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Old 24-04-2013, 21:21
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Default Snakes, Roach And Unhittable Bites

Had my first session at our club pond today, went down with a couple of mates. A very enjoyable day but at times very frustrating too.

I can honestly say I`ve never had so many bites that I`ve failed to hit. I was fishing in about 3ft of water using a match rod and a pole float rather than a waggler. The pond is well stocked and contains lots of small tench and crucians as well as roach, bream and lesser numbers of rudd and perch, no carp.

I started off well enough with a tiny roach followed soon after by a better specimen of about 5-6oz. After that things became a little strange. The tactics were simple enough, chuck in 6-12 maggots then cast just beyond where they`d landed and draw the float back into that area. Bites were coming thick and fast, usually within 5 seconds or so of the bait hitting the water. The problem was that virtually every strike just met thin air. Over the course of the day I reckon I hit maybe 1 in 10.

My first thought was that the bait was being hit by fish like the first one I caught, probably one of last years roach fry. To try and discourage them I went from single maggot to double maggot and I did manage to hit a couple of better quality roach but things were soon back to how they had been. Float hits the water, wait a few seconds, float bobs under and pops straight back up. Not striking to allow the bite to develop didn`t work, after the initial show of interest it was rare to get so much as a knock. I tried dotting the float down as far as I could, I tried leaving more float bristle showing. I tried over depth, dead depth, under depth and nothing improved my hit rate.

I`m guessing it was just one of those days as both my mate and the angler to my left were experiencing the same thing to some degree. However if anyone has any suggestions I`d love to hear them.

The other weird thing was that I caught nothing but roach (apart from 1 possible roach/rudd hybrid). My mates fishing 4mm expander pellets on the pole caught a nice mixture of roach, tench and crucians. Although I know the regulars say that pellet does better on that side of the pond, probably because that`s where matches are fished.

As for the snakes . . . I`ve seen them swimming around the pond but this morning was the first time I`d seen one on land. I heard a rustling in the rushes to my left and saw a grass snake working its way towards me. I stood up to take a closer look and it vanished under the rushes. I didn`t give it any more thought until maybe half an hour later it slithered onto my platform and lay in the sun no more than a foot away from my chair. It didn`t stay there long, I guess it saw me move or scented me because it slipped off the platform and into the water. Just wish I`d had a camera with me.
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Old 24-04-2013, 22:05
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Default Re: Snakes, Roach And Unhittable Bites

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Just wish I`d had a camera with me.
Hence you now want a camera?
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Old 24-04-2013, 22:11
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Default Re: Snakes, Roach And Unhittable Bites

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Hence you now want a camera?
Indeed.

Been thinking of getting one for a while though.
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Old 24-04-2013, 23:39
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Default Re: Snakes, Roach And Unhittable Bites

There are several ways to try and combat the problems you had once the fish come up in the water.

It largely depends on what is having a go and what you want to catch.

Sometimes the bigger fish stay lower in the water and pick off what gets through the small stuff, others they are the ones up in the water barging the small stuff out of the way.

Sometimes you can tell by the disturbance in the water after you feed, or you may be able to see what is happening from the shadows moving in the water.

What ever the scenario, there will not be any fixed answer.

Possible solutions:

Changing your shotting can make the difference and others the depth (as you have tried) sometimes you must continually change both: weight lower to get the bait through the small stuff, and sometime no shot down the line to allow it to fall slowly.

Change to a heavier or lighter float may make be what's needed.

A bigger or smaller hook, and a bigger or smaller float.

What also may be happening is that the fish are coming to intercept your bait and shy off. They may be pecking at your shot or float.

Sometimes over casting, feeding, then slowly dragging the float over the feed area allows you to feel the pecks on your rod and may even act as a bit of a bolt effect.

Feed before or after casting or both.

Over or under casting to see if they are on the outskirts of your feed area.

If you want the better roach, then a change to hemp may be just the ticket with tares as a change bait, size 16 hook and feed the hemp exactly the same as you described feeding the maggots, it may take a little while to get them going, use maggots on the hook to begin with and keep trying hemp or tare on the hook.

It can be frustrating when this happens, but keep trying different things until you feel happy you are getting the best out of the situation, you may just need to continually changing things to keep the bites turn to fish on the bank.

