Hopefully starting a little mini series talking about the history of some Fishing baits, with positive responses I will continue the idea and do some other baits, of course if you are interested in a bait, let me know and I will research it for you. But today, we look at Sweetcorn, a bait to catch most coarse species, from Carp to Roach, Bream and Tench! It truly is a great allround bait, which stands out on the bottom of a Lake or River! It’s a top bait most anglers today are aware of and probably use, and getting hold of it today is easy, whether its your local tackle shop or a supermarket, getting a tin of sweetcorn couldn’t be easier.
Sweetcorn originates from North America, and people believe it was brought to the UK sometime in the 15th century possibly by Christopher Columbus. With it being in the country for so long, many angling authors in the 20s-50s didn’t mention it in their list of baits, however in the 70’s Fred J Taylor noted how it was good for Tench Fishing. So it more than likely gained popularity after this.
Since then Sweetcorn has very much so been commerialised in angling, from starting off Anglers just buying a humble tin of green giant (other brands are available), to now tackle companies making all sorts of tinned flavours of corn and even fake corn!
Normal Green Giant Corn and Bait Techs flavoured options
I personally normally opt for normal corn from a supermarket, however this is more of my preference as I find it cheaper as well. Corn does provide you with different options on how to present, whether you wish to hair-rig or directly hook the corn.
Options of Hooking Corn
However, if you don’t fancy buying tins of corn, you can always buy plastic corn?!? This can offer anglers different styles of presentation with slow sinking variants, or pop up variants all created, even in different colours too.
It’s amazing to see how Corn has took the world of fishing, and is a staple no matter what species you target, they all will love Corn, however I believe Corn will always be tied closest to a warm summers day Tench Fishing, the two seem to go hand in hand, I guess if what we believe was right, Tench fishing made sweetcorn a very popular bait today!
Personally, I have caught everything on corn, Including my PB Bream of 7lb, and some good Roach in the past as well. If I’m on a still water, corn is a must have bait for me!
Well, writing this now since entering lockdown and sadly this stretch of River is out of my district so I have to halt my exploration and learning of this not so new stretch of river to me. I have just re-joined BDAC, having not been a member since I was a kid, and have fond memories of one River in particular, the Wid. It’s where I caught my current PB Chub of 2,5lbs, and it’s a lovely stretch of River with a good amount of Chub when you get it right. In my recent blogs I have fished a different stretch of the Wid, upstream of this stretch and shallower and less prolific. This new stretch, having changed a lot in the landscape, new trees and old trees gone, offers a new challenge in finding the Fish. But has many likely looking spots, including a lovely weir. Today’s session (Before Lockdown), was more exploring, and finding likely areas, and hopefully nabbing one or two fish, but I wanted to try and document swims and take notes on what I could see in hope it helped me learn the River and its secrets quicker.
The method today was simple, fishing light with blitzed bread and just a few slices for hookbait, using a small cage feeder. Although looking back, I wonder if maybe feeding put off the better Fish, however you live and learn! I didn’t spend a huge amount of time fishing, spent a lot more walking the some of the stretch, looking, watching and taking some photos on the very likely looking swims!
The weir looked great, although provided no fish today, I knew the far back in the slack it deepened off, surely a likely holding place of some Chub. This stretch offered some quick runs, maybe good for Dace, and some other fantastic trotting runs which must be good for some Chublets. The aim for my next session was to do some trotting with maggot in some of these swims, however that is sadly cancelled now due to travelling limits. Something to look forward to!
I remember losing a good Fish under the bridge as a kid, as it tore off downstream, so remember it as a place to hold good Chub, however a few soft taps but no developing bite, possible pecking at the feed and not fancying the flake? Maybe just small Roach and minnows and the Chub not up to it today?
Upstream of the bridge offered a few interesting swims too, one of which had a big overhanging tree, holding a good number of Chublets, but something to try next time as I didn’t dip into the swim this time.
I did manage one Fish from this session, from what I thought was the best looking swim, a lovely overhang and a good run, sure to hold some Chub.
