The weather forecast for Saturday is looking better, with a little rain early on and dry and overcast for most of the day. Cool temps with a North Westerly breeze. Basically the fishing is heading towards its winter modes now with colder air and water temps. This means you will need to scale back on tackle and with the amounts of feed.
Not quite time to change reel lines yet, but a smaller hook size might be advisable. A size 16 will be better than the 14’s of the summer.
Ground bait on the feeder instead of pellets will introduce less feed content meaning that the fish will need to consume more to get their fill. A Dark sticky Method Mix will probably score over micro pellets although, you could sprinkle a few into the mix before you refill your feeder for a few morsels of food items to keep them happy.
It might be worth using live or dead maggots bunched on the hook.
Smaller 20 to 24 gram feeders will reduce the amount of bait going into the water each cast, and focus their attention on your hook bait rather than loads of food items on the lake bed.
Float: Pole will always score better over the waggler until it gets really cold and clear. Main lines can remain for now, but a lighter hook links and hooks need to be considered. Hook links of 0.13mm and 0.11mm will get you more bites, but leave you exposed if a larger fish takes your bait. Used with a balanced elastic of 11 to 13, it will give you a better chance of landing bigger fish. Dead depth (Body of the float on the surface of the water) is your starting point. But don’t be afraid of going over depth (by 5 to 7cm) if you find you are catching skimmers. Fishing the waggler is less effective than the pole simply because feeding cannot be kept as tight as when using a pole cup. Feeding a tiny number of micros over some groundbait will centre the fish towards your hook bait. Use far bank marker and even mark your hand position on the pole with tape to ensure you are accurate when you feed bait, and when you’re fishing.
Pole pots will be essential.
Bait: Red maggots, as always, will be vital for silverfish. You can feed some of them as dead maggots for down the margins over a small area of heavy ground bait (Method Mix). Fish them as a big bunch on a large hook for the big Carp that come into play at the beginning, and towards the end of the match. Recommend 1 pint.
Expander pellets, 2 and 4mm may play a roll in getting a few Carp in your net. Prepare them the night before.
Ground bait. You will only need Method Mix at this time of year. Other ground baits will not be substantial or heavy enough and will end up getting blown all around your swim. A method mix is stickier and heavy enough to settle again quickly, keeping the fish in a tighter area for longer. Dark ground bait will be better as the weather turns colder because the fish can feel more confident feeding over a darker colour when the water is less cloudy.
Pellets: The usual sizes of 2, 4, 6, & 8mm, but in different quantities. 2 pints micros/2mm 2 pints 4mm 1 pint 6mm 1 pint 8mm Keep your pellets in separate sizes and don’t mix them. If you are catapulting mixed pellets out, the larger pellets will fly further than the small ones, spreading your bait and the fish all over the place!
Other baits: 6mm cubed meat could be a good bet for a few Carp. Feed sparingly at the start and see how the fishing goes. If you start catching, up your feed rate from 2 or 3 cubes, to 6 or even 10 cubes per put-in/cast. Sweetcorn is always in my bait bag no matter what. Firm and bright, it can be a good visual attractor even if you do not put it on the hook. Worms are a good alternative hook bait if the fishing is difficult. Usually a Springtime bait, worms can work well for some better fish. Remember, Head end for an inactive bait, tail end for a wriggly one. Bread. Would I start to bring bread yet? It may be a little early in the year, but one or two slices of Orange Warburtons doesn’t take up much space.
Revels is a venue that rewards anglers that think about what they are doing. You can’t just turn up and catch like some easier places. Revels needs to be worked at to get the best from it. Which is why it can be such a challenge.
Start bold with your rig choice at the start. Carp are more likely to be caught at the beginning and the end of the session. So, make sure you have the gear to get them out. Likewise, towards the end of the day is when you are most likely to catch those bigger, match winning fish. Make sure you have your traps set and the gear ready for those too.
The middle of the match is where the thinking takes place. If bites are slowing or stopped, have the fish backed off? Have they been put off by any larger fish that have been caught early on? Is it time to try to catch some smaller silvers with lighter lines and smaller hooks, or even turn to silvers for the rest of the day?
Feed light to start with and plan ahead for other areas like margins later on.
Whatever you decide, it will be Revels that will show if your decisions have been the right ones or not.
I am happy to answer any questions that you may have. If you don’t ask you will never know.
Good luck and tight lines.