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Tackling A New River... Justin Grapes

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Tackling A New River... Justin Grapes

There is always something special about trying to achieve your goals on a new venue to catch that fish or PB you have been after. In this blog, I will share a few hints and tips to try and help based on what I have learned from my own fishing. There has always been something special to me about fishing the flowing rivers, right from when I had my first season on the river Wensum till now.

The first thing that I find helps start things rolling on a new river is local knowledge – and to find out what you are actually fishing for! On most occasions you start to fish a particular river because it has a track record of the species you are fishing for. For example’s sake, let's say you’re fishing for chub. Chub can be difficult to track down, especially if you’re after the bigger fish, but with local knowledge to help it can make it all the easier. I'm not saying that you ask anglers the swim they caught their fish from or what bait they used as, for me at least, that would take away the achievement of the capture. However, if local knowledge can help you find a 200 yard holding area rather than a 2 mile stretch, you can target your efforts better (although, that’s not to say that them fish will stay in them areas all the time). I like to start a winter campaign in the late summer or autumn to find out where the clear areas are in the weed and to find a few areas where the fish are holding up. These holding areas will probably change over the winter months but I've found it to be a good place to start and, if you can catch from these swims, it gives you more confidence too.


Baiting wise, I usually keep to a minimum as I want the fish to be hungry for that quicker bite but sometimes if you can get a few spots going with mini boilies going in little and often. This can get you a bite from the bigger fish. Make sure that, if you do this, you bait these areas away from the hot spots that are always fished otherwise someone else might reap the benefits of all your hard work. Tackle wise, I often don't stray much from a fixed paternoster and enough shot just to hold position.

As I use bread flake and cheese paste mainly, I use either a size six or four strong hook. My mainline is normally 5lb Maxima but I use Preston Power Line in 4.12lb as a hooklink in the daytime as it is a clearer line. Chub can be spooky over anything in the water so this gives me a little extra confidence. I use an Advanta X5 Feeder Rod and a Korum 4000 Freespool Reel for my bottom fishing and a Daiwa Connoisseur 13/15' Float Rod and a Advanta Ikon Centrepin for my float fishing. New-River-4

If I'm fishing an area I haven’t fished before, I like to trot the long straights first, to locate fish, and then come back another time with the quiver tip and the big baits. Sometimes you just have to keep fishing in one swim for an hour then keep moving until you find fish. Keeping a mental note, or writing down where you have caught from, is a must because these areas will be holding areas and should keep producing fish. The other thing I like to do is to bait up swims that I'm going to fish along the stretch of river and then go back and fishing the first swim I baited. All the effort that you keep putting in will pay dividends in the end. And don't be afraid to change things if it's not working for you!

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