We would recommend having the handle of your rod resting on the edge of your seat next to your thigh. That way when a fish bites the rod is immediately to hand, no stretching to a pod or down to the ground. By the time it takes to stretch out the fish will have had your bait and spat the hook out. Remember, a fishes reaction time is 10 times faster than yours. By the time you’ve spotted your float, indicator or what ever move,
the Roach has had the hook and bait in his mouth, stripped it, found the hook and spat it out, and you’ve thought “oh, I’ve got a bite”! So, you have to be quick, no lazy fishing here. As for boilies, few many angler’s fishing here use them and so they’re not really recognised as a food source. They do catch but not as often as the other baits. An 8mm or 10mm size is best and in the winter months use white chocolate with a sweetcorn on the hook point.
Oh, and don’t use big, heavy hooks like the raptor etc. bog standard, 10, 12’s and 14’s are about right for all the fish here, even the small Roach will take a bait on a size 10! As we’re not heavily match fished they’re not particularly hook shy.
What will change your catch rate is the presentation of your bait, no long tails from your knots. I’ve always found that the grinner knot presents the bait superbly, is a strong, small and neat knot. If you don’t know how to tie it ask me and it would be a pleasure to show you how I tie grinner knots the easy way, my way. Usually when angler’s are not catching it is usually they’re knots and how they tie them that are letting them down.
Their hooks are not “in-line” but sit at an angle to the line, so when they strike instead of the hook pulling in to the fish it pulls out, away from the fish. With a grinner knot the hook is in-line with the line and so moves accordingly. Once I’ve tied a grinner knot for an angler, they usually catch before I walked 10 yards away! Presentation is everything!
During the summer months the best times are definitely early morning and from 4pm (when the dinner bell rings) and the Carp go on the feed and surface fishing is excellent. Good baits all year round are Sweetcorn and luncheon meat; Dog biscuits and float fished bread morning and evenings. Maggots while being an excellent bait will generally provide the Roach and non-carp species.
Method mixes and vitalin with 2 or 3 sweetcorn can provide some awesome sport with well over 100lb of Carp and Roach being caught. Dog food, Cat food and tinned beef tongue regularly produce some super fishing. However, we do discourage the use of boilies and excessive amounts of ground bait going in. Ledgering and method fishing can be very good and light float fishing spectacular but as already mentioned don’t use “big pit” tactics or thick line.
Use 5-6lb line and #10 hooks (which will be straightened). Using line of 8lb breaking strain and over will definitely reduce your catch rate, so fish light with reasonable hooks (not 6+) and catch plenty of fish!
During the summer months the Roach are feeding nearly all day. Good baits are Sweetcorn, luncheon meat, Bread (including floating bread) and Maggots all generally provide the Roach and non-carp species all day long.
Do not overfeed with any ground bait, little and often really is the best way. Roach are incredibly inquisitive and the "plop plop" of feed going in regularly draws them in.
You need your bait to be the equivalent of a £10 note on the floor in a crowd of fish. Ask yourself how long the £10 note will be there - not very long! So, with careful feeding your bait can become the £10 in a crowd of fish.
That should be when you have a brilliant day’s fishing! Other baits, such as Chick peas pick up the better Roach. Method mixes such as Vitalin (dog food) mixed with a tin of corn and its juices with 2 or 3 sweetcorn on the hook can provide continuous sport most of the year. Dog food and Cat food regularly produce some super fishing, as does Campbells meat balls. However, we do discourage lots of ground-bait going in, feeding little and often does best.