Modern-day feeder fishing is far removed from even 10 years ago.
Advancements in tackle, bait and anglers’ understanding of how the fish react make this tactic every bit as complex as running a waggler down a river or coaxing out shy-biting roach on the pole.
The two-day Preston Innovations FeederMasters final at Bough Beech Reservoir was a prime example, with anglers having to fish for both skimmers and smaller roach. Here, winner Adam Wakelin reveals how he did it by keeping busy…
“Spodding is a big development in feeder fishing, using a large baiting up or ‘bosher’ feeder, as I call it, to pile in a lot of feed in one go. I took a dedicated spod rod and a big pit reel loaded with spod braid.
“I put in four litres of bait in 15 minutes – Ringer Baits Natural and Dark groundbait plus corn and micro pellets. The idea was to pull the bream and skimmers into the peg and to keep them there.”
“Four or five dead maggots and hair-rigged corn were best on Saturday, whereas on Sunday I dropped right back to three maggots or a couple of redworms.
“On the short line, single maggot was best for the roach.”
What goes in the feeder
“This was very different on each day because of the size of fish I was after. On day one I had my best chance of a weight from the natural bank, and there had been a lot of perch about, so I decided to feed corn and micro pellets.
“On day two, perch were fewer and the skimmers smaller. This meant changing to a classic bream feed of chopped worm, casters and dead maggots.”
Each day was very different.
Saturday was the day for a good catch, so I gave the fish plenty of feed through the ‘bosher’ to help build the peg up.
However, at around 2pm the peg went dead so I made the decision to put in four more ‘boshers’ of bait to re-start the peg, and it got me four fish in the last 30 minutes.
This was effectively the feeder equivalent of re-balling when fishing the pole.
Sunday was different and more about small fish, so the ‘bosher’ wasn’t needed, mainly because I felt I’d catch skimmers early and late – time spent baiting up would have meant fewer fish in the net.
I used several. My primary feeder was a Gordon Simm weight-forward cage in 50g or 60g but I picked two different widths, depending on the wind.
In good conditions, the wider feeder flew nicely but when the wind got up on Sunday, the narrower feeder was miles better.
The third feeder I used was a Guru Distance Feeder, which came into play when I wanted to introduce more particles.
Distances to fish
I went for 60m on both days for the long line as this was a nice, comfortable cast for both the feeder and bosher. I could have come shorter in the wind on Sunday but because the dam wall area of Bough Beech is shallow I felt that the fish would be sat further out as opposed to closer in. My short line for roach was at 16m, a typical line fished by anglers on the pole.