An end of term report card would read “could do better”

OldTaff

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It’s been a cold old week in this part of Kent with overnight frosts up until yesterday but even with a forecast of rain I made up some pellets & groundbait last night ready for a full morning session on Neville Park.

It was cold (4degrees), damp and overcast as I unpacked the car at 7am and walked over to the lake to set up on exactly the same peg as last week. My intention was to try and repeat my success of last week on the method feeder.

Set the rod up and opened my bait tubs - oh fluff !!! - the tub had tipped to one side in the boot of the car so about half the pellets were mushy whilst the other half were rock hard. I then wellied in a load of water to try to dampen the dry ones, WAY TOO MUCH, and stupidly tried to drain off the excess & with it all the milky sticky additive goodness :oops:

Oh well I made up a mould with half pellets and half groundbait (Supercrush Robin Red) and out it went for ten minutes - as did the next three and all with zero result. Next time I tried to refill the feeder the mould wouldn’t release properly (Drennan). Squeezed in the hand the pellets were too wet and would not form a ball or bind. When I did eventually manage to get bait out of the mould, the next cast I saw the bait ball separate from the feeder before impact which confirmed why I’d not had a knock. Had a right grumpy moment, bunged the entire load of pellets into the groundbait bucket and mixed it around before lobbing it to one side.

I grabbed my boys waggler rod which was also in the bag (a D.A.M 10’ power match) whacked on an Abu 55RD out of the bottom of the seatbox loaded with 6lb Drennan float fish, a 4g Drennan shorty pellet waggler set 3’ deep and a Guru 14 super MWG tied to 10” of n-gauge 0.15. Banded an 8mm Coppens pellet onto the hook bend and started firing out freebies in two‘s and three‘s.

Within 5 minutes I had a fish on the bank - a rather lovely little common of about a pound & a half

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This was the first of a run of 5 over the course of the next hour, all about the same size and all taking the bait within a second or two of me twitching it back into an area I’d just pinged pellets onto so I’m guessing in the 2’-3’ depth area.

The persistent mist had now turned to icy drizzle and the bites dried up as did all surface activity - I checked out the groundbait bucket to find i could now form a ball, the groundbait having soaked up a load of the moisture.

Back out came the feeder setup - a cast to within 3yds of the reeds was good enough for me and I set the timer.

Rod shot off the rest at 7 minutes and I grabbed it with a very angry fishy on the other end who knew every snag on the water and ran me ragged for a while.

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6lb 12oz of ice cold carpie loveliness raised my chilled spirits immensely so I reset and was back in the water.

Sadly my casting was all over the place for the next couple of hours - casting short and wide produced zero bites or taps whilst getting within spitting distance of the reeds usually turned up a screaming, rod dragging take that had me diving after it.

Eventually managed another 4, all about the same size before something much larger took the bait and took me straight at the big tree thats fallen into the middle of the lake over winter. I had the rod bent double and the line singing like a deranged wasp in a jam jar but couldn’t turn it before in it went. Thankfully the rod tip was kissing the water as the hooklength parted and the feeder came skipping back at a rapid rate of knots - thankfully no dramas.

To use up the scrapings from the bait tub I attached the hook from last weeks session which was still in a drawer of the seatbox (well no point wasting a new hook for one cast :sneaky:) - almost identical spot to the last bite and within 3 minutes out came another 7lb beauty

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The drizzle as beginning to get lumps in it so I packed away & was glad to get back to the car, happier still having stopped at a local greasy spoon for a sausage & bacon bap on the way home.

Looking at the session I’m happy with the fish I did catch as the conditions weren’t nearly as favourable as last week but there are so many things I could have and should have done better. Serious rethink of bait prep the night before is a must, feeder casting accuracy needs a lot of work (I used to be able to put a feeder on a penny), not being pig headed and winding in poor casts rather than leaving them there knowing they won’t produce to name just a few.
 

tipitinmick

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Brilliant report there OldTaff 👍. Well done. As the weather warms you’ll be able to prep your pellets on the bank. At least they were pellets and not maggots. If your pellets are not releasing from your mould try sprinkling a tiny bit of dry ground bait in the mould before your pellets & feeder. This should rectify the problem. Preston moulds are renown for sticking as they get older.

Thanks Taff. Enjoyed that post. Although I’ll have to admit .... I had a little chuckle. 🤣
 

Stewie74

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Another good day Taff , albeit a bit frustrating to start with.

Something I’ve seen on various YouTube vids is putting your mould inside a small plastic bag, I’ve never done it but it’s supposed to stop the bait sticking in the mould. Whenever I’ve overwetted my pellets I’ve just added dry Groundbait a bit at a time until it works.

Ive just got back from a practice session at a new lake that I’m fishing a match on tomorrow. Freezing cold, soaking wet, but found a few things that worked so got a plan of sorts for the morning.
 

OldTaff

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I think the pellets not releasing is a good sign - it told me there was something very wrong with the mix or pellets but I didn’t twig, they weren’t sticking to the method feeder or binding together but releasing on impact.

Watched a YouTube of Des Shipp this afternoon and he puts a sheet of thin plastic bag/cellophane between the mould and bait to prevent release issues - one to try later this week as I’m off all week :D🥳🥳🥳
 

tincatim

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I tried the lining your method mould with cling film tip last time out, it worked perfectly. I too use Drennan methods and never used to have a problem at all, until recently. A piece of cling film folder over and pressed in to the mould before filling really helps. Just make sure you put something on it when not in use or it might blow away 😂
 
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