Commercial Fisheries – Making Commercials ‘Child’s Play’
Bait-Tech’s Tony Curd looks at how to get the best from commercials; follow his advice and you should be bagging!
So often I see anglers making things difficult on commercial venues, and it really isn’t necessary at all, these fisheries are incredibly good fun to have a pleasure session on and catching fish should be fairly simple. With a thought out approach, which I hope to explain to you in this article, everyone can put those extra few fish on the bank on their next trip!
So what should you look for in a typical commercial fishery swim? The first thing I consider when selecting a peg for a day’s fishing is an obvious feature – islands, aerators, good margin cover or seeing a load of fish in a select peg are all worth considering!
When you’ve decided on a particular swim it then comes down to how you’re actually going to approach it, and to be honest it couldn’t be much easier in my opinion! Islands are an awesome feature on any commercial fishery, carp love to feed very close to islands in the shallow water, and they generally feel safe there away from all the bankside commotion, so a method feeder would always be my number one choice for the situation.
With the islands covered, I then think about where else to fish during the day, my match experience tells me that fishing up the near shelf at around 5 metres is one of the best lines to fish on any commercial, so I will always have a rig or two for fishing here, I like to use quite strong rigs and elastics on this line, as you will find as the day goes on, more carp will show and their size will also increase.
The final area I look to fish is right down the edge either side; if possible I like to find 15 to 18 inches of depth, and fish there, regardless of how near to the bank or how far out it is, I just feel that that is the perfect depth for catching carp and they seem to not to spook so easily and settle better when you’re not fishing in just inches of water. As you will appreciate this is a very simple way of attacking a swim, but believe me it works, and by keeping the bait going in and keeping things steady, a good day is usually guaranteed.
With some time off work recently, I had a chance to get out on the bank with my younger brother, Daniel, who’s nine years old. He enjoys a spot of fishing when we have a chance to get out, often only on holidays due to my busy match schedule, which is a shame but it’s good to get out once in a while and catch a few!
Today we have come to Wood Lake at the fantastic Colemans Cottage Fishery near Witham in Essex which is fairly typical of commercials that you’ll find throughout the country, full of carp, F1s, barbel, and lots of silvers. We put the gear down on Peg 36 today, a decent peg on the lake, in the widest part with a series of small islands at around 16 to 17 metres away.
Setting up for the day, exactly as I have mentioned above, I showed Daniel various things, like plumbing the depth - which is incredibly important to get right. In general you won’t go wrong fishing dead depth, by this I mean the exact depth of the water with the bait just touching bottom.
The rig for fishing on the short line at 5 metres was simple, 0.17mm mainline (6lb) to an 0.15mm hook length (5lb) here it was around 5ft deep so I opted for a 4x14’s float which is about right for that depth of water, a bulk of 4 number 9’s 18 inches from the hook and two number 10 droppers – the last one being about 5 inches from the hook, and a size 16 B911 hook completed the rig, elastic was 13 hollo, a forgiving elastic for all the silver fish we were expecting but well ‘man enough’ to cope with carp.
The method rod was set up with 8lb mainline, a 30g MAP inline method feeder with a 4 inch hook length of 0.19mm (7lb) to a size 14 hook with a pellet band on the hair to which we’d be fishing hard 8mm pellets. The final thing to set up was a margin rig for fishing near a tree to the right where I plumbed up to find 18 inches of water, I like to use no-nonsense gear for this, a 4x10 float, 0.19mm mainline and a 0.19mm hook length, I always use hook lengths as should the hook become blunt or get damaged, it can be changed in no time and without ruining the length of your rig I store mine in a MAP hook length box, which keeps them all tidy and safe ensuring when you use them they’ll be in top condition. A size 14 strong hook and purple hydro elastic completed the margin setup.
I store mine in a MAP hook length box, which keeps them all tidy and safe With everything set up, we got down to the subject of bait, quality bait is a must in all styles of fishing and this is no exception. For fishing the feeder we soaked a bag of 2mm Bait-Tech Premium Pellets, this is easily achieved and to get it right every time all you need to do is empty the bag into a bait box, fill the tub with water, and tip the water out until you can just about see water through the pellets, put the lid on and these will be done in around half an hour and perfect for moulding around the method feeder.
Hook baits on the feeder were going to be 6mm or 8mm hard pellets put on with a pellet band – nice simple stuff. The short pole line would be fed with 4mm Premium Pellets and corn, little and often throughout the day, and seeing what the response is, the more bites the more you can feed but it’s always worth holding back and just feeding 8-10 pellets regularly until you begin to get some fish into the swim. Down the side we would be looking to feed Super Seed Hemp and corn, a brilliant combo for margin work.
It was now up to Daniel to start fishing and put everything into practise! The feeder was loaded with pellets and cast out to the line clip next to the island, on the very first cast the rod hooped round as a carp made off with the 8mm hook bait! Expertly played to the net I could see that I was going to have an easy day of it as he landed all his own fish and unhooked them too - very impressive.
After a couple of hours catching on the feeder it was time to have a look on the short line where we had been feeding pellets and some corn steadily all day, this line didn’t seem to be solid with carp and everything seemed to have come to the party, a succession of F1s, bream and tench were first to show and, as time went by, feeding a bit more encouraged some more carp into the swim,= and by mid-afternoon it was a carp a chuck, awesome stuff!
With about an hour of the session left I instructed Daniel to smash in three big handfuls of hemp and corn mix down the edge. Five minutes after doing so the tell-tale swirls of feeding carp was all the encouragement we needed to bait the margin rig with double corn, and drop it in, hoping for some bigger fish! He didn’t have to wait very long as the float shot under and battle ensued! A nice common of around 8lb topped off what was a brilliant session. I had been keeping tally of what he’d caught throughout the day using a clicker and a reading of 122lb underlined what a super day it was.
By keeping things simple with rigs, feeding and carefully selecting the areas of the swim we have fished the whole day was made very easy and using quality bait products, it really has been child’s play. In a few years’ time I’d hate to draw next to Daniel in a match as I’d be in for a hiding, and he’d let me know about it too!
Get out there and give it a go!