f1s and carp underwater feeding

I have noticed that recently there has been a couple of videos put up on youtube about how F1s and carp feed so i have decided to put a few words down about it and i hope that you find them as beneficial to your fishing as i did .

Video one 

When you begin feeding your peg either with a catty or through a kinder pot you start to attract the fish which are already in your swim this activity soon grabs the attention of any passing carp , the more feed that you put in makes the carp more competitive and they tend to pick up a mouth full of pellets before leaving the swim to digest them . F1s on the other hand are a lot more delicate turning up right to pick up a solitary pellet and virtually don’t move while they digest the bait , it is noticeable that when the initial feed of bait has been eaten the fish soon disappear looking for their next meal .

Video two 

The fish get attracted into your peg at different times during your feeding cycle , when you first drop in your feed you get the odd inquisitive fish that’s already in your swim feeding before the carp+f1s start competing for the increasing amount of pellets but as soon as these greedy fish have demolished the bait they soon disappear looking for their next meal and this is when the shyer species turn up Tench-Crucians-Skimmers get in on the action ,these pick up any odd pellet that has been left plus any particles of crushed feed .

So if you begin getting bothered by the small species of fish when you have caught f1s+carp then you need to start re-feeding to draw them back into your peg or a better option would be to continue feeding so the bigger fish stay attracted to your swim .

Video three

When you begin loose feeding the F1s will dart about trying to grab the falling feed which is probably why when fishing shallow you can get them competing hard and they tend to hook themselves by pulling the elastic out but when feeding on the deck they move very slowly and precise in picking up the odd pellet while , hardly moving they turn up right to digest the food and this movement would barely register on the float unless you had a shot close to the hook , this could explain why when you move your rig to begin lift-dropping there is a fish already on the end of it .

F1s will usually watch the loose feed pellets fall through the water and either pick them up as they drop or when they have been on the deck for a few seconds , if the bait has been on the bottom for over a minute the F1s will tend to ignore it waiting for the next batch of pellets to fall through the water . This is why little and often feeding works so well for F1s and i also think that a falling bait catches their attention a lot more encouraging them to grab at the dropping pellet .

Video four

Loose feeding maggots is a great way of getting the fish competing shallow , large handfuls of bait draws them into your peg where they often start grubbing around on the bottom before they work up through the layers till they get to the source of the feed . When you have them feeding shallow you can begin to cut the amount of feed going in and this will help increase your catch rate because the fewer loose offerings the greater the chance of a fish picking up your hook bait but there’s a fine line between feeding , too little and the fish will drift out of your peg and too much will push them back to the bottom so you will be waiting longer for bites .

Video five

When using a normal method feeder the fish instantly attack the feeder knocking the ground-bait from the method , the carp then take a mouth full of the lake bed before turning up right to help them distinguish between what is feed and what is lake bed . It’s surprising how many times the fish pick up the hook bait without actually moving the feeder which shows the importance of having a very short hook length when you are fishing the method .

Video six

When you are using a cage feeder particles of ground-bait get washed out of it as it falls through the water ,when it reaches the bottom the fish attack the feeder knocking all the ground-bait out of it . I think that a longer hook length will allow your hook bait to fall naturally through the water among the particles being released from your dropping feeder , this allows you to catch fish on the drop and as the cage feeder doesn’t give you a tight area of feed like the method so a longer hook length wouldn’t be a hinderance to attracting a bite .

Video seven

When cupping in a ball of feed as it falls a few particles come off it which attracts the fish from the upper layers towards the bottom , they then attack the ball as it reaches the deck creating large clouds of bait and therefore creating a bigger area to draw the fish into . As usual on heavy stocked commercials it only takes one carp to start nosing at the ball before it triggers the other fish into competing for the food and when you lower your rig over the top of the feeding fish they are that confident or pre-occupied that they will take the bait as it falls if they see it drop , but strangely even though they are competing hard a static bait fails to attract a bite so working your rig will usually get you an indication instantly so it just goes to show how important movement of your rig is and why maggots , worms with their natural wriggle will often get you more bites .

From watching these short videos it has given me an insight on how Carp-F1s feed and what interests me most is ;

1, by keeping a constant rain of feed going in will first attract the fish before keeping them competing in your swim , but as soon as you’re feeding stops they will disappear looking for their next meal .

2, F1s are really delicate feeders when fishing on the deck they just pick up single pellets and hardly move while they eat it , so your rig needs to be spot on for you to see the bites from them with either a short hook length or shot being close to your hook being beneficial .






