Coaching session with Andy Bennett

Partridge lakes , Spey canal peg 12

Weather was ; overcast with light rain and blustery cold wind towards Willow pool the temperatures was around 12 degrees.

Fishing across

we started off by using pellets as this is what i had struggled with especially keeping the fish feeding in your swim the bait we used was coppen soaked micros as standard but he had a little trick with his expanders this was he used un-pumped expanders he prepares them by placing them in a food bag the night before with a bit of water in it , on getting to your peg he puts them in a tub of water were of course they all float but if you give them a light squeeze under the water before hooking this makes them sink but nearly always you don’t need to as the hook weight will counterbalance the buoyancy of the floating pellet .

We plumbed up to find the required 2-3ft depth which is perfect at this time of year a 4×12 float similar in style to a roob which had all the shot bulked above the short three-inch hook length although you could spread them a cm apart if you started getting indications but struggled to hit them , a size 16 guru lwg hook which helped to slowly sink the expander it also improved on the hook hold and my elastic was the new nick gilbert green 8-10 but the most important thing was the pole pot as you will find out later the new preston cad pot with the holes in were highly recommended as it helped with the feeding because by putting your pot in the water where you would be fishing the pellets would fall in a clump you then put your hook bait on top of it you do this by lowering the bulk in first then slowly follow it down with a tight line and when you get to nearly the stem of the float let it fall in a heap by doing this it would be similar to setting a trap like the method feeder , at this time of year you don’t need to sprinkle in pellets as it will only bring the fish up in the water resulting in missed bites and foul hooked fish .

You should feed every three minutes lift and drop after two minutes which could attract the attention of an f1 but it tends not to be that effective at Partridge lakes , be careful how much you feed through the cad pot because the pellets will just lay dormant on the bottom which will just result in a build up of bait this could stop the fish settling in your peg or make bites harder to get as the f1s will have more choice to pick from, when it gets a bit colder a sprinkle pot is better because you can feed three times with one pot if you don’t get a reaction either a bite or liner then move swims because the fish often will not move to you when the water is just above freezing .When fishing with maggot across you can use the same rig but with a staggered bulk and use the same kinder pot but attach the lid if you dip it in the water before shipping out this helps stick the maggots to the pot which reduces spillage plus when you put it in your swim at the side of your float they will fall in a clump straight to the bottom this helps stop liners as the fish will follow them down and you can get away with feeding more heavily and more regularly as they will disperse on the bottom or hide in the silt so you are never having a build up of bait .

Six meter deck rig with maggots

When fishing with maggots the way you lay your rig in can make the difference in getting a bite or not there is a few ways you can do this ;

the normal way just flicking your rig out letting it fall on a tight line .

lowering the bulk down slowly among the feed .

laying your rig in with the float on one side of the feed and hook on the other this would allow the maggot to fall slowly in the last third of the water .

Only in extreme depths or conditions do you need to use a float heavier than a 4×14 which is yet again similar to a roob but has a carbon stem this helps with your float following the hook bait through the depths , the shotting pattern is a bulk with two droppers spread six-inch apart and the hook was the same size 16 lwg which was loaded with double maggot one hooked normally the other through the pointy end . It’s important to feed twice every three minutes this helps draw the fish into the peg the first grabs the attention of the f1s where the second one helps get them to the deck , always lose fed this line from the start of the match the more accurate you are the better and if it is a lot colder we’re winning weights are around the 50lb mark then feed through a cupping kit every thirty minutes this seems to work a lot better because they don’t disperse out of you peg as quickly in a lower temperature and its often better to fish this line in the last two hours and it can usual get you out of trouble . By feeding while your float is in the water this tells you if the fish have moved up the layers so you know when to pick up your shallow rigs .If you only feed this line with a kinder pot or sprinkle pot you will miss out on the attraction of loose feed it can also lead to foul hooking as the fish are now in a tighter feed zone but if you have fed by hand then it can get you a quick bite or two .

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