Colin Mitchell, exclusively for Angler's Mail, looks at how much and what to feed when fishing in hot weather. Read on for best summer baits advice...
STIFLING hot weather, like most of us have had over the past few days, can lead to really difficult fishing.
And when fishing gets a bit difficult in the bright conditions you have to look for an edge if you want to keep on catching. The obvious things to look for are weedbeds and lily pads where fish can enjoy some shade.
Overhanging trees and bushes, undercut banks – anywhere that fish can seek cover and also feel a bit more protected from the elements.
Although this is also the time that carp – and some other species – can be spotted coasting under the surface and still looking for food, especially in heavily stocked venues.
But what else can you do to get a few bites and keep on catching? Look for a bit of ripple on the surface. That’s just as good as cover for fish as it stops some of the brightness penetrating the surface and also makes them feel a bit more secure.
And look carefully at what you are using as bait. All the normal candidates will work but quite often fish look for something that might not be so obvious.
Meat always appears to work well when the weather is warm because of the oils and smell in gives off and the fact that it is not hard to crunch on.
Get on the worms!
For me the stand out bait can also be worms. For some reason, even when fish appear to be obsessed on some form of natural food in a venue, they can nearly always be tempted by a worm.
If you slip on a worm and get no indications don’t just give up. Try half a worm, a worm with the tail nipped off, two bits of worms or even a small piece the size of a giant maggot.
Feed a bit of chopped worm as an attractor and don’t be afraid to keep topping up the feed even if there are no bites.
Quite often there is a point where an amount of chopped worm feed triggers the fish into feeding. Don’t think that because you have had no bites on anything else this method will fail.
There’s also a fine dividing line in summer when it comes to feeding too little or too much. Some days the fish want loads of groundbait stuffed with particles to keep them munching. Other times they will accept just the bare minimum of offerings and any more sees them switch off.
So how do you know how much to feed?
Do you work on trial and error? Definitely not! Start with little and often – unless you are sure the fish are going to go crazy. You can’t take out what you have put in.
Step up the feed rate as you get more bites but if you start to catch fish that cough up particles or groundbait ease off a bit as they are not competiting enough for what you are putting in.
Most anglers will feed more than one line, just in case their first choice spot stops producing. Do you feed these all the time when the weather is hot? Of course you do!
Again, judge how much you feed depending on bites. Or even better, if the fish are cagey, feed the spots with different baits.
Maybe groundbait in one area with a minimum of particles and no groundbait in the other, just particles. Put corn in one swim and maybe meat or dead maggots in the other. Give yourself a better chance of finding out what the fish fancy eating.