Lots of fish on little feed

Zerkalo

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Following on from a post on the 'clipping up' thread, I thought it would be interesting to see what people thought about this.

Logic dictates less feed in winter but more in summer. But when I think about my catches I see no correlation in some cases between the amount I feed and the amount I catch. As much as I like to ball it in, I've had days where I've just hit a shoal of fish for whatever reason, and so had good bags of say Barbel, Bream and Tench only feeding through the feeder.

What is it that makes a big shoal of fish stay in your peg like that with only a bit of feed going in? Just where the fish want to be on the day?

I'd think if you have a big shoal of fish in your peg, you'd have to feed a lot of bait to mean they wouldn't just devour it anyway, but sometimes it does give me more confidence having a bit of bait down.
 

Silverfisher

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I think the feed is really just the attractant in a lot of cases to bring fish in. Once there's enough fish in the swim you really just need feed enough to hold there interest which sometimes can be a lot but often isn't. Sometimes you'll have drawn the fish into the swim other times they'd have been there anyway due to it being to their liking for one reason or another. It's why swim selection is so important. Putting yourself on fish is half the battle won straight away as then you just have to get them feeding which is easier than having to pull them into the swim in the first place.
 

Zerkalo

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Yeah I think being on the right peg is half the battle, it's why when I go pleasure fishing for Bream I always run through the match results with the bailiff and ask him where he thinks the fish are. 😁

Not saying it's not right too feed a lot sometimes but interested in times when people catch on very little feed, as I have had a few sessions like that myself, one I remember where a shoal of Tench where visibly going mad all day just from a bit of maggots and hemp from a black cap feeder. I hit the jackpot with that peg.

Someone asked me the other day about Edgbaston Reservoir, I've not fished it for years so not the best person to ask, but for me due to the size of the lake that's one venue I'd consider prebaiting.
 

Silverfisher

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There's obviously loads of factors as well like the venue and species. Take roach for me for example. I'll use more bait on a quite quick bit of river than I would on quite a slow bit of river and I'd often use even less on a small Stillwater but then I'd use probably more than any of those on a big Stillwater. By comparison I'd use quite a lot for bream virtually all the time. Then you obviously factor in temperatures, water levels and clarity time of year, the amount of fish likely in the peg etc, how many lines you fish and how the session pans out etc so how you bait can change a lot so there's rarely a fixed set of rules for fishing for anything anywhere.
 

Zerkalo

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Calling it is probably where the skill comes in especially baiting at the start of a session as has been said, you can't take out what you've put in. I'm more likely to start a Bream session now by just casting the feeder a few times compared to I used to think balling it in was always right.
 

tunna

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Zerkalo said Someone asked me the other day about Edgbaston Reservoir, I've not fished it for years so not the best person to ask, but for me due to the size of the lake that's one venue I'd consider prebaiting.

Zerkalo tell your mate that Edgbaston is nowhere near as good these days as it was, fishing wise, also too many junkies / knobheads around there these days,plus it is now around £8-9.00 a day, for a understocked park pool, You very rarely hear or see anyone fishing the place, I stopped fishing it 15 years ago, and loved the place.
 

carphauler

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Horses for courses, some fish like F1s say respond well to little and often, carp can be the same on commercials,putting in too much can spook them away.
I try to feed to what I think is there
On rivers I find it more difficult and try to do the same but a certain amount will get washed downstream.
It's dependent on what's happening at that specific time, there's no hard or fast rules.
 

Zerkalo

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Zerkalo said Someone asked me the other day about Edgbaston Reservoir, I've not fished it for years so not the best person to ask, but for me due to the size of the lake that's one venue I'd consider prebaiting.

Zerkalo tell your mate that Edgbaston is nowhere near as good these days as it was, fishing wise, also too many junkies / knobheads around there these days,plus it is now around £8-9.00 a day. You very rarely hear or see anyone fishing the place, I stopped fishing it 15 years ago, and loved the place.
Yeah the question I was asked on here was, is it safe to fish there as I've mentioned it being a place I wouldn't fish on my own before.

I said I didn't really know but it's next to a notorious Red Light Disctrict. Or at least it was like that when I had a girlfriend who lived on Rotton Park Road, we used to see 'ladies of the night' from her bedroom window all the time. I haven't fished it for 20 years and we never did that good there as a club back then, but there's a Cadence video bagging up there on Bream, think he prebaited. I recommended Earlswood or Patshull as alternatives.
 

Zerkalo

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Horses for courses, some fish like F1s say respond well to little and often, carp can be the same on commercials,putting in too much can spook them away.
I try to feed to what I think is there
On rivers I find it more difficult and try to do the same but a certain amount will get washed downstream.
It's dependent on what's happening at that specific time, there's no hard or fast rules.
I seem to remember 20 years ago on commercials, spraying pints of bait in was the norm and you didn't really see as many people potting in for one fish at a time back then, as seems more common now. As you say lots of variables though.
 