2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

Madison Square Garden can seat 20,000 people for a concert. This blog was viewed about 65,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Madison Square Garden, it would take about 3 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

My year in angling 2014

Every year i like having a look through my match results to see what i have done well but more importantly the things that i have done wrong or need to improve on , i know a lot of anglers don’t keep a diary of their results so do not have an exact record on which to look at but it is something that i do every year and find that it improves my fishing a great deal but each to his own.

First i had a look at my Balmoral AC results ;

April 20th Partridge spey canal , third overall with 26lb and a section win

May 4th Blundells pine canal , third overall with 22lb and a section win

June 1st Sycamore rowans canal , match win with 48lb and a section win

June 15th Widdows fishery , sixth with just 13lb

July Hall lane merlins , second overall with 45lb and a section win

August 3rd Orrcherton , 4th overall with 40lb

August 10th Partridge ribbon , 5th overall with 34lb and a section win

August 24th Lathom pond one , second overall with 94lb and a section win

A reasonable set of results in my last year with the club and 6 out of 8 pick ups , but two missed matches cost me any chance of winning the club so i had to make do with second place missing out by a solitary point . Lost fish and bad decisions cost me in the end but thats fishing for you .

I then had a look at my weekend open results from the smaller matches that i had fished with between 15-30 anglers , i personally don’t call matches with less than 15 anglers a proper match and just a light-hearted knock up .

March 29th Highfield practice for the super cup and my first ever visit to the venue resulted in fourth overall and section win with 16lb

April 3rd Highfield fourth overall and section win with 19lb

April 5th Highfield second in section with just 11lb and team through to next round of the super cup

June 7th Chapel pool new match record for me with 114lb

June 8th Sycamore rowans canal , fourth overall with 23lb and only 2lb from getting second

July 5th Sycamore rowans canal , second on the lake with 56lb

August 31st Sycamore rowans canal , just 17lb and only 30lb needed to frame

September 14th Sycamore rowans canal , , first with 60lb

September 28th Sycamore silver birch , first with 22lb

October 5th Sycamore rowans canal , first with 45lb

October 13th Sycamore rowans canal ,first with 98lb

October 28th Sycamore rowans canal only 14lb

November 2nd Sycamore rowans canal only 13lb

These results make very interesting reading as including my club matches that i have fished , twenty matches in total with between 15-30 anglers attending ;

first 5

second 3

third 2

fourth 4

Just at Sycamore fisheries i fished nine matches 

first 5

second 1

third 0

fourth 1

So does this make me a better angler when contesting these size of matches ? let’s have a look at my Partridge lakes results were there is always over 40 fishing so i can compare them .

Jan 12th won section with 17lb and 22lb won the lake from peg 73 covey 3

Jan 19th dnw from peg 89 covey 4

Feb 2nd won section with just 3lb from peg 63 covey 3

March 2nd second in section with 22lb just one f1 away , peg 62 covey 3

March 9th second in section with 45lb , peg 137 covey 6

March 23rd 22lb for nowhere , peg 27 covey 2

April 13th dnw

May 11th 53lb second in section , peg 57 covey 3

Sept 13th section win with 64lb , peg 23 covey 2

Oct 4th second in section and lake with 64lb , peg 65 covey 3

Oct 11th section win with 44lb , peg 59 covey 3

Nov 1st only had 34lb , peg 81 covey 4

Nov 9th second in section with 38lb , peg 98 covey 4

Nov 11th only 18lb , peg 111 covey 5

Nov 23rd section win , lake second and 7th out of 90 anglers with 42lb , peg 105 covey 5

Out of 15 matches at Partridge lakes i had ,

Five section wins

Five section seconds

Which i don’t think is a to bad open record on these highly competitive matches , my overall open record this year is ten pick ups out of 24 matches and if you add my club record to it then it is 16 out of 32 when i am fishing at the weekend when the better class of anglers turn up . But on my evening and mid-week matches are totally different and i put this down to the fact that you need to get a bigger weight to be in contention i need to improve on this for next year ;

Sycamore 0/5                                                           Partridge 0/4

May 14th rowan 28lb                                                April 15th 43lb peg 56 covey 3

June 4th rowan 36lb                                                  April 17th 76lb peg 87 covey 4

June 13th silverbirch 47lb                                         July 3rd 68lb peg 1 covey 1

