New fishing style

Jens Boedt

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Hello everyone.

My name is Jens, i live in Belgium and i like to fish!
I always went fishing with a float to catch bream and roach, but since there is not much activity in the cold wintermonths, i tried something new.

I'm trying to catch my first perch/pike using shads. I did some research and find a lot contradictory information. I was wondering if you could help me find my first pike/perch.

Now i'm mainly trying to fish in canals (under bridges, in the middle where it is deeper) using shads on the bottom. But i haven't found my first fish so i really am doing something wrong.
Is this good water to fish or should i go in smaller creeks/in the city?
What is the best time to fish (morning, noon, evening)?
Are shads good (and what size) or should i go for something else?
How fast should i reel in?

I also keep getting stuck on the bottom... I found that in winter i should let my shad sink and reel around 2 turns, let it sink, reel... My shad only has one hook on the back but keeps getting stuck.

Love to hear it from you!!
 

john step

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Welcome to FM. If its as cold in Belgium as it is here I am not surprised you are struggling to catch. Most around my parts are too.
You sound like you are doing everthing right. It will improve when the weather warms.
There are JIG HEADS available for use with soft plastic lures. These will have the hook bend uppermost so minimising the risk of getting stuck on the bottom
Plenty of videos on Youtube about soft lures and jigheads.
Let us know how you get on in the thread HOW DID YOU GET ON.
 

The Sogster

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Hi Jens, as John says winter is not always the best time for lures.

I find that most waters I fish the pike have fairly rigid feeding times for a couple of hours each day, finding the time is the tricky bit.
I would start 10am until 3pm at this time of year and work from there in my experience most feeding times fall somewhere in this time frame on my waters.

I have never had much success with shads for perch, much prefer the original Shakespeare midi or small 's'.
 

Ray Roberts

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Hi Jens, if your local tackle shop is open then that would be the best place to get advice as to the best waters in your area, local angling clubs are also a good place to get information from.

If your lure is catching weed on the bottom then you can use a lighter lure or lure weight or even use weed less set ups. There are plenty of clips on YouTube showing how to do this. You can bury the hook in the shad. I’ve had quite a lot of success with small curly tailed jigs with light jig heads. You can count the lure down too. Cast the lure and count down until it hits bottom, the line will go slack, then if that takes say five seconds count down four and start your retrieve. You can twitch the jig back or reel it back at a constant speed. I would usually try to keep nearer the bottom in colder weather. Fish often lurk wherever there are structures like bridges, moorings or changes of depth. Canals often seem plain and featureless but if there is a deeper central channel the shelf where the depth changes can be a hot spot. Also don’t fall into the trap of flogging each spot to death. Six casts at each spot and then move. The fish can be fairly tightly grouped in winter and there can be long sections devoid of fish, so you need to cover more ground to find them.

My wife is Belgian and we have many friends and family in and around Antwerp, where are you located?


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 
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Jens Boedt

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Thank you all for the replies!
My tackle shop is closed for 2 days, so i will wait a little before trying something new now. I searched a little more and i think i might try the dropshot technique (and continue the shads ofcourse).
I'm located in a small town called Zeebrugge. It's located at the sea and has a very big car harbour. I could also fish in sea, but that's also a new style for me. Will try it later, but first i will try to catch a pike/perch ?
 

rubio

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Some sport to be had from the piers and jetties if you are still allowed. Drop shot would work there too, tho summer could be better for that.
 

David Gane

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Hi Jens. I won't repeat what other people have said, because it's all good advice. I have a question for you though. I have spent a bit of time in Belgium myself and have seen some of the canals, and I know that they can be pretty busy - which stirs up the bottom. What is the visibility like in the water where you are fishing?

I ask because fishing with any sort of lure requires the fish to be able to see it. Coloured water with poor visibility is extremely hard to fish successfully. You need to seek out clearer water where the fish will be able to see your lure from several feet away. Whether that is in a canal, creek or river has to be something you scout out. If the rain is anything like it is here at the moment though I suspect that boat-free still water rather than moving water will be your best bet.
 

Andaway

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I have just a single but ingrained memory of Belgium when I spent a few days working at Spa Francorchamps........frites with mayo, the combo has brought culinary pleasure ever since.
 

rubio

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Topical quiz?
What is the size difference between Belgian frites and French frites?
 

