26 June, 2018 |5 Comments
In his latest diary piece, Andy May reveals the secret tactic that’s been helping him bag up when fishing for skimmers on commercials…
Well, what a few weeks fishing its been. Coaching wise I don’t think I’ve ever caught as many fish with my customers….in fact it’s been hard work getting me off their gear as it’s been that good…ha-ha!
Cudmore fisheries and Partridge Lakes have both been phenomenal, along with the Old Hough which is only 10 minutes down the road from me. All manner of baits have been working too and none have been working as well as pellets for me, and in particular our new SwimStim Durable Hookers range.
Take the recent feature that I’ve just done at the brilliant Barston Lakes for example. Now I’ve fished this venue lots over the years and stumbled across a method of catching the skimmers a few years ago which involves using sloppy balls….cheeeeky! Basically, I feed groundbait through a small tosspot which is very, well, sloppy! The reason this works is due to the amount of silt at Barston, just the normal baits such as micros, maggots, casters etc all work great and get fish in the peg, but the skimmers just get too pre-occupied on them and start fizzing in the silt and it ends up looking like a jacuzzi resulting in line bites and foul-hookers.
How to mix sloppy groundbait
So, the all important groundbait, well, to be honest I don’t think there’s a better groundbait for this than Marine Halibut, I just add a sprinkling of F1 Sweet 2mm pellets and mix them from dry. Be careful when mixing not to mix it into a slop straight away as it will be a horrible mess and take ages to get right, instead mix it like you would a method mix just slightly over we it and leave for 15 to 20 minutes.
Once you return to the mix this is when you can keep pouring the water on until you have the mix just right. You will know it’s right if you can form a ball without it sticking to your fingers and the best thing to get the right sized ball is to have a tub of water too, just simply wet your fingers and then form the ball, roughly around grape size will be fine.
Now, onto the hook bait and I must say the Durables have caught me loads of fish as they just stay on the hook, they are especially good when you have lots of fish snarled up in your swim and on waters like Barston the skimmers come into your peg in big numbers so you will get false bites, but, with a Durable on you can give it a big-un on the strike and the bait stays on. By far the best hook bait at Barston was a 6mm F1 Sweet Durable, I tried a selection, but skimmers love a nice sweet fishy bait.
I’ve also had good success at Cudmore these past few weeks using the Amino Original version in 4mm. On the Suez Canal, the far bank is up to 16 metres away to get into the shallow water. The trouble with normal expanders at this distance is if your anything like me and get a little giddy on the strike your hook bait falls off, so you have to come alllll the wayyyy back, re-bait and ship in again! Errrr, not with these though, they stay on until you hook a fish. I really can’t recommend them highly enough, you have give them a go!