If only the weather on Saturday was going to be like the picture above....
But it's not... It was only taken a few weeks ago too.
Before get started, we'll get the really important stuff done first. In light of the increasing cases of Covid lately, I would ask you ALL to do a lateral flow test on Friday please? I need to know that we are all safe both at the lake, and at home.
If the weather is too bad on Saturday, I will shorten the match to 3 hours instead of the usual 4. Towards the end of the year we normally reduce our events because of the colder weather and the shorter days. With the Championship being down to less than a handful of points, finding fish quickly is essential in a shortened match.
We're going to be fishing on Trendals lake, where we had the coaching session a few weeks ago. So methods will range from a whip/pole, a float rod and a method feeder. Jason tells me that work has been done to remove some of the weed, so there will be more water to fish in.
As far as methods are concerned, I don't think much will have changed from last time.
Short pole or whip in close for (very) small Roach and Gudgeon, small Carp and the odd Tench. Use a single or double maggot on the hook.
If it is windy, and it probably will be, a normal float may be difficult to control properly. If you find yourself in a sheltered area, you may get away with it, but you do not want to fish too far out because the wind will make it hard to feed accurately.
I think the most productive method will be the feeder. In windy conditions, most anglers will reach for the feeder to present a still bait on the bottom.
With the cold weather coming in, I think I would be leaning more towards a ground bait mix, with a few soaked micro pellets thrown in.
Soak your pellets for only 30 to 60 seconds. Any longer and they will be too soft and mushy. Soak them. Time them, and then leave them to drain off.
Groundbait should be just damp enough to hold together when squeezed, but should easily crumble when rubbed between the palms of your hands. Add the water little and often, and keep mixing until you get the consistency right.
Feeding... I can not stress how important it is to moderate how much you feed when you are fishing with a float or pole/whip. The days of handfuls of bait in the summer have gone. A phrase I keep repeating is "Feel your way in to the day".
That means you should feed very little in the beginning, and see how the fish respond to it. Start by feeding just a few (6) maggots or pellets first. If the bites slow down, feed every other cast, instead of every cast. If the bites still do not return, feed every three casts. If still nothing happens, then you may need to increase your feed, so put 10 or 12 maggots/pellets in. It is always better to cut back your feed first, before you decide to increase it.
As the old saying goes, You can put the bait in the water, but you can't take it out. 'Little and often' is the key.
My bait recommendation will be as follows;
A bag (1kg) of 2mm micro pellets for the feeder.
A few 6 & 8mm pellets for the the bait band.
Some alternative hook baits like wafters.
1 pint of maggots.
Method mix groundbait
I may take the following as an outside option, just in case.
A tin of cut luncheon meat (6mm)
A tin of Sweet corn.
Worms or bread could be good options if all else fails.
There is a minimum of 8 Juniors coming, which means we will have to spread further round the lake than last time. Some of the swims are a bit muddy (usually), so be prepared.
Wrap up warm and waterproof, and I don't think we'll need sunblock...
I think that's all... Late autumn and early winter is when the real anglers stay out and, however bad the wind gets, just be thankful it wasn't last week at Todber!
Looking forward to introducing some new faces to our Junior sessions too...
Welcome to Josiah Parkes-Wells, Lewis Griffin & Jack Grassby (Yes, yet another Jack!)
See you all Saturday!