In his popular weekly blog for Angler's Mail, Colin Mitchell discusses why worrying about every single detail can lead to failure before even setting foot on the bank.
SOMETIMES I think we are all guilty of complicating our fishing. How often have you had a good day on the bank by concentrating on the basics and just one method?
So that I don’t fall into the trap of sitting at home when I could be out fishing, I usually select a venue for my day or few hours out and then just get up and go there. Last week the weather said cloud, bit of rain and a breeze. And with no overnight drop in temperature I decided where to go and hunt down some big perch.
But when I got out of bed it was sunny, bright and most definitely not perch weather…so I hesitated about where to go fishing. And in actual fact changed my mind and went to a small day ticket venue which had been my first idea before the perchitus struck.
Now, by the time I got there, the sun had not surprisingly disappeared, the clouds had shunted out the light, it was blowing a gale and the rain was pelting down (at the same time it was fine at home, just 15 miles away!). So all my best laid plans had gone out of the window. I really did not fancy being on the bank but decided to make the best of what I thought was a bad job.
The water, usually very coloured because of a good head of skimmers and carp, had gone clear. That surprised me with no real run of frosts. Another dampener on the day – or so I thought! But the old saying that every cloud has a silver lining came true thanks mainly to keeping my ideas simple.
One rig, one area of the swim to feed and target anything that was swimming, had fins and fancied a feed. Knowing the depth and where I would fish out went a pot of micro pellets as I set up one pole rig. Nothing fancy, just a couple of light Stotz down the line, grouped about four inches from the hook. The bait would just touch bottom and – most important – the pole bristle would be dotted down to the surface so it was just a pimple.
Three fish in my first four chucks got my head back in gear. No bream, no carp – but two chub (rare in this venue) and a lovely roach. The silver lining was, by now, shining! Out went a few more micro pellets and the bites stopped! I had to sit awhile to figure this out before realising the fish were backing off when I fed and then returning to feed merrily about ten minutes later. An extra section on the pole found them hanging just that bit further out. Mad – but it does happen.
Anyway, I started potting in dead maggots too and guess what…I got those perch I was going to look for at the other venues. I also got nice roach, more perch, a handful of chub, a couple of skimmers, a run of barbel and four carp. Now if I had caught a lot of carp and skimmers and just four fish of other species here that would have been the norm. So to have it the other way round really did make my day.
It was more proof that really simple can score. And also confirmation that at this time of the year when the carp become less active on commercial-type fisheries you have a chance of some really good silver fish.
Those perch I landed are fish I believed were in the venue but had never seen before. I think that they had homed in on the small fish that were feeding, hadn’t been pushed out themselves by those bully carp that were quiet and were quite willing to nab two red maggots.
I did try pellets and worm but didn’t get a sniff. Two of the chub I had fell for punched meat but otherwise it was two live maggots that proved how good an all round bait these grubs can be, especially now that small fish are not so active.