It’s time to get dust­ing – Chris Cameron

Don’t panic, we’re not talk­ing about housework! We’re lift­ing the lid on Chris Cameron’s se­cret edge for fool­ing wary fish with lun­cheon meat

Improve Your Coarse Fishing (UK) - - Contents - Words: Tony Grig­or­jevs Pics: Steve Hay­wood

IT’S no se­cret that su­per­mar­ket baits have plenty of pulling power with thou­sands of tins of sweet­corn and lun­cheon meat piled into fish­eries each sum­mer. How­ever, on venues where they are fed heav­ily fish can wise up to the ap­proach and be­come in­creas­ingly cau­tious. When this hap­pens, many an­glers turn to al­ter­na­tive baits to swing the odds back in their favour. Not Chris Cameron. He be­lieves putting a new twist on an old bait is the way for­ward. The Middy-backed angler makes a weekly su­per­mar­ket trip to top up his lun­cheon meat stocks and tweaks it to keep one step ahead of his quarry. “It is of­ten the most sim­ple bait tweaks that pro­duce the big­gest re­sults,” said Chris. “I have trans­formed how I use meat by coat­ing it in ground­bait. This makes it look like a com­pletely dif­fer­ent bait to the fish. Try it and you’ll get bite after bite when oth­ers are nick­ing an odd fish.”

Dust­ing ad­van­tages

When­ever you make a change to your bait or tackle you need to con­sider ex­actly why you are mak­ing that spe­cific amend­ment. When Chris sat down and set about adapt­ing his meat feed and hook­baits, sev­eral fac­tors needed ad­dress­ing. “I wanted to give it ex­tra flavour and also change the way it be­haved un­der­wa­ter. After a lit­tle bit of thought I de­cided that sprin­kling dry ground­bait on to my cubes of meat would achieve both things. “A small quan­tity of the ground­bait will come off as it falls through the wa­ter, cre­at­ing a dis­tinc­tive cloud, and when the fish start to feed ag­gres­sively it will re­lease even more at­trac­tion and draw fish in from other pegs.” Chris uses Bait-Tech’s The Juice Ground­bait, adding a quar­ter of a bag for ev­ery tin of cubed meat he uses.

For­get lit­tle and of­ten!

Many tac­tics are cen­tred around a cau­tious feed­ing strat­egy where small quan­ti­ties are dripped in at reg­u­lar in­ter­vals. The the­ory be­hind this is sound – you can’t re­move that bait back once it has gone in but you can add more when you are cer­tain they are hun­gry! But there are ex­cep­tions to pretty much ev­ery rule writ­ten and the heat of sum­mer is the time for a re­think. “If you keep trick­ling in bait you run the risk of draw­ing fish up in the wa­ter and they be­come much more dif­fi­cult to catch,” warned Chris. “The fish come off the bot­tom be­cause they are com­pet­i­tive and want to get to the bait first. The prob­lem with this is that your hook­bait will be on the bot­tom and you then re­duce the amount of fish that see it and con­sider tak­ing it.” In or­der to keep them pinned to the lakebed Chris piles in a big pole pot full of dusted meat and adds ex­tra when­ever bites dry up.

Tar­get zones

No mat­ter how big your favourite venue is, you can be con­fi­dent that the fish will come close to the bank at this time of year. Lots of bait is de­posited on the pole line and hun­gry fish will linger nearby wait­ing for the next bom­bard­ment. Chris reg­u­larly fishes venues such as Coven­try’s Mead­ow­lands Fish­eries where a first glance would make you think that an all-out feeder at­tack would be re­quired. “Lamb­s­down Lake is a large wa­ter but at this time of year my main lines of at­tack will be at 9m and down the edge later in the day. I’m con­fi­dent that it won’t take long to get bites fish­ing short,” he ex­plained. A big pot of meat was dumped at 9m be­fore his rig was laid over the top. As ex­pected, skim­mers were the first to show up, prov­ing meat is much more than just a carp bait. Around 15lb of them were net­ted be­fore his Middy 20-24 Crim­son Re­ac­ta­core was given a much stiffer test. “This might sound like a re­ally heavy elas­tic but it is ex­tremely for­giv­ing on the strike which makes sure the skim­mers aren’t bumped off, but it pow­ers up quickly to tire out those bonus lumps.” That the­ory was spot on as a 7lb carp soon suc­cumbed. After three hours of ac­tion – and only five cups of bait later – it was time to prime the mar­gins. Mi­cro pel­lets were in­cluded along­side the dusted meat to bulk out the pay­load as Chris crammed as much bait as pos­si­ble into the pot be­fore drop­ping the lot into the mar­gins. “The fish don’t nat­u­rally sit down the edge so you need a lot of bait to en­tice them in. Once they find a big meal they drop their guard and be­come eas­ier to catch.” With shal­low wa­ter at close quar­ters he would know ex­actly when to in­ves­ti­gate. He only had to wait 15 min­utes for the first tail pat­tern to an­nounce the ar­rival of fish. Rather than go straight over the top he al­lowed them to set­tle for slightly longer. His pa­tience

was re­warded when his 4x12 Middy Styrex Se­ries One float thun­dered un­der 30 sec­onds after be­ing low­ered in. It marked the start of a hec­tic fi­nal stint, putting an­other four big carp in the bag in no time at all. “There’s no doubt I would have caught fish on meat straight out of the tin to­day but by coat­ing it in ground­bait you catch big­ger carp and bream that have wised up to old tricks,” con­cluded Chris.

Use a big pot full of dusted meat to keep fish on the deck

In the mix: lun­cheon meat, The Juice ground­bait and liq­uid at­trac­tant

A de­cent bag of carp thanks to dusted lun­cheon meat

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