Follow Scott on his fishy travels throughout the UK. Fishing for anything that swims using the latest fishing tackle from TF Gear.
It amazes me how many people go fishing only to give up right at the last hurdle. I know how frustrating it can be not to catch all day, everyday, but if there’s no effort behind your fishing, how can you expect to catch?? There are three ways I like to think which you can improve your chances.
- Change swims – if the swim you’re in is not producing the goods then try another, it might just be you’re not on the fish and at this time of year, it’s location, location, location.
- Change and/or adjust the rig – Changing the length of your hook length can make all the difference
- Change bait – With all the bait available on the market these days the choices are endless. Taking a resent fishing trip for example, I had to implement all of these changes to catch just one fish. A fish which saved the dreaded blank.
Longshaws fishery in Sturry, Kent was the lake I intended to fish, noted for its superb roach fishing with fish in the 2Ib range a realistic chance. On arriving at the lake I was surprised to find half of it under sheet ice and the water with a clarity more common on a gravel pit. Clear skies and bright sunshine, weather gods where against us, Fishing wasn’t going to be easy this was not going to be easy. My first thought was that a certain change of bait was needed. I was going with the intention of using chickpeas as this has gained me a lot of roach from here in the past and naturally thought it would still work.
Getting to my chosen swim (one that was clear of ice) I set up my rod of which was a 10ft Compact nantec Float rod from TFGear and a reel loaded with 3Ib line. The Compact Float rod is ideal to use on a commercial fishery, with its responsive through action it allows you to fish light line for Roach, Rudd and small silver fish, but yet has the back bone to tame those hard fighting carp. The rig was a three times number four shots, crystal clear insert waggler with a strung out shotting pattern. My hooklenght was the new Drennan Supplex line in 3Ib breaking strain with a size 14 Drennan wide gape hook.
With everything ready I plumed the depth and got on with the fishing. Three hours had gone by and not a touch on the chickpea, so time for a move and bait change I think. Moving onto the other side of the lake I changed the hook for a size 18 Drennan Super Specialist and changed the bait to the humble red maggot.
Casting to an overhanging tree in the margins I trickled in a few maggots every minute or so to try and get them to feed, within minutes the float started to dip and move. Slowly the float slipped away and I was connected to a very heavy and angry fish. A ten minute battle was over, and eventually a lovely winter common of 8Ib 7oz slipped over the net. Not my intended roach but a beautiful fish all the same and it was nice to get a bit of action at last knowing that the changes I had made were working.
The light was starting to fade now and I had my doubts about catching a good roach. Optimism sometimes can be a killer! But being an optimist, I stayed and eventually the roach appeared. Mind you they were on about 2oz to 6oz. A few more casts, and a bit more feed, the swim really came to life with bubbles all around my float.
The float started to dance and enticingly slipped away, with a light strike I felt the distinct jag of a roach and when it broke the surface a sliver bar with red flecks was what I saw. With the fish safely landed, a good Roach finally graced my unhooking mat and it was a fantastic feeling to be rewarded for the hard work. A 1Ib 4oz Roach was my prize, not massive but considering the conditions and situation I was more than happy.
So no matter how bad it looks or how much the conditions are against you keep ringing in the changes and you could get the fish you are after. Remember, there always a chance!
Till the next time, tight lines and best fishes