I did miss a bite here, so was sure to drop in on my way back down in hope of another, and I wasn’t disappointed, as soon as I set the Rod on the rest, the tip went round, but surprisingly not to what I expected of a Chub, but to a small Roach. On what seemed a tough day, I was happy to take this from a cold morning on the River, and had learnt maybe a few better spots to try.
Hopefully future visits will give me more rewards as I continue to learn this new yet old stretch of River to me, and hopefully some nice Chub will come soon too. Overall not a bad way to spend the first Saturday in January. And now with the new lockdown, I look for venues closer to try, in hope of a few Fish!
I have had this Rod for a little while now, and used it in a few different situations and venues, so have been building this Review for a while, one of the reasons it has took so long, as I really wanted to really give it a test. And I have to admit, I am very impressed, so much so, this Rod has dethroned by trusty Garbalino Rocket Picker as my main tip rod.
On un-boxing of the Rod, I was instantly impressed with the firm build quality. The rod comes with two tips, a lovely and soft 1oz tip, and another tip of 1.5oz, however the rings on this tip set it up for float fishing or even lure fishing with dropshots! However you can still use this as a quiver, for those areas you think you may have some bigger fish about! It comes in a nice rod bag too, nothing fancy but a nice initial bag to keep it in.
The first use of this Rod, was a very memorable day for myself. I started the day playing around with the heavier, float fishing tip, doing some waggler Fishing on a slow River/Canal. I was after the Roach held in this stretch, and was flicking in maggot and mashed bread with maggot and bread flake as hookbait. The Rod was lovely to play those small few oz Roach on and kept it a very fun day.
I decided to swap to the softer tip and fish a small bomb and bread flake, to see what Fish where mopping up the feed on the bottom. In 10 minutes, I had two great bites, strong indications on the tip, and set myself two new Roach PB’s, with a first of around 1lb, and then a warrior of 2lb!
The Rod dealt with both Fish great, and was just right, not over gunned, but still powerful enough to be confident playing bigger fish, while making these Fish put a nice bend in the Rod.
I next tested this Rod on small commercial size Carp averaging around 3-5lb. This was chucking out a method feeder of 20g filled with micros and watching the tip smash round. The small rod done well for itself to chuck this feeder out, and was very impressive how such a small soft rod dealt with this.
On the day, I managed 8 Carp of all around that type of size, and was great fun on the Rod with the softer tip, leaving me confident this Rod could deal with whatever is thrown its way.
What I leave you with is this, it’s a small soft Rod, however it packs a punch for it’s size, well built and strong, can survive a dog attempting to vault over it, and passer-by’s distracted by your catch and accidently tread on it! (Sadly, not tests I wanted to do, however the Rod was fine each time!), this Rod is priced at £46.99 currently on the Tackle Box, and for this price, it’s an absolute gem. A super rod which performs amazingly and it comes with their lifetime warranty, and their support is second to none! If you are in the market for a quiver, this Rod is a must.
I headed out on a bit of a wet Decembers morning for some method feeder carp fishing at a commercial type lake. Stocked full of small Carp around 5lb. To make things a bit interesting fellow blogger Joe decided to come along and we thought we would make a bit of a competition out of it, to see who can catch the most Fish, was simple, 1 point for each Carp caught. And was only Fishing between about 9:30am-2pm. I did also opt to use the Tackle Box Darrent Valley 8ft Quiver, I have used this for Roach fishing on Rivers, so was interested to see how it would fair up against Carp.
I don’t change around my method feeder fishing between winter and summer too much, it’s mainly a bit of scaling down. My method mix today was some sonubaits sticki method feeder pellets mixed with special G groundbait.
The mix I was using was about 70/30 towards the pellets, to give them a bit of a dusting and help them stick together. A lot of people will probably at this point be saying to me “Why are you using pellets in winter and not groundbait?”, my answer to that is, I believe pellets can be used all year round, I know people lean towards groundbait as it’s less filling for the Fish. However using the small micro pellets, is essentially a groundbait, however with the size of the pellets, they have a good chance of finding their way under rocks and leaves etc and can break down and release more scent into the water, I also believe this encourages the Carp to rummage around more searching for the micros and with some tight casting to the same spot, they should find your hook bait, which in winter, is good to use something to stand out from the feed you are using. I think Corn is perfect for this. Pellets being heavier than groundbait, also ensure a tighter feed area, to keep the Fish more concentrated and over your bed of feed.
