Thinking on the water always pays off

The Englishman Peter Stone is considered to be the inventor of the "feel fishing" method with a light weight on the bottom. However, it turns out, that even masters can learn something new by the water.
When I am discussing with my friends about ground fishing with a bottom weight combination, I am the only one who consistently insists on saying, that you should hook with the slightest movement of the rod tip or the tip signaling a bite. Unfortunately, a clear statement, whether it is a take at the moment (when the fish fully takes the bait in its mouth), or just a sign of an interest in the bait (when the fish is just trying the bait) it's not easy at all. However, I am in this fortunate position, that thanks to many years of practice (I spent almost all my life by the water) Today I can almost perfectly distinguish between a bite that is "fit" for a jam from playing with a bait. In a classic catch, the rod tip almost always bends gently, while nibbling empty, when the fish grabs the bait in its mouth and spits it out immediately, The tip resonates violently and stops immediately.

Perfect bite

The ability to feel flawlessly, that the fish holds the bait firmly in its mouth makes it, that the ground angler, who possessed this art, it will always be more effective than colleagues with less experience.
Last December, I was fishing in a river near Oxford. It was bitterly cold, and a thin layer of ice was already forming at the shore. I was mainly focused on catching chub from the ground on luncheon cubes. My weight was so light, that it shifted immediately when it was taken. Because I was expecting very cautious take, I did not take my quivering tip out of my eyes for a second. The weather was windless, so I could clearly see every movement of the bite tip.
Suddenly the tip was bent, not too hard, but very smooth and decisive – taking perfect. After an extremely exciting fight, I was able to haul out a beautiful full-body carp 7 Kg. It was a huge surprise for me, because in this river it was rare for anyone to catch a carp, not to mention such a large fish. The effort to precisely balance the set paid off with a vengeance. Proud of my achievement, I decided to catch a few more carp, but the next three days of sitting by the water ended in failure.
I will only mention, that the tip of my rod has bent several times, twice, something was jerked, that it nearly snatched the stick from my hand. Unfortunately, not a single jam has been successful. I felt intuitively, that carp is interested in my breakfast luncheon, however, for incomprehensible reasons, they spit it out immediately after taking it into their mouths. I explained this to myself in two ways: or the breakfast luncheon gives the fish some suspicions, or a set, to which I fished was not sensitive enough. I decided to change both.

Meat bait

In such cold water, the only thing that could interest carp was meat bait. Since the breakfast luncheon did not suit them very well, I decided to fish with sausage dough and batter. The sausage itself sticks poorly on the hook, while the dough from it has the right consistency. I had a lot of confidence in the sausage dough, because for many years I have been successfully fishing for barbel and chub with them. I also prepared a delicate hair set. A weight made of several pellets, 4-centimeter plastic tube and a connecting ring (see picture) I installed pass-through, so that the weight of the "stick" could move freely along the main line. The trick was to select the mass of pellets in such a way, so that the water current does not carry the whole set from the selected place. Silicone tube (serving as a "buffer") on the main line and a sliding plastic stopper prevent the weight from slipping onto the leader with a loop.

The author's kit is simple and refined in detail. The "stick" sinker is made of two pellets, a piece of string taut, a plastic tube and a connecting ring. Two hairs clamped with a stopper firmly hold the bait (soft dough).

Soft leader

Leader (as short as possible, otherwise it gets tangled too often!) I prefer to use braided lines rather than monolithic lines. I consider, that the taking fish can hardly feel the soft silk thread of the braided leader, at most it seems to her, that it is a thread of algae growing on the bottom. I attach the hair from a thin monolithic line directly (with little modification) to the elbow of the hook number 6. I connect two protruding "Italian" mustaches with a plastic stopper (hauled out). As I already mentioned, I was going to fish with a batter and only two "hairs" guarantee such a soft bait as securely attached to the hook.
The next day in the evening it turned out, that my effort was not wasted. I had three bites and managed to take two of them. The full-body carp I caught had 5,5 and 13,5 Kg.
Of this , which I found later, a larger fish has been caught with a fishing rod before and released back into that little river, in which, apart from me, a few local fishermen were fishing.

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