10 great tips for feeding your swim in the summer

Use these little edges to build the fish’s confidence and put more of them in your net while the sun is shining!

10 great tips for feeding your swim in the summer

by Angling Times |

OFTEN it’s the smallest details which can make the biggest difference to your success on the bank.

In summer, when fisheries are at their busiest, that saying can be applied to feeding. Turning a blank day into a memorable one can often be down to making tiny changes in how you feed your baits to draw fish in and keep them in your swim for long enough to catch them.

Use these tips to help you catch more fish on your next trip.

Use a catty for shallow pellet success

There are several ways to feed pellets when using the pole, and it’s important to decide what you want to achieve before committing to each of them. But if you’re fishing shallow or trying to draw fish from other areas and want to make plenty of noise, then catapulting your bait is the best approach. The commotion of the pellets hitting the surface is often all it takes to bring fish off the bottom.

Use a catty for shallow pellet success
Use a catty for shallow pellet success

Pick the right colour

There are many different colours of groundbait, and on commercials it’s important to match them to your tactics. Yellow mixes are great for feeding ‘sloppy’ close to islands in shallow water because they create a visible cloud. If you’re fishing down the edge on a clay bottom then orange or red work well, as they blend in and help fish settle down to feed.

Ping out a pebble!

Successful surface fishing for carp is based on getting the fish competing for the loosefeed so that they drop their guard. But if the fish are feeding out of catapult range, try catapulting out small PVA mesh bags of mixers or floating pellets, with a small pebble or two included in the bag.

The extra weight enables the bags to be catapulted out 50 yards or more, and they will then sink to the bottom, the PVA will melt and the mixers will rise to the surface, right in the path of feeding fish!

Ping out a pebble!
Ping out a pebble!

Switch feeders

If you’re struggling for barbel bites on the feeder in summer, switch to one with lots of holes so that the scent and small particles are released quicker to create a scent trail and grab the fish’s attention.

Once you start getting bites and you know the fish are in your peg, you can switch over to a feeder with fewer holes again.

This will reduce the amount of freebies in the swim and concentrate the barbel directly where you want them - near your hookbait.

Switch feeders
Switch feeders

Get chub competing

Trotting up in the water with maggots is a deadly summer tactic for chub, but it’s important to feed the swim for as long as possible before casting out. Catapulting out a pouch of grubs every minute for half-an-hour or so will massively increase your chances of catching, as the fish will start competing for every free morsel, dropping their guard in the process.

Get chub competing
Get chub competing

Add molehill soil

This is a feeding secret that’s been well guarded by top specimen anglers down the years. When targeting perch, use molehill soil laced with chopped worms and red maggots (even a few crunchy casters) to bait up a swim or two before fishing them.

As well as being dark and heavy, so helping to get the bait down quickly in fast flows, molehill soil contains all manner of little goodies and remnants of the worms eaten by the moles when forming the soil ‘hills’ commonly seen in fields. It works well for a host of other species too, such as grayling, roach and big carp.

Trust in crust

Britain’s rivers are experiencing a real renaissance of big rudd catches at present. One of the best ways to track them down is to don a pair of walking boots and explore your fancied stretch, catapulting out pieces of crust in likely-looking spots, then waiting to see if any swirls appear to indicate the presence of rudd. You can then just cast out another piece of crust… this time with a hook buried in it!

Boost your bread

Every man and his dog knows that liquidised bread is one of the best loosefeeds for big roach, but if you want to get one over on your fishing buddies, add a small amount of ground pellets and/or crushed hemp to the mix.

This can make it a little bit dry and not bind together well, so just keep adding tiny amounts of water until the right consistency is achieved. This combination also works well when fishing with bread for chub.

Boost your bread
Boost your bread

Try an upstream feeder

If you’re using two rods for barbel, try fishing a large feeder packed with lots of small bait items such as groundbait and small pellets on the upstream rod, and a straight lead set-up on the downstream one.

This way the barbel follow the feeder trail upstream but will encounter the lead rig first. This tactic is used by a lot of top barbel anglers on the bigger rivers, and it’s often the downstream rod that will end up catching the bigger fish.

Get into pole position

Small pole pots are a staple of the match angler, yet many use them wrongly. The aim of them is to feed small amounts of bait in a tight area, right over your hookbait, making the fish easier to catch. But to get the most out of them your pot should be mounted as close to the tip of the pole as possible. Having it mounted even 8ins back from the tip means you are fishing 8ins past your loosefeed, which will lead to a big reduction in the number of bites you receive.

Get into pole position
Get into pole position
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