July 2nd silver birch 40lb                                           Sept 6th 36lb peg 4 covey 1

July 9th silverbirch 31lb

On my three big 90 plus matches i strangely did ok and a lot better than my previous year ;

Fisho partridge lakes , peg 133 covey 6 i had 57lb for second on the lake and a top ten finish out of 180 attending

Maver partridge lakes , peg 105 covey 5 i had only 35lb and really struggled 130 contested the match

Partridge lakes open match , peg 105 covey 5 i had 42lb for a section win , second on the lake and 7th out of 90 anglers

My best months to fish this year was ;

Sept where i had 4 matches with 2 wins at sycamore and a section at partridge

Oct where i had 5 matches with 2 wins at sycamore and 2 sections at partridge

Overall it has been a really good year with lots of highlights these are just a few of them ;

1, my first attempt at the Angling times super cup with Farnworth tackle managing to get through the first round at Highfield fishery before being knocked out at chapel house by Allied and Leicester who managed to reach the northern final but i did manage my biggest ever match win with 114lb .

2, Best ever result in the fisho qualifier at partridge lakes getting second on my lake and finishing in the top ten out of 180 anglers contesting the match .

3, Winning four consecutive matches at sycamore fishery which not many people have achieved , culminating in my best ever weight on their with 98 lb .

4, Finishing my club career with balmoral AC and finishing a close second even after missing a couple of matches , ending with my biggest club weight with 94lb at lathom fishery .

So that was my 2014 fishing season and i hope my 2015 season can eclipse it because i have big plans with big matches in the pipeline , so keep coming back to see how i get on and have a Happy new year .



Winter dobbing with bread

As we are fast approaching the depths of winter with no doubt some hard frosts and frozen lakes ahead now is the time to practise the art of dobbing bread , this approach will catch the fish in your peg without the risk of spooking them by feeding which is often the case at this time of the year and it can catch some of the biggest fish in the lake , bread is the best and safest option to use during the winter months as it is soft and visible which swells up in the water by giving it a slight squeeze it makes sure that it sinks as slowly as possible .

To do this you need to drop your hookbait into any likely looking area off the bottom a good starting point is two thirds of the actual depth , with the fish being laid up for winter your trying to put it right on their noses to try to entice a bite and it will allow you to locate where abouts in your peg that the main bulk of fish are before going onto your more usual rigs .

Using a light float with just two or three small shots down the line this will help present the bait naturally but make sure that it is stable because the carp will not touch a rig that pulls through the swim and also leave a bit of the bristle showing so the swollen bread will sink it down to the tip then you know that it has reached the correct depth by giving the bread a slight squeeze it makes sure that it sinks as slowly as possible . Cold water means clear water so a thinner more supple line can be an advantage as the fish are also generally quite docile and in active during winter so you can get away with it also avoid having too short a line above the float then you can keep the pole tip well away from the fish .

Lay the rig in side ways by holding the float on a tight line encourages the bread to slowly arc through the water and you should expect a bite just before or after it settles , if you fail to get an indication try altering the depth a few inches at a time and keep shallowing up until you start hitting the bites even in the depths of winter you can catch them in just 1ft of water. Try placing the rig in any fishy looking spots because in this weather the fish will be huddling together off the bottom for warmth and safety , location is the key when dobbing in winter and once you get a bite their is usually a little pod of them a disk of punched bread is the number one hook bait as it will catch you fish when they are not prepared to feed on anything at all .

Below is a video by the mighty Steve Ringer who can explain it all far better than me but i hope that my little waffle about it helps just a little bit .


Fishermans blues

So what exactly is fishermans blues its hard to explain and i’m not really sure but it does affect most anglers at some time in their life , it usually revolves around not wanting to get on to the bank for various reasons ;

1 Bad results , getting battered on both sides every time you go out can be a killer for your confidence especially if you’re contesting big matches .

2 Fishing form , where you feel that your tactics just are not getting you the results you want them too .

3 Just losing your appetite for fishing .

4 In my case having to deal with the negativity surrounding contesting matches because i’m not in to all the usual pre match banter that goes along with them .

How do you drag yourself out of the depression of not wanting to go fishing that is the million dollar question , some people never return and you see lots of full set ups for sale in the classifieds , while others just get straight back to it after taking some time off and it does help if you can go on an easy venue to catch a few fish which helps to get your confidence back but returning to the bank even if you’re not fishing and just to see how people are getting on can help you get back in the mood .

