FL12Sept - Page 128



Spring Tactics
fish to return. On their return one particular fish dipped down and picked
up one of the boilies, held it on his lips
as though he was feeling the shape of
the item, and all of a sudden rejected
it and shot away from the area, freaking out all the other fish that were
close by.
I went back to the swim and
grabbed a bag of 10mm dumbbells,
and on returning to the snags I could
clearly see the round boilies were still
there. I took four dumbbells out,
breaking them in half and scattering
them over the area in which I’d just
seen the fish. I sat there patiently
behind the tree waiting, and all of a
sudden I could just make out a dark
shadow on the edge of the snags.
With a flick of its tail the dark shadow
turned into a good 30, which was now
dipping down on the broken dumbbells troughing the whole lot that I’d
just put in, and on swallowing the last
one. He then carried on to eat the
12mm boilies that I’d put in earlier.
It’s amazing how a change in shape
can induce them to feed confidently,
which obviously takes the fear factor
away. On my next session at the Road
Lake I was thinking about what happened and decided to put half a
dumbbell on one rod and a 12mm
whole boilie on the other.
The following morning at 10am I
(Top) Just enough for bite.
(Right) Quality tackle.
126 FREE LINE
had a take, resulting in a lovely looking 26lb-plus mirror gracing my net
on the half dumbbell bait. Maybe I’m
reading too much into it, but I do
think that the smaller waters are a lot
trickier to fish, and there’s not a lot of
room for error with line lay being a
major part of it. I do believe that the
fish are swimming around these small
waters on guard as opposed to the
big waters where they can get away
from the pressure.
Anyway, let’s get back on track!
Stalking is without doubt a brilliant
learning curve that enables you to see
their reactions not just to bait, but to
the setup you’re using, and it allows
you to fine tune everything to the
smallest detail.
I’ve just mentioned fine tuning your
rigs – well, I was using a bottom bait
rig that was working, I thought quite
well, and I was catching regularly so
had no qualms with the presentation
and the rig itself, until one sunny day
the fish started moving into the margins. I quickly reeled one of my rods
in and kept watching their movements, and there was one spot in particular that was really close in that
they kept dipping down on, then once
they moved off I lowered the baited
rig on to the spot. I made sure that I’d
pinched putty on to the line above a
small section of ESP leadcore, which
ensured everything had sunk just
right and concealed my mainline on
the bottom. The fish moved back in,
grazing about, and one fish pulled
away from the main group and moved
towards the rig. Within seconds the
fish had his mouth over the area with
its tail waving about, troughing the
broken dumbbells. I’d only used two
dumbbells, but broke them up into
very small pieces, and all of a sudden
the fish just glided away into the
darker water.
Once the fish was out of sight, I
quickly picked up the rod and my fear
was confirmed – I’d been done, and
the rig was in the weed. It really got
me worried, as I thought I was using a
reliable rig, and my mind started
working overtime thinking how many
times do you get picked up and
rejected? I cut the rig off and tied up
the same rig, but this time I placed a
small piece of silicone, trapping the
hair on the shank of the hook level
with the point of it. With this all done
and some more broken bits of bait
scattered on the spot, I lowered the
rig in, steering the leader and line
around the weed to give me the perfect line lay and concealment. I
waited for the thief to come back in,
and I thought they’d done the off, but
out of nowhere one fish returned, gliding towards the baited spot with a
degree of arrogance. I watched the
culprit dip behind the weed, and no
sooner had I lost sight of him than the
line pulled up tight and I was playing
a nice looking mirror. It was a mid-20
but that’s irrelevant – this was about
fine-tuning your rig and how a small
piece of silicone in the correct posi-

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