Jens Boedt

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Thanks all for your replies. Visibility is indeed not good in Belgium. So i use white lures or bright yellow with red.

I've tried a few times but haven't caught a fish yet. The next days, a cold front is coming over so it won't be better i guess.

Also, in a few days, my new fishing rod will arrive (with reel and braid line). So that has to help as well.

Any other tips you can give me? (Technique, lure, equipment, spots)
 

David Gane

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Hi again Jens. I've had a re-read of the advice you have had so far. Here are a couple of pointers for you that haven't come up already.

On the issue of snagging the bottom, something that might help is to know that how you hold your rod affects the depth that lures run at. Point the tip of the rod at the lure and it will run deep. Hold the tip up and it will run a lot shallower. Practice controlling depth by lifting and lowering the rod tip. It goes without saying that the speed of the retrieve also has an effect, so combine rod tip control with speed control for best effect.

As to finding fish, try retrieving parallel to the bank. Fish are not randomly distributed across a patch of water and predators frequently are found hiding close in to the bank and will attack anything that goes past their nose. Similarly, when casting across a canal or creek, try to land as close to the bank as you can. A lure that lands a few centimetres from the bank will often catch when one that lands a couple of metres away will get no response from the fish at all. Something else too. When walking along a river or canal bank always cast in front of you three or four times before casting behind. You are likely to have spooked the ones you have walked past, but are less likely to have done so if you haven't reached them yet.
 

Peter Jacobs

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Topical quiz?
What is the size difference between Belgian frites and French frites?

The term "French fries" is basically an American one . . . in France we eat pommes frites, patates frites, or simply frites. . . . . early references to fried potatoes in France (1775) go back to before the Revolution (1798)

Belgian "frites are typically twice cooked potatoes chips, firstly in boiling water and then deep fried, and almost always eaten together with mayo' or a type of thousand island sauce.
 
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Jens Boedt

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Hi again Jens. I've had a re-read of the advice you have had so far. Here are a couple of pointers for you that haven't come up already.

On the issue of snagging the bottom, something that might help is to know that how you hold your rod affects the depth that lures run at. Point the tip of the rod at the lure and it will run deep. Hold the tip up and it will run a lot shallower. Practice controlling depth by lifting and lowering the rod tip. It goes without saying that the speed of the retrieve also has an effect, so combine rod tip control with speed control for best effect.

As to finding fish, try retrieving parallel to the bank. Fish are not randomly distributed across a patch of water and predators frequently are found hiding close in to the bank and will attack anything that goes past their nose. Similarly, when casting across a canal or creek, try to land as close to the bank as you can. A lure that lands a few centimetres from the bank will often catch when one that lands a couple of metres away will get no response from the fish at all. Something else too. When walking along a river or canal bank always cast in front of you three or four times before casting behind. You are likely to have spooked the ones you have walked past, but are less likely to have done so if you haven't reached them yet.

Thanks a lot! I haven't heard of any of those tips and will try them as soon as i can. I also fish a lot from between trees since it isn't always as easy to get to the bank. So i guess i need to cast from a distance away before i go to the bank to increase my chances?

And what concerns the fries:
We usally fry them at 160°C. Then we let them cool to then fry them at 180°C. I don't know about other countries, but we also have certain potatoes specially made with the purpose of making fries out of them.
 

keora

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You write that you're using shads with a single hook on the back of the lure, so this will help avoid it getting stuck in an object on the river bed.

You mentioned that you're waiting for a new rod and a braided line to arrive. Braided line will help you to recover lures which are snagged on the bottom, but it needs to be strong - 30 lb to 40 lb breaking strain (15 to 20 kilos) is suitable.

Depending on the type of jig heads/hooks you buy, some hooks will spring open if they get snagged and you pull hard enough. It's better to wrap the braided line round the landing net handle a few times and walk backwards up the bank. Trying to recover the lure by winding down hard on the reel could damage the rod and reel.

The waters that you fish, are the predators mainly pike, or is it perch? If it's mainly perch, I'd use smaller shads, perhaps 75 or 100mm in length.

Don't forget, water temperatures now will only be a few degrees above zero, which means that fish are less active.

This link is useful


In it there are a couple of articles on fishing in Holland, which I imagine will be similar to the type of waters you fish in Belgium.
 
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