One of the problems encountered when ledgering in ponds and rivers is positioning your hook bait on the bottom in close proximity to your ground bait. You have to allow for water flow in rivers or estimate the position of your bait on the lake bottom to ensure that your bait is snuggled up nice and close to your ground bait. This article is about coarse fishing with a swim feeder.
Coarse Anglers have thought about this problem for many years, and eventually came up with a simple, yet effective way of combining hook bait and ground bait. The answer was the swim feeder. The most basic is the open-ended swim feeder. lt is basically a short tube, usually made from plastic – around 40mm long and 20mm diameter, with both ends open.
A simple way of making one is to use a plastic 35mm film canister. Throw away the cap and cut away the base, finishing up with an open-ended tube. Attach a simple swivel to one end through a small drilled hole; You may require some lead strip to fix to the feeder to give you casting weight. You can also drill 5mm holes in the side of the tube. This helps dispersal of your ground bait in the water. Coarse fishing basic float kit.
The swim feeder is attached to your line (see sketch below) and you are ready to ledger! The idea of the swim feeder is to fill it with ground bait containing hook bait samples. Attach your hook bait and gently cast it into the water. Because of the position that the swim feeder is in relation to the hook, you will always guarantee that your hook bait is next to your ground bait.
lt is important to have your swim feeder on a separate length of line to your mainline. A four turn water knot is by far the most reliable way of connecting the two lines. The length of line that the swim feeder is attached to should be about 20cm long and your hook length around 80cm long. The sketch shows you the very simple method and layout of the swim feeder and hooks.
Casting to the same spot is quite easy. Use an overhead cast and line up with a marker on the far bank, such as a tree or bush. Cast towards the marker, let the tackle hit the water, wait for it to sink to the bottom and then flip over the bale arm on your reel and gently tighten.
Once the line is tight, slip a rubber band over the spool. This traps the remainder of the line under the rubber band. So the next time you cast, aim for the same spot on the other bank. The line will spill off the spool until it reaches the rubber band. The line stops peeling off and the swim feeder and hook bait have landed in the same spot as before. Nice and simple?
The ground bait you use should be a bit drier than normal so that the mix ‘explodes’ when settling in the water.
Always add a few samples of hook bait to entice the fish to pick up your hook bait.
Do try and make your own swim feeder. The original ones in the United Kingdom were made from the “better half’s” plastic hair rollers. Fix on a small swivel and you are away.
Swimfeeders are available through the course fishing club. However, we recommend that you approach your local fishing tackle supplier. Show him this article and ask if he can keep a few in stock for you.
Otaki Angling was established in November 2020 by Hutt Valley Coarse Fishing Club member, Mark Mees, with the goal of making high quality, value-for-money coarse, carp and match fishing tackle available to New Zealand anglers. You can get your Coarse, Carp and Match Fishing Tackle from Otaki Angling.