I normally opt for a banjo feeder when method feeder fishing, I just think it keeps the bait tidy, and serves your hookbait and feed on the top, like a dinner plate for the Fish! Going back to my newlands hall session I used a larger more new style banjo feeder from Preston. However today I was using one of my old smaller lighter ones I had, still being winter, I don’t want to over feed the fish and have them back off, so as small as I can go, and instead of in the summer recasting every 2-3 minutes, I am waiting more so 10-15 minutes, depending on the day really.
I was casting just to the end of the spit in front of me, however was casting a bit away to make sure I was in slightly deeper water, in the summer, I would probably be casting a bit closer. The first few casts only led to a few little knocks on the tip, but no bites. Was confident I had a few Fish in the area, seeing a few Carp swim over my feed, I knew it was a matter of time, hopefully anyway in the cold conditions! After maybe 30 minutes ish, and a few chucks, the tip smashed round, clearly the Carp still had some summer fight on them, with a great aggressive bite, and a good little fight. But it was great to be off the mark with a small mirror.
This Fish did then create a bit of a flurry as I had 2 more quick bites after this, landing both Fish, all bites again very positive, the type of bite you love, watching the tip fly round. I did have then quite a big quiet spell, but eventually had another run of a few Carp. I did also have a surprise skimmer in the middle of the Carp.
A few more of the Carp caught
Surprisingly, the biggest Fish of the day for me, one of the commons maybe around 5lb. Produced the most timid bite of the day, I imagined it was another skimmer of bream, however when I struck into it, It soon went off on a charge, however the Rod dealt with it fantastically.
The day soon came to an end, I managed to rack up 8 Carp in the session, and Joe only managed 3, catching them mostly in the second half of the session after struggling to find them. So a nice win and boost for myself knowing I had beat Joe!
Hope you guys enjoyed the read, I’d love to know how you approach winter Fishing for Carp, do you stay on the method? Do you use pellets or groundbait?
Well, in my previous blog, you will know I was out Piking earlier this week on Monday. I had fellow bloggers and good friends Tom and Andrew with me, in hope we could team up for a few Pike!
I did ask for some Pike related presents for my birthday, including some Pike Gloves (Always good to protect your fingers when handling pike!), some new suffix neon green braid and various tools to help unhook the Fish, so with a bit of luck, I could put all of these to the test!
I started on a bit of a colourful Roach lure in hope the Pike would see this better in the slightly cloudy water. However, I was clearly a bit rusty and maybe too relaxed from my birthday celebrations (Few Beers and a big roast!) and lost some concentration, as most of the day I spent decorating the far bank with various lures (Including one of Tom’s spinners…sorry Tom!). However, we all have those days!
Tom was the first of us to catch, managing a small Jack on a spinner.
Was chuffed for Tom to be off the mark, and it left us all hopeful of a few more bites, after a long muddy walk however, and some more lost lures, it didn’t prove to be! And between the 3 of us, this was the only Pike we could manage.
However despite the blank, and Tom rubbing it in, it was a nice day and catch up with a few good mates, and I’m sure next time I’ll be able to manage one!
Bit of a smaller blog than usual, however on Saturday, I head to a bit of a commercial lake to take on Joe in a small match with nothing but pride on the line. Place your bets!
Well, with my Birthday on Sunday, I booked a few days off for Fishing around it, Friday, I planned on trying some trotting with maggot on the centerpin, Saturday as usual, I fancied heading to my Roach spot and try for a few roach on a cage feeder with bread, and on Monday I have a piking session with Tom & Andrew my fellow bloggers.
We will start with Friday, as some of my regular readers will know, I am learning the centerpin and have spoke about it in recent blogs, I haven’t yet been on a fast enough river to actually trot properly, and thought Friday could be fun to try this. Since making that plan, and maybe in ignorance on sticking with it, I headed out to a bit high, but very muddy and murky River, a bit further upstream to my Roach spot in some parks, to give that stretch a try.
