from Adam Wake­lin

.. .and a cage feeder de­liv­ers it per­fectly

Angling Times (UK) - - NEWS -

HY­BRID feed­ers with bright boilie or wafter hook baits are now the go-to ap­proach for catch­ing a weight of bream on com­mer­cial fish­eries. You’re giv­ing your­self ev­ery chance of nob­bling a few carp and F1s into the bar­gain. How­ever, ground­bait still plays an im­por­tant part, whether moulded around a feeder or used in a cage or open end model. It is vi­tal to have a hint of fish­meal in the mix to sat­isfy the de­mands of the fish. Trou­ble is, a clas­sic fish­meal ground­bait is too strong, es­pe­cially in win­ter, when it can ac­tu­ally be a turn-off.

Years ago we’d have used one bag of fish­meal to one bag of a sweet mix as a bit of a com­pro­mise – but not any more fol­low­ing the long-awaited re­lease of Ringer Baits’ new sweet fish­meal Feeder mix.

Now, sweet fish­meal ground baits are noth­ing new but that many are still a lit­tle too strong for my lik­ing.

For me, the mo­ment of judge­ment comes when you open a bag. Take a sniff, and if you can only just smell the fish con­tent you’re in busi­ness. I’ve been test­ing Ringers’ Feeder all win­ter at venues such as Mead­ow­lands and Barston with sat­is­fy­ing re­sults – and now you, too, can get your hands on the stuff!

Lake 1 on Phase One of Mid­lands fish­ery Guru Makins is the per­fect wa­ter for the mix to do its stuff, as it holds plenty of carp plus a big head of qual­ity skim­mers.

Fol­low­ing a frost, and with ice in the cor­ners of the lake, along with clear wa­ter, con­di­tions were ideal to show how strik­ing the right bal­ance be­tween sweet and fishy is so im­por­tant to suc­cess.


Be­cause there’s the chance of a dou­ble-fig­ure carp, I don’t go too light. True, I may get more bites with a size 20 hook and 0.10mm line but in a match, and on a very hard day, a carp or two is a re­ally wel­come bonus that can make a big dif­fer­ence at the scales.

There­fore, 0.12mm Match team for the hook link to a size 16 Guru F1 Pel­let hook is the per­fect com­pro­mise. Main­line is 5lb, and al­though you could use braid if rules al­low, I find that bites, even at this time of year, are still very pos­i­tive. Per­haps the most im­por­tant el­e­ment is the use of a soft rod to cut down on lost fish. I leave my Daiwa SLR rods in the bag and in­stead use the trusty 12ft Tour­na­ment model.


Be­cause I’m fish­ing a cage feeder, there’s no need for a mega-short hook link. Around 50cm is an ideal start­ing point. This can then be length­ened or short­ened, de­pend­ing on how the fish­ing is go­ing.

If I was get­ting in­di­ca­tions but not catch­ing, the an­swer would be to shorten things. I’d rarely go longer, es­pe­cially on lakes no

more than 6ft deep.

Fish in shal­low wa­ter tend to home in on the feeder, so a short link works best. For­get about a long link with a slow fall of the bait through the wa­ter – bream and carp will not be tak­ing any­thing on the drop in win­ter.


Two dead red mag­gots are a tried and tested skim­mer and bream hook­bait, and carp love them too. This would be my hook­bait for 90 per cent of the time but, of course, a change can some­times work won­ders.

If I was only get­ting small skim­mers or per­haps roach, a switch to a piece of hair-rigged worm or a small bright wafter or boilie can get the job done.

This is also the case if you are not catch­ing – the dif­fer­ent bait can stand out to the fish and get you a pull.


A lot of fea­tures on feeder fish­ing will ad­vo­cate fish­ing two lines – per­haps one long and one short – but in win­ter I’d rule this out.

Hav­ing one tar­get area al­lows you to judge what’s hap­pen­ing far more eas­ily, and I be­gin by cast­ing around two-thirds to the limit of my cast­ing. So, if I could chuck 80 yards, I’d start at around 50 yards to give me more wa­ter to move out into as the day pro­gresses.

Many fish­eries have a pole line where fish nat­u­rally feed, be that at 13m or 14.5m, but in clear wa­ter I think un­der arm­ing a feeder to here is a waste of time, as I don’t see that enough fish will have the con­fi­dence to move here and have a chew.

Stick to one swim at dis­tance and your chances of get­ting a few are much higher.

Skim­mers love the new Ringers’ Fee5d2er mix.

Adam Wake­lin leans into a fish­meal tempted skim­mer.

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