Avoid these common problems by correctly managing your peg
Lots of anglers misunderstand surface bubbling as a sign that fish are ripping up the bottom. Well, no. They’re actually sitting mid-water, sucking and blowing hanging particles and bubbles result from the air they are blowing out. The upshot is often that you cannot get a bite on the bottom, leaving you confused and frustrated. The only way back is to start a fresh swim (from the same peg) to the left or right, or further out. Start feeding again little and often, feeling your way into fish.
A true bite should generally result in the float diving under. If the float moves uncertainly in any direction or you’re getting bites that are lightning fast and can’t be hit, these are probably line bites, caused by fish being in a feeding frenzy. It may also be because the F1s have come up in the water and are flashing around. The solution is to stop feeding for a few minutes and then slowly start to reintroduce feed. Alternatively, feed more pellets less regularly to force them to the bottom to attract ‘proper’ bites.
This can be a major headache because you lose fish and may spook the shoal. Even worse is the risk of breaking expensive tackle items such as pole sections. The most common cause is loosefeeding too often, which pulls in too many fish that quickly come up off the bottom and swirl around snatching at any particles up in the water. Solve this by reducing the regularity of loosefeeding for a few minutes and then resuming feeding with more pellets but less often than originally caused the problem.
Even though air temperature may be on the rise, early-season water will still be relatively cold so it’s too soon in the season to kickstart swims with a full 250ml cup of pellets, as you would in the height of summer. You’ll end up filling fish and killing the swim before you’ve started. The solution is the catapult which you can use to loosefeed little and often. A small pole pot may be great for accuracy but catapult-fed pellets make a plinking sound when they hit water and it is this that attracts fish.