Persistence Pays Off

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Neil ofthe nene

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I am very lucky in that I have the Wellingborough Brian Crowhurst Ringstead Island complex just ten minute's drive from home. While the river and two old gravel pits remain flooded I am still able to fish the two purpose dug ponds on site as these are above the flood level and at this time of year are fed from the run off from the adjacent field.

The snake lake has 40 pegs and the smaller donut 12. The donut is around six foot deep and the snake 4 1/2 - 5. The stocking policy means both are totally mixed fisheries with carp to 5lb in the smaller lake, ten in the larger. Also in the donut are crucian/brown goldfish crosses. Both then have a large number of various silvers so approached in the right way you never quite know what you will catch next.

Mill Cotton Whole.JPG

Given the forecast for the week I chose to go yesterday, and still got rained on! Water temperature was 4 degrees when I arrived. This told me that It would probably be one of those days when I would have to be patient waiting for the fish to decide to feed. On a session a week ago when I had to break some thin ice my first fish came after 2 1/2 hours (I missed a bite at two hours).

Last week I fished peg 34 on the snake lake, this week I decided on 35. My standard approach is to fish down the track. Were I targeting carp alone I might be tempted to fish 13m all day (honest guv) or just sit on a feeder all day. But I like to try and tempt the decent silvers, skimmers and bream, crucians. and roach with any carp as a bonus. Depending on conditions my rigs could be anything from 0.2g to 0.8. To start with I chose a 0.4g rig to fish at 10m and a 0.2g rig at 11.5 where it was slightly shallower. Given the temperature and clarity of the water I thought the fish might not be happy feeding closer than that. On Sunday on the donut I couldn't catch until going to 11.5m. On later reflection, despite the water being flat calm these rigs may have been too light. There was a tow left to right that I may have underestimated.

The rigs were on 0.13 (Reflo) with a ten inch 0.10 hooklength and 18 B611. Baits would be expanders (2 & 4 mil), maggot, pinkie and corn (skin). Two weeks previously on peg 5 I had a good day (water temp 5.2) with 15 skimmers, two roach, a hybrid and two carp that would not look at anything other than a 4 mil expander, that is until the last half hour when they wanted the 2mil. Feed was micros soaked in a betaine pellet soak, something I am experimenting with.

While setting the pole up I cast out a pellet feeder with three dead reds. After 15 minutes the tip went round and I had a 2lb carp in the net. So I would keep up my record of never blanking on this lake. I managed to break two floats while setting up, a bad omen.

My normal tactic is to find three spots of similar depth at a particular pole length that I can fish with one rig and rotate round and feed slightly differently. On this peg I found that hard because it deepened off by around five inches from 45 degrees left to 45 degrees right. So I had to accept that on some spots I would be a less than ideal 2-3 inches overdepth. Having fed three spots at 10m and two at 11.5 I started at 10m with a 4mil expander. As I can be impatient I use a kitchen timer and look to fish each spot five or ten minutes. As it was cold I decided on ten minutes to start.

Three and a quarter hours later I had my first fish, a skimmer around 12oz. Until then I had tried every bait in every spot I had fed with no indications until trying a single pinkie at 11.5m when I had three bites at around the two and a half hour mark. One bumped small roach and two missed was frustrating. At this time I decided to do something different and set up a third rig to fish at 8.5m, the deepest part of the swim but closer than I had originally thought the fish would be comfortable. The float on the new rig was a 0.6g windbeater. It wasn't windy but I just like how these floats work. There is a strange pleasure in seeing the last few shot and the bait taking the extra long bristle down in stages. I fed two spots, one directly in front and one off to the right.

It was the right hand swim that my first skimmer came from. That fish fell to double pinkie. It was followed by another 15 minutes later on 4mil expander. Relieved that I had at last got some fish feeding I concentrated on these two spots for the remainder of the day. Sport was not brisk but I picked up another two skimmers and a roach before it started raining (unforecast!) as I was going into my self allotted final hour. The wind also got up slightly but I was comfortable in my rig choice. In that last hour a further skimmer and three carp (5lb & two @ 2 1/2) were landed giving me ten fish for an estimated 14/15lb. Both pinkie and 4mil expander producing fish.

This was a day when I had to have confidence in what I was doing and the patience to know it should work at some point. I also think I underestimated the power of the tow and so the light rigs just did not present the bait properly. Perhaps in future I'll start with heavier rigs and go lighter if I can.
 

