Loose feeding on rivers

Freesolo82

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When on the pole and loose feeding on rivers with maggot/caster I worry that I am going to make the fish follow my bait way down my peg and not catch them. Do the fish follow it right down your peg or do they come up to the source?
I fish slow rivers like the Nene or Ouse and often hear that the upper layers of a river move faster than the lower so your loose offerings fall in a arc? Is this true?
Would love to hear your thoughts on how loose feed behaves in rivers as it's something that could help me catch more fish if I understood it better

Cheers
 

Silverfisher

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Good questions there some of which I’ve never thought of, guess it all depends on the river and swim. All I can really say is that experience of the river tells me roughly where loose feed will probably end up and where the bites takes place probably confirms it. Will be interested to hear responses from those a bit more technically minded though.
 

NoCarpPlease

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There are a large number of variables in my experience - and this is the art of loose feeding.
The classic line is that feed too little and the fish will come up in the water to compete and become harder to catch, whereas feeding too much will cause them to follow the remaining morsels downstream beyond your range.
That is a good starting point - but experimentation and experience also help.

It can definitely change during the day as well - and fish don't sit in the same place waiting for food to arrive. On sunday (on the Nene) I was catching on a 2g bulk rig in 9 ft of water directly under where I was loosefeeding - there is no way that the casters were sinking that quickly in the flow. Equally, later on, I was catching more with a strung out rig fished down the peg (where you'd expect to).
So sometimes it's worth fishing with a longer line rig (top 5 rather than top 4 for example) to follow the bait down. Or have an extra section on the butt end to follow the rig down.
 

Freesolo82

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There are a large number of variables in my experience - and this is the art of loose feeding.
The classic line is that feed too little and the fish will come up in the water to compete and become harder to catch, whereas feeding too much will cause them to follow the remaining morsels downstream beyond your range.
That is a good starting point - but experimentation and experience also help.

It can definitely change during the day as well - and fish don't sit in the same place waiting for food to arrive. On sunday (on the Nene) I was catching on a 2g bulk rig in 9 ft of water directly under where I was loosefeeding - there is no way that the casters were sinking that quickly in the flow. Equally, later on, I was catching more with a strung out rig fished down the peg (where you'd expect to).
So sometimes it's worth fishing with a longer line rig (top 5 rather than top 4 for example) to follow the bait down. Or have an extra section on the butt end to follow the rig down.
This is great thanks for sharing can I ask were you fished on the Nene?
 

Freesolo82

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Can you rig up a stronger line on a spare top kit and use one of these. Various sizes and a very effective old school method.

download.jpg

I have one of these and would definitely feed at the start of my session but is it wise to drop it in a swim on a clear river? Could it spook the shoal?
 

Zerkalo

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I have wondered the same as a bit of a river novice. I try hemp as a bit of a 'controller' as it is sinks faster but does not always seem to work and I still catch fish down the peg.
 

Freesolo82

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I have wondered the same as a bit of a river novice. I try hemp as a bit of a 'controller' as it is sinks faster but does not always seem to work and I still catch fish down the peg.
I have been doing the same mate knowing hemp sinks faster I have more confidence, plus the roach love it,The issue is after a while it's all they eat and you can't get a bite on anything else
 

carphauler

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I try to work out the depth if I'm fishing on the bomb/feeder then feed upstream where I think the bait will likely end up depending on what I'm feeding. When fishing meat I usually catapult pellets upstream to try and draw the fish in.
 

John Step

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I have one of these and would definitely feed at the start of my session but is it wise to drop it in a swim on a clear river? Could it spook the shoal?
One of the small ones lowered gently would I feel spook the shoal less than a swim feeder being continually cast which doesn't always scare the fish.
Lowered to the upstream edge of the swim and the bait fished a yard or three below that? Worth a try ?.

I have even used one on a stillwater to get through shoals of small rudd with some success.
 

The Runner

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I try to work out the depth if I'm fishing on the bomb/feeder then feed upstream where I think the bait will likely end up depending on what I'm feeding. When fishing meat I usually catapult pellets upstream to try and draw the fish in.
Different with pellet / meat but if fishing maggot / caster I would be very wary of feeding upstream as often (see NCP's post earlier) the fish will come and sit right underneath where the feed is going in
 

Fugley-fisher

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I fish in 12ft of water while not on the pole with waggler stick bolo if there is little flow hemp at 2oclock maggot caster at 12, if there is pace little nuggots of groundbait, and a bait dropper, but that assumes there is colour to go with the flow they will take a bit of commotion if there is colour and food on offer. But every day is different it pays to experiment up in the water if things slow down or down the peg, or even a new line if you have plundered one for to long. We are are guilty of being lazy and not feeding 2 lines cos one is doing the biz untill it's not. Well I know I am guilty.
 

alsur

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A lot depends on flow on the rivers now fairly shallow with reasonable flow I start by feed in front of me and then adjust depending on whats happening I'm not afraid to feed slightly upstream as I've found the fish very rarely come right under feed and bites normally come down the peg where I guess feed is near the bottom. When I fished Thames for Dace I would feed slightly downstream and normally went heavy on hemp but it's deeper and slower.
 

Silverfisher

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On the steady paced 4-7ft stretches I tend to fish feeding at about 1 o'clock will generally see me catching between 12 o'clock and 10 clock. Sometimes when it's on a bit you have to feed at 2 o'clock others when it's down 12 o clock but feeding at 1 and catching at 12 to 10 would be around the normal. Quite rare to catch as far down as say 9 o'clock but does happen when it's on a bit or just a hard day.

Also whilst it's completely wrong by convention I don't always cast downstream instead mostly in front of me or dare I say even slightly upstream in some conditions! As the bait gets down quite quickly in fairly slow steady water I find it can help with getting the hook bait into the baited zone quicker. Feels wrong even doing it but seems to work ?
 

Northantslad

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Faster rivers you can make the flow work for you, although i only really float fish for Barbel on them and bait drop largely, i do loosefeed well upstream each run through. On slower rivers such as the Nene, i really only float fish the far run for chub, where i can use the advantage of their preference to feed at varying depths in a session to my advantage, i.e i'm not needing to look to match up loosefeed with the hookbait along the bottom.

I don't pole fish rivers alot, but when i have and/or observed others in matches do it and on the Nene particularly, there is no loose feeding at all, with balling in groundbait laced with freebies and fishing over and along it being the preferred tactic.

Hemp and tare fishing on a such a river, slightly different, although with hemp being a bit heavier and predictable in its fall/rate, along with looking to catch off bottom again, it takes just a little bit of thought as to where to feed it.
 
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