Dynamite Baits

7 March, 2018 | Match & Coarse | Tips | Articles

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We have picked the brains of match fishing star Nick Speed to get his top tips on how to make the most of your swim when fishing rivers… From choosing the best baits to use for river fish like chub, barbel and roach to choosing the best groundbait mix for fast flowing rivers, Nick is here to help…

fishing for chub on the river swale

Nick with two recent River Swale chub

TIP 1:

During the colder months, choose baits that will target every species available. In my opinion maggots and hemp are always the most important part of my bait armoury as either fed together or individually they are the perfect choice to receive bites from all sizes and species of fish. If you want to use more selective individual baits to target the better fish such as chub and barbel, baits such as lobworm, luncheon meat, big pellets and steak can be devastating.

 

Frenzied Hemp a key river bait for all species

Hemp a key river bait according to Nick

TIP 2:

Ground bait choice is equally important, and when it comes to choosing the correct mix for river situations and target species I concentrate on two mixes. My first mix is what I would call my “base mix” for all situations, mixed equally a combination of Frenzied Hemp Match Black and Silver X River, is a brilliant all round mix. The Silver X River adds weight and density to the mix, which is especially good for fishing in deep water. When targeting skimmers, either on the pole or the feeder, I use the same mix as above but also add SwimStim Black to the mix, as this adds a mild scent of fishmeal to this attractive mix. This particular mix is extremely effective when the river has colour.

 

Two of Nick's top river groundbait mix. Silver X and Frenzied Hemp Black

Two of Nick’s top river groundbait mix. Silver X and Frenzied Hemp Black

 

TIP 3:

Especially when targeting roach, skimmers, and perch, it’s always best to give yourself a better chance of having a great days fishing by fishing as fine as possible. Small hooks and fine hook lengths will not only improve your bait presentation but also increase the chance of fooling the weary larger fish in your feeding zone, especially when the water clarity is high. I’ll often choose to fish as light as a 0.08 hooklength to a size 20/22 when maggot fishing.

 

TIP 4:

Spend time exploring your swim for deeper areas and key features of your peg that will naturally be holding spots for fish to shoal up and feel safe. During the winter months bankside cover for the fish is also equally important as a variation in swim depth, bushes/trees hanging over or even better in the water will be fish holding hotspots, and often this is where the larger fish will be found such as chub and barbel, for this reason solitary baits on the bomb will work wonders in this kind of environment.
marine halibut pellets for barbel fishing

Big pellets fished on the bomb work wonders for barbel and chub

TIP 5:

Keep your approach simple during the winter months on rivers, and for that reason I like to feed with two approaches. A positive line and a negative line. By doing this, it gives you the option to figure out what species are actually feeding. For example on the River Don which is a slow and deep river, I would feed a groundbait line on the pole with the intentions to fish maggots over the top, and then just past my groundbait line I will loose feed a maggot line. By doing this gives me a good reading on whether the fish want to settle over the groundbait or not. You will soon work out what fish you have in your peg.
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