Steve Ringer on why he’s switched to window feeders for bream
Steve explains why he’s switched to a new feeder for his bream fishing...
HAVE to admit when window feeders first burst on to the scene a few years back I was more than a little sceptical.
That said, I hadn’t fished with them much over here until last year’s Steel City Festival at Ferry Meadows in Peterborough.
There, to put it quite simply, the bream wanted to eat worms, worms and more worms!
By far the best way of introducing lots of chopped worm into the swim was through a window feeder!
Since then these feeders have come to the fore on a number of bream waters up and down the country, as more and more anglers start to realise just how effective they can be.
Right now they’re proving their
worth again, and so I headed back to Ferry Meadows to show you how to get the best out of them…
WHAT IS A WINDOW FEEDER?
The best way I can think of describing a window feeder is to imagine a maggot feeder with a chunk cut out of the side –in fact this is precisely how the early window feeders were made.
The weight of a window feeder is concentrated in the base, which means they cast like a bullet.
Even in the poorest conditions they can still be fished accurately at long range.
You can get them in a wide range of sizes, but for bream work at venues such as Ferry Meadows it’s the bigger versions I tend to stick with – the Medium and Large weighing 30g and 40g, respectively.
I choose the bigger sizes because normally, when bream fishing, I want to really attack the swim and the larger feeders allow me to do this as they can carry a lot of loose offerings.
There are several different makes of window feeder on the market but my favourite for bream fishing has to be the Dennett’s version.
This doesn’t need any modification prior to fishing, unlike some of the other window feeders I’ve come across.
NOT JUST FOR WORMS
There are lots of baits you can use in a window feeder, but where I gain an edge as far as bream fishing goes is by filling the feeder with chopped worms.
With this in mind, for a day’s window feeder work I’ll have with me a kilo of dendrobaena worms, plus other particle baits.
These will include a pint of casters, half-a-pint of dead maggots, a pint of 2mm micro pellets, and two tins of corn.
Groundbait choice is important, too and, as Ferry Meadows is very much a fishmeal venue, my mix is made up of 50 per cent Ringers Natural and 50 per cent Ringers Dark Bag Up mixes. This combination has caught more me bream than any other mix.
As far as hookbaits go I tend to stick to just two – hair-rigged worm and bunches of dead maggots.
As a rule I like to kick off on two three-quarter-inch pieces of hairrigged worm, just to try and get a feel for what the bream want.
After all, when I’m window feeder fishing for bream I am feeding a lot of chopped worm, so to me it makes sense to have the same on the hair.
However, if this doesn’t seem to work I will not hestitate to change to a bunch of maggots.
It always amazes me how my peg can seem totally devoid of fish, only for a switch from worms to maggots to produce a bite first cast – it’s uncanny!
When I’m bream fishing I always time my casts, and for the first hour of the match I’ll fish casts from five to six minutes to build the swim up.
I will then vary my casting times to try and work out how the fish want it on the day.
So, for instance, I will have a 10-minute cast to see if that gets a response, then two three-minute casts to mix it up and try and pull a bream or two into the swim.
It’s important not to be too regimented. You need to try and make a bite happen, as opposed to waiting for one to come along.