DAVE HARRELL: RIVER TACTICS
BUY A BARROW
I’d be lost without my platform barrow. I use it on all sort of venues and often carry far too much gear with me, just because I can!
TRY NEW VENUES
Make the coming season a more interesting one by trying different venues out. New places offer new challenges!
On certain days a 5ft tail can catch you fish when a 3ft one won’t. Always experiment!
PUT A LOBBY ON!
Lobworms are brilliant for all fish when the water is coloured. Use them whole or in segments.
Fish such as barbel and chub love smelly luncheon meat. It’s a bait that too many anglers now ignore.
Where big fish are the quarry, make sure your lines are up to the job. There’s no point hooking big fish if you’re going to lose them!
TRY A SPECI WAGG
If you fish venues where there is fast, shallow water, you will catch more fish on a Speci Waggler than any other rig!
Too many anglers ignore the upper layers when waggler fishing in deep water – a big mistake if the fish are coming up to intercept the feed.
Roach are my favourite species of all time. I’ll be heading to some favourite early season stretches with hemp and tares as my main bait choices.
DOUBLE UP ON RIGS
I always make duplicate rigs when I’m preparing for a match. This way, I’m always covered against mishaps.
TRY CARP PELLETS
I’ve had loads of success with these. I feed 4mm and 6mm and use an 8mm pellet on the hook.
Swimfeeders can account for some huge bags of fish in the summer, so don’t ignore this tactic if your river of choice is carrying colour.
Casters are well worth trying if small fish are a nuisance on maggot baits. To guarantee good casters try turning your own.
Roach love tares in the warmer months. I cook a load every month and split them into half-pint measures before freezing them. This way, I’ve always got a bag to take with me.
I’ve always got a couple of tins with me. Mix them with casters and hemp for the perfect base feed, either loose or in groundbait.
Find some fast, shallow water and there’s a very good chance you’ll find a lot of dace as well. There has been an explosion of these fish in recent seasons on big rivers like the Severn.
There are times when a straight leger rig with a bomb can outscore a feeder, especially when there are a lot of bream in front of you.
USE A TRUNCHEON
Like Speci Wagglers, Truncheons are very buoyant and work best in fast water where you need a longer float.
LAY A TRAP
Always give yourself somewhere to go if your main line of attack slows down. This might mean feeding big baits somewhere different.
SMALL BLOCKS OF TIME
Split your sessions into 10and 15-minute intervals. Try different things in these periods until you discover how the fish want the bait presented.
TRY KRILL PELLETS
This is great bait for river barbel when the water is coloured. Use 4mm offerings in a feeder with an 8mm pellet on the hook.