50 brilliant river tips!
Dave Harrell starts a new series with vital early-season river tips
Dave Harrell’s top advice for opening weekend success
IDON’T know about you, but for me the closed season has really dragged on this time and I can’t wait to get back on running water again!
We’ve had a decent amount of rain over the past few weeks and this has put some much-needed colour and pace back in the rivers. They’re looking good for the start.
Over the course of the season ahead I’ll be visiting loads of different waters.
Some I already know, but I always enjoy going to new places too and we’ve got some great venues lined up for features.
I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I’m looking forward to doing them.
To get the new series started here are 50 ideas, tips and tactics that you might like to try once the season gets underway.
Over the next few weeks we’ll be looking in depth at how to put bigger catches together using a variety of different approaches.
Roll on June 16!
HOLD ON TIGHT!
Barbel are probably the most exciting river fish to catch. Most people just use a static bait with a feeder or leger rig but it’s more exciting to catch them on float gear, especially in fast water!
DON’T IGNORE MAGGOTS
Maggots are not fashionable with a lot of anglers these days but fish still love them! I never leave home without some.
River banks are seldom as level or manicured as those on commercials. So make sure your box platform is level and that everything is easily to hand before you start fishing.
DOT IT DOWN
Roach and dace require delicate presentation. Shotting your float so that just the merest dimple is showing is often necessary to hit shy bites.
FEED TO RESPONSE
On venues where small fish aren’t so plentiful, always feed to response. If you’re not getting many bites, ease up.
Loads of venues hold big perch now. Pole fished worms will sort out the big boys!
Pole fishing keeps everything tight and precise. You’re always back in the same spot, and careful feeding can bring big rewards in terms of regular bites!
To catch roach, you often need to fish ultra-light with 0.08mm hooklengths. It can mean the difference between catching and not.
If other anglers are catching more than you are, don’t be afraid to ask for advice. Most people will be happy to help you.
WATCH A MATCH
This can be a fast track to learn about a venue. You’ll quickly learn about approaches and tactics by watching good anglers doing their stuff.
FISH A MATCH
If you’ve often fancied it but never done it, make this season the one to fish your first match. Your first pick-up will feel fantastic!
BUY A FRIDGE
Maggots can be expensive, especially when you need a lot, so don’t waste them. Invest in an old fridge (or two, like me) and always ensure your bait is chilled right down.
TURN OLD MAGGOTS
Old maggots kept in damp sawdust will turn into casters within a few days in the summer months. You’ll need a couple of good riddles to keep running the bait through.
I’d be lost without my wall planner. I use it more than a diary now and it really helps me to plan my season ahead. Well worth investing in a new one every year!
Many of our rivers now have loads of small fish in them and you often need to feed a lot of bait in order to attract bigger fish in. Bulk your bait out with 4mm carp pellets if it’s a problem for you.