Fishing in half a year

This is a typical summer practice. Of course, at other times of the year it also happens to fish in half-waters, but mostly a few dozen centimeters from the bottom. In summer, fish feed clearly in two places.

In the half-waters they catch only small fish?

Not at all. You can easily catch a tench or a bream just a few dozen centimeters from the surface. This is generally an excellent technique and the bite often brings its result, since the mouth apparatus of these fish is directed downwards and in this case it is harder for them to spit out the bait than if they had taken it from the bottom.

In the morning and in the evening it stays at the bottom, but as soon as the sun begins to burn, the fish rises to the upper layers. The technique that Dave offers us is to fish at a depth of only 30 cm from the surface! The ideal conditions for such fishing are heat and light wind (on the day of our reporting with the conditions we were unlucky). Sometimes you can see that the fish is active in the surface layer (it jumps and splashes on the surface), but this does not happen very often.

But let the absence of such activity does not prevent you from catching in the upper layers: with the correct bait, you can be sure that sooner or later the fish will start to peck!

Opinion of Dave Vincent:  “Many fishermen are stubborn as sheep. They are stubbornly waiting for bites, widely pulling the nozzle along the bottom, while the fish calmly swims in the middle layers.

On fishing, I used to follow one old rule, the essence of which is as follows:

  • if the fish is not caught from the bottom, try to catch in half a year
  • if it is still not caught, try catching it with a feeder at a distance
  • if again there is not a single bite, try wagler at medium distance, from the bottom and in half-waters
  • if again there are no results, only one explanation remains: there really is no fish in this place. But as long as you have not tried everything, you can not say this!

All this is simple and obvious, but try to ask fishermen who caught nothing in a few hours of fishing if they tried to fish in half a year. And 9 out of 10 will answer you “no”, simply because they do not know how to catch in half-water! ”

What floats should be used for this type of fishing?

For fishing in half-waters it is necessary to use special floats. The keel must be very short, which reduces the risk of false bites when the fish drills water in the surface layer. Since the tooling has a reduced length, the float design should help reduce the risk of tangling the tooling. Dave uses floats of three different shapes.


This is the modern form of the old “Versailles”. It is equipped with a very short keel, and the antenna is the tip of the float. Even a precisely encircled dibber is clearly visible on the water, provided that there is no strong wind. In the presence of excitement, Dave uses a different model of

Dibber with antenna

This is exactly the same float as the previous one, but equipped with a plastic antenna.

Dave makes it himself as follows:

  • Squeeze the metal keel of a conventional dibber with pliers and carefully turn to detach it. Pierce them the body of the float, so your antenna will be located exactly in the center.
  • Put nylon antenna in the hole and fix it with glue.
  • Glue the keel into place (even if it protrudes slightly more than before to balance the weight of the antenna).

Balsa ball

Dave himself makes this very specific float, which he uses when the fish rises very close to the surface (20-30 cm). The fish cannot accidentally touch the float, as it does not have a keel. This is an ordinary balsa ball pierced through with a sturdy stainless steel rod, covered first with a white finish, and then with a layer of orange fluorescent paint. The float is mounted on a snap with two silicone cambric on either side of the ball.

What tooling to use?

The snap-ins that Dave catches in half the water are very simple. It never uses leads, as a connecting node can cause entanglement. Dave’s line is strong (0.15 mm) and ends with a hook No. 12-14 when fishing for corn, No. 16-18 when fishing for larva or caster.

Dave uses this coarse tooling at first glance simply because the fish that rises to the surface for food, somewhat looses vigilance. The fish does not have much time looking at the bait: either it swallows the prey or allows it to fall to the bottom. In addition, when fishing in the half-waters, you can often pick up large fish (for example, carp), and then a strong fishing line is simply necessary to resist the attempts of the fish to escape, all the more fierce that it simply does not expect such a turn of events.

Shipment is also used in the most simplified version. Dave loads the dibbers with two or three fractions №9 immediately below the keel of the float. He doesn’t load balsa balls at all, for them to be heavy enough is the weight of the hook with the snap. In any case, the technique of catching consists in constantly pulling the rig out of the water and lowering it back. It is useless to leave the nozzle in a fixed position for more than 5 seconds; the fish will grab the larva or the corn kernel only if the bait is moving.

