WIN­NING ON RIVERS IS ALL IN THE FEED!

Match ace Amer Jawad on why you need to per­se­vere for the bet­ter fish

Angling Times (UK) - - MATCH NEWS -

OUR rivers are alive with mil­lions of tiny fish thanks to yet an­other suc­cess­ful breed­ing sea­son.

Such huge shoals of sil­vers are a de­light to see, not least be­cause they sig­nify a healthy fu­ture for the water­way.

How­ever, these ju­ve­nile roach, dace and bleak can prove to be a real headache to match an­glers by grab­bing the hook­bait within sec­onds of it hit­ting the water. There’s no chance of it ever get­ting through to any big­ger fish that might be in the shoal.

Many an­glers re­sort to stick­ing on a large bait such as a worm to try to sin­gle out the big­ger stamp of fish, but top match­man Amer Jawad adopts a dif­fer­ent ap­proach to the prob­lem.

“It’s all too easy in such a sit­u­a­tion to sim­ply give up try­ing to pick out the bet­ter sil­ver­fish and look for a bonus perch or chub in­stead,” he said.

“But by us­ing the right rigs and feed­ing in the right way it’s pos­si­ble to catch the big­gest sil­vers in any shoal.

“For ex­am­ple, in a typ­i­cal match on a river, me and the an­gler on the next peg may both land 200 fish, but I’ve de­vel­oped a way of mak­ing sure that my catch goes 20lb on the scales, while his doesn’t even make dou­ble fig­ures.”

GROUND­BAIT CHOICE

The small­est fish are likely to be sat up in the water, and so a ground­bait that sinks quickly and only breaks up once it reaches the deck is re­quired.

A sticky blend will do just that, and Amer uses an even mix of Rive Etang and Feeder Noire to get the all-im­por­tant tex­ture bang on.

“I’ll al­ways mix it up the night be­fore the match. This makes it in­ert and stop bits and pieces break­ing off on the way down, some­thing which only whips the small fish into a frenzy,” he said.

“I add a few pinkies, casters and a bit of chopped worm so that the mix ap­peals to a lot of species in­clud­ing qual­ity roach, dace, perch and bream.”

Amer cups in 10 tan­ger­i­ne­sized balls of ground­bait at the be­gin­ning of his ses­sion, but knows that he won’t at­tract bites from the big­ger bonus fish straight away.

PA­TIENCE RE­QUIRED

Once the ini­tial bom­bard­ment has gone into the swim, it of­ten takes a while for the shoal to set­tle, so it’s im­por­tant to give it at least an hour for the plan to start to bear fruit.

“The small bleak will fol­low the ground­bait down to the bot­tom and in the open­ing stages these are the fish that you’ll catch,” said Amer.

“You need to have faith in what you’re do­ing, and wait un­til the big­ger fish bully them out. It’s tempt­ing at this stage to feed more, but this will only start the clock again and re­ac­ti­vate the nui­sance bleak.”

TWO RIG SOLUTION

Most of the rivers that Amer fishes are fairly slowflow­ing, such as the Great Ouse at Hem­ing­ford Grey in Cam­bridgeshire. With typ­i­cal depths of around 6ft, many an­glers would think that a

1g float would be more than suf­fi­cient, but Amer starts with dou­ble that load­ing.

He said: “I’ll usu­ally be­gin with a 2g Rive WC5 float as I can put plenty of weight on the line and get the bait to the bot­tom quickly to re­duce the chance of a bleak nab­bing it on the way down.

“My olivette is set 6ins from the hook – I’m look­ing to catch ex­clu­sively on the deck.”

This is the rig he uses in the open­ing stages of his ses­sion, but as the bet­ter fish start to com­pete for the bait this sig­nals that it’s time for a change.

“At that point I’ll switch over to a 1.5g float with the olivette set 12ins from the hook. This pro­vides a more nat­u­ral pre­sen­ta­tion and al­lows the hook­bait to fall slowly in the bot­tom foot of water, where the big­ger fish are,” said Amer.

“By this point the bleak have been bul­lied out of the area so I can af­ford to have a slightly slower fall.”

Both rigs fea­ture a No5 elas­tic, so Amer can beat bonus perch and swing a lot of fish to hand. His main­line is 0.12mm to an 0.09mm hook­length and a size 18 or 20 hook. Hook­bait is ei­ther mag­got or caster – trial and er­ror will de­cide which is the more pro­duc­tive on the day.

CHUNKY SIL­VERS

Dur­ing his ses­sion in front of the cam­eras, just as Amer pre­dicted, the bleak proved to be a nui­sance in the open­ing stages – 50 tiny fish col­lec­tively weigh­ing lit­tle more than 1lb came in the first 45 min­utes.

But per­se­ver­ance paid off, and be­fore too long the big­ger fish be­gan to set­tle over the ground­bait. The next 50 were sig­nif­i­cantly big­ger, with a col­lec­tive weight prob­a­bly near­ing 6lb. This trend con­tin­ued for the next three hours, and more than 20lb of qual­ity sil­vers were ready to show to the cam­eras come the all-out.

“There will al­ways be big­ger sil­vers in your peg but it can be so tempt­ing to throw in the towel early on. Get your river rigs and feed­ing right this week and you’ll soon be the man to beat on your lo­cal river!” said Amer.

Care­ful feed­ing makes it pos­si­ble to sin­gle out the big­ger stamp of fish.

An olivette gets the hook­bait down to the bet­ter fish quickly. An­other plump Great Ouse roach comes to the net. A bristling 20lb net of sil­vers for Amer.

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