COLIN MITCHELLEvery Sunday we welcome coarse fishing all-rounder Colin Mitchell. 

For many years Colin was a senior Angler’s Mail magazine staff man and he has enjoyed a long, interesting journalism career.

He understands match fishing, pleasure fishing, carp fishing – the lot.

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Pays to experiment


PLASTIC baits, pellets, pastes, liquid attractants – it’s easy to see why newcomers to angling could be baffled by baits.

But there is also the case to say how they could be missing out on catching more fish by ignoring the more traditional baits such as maggots, worms and bread. So which is best? The simple answer is that all baits have their days and that it pays to experiment.

Pellet power is undisputed. But it has also led to many anglers – particularly newcomers and those who are mainstays on commercial fisheries – wearing blinkers. They think they can’t catch on anything but a pellet, they use them wherever they fish and are stumped if they don’t work. Sometimes they don’t even think about changing the size or flavour of their baits. How sad when there are so many options out there to be experiment with.

I feared that the pellet revolution would spoil many fisheries. That it would be the only bait to catch on and that then fish would be difficult to catch. I was wrong – but the smart anglers among us have learned to chop and change pellet methods and to rotate with other baits too.

Micro pellets are my new favourite feed. Skimmers love them. And at this time of the year they pull in everything else that feeds without overfeeding the fish – providing you feed little and often. Over the top you can fish pellets if you want. But I’m big on maggots again, with worms – dendras chopped in two – as a great alternative. And if you get plagued by small fish there is – certainly in the waters I have been fishing – just one bait that has remained consistent all season: good old meat.

Meatshapesandhooks-300x200Whatever brand you like or have confidence in usually works but it IS worth trying some alternative meats. I like the new sausages from Old Ghost. And so it appears do the fish. These stink to high heaven and I certainly wouldn’t eat them, like I have been known to do with my luncheon meat baits. But they are tough but soft enough to hook direct if you don’t want to hair rig.

If I feed groundbait – dark by choice at this time of the year – it is being sprinkled with a little liquidised bread, another little edge that has often worked for me over the years – and allows me to change to bread hookbaits if I want.

My travelling partner Music Mike must have kept up the shares in meat companies this year but there is no doubt he’s had his fair share of fish on the bait. He doesn’t waste any either – left overs are taken home, mashed up, frozen and then put in his next batch of groundbait.


Water joke!

Unless you have been on another planet you know all about the floods of the past few weeks.

Well Mike and I must have just missed seeing some spacemen last week…With the rivers out of the questions for a session we looked at the canal but the spots we fancied were taken and our second choice length was the colour of cocoa.

So off we went to a small commercial we like and which is always good for a few fish. No one in the car park! Three ponds to ourselves…amazing! We had to walk through a lot of water from the car to the lakes but where’s the big deal in that? Yet at 7am when the gates were unlocked there were anglers waiting to get in – all wearing trainers.

The owner informed them that there was some water to negotiate and off they went. No boots in this weather? If I had gone like that it would have been sock and shoes off, walk through the water, put them back on and fish.

Oh and they missed a great day’s sport. We sacked up despite howling winds.







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