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Special pre-match report for the river Stour at Upper Colber - Sturminster.


A lot of information… Sorry.


River Stour at Upper Colber. Saturday 21st October.


The river is roughly 16 metres wide, slow, and very deep (10ft average). Access to the water should be excellent, weather permitting. If the field is too muddy to drive on, then the chances are that the river will be too high to fish anyway. In this case we will find an alternative venue. Probably Revels to keep it local. Long range forecast looks favourable so far.

Methods are simple. Pole, Waggler, and feeder/bomb. We’ll start with the pole, and I am going to assume that you have at least two top kits.


As always, try your local tackle shops first. But, if you have trouble getting floats locally, then Benwicks online is a good option.


POLE: Rig 1: All fish, fished at 11-metres. Plumb up with half of the float out of the water. ELASTIC: No.6 Solid. MAIN LINE: 0.15mm (5lb) FLOAT: 1.5g, Carbon or wire stem, long bristle, pear shaped body. HOOK LINK: 0.10mm or 0.09mm (2.25 or 2lb). HOOK: Maggot hook, size 20 barbless or micro-barbed. LENGTH: 4 metres. WEIGHTS: 1g Olivette with No.8 shots. Place Olivette about 60cm (2ft) from the hook. BAIT: Maggots, Casters, or Pinkies.


Rig 2: (For Perch) Fished at 5 or 6 metres. Plumb up with half of the float out of the water. ELASTIC: 14 Hollow. MAIN LINE: 0.17mm (6lb) FLOAT: 1.5g, Carbon or wire stem, long bristle, pear shaped body. HOOK LINK: 0.15mm (5lb). HOOK: Strong size 14 barbless or micro-barbed. LENGTH: 4 metres. WEIGHTS: 1g Olivette with No.8 shots. BAIT: Worms or Casters.


Rig 3: (if possible) All fish. Fished at 11-metres at ‘dead depth’. Plumb up with the bottom of the float body touching the water. ELASTIC: No.6 Solid. MAIN LINE: 0.15mm (5lb) FLOAT: 1.0g, Carbon or wire stem, long bristle, pear shaped body. HOOK LINK: 0.10mm or 0.09mm (2.25 or 2lb). HOOK: Maggot hook, size 20 barbless or micro-barbed. LENGTH: 4 metres. WEIGHTS: No.8 shots. BAIT: Maggots, Casters, or Pinkies.


WAGGLER: All fish. You will need a longer 13ft rod because the river is so deep. If you do not have a longer rod, let me know and I’ll see if we can get you one to use for the day. MAIN LINE: 4lb FLOAT: 1.5g (roughly 2xAA) HOOK LINK: 0.10mm (2.25lb). HOOK: Size 20 barbless or micro-barbed.


FEEDER: Normal feeder rods should be ok. Fish them with the rod positioned pointing downstream, with the tip at 45 degrees from the water to reduce the drag on the line from the current. MAIN LINE: 6lb HOOK LINK: 0.10mm or 0.13mm (2.25lb or 3lb), 40cm long. (15”) HOOK: Maggot hook, size 16 barbless or micro-barbed. FEEDER: Block end feeder, at least 1oz. BAITS: You may need quite a bit of groundbait to fish the river. If you do not want to buy all of them, make sure you at least have the river mix. 1x bag of river ground bait of your choice. (Rec. Sensas or Sonubaits) 1x bag of Lake or Roach ground bait of your choice. (Rec. Sensas or Sonubaits) 1x bag of Sensas Terre de riviere (River Leam) (Optional, but preferable) Half, to a pint of Casters. (Optional, but preferable. You will have to order these in advance.) Half a pint of Pinkies (Mixed) – Revels. 1x Tin of Hempseed. Large pot of worms (Dendrobenas, a must for the Perch). Lobworms for the garden (Optional).


Method: Get your ground bait mixed before you do anything to allow it time to settle. Set your gear up and plumb the depth. You want to have the depth set so half of the float is out of the water when the line is tight to the plummet for the heavier pole rigs, and so that the bottom of the float body is just on the surface for the lighter rig (Dead depth). Plumb the waggler so that the float sits as you would see it when you’re fishing.

Make sure you have either riddled or whisked your groundbait thoroughly to break up the lumps. Five-minutes before the start of the match, use you pole cup to put half a cup of Casters, one cup of hemp, and a handful of Pinkies, into your groundbait and mix it in. Form seven tennis ball sized balls of bait and set aside for the start. At the start, using your pole cup, choose a marker on the far bank that is roughly 1 metre down stream from 90 degrees in front of you. That is where the balls of groundbait need to go. Take your time, it will make your arms ache!

You won’t need to feed this line again unless the bites start to slow down.


On the closer ‘Perch line’, you can introduce some chopped worms mixed into either the river Leam or some dried and sieved molehill soil. The leam or soil will get the worms down to the bottom quickly but without feeding the fish. To mix the Leam/soil, use a whisk and a water sprayer to moisten the mix as you whisk it. Do not just add water as you normally would, it will probably get too wet. Pop in the chopped worms and feed two hand sized balls slightly downstream as before with a cup. You may need to feed this occasionally with a few casters.


If you do not want to chop up worms, then you can just feed casters and fish worms on the hook.


A lot of information, I know. If you want to see how it’s done, and how to use all the above (except the feeder and waggler), I strongly advise that you watch Des Shipp’s ‘Think Fishing’ video issue number 33 (£3.99). You will learn a lot from watching it!


I will bring some rigs and kits for you to look at at the Harbourbridge match. I will also bring a drill and whisk to the river if you need to borrow it, and I'll try to get hold of some mole-hill soil if I can...


Any questions, just ask…


G…

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