Steve Hemingray has had some great results at Packington Fisheries lately, so we got the England star to pass on some tips for getting the most out of this venue and others like it.
While I’ve been patiently waiting for the river season to start I’ve been spending my recent weeks fishing the Sunday opens at Packington Fishery.
I have been concentrating on Molands Lake at this Warwickshire venue. This 60-peg lake averages 30m to 35m wide and although it’s dominated by F1s it also holds lots of carp, tench, bream and crucians, so it lends itself to a variety of tactics. Once I’d got to grips with the methods and bait required I went on to record two wins, two 2nds and a 3rd with weights between 45lb and 74lb in about seven matches.
I realised quite quickly that although you can catch some fish in the open water, it was mainly time wasted and the best lines were within 2m of the far bank and within 2m of the near bank, where it was less than 3ft deep.
The fishing on Molands is usually very slow starting and with this in mind it’s usually a case of feed the short lines and start towards the far bank. Generally, I spend the first two hours fishing across, feeding either 6mm or 8mm pellets, depending on wind direction and width. I feed from 2m off to tight up to the far bank and alternate between a bomb or pellet waggler, with the aim of picking off odd carp and F1s in the first two hours while carefully feeding close in lines all the time.
For my bomb fishing I use an Acolyte Ultra 10ft Feeder, 8lb Specimen Plus main line to a ready tied size 14 Carp Bandits on 0.16mm line, with either 6mm or 8mm pellet as hook bait. On the waggler I use a 13ft Acolyte Plus to 4lb Specimen Plus main line with a 5g Loaded Pellet Waggler to a size 16 ready tied Carp Bandits on 0.15mm line, again with either 6mm or 8mm hook bait.
After the first two hours, depending on my catch rate, I will start to have the odd look on the short pole lines, alternating the pellet waggler and bomb line if necessary.
One thing I have learnt on my early visits is to set up two rigs for this; one to be fished in about 2.5ft of water, maybe 1m from the bank, and another about 8in shallower to be fished closer to the bank. The reason being, when you initially start fishing you can catch some crucians, bream, tench and odd F1s in the slightly deeper water, but once the bigger F1s turn up in the latter stages of the match, it is much better to fish in the shallower water. Sometimes this can be as little as 1ft from the original starting spot but results in less liners and foul hookers.
For the pole lines I like to simply feed casters and chopped worm either side of me, preferably a few metres along the bank where the water will be more undisturbed. The tackle is usually green 6-8 Carp Bungee with AS3 floats of sizes 0.1g and 0.2g to 0.128mm Double Strength main line to a 0.12mm Supplex Fluorocarbon hooklength and a size 16 or 18 Silverfish Pellet hook. This tackle should cope with everything, big and small. Keep feeding the pole swim with small and regular amounts of bait and you should get a great last hour or more with quality F1s, silvers and maybe a bonus carp or two.
Hopefully, these tips will help you get the most from excellent mixed fisheries like this one!