Go the distance on the tip – Kevin Durman
Big-fish hunter Kevin Durman reveals how to catch specimens at range on the feeder
THE relentless summer heat finally broke this weekend with a fantastic storm and winds of 30mph. I’d been gagging to get out for a day on the tip and the change in the weather was exactly what I’d been waiting for. The big gravel pits of Kent that I’ve grown up fishing are perfect for tip fishing. The one I’ve been on this weekend is a 40-acre coastal pit with good numbers of bream, tench and carp, plus everything else you’d expect. It’s one of those lakes where you never know what the next bite might be. There was a new wind pushing across the pit, so I headed for a swim on the end of it which gave me access to a large expanse of open water and was also protected by a bank of reeds on the right-hand side. This created a patch of calm water which would make spotting bites on the quivertip easier.
Distance casting tools
Having the right tools for the job will make launching a feeder a long way much easier. My set-up comprises a Korum 13ft 180g three-piece feeder rod. The rod comes with three tips – two glass in heavy and extra heavy, and an extra, extra heavy carbon tip. For this session the heavy glass tip will be suitable but if there was a strong undertow I would upgrade to the extra heavy tip. The rod is paired with a 6000-sized reel filled with 0.10mm Preston Absolute Feeder Braid and a 12lb mono shockleader. Braid is always my first-choice mainline for distance feeder work because its low diameter means it casts like a dream and its zero stretch ensures that every single bite is registered on the rod-tip. The idea of the leader is to give me a bit of stretch when I have a fish close in to absorb any lunges, which reduces the chances of suffering from hook-pulls. Braid has a tendency to float, so the leader also gives me several yards of a heavy sinking line above the feeder. On fisheries that don’t permit braided mainlines, I use 12lb Korum Feeder Line. This might sound excessive, but when using heavy feeders and powerful rods, a lesser breaking strain could result in crack-offs.
I always carry a range of mesh, open-end and Grub Feeders in a variety of sizes and weights, as well as some back-up 2oz distance leads to cut through really strong winds. Grub Feeders come into play when the fishing is really hard. With rigs, simplicity is key. I use a Camo Running Rig Kit and a 15in, size 12 or 14 Quickstop hooklink. The rig kit comes with an angled buffer bead which, when combined with the long rig sleeve, creates a boom that rarely tangles. The most complicated part of the rig is doubling up and twizzling the last 18in of line to withstand the abuse of rubbing over the landing net and groundbait bowls. The session starts with 10 large feeders of dry Stiki Pellets and F1 Corn plugged with groundbait. I pick a stationary far-bank marker, such as a tall tree, tie a length of marker elastic on my line and then clip up on the reel. On natural lakes I like a more traditional groundbait, in this case Sonubaits’ sweet smelling Superfeeder mixed 50/50 with brown crumb. After the initial 10 casts I swap to a 60g medium feeder that’ll make less disturbance. The spot I was fishing was 6ft deep so I selected a mesh feeder that would empty quickly. From this point I fill the feeder only with groundbait and don’t include pellets, so the only sizeable food item is my corn hookbait. For the first 30 minutes I recast every five minutes to build a bed of bait. During this time I had a small carp of 3lb. Once settled into a routine and recasting every 15 minutes or after a fish, bites started to come regularly with several bream to 6lb, roach to 2lb, a tench and a few more small carp. To keep bites coming I varied my corn hookbaits. When double corn stopped working a change to a single grain resulted in the bites resuming. I also tried removing the feeder and replacing it with a bomb. To keep a little attraction going into the swim I threaded a plug of Stiki pellet on to the hooklink. By tweaking and switching I kept the tip going round. If you’re struggling to catch on your normal feeder line, gear up and go the distance. I can fish at 80 yards-plus with this set-up and with a bit of practice you’ll soon be putting a feeder out that far too.
Using a braid mainline with a mono shockleader will instantly add yards to your cast
Carry a selection of feeder types and bombs so you’re covered for any scenario
Alternate between single and double corn to keep the bites coming A mesh feeder will quickly empty which is perfect in swims around 6ft deep The Running Rig Kit includes an angled buffer bead and rubber rig sleeve which prevent tangles
When bites slow up, try altering your hookbait presentation