BTMS

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Neil what wind beater float were you using?
 

Neil ofthe nene

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In essence it was the DT Windbeater.

Windbeater.jpg

I am not sure if I should admit that the ones I was using were home assembled using parts from The Float Studio. I have some original 0.8g DT versions but wanted something a bit smaller in length and weight.

The 0.8g DTs are 13 inches long, my smaller ones are 9 3/4 and take between 0.5 & 0.6g. DT is the grey one, mine is red (the only Humbrol in my drawer that was still liquid).

IMG_20210206_112359134.jpg
 

Northantslad

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The extra ring on the top, aside from being good for paste perhaps (if shifted up) must be good Neil if you are having to hold back?
Tow...dislike intensely,laying line on etc, just never feel i am presenting well. Fished Biggin for the first time in ages over xmas and the tow coming of the dam wall caught me out initially with even a wire stem for starters and at 0.1g per foot rule. Ended up with a 1g float for 5.5ft of water.
 

Neil ofthe nene

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Strangely I love fishing a lake with a tow on it. I feel it gives me something to work with. Possibly a throwback to river fishing.

The 0.1g/foot thing is a starting guide. I have often found that I need to go heavier and have no problem using the 0.8g windbeater on the 4 1/2 ft deep swims on the snake lake if it is blowing. But then I have no issue using 0.2g in 5ft if the conditions are perfect. The only downside to that is the time lost waiting for the rig to settle. But if the eventual bites are more positive due to the light rig then its worth it.

The top ring just works for me whether holding back or not.
 

Maesknoll

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The extra ring on the top, aside from being good for paste perhaps (if shifted up) must be good Neil if you are having to hold back?
Tow...dislike intensely,laying line on etc, just never feel i am presenting well. Fished Biggin for the first time in ages over xmas and the tow coming of the dam wall caught me out initially with even a wire stem for starters and at 0.1g per foot rule. Ended up with a 1g float for 5.5ft of water.
On most of the lakes I fish, tow is essential for decent catches, if you haven’t got any, it can be tough.
 

dave brittain 1

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Neil, if I was fishing those lakes blind, my standard set up would be a wire stemmed pear shaped 0.4g float with a 0.12 or 0.15mm hollow tip. Shotting would be a simple No 10, 6ins above my hook, another 10, 6ins above that and a bulk of 8's 6ins above that giving me an 18in drop below my bulk. I'd also have 1 or 2 No 10s above my float to keep the line between my float and pole tip out of the wind. When it gets cold I'd keep it dead simple and fish dead reds over groundbait. Across I'd be looking at a straight maggot or corn approach fed through a pole pot. I may add micros but it would depend on what the locals recommended.

Any tow would be combatted by going over depth and laying the rig in different ways to find out what they prefer, noting that on flowing/towing water fish usually face the direction of flow as this naturally brings feed to them but also take into account that while the top may be going one way the bottom is often doing the opposite. By laying your rig in and experimenting you can normally work out how they prefer it. Its' then a case of using the tow to your advantage when working the bait. If I find a 0.4gm float is being blown about I'd change to a heavier float because you do need stability which is achieved through a balance of weight and adding depth.

While some anglers are wary of going over depth, what needs to be borne in mind is that as long as the rig is in tension sensitivity is retained. In effect your fishing a bow from your float to the bait with the tow creating the bow keeping the line in tension, (not dissimilar to the feeder and a bow) . The worst scenario you can have is being to tight to a small bait, (expanders are the worst), so that any movement is exaggerated making the bait jerk about unnaturally whereas a bait that is laid on the bottom over depth with controlled tension moves in a more natural manner.

Years ago nobody thought anything of having 6-24ins laid on the bottom when fishing the waggler to negate flow yet with pole fishing some people have a fixation with dead depth, which is fine with the right baits, rigs and perfect conditions when fish are feeding positively, however once it cools down and the weather changes fishing over depth sometimes has a distinct advantage.

To put into context what I've written if you haven't seen them Jamie Hughes and Andy May talk about the above in one of their winter silvers video's, if you haven't seen them they are well worth watching.

Hope this helps.
 