RedRidingHood

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I seem to remember 20 years ago on commercials, spraying pints of bait in was the norm and you didn't really see as many people potting in for one fish at a time back then, as seems more common now. As you say lots of variables though.
Funny as how time progresses things drastically change isn't it? I remember visiting matches where people would have 2 or 3 Crates of 12 Tins of large sweetcorn by their side, And coming home with only a tin or two at the end of the match. o_O Ridiculous to think back on, You'd look insane pulling those stunts at matches now!
 

squimp

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Slightly tangential...

I feed the fish in my lakes through the winter as there are few visiting anglers. I put a few pellets (a small scoop) into 5 or 6 swims that are well spread out. The idea is to keep the fish moving about and give them a little bit of nutrition. The pellets are cereal based from BP nutrition. I tend to feed roughly every other day this time of year.

On Friday last week I fed the fish at about 4pm. It was cold and still. Water temp less than 5 degrees. In one swim I spotted a carp (12lb plus) and within 5 minutes there were 4 bigger fish feeding on the spot (2 metres from the bank and about 4 ft deep). Normally the light conditions mean that I can’t see the fish.

On Saturday (even colder) I went back a bit earlier in the afternoon to see if they were still hungry and I took some Polaroids in case they made spotting easier. I fed 2 spots 15 metres apart in the same area as the day before, and then quietly checked each one in turn. Within 15 minutes I had 12 carp between 12 and 25lb tearing up the bottom split between the two spots. That is about a quarter of the entire stock of the lake !

The next day we had 3” of snow here.

The fish are obviously feeding despite the cold water. maybe I’ve conditioned them by regular feeding - even though the quantities Im putting in are minimal. Maybe they knew the really cold weather was coming......

By contrast, I’m currently fishing a nearby specimen carp water. The stock density (fish per acre) is broadly similar to that on my lake but the fish are considerably bigger. At the moment nobody is catching anything - it is as if the lake has no fish in it !

Amazing how the fish behaviour in two fairly adjacent lakes can be so different.
 

Maverick

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Its the folk that know how much or how little to feed and when to feed it that stand out from the crowd and always seem to catch good weights of fish.

I am not one of them I haven't got a clue.

I once started a 5 hour match by going straight in on the pellet wagg as fish were topping out in front of me, and I fished it for 4.5 hrs. During this time I used 1 pint of 8mm pellets.

I then spent the last half hour on the bomb feeding nothing as I reckoned there must be plenty of feed still down there on the bottom and I was catching fish. I ended up winning the match with around 74lb.

The 2 guys either side of me must have fed 4-5pints each in an attempt to tempt the fish away from me, but it didn't work for them. I've had many 100lb bags of fish on the waggler by feeding just a pint of pellets.

On the other side of the coin I've seen a guy 2 pegs down from me feed 6 pints of 11mm pellets fishing the bomb during 5 hrs and empty the lake, when I've struggled to catch a few fish. I tried his method the next couple of times I went pleasure fishing and fed really heavily but it didn't work for me.

If you could bottle the secret of how and when to feed we could all be World Champions one day :ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:
 

Zerkalo

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Interesting thoughts and observations. I forgot about dobbing as an extreme of it? :)

I was just thinking about days when I've had big shoals of fish seemingly already there in my peg and have held all day only feeding through the feeder.
 

NoCarpPlease

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Its the folk that know how much or how little to feed and when to feed it that stand out from the crowd and always seem to catch good weights of fish.

I am not one of them I haven't got a clue.

I once started a 5 hour match by going straight in on the pellet wagg as fish were topping out in front of me, and I fished it for 4.5 hrs. During this time I used 1 pint of 8mm pellets.

I then spent the last half hour on the bomb feeding nothing as I reckoned there must be plenty of feed still down there on the bottom and I was catching fish. I ended up winning the match with around 74lb.

The 2 guys either side of me must have fed 4-5pints each in an attempt to tempt the fish away from me, but it didn't work for them. I've had many 100lb bags of fish on the waggler by feeding just a pint of pellets.

On the other side of the coin I've seen a guy 2 pegs down from me feed 6 pints of 11mm pellets fishing the bomb during 5 hrs and empty the lake, when I've struggled to catch a few fish. I tried his method the next couple of times I went pleasure fishing and fed really heavily but it didn't work for me.

If you could bottle the secret of how and when to feed we could all be World Champions one day :ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:
disclaimer - pretty much all of my experience is non-carp.

In the end the objective of feeding is fairly easy:
1. stimulate the fish that are already in your swim to feed on your hookbait and congregate in an areas where you can catch them efficiently
2. don't feed too much so that they go "scatty" or are overfed
3. try to attract fish from neighbouring swims to maximise your catch
4. try to prevent your neighbour attracting "your" fish

the difficult bit is judging it right, especially with close pegging.

As I'm usually fishing for a target weight of around 14 pounds of fish on relatively narrow rivers - I'm definitely of the tread cautiously approach of loosefeeding sparingly and stepping up the feed rate later to see what happens.
 

dave brittain 1

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Following on from a post on the 'clipping up' thread, I thought it would be interesting to see what people thought about this.

