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River Stour Update...

After speaking to one of the local heroes of the area, Mr John Moody (Garbolino), I have some more information about Nutford to pass on to you all.

THE BOOKLETS I took the time to write a booklet on fishing rivers which is available on the website. I strongly advise that you read through it because it has some very useful information in there that you will find helpful when you are fishing at Nutford (or any river), and it saves me repeating myself too often!

THE RIVER An important piece of info about Nutford is the electric fence that is quite close to the river. This is to keep the cattle out of the river that is too deep for them to drink from. Be aware of this fence particularly with poles and landing net handles.

The river itself has a reputation for being a very fair venue. In the past it has been hard to predict which peg the winning weight will come from. Exactly what you want from a match venue. There are 24 pegs along the Nutford stretch that start at peg one downstream and going upstream to 24. Apparently, some feel that this the wrong way round but, it doesn’t matter really… The low numbers to the left are the deeper pegs at around 8ft deep when the river is at normal levels. This gets progressively shallower as you head upstream to around 4.5 to 5 feet deep at peg 1. Because the stretch is arrow straight, the deeper water is usually found down the centre of the river, so a pole fished a comfortable 10 or 11 meters with ground bait and maggots, or a waggler float fished at 15 or 16 meters should work well.

THE BAIT As far as bait is concerned, it is a simple affair. The colder the weather, the less bait you will need.

Half a pint of red maggots with not much more than half a bag of ground bait is all you will need for a winter/cold match.

For the warmer summer events you will need a minimum of 1 pint of red maggots and, maybe, a bag of ground bait. Please note that the ground bait you will need for the river is not your usual Method Mix. This will be far too heavy for the river. There are lighter cereal mixes designed for catching roach that would be better to use. (They smell nicer too!) If you are clever, you might mix in a ground bait designed for rivers at a 60/40 ratio (Cereal/River) to give it a little weight in the deeper swims.

Worms are always worth taking with you to target some of the Perch that live in most of the pegs too. A small pot of Dendrobenas will be enough for most sessions. These Perch can be caught closer in, almost under your rod tip. But, because the river has very few shelves (It’s very flat), you can use your waggler float or even better a whip for the inside line..

OTHER BAIT I have never fished at Nutford, but I would still take one or two other optional baits to give me more choice on the day. I might take half a pint of casters and the same/tin of hemp in case some larger Roach/Chub/Bream show up. You never know on a river…

The other bait, if you are brave, would be liquidised bread. Be aware that you can easily ruin your peg by over feeding with bread, and it can be tricky to use if you have never used it before. But it can winkle you an extra fish if the going is tough.

Lastly, I may consider taking some Fluoro-Pinkies, just half a pint, again if the going is tough.

The last three baits are my personal options on top of the other baits.

You need to assume that the river will be small fish, 6ozs and under, only for the most part. But there are some large Bream, Chub, and Pike in there. Pike do not count in junior matches, but it may be worth bearing in mind for future piking sessions…

OTHER STUFF Although the Stour is a slow river, many anglers will choose to fish standing up, particularly as there is not a lot of space on some of the swims. Fishing standing up is made much easier by using a bait apron or a bait waiter.

An apron (above) is what you would expect it to be. An apron, with a pouch, in which to place your bait. A bait pouch will work just as well. Both are available for under £20.

A bait Waiter (above) is a tray, some with holes cut out to fit your bait boxes, that has a thread underneath that will screw on to a long-ish bank stick. This will bring your bait within easy reach when you are standing.

Both of the above will have space for your vital accessories like disgorgers, scissors, etc.

For the first session on the river is a coaching session, I would advise leaving long poles at home and to just concentrate on rods and whips. But it is up to you. It doesn’t look far when you look across the field to the river, and it isn’t when you are unloaded. But carry or push you gear across a lumpy field, and it is suddenly much further than you first thought! Don’t let that put you off though. River fishing is a delightful way to spend the day and you won’t regret the effort in getting there. There is so much to learn, and we are eager to teach you.

Juniors Sec…

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