
Open water – if you have seen signs of fish out of pole range then there is obviously a choice of method/bomb or Traditional Waggler/Pellet Waggler. I would be curious of 2 factors here, the depth and the kind of bottom (silt, clay etc). Plumbing around with a Waggler will give you a good indication of this. Don’t discount the pole lines in reach however, explore the water looking for those under water features, time spent here is often rewarded.
Open water with an Island – Once again, if the island is beyond pole range there are the same options. If within pole range then explore the features and depths. If there are signs of feeing fish approach slowly when plumbing up and note the depth they are feeding in. Even if they spook they will return if left in peace for a while, especially to a little feed.
Snake/Canal Lake – all the above principles are the same but particularly take note of the contours and depths. Fish may feed in the deepest part for the first few hours of the session but then move into the shallower areas later in the day as the water temperature rises.
A mix of opportunities
Once you have begun to formulate a plan you can still make big mistakes before you begin. Feeding on your chosen spot too much too soon is one as fish can back off feed still at this time of year so feel your way in a bit at a time. Starting on a selective bait too soon such as 2 grains of corn targeting bigger carp without being sure how many are in residence and on rigs and hook too heavy and cumbersome is also something I see happen a lot.
I often start with a light all-round rig ideally in around 4 feet of water with a bait that will catch anything in front of you, both maggots, expanders and hard 4 or 6mm pellets are excellent for this.
A light float whether pole or waggler, to 0.16mm mainline down to a 0.11mm hooklength and a size 18 barbless hook is definitely a proven starting point. Be sure to string out the shot to allow a nice slow fall of your hook bait as many species will follow it down and take it just as it settles on the bottom.
The trick now is to see what feeds and where it takes the baits. If your catching roach and rudd on the drop change your shotting to see if there are bigger fish on the bottom, maybe F1’s or carp. Starting in this way the fish will demonstrate what depth they are happy feeding in and you can then decide on your tactics based on this and the information you have gathered. You can then even target a certain species in certain areas and rotate your swims to keep fish going in the net.
Want to see how I make my next decisions then keep an eye out for the next article coming soon!
See you on the bank