Heavy rain puts paid to a float ap­proach on the Avon

Angling Times (UK) - - TIPS & TACTICS -

with the hal­ibut ground­bait. I made six quick casts to get some feed on the bot­tom, then left the feeder in to see what de­vel­oped. I didn’t have to wait long for the first bite as the tip flew back with a drop-back bite.

I picked the rod up, ex­pect­ing to feel a bar­bel on the other end, but there was noth­ing! Next cast in, the same thing hap­pened and I picked up to find my­self at­tached to a greedy 8oz chub.

Sev­eral more chublets fol­lowed be­fore a re­ally vi­cious bite saw me at­tached to some­thing much larger, in the form of a 3lb chub.

A slightly smaller fish took a lik­ing to my pel­let hook­bait on the next cast, then bites dried up.


Af­ter 15 min­utes of no bites, I de­cided to change the feeder to a small block­end model. I’d been us­ing a 0.18mm hooklength with the pel­let and stayed with it for a while, al­beit with a smaller hook.

Where there is a chance of big fish I al­ways tend to use Ka­masan An­i­mal spade hooks. With 8mm pel­lets I nor­mally use a size 12, while for mag­gots it can be any­thing from size 18 to 14.

I tied a size 14 to the 2ft 6ins hooklength and went out with three mag­gots as hook­bait, cram­ming plenty of mag­gots into the feeder.

Chub love mag­gots, so I had a feel­ing it wouldn’t be long be­fore a bite came. A sharp pull con­firmed my thoughts as a 1lb fish hooked it­self against the feeder. A good run of fish saw me quickly up to dou­ble fig­ures, but I was now miss­ing the odd bite and com­ing back with dam­aged mag­gots.

Bit by bit, I started to shorten the hooklength un­til even­tu­ally I was down to around a foot. This was much bet­ter, as the bites were com­ing quickly and I wasn’t miss­ing any!

Bites even­tu­ally slowed down so I length­ened the hooklength back up to as much as 3ft and also worked the feeder down the swim. This is a ploy that I don’t see enough an­glers do. Ba­si­cally, the tac­tic in­volves keep­ing things ac­cu­rate and catch­ing what you can for the first two or three hours of a ses­sion.

Then, when bites dry up, cast in a lit­tle fur­ther down­river. You will of­ten find that the fish have sim­ply dropped down and are feed­ing on the loose of­fer­ings, be­low where your hook is. For the re­main­der of the ses­sion I switched be­tween pel­lets and mag­gots, but try as I might, I couldn’t get a bar­bel. I did, how­ever, man­age to put to­gether about 25lb of mainly chub, so I was well pleased with my day.

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