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Bailey Payne

My Approach to Rivers

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!

The Setup:

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.

Clip Bead

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

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.

The Bait:

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.

The River:

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.

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!

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.

Tight Lines!

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