What Do U Need To Get A Fishing License – Day Ticket Bait Scenarios What are the best ways to approach busy day ticket waters, bait wise? Loz East runs through the options…
Fishing day ticket venues have become the norm for me over the past few years. Showing up to some of the busiest open access waters around the country over the course of a weekend and competing against other anglers can be frustrating at times. When you arrive at a lake, there are a number of scenarios to consider, and the question of how you will approach the swim.
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If you arrive at the lake to find carp in front of you, then that’s great. Not only does this get you fishing fast, but it can also see you get a quick bite to start your session. Often you will see anglers in this situation take out the marker rod, followed by the jig, and by the time they actually start fishing, the activity has stopped and they are back to the waiting game. By fishing singles to fish fish – perhaps a bright fluoro hookbait like a 12m Hi-Viz pineapple pop-up, or a Mainline Zigger on a Zig Rig – you give yourself every chance of a quick bite.
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Single hook baits are also great if you need to fish at a distance. As long as you’re using a tangled rig, you can cast and then set back, confident that a bite is just around the corner. Winter months also provide opportunities to host singles for them. A carp’s metabolism is at its slowest during cold weather and you may want to fish a number of swims to try and locate fish at a time when they themselves are least mobile.
Again, PVA bags are another great way to get yourself a quick bite. On a personal note, these days I much prefer to start with solid bags instead of single hook baits, unless I’m fishing at an extreme distance, when I’ll opt for a pop up on maybe a Spinner Rig. Using bags gives you the added peace of mind of knowing that wherever your rig lands, there’s a chance you’ll still ‘fish’, even in a choddy or weedy situation. Of course, when you have fish in front of you, the last thing you want to do is lead around looking for a clear spot. By using a bag presentation you cut down on the disturbance but still leave a small packet of attraction around your hookbait and don’t just rely on a single bright boilie.
I use Mainline Spod & PVA Pellet Mix, along with the Essential Cell Stick Mix ground lures in my bags. The pellet mix has three or four different sized pellets that give different breakdown rates, but they are all small enough to give you a compact offering. I make sure I use a fairly small hookbait to fill the bags, such as a 12mm IB or 12mm Salty Squid wafter.
Once my session starts and the first night approaches, I like to choose a location to host at least two outfits, if not three. I will then look to give them some bait over the top. The idea of creating a tight feeding area with three rigs side by side is to improve the chances of not just a bite, but a big hit of fish. Fishing this way creates loads of competition between the carp and this is how you can build up a big hit of carp (
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Here). Three solid bags a few feet apart on a nice clean area with a good helping of sped mix on top creates the perfect dinner table, one that the carp will find difficult to visit. My spod mix is very simple and consists of boilie crumbs – Cell, Essential Cell or any of the baits from Mainline’s freezer range – along with Power Particle Hemp and a small handful of corn. Once you’ve committed to a spot, it’s then a case of working the area until bites materialise, supplementing the area with a few Spombs of bait now and then, and alternating bags, singles and Zigs above- over.
I’ll be the first to admit that this is something I very rarely do myself. However, there are certain situations where I would invoke the method. If I find myself in a situation where I have a reduced area of water in front of me, the fish are showing very close, or the lake is particularly shallow, then this is definitely an approach I will take. The last thing I want in any of these circumstances is a Spomb crashing onto the water and possibly spooking any fish already present. By just using a casting rod and giving them a nice spread of bait – whether it’s say 50 baits or a few kilos – you can limit the disturbance. When I do adopt this tactic, I prefer to use a single ‘match the hatch’ cork pop-up or wafter. Ideally, you’re looking for the fish to move slowly from bait to bait over a wide area, which in theory will make it much easier to catch them. Of course, this is different than if you put them tightly in one place. By matching the hatch in this situation, you keep things (your bait) constant and are less likely to set off alarm bells with the carp.
All of the tactics I’ve explained have their time and place, and if you have them all in your armory and at your disposal, you’ll give yourself the best chance of catching a fish every time you go. I like to let the fish and the situation tell me what tactics to adopt, and that comes with experience. Ultimately though, I will always stick with what I have faith in.
The mainline cameras follow Lawrence East on ‘The Learning Curve’ as he ventures into a new place for the first time: the mighty Bradley’s, a 120-acre body of water in the Cotswold Water Park. ‘MISS OUT! STEVE CULLEN LOOKS AT THEIR FEEDING HABITS AND THE FEED YOU’LL NEED TO CATCH THESE AWESOME FISH!
Getting Into Grayling, Part 1: Equipment
There are very few fish that evoke such wonderful childhood memories for me as the beautiful gray. Growing up in the border town of Hawick, I grew up on the River Teviot and from a young age I was always close to the water, to the consternation of my family, there were just so many fish in it! The gray schools that used to hang out in the town’s waters in the early 1980s had to be seen to be believed. They were enormous! 50 fish at a time, could be seen from the comfort of my bedroom window. You would find them anywhere there was a decent depth of water, two feet or more. They could be seen throughout the river system up to the ‘salmon run’ next to the High School at the top of town, a feature that seems to hold them back from coming upstream.
As a kid I found these fish impossible to tempt on bubble float and fly, but at high tide I could catch them with maggots, that was the only way, or so I thought! It all changed one day when I looked at a man with a very strange rod, a fly rod was a rarity back then, catching gray after gray! I feel that it was that day more than any other that led me to pick up a fly rod!
Many years later, when I finally got the hang of the Lady Of The Stream, I, like many anglers get hooked on catching these amazing fish, they are just that complex at times. Also, the fight that these fish have in fast flowing water, once they get up those huge dorsals, is truly spectacular. In fact, some of my larger grays, caught from the Tweed system, spent just as much time out of the water as trout! No wonder we fly fishers love them.
Grayling will feed on the water’s surface and take many of the flies that trout feed on, BUT the most successful way to catch them is deep, nymphing. They are often found near the river bed and that is down there where your flies should be, more on that later.
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They are also very nomadic, more so in winter. Sometimes you can cover a fair bit of water and pour into many pools before you come across fish. Other times they are well distributed throughout the system, seemingly feeding in every inch of water you care to cast a fly. As a ‘schooling’ fish it is often very common to catch large numbers of them from the same area, but a word of caution. Don’t get greedy. If you catch too many the fish in that school may not feed properly for a few days, a little restraint is often best when you encounter a big grayling.
Large fish are also encountered in these schools,
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