We all know how good islands are on commercial fisheries, offering a natural home for fish to feel safe around and giving us anglers a brilliant feature to attack, especially on the feeder.
But islands present their own set of challenges, namely the lack of depth around them, the presence of snags and the need to be super-accurate with your bait and rig placement. Fish in shallow water can spook if a feeder keeps landing on them, snags can see you lose fish and, if you’re not on the money with the cast, you could sit biteless.
My approach for a typical island swim is fairly simple, though, and relies on gradually building the swim as the day goes on, making frequent casts to pull more fish into the area so that you get a bite every chuck in the final few hours.
Here's how I do it...
Pick the right feeder
Instead of a Hybrid feeder, my choice is a 30g flatbed Method. This will release the contents faster and the weight is enough to grip any slope there may be off the island.
Go for groundbait
I want something to make a cloud, so I use a 50/50 mix of Dynamite Baits Marine Halibut and Green Swim Stim, mixed dry so it only just holds around the feeder when casting.
Add some pellets
My finished mix for the Method is half groundbait and half soaked micros. The pellets add enough moisture to keep the Method ball intact but still break up quickly on the deck.
My main hookbait is a 5mm or 7mm Dynamite Baits Washter, with yellow being my favourite colour to resemble corn. I’ll also have some dead maggots as a change bait.
Don’t go too short
Avoid mega short hooklengths – 2ins can be too short to register the bite properly. I usually go for 4ins of 0.16mm Shimano Aero Slick Silk to a size 16 Super LWG hook.
Hold the rod
Bites can be very quick, so I’ll often hold the rod rather than putting it in the rest. This allows me to react quickly, which is a must when fishing to very snaggy islands.