I hope I haven't rambled on too much and at the same time given enough information to give you the ammo next time this happens, as a suggestion it may be worth getting on a river full of bleak in the summer and having a play, you'll find they are quite obliging and you can learn so much from them; they're not every-ones cup of tea I know, but what you can take away from the experience is worth it. And I would strongly suggest the hemp, don't give up if it doesn't work for you first time, though I'm sure it will.
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Last edited by iannate; 24-04-2013 at 23:40. Reason: typo
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Old 25-04-2013, 06:03
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Default Re: Snakes, Roach And Unhittable Bites

had few days like that once on a small lake that i used to fish , the only good thing that it was spring fead and the water was crystal clear so i could see what was happening. And boy did i learn from it , i was fishing maggott the first few times and as you were doing casting beyond and drawing back through the feed , i could see how my bait was reacting with the free stuff and also how the fish were reacting , the small fry were taking the bait but spitting in a split second , float hardly moving the big guys were coming into the bait at 300 miles an hour and a split second they got to the bait were turning away , they knew the diff allright. after a couple of weeks i took caster and tried that not hemp and caster just caster, and useing the same caster for baiting and hookbait had the same result until i change the hookbait to the darker caster and used the lighter heavier caster for feed that way the darker lighter caster comensated for the wieght of the hook and low and behold it worked a treat ,by burying the hook inside the caster i even ended up watching the float instead of the fish , i also found crum and punch to be very succesfull fished dead bottom. I also found with the maggot method to cast first and feed last seemed to work better, hope this helps.
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Old 25-04-2013, 09:19
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Default Re: Snakes, Roach And Unhittable Bites

As it has been said the fish could be hitting the shot thinking it hemp - this can happen if anglers use hemp as a bait a lot - at one pond near me there are a couple of old boys who fish it every day and use hemp and pellets for bait

The fish mistake the small shot for hemp and attack it on the drop - take some hemp with you and if you find it difficult to hook try fake hemp
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Old 25-04-2013, 09:23
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Default Re: Snakes, Roach And Unhittable Bites

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Originally Posted by dangermouse View Post
I stood up to take a closer look and it vanished under the rushes.
Then, you are a better man than I am Gunga Din, I'd have been on my feet ready to leg it as fast as physically possible.

I hate snakes and bluidy spiders too . . . . . . .
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Old 25-04-2013, 09:38
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Default Re: Snakes, Roach And Unhittable Bites

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Originally Posted by Lord Paul of Sheffield View Post
As it has been said the fish could be hitting the shot thinking it hemp - this can happen if anglers use hemp as a bait a lot - at one pond near me there are a couple of old boys who fish it every day and use hemp and pellets for bait

The fish mistake the small shot for hemp and attack it on the drop - take some hemp with you and if you find it difficult to hook try fake hemp
I did consider that because I had been feeding a little hemp (in an attempt to get them feeding on the bottom). Can`t totally rule it out but I had enough nicked and nipped maggots to suggest it wasn`t always the case.

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Then, you are a better man than I am Gunga Din, I'd have been on my feet ready to leg it as fast as physically possible.

I hate snakes and bluidy spiders too . . . . . . .


I must admit my heart did speed up a little when I saw it laying on the platform next to me. Can`t say that snakes or spiders bother me a great deal. Moths are entirely another story though.
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Old 25-04-2013, 09:45
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Default Re: Snakes, Roach And Unhittable Bites

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Originally Posted by Peter Jacobs View Post
Then, you are a better man than I am Gunga Din, I'd have been on my feet ready to leg it as fast as physically possible.

I hate snakes and bluidy spiders too . . . . . . .
I'm sure it's not nice. I've noticed more snakes appearing each year. Mainly grass snakes, I find they are more scared of me though and soon move on warily.

Rats at Boddington can be a problem though, the little darlings get braver all the time, bit like ducks I suppose, where there's food available! So I don't blame them, just try to put up with them and make sure I keep all my tackle and bait covered.
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Old 25-04-2013, 11:16
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Default Re: Snakes, Roach And Unhittable Bites

Feed a lot not very often; it'll stop the fast bites as the fish are forced to feed slowly on the bottom. How much? two big handfuls. How often? Every 20 minutes. Same feed rate as before in terms of quantity overall but a different effect. Do NOT drip feed in between.
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