freeline-20 - Page 116



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out a chod rig with a light lead
attached so it lays in the upper layers
or on top of any weed. I therefore
don’t need to determine the height of
the weed in my swim, but I would be
interested to hear how the other guys
work it out or indeed if it’s something
they are bothered by. I have heard
about a method of using white wool,
but let’s see what’s said.
Question 2
When I’m fishing silt I really want
to be finding the cleaner, less smelly
stuff. If you’re reeling in after just an
hour and your bait smells rancid then
I strongly suggest you have a lead
about and find an area that’s less
smelly. Have a cast about with just a
lead on and feel for the drop. If you’re
getting a soft drop and then reel in
leaf debris, smelly mulch or sludge on
the lead then generally that’s not an
area to fish. Look for getting a firmer
drop with the lead and then a smooth
sliding of the lead when you draw the
lead back over the area. When you
retrieve the lead it should come back
clean and not smelling rancid.
If you’re fishing that area because
you are seeing fish in that zone then
somewhere close by there will be a
cleaner spot that’s getting visited by
the carp. However, I have watched
fish turn an area of the lakebed over,
yet when I position a bait on that spot
and I reel it in the next day it smells
awful. They are obviously digging for
something in amongst that smelly
stuff, but it’s probably naturals such
as bloodworm and they are not going
to take a smelly boilie anyway.
If you can’t find that better spot
then you could try to create your own
spot. A good way of doing this is with
particle mixed with salt. I remember
having a conversation with a particular angler, and he mentioned to me
how he had watched a couple of fish
feeding in a really smelly area of silt
but couldn’t present a bait on it. He
started to introduce particle mixed
with salt and in just a few sessions
that spot was turned from smelly horrible silt to a clean hard silt area and a
few sessions after that it was down to
gravel. He then proceeded to take a
few fish off that spot on boilies. Your
other option if you really want to fish
that area is to use a pop-up high
above the area, but I would personally
be happier to find the decent stuff..
Question 3
Crayfish... What a nightmare these
116 FREE LINE
creatures are! I have only fished a
couple of waters that have contained
crays, Star Sane being the main on,
but the crays were never really a
problem on there. They are also in
Fryerning Fisheries where I only did a
couple of nights while we were doing
some filming when I was still at Nash.
I have to say though I do think the fish
in both waters are doing so well
because of the crays that are present
in the lake. I feel as though the carp
are eating lots of them when their
shells are soft, and this can only benefit them. Like Jon said in last
month’s letter, could this be why the
fish abroad are doing so well sizewise? Of course there are ways to
combat the problem with crays eating
your hookbait, and one is to mesh
your baits with a plastic bait mesh.
Once your bait is wrapped in this
mesh it becomes a lot harder for the
crays to get to the bait, yet you still
get all of the released scents from the
bait.
Another option is to go down the
plastic bait route. There are a fair few
companies out there now selling plastic baits ranging from corn, maize and
maggots through to 10mm, 15mm
and 20mm boilies. These easily take
on flavours when soaked in a pot. The
crays can’t eat them, yet the carp
seem to love them. The other way
round the problem is to air dry your
baits so they are rock hard. This will
give you a few hours’ extra fishing
before the dreaded clawed cretins get
you. There are of course other methods of trying to combat crayfish. I’ve
heard of people using wooden balls
that are then drilled out with paste
pushed into the holes before boiling
them to seal it in, plastic bait cages
that you can buy where the boilie
goes inside it, but when I used them
on Fryerning they didn’t really work
as the crays ate through them. Then
there is a form of shrink tubing that
you put over your boilie before holding it over a high heat. So there are a
few ways to get round the problem.
When it comes to your free offerings
then I would bait up as I usually
would except I would increase the
amount to allow for what the crays
are getting.
Question 4
Moon phases. This question does
seem to crop up a lot, and I have to
say it’s far from a load of bollocks, and
yes there is definitely something in it.
I have had too many decent fish on or
A 43lb 10oz common caught on a full moon.

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