After a few manic weeks in the shop and at home I had to find time for at least a few hours on the bank with my lad.
It was a fine Monday afternoon in Sept with a fair up stream wind on the river. Not that the pictures show it, but it was so much so that the near side was swirling back on its self. So close in float fishing was out, this being my normal starting point. I find it gives me a feel for what’s happening under the surface.
So looking across you could clearly make out that there was some flow from just over half to 3/4 across the river. Now a lot would think pole but for me this is a big NO, don’t get me wrong pole has its day but 13mtr pole in a wind fishing 13/14ft deep plus the added boat traffic, you got to be kidding.
So feeder it was.
There’s clear signs of small fish feeding and darting about above the far side shelf. In fact there were loads of them!
My plan of attack was going to be a bit hit and run as time was short and I wanted to max what I could do in that time. Almost a bit match stylie fishing for bites.
My basic feeder set up was a 15g open end feeder attached to an Enterprise Adjuster Link, I love these as it makes adjusting the hook link length so much easier. With small feeders you can get away with using pellet waggler adapters more on that another day.
Groundbait was a mix 50/50 of our own river mix and Roach and Skimmer mix. I wanted a mix that would bind just enough to hold in the feeder with plenty of free offerings but i also wanted to be able to ball some bait out over to the far margin shelf.
Why you may ask? from my past days of fishing the Trent I learnt that when there are loads of small fish about its well worth getting them in to a feeding frenzy. Two things happen the Bleak will be going nuts up in the water and there’s hundreds of them on the Soar at the minute, even though we don’t really want to be catching them. All the commotion in the water will draw other fish in to the swim naturally. You tend to find Perch show first, but these can be a very welcome start in building a nice catch up.
I bet not many of you have used one of these before.
Me old faithful Drennan Groundbait pult. Another reason why a wanted a slightly sticky mix is so the groundbait balls don’t break up during take off.
After banging out 4 good orange sized balls of groundbait in to the swim and a quick slurp of tea, i loaded up the feeder hooked two red maggots on to a size 18 crystal bend hook to a 6 inch hook link.
Casting dead ahead of me feathering the feeder down to the deck. I normally have my rod rest set low and at around 11 o’clock to the water. By paying out a line you create a nice bow in the line which means you can get away with fishing lighter feeders in faster flows. There are other variants ill add to this for different flow rates, boat traffic etc. But as rule i find keeping the tip as low as possible on this part of the Soar works well as you won’t need to worry about boats.
With so little flow fishing the bow was just not going to happen or work properly. So i set my rod at 2 o’clock to the water still fishing dead ahead. I can tighten up just enough so there is a slight bend in the tip.
Bang the tip springs back and then whacks round ‘Perch’ Next cast the feeder didn’t have chance to hit the deck before i could feel a fish trying to snaffle my hook bait while feathering down. another Perch bigger this time mind.
This carried on for about another ten or so casts Perch Perch Perch! well i kind of knew it would as this was apart of the plan.
I know the fish are there i can see them and by now i could see a few signs of some bigger fish taking freebies off the surface. Time to start adding Hemp in to the mix with a bit of Sweetcorn. Easily done by plugging the feed at one end add hemp and then plugging the other end.
Still with maggots on the hook i cast few feeders full out in to the swim.
A few knocks and bangs but nothing to show of, loads of fish still up in the water. Hopefully this is the sign that the Perch have moved off. Bang the tips shot round ‘dam it missed that’ recast same again! time for another tweek. A change of hook to a round bend this giving a slightly wider gape so i can fish a small bit of corn on the hook, hook length now a good 12″.
A few minutes wait see’s the first Skimmer in the net followed by a few more then a nice Roach very pleased with that. Things seemed to slow down a bit even with clear signs of fish over my baited area. A quick change over to maggots as a little tester saw Perch back again. Hmm..
I wonder corn a maggot combo! well seemed to do the trick but i was bumping fish? odd, quick check of the hook proved to be the problem blunt! how many people think to check their hooks for sharpness? Carpers are always banging on about sharp hooks, trust me i makes a big difference having sharp hooks.
Well after a great few hours and a few in the net Our friends the Swans were back and it was time for me and little man to get packed up and off home.