DEAN Macey has enjoyed his best-ever start to the new river season with the capture of 12lb-plus barbel from two different venues.
The Guru Tackle-backed all-rounder is a great believer in the ‘bait and wait’ approach and he used the tactic to devastating effect when he targeted a stretch of his local River Lea in Hertfordshire.
After the introduction of several bait droppers full of Hinders Salt ‘n’ Chilli Pepper Hemp and a few changes of swim, Dean finally settled in a spot where he’d heard a big fish roll. After carefully laying his bed of feed, he lowered in a hair-rigged 11mm pellet wrapped in his home-made paste which was duly taken by the 12lb 5oz specimen.
A change of tactics was required, however, when he turned his attentions to the River Kennet in Berkshire. He used the same rig and hookbait but on this occasion he introduced Mainline Baits New Grange pellets in a PVA bag and flicked a few freebies over the top at 20 minute intervals.
This was a ploy that soon saw him set his hook into a pristine 12lb 6oz barbel.
“This early success has all been down to patience as during these two sessions I’ve probably spent over nine hours on the bank and preparing swims, but my rig has only actually been in the water for about an hour,” Dean told Angling Times.
“When I’m using the ‘bait and wait’ method I’ll start with five droppers full of hemp and then spend two or three hours gradually reducing the amount of feed I introduce to really make the fish compete for the hemp because this is when they are at their most vulnerable.
“I also try to spend as little time in the swim as possible before I make a cast because the fish can pick up on any tiny vibrations made on the bank.”
Dean’s rig was made from 10lb Korda SUBline, a 10lb Korda IQ2 flurocarbon hooklink and a size 10 Guru Tackle MWG hook.