FL13 - Page 199



Summer Tactics and Edges
natural food will cancel out the fish’s
demands for quantities of bait, and
then you can find yourself fishing for
simply one bite, with tactics like small
PVA bags or particles.
I have had success with particles in
summer, and without a doubt hemp is
my clear favourite. However I have
learnt the hard way that it is very easy
to over-bait with hemp. I’ve put in
way too much and sat there frustrated as fish after fish nuts out on top
of it, yet the bobbins remain static. I
have actually viewed areas of my
local syndicate lake that have been
baited with particle from out in the
boat. It does put you off as a tightly
mass baited gravel spot covered in
particle with a few boilies in doesn’t
half look obvious, believe me. On
occasions these areas have remained
untouched for several weeks, and I
have returned to find this particle
simply rotting on the bottom. Bear in
mind that summer feeding spells can
be extremely short, especially during
prolonged hot weather, and I try to
gauge my baiting strategies around
that. Also in summer the identification of feeding times can be easier.
One venue I fish produces almost all
of its summer fish between 6-10am,
and after that it’s rare for a take to
196 FREE LINE
come. With that in mind I am simply
aiming to ensure my baits and rigs are
settled and in position for the start of
those times.
I think as well as the natural food
quantities the presence of high summer algae blooms can be another
major factor in summer fishing. I mentioned earlier about the viewing
opportunities in the clear water, well
take that clarity away by making the
water an insipid green colour and you
may as well leave your Polaroids at
home. Not only are you fishing totally
blind, but these blooms suppress natural weed growth and reduce oxygen
therefore making the fish much more
reluctant to feed. Where they do feed
is very difficult to locate, as you can’t
see these areas. The fish definitely
show a lot less, and also in the case of
my venue seem totally disinterested
in visiting or feeding in the margins. I
have watched my primed up marginal
spots become desolate and covered
in dying brown chod weed that
makes them totally unattractive to
fish. I must admit to having struggled
so much in these conditions that I’ve
pulled off until there’s some improvement. Certainly the years that the
algae is that bad on that the lakes I
fish are also my worst years for fish
Summer 40 on the established bait.
captures.
On a real personal positive I always
associate summer fishing with fishing
in weedy conditions, and also margin
fishing. These two factors fall into my
strengths as an angler. Almost all of
the lakes I presently fish are weedy,
and I must admit I used to be terrified
of the green stuff until I learnt a few
simple lessons. I think once you can
factor out how to present a bait in
weed correctly, and also extract a
hooked fish from it, you’ve pretty
much cracked it. As far as presentation goes the weed can affect rigs’
hooking abilities, and to that end
using rigs with this in mind will overcome that. If I can get a hard drop on
casting I am satisfied my rig is clear,
and therefore, whilst I’ll use shorter
hooklinks of 4-6ins, I won’t pull back
the rod once that rig hits down firmly.
I like fishing in short silkweed and
find this doesn’t have any effect on
my general bottom bait presentations, but failing that I will happily use
the chod rig or a supple hooklink with
a pop-up attached.
Unfortunately you can only find
many of these small clear areas by

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