How to fish the mud line – Andy Dyson

Never mind the reeds and veg­e­ta­tion of far-bank swims, fish even tighter to the edge and you’ll catch more, says com­mer­cial ex­pert Andy Dyson

Improve Your Coarse Fishing (UK) - - Front Page - Words & Pho­tog­ra­phy Tony Grig­or­jevs

THE far bank of any com­mer­cial snake lake is al­ways a hotspot. Reeds and long grass drape into the wa­ter pro­vid­ing cover for the fish as they cruise about. Reg­u­lar in­tro­duc­tions of bait make the area even more ap­peal­ing. While plac­ing your rig close to this far bank veg­e­ta­tion might seem like the ob­vi­ous thing to do, it is of­ten a bet­ter op­tion to look for some­where else that isn’t quite as pleas­ing on the eye. Com­mer­cial ex­pert Andy Dyson reck­ons an­glers are of­ten afraid of fish­ing in the re­ally shal­low wa­ter tight to the ‘mud bank’ but this is ex­actly where he plun­ders each time he vis­its a snake lake. “The reeds on the far bank will con­stantly twitch tempt­ingly as fish brush against them, but it’s a mis­take to put your rig tight to them,” cau­tioned Andy. “The wa­ter in front of them is usu­ally too deep and you’ll be plagued by line bites and foul-hook­ers as the fish feed at var­i­ous depths. “It is bet­ter to find a small gap in between the reeds and fish tight up against the muddy bank. Do this and you will see an im­prove­ment in the num­ber of fish you catch.”

How shal­low can you go?

We all know that carp love to graze in shal­low wa­ter at this time of year. But ex­actly how much depth do you need to hold them com­fort­ably? Where many an­glers baulk at the idea of fish­ing in just a few inches of wa­ter Andy be­lieves you can bag up in less than a foot. “This ex­tremely shal­low wa­ter is usu­ally only found ex­tremely tight to the bank. If you moved away even slightly the depth would be sig­nif­i­cantly more. “Get­ting them to feed in the shal­low­est wa­ter pos­si­ble re­duces the num­ber of lines bites and foul hooked fish,” he ex­plained. “I’ve caught fish in as lit­tle as 6in of wa­ter but more of­ten than not 10in-12in is the most pro­duc­tive depth. They will stay on the deck in this depth which makes them much eas­ier to catch,” he added.

In­crease your catches

A com­mon mis­take made on snake lakes is the in­tro­duc­tion of too much loose-feed. The fish are al­ready holed up close to the far bank so there is no need to pile it in. A small cup­ful is enough to start pro­ceed­ings. “You only want to feed enough to get them di­rectly over where you are fish­ing. If you feed too much they will have too much choice as to what they can eat and your hook­bait could end up be­ing ig­nored,” said Andy, who re­lies on dead mag­gots and Sonubaits Su­per­crush Ex­pander ground­bait, both in­tro­duced spar­ingly. “I use the small cup on the end of my pole to trickle in a few mag­gots and a nugget of ground­bait at the start and I re­peat this af­ter ev­ery fish in the open­ing hour. “Once the fish are feed­ing con­fi­dently, I cut out the mag­gots and only put in a pinch of ground­bait ev­ery time I ship out. “This re­duces the amount of proper food avail­able to the fish, re­duc­ing the time it takes for them to pick up the hook­bait.”

Tar­get mixed bags

The stock­ing pol­icy in com­mer­cials has be­come much more di­verse in re­cent years. Andy’s tac­tics re­flect this ac­cord­ingly. Rather than use a large hook­bait that can only be in­ter­cepted by carp, he favours an of­fer­ing that en­ables him to catch ev­ery­thing that swims. “A dou­ble dead mag­got hook­bait gives me the chance to get bites from a wide range of species and means the float goes un­der al­most ev­ery time I lay in the rig. “This busy ap­proach means I am cup­ping in small quan­ti­ties of bait reg­u­larly which builds the swim up and helps to at­tract big­ger fish in the process.” Light, yet bal­anced, tackle en­sures the rig de­liv­ers the nec­es­sary fi­nesse for species such as ide, skim­mers and cru­cians with Andy us­ing 0.17mm Guru N-Gauge main­line to an 0.11mm hook-length and a size 16 Guru Kaizen hook. A soft elas­tic that pow­ers up once sev­eral feet has been stretched out is ad­vis­able to

pre­vent smaller fish from be­ing bumped on the strike and a 7-11 Ian Everett hol­low elas­tic fits the bill per­fectly.

Busy bag­ging

With the IYCF cam­eras in tow, Andy made the de­ci­sion to tackle Goose Lake at The Old Hough com­plex near Mid­dlewich in Cheshire. On ar­rival he in­spected the pegs to find a suit­able swim. “I want a peg with a de­cent patch of bare bank to put the float tight against. If a swim is over­grown then I leave it alone.” Plumb­ing up with the float vir­tu­ally graz­ing the mud, he found 8in of wa­ter and was soon in ac­tion, trick­ling in a small nugget of ground­bait and dead mag­gots. The al­ready murky wa­ter quickly clouded up fur­ther as fish be­gan grub­bing around. Us­ing a

“The wa­ter quickly clouded up fur­ther as fish be­gan grub­bing around”

0.3g float en­sured the tip only dipped when a fish took the hook­bait. “By us­ing a rea­son­ably heavy float and a bulk of shot just above the hook-length, I can an­chor the rig in place and dif­fer­en­ti­ate between lin­ers and gen­uine bites.” Ide and hand-sized cru­cians were the first to show but the reg­u­lar top ups of bait pulled in the carp and a 4lb spec­i­men was soon fooled. Re­duc­ing the num­ber of mag­gots fed helped in­crease his catch rate for a pe­riod, in­creas­ing it once again when­ever bites tailed off. “I’ve had over 80lb of carp, F1s, ide and cru­cians to­day and I haven’t had to wait more than a cou­ple of min­utes for a bite. “Fish­ing in re­ally shal­low wa­ter may feel like a gam­ble but it is pretty much guar­an­teed to help you catch more fish from snake lakes.”

Dou­ble mag­got hook­baits will tempt bites from fish of all sizes

Andy’s tackle: Pole: Maver Sig­na­ture Elas­tic: Grade 7-11 Ian Everett hol­low Main­line: 0.17mm Guru N-Gauge Float: 0.3g War­ren Peaty Dyson Hook­length: 0.11mm Guru N-Gauge Hook: Size 16 Guru Kaizen

A 7-11 hol­low elas­tic will pre­vent smaller fish from be­ing bumped off

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