Total

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Neil, if I was fishing those lakes blind, my standard set up would be a wire stemmed pear shaped 0.4g float with a 0.12 or 0.15mm hollow tip. Shotting would be a simple No 10, 6ins above my hook, another 10, 6ins above that and a bulk of 8's 6ins above that giving me an 18in drop below my bulk. I'd also have 1 or 2 No 10s above my float to keep the line between my float and pole tip out of the wind. When it gets cold I'd keep it dead simple and fish dead reds over groundbait. Across I'd be looking at a straight maggot or corn approach fed through a pole pot. I may add micros but it would depend on what the locals recommended.

Any tow would be combatted by going over depth and laying the rig in different ways to find out what they prefer, noting that on flowing/towing water fish usually face the direction of flow as this naturally brings feed to them but also take into account that while the top may be going one way the bottom is often doing the opposite. By laying your rig in and experimenting you can normally work out how they prefer it. Its' then a case of using the tow to your advantage when working the bait. If I find a 0.4gm float is being blown about I'd change to a heavier float because you do need stability which is achieved through a balance of weight and adding depth.

While some anglers are wary of going over depth, what needs to be borne in mind is that as long as the rig is in tension sensitivity is retained. In effect your fishing a bow from your float to the bait with the tow creating the bow keeping the line in tension, (not dissimilar to the feeder and a bow) . The worst scenario you can have is being to tight to a small bait, (expanders are the worst), so that any movement is exaggerated making the bait jerk about unnaturally whereas a bait that is laid on the bottom over depth with controlled tension moves in a more natural manner.

Years ago nobody thought anything of having 6-24ins laid on the bottom when fishing the waggler to negate flow yet with pole fishing some people have a fixation with dead depth, which is fine with the right baits, rigs and perfect conditions when fish are feeding positively, however once it cools down and the weather changes fishing over depth sometimes has a distinct advantage.

To put into context what I've written if you haven't seen them Jamie Hughes and Andy May talk about the above in one of their winter silvers video's, if you haven't seen them they are well worth watching.

Hope this helps.
^^:)....You've done this before, haven't you?;):geek:(y)....Like you I've never been afraid to 'lay on' if weather conditions required me to....
 

Scribe

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Hi Neil, daft question to which I almost know the answer already, I take it you cut the tip and stem down on the DT floats. How did you arrive at the ratio of how much to cut down on each, was it equal amounts or 60% / 40% from the tip/stem of the overall length ?
 

Dave

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Another point regarding tow, especially on natural lakes or canal type commercials, is if you keep your line tight to your float and fish dead depth, ie plumbed depth, the line between the float and bait if using light rigs can be lifted with the tow and therefore lift the bait from the bottom, so not actually fishing dead depth at all but off-bottom
 

chefster

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What I don’t get , is you’ve chucked a feeder across while setting up,what was the point of that ?? Cos you’ve caught one across more or less straight away, which tells you there’s fish over there, but rather than fish across, you’ve plumbed up lines down the middle etc ..it’s hardly a hardship fishing 13m in the conditions you’ve outlined,and you’d probably catch more fish...you say you go pleasure fishing to practice new things, but do the same thing you do all the time 🤷‍♂️🤷‍♂️🤷‍♂️
 

Neil ofthe nene

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I think the clue is in the word "pleasure".

As I say in my report, if I were targeting the carp yes I would fish 13m and or the feeder. But I like to catch a variety of fish when pleasure fishing. In addition some of the matches I fish on the venue are silver's only. No point in practicing carp fishing when it's silver's I need.

Yes I fished my standard method, do you do anything different when you fish Tunnel? No, you even have your rigs permanently on your topkits.

Given the conditions were going to be tough due to the temperature I chose to fish a method that would get me bites and fish. I can absolutely guarantee that out of everyone fishing the lake that day I had the most fish and probably best weight.

And the reason I put a feeder out first is to try and catch that early fish, see if the fish are moving about (liners). Tried the feeder later while struggling on the pole and didn't get a bite.

Gaz, I'm not sure why you are so obsessed with the way I fish and the tackle I use. I'm happy doing what I do. I could kit myself out with all the top gear from one brand and not notice the dent in my finances. Would that make me happier, would I get more pleasure from pleasure fishing? No.
 
