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Wednesday, 17 April 2013 15:55

Dutch Float on the Pole

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Pole fishing techniques once again came in very handy on a day when the fish were wary and hesitant to pick up the bait. It was a cool but sunny day at Loskop Dam, where we were schratching around for a few kurper and muddies. The carp were wary and did not want to bite with the vigour that we are used to at this venue. We were fishing off the boat in about 4 meters depth when I decided to rather give it a go on the pole, with remarkable success.

The six meter telescopic pole is quite a tough piece of equipment and can withstand some beating in any application. With the number one section removed, and a bush straight on the number two section, it can take up to a no 19 elastic without a problem. Elasticating through the top two (no 2&3) sections is more than adequate and a number 15 hollow can handle a variety of fish with ease. From the boat, the telescopic function is brilliant and one does not get tied up with sections lying all over the floor, ready to be stepped on - simply slide the pole inside to shorten the length. It is important to fish to hand with one section collapsed, in order to have enough tension when playing a fish.

Fishing to hand with a long telescopic pole, is made much easier if the float, and hence the weight on the line, is on the heavier side. It makes it much easier to swing it in and control the accuracy of placement. Using a float of 10g thus gives the same weight on the line to swing it in with, and adequate weight to get it down quickly in 4-5m of water. But, having the weight down on the line and the float right up the line to the set depth, always creates a bit of unbalance when swinging out, and a solution for this problem would thus help greatly.

The dutch float can operate in various ways and different presentations can be achieved. In this case, the dutch float is the perfect solution, as it slides down the line to the bulk of the weight, making the swing-out and handling very comforable and accurate. The float and weight forms a unity which makes handling very easy, especially when space is a challenge.

Furthermore, once the line is swung out, the weight will take the line down, while running through the float until the stopper knot hits the top eye of the float. Shotting the float very accurately, still gives a very sensitive presentation, and the only bouyancy that has to be overcome when the fish bites, is that of the bristle. This set-up also greatly improves presentation as it allows the line to settle further with more stability and accuracy.

Simply slide the line through both eyes of the float, inser a small bead above the float and make a stop knot above that. Proceed to shot the rig as normal, using an olivette and larger shots to create the bulk, with a few droppers to get the terminal tackle down.

It does not really matter whether you are on a boat, a jetty, the river bank or a platform in the shallows of Vaal Dam, the principles stay the same. Firstly and foremostly it is all in the feeding. The importance of feeding can never be stessed enough, and it is NOT necessarily that more is better!

The amount of feed always plays a significant role and as much as it must be enough, it surely should not be too much. Composition of the feed is also important and particles are vitally important. I always like to refer to groundbait as a food carrier or transporter. The standard maize based popcorn type feeds available locally, are great in drawing the fish in, but leave very little to eat for the fish. Topping up the menu with particles or food such as corn, hemp worms, maggots or peas will keep the fish there and get them feeding with rythm.

Rythm is required to start bagging, and basically means there is enough feed in the area to constantly draw new fish into the swim, and a constant flow of bait onto the spot to keep the fish eating. Too much will cause them to neglect your hookbait, whereas too little will not keep them interested and they will leave.

This session was kicked off by about ten large groundbait balls, five large balls of cooked mealie rice and a tin of corn. As this was a fresh spot, it took about an hour for the small yellows to come onto the spot, and another hour went past before the carp arrived. During the day it required about five small balls of groundbait and a tin of corn per hour, to keep them feeding.­­­

Significant effort must always be put into understanding how they feed and where the feed is moving towards. Any body of water is always subjected to currents which keep changing. The finer particles and cloud of feed is drawn by the currents, causing the bulk of the feeding fish to be on a spot relative to where you are feeding, but not necessarily exactly on top of your spot.

Allow the currents to guide you, and work your bait through your swim on different paths. You will soon find the spot where the pick-up rate is significantly faster than any other spot in your swim. This is the place to concentrate on, but not to stick to forever. The currents change constantly, hence it requires the angler to think constantly. Sometimes it just flows stronger or softer, requiring only a depth setting or a shotting pattern change. The principle is: stronger currents - more overdepth; softer current or still water - less overdepth.

In this case, the fish wanted the line to be right down, laying at least 10cm of line on the bottom. Alternating between holding back and letting go gave very good results. The carp tended to pick it up the moment you let go. Some yellows took the bait on the drop or a few seconds after stabilising.


Read 1839 times Last modified on Wednesday, 22 May 2013 10:19

Werner manages the process flow, takes care of Photography, Match Angling and Feeder Fishing technical editing. He is also a veteran Protea angler and National angling coach.   

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