Q) I’ve read about moving around the swim to stay in touch with F1s on commercials when the weather turns cooler, but how far do I need to move? Will I need to start a completely new swim?
A) In clearing water F1s can move away from feed or a pole over their heads, but often they won’t swim very far, sometimes as little as a foot to the right or left.
You don’t then need to go adding pole sections to catch them! If you start fishing directly in front of you and get no bites or indications, move to your left or right, but at the same range, and effectively start again.
This change may only put the float a few feet away from where you started but that can be as far as an F1 will move before it refuses to budge.
Don’t feed a swim when you’re not fishing it – you don’t want to draw fish into the peg. Instead, sprinkle in a few micro pellets when fishing and try to trick the fish into having a go.
If you haven’t had any sign within five minutes, come off this spot and start again to the left or right, repeating the feeding process.
If you get a bite or catch a fish, stay on the same spot here, still feeding micros via a pot, and keep everything crossed that a run of F1s will turn up.
On some days, though, you may only nick two fish from each swim.
Q) I’m now switching my attentions to chub on a small river near me. What should I be looking for in terms of a banker swim to catch a few fish from?
A) Look for a smooth run clear of snags, a swim with a crease, or one with an undercut far or near bank.
A crease is where the main flow meets a slack, creating a distinct ‘line’ on the surface. Natural food will wash past the slack where chub will be ready to pick off a meal.
Undercut banks enable chub to hide away and again pop out to feed before retreating to safety, while a long straight run will contain most of the natural food being carried down.
The latter is best fished on a float.
Q) When should I top up with groundbait when fishing for roach and skimmers?
A) Never put in another ball on top of feeding fish! When bites tail off, pop in another ball and if nothing happens after this, put in another after 20 minutes – this sets the pattern for the day if you are fishing for skimmers.
You may get an initial flurry of bites from that opening hit of bait before it goes dead. The fish are still there but they’re not feeding positively, so give them another ball to get a few to move back over the feed. You can expect to catch two or three fish or get half a dozen indications before you need to feed again.
Q) How much chopped worm should I feed for canal perch?
A) Start with two lobworms and 10 finely chopped dendra worms with 20-odd casters.
Fish until bites dry up, which tells that you’ve caught all the perch in the area. Feed the same amount again, rest the swim and return.
More fish should have moved in and you then repeat the process of fishing it out. If you need to wait five minutes for a bite, fish elsewhere, as it shows that no perch are at home.