I was using a drennan stick float of 1.2g and had to big number 4’s, one under the float and one above the hook length, with 6’s in the middle.
Feeding some maggot, and then swinging my float in and hoping the current and River would take it downstream…which it did! At first getting used to feeding the line right to keep a good connection with the float, but not holding it back unnaturally was tough, but I feel I eventually got the hang of this, and it became great fun. Especially while watching a Kingfisher race up and down in front of me, before having a rest on a branch, which, I managed to snap!
I’m sure the Kingfisher had better luck than me this day, as it did result in a blank, I did also have a bomb out with some lob worm on in hope or something. During the day in the weeds and margins, I did spot some Fish topping and jumping out, I think this may have been some breeding trout, however, not too sure, but was great to see.
Heading into Saturday, I was focused on not letting this weekend in Fishing all result in blanks, so I was determined to catch. However with the River still very murky and muddy, and a lot of rubbish flowing through, I did have my work cut out for a bite.
There was some clear water the other side, so tried to chuck my feeder there, however with the rubbish flowing through and hitting my line bite detection became impossible, so I had to try and go closer, opting for just a small underarm chuck, to hopefully miss a lot of the debris, I started to have some knocks, which looked more like Fish, rather than rubbish hitting the line.
And it wasn’t long until I was into a decent little Roach, and what followed was a good flow of decent size Roach, providing great fun, I did lose a few sadly which felt a bit better, however ended up with between 10-15 decent Roach in a few hours.
I would’ve loved to stay, however an issue with urban fishing is having a wee! And today it cut my stay shorter! Overall, a good session, and now look forward to Monday’s piking session! With hopefully one or two showing, but will be a good day out with my fellow bloggers! Tune in next Saturday to find out how I got on piking!
With us now firmly in December, Winter fishing is now upon us, cold rainy days and nights, frosty mornings. This type of weather separates Fishermen, with the smart who stay in and warm, and the mental who go out and freeze! However, winter fishing isn’t all bad. It offers a change in fishing, different species in a way, more rewarding. Suddenly the small overgrown Rivers, especially ours in Essex, become accessible and fishable. And the Chub in them always happy to have a munch. The predators in the rivers also come into a good season to catch them, Perch and Pike on Lures or dead baiting too. However, other species are still around to be caught, just with maybe a tweak of bait and approach.
When winter comes bread becomes one of my main baits, especially using a bread punch, this is great for silvers, in both rivers and lakes. Blitzed bread and bread punch! Can be deadly for Roach and Bream.
In fact, fishing with bread is great for Chub as well, in recent times I have had great success fishing bread on Rivers.
A few Fish all caught on bread
Bread is for me, the best Chub bait, however that’s just my opinion.
I do also size down my tackle in the winter, lighter line and smaller hooks. 6lb line normally fairs me well on our small Essex Rivers, along with size 16 hooks.
When fishing Rivers in winter, it’s really important to remember to be careful, Rivers will flood and burst their banks a lot in winter, it’s important not to fish a river in this state, it can be incredibly dangerous to do. Especially if you aren’t sure where you are putting your feet, as the banks can be worn away during flood.
Of course, the Carp will still feed in the Winter too, and catching them on natural baits like maggot and worm can be a killer for them. However, I have found Carp Fishing in the winter you can never rule of the power of fishing corn on the bomb.
Well, you may ask, Bailey, how did you get on today? Well, I left the house aiming for the River! However, it was rather flooded! I maybe should’ve took this as a hint to go home and get warm again, however I headed to a lake I am a member of, not very hopeful with the amount of cold rain and the mornings frost!
Clearly, the Fish didn’t fancy the weather either…
Well, today with my isolation over, a session Fishing was needed no matter how long the session, even with this brief 2 hour session on the River. I headed back to where I caught that warrior 2lb Roach before I had to self isolate and this time went to use the Pole, in hope I could get the shoal of Roach going again.
