The £50,000 fish! Find out how you can catch more with Andy May’s Fish O’ Ma­nia win­ning tac­tics

Try Andy May’s top worm tac­tic

Angling Times (UK) - - WELCOME - STEVE FITZ­PATRICK EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

FISH can be frus­trat­ing crea­tures. Just when you think you’ve got your rigs, baits, and tac­tics sorted, they change the plan and leave you scratch­ing your head. So what can you do? Well, this week’s is­sue will def­i­nitely help you get catch­ing again – whether you’re af­ter a re­ally big spec­i­men (yes please!) or a big catch from your lo­cal still­wa­ter.

We’ve got loads of great ad­vice from our ex­clu­sive team of ex­perts in­clud­ing Steve Ringer who re­veals his es­sen­tial still­wa­ter rigs, Dave Har­rell on how a new feed­ing trick has scored with finicky chub, Martin Bowler talks about track­ing down re­ally big bream, and Paul Gar­ner shows you how to pick the right bait for Method feeder fish­ing right now.

Added to that, new Fish O’ Ma­nia cham­pion Andy May shows you the sim­ple pole and feed­ing tac­tics that helped win him £50,000 last week­end – if you like catch­ing a mixed bag then this is for you!

You’ll also no­tice there’s a free UKFish­eries mag­a­zine with your is­sue this week and in­side you’ll find chap­ter and verse on more of the coun­try’s top venues. Added to our bumper Where to Fish sec­tion – where our ex­perts pick out the best waters in your area – it makes es­sen­tial read­ing for all an­glers look­ing for ac­tion.

It’s the per­fect time to get out there as some of the year’s big­gest catches have just been taken so what­ever fish­ing you’re into right now, get out there and en­joy your time on the bank.

ANDY May is the new Fish O’Ma­nia cham­pion af­ter he per­fectly ex­e­cuted a ‘catch ev­ery­thing that swims’ ap­proach on the Arena Pool at Cud­more Fish­eries.

The MAP-backed star re­lied on his favoured worm and caster tac­tics to scoop the £50,000 top prize, and An­gling Times caught up with the man of the mo­ment for an in-depth de­brief on how he got his hands on the sil­ver­ware.

“I’ve al­ways en­joyed fish­ing with worms and cast­ers. Lit­er­ally any species that is stocked in a com­mer­cial will feed on the com­bi­na­tion,” ex­plained Andy.

“It’s the great­est win of my ca­reer and you too can put to­gether the best catch of your life this week by fol­low­ing a few sim­ple tips and tricks that I put into prac­tice on the big day.”

FEED­ING REGIME

If you watched Andy in ac­tion you will have no­ticed that barely a minute passed with­out him feed­ing his swim.

Such reg­u­lar in­tro­duc­tions and that con­stant work rate may have looked a lit­tle manic, but you soon re­alise that a lot of thought went into how he baited the swim.

“As soon as I hooked a fish, I threw in by hand around 15 cast­ers over my tar­get line. This was to get the fish left in the swim com­pet­ing so that when I dropped my rig over the top of them, the float buried in­stantly,” he said.

“I also cupped in a grape-sized nugget of Bait-Tech Karma ground­bait af­ter each fish. This was mixed stodgy to go straight to the bot­tom and con­cen­trate the fish on the deck, with chopped worm added to bring a few bonus fish into the swim.

“If I started get­ting line bites I cut out the feed­ing for a few min­utes to al­low the fish to set­tle, stop­ping them rac­ing around the swim and brush­ing up against my rig. Once bites tailed off it was time to start the feed­ing regime again.”

Andy’s num­ber one hook­bait for this type of ac­tion is a worm head or tail, as it en­ables him to catch sev­eral fish be­fore need­ing to change it.

By the end of the day Andy had fed a cou­ple of ki­los of ground­bait, just over half-a-kilo of worm and four pints of cast­ers – a bait bill that came to less than £20.

CARE­FUL PLUMB­ING

When big bags of F1s, ide, tench and skim­mers are on the cards it pays to try and get the shoals com­pet­ing as close to the bank as pos­si­ble.

“If you are fish­ing at 13m it is go­ing to take twice the time to get a fish in than if you were tar­get­ing a swim 6m out,” he said.

“Fish­ing close to the bank also en­ables you to feed cast­ers by hand ac­cu­rately with­out much ef­fort at all.”

When plumb­ing up, it pays to work out the con­tours of the lakebed, with a cer­tain type of

sur­face prefer­able when catch­ing on the deck.

“A firm lakebed is vi­tal if you want to catch lots of sil­vers on the deck. If you fish over silt or weed they be­come a lot harder to catch as they be­come pre­oc­cu­pied with the nat­u­ral feed,” said Andy.

WIN­NING RIG

With the feed­ing con­cen­trat­ing the shoals on the deck, it makes per­fect sense to use a rig that de­liv­ers the hook­bait to them swiftly. “There’s no point in a slowly fall­ing hook­bait if ev­ery­thing is feed­ing on the bot­tom,” said Andy.

“I use a 4x14 MAP SD1 float with a rugby ball-shaped body that helps to keep the rig sta­ble, and a wire stem that makes sure I see ev­ery in­di­ca­tion. This is shot­ted with a bulk about 18ins up from the hook with three small drop­per shot be­low. “The drop­per shot slow the fall of the hook­bait just be­fore it comes into con­tact with the fish, mak­ing it look nat­u­ral and help­ing to bring in­stant bites.”

Andy’s rig is com­pleted with a softly set solid 8 elas­tic, 0.15mm main­line to an 0.10mm hook­length and a size 14 fine wire Ga­makatsu hook.

Andy tops up his pole pot at the Fish O’ fi­nal.

Andy drew the crowds at the Fish O’ fi­nal.

Cast­ers will catch any­thing that swims.

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