SIMPLE TRICKS FOR BAGGING UP WITH BREAD
When F1s and carp don’t fall for a maggot attack, it’s time for a rethink…
EVERY now and again things don’t go quite as planned. A perfect example of this was my recent trip to Packington Somers, a fishery renowned for its fantastic winter fishing.
My plan was to catch F1s on maggots, but it seemed no-one had told the fish, and after an hour I had just one missed bite to show for my efforts!
The funny thing was, though, I knew there were fish in the peg. It seemed it was just too cold to catch them on maggots.
I had a quick rethink and decided to have a complete change of tack and search the swim by dobbing bread.
Dobbing bread would allow me to try to find the fish and, perhaps more importantly, put a bait right in front of them and tempt them into a ‘reaction bite’.
In this instance they might not be hungry, but they’d take a bright bait waved in their face.
Suffice to say that making the change was like throwing a light switch, and within two minutes the first F1 was in the net!
From that point on it was simply a case of catching a few in one spot and then, when it went quiet, moving again to relocate them.
By adopting this approach I was able to keep bites coming right through the session.
If I’d stayed on maggots I’m convinced I would have caught late on, but the first two hours would have been wasted – and that’s not the way to win matches!
WHERE TO FISH
A lot of anglers think dobbing is all about targeting the far bank, but while this can be true on certain venues, most of my dobbing tends to be done on the three-quarter line.
This is purely down to depth. A lot of venues I fish are very shallow across, 12ins or less, and even with cover the fish don’t want to be in this depth of water in the cold.
Move on to that three-quarter line, though, and you’ve usually got 3ft-plus. This tends to be where the fish like to sit.
Of course, if you have 3ft tight to the far bank it’s well worth a look, but don’t neglect the open water because more often than not this is where the fish are.
FIND THE DEPTH THEY’RE AT
Perhaps one of the hardest parts of dobbing is finding the depth the fish are sat at, and I guarantee it won’t be on the bottom!
What I like to do is plumb the depth, then mark it on the pole as a reference point.
I will then come 4ins off the bottom and see what happens – if I start to get lots of indications and maybe foul-hook a couple of fish this tells me they are higher in the water, so I will take another 4ins off the depth to try to get in proper contact with them.
It’s important to start deeper so you can get an idea of exactly what’s in front of you – it’s hard to learn anything by starting really shallow and watching a motionless float!
CATCH AND MOVE
To kick off, I always try and identify an area of the swim where I expect the fish to be.
Ideally this will be straight in front of me, as I don’t want to start fishing long to the left and right and push the fish out of my swim early in the session.
Once I’ve chosen a spot I will give it five minutes maximum, and if I don’t get any signs or bites I’ll move spots.
When I move it will be a metre or
so to the left or right of the original spot to try and find the fish.
Once I find a ball of fish I will look to catch as many as possible from that spot before I consider moving.
Once a spot dies I will, of course,
Plumb up – finding the right depth is vital.
Come away from the far bank to find the deeper water... and the fish!
Vary your bait sizes to the bites you get.