So lets hope that works with me and any comments from you fellow anglers would be greatly appreciated because at the moment i haven’t the heart to even look at my fishing tackle .

Skimmer fishing

As i am not getting on to the bank much recently due to the weather and being ill , i have decided to put down a few words on skimmer fishing because although i don’t do a great deal of it in matches , it is one of my favourite tactics when pleasure fishing .


Lots of commercials are full of quality silvers particularly bream+skimmers , these grow big on a diet of pellets and neglect because 90 percent of anglers will only attack the carp on these venues , it is a reliable alternative in matches to catching carp in winter and you will always be kept busy .

There is two main ways that you can feed your swim for bream+skimmers ;

Balling it in 

At the start of the session you will have to decide on your expected target weight before filling the bait in because it can make or break your day .Around here on the venues i fish you usually only need to start with three balls of feed as they are not that prolific , so pick a far bank marker before cupping in the bait because this allows you to be ultra accurate with your rig and allows you to lay a bed of bait for the skimmers to graze other . This initial bombardment of ground-bait rings the dinner bell and concentrate the fish in front of you but it is important to leave it for at least an hour for the bream+skimmers to settle on it , when your catch rate slows the fish are often still there but need a re introduction to spur them back into feeding .


Feeding two lines

This works particularly well round here and you plumb up two lines one at ten o’clock the other at two o’clock , feed modest amounts of bait at the start to get them interested and then feed little amounts regularly to maintain the fish in your swim . On a good day you can catch a couple from one swim before re feeding and then going on to the other , this gives you time for the fish to settle because small skimmers tend to be more cautious and are easily spooked .

Make sure you drop the hook bait right on top of the feed and if bites slow work your rig around the edges of your feed because skimmers+bream may not always settle on top of the feed and you need to search around to find out where they have settled .



On waters that see lots of pellets you wont go far wrong by feeding a 50/50 mix of f1 dark and green swim stim ground-bait which has a high fish meal content and by mixing it inert it will lay on the bottom and give a bed for the skimmers to graze over . Micro pellets are a great holding bait especially when used with the ground-bait because skimmers spend all year eating pellets , but fish don’t always want lots of particles in the mix so take it easy and let the fish tell you how much they want .


Waters that don’t allow ground-bait like widdows fishery then chopped worm works a treat but add micros instead of casters because this keeps them routing on the bottom where they are easier to catch and to put a good weight together your better to fish hard on the deck because bream+skimmers can be awkward to catch on the drop .

Skimmers become wary after you have caught most of the shoal so a change of hook bait can usually keep them coming and i have found on Beacon view that dead maggots will produce a bigger stamp of fish compared too expanders , if small fish become a problem try a banded hard pellet because it can often pick out the bigger fish in the shoal .


There is two main rigs for skimmer+bream fishing and they both revolve around using a long bristled float which allows you to see small indications and lift bites . You also need an elastic soft enough to avoid the fish splashing on the surface which could disrupt the feeding shoal especially if you lose one on the way in .

I always start with your standard pole rig with a bulk and two droppers , when most of the bites turn in to lifters by the fish holding up the bulk . I then change to the more unusual double bulk rig this involves having a bulk 18 inch from the hook which is far enough away from the large flanked skimmers+bream to brush into which would give a false indication .

The second much smaller bulk is just above the short 4 inch hook length and correct plumbing is needed because it has to be just off the deck to work properly , a clip on plummet is handy .When the skimmers+bream takes the bait the float will either slide away or lift up and a firm strike will see you connect with the bite , this rig works extremely well when the fish are really in a feeding mood , with the float popping out of the water showing all the bristle and staying their and it also makes missing bites nearly impossible .



There is one or two good waters that i fish around here that have a high head of skimmers+bream and if you get the three main things right ,


set the first trap and work out how best to re feed before changing the hook bait to hopefully keep them coming all day .


They tend to gather in open water so look for the widest areas of the lake , with a ripple on the water .


Start on a normal bulk-dropper rig before changing to a double bulk when the fish are really having a go .

That is all you need for hopefully a very good days fishing for skimmers+bream .

paste fishing

1. Swim stim ground bait – Add almost boiling water to a bowl and then sprinkle on the ground bait, keep adding until it is very sloppy and then leave for 10 minutes, the mix will stiffen when it begins to cool. This is a great paste used on the pole very soft, it breaks down within a couple of minutes to leave a small pile of feed.
Great for carp, bream and tench fished over pellets. If you want to add flavours add it to the water before adding the ground-bait.