Logic dictates less feed in winter but more in summer. But when I think about my catches I see no correlation in some cases between the amount I feed and the amount I catch. As much as I like to ball it in, I've had days where I've just hit a shoal of fish for whatever reason, and so had good bags of say Barbel, Bream and Tench only feeding through the feeder.

What is it that makes a big shoal of fish stay in your peg like that with only a bit of feed going in? Just where the fish want to be on the day?

I'd think if you have a big shoal of fish in your peg, you'd have to feed a lot of bait to mean they wouldn't just devour it anyway, but sometimes it does give me more confidence having a bit of bait down.
If you don't see or more importantly understand the correlation between the amount you feed and what you catch, there's a good chance you may not have got to grips with the basics of feeding, conditions, time of year and how fish behave in different waters.

For instance I could go to the river Wye in January, catch 60lbs of roach and dace and get through 6-8kgs of groundbait, 3 pints of caster, 2 pints of hemp and 3 pints of maggot.

On the other side of the coin I could go to a big weight carp venue such as Viaduct and catch 200lbs of carp on less than a tin of corn.

In both cases the fish are shoaled up, however on the river the fish are actively competing for the feed as they need to sustain their energy in the flow however in the second case the carp are shoaled in the middle of the lake in a ball with no intention of moving until the wind changes or the temps warm up and the thermals change.

If I fed half the amount on the Wye I'd catch half as much as some fish would drop down and the others would swim upstream looking for feed. It's a balancing act learning how much to feed to maximize your catch rate.

Going back to the commercial in summer you may need to feed 6-8 pints of pellet to catch the same 200lb weight with the fish coming to the noise and competing for the feed.

With the feeder the number of times you cast combined with the size of the feeder you use dictate what you will catch. I took Jon Walker Barbel and chub fishing on the Wye one winter and he couldn't believe how frequently I had him casting given the low temps and conditions, however two hours into the session he had got to grips with it and had a superb days fishing catching a good few barbel and chub in the process. If he hadn't fed he would have caught odd fish but nowhere near what he had caught by feeding positively and attacking the peg, inducing the fish to compete for the feed.

Fish for silvers on a commercial in winter and it's surprising how much you can feed sometimes however the old adage of a little and often not to mention once you put it in you can't take it out should always be borne in mind.

Different venues require different approaches regardless of whether summer or winter however what and how you feed will always directly impact your catch rate.
 

Silverfisher

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I do think working out feeding is one of the interesting aspects of fishing. I like to start with little and often and just see how the fish respond and let them lead me to a degree. Sometimes you can just fish through like that other times they want you to back off the feed others to up the feed. Kind of similar to where they’ll sit in peg. Might be close line one day, a longer line another, deeper or shallower, to the left to the right etc. All that can effect to how you feed as well. All part of what makes it interesting really.
 

Zerkalo

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It''s not that I don't understand how to feed, this wasn't really a thread looking for advice on that, although I appreciate it. What I'm talking about is when big shoals of fish, mostly on natural venues, hold in your peg without having any bed of bait to hold them, as I suggest, it's just that you've happened to land on the fish and where they want to be on the day.

@dave brittain 1 do you fish Chard Reservoir? I think I've heard you mention it and it's in your area? I fished there this year and found it to be a good Bream water. Just as an example, I had 400lb+ of Bream over 4 days. I only fed through the feeder and the fish held there all day. Other times on more local to me waters I've balled it in and caught 100lb+ in a day. That's what I mean by no correlation. It wouldn't have mattered at Chard if I'd fed more as the tip was going round all day.

Another example, 40-50lb of Barbel off the Severn or 50lb of Tench off an estate lake all just drip feeding through the feeder. Just a big shoal of fish there without having to feed much at all.
 

dave brittain 1

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Zerkalo what would have happened if you had a smaller feeder on or no feeder at all? Would you have caught the same? There is a direct correlation you just aren't seeing or understanding it. How many bad days have you had doing exactly the same thing?

I do fish Chard, did you fish different swims and what was the average size bream you caught?
 

Zerkalo

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Zerkalo what would have happened if you had a smaller feeder on or no feeder at all? Would you have caught the same? There is a direct correlation you just aren't seeing or understanding it. How many bad days have you had doing exactly the same thing?

I do fish Chard, did you fish different swims and what was the average size bream you caught?

Was the first time I'd fished Chard but didn't have a bad day there.

It's a good point that if I had fished it differently it could have been different. I'm going back there this year and hoping to replicate it. It seems like a brilliant venue, even the Roach there were a good stamp but I was trying to avoid them to get to the Bream.

I fished about halfway down the dam wall each day so the same peg more or less. Was catching a load average 4lb going to around 5lb slabs when other anglers on the same dam wall were struggling in comparison. I think I just hit a shoal.

They were going mad for 4mm pellets and Fishmeal Groundbait with double Dendrobaena on the hook. Not had many bad days Bream fishing recently even at my local, Patshull Park, but I tend to fish it the same way. Only variation is how much I feed at the start, that's where I don't see much correlation, could be 15 balls at the start, could be just 10 casts with a medium sized feeder...
 
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