Sadly, I have been unable to get to Todber to have a practice personally this time around. But I have friends in high places with much more up-to-date knowledge than I.
Our very own Jerry Bracey went with Ollie Smith to have a practice last week, and you can find that report in the blog library if you haven’t already read it.
Some of you may have heard a of a little competition called Fish’o’Mania where the winners can take home more than a few pennies. A very talented young man and local star, Dan Squire, responded to my request to help our shrimps this weekend. Dan has recently qualified for this year’s Fish’o’Mania finals, so there really is not anyone better to ask for advice.
Never say I don’t get the best anglers to spoon knowledge into our juniors’ ears….
Dan advised the following…
“If I was fishing on Homeground, I’d be going down the pellet route at this time of year. Hard 6mm Coppens* pellets for both feed and the hook. Keep it nice and simple and you will keep them catching all day. Again, try to keep your rigs nice and simple. I use a 7lb (0.18mm) main line with a 5 or 6 lb (0.16mm) hook length to a size 16/14 hook. Strong hooks like a Kamasan B911 pattern would be my choice. But any strong hooks will be ok. (Dan is a very experienced angler who knows how to fish with lighter tackle. Until you’re as good as Dan, I would recommend that you keep to a 9lb main line with a 7lb hooklink – Juniors Sec…) You won’t have to fish far out. Top kit plus one section and/or top kit plus two sections will be more than enough. At this distance, you should be able to feed from your hand or with a small pot if you can’t throw accurately. As long as you keep the bait going in constantly, then you will keep catching. If the fishing gets harder or you start to get funny bites that are hard to hit, a good tip is to pull some shot up under the float so there is less shot down the line. 4x12 (0.3g) and 4x14 (0.4g) carbon stemmed floats are perfect. You can catch a lot of fish shallow, but if you get a lot of fish in your peg, the water will cloud up with mud and the fish can become very hard to catch. A light rig with strung out shots seems to work better. Good luck!
*Coppens pellets are sold in the tackle shop at Todber.
From what I know about Homeground Lake and like most of the lakes at Todber, you will catch on nearly any method. But if you can get into a good rhythm with your feed and get the fish to stay in front of you, the pole will be hard to beat. You will catch on the feeder, but you may struggle to keep up with someone that uses a pole well. If you do not have a pole and would like to try one, then let me know as soon as possible and I can try to get one sorted for you. It is a bit late in the day but, I will do my best.
Bait. For once I wouldn’t even bother with Maggots. I would take some Sweetcorn and a couple of tins of pre-cut Luncheon Meat. The match is going to be all about pellets. Dan mentions Coppens pellets, and these are sold in the shop in site. Other pellets will be ok but, these are the pellets that the fish are regularly fed on. So, it makes sense to use the same ones. You will need mostly 6mm, but I would have some 4 and 8mm with me anyway. If you are going to try the feeder, you will obviously need some micros too. If the fish insist on being shallow, it may be worth having some 6 or 8mm expander pellets to use in the band dry (unsoaked).
It's up to you if you want to take groundbait. GB can work well for those big lumps in the margins later in the match. But if you want to keep it really simple, just take pellets. The last word is to remind you that I am recommending that you arrive at the earlier time of 9am. There two good reasons for this. First is that you will get the chance to meet and talk to some properly good professional anglers before the event opens to the public and because you will want to get parked down by Homeground Lake before the crowds start coming in. I think it will be a busy day! Do not park at the shop. Come straight to the lake at the far end. Get parked and have a long walk to the shop? Or go in the shop and have a long walk with all your gear? The choice is yours! See you there… Juniors Sec…