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Neil ofthe nene

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Hi Neil, daft question to which I almost know the answer already, I take it you cut the tip and stem down on the DT floats. How did you arrive at the ratio of how much to cut down on each, was it equal amounts or 60% / 40% from the tip/stem of the overall length ?
My version was built up from scratch using parts. Body was listed as a 4x16, carbon stem was 20cm & 1.2mm diameter, bristle is 1.7mm. The dimensions were dictated in part by what was available from the same source so they all married up. The DT 0.8 uses 30cm of carbon stem so as I wanted a smaller, lighter float I chose 20cm.

The float body position was chosen with no science or measurement involved, I'm afraid to admit I just went with what looked right. Luckily the floats work well. So much so that I have been using them in calm conditions.

I'm sure everyone who makes floats (this was my first go for decades) understands the pleasure of seeing what you have made doing what it was designed to do and catching fish on it more so.
 

Neil ofthe nene

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Neil, if I was fishing those lakes blind, my standard set up would be a wire stemmed pear shaped 0.4g float with a 0.12 or 0.15mm hollow tip. Shotting would be a simple No 10, 6ins above my hook, another 10, 6ins above that and a bulk of 8's 6ins above that giving me an 18in drop below my bulk. I'd also have 1 or 2 No 10s above my float to keep the line between my float and pole tip out of the wind. When it gets cold I'd keep it dead simple and fish dead reds over groundbait. Across I'd be looking at a straight maggot or corn approach fed through a pole pot. I may add micros but it would depend on what the locals recommended.

Any tow would be combatted by going over depth and laying the rig in different ways to find out what they prefer, noting that on flowing/towing water fish usually face the direction of flow as this naturally brings feed to them but also take into account that while the top may be going one way the bottom is often doing the opposite. By laying your rig in and experimenting you can normally work out how they prefer it. Its' then a case of using the tow to your advantage when working the bait. If I find a 0.4gm float is being blown about I'd change to a heavier float because you do need stability which is achieved through a balance of weight and adding depth.

While some anglers are wary of going over depth, what needs to be borne in mind is that as long as the rig is in tension sensitivity is retained. In effect your fishing a bow from your float to the bait with the tow creating the bow keeping the line in tension, (not dissimilar to the feeder and a bow) . The worst scenario you can have is being to tight to a small bait, (expanders are the worst), so that any movement is exaggerated making the bait jerk about unnaturally whereas a bait that is laid on the bottom over depth with controlled tension moves in a more natural manner.

Years ago nobody thought anything of having 6-24ins laid on the bottom when fishing the waggler to negate flow yet with pole fishing some people have a fixation with dead depth, which is fine with the right baits, rigs and perfect conditions when fish are feeding positively, however once it cools down and the weather changes fishing over depth sometimes has a distinct advantage.

To put into context what I've written if you haven't seen them Jamie Hughes and Andy May talk about the above in one of their winter silvers video's, if you haven't seen them they are well worth watching.

Hope this helps.
Nice to see someone agreeing with what I wrote in my blog (Dec 2014).

Windy Conditions


I am assuming that the wind has set up a tow otherwise I will fish as if calm. My first aim is to get the float set so that it will go with the tow. I find that to aid this a string of shot is better than a bulk. You may also have to shot the float lower than you might imagine to get the bristle out of the wind and stop it acting like a sail. I will also set up a heavier float than in calm conditions, probably a 1g instead of half. If I am going to change something then I like it to be a positive one and not just fiddling around.

This heavier float does two things. Obviously it helps keep the float stable and the bait on the deck. But I also think the extra shot strung down the line (I will use size 6 or 8) help pick up the tow and counter the effect of the wind on the bristle.

There is little point in trying to be precise with depth so I will go up to nine inches over to ensure the bait is on the bottom. I am looking to balance keeping the bait on the deck and the float being able to drag it through with the tow. Why 9 inches? Remember I use a 10 inch hooklength with the last shot just above the knot.


And also agreeing with the benefits of backshotting (September 2017)

Background

I now backshot all my pole rigs. Doesn't matter if they are for carp or silvers, deep swims or shallow margins. I feel the benefits mean I catch more fish.

As I see it there are three main reasons for backshotting your rigs. First is that the line can be sunk and remain under the surface thus reducing any effects a wind may have on the float and rig. This means the rig is doing what you want, not what the wind wants to do to it. You have much better control of the float and rig


Groundbait is banned on the lake and so micros takes its place.

If you live close enough and want a day on the lake I am allowed to take two guests a year. Would be good to share experience and knowledge.
 
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