Originally published in English.


Today we are fishing a practise session on the river Great Ouse near Ely in Cambridgeshire. This is a pretty typical area of this big lowland river, which can respond to a number of different tactics. Today our job is to each fish a different tactic and see how the fish respond. Obviously, come match day, things can be very different, especially with the extra pressure more anglers puts on the venue, but this is a good opportunity for us to make some tweaks to our tactics and get it right on match day.

My job today is to concentrate on the pole line, trying to put together a net of silvers, and perhaps snare a bonus fish or two. I will also bait up a couple of other lines, more for the better, bonus fish, but let’s stick to talking about the pole line.

The river here is around 50 metres wide, with a distinct channel beyond the marginal shelf. Fortunately, there is a good depth at around eight metres, and the bottom is pretty level once we go beyond the ten metre mark, meaning I don’t need to fish too far out. This also gives me the opportunity to bait a couple of different lines at the start and, with a bit of luck, draw the fish in closer as the day progresses where I can catch them faster.

My opening gambit is to introduce six good-sized balls of groundbait at around 11 metres. This is a combination of Champion’s Feeder Black Roach and Champion’s Choice Canal. Into this I have put some dead pinkies, chopped worm and casters and have moulded the balls quite firmly, the aim to get them on the bottom before they break up. There are quite a lot of bleak and tiny rudd here, so I need my bait (and rig) to get down fast to avoid these.

Expect plenty of ’net‘ roach here.

I like a stable float because it gives more control on a typical windy day.

Use an olivette about 60cm from the hook to get the bait through the bleak that lurk near the surface.

The river channel is at a comfortable distance, giving me room to follow the fish out.

I use the awesome Sphere Zero G PT+ Pole.

My bonus fish line under this overhanging tree didn’t produce today.

"I want to have a nice concentrated area of bait that hopefully will draw the fish in."

I want to have a nice concentrated area of bait that hopefully will draw the fish in. These will probably mainly be roach, with a few rudd, skimmers and maybe a bonus fish thrown in for good measure.

As roach are my main target I will regularly feed a little hemp over the top of the groundbait. Hemp is less likely to bring the bleak in, and sinks quickly, so hopefully it will keep the roach interested. I will try hemp later in the day as if the roach switch on to it then I can expect a better stamp of fish on this hookbait.

If the bites slow down and I feel that the roach are drifting away I will top up the line with two more balls of groundbait, I’ll also play with what amounts of particles I add too as this can affect the stamp and catch rate. It can also be a good idea it rest a line for a while after topping up giving fish the chance to re-group and remain confident. In this way, I hope to ring out as many fish as I can over the space of five hours. With a second line at the same distance, plus a shorter hemp and caster line just for roach, I can mix it up and hopefully keep catching.

The swim is about ten feet deep, and I expect to catch the bulk of the fish hard on the bottom, so I have set up a positive rig that will get the bait down quickly. Also, the wind here tends to blow either up or down the river, so a reasonably heavy rig gives me much better control. I’m using a two gram float with a bulk olivette about two feet from the hook, and then three no.10 shot evenly spaced below this. The bulk will get the rig down quickly but the smallish droppers provide a slower fall in the killing zone – I can also bunch these up for an even more positive rig if it gets really good. I expect bites either in that bottom two feet as the float settles (or doesn’t), and then as I carefully work the rig once it has settled.

My rigs are made up on the excellent 0.12mm Cenex Classic Mono with a hooklength of 0.08mm diameter of the same to a size 19 hook. Light lines always mean more bites, but with skimmers bream and even the odd tench about 0.08mm will give me a chance without affecting my roach fishing.

It is a pretty typical Fenland day today. The wind is quite gusty downstream and the water quite clear. Even so, the bites have kept coming, only slowing down towards the end of the session. As expected, it has been a nice mix of fish, mainly roach, with the odd nice perch mixed in too. I did try a worm line for a better perch, or even a tench, but this has drawn a blank today. Oh well, next time!

It has been a really enjoyable and busy day. We have all learnt a few nuggets that will hopefully see us in good stead come our team match in a couple of weeks time on this venue. It has been interesting to see how the different tactics perform, with the pole line doing well.


Andrew ‘Mossy’ Moss

Rig control is important on a deep, windswept venue like this.

An initial bed of groundbait helps concentrate the fish. Top up if the bites slow down.

It has been an interesting and productive session.

Mossy’s Gear

Sphere Zero G F1+ Pole

Cenex Classic Line 0.12mm and 0.08mm

Size 19 hook

2 gram wire stemmed float

Olivette bulk with three no. 10 droppers

Mossy’s Bait

Champion’s Feeder Black Roach

Champion’s Choice Canal