Lake float fishing

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Neil Laing

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This is my second season fishing and I fish club waters which are not densly stocked. I generally fish one float rod and one with a ledger and bite alarm. Looking through my fishing diary I have seen a pattern of nearly always catching on the ledger which is positioned a bit further out than the float. This year I have only had a few fish on the float. This seems strange as I though float fishing was supposed to be more sensitive and the margins productive. I can also see where to chuck in loose feed with the float so it should be working?
So am I not fishing the float correctly? I usually fish at depth and only lay-on when my float doesn't hold position due to under-tow. I also only use dust shot down the line unless combating drift and I also use lighter line than the ledger and pre-stretched hook lengths. I think I am following excepted methods but perhaps I should try laying on a fair amount?
Please let me know if you can suggest any mistakes I might be making.
Thanks Neil.
 

Alan Tyler

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You seem to have all the bases covered... if you're feeding little and often and recasting each time, your rig should sink slowly enough to pick up bites on the drop if the fish are off-bottom...
Work through Walker's five commandments (like I do, once I've got home and it's too late) - Are you fishing in the right place? Along the margin, to any bankside cover, and not just straight out in front? Could there be some reason why what looks like the right place, isn't? Twirl a spinner through on appropriate gear, you may hve found someone's hidey-hole...
Are you fishing at the right time? Hardly matters if you're just after bites/bits;
 

Alan Tyler

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OOPS, What happened?
Anyway, not scaring the fish is next, but as long as you don't pass the time doing the soft-shoe shuffle in the gravel that shouldn't be the problem; Commandments four and five were "use the right tackle and bait", and I doubt if youve got thse wrong. Slim-topped float attached at the bottom only, with the line sunk so the surface skim doesn't pull it about?
Bread/hemp/casters/maggots for fishing on-the-drop for bits; bread/caster/corn/meat/pellet to lay-on to see if anything bigger is sniffing?
Is anyone else doing o.k. on the float? Has your water been cormoranted to hell, in which case there won't be much left under 3lb.?
I suspect the best thing you can do is ask the bailiff, and keep your ears open in the tackle shop!
 
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Neil Laing

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Hello Alan,
thanks for your reply and a comprehensive list of things I can check I am following.
I'm sure I have slipped up on some of them at times.
I suppose I am not really fishing for bits but roach of over 3oz are always welcome.
Don't usually use maggots and casters as they are a bit pricey.
I will try to keep in mind the commandments!
Good luck with your own fishing.
Neil
 

Alan Tyler

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Hello, Neil,
What are you fishing for, then,what sort of target size, and with what baits?
If you have more time than money and are after roach, try hemp feed with elderberry on the hook, or stewed wheat as both feed and bait. Light prebaiting might help, too, just so they know the stuff is food.
Richard Walker's "commandments, by the way, were in his Book "Stillwater Angling" (might be "Still-Water"); if you can find a copy, grab it, it's practically the book that changed the world and convinced people that they could catch big fish deliberately, by thinking about what they were doing and why.(Doesn't work for me, I manage to confuse myself).
Tight string, and I hope a few more successful chaps can help - the more specific you can be about the probs, the easier it is for them!
 
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Neil Laing

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Hello Alan,
I don't know why but I cannot immediately say what I'm after. Quite like the suprise of fishing a bait which could attract anything. The ledger usually has a hard bait on like peperami or larger pellet. With the float it might be maize, pellet of about 8-10mm, lump of trout paste on a size 12, sweetcorn. I have used wheat and hemp as loose feed but never tried wheat on the hook -will have to give it a go. I would like to fish so I got one or two carp/tench on the ledger and more action on the float with my JW avon 1.25lb test curve. Good fun playing a fish on a light rod. I would be happy to get tench, bream,roach on the float. I am experimenting with the method feeder at the moment. When I've had enough of that I will try to improve my float fishing result, perhaps just fish one rod and concentrate better! I haven't yet learn't how to read on the drop bites so I might be missing some bites. Will keep a look out for Richard Walker's book.
Regards Neil.
 

Alan Tyler

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I see, so you're fishing quite big baits on the float rod. I've never been able to make it work, but a friend of mine can.... what he seems to do is use an insert waggler attached with a float rubber, and all the shot needed to cock the float exactly,well down the line, either all bulked or with one biggish dropper maybe 25cm from the hook. He then fishes with the shot (or dropper) on the bottom, tightening up so the float is cocked , but not quite as far as the load COULD take it...i.e. there's still a fraction of the shot's weight holding on the deck. The tightening probably also straightens out the hooklength. He usually fishes 8lb straight through to a six or eight hook and a big bit of meat, bread or pellet paste. He usually waits fot a run rather than just a lift, especially if bream are about. But if it's so simple, why can't I do it?
 
