Match on a small river- advice please.

abbo27

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I normally fish a few opens at Viaduct over the summer but they haven’t got much availability currently so I signed up to fish a river match on the Somerset Frome as it‘s only a mile or so from my front door. It is an open put on by my club, and the first match on the river for years. I last fished a river match as a ten year old, 45 years ago. I have only fished the river a few times for chub on a lead for a couple of hours at a time, using gear I would fish for match carp on a commercial, to get some relaxation in. it’s a lovely stretch, not fished much, slow moving, 5’ + or so deep I think ( I have never float fished), 12-15m across, containing chub (which go to 4lb plus, roach, dace, perch and the odd bream I have read. I have no idea how to approach such a match. I was thinking of a feeder/lead with meat Or bread for chub, a waggler with maggot/casters and groundbait Mixed with fine soil, maybe my pole, though I have never used it on a river. How would you approach such a match?
 

Maesknoll

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I haven’t fished it for years, but like any small river, it needs approaching with caution, there will be a limited number of fish in the peg and you may not be able to draw anymore in - especially under match conditions.

Its tricky to give generic advice, if the peg looks like it should hold Chub, then it maybe worth trying bread in clear conditions, or meat, or worms if it’s a bit coloured.

Maggots and casters would be a mainstay on the bait tray, but I’d be very negative to start with, we used to fish Wednesday police matches on there years ago with Ian Parsons when he was a copper, before he got involved with Viaduct.

Information from someone who fishes it regularly now will be your most useful assets.
 

davej1981

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Again cant give any specific advice on the venue but it doesnt sound too differnt from the sussex ouse i used to fish. These were all generally low weight matches with 5lb or so winning. Occasionally an odd bonus chub or on other stretches bream would show up. They were essentially small fish matches where pole and maggot/pinkie/bread punch would work well. Accurate plumb around the whole swim is important as rivers can often throw up deeper holes. As has been said i would start off cautiously and get a feel for whats there . Always worth having a “bonus fish “ line to be tried every now and again or if things dont go well to go on in the last hour. Local info woukd be the key on venues like this, but with commercials domintating now thats not always easy to come bu
 

nejohn

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I would follow the advice above, ie take a cautious approach with feeding, get the feel of your peg and build it up slowly, have a plan B for the odd bonus fish and keep dropping into that area. My other advice would be to try to have a couple of practice sessions before your 1st match this could give you a feel of what might work in a match, fish as you would in a match and see what turns up
 

Yosemite Sam

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I have fished the Frome many years ago in winter league matches. There are some very narrow bits and deep wide parts. Bream are in a few pegs, but I would think chub, roach and perch would be your main target. You may only be able to fish 1 line if it’s narrow. As a club match, I should think who ever is pegging it would only put decent pegs in where you are likely to catch, not like a big open, where a good number of pegs are fish less.
Ask after you have drawn your peg, what it’s like and make your own mind up when you see the peg.
 

rudd

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I am sure there is a bit in Allan Haines complete book of match fishing or complete book of float fishing where he fished a national on there.

From memory a small waggler to far bank with pinkie/maggot was the way to go unless on a bream peg.
 

abbo27

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Thanks for the advice. I will report back on how I got on. There are only 25 pegs in over a reasonable distance so they should all be reasonable.
 

tipitinmick

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I haven’t fished it for years, but like any small river, it needs approaching with caution, there will be a limited number of fish in the peg and you may not be able to draw anymore in - especially under match conditions.

Its tricky to give generic advice, if the peg looks like it should hold Chub, then it maybe worth trying bread in clear conditions, or meat, or worms if it’s a bit coloured.

Maggots and casters would be a mainstay on the bait tray, but I’d be very negative to start with, we used to fish Wednesday police matches on there years ago with Ian Parsons when he was a copper, before he got involved with Viaduct.

