When Nigel Sharp started off his Spring campaign on Engy, targeting this generation’s Black Mirror – Baby Black – he was baiting and fishing an area which hadn’t been cleaned off by birdlife and tench, so fishing Chods was a better option because Engy is a fairly soft-ish bottom lake. In time, as he continued his baiting, he could start feeling the drops at distance, even though it was a relatively shallow lake, so he knew the areas were getting firmer. The birdlife, tench and silver fish were visiting regularly and he was deliberately baiting with visual stuff, such as boilies and particles to get them digging and firming up the areas.
After doing sixteen nights using Chods and banking just one fish, Nige thought he probably should have been catching more, so he decided to switch over to bottom baits, namely Stiff D-Rig. Normally when an area becomes firmer, there’s little point using a pop-up to hold your hook above the debris. ‘When fishing over a tight, mass baiting, the D-Rig is the one to use’, says Nigel. You can get bites on pop-ups but you’re better getting your hook bait down on the deck where they are feeding, which is why I use the D-Rig.
Switching to a loop
In the past, when constructing a D-Rig, Nigel has tied the hooklink directly onto the swivel end of a flexi-ring swivel using a Four-Turn Grinner Knot, however, last year he started experimenting using a Loop Knot. He’d seen a couple of other angler’s do it and they had been quite successful. He figured that if the rig landed on a silty bottom and the swivel end was being masked, it might force the hooklink to sit up 90-degrees, especially when combined with the weight of the hook bait, causing a halo effect. Whereas with a Figure-Of-Eight-Loop-Knot, it gives that little bit of extra movement to the rig particularly when combined with a buoyant topper on the hook bait to make it sink slower once the lead has hit the bottom.