Beat the wind with a feeder – Rus­sell Ship­ton

When the wind rules out us­ing a pole, Middy’s Rus­sell Ship­ton reaches for a pel­let feeder to ac­cu­rately tar­get swims tight to the far bank on snake lakes

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

WHEN the wind is howl­ing and the el­e­ments are lined against you, it can seem al­most im­pos­si­ble to fish the far bank of a snake lake. As you fish down the mar­gins or a few sec­tions in front, you’re likely to sigh in de­spair as you watch fish swirl tight over on the far bank – you’re con­vinced there is no way of catch­ing them. That may well be the case on the pole, but reach for a pel­let feeder and it’s a whole dif­fer­ent ball game. Most of the tackle that you would use on an open wa­ter lake or when chuck­ing to an is­land will still come into play, but there are a few changes you’ll need to adopt that’ll make the world of dif­fer­ence. Marukyu and Middy’s Rus­sell Ship­ton never leave home with­out a rod and reel set-up when a snake lake is on the agenda. “I’ve lost count of the num­ber of times that I have seen peo­ple un­able to fish close to the cover be­cause of the con­di­tions, but by aban­don­ing the pole you can come out on top,” ex­plained Rus­sell. “A pel­let feeder is the ideal tac­tic to com­bat the wind and keep bites com­ing thick and fast.”

Find the shal­low­est wa­ter

The beauty of the pole is that you can del­i­cately place a rig next to any­thing you like. Sadly, you don’t have that lux­ury with a feeder. You can be as ac­cu­rate as you like when cast­ing it over, but if you have a peg that is full of over­hang­ing de­bris you aren’t go­ing to get the pre­sen­ta­tion you need. “I al­ways look for a peg with min­i­mal snags such as reeds on the far bank. This en­ables me to get re­ally tight over in the shal­low wa­ter where the fish want to be. “If you chuck in front of the reeds you may think you are tight, but the re­al­ity is that the shal­low­est wa­ter is among those snags, and where your feeder has set­tled could be a cou­ple of feet deeper,” he cau­tioned. Once you have picked a suit­able swim you need to make the right tackle choices to aid ac­cu­rate cast­ing.

The short cast tech­nique

Chuck­ing a feeder less than 15m may sound ex­tremely easy. It isn’t. It’s a skill much trick­ier to mas­ter than you first think. “When you cast a feeder you in­stinc­tively hold the rod out in front briefly af­ter let­ting it go to help it reach the re­quired dis­tance. “But when fish­ing at such short range you need to cast and im­me­di­ately sweep the rod back over your head so that the line hits the clip smoothly,” ex­plained Rus­sell. “If you don’t do that the line will hit the clip and the tip won’t cush­ion the im­pact. The feeder will bounce back into open wa­ter and land well away from where you in­tended it to.” A short rod makes this tech­nique eas­ier, and Rus­sell re­lies on a Middy Arco-Tech 9ft-10ft F1 feeder to achieve his goal. His GFD4000 reel is loaded with 8lb Middy M-Tech main­line which has a small 30g Middy ‘The Wedge’ in-line pel­let feeder threaded on to it. At the busi­ness end is a 6lb Middy Band ’Em Method hook­length pre-tied to a size 16 hook.

Build a rhythm

It would be easy to chuck out the feeder and hope for the best, but that lazy at­ti­tude wouldn’t be adopted when fish­ing the pole. If you were fish­ing with 14m of car­bon you would be reg­u­larly lift­ing and drop­ping and keep­ing the swim topped up with bait – and that needs to be repli­cated on the feeder. “I won’t leave the feeder in the wa­ter for more than three min­utes at this time of year. The reg­u­lar top-ups of bait and the ‘plop’ of the feeder go­ing in will at­tract fish from the sur­round­ing pegs.” When it comes to hook­bait choice it pays to be ver­sa­tile. On some days a banded 6mm pel­let that blends in with the damp­ened 2mm pel­lets packed into the feeder works best. On oth­ers some­thing brighter and more bla­tantly vis­ual such as a Marukyu JPZ is a bet­ter op­tion. Rod-and-line tac­tics are given short shrift on snake lakes, but ig­nore the pel­let feeder at your peril.

“A pel­let feeder is the ideal tac­tic to com­bat the wind”

Cast­ing ac­cu­rately at 15m is trick­ier than it sounds. You’ll need to mas­ter the right tech­nique

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