freeline-22 - Page 167



Rotary Letter
A stunning spring 33lb linear that I never would have caught if the close season
were still in force.
in the interests of angling etiquette
this isn’t always possible on the circuit waters that I fish. I’d hate to ruin
someone else’s chances by prebaiting
near them.
Sean’s comments made me smile
last month when he quipped about an
otter cook book! But joking apart it is
a serious issue that needs addressing.
I mentioned last month that the PAG
don’t have any policies on dealing
with the otter problem, but a week or
so later I met up with Rob Hughes
The importance of prebaiting.
who is involved with the PAG, and
after a long discussion I realised they
are doing a lot behind the scenes. I’m
not sure what I can put into print and
which part of the conversation was
private, but I will say they are doing a
fair bit to try to deal with the issue. I
really hope they are successful, and if
I can help in any small way I’d be
happy to oblige.
Lee posed the question last month
about what depths to start with when
zig rig fishing. Well most of my success (when the fish aren’t visually on
the surface) has been between half
and three-quarters depth. I suppose
this changes slightly in the hypothetical situation of 22ft of water that Lee
has posed us with, and in this
instance I would be inclined to try
closer to the surface. So I would start
my three rods at, say, 11ft, 15ft and
18ft. If I am fishing with a mate I will
get them to fish at 12.5ft, 16.5ft and
maybe 19.5ft. This is of course
dependent on conditions, but it is my
general starting point. If one of us
gets a bite, I would change all rods to
around that depth.
We have all been agreeing a lot in
our answers over the last few issues,
but a sentence that Lee put in last
month’s issue might get us talking:
“…I use a longer hair than normal as I
believe it aids the hook in dropping
down into the bottom lip and hooks
on ejection, which is when I think
most fish get hooked…” The point at
which the fish get hooked, and more
importantly how it happens, is a subject I have been thinking a lot about
of late. I did a couple of videos on
YouTube on it (my user name is
EdBetteridge1), which caused quite a
bit of debate on Facebook from some
well-known anglers. So, can I be
really greedy and ask a second question of the Rotarians? (Sod it; I like it).
Question 2, E. Betteridge, in the
Nene Valley… At what point does the
panel think that a carp gets hooked?
This obviously differs slightly with
different rigs, but how often do you
think the hookpoint finds purchase
when a fish spits the hook? Or do you
think the hooklink has to straighten to
“turn” the hook home?
Now for this month’s questions…
Question 1.
I don’t think there is too much of an
issue with using salt in our baits as
l o n g a s i t ’s n o t o v e r t h e t o p . I t
depends how it is applied to the bait,
but I think it will dissolve quite
quickly in the water, especially if the
water is warm, and it would take a
hell of a lot salt to change the pH or
saline content of a lake. I suppose this
question is mainly based around the
carp’s health. I’m not too clued up on
the biology of fish, but I do know they
(like most animals) need a degree of
salt in order to function correctly. But
I’m not sure if the fish will pick up a
bait that is over-salted, or if they do, I
can’t confidently say how their bodies
will deal with it. I’m sure that as long
as salt is used in moderation then it
will be fine. However, I did have a
brief chat with a well-known angling
writer at the Carpin’ On show, and he
was asked by one punter if it would
be ok to use dishwasher salt. I think
it’s potential situations like this that
could cause the fish harm.
Question 2
I wouldn’t encourage anglers to use
large quantities of fish oil in their free
offerings, even when the water temperatures rise enough to allow them
to seep out because it can cause
issues with the health of the fish. I’ll
allow Lee, Rob and Dave to talk about
that in more depth, because I’m sure
they were more active than me in the
80s when large amounts of fish oil
became popular. I know they know a
lot more about the issues it can cause.
What I will say is that fish oils are very
effective in small quantities in warm
water.
FREE LINE 167

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