FL13 - Page 123

Putting It All Into Practice
a lovely dark creamy bait so the maize
is still a visual attractor, but less intrusive. I will cover the point with foam,
put it into position, and it really is as
simple as that I’m afraid – nothing at
all to stop the world spinning on its
My other biggest tip for snag fishing is not to fish them at all. Has he
gone mad, I hear you mumble? Let
me explain... Snags are often the most
pressured area of the lake; they give a
visual target, and often fish can be
found in situ. But remember, just
because the fish is lying there doesn’t
mean it will eat there. The amount of
times I have watched fish come out of
the cover and then instantly tense up
knowing they were in the danger
zone. What I do is watch them and
learn their movements. Often individual fish will have very specific routes
in and out of the snags. If you can find
these ‘carp motorways’ then you have
the perfect ambush point. When they
are far enough away they will relax a
bit more, so follow the route as far as
possible, and then put a bait on the
money and wait for the action. In this
situation I would literally use a handful of bait, maybe 15 TNT barrels and
another few broken up. You know the
fish is going to travel that way, so why
take the risk of spooking it by filling it
The other things I investigated last
month were islands, weed, coloured
water and bird life. In essence the
approach is the same for me; I am normally fishing these types of features
because I have located fish, so the last
thing I want to do is make a commotion. The spod, marker, big PVA bags,
heavy leads and loads of bait are out
of the question in this situation. If I
know the lakebed where I aiming to
present the bait is clean, I will use my
normal bottom bait presentation, but
if I don’t, I will use the trusty chod. I
set mine up on 30lb leaders, totally
free running, so the bait lands very
lightly, and I fish them very slack with
the bobbins on the floor. I won’t go
into too much detail on the chod
because I can’t add to anything that
has already been said, but it allows
me to fish stealthily, confidently and
effectively. One thing to take note of
though is how buoyant the pop-up is,
as many shelf life pop-ups aren’t up to
much for very long, which is obviously
the most important factor when fishing the chod. Next time you reel in
your pop-up at the end of a session
put it back in the margin, and you will
be surprised how many sink like a
brick. So normally I would say use
Corkball pop-ups, but I am totally
confident in the Steamies Pop-Ups;
they are mega buoyant, and stay
upright for well over 24 hours, so are
perfect for the chod.
The whole key is to keep the disturbance down to a minimum. I know
the bait works, so I don’t feel the need
for a load of freebies, and the lines are
slack, so they are not like trip wires
through the fish, and I am being as
quiet as possible. The next few hours
are a waiting game and I will try hard
not to change a thing. However, if fish
are clearly in the swim and I am not
getting bites then I know something
needs to change. This is when your
watercraft needs to be used. Could
the fish be higher in the water?
Maybe a zig is the way to go. Perhaps
although the fish are in the swim they
are only feeding off one spot, so get
those eyes working overtime, do your
utmost to find that spot within a spot
(god I love the old clichés), or maybe
a change of bait colour, or perhaps
they need some bait to drag them
down? Many would use particle and
pellet in this situation, but I am very
much a boilie man, and feel they definitely put the bigger fish on the bank.
To ensure I don’t spook them
though, I will halve the baits, or flatten them a bit between my thumb
and forefinger, which will make them
flutter in the water and land with less
of a thud. I will also only flick out one
at a time, maybe every minute, again
to keep disturbance to a minimum.
This goes for any conditions where I
find fish and I am fishing directly to
them. The only exception would obviously be in very hot weather, where
obviously I would exchange boilies
for dog biscuits, but the principles of
stealth remain the same. (As spring is
now upon us and many of you will
soon be itching to include the floater
rods in your rod bag, try flavouring
your dog biscuits with MX3 liquid
flavour or the glug. It’s a Marmite and
freshwater mussel flavour, packed full
of aminos and natural signals, and has
transformed my surface fishing).
That about covers it all for this
month. Obviously everyone is different; the baits and rigs may change,
but if the principles remain the same,
and you do as little as possible not to
let them know you are there, then you
are in with a good chance!
See you next month! n
One caught from deep in the weed.


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