Eng­land Feeder team man Rob Woot­ton shows how his speed ap­proach for small fish on the tip can build a weight


NICE as it is to catch a big bag of match win­ning bream, pegs and weather con­di­tions don’t al­ways make it pos­si­ble!

My first open match at Staunton Harold reservoir in Der­byshire re­cently went like a dream, and I won it with 85lb 11oz of slabs to 6lb. But I re­turned to the venue with An­gling Times a week later and couldn’t get a bite off one!

I don’t know if it was be­cause it was a bright, hot day or if there sim­ply weren’t any bream in front of me, but I quickly re­alised that I had to dras­ti­cally al­ter my ap­proach if I was to put a re­spectable catch to­gether.

Feeder fish­ing at speed for small fish is some­thing we do a lot of in Ire­land and at the Feeder World Cham­pi­onships, and it’s a great way of get­ting out of jail.

My usual ploy on a big lake or reservoir is to feed a long line at a dis­tance of 50m-60m for bream, putting sev­eral big feed­er­fuls of bait here. Then I’ll start on a much closer small-fish line at any­thing be­tween 20m and 40m, depend­ing on depth and con­di­tions. It’s best to build this swim up grad­u­ally, rather than giv­ing it a hit of bait as you do on the bream line! Then it’s a case look­ing to see if bream start to get caught by oth­ers, so you can change lines if they do.

Perch, roach and small skim­mers or hy­brids are gen­er­ally the tar­gets on a close line. That means fish­ing and feed­ing finely-chopped worms, cast­ers, pinkies and dead mag­gots. Small feed­ers are the order of the day, usu­ally three or four-bar cages. I like the Nisa plas­tic type in a 28g size. Cage feed­ers pro­duce a re­ally nice cloud to draw fish in and I use them for most of my ‘tra­di­tional’ feeder work. The other model I use is a Win­dow feeder which is very quick to load and fish with, as you can tighten down to it very quickly. The bait goes through a ‘win­dow’ in the side and it’s good in deep wa­ter – you don’t get the cloud you do with a cage feeder, though.

The key is to cast ev­ery 60 sec­onds to get the bait and cloud in, and lots of bites come on the drop too as the hook­length set­tles. I’ll start with a 1m hook­length, re­duc­ing this if I miss bites to as short a length as I can get away with with­out com­pro­mis­ing bites.

My gear is slightly on the crude side, a size 10 to 14 Ka­masan B512 and a 0.14mm Shi­mano Ex­age hook­length. This way you’ll con­nect with far more bites and be able to speed-fish more pos­i­tively. There will be fewer tan­gles and spin-ups too.

Braided main­line is a must for me, with an 8lb mono

“Feeder fish­ing at speed for small fish is a great way of get­ting out of jail”

shock­leader in­cluded. It makes ev­ery­thing more di­rect and there’s no mis­tak­ing bites. Even though I might only be fish­ing up to 40m I use a 12ft Shi­mano Beast­mas­ter Com­mer­cial CX to make cast­ing com­fort­able.

The rig is a stan­dard run­ning feeder rig with a pa­ter­nos­ter feeder link hous­ing the feeder.

My ground­bait is a sweet mix of Dy­na­mite Silver X Bream, Fren­zied Hemp Black (to darken it off a bit) and brown crumb.

A bream mix will typ­i­cally con­tain a lot more fish­meal.

I pre­fer to fish tiny sec­tions of den­drobae­nas on the hook as small fish tend to hold on to them longer than other baits.

You don’t need bream for a win­ning weight. I don’t use too fine a line or hook. Hookbait – a den­drobaena frag­ment.

You don’t get a cloud in the wa­ter with this pat­tern, but it’s very quick to load and fish with. WIN­DOW FEEDER Small fish tend to come on my 20m-40m line. This 28g Nisa pat­tern is used for most of my ‘tra­di­tional’ feeder work and clouds the wa­ter nicely. CAGE FEEDER

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