This type of paste works with all the swim stim and crazy bait ranges of ground-bait and I have done it with silly bait but tend to sieve it first as it has some bigger particles.

2. Pellet Paste
Method one – Get yourself a coffee grinder ( mine was 14 quid from amazon) Put a handful of pellets in the grinder and grind until a very fine powder, keep doing this until you have a bag full and then mix with water just off boiling as you would with the swim stim. I have found that dependant on the oil content of the pellets you sometimes get a very sticky mix, add a drop of ground bait if needed to make it a little easier to use, again if you want to add flavours add to the water first.
Method two – get a bowl of pellets, cover with boiling water and leave for an hour, only just cover the pellets with water or will be too mushy. After the hour just kneed the mush with your hands to make the paste. This method I have found best when a fishery states you must use their pellets, this is what the fish are fed so using a paste made of the same makes sense.

This is how I make all my paste and the tips I can give are : Fish it as soft as you can get away with, obviously you need to make it stiffer to fish with rod and line. I personally don’t add eggs, this makes the paste too binding for the way I fish it, I want it to break down in a couple of minutes, however it may be better for rod and line fishing. The other thing about eggs is that they go off in hot weather.
Water just off the boil is better than cold, it emulsifies the oils in the paste giving off more attractants, Roy Marlow agrees with this and he knows more about carp feeding than most.
Flavours that have worked well for me have included, Strawberry and scopex crazy bait double squirts, Vanilla essence nicked from the missus food cupboard and csl and mollases. Dont be afraid to experiment with different flavours.

Paste floats .

In the margins less than 18″ deep I use a loaded PI Tyson float. This is a self-cocking dibber type float, which is very short and visible. I plumb to find a clear flat spot on the bottom and fish it slightly over depth (1/2″). I don’t strike at all when fishing paste but lift about 4 inches to set the hook but only when the float has completely disappeared.
In water between 18″ and 4′ deep I use PI Durafloat 7’s in between 4 x14 and 4 x 18 sizes dependent on the depth and tow. I slightly undershot the float by about a no. 10 shot, which just leaves about 2mm of the body showing. I then take a lot of time to plumb up and find an area about 12″ square that has a flat bottom, I know it states in the mags that you need to be completely accurate with your placements but no-one can guarantee landing on the same inch perfect spot. Right, I plumb so that the float is absolutely at dead depth allowing then an additional 1/2″ inch of line as the piece of paste can pull the line a little further down and if set dead depth the float disappears.
In water deeper than this I use a maver paste float which has a very long bristle in sizes between 1/2 g and 1.5g, don’t be afraid to use a heavy float as paste is a heavy bait and the fish don’t tend to feel the resistance. If conditions are good I shot this with an olivette locked with a shot, the weight of which takes the float only to the bottom of the bristle. I fish it with the olivette at least 2ft from the hook. I again plumb the same allowing 1/2 inch for the paste ball. Don’t be afraid to have an inch of bristle showing. With both this and the dura float I only strike when the float sails away, lifts sharply or disappears, if getting a lot of liners and knocks I often count to one after the float goes before lifting into the bite, get much less foul hookers this way.
If the weather is bad or the water is towing strongly add a no.10 shot and fish the paste 2″ over depth, again only lift into bites that are solid as I said above.
I always use a pot on the top kit to put my paste in as it is very soft and tip it in, I make mine by drilling out dove deodorant tops, they are just the right size for me but the fox toss pots are also good. I never fish smaller than a size 12 hook as paste is a big bait and will even go up to a size 8 drennan star point for big fish.
I try and fish as short a line between pole and float as possible, 6″ in good conditions and up to 2′ if windy, I ship out with the paste in the pot, tip the paste in and then ship back the distance between pot and pole tip so that the float is directly over the paste. If fishing with a float over 1 gram i lift the float out of the water as soon as I tip the paste in and slowly lower it so that the shot/olivette doesn’t pull the hook out of the paste.

I tend to only feed a pot of pellets at the start along with 3 or 4 pieces of paste, your paste is constantly feeding you swim as you keep re-baiting. I only top up the pellets when I stop getting bites or liners. I have found that if i feed a few pellets each cast it can lead to fish coming up in the water which causes no end of bother.

As I said at the start I am no expert but at least this may help you get started on the paste, be prepared to miss a lot of bites but when you do master it a great days fishing you will have.

taken from a piece on maggot drowner’s .