I setup with a top kit, short 3 and then 3 further sections with a butt on the end. Float wise today I opted for a yellow tip 1.25g rugby ball float with a wire stem, for some extra stability in the water, since I was fishing about 9ft deep, looking back, I think this affected my presentation, the River had a very strong flow on it today and it made it hard to keep it steady.
I started by feeding blitzed bread, maggot and dead maggot, feeding a bit upstream so that the flow would hopefully let the bait settle on the bottom where I was fishing. For hook bait I swapped between maggot and bread punch, but opted for to start on maggot.
It didn’t take too long before I got a bite and was into a decent Roach of a few oz, from rotating my hook baits, I eventually found bread punch led to quicker bites, however was missing a lot of them, so imagined I didn’t quite have the quality of Fish I had in front of me last time. Instead had a shoal of smaller Roach more pecking at my bite. I do think my presentation maybe affected my chances of a bigger Fish too sadly.
As the day went on I had a slow steady flow of a few Roach, and with short sessions, It isn’t long before it’s time to go. Wish I could’ve stayed longer but sometimes it’s just the way it goes. But was great to get out and on a few Fish.
Not a bad bag of Roach for 2 hours Fishing on a River, maybe about 2lb (I’m not great at judging weight though!). Just goes to show those big Roach aren’t always there. However I am slowly fine tuning my method on catching them, hopefully I can do this more consistently soon as they are a joy to catch!
Well, unfortunately due to Covid getting a bit closer than I would hope, I have to self isolate! So it means I can’t get Fishing this weekend! Lucky I have the memory of last weekend firm in my head, and that lovely 2lb Roach! So a different blog from me, hopefully you enjoy!
As a lot of my regular readers will know, I do spend a lot of time on the Rivers. I am no where near the best River Angler, and have a lot to learn to, as Anglers we can always keep learning and improving our techniques, setups and general fishing skills. However I do get asked a bit on how I approach Rivers, from my setup, bait to where I chose to Fish on the Rivers. So, I thought I would share my take on it, if you have any tips for myself to improve of course drop a comment or send me a message! We are all here to learn and improve together!
Typically when River Fishing my main method is fishing a simple setup on the tip, of course I do trot, and I may go through that in a later blog, however today we will focus on my tip setup. I use a variety of Rods, however my main Rod now is the Darrent Valley 8ft Quiver Rod, as it offers a soft quiver, and a heavier tip which can be used for float fishing too. However I find the soft quiver is great for all River species, and will handle the bigger Fish too, and if you are Fishing somewhere with bigger Fish you can use the heavier tip.
Once I have got the line through the eyes of the Rod, I will slide onto the line a clip bead. This bead gives me the ability to quickly change whether I am using a cage feeder or weight, and change between different size weights and different size cage feeders without having to re-rig.
Once that is on, I will tie on my quick change bead, to change between hook lengths, it also will keep the distance between the hook and the feeder/weight – I use a loop knot to attach this
Quick change bead attached to the line
I then attached my hook length to the bead and seal it, typically I will use a 15′ inch hook length or longer when fishing rivers, to ensure a large space between weight and hook. The hook size will generally be a size 16 personally for me.
Most of the time I will use a small flat weight, unless the flow of the River is very strong I won’t use anything over 10g, if you can find smaller weights use them. With Rivers you want to make minimal disturbance on the water, I will even on a swivel clip to the bead some line with just a few SSG shots on to weigh the line down If I can get away with it. I have also found some great 3.5g small bombs which will be perfect too.
Whenever I River fish I always make sure I have two baits on me. Bread and Worms. In my opinion these are always the must have baits when you are on a River. You will also have the option to change if something isn’t working.
I know have a wormery where I keep a mix of Dendras and Lob’s. The Dendras are breeding so I should have a good supply, however getting into the River season, I will bulk buy Lobs to then store in the wormery to save me buying any. It doesn’t have to be anything special, I use the willys worm keeper kit and they have done fantastic in, and love having old tea bags and veg!
