Lee Kerry On Blood Worm Tactics

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Lee Kerry is arguably one of the finest bloodworm and joker anglers in the country right now, with regular success on natural venues. Here’s how he gets the best from these classic baits. 

When I visit angling shows or meet people on the bank, virtually every time a question about bloodworm fishing pops up. Bloodworm and joker is very under-used, but an extremely effective bait that can increase your catches massively on the right venue. Someone new to bloodworm fishing may be put off by technical jargon but in reality – it’s easy!

Precision Is Key

I’ll run through the tackle and rig I use for fishing with bloodworm. Most of the matches I fish with bloodworm are CIPS International rules matches, limiting me to 13 metres on the pole. With this in mind I’ll start fishing at 12 metres, allowing me a bit of extra pole length should the fish back off. The elastic I use is No.5 Original Slip elastic through a Match Top three of my GiS Absolute 14 Pole, this is soft enough to balance with the light lines and small fish that are associated with bloodworm fishing.

My main line is made from 0.10mm Reflo Power; it’s strong to help if I should hook a big fish. My float choice is a PB Silver 5, for water that is 6-7ft deep I’ll use anything from 0.5gr to 0.75gr. These sensitive floats are ideal for this type of fishing, their slim body and painted fibre bristle are extremely sensitive, a necessity when using these delicate baits. This goes down to a bulk of No.8 shot that are placed 18 inches from the hook. Underneath the bulk shot are two No.9 droppers to give the bait a more natural fall near the bottom. I use a 6 inch hooklink of 0.07mm Precision Power. This line is extremely supple, great for making the bait look more natural in the water. It’s mega accurate. My hook choice is a size 22 PR 311 for single bloodworm or when I have to use two I’ll step up to a size 20. This fine wire, super sharp hook is ideal for fishing with bloodworm without damaging the delicate hookbaits.

Accuracy Pays

A Cupping Kit that is cut back to the same length as you top-kits is essential. Bloodworm fishing is all based around an initial feed; sometimes the need to top-up a swim is not necessary, so your initial feed must be accurate. Pick a far bank marker, so you know what to fish against for the duration of the day. If you need to top-up the swim as the day goes on reach for the cupping kit, this way you’ll keep the fish concentrated in your swim.

Preparing your bait is an important part of fishing with bloodworm and joker, and there are various ways that you can introduce the feed into your swim. The easiest way is to feed raw joker, simply open the paper your joker is supplied in, place some in a Kup Kit and pot it in. This is good for shallow venues. If there is a bit of tow on the water, as there can be on many canals, a small amount of binder will hold the joker in a ball until it reaches the bottom.

Leam is another way to introduce joker. Damp leam gives you the advantage of laying down a bed of bait onto the bottom without having to feeding anything other than joker. Having deposited the joker in the leam, it takes longer for it to be eaten, in theory making your swim last for longer before topping up! The consistency of the leam should be damp but crumbly, similar to groundbait. If the leam is too dry, add water with an atomiser until you reach the right consistency.

The great thing about leam is that it can hold anything from a pinch of joker, or even be packed full to really give the fish some feed. Molehill soil can also be used as a carrier for joker in the same way as leam. Finely riddled soil is a good option on clearer venues.

Balls of attraction

The final way to feed your joker is in groundbait. Feeding groundbait and joker is very effective, and especially good when the weather is mild and the water is coloured. When feeding both groundbait and joker, you are effectively giving the fish more feed when using groundbait. This can hold the fish in your peg for longer, allowing you to catch for longer. The downside is that if the fish are not up for feeding much, you could over feed them before you’ve caught many! This is where feeding a couple of swims can really make a difference on the day. 

A fine groundbait such as Sonubaits Silver Crush is great for using with bloodworm, whether fishing on a small canal or big open lake. With only fine particles the fish won’t fill themselves up as quick and bigger particles are less likely to float off, taking the fish with them. Once you’ve mixed the groundbait it’s simply a case of adding your chosen amount of joker and cupping them into your swim. 

Simple tips, but things you can all try in your own fishing. Good luck, and enjoy the results!