Fancy catching your target fish this weekend? Then check out these great specimen fishing tips from Drennan Cup winner Dai Gribble.
1) Seek out specimen roach
To track down big roach, look at match reports from the rivers or lakes you are thinking of targeting.
Match anglers invariably catch them if they are present, and unlike many specimen hunters most are free with information.
As well as match reports, your local tackle shop will provide valuable clues as to which stretches are likely to produce a magical two-pounder.
Knowing big roach are present where you are going to fish is a big step towards catching one!
Not being tied to the classical match fishing window of 10am to 3pm you can fish at dusk and dawn, prime feeding times.
2) Pack maggots for slow release
There is no better way of catching river chub than with maggots in a blockend feeder.
Ensure that the maggots are loosely packed so some exit the feeder on the way down.
These maggots will be swept downstream and draw fish in.
Later on, pack the feeder more tightly, so most of the maggots are still inside when it reaches the riverbed. They will then exit the feeder close to your hookbait.
Lots of maggots in a relatively tight area will drive the chub into a feeding frenzy and make them less wary of your hookbait. The shoal is also less likely to spook when you do hook a fish.
3) Smaller baits for day barbel
Barbel will feed all winter and any slight rise in river temperature is likely to turn them on. This is a good window of opportunity to target them, particularly on well-stocked fisheries.
Most of the weed in our rivers will now have died back, which means that unless you are fishing close to snags such as large boulders or overhanging trees you can scale down your terminal tackle and mainline.
This will almost certainly guarantee more bites.
Barbel have amazing senses and can easily find a small bait such as an 8mm Sonubaits Pellet O, even if it’s less obvious than a big boilie or a large lump of luncheon meat.
By using finer end tackle there is a good chance you can catch through the day rather than sit waiting for dusk in the hope that a much bigger bait will be taken.
4) Float your line on rivers
As the season draws to a close there’s every chance conditions will be ideal for trotting a float.
With most of the weed gone you can run a float downstream in swims where, for much of the year, trotting would be completely impossible.
No matter what species you are targeting, if you are using a float attached top and bottom, such as a stick or Avon, one thing is essential – your line must float.
A lot of popular floatfishing lines do just that, but all will benefit from a quick squirt with a silicone spray.
The additional buoyancy afforded by a spray makes controlling the float and mending the line far easier.
This in turn will help you trot your float through more fluently, which will lead to better bait presentation and more bites.