I have always been prone to a niggling feeling or two and I already have a niggling feeling that I have may have been over cooking my fishing on the lake a bit. By this I mean that I am wondering that my Dresden style bombardment of ground bait may be effecting the dynamic of my time on the lake.
Sure when I have a prolonged amount of time on the bank as I did on my last visit, a mass ground baiting is perfectly logical. Given time the new feature on the lakes desolate bottom will always attract fish. But there is no doubt in my mind that the initial disturbance sends any fish resident within quite a large area scampering.
So for the shorter evening sessions putting in any amount of bait seems a foolhardy waste. Yes they will more than likely get on it, but more than likely when I am at home supping a cup of tea ruing the blank. Thinking this has caused an early change of tack, though this experimental idea I will only apply to short sessions where I do not wish to clear the decks for the entire time I fish.
My love of the method ball is undoubted. Having that small concentrated patch of bait with my hook bait nestled right on the top like a tempting cherry to me is the pinnacle of accuracy. Even fishing over a large bed of bait as I have been, the method ball is a must. I always imagine a shoal of fish confidently moving from one pile of free bait to another filling there boots on free grub, when Bang! one of them pick the wrong one and my bite alarm shrieks shrilly before I strike. This in mind, instead of wasting bait again, I thought I would have a go at softly softly catchy fishy. Though only intending to use a small amount of bait I did opt to super charge it with fishy attractiveness by adding unimaginable amounts of fish meal, fish oil and other potent ingredients.
So the other night I put this into practise for a few hours and snuck back to the lake in the sheeting rain to try this experiment out and see what reaction I got.
The bank was deserted and quiet. Even the local wildfowl were absent on this warm wet evening. Upon opening my bait bucket the tangy fishy stench jumped right down my throat. There was no doubting the pungency of this stuff and hopefully the fish would think so too.
Although simple, my application of it was to be organised. One bait just off the marginal shelf where days before I had spotted the tell tale fizz of feeding tench last time. The second around mid range on the marker still clipped on my rod from the previous session and the third punched out as far as my rod would allow. Should any one rod get more attention than the others, then one by one the others would be carefully redistributed into that area.
Again the night passed quietly and through the low visibitly I did spot what I suspect were rolling bream on line for my middle rod but none of them found my bait, as stinky as it was.
It was the long range rod than finally sparked into life, but the bite never truly developed. It just beeped a few times dropped, then rose, then beeped. Even bream sooner or later make a bite indicator sing when they feel the searing sting of hook.
After hoovering over the rod for an age and checking the area for tufties I finally made the decision to lift into it and was rewarded with absolutely nothing. But once the rig hit my hand the problem was evident and very unlucky. When setting up I split a boilie in two and casually tossed into the bait bucket. Low and behold I had one boilie on the hook and half a boilie impaled on the hook masking the point from whatever picked it up. That was my only action over the short session and by dark, hunger had become the new psychological battle. Gutted to miss the only action of the night due to an avoidable mistake I made my way back through the damp woods. Though I feel that this was no gauge of how successful this tactic can be, and it certainly won't be the last chance I give it. I am beginning to wonder if the shorter evening sessions are going to be worth it especially having to fish at range. Maybe if the damn sun ever makes an appearance I might target one of the few lily beds in the shallow bay for a spot of classical lift float fishing on a sultry summer night.