Steve Ringer catches 900 roach on the feeder! Dis­cover his tricks this week...

Steve re­veals the sil­ver­fish speed tricks which won him the new Feed­er­fest 2016 event

Angling Times (UK) - - WELCOME - STEVE RINGER: STILL­WA­TER SE­CRETS

I’VE just re­turned from yet an­other bril­liant week in Ire­land, fish­ing the newly formed Feed­er­fest com­pe­ti­tion on In­nis­carra Lake, near Cork.

In­nis­carra holds fond mem­o­ries for me as it’s where I was for­tu­nate enough to win both in­di­vid­ual and team gold medals in the World Feeder Cham­pi­onships in 2014.

Well, all I can say is that In­nis­carra is rapidly be­com­ing my favourite venue as I have now added the Feed­er­fest ti­tle to the gold medals I’ve won there!

Feed­er­fest was run over five days with to­tal weight be­ing the

de­cid­ing fac­tor, and my fi­nal to­tal of 52kg 010g was enough to hold off a strong field.

When you con­sider this means I av­er­aged over 20lb of sil­ver­fish a day you can see that the fish­ing was very good for the time of year.

After the prac­tice match it be­came ap­par­ent that roach were the dom­i­nant species.

Yes, there were skim­mers present but I felt roach were the safer bet, and with this in mind I de­cided to ig­nore the skim­mers.

The roach were small in the main, av­er­ag­ing 2oz, but they were plen­ti­ful, so I set my­self a tar­get of catch­ing 180 a day

That, I reck­oned, would give me 10kg-plus and I felt it would be enough to win un­less some­thing changed dur­ing the week – as in­deed it did.

Catch­ing 180-plus roach a day isn’t easy, es­pe­cially on the feeder, and it’s the lit­tle things which make the dif­fer­ence…

PER­FECT DIS­TANCE & DEPTH

When we won the World Champs on In­nis­carra the key was to find a cer­tain depth of wa­ter where we could catch a bet­ter stamp of roach with skim­mers mixed in.

If we fished in shal­lower wa­ter all we could catch were small

roach, and if we went longer into the deeper wa­ter it was just skim­mers – plus eels, which didn’t count!

The ‘magic’ depth to find was a ‘12 count’ as a 1oz Guru square bomb sank through the wa­ter to the bot­tom.

This time, though, it quickly be­came ap­par­ent that the roach weren’t in the deeper wa­ter in any num­bers. Ad­di­tion­ally, the fur­ther out you fished, the harder it was to catch enough fish to reach the tar­get weight.

So in­stead I found it bet­ter to fish shorter. A 9-10 count was the best place to start on the ma­jor­ity of the sec­tions be­ing used. This meant start­ing off around 20m-25m from the bank, de­pend­ing on the peg I had drawn.

On the sub­ject of depth, I think when feeder fish­ing a lot of an­glers don’t spend enough time plumb­ing up and find­ing out ex­actly what depth of wa­ter they are fish­ing in.

It’s strange, re­ally, as it’s some­thing that makes a mas­sive dif­fer­ence.

DEADLY HOOK­BAIT

For speed I used just one hook­bait all week, and that was a sin­gle live red mag­got. This was hooked straight through the mid­dle on a size 10 hook.

Now, to many this will sound

very crude, but bear in mind the roach in Ire­land are wild fish so they have no idea what a hook is.

To them a size 10 hook doesn’t spell dan­ger, and from my point of view it makes bites a lot eas­ier to hit – a big hook is a lot harder for small fish to deal with.

Hook­ing the mag­got straight through the mid­dle also seems to help min­imise missed bites.

SHORT HOOKLENGTHS

Strangely, through­out the week a short 50cm hook­length proved to the best.

Even though the wa­ter was clear, it seemed that the roach were still com­ing to the feeder and the ground­bait in it.

The big plus point with a short hook­length, though, was that bites were eas­ier to hit, as the fish felt the weight of the feeder that lit­tle bit quicker.

That said, when bites tailed off on a cou­ple of days I did pick off a few late fish on a longer 80cm hook­length – but over­all 50cm was with­out doubt the best length.

REG­U­LAR CAST­ING

Catch­ing large num­bers of small fish on the feeder is all about keep­ing busy, and this is par­tic­u­larly true when it comes to cast­ing.

As a guide, I never left the feeder on the bot­tom longer than 45 sec­onds. If I didn’t get a bite I sim­ply reeled in and re­cast.

As a rule, roach aren’t bot­tom feed­ers so bites tended to come within 15 sec­onds of the feeder hit­ting the bot­tom as the roach fol­lowed the bait down.

If you had to wait longer than 45 sec­onds then a bite wasn’t likely to come.

Reg­u­lar cast­ing was also key to keep­ing the cloud in the wa­ter which is, of course, what was both hold­ing the fish and pulling them into the swim.

KEEP­ING ON THE MOVE

Per­haps one of the most im­por­tant lessons I learnt all week was that if a line died you had to move off it quickly. It was very hard, if not im­pos­si­ble, to restart a swim once bites had tailed off.

A bril­liant ex­am­ple of this was Day 3 on the Green­way. I caught re­ally well for three hours at 25m be­fore all of a sud­den I couldn’t buy a bite.

I then dropped short at 18m and caught again im­me­di­ately, and this con­tin­ued un­til the end.

This hap­pened on at least three of the five days, although some­times I had to go longer to find the fish again.

The good thing was that if the fish were there you had an in­di­ca­tion within three casts, and so if I didn’t get bites after three chucks I sim­ply changed lines again.

An­other lit­tle tip was to try and bring the fish shorter – I would start catch­ing at 20m and if I felt there were a lot of fish there I’d would take a me­tre off that.

Shorter meant faster, which in a num­bers match is very im­por­tant.

Again, though, if tak­ing a me­tre off didn’t work I only gave it two casts be­fore go­ing back to the orig­i­nal mark.

Last day of Feed­er­fest, and I’m on my way to a fes­ti­val win.

My fi­nal day’s catch from Inish­leena Concrete peg 101.

I was able to keep roach com­ing all day by con­stantly mov­ing lines.

A sin­gle red mag­got on a size 10 hook!

Clip up to find per­fect dis­tance and depth.

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