Information from someone who fishes it regularly now will be your most useful assets.
Good post. 👍
 

The Runner

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Done a lot of my matchfishing on small rivers (although never the Frome);
A couple of things to add to some good advice above...
Can worth setting up a few sections of pole with a dibber set at half depth as very often the fish, especially chub, roach and dace, will come up and sit right underneath where your loose feed hits the water; if you think or can see, that this is happening, run it through the loosefeed for a few extra fish. You will generally only get a few like this before they spook for a while but every little helps.
Also can be worth only trotting the top half of your swim to start with. On many small rivers the fish can gradually drop down the peg as a few get caught .By only fishing the upper end of the swim initially you are leaving an area untouched for later if things go quiet and also you won't be bringing fish (and float) back over the heads of anything you might have feeding closer to you.
And if there's chub around, step up the feed for the last hour/ hour and a half
 

Pompous git

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I am sure there is a bit in Allan Haines complete book of match fishing or complete book of float fishing where he fished a national on there.

From memory a small waggler to far bank with pinkie/maggot was the way to go unless on a bream peg.
Brilliant book, one of the best ever written regarding float fishing. Just the right balance between cold blooded instruction and anecdotal
type stuff and like all good angling books it enthuses.
 

abbo27

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F195233A-4672-42A4-B681-377223A96CD3.jpeg I had a couple of hours fishing today, a section I have not fished before and couldn’t get past the fry. They were tiny. As soon as the float hit the water they were literally attacking the float. It was never more than 2 or 3 seconds before the float was under. I tried in the flow, out of it, near bank, far bank all with the same problem. I only had maggots and meat. I tried double and triple maggots, same problem, then running some meat through with no success, though it was getting attacked by the fry. Would worm, bread punch/flake or cheese paste be a solution? F195233A-4672-42A4-B681-377223A96CD3.jpeg
 

Zerkalo

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No idea about that particular river but a maggot feeder/lead with half a lobworm sorts out the stamp fish (perch, chub, bream) on my local small river, could be completely different on this one though as not many fry like that where I fish!
 

The Landlord

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Caster may sort out some better fish. Haven't done much small river fishing but I had a decent day on the Dane once. Double caster on a size 16 saw me catching a string of gudgeon on the stick float. Changed to four casters on a size 12 & landed quite a few 3lb chub. It was a very narrow & shallow stretch of the river as well. I was able to flick the float underarm to the far bank.
 

The Runner

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Aaaargh. a plague of minnows. Caster can avoid them a bit better than maggot does, but not guaranteed.
Used to fish the odd match on a stretch of the Mole that swarmed with them and only sweetcorn seemed minnow proof.
Alternatively, heavier feeding with maggot might pull some better fish in to investigate what the minnow activity is about; If there's that many of them there , half a dozen maggots at a time wont do it !
 

Maesknoll

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View attachment 38162 I had a couple of hours fishing today, a section I have not fished before and couldn’t get past the fry. They were tiny. As soon as the float hit the water they were literally attacking the float. It was never more than 2 or 3 seconds before the float was under. I tried in the flow, out of it, near bank, far bank all with the same problem. I only had maggots and meat. I tried double and triple maggots, same problem, then running some meat through with no success, though it was getting attacked by the fry. Would worm, bread punch/flake or cheese paste be a solution? View attachment 38162

Minnows, can be a pain in the whatsit. If there are chub about, the minnows usually disappear. Bigger baits or feeding them off could be the answer, but then again, the bigger bait might not be right and feeding them off can prove tricky if none of the bigger fish are feeding.

The mid and upper Avon used to have loads of them, Claverton island was hotspot for the little buggers. Getting out in the flow would have been one of my suggestions, but it looks like you tried that and couldn’t escape them.
 

rudd

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Looks like you may need a keepnet with micro holes and a whip! 😬
 

abbo27

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Fished the match and didn't come last which was quite something as I only put 4 oz on the scales. The river fished very hard after overnight rain. Pretty much everyone struggled. My secion was won by less than 2lbs, the match by 7,11 which included a bream at 5, 10 which is some fish from a small river. There are lots of good size perch and chub, but sadly none made an appearance. It all started off so well, I caught all but a few drams of my meagre weight in the first two minutes, it then switched off. It was a good day though seeing all the available pegs taken in the first club match on the river for more than a decade. I learned lots too, probably most important, ignore the BBC weather app. I got soaked and cold as it said no rain and 19 degrees. Second lesson, travel much lighter when fishing rivers. The minnows I encountered earlier in the week were absent from my peg which was a shame as they would have provided a welcome diversion today.
 
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