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Carl Madigan

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if maggots are too expensive dig your own worms. Worms are my favourite hookbait anyway and half a worm is even better than a whole one. They'll get you a bite from anything
 
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Neil Laing

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Hello Alan,
I've seen this lift float method used quite a lot, often by shall we say more experienced anglers. I have tried it myself a few times, it's a bit awkward to cast but you get used to it- OK for short range.
It goes against some of the rules like only having small shot near the hook etc. I think perhaps because the target fish require thicker lines, vertical lines straight to the bait are seen or brushed by large fins etc. and this is why the lift works. Laying a bit more line on the bottom helps and the bit of resistance of the bottom shot which might be partly supported by the float is off-set by the advantages.
I watched this chap, who has been a member of my club for over 50 years, fish like this using a whole slice of bread packed around the hook. He catches quite a few like this but when I tried it at home in a jam jar I noticed that the bread went rock-hard in the middle. Impossible to strick through, it explained why he thought he was having hook problems as they would open up on him!
Thanks again for the ideas, so much to try It's going to take me years to get anywhere with this fishing lark.
Happy fishing- Neil.
 
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Neil Laing

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Hello Carl,
I have heard people rate worms highly and I've caught a few carp,tench,perch and large roach with them.
Last winter I had a good day with lob worms when others on the lake couldn't get a bite.
I thought I had found a way to catch on those cold days when it seems like all the fish have hibernated. Unfortunately I couldn't repeat this one success. I might give them a go on the river as I should at least get a few perch and might fluke a chub of barbel(slim chance)
I have an old dustbin which I use as a worm farm for red worms, have also used dendrobenas. What worms do you use?
Regards Neil.
 

Baz

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Somthing else to try is to cast the float rod further out, about the same distance as youre ledger rod.
You can do this by fishing the slider method, just to get the distance.
It's a bulky set up, as I have used a BB as a dropper shot. But it is sensitive, and I have had 6oz roach on it.
 

Baz

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Get yourself a marker float and cast about for any changes in the depth. Also as you are fishing one spot keep a trickle of bait going into another area, You may have three areas being gradually baited up so you can swap from one spot to another, in a triangle shape.
 
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Neil Laing

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Hello Baz,
thanks for your help, would it be fair to say that even a heavy float set-up such as your slider would still give less resistance and the chance of a quicker stick (if alert) than a ledger?
Also I have made up a boyant slim pike type waggler as a plumbing float, will this work OK or would a shop bought marker float be superior.
Look forward to your reply if you get the chance.
Neil.
 

Baz

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Neil,
Youre home made pike float will do just fine mate.
I make mine from Elder berry branches. Get a nice straight piece about six to eight inches long, peel the bark off it, and put it near a boiler or under the stairs for a couple of days to dry out. They are really smooth and very light.

Yes mate the slider set up would still give you a quicker bite registration than a ledger.
As I said, the slider does look bulky, but I am allways surprised at how delicate a bite from even small fish will show up.
Try to have a look at the video (Slider Fishing with Ian Heaps) He even shows you how to make youre own.
 

Baz

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By the way Neil,
When you cast youre pike float out, slowly wind youre float down to youre ledger weight until you feel the float make contact with youre weight.
Gradually pull line off your reel once you have opened the bail arm, about a foot at a time, until the float appears on the surface.
Then you will know how deep it is where you are fishing.
Do this in a number of spots, so you will find where it is shallow or where it is deeper.
 
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Neil Laing

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Baz,
I will give the elderberry branches a try as I already dabble with float making.
With my plumbing set up I have fixed a watch-lead to a short length of boom tube, this stops me getting tangles with braid when trying to assess the bottom of the lake. Where I have been going wrong is I have only used it in the winter to learn about a few venues. In the summer I have been afraid to disturb my swim and only plumbed the depth to set my float at full depth. I will re-think this approach.
Thanks for your help.
Neil.
 

John Tighe

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What rigs would anyone using feeder rods use for canal fishing.
Iwould apreciate any info on this type of fishing.
I have just purchased a Maver Powerlite which you can fish two rods with and it came with 6 tips all numbered and I fail to understand why no instruction booklets come with the purchase of most fishing tackle.
These tips are numbered but no info comes with the rod.
I phoned Maver but still waiting for the return call from their techincal department,
I am sure they would sell more goods if this was the case.It is the forums that provide info but it is buy and find out.
Kind regards JT
 
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