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Trying my best to remove the capture from my mind I then set about
casting out the zig rod, and was
soon rectifying the situation as
within a few minutes the spool went
into overdrive. This fish went off like
an express train, and finally came to
a halt after weeding me up a good
100yds out. After much rod bending
and steady pressure I got her movi n g, a n d e v e n t u a l l y a f t e r m u c h
sweating and patience had her circling under the rod tip. It was then
we could see the problem, as it
became clear she was actually foul
hooked near her pectoral fin, so no
wonder she’d fought so well. Once
safely in the net we removed the
hook from her flank and slipped her
straight back - a lovely looking fish
of around 23lbs, and similar in looks
to the awesome Woodcarving in
Horton. Oh well, things were just not
meant to be on that occasion. I soon
had the rod cast back out in the
zone, and it came as no surprise
when after another 30 minutes or so
that rod signalled another take. This
time all went to plan, and I soon
slipped the net under a crusty old
warrior that went by the nickname
Baby Lumpy due to it having a small
lump on its side, possibly a broken
When it comes to fishing zigs it
can take a little getting used to if
you’ve not tried it before, but having
used these tactics down in Oxford
on a number of occasions I was
more than confident with this
approach. My next few fish fell to
either small pieces of Gardner
Ta c k l e ’s n e w z i g r i g f o a m o r
trimmed down 15mm spicy shrimp
and prawn pop-ups fished on long
links. It was nice and easy fishing just turn up find a few fish cruising
on top, then fire out the zigs, put the
rods on the floor and wait for the
clutches to spin off. Travelling light
and moving regularly meant you
could try for a number of groups of
fish in different areas each day, and
it was as simple as that. A couple of
new items that helped with this
approach were my Aqua bait carryall
and their 50in Rover brolly. The carryall is made to carry a number of
items such as catapults, spods and
PVA, and includes a plastic bucket
with a detachable top section to
house all your essential baiting
items. Having these close to hand
meant no more messing around
undoing bags and rig wallets before
you start fishing and therefore wasting valuable time. The Rover Brolly I
found was not only very light in
weight and ideal for the day-only
sessions that I was doing, but more
than capable of withstanding anything that this inclement British
weather could throw in its direction.
When it came to feeding when
surface fishing, spodding mixers
proved to be the best option as a
variety of different size floating pellets could be used, which would
hopefully get the fish confused as to
which bait had the hook attached.
Other anglers were soon utilising
these methods as well, and a number of captures came to sub-surface
baits over the following few weeks.
It wasn’t all plain sailing though, as
there were occasions when despite
trying different baits and adjusting
the height of the hookbaits bites
simply refused to come my way.
Others where more fortunate and
seemed to be able to get amongst
the fish on every trip. You know
what it’s like; a couple of blanks and
seeing all around you catch fish
(Left) Spodding was most effective
(Below) Geoff with The Pig at 37lb 8oz


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