In terms of Bread, I will buy a cheap bag of Asda (Other brands of bread are available) own bread for about 50p, and then put it all in the blender and blend till its a fine groundbait. This is perfect to feed in a cage feeder or in balls. For hookbait I do prefer a better quality bread, and I tend to go for warburton white toastie bread, in the wax type bag.
When I get to the River, I will have a quick walk up a small bit of the stretch and possibly pre feed some of my blitzed bread, in likely looking spots, just to attract the Fish and get them feeding confidently. I will only ever really spend about 20-30 minutes in one swim, if there is a Fish there, you should know by then.
I know what you are probably asking, what is a “likely looking spot”. Essentially I take this as anywhere I think a Chub or other Fish would be, somewhere with some depth or a feature. Feature’s can be something like a stream coming into the main river, chub love little off streams! Overhanging trees and bushes, bends in the River, where it may get deeper, Chub will also sit under rafts of weed in the River too.
A few of the likely looking swims on some of the Rivers I have Fished!
I may not have caught the biggest Chub, however from these small streams I do catch a lot of Chub around the 1lb mark. I’m sure bigger will come, but making sure you Fish in the right place and catch is always the first issue!
Some Chub, big-ish and small, as well as some chunky Perch all caught using this method!
Well, sorry for the change in blogs, and I hope you enjoyed, it’s been a tough write, thinking about Fishing while being locked up at home! Sad to miss a Fishing day, but hopefully not long till I am back Fishing! Hope this has maybe helped or taught some of you something and hopefully you can catch some Fish using this.
Today I headed to a stretch of the River Chelmer (I guess it is technically the River Can) I have fished before, and didn’t have much luck, apart from losing a good Tench, I know there is good fish (Especially a shoal of good Roach!) there so went back with the idea of float fishing with some maggot and bread. The Budget Angler had made me up some lovely trotting floats which I was eager to use and get a few Fish on, so thought this could be perfect!
Floats made by the Budget Angler!
The swim looked great, and had already seen plenty of fish topping and surfacing so was hopeful for a few Fish, while I was setting up my float rig and shotting it up with a load of number 6’s I was throwing in balls of blitzed bread and some offerings of maggot to try and get the fish feeding and competing in front of me. However the swans did take this as an opening for them!
The day started well, with quick bites coming from some small yet chunky Roach. Making great sport on the light Tackle Box 8ft quiver rod, but using the tip for float fishing, these small roach made some great sport!
Some of the smaller Roach
In the mix of these lovely Roach where a few Dace too, including quite a nice size one! So was very happy with that!
The flood of bites eventually came to a stop, with impending rain coming and a girlfriend who very much didn’t want to be there, I decided to have a final 30 minutes or so on the tip, I took off the float, changed to the softer quiver tip and went on the bomb in search of maybe a few better fish on the deck. Using just a 10g flat bomb, 15inch hook length and some bread flake. And within seconds, my change of tactics was rewarded with certainly my new PB Roach!
Lovely Roach of around 1lb
After landing this, I was eager to get my rod back in and see if there was any others of this size, using bread again, I cast in eagerly, and then started packing up a few of the other bits. Having to wait a bit longer this time, the tip was still, until I noticed a few small knocks, and then still again, after a few minutes, the tip went round, after striking in, I could tell this was a much better fish, in fact, it started taking some line, I was debating what was on the end of my line, with what seemed a very good Fish, I wondered if it was a very out of season Tench maybe, or a small Chub, however when it surfaced, my heart was in my mouth, I couldn’t believe what I saw, by far, the biggest Roach I have seen in person and when the net slipped under it, I was ecstatic! An unbelievable warrior of a Roach!
Incredible Roach of around 2lb!
I could not believe this Roach, a lovely Fish, not sure if I will be able to top, but what a session having 2 new PB Roach and one of them being an incredible Fish. I admit, I need to invest in some digital scales, however with the scales taking the net into consideration, the scales where shaking around the 2lb mark. I know I could stay and catch a few more incredible Roach maybe, and maybe even bigger, however with a cold and hungry partner with me, it was time to head back after I promised it was the last cast, and will be left to think what could’ve been! However this was a great 3 hours fishing on the River, and a very memorable one!