Opinion of Dave Vincent:  “There is no need to do equipment more than 1.5 m long. To save space in my box, I wind three snap-ins on one reel. For this, the hook of the subsequent rig clings to the end loop of the previous one! ”

How to lure?

For this type of fishing there are two options for the development of events. The first and more classic is to start fishing from the bottom, then gradually make the fish rise higher to the surface. The second is suitable only on the hottest days, when the fish is already at an average depth, and we must first make it peck.

Option 1. Most often, Dave begins to catch from the bottom. First, he feeds several bait cups with bait or pellets and uses classic equipment. At the same time, he regularly feeds in bulk in large batches, approximately equal to the contents of a full slingshot pocket every 40 seconds. As soon as he decides that the fish has risen to the upper layers (the presence of false bites, when the fish touches the line, or numerous bites on the ascent), Dave immediately changes the equipment to catch near the surface. In the intermediate stages there is no need: in the summer, the fish stays either at the bottom or at the surface, and not in the middle 10-20 cm from the bottom. At the same time, Dave reduces portions of larvae or pellets for feeding in bulk. This is a very important point if you want to maintain some rivalry over food in fish. Following these rules you can easily keep the fish in your place. But remember, if for one reason or another you break, for example, for lunch, then you have to start all over again to get the fish back to the surface.

Option 2.  In the hottest days, the fish naturally swims near the surface in search of oxygenated water. In this case, Dave does not pre-feed, but immediately starts feeding in bulk on the principle of “little, but often.” For the effectiveness of this practice, it is necessary to be able to lure from a slingshot, without letting go of the rod.

Here is how Dave does it:

  1. Press the slingshot pocket to the handle of the fishing rod with your right hand
  2. Use your left hand to fill the pocket with bait.
  3. Take the slingshot by the handle with your left hand and pull it forward to pull the gum
  4. Focusing on the tip of the fishing rod, release the pocket. During the day you will have to perform this action hundreds of times, so it is important to get comfortable, so that all the necessary larvae are at your fingertips on the side table.

Opinion of Dave Vincent: “To make it convenient to lure with a slingshot, I came up with one device that allows me to place a box with larvae between the legs. This is a regular strap attached to the front of my seat, into which the hooks-holders of the box are inserted. ”

How do I hook up when fishing at the surface?

For Dave, the most important thing is to keep the lure as short as possible. On the day of our report, a rather strong wind was blowing, and Dave had to catch 40 cm overhang, but under ideal conditions, he shortens it to 15 cm! In this case, it is obvious that there is no need to hook, the fish sits on the hook almost by itself. Indeed, when the float is immersed in water, simply lift the bait, as if it were necessary to move the snap.

  • First, it is hard to resist, so as not to undercut, when the float abruptly goes under water, but believe me, after two or three tangles, you will quickly understand why this should not be done!

False bites.  When there are a lot of fish near the surface, and it fights among themselves, in order to grab the bait first, which constantly pours into the water, it touches the fishing line, causing numerous false bites. If you react by hooking to such a bite, then at best, you are threatened with tangling a snap, at worst – you can load some fish, and thus frighten the whole school. This is another reason to simply raise the bait on the bite.

 With such a short overhang, if you slash sharply and idly, you will inevitably confuse the fishing line with a washcloth around the end of the fishing rod.

Delicate nozzle. On the day of our report, Dave used soft pellets as a nozzle. You can lose such a delicate nozzle (dough, crumb of bread, etc.) during an idle cutting. So just lifting the bait will save both time and your strength.

Opinion of Dave Vincent:  “The so-called pellet-expander is an excellent soft tip. Do not forget that you lure solid pellets, which softens quickly in water. Over time, the fish begins to realize that the only hard pellets they come across are hooked and begins to beware of it. The “expander” is lighter than water, which reduces the weight of the hook: the descent of the nozzle in the water is smoother. Using hot water, you can quickly cook a pellet expander, but I prefer to soak it overnight in cold water. Before you attach it to the hook, gently squeeze the pellets to air out, and hook the hook from the side. And do not worry if the hook is completely covered with pellets. It is so soft that when hooking the hook is easily released. ”

How to disassemble the bait and generally manage the rig with such a short overhang and not to tangle the fishing line?

Great question. In contrast to what one would think, Dave does not like to pull a snap in the water to lower it to the right place. Not only because the small fish can lean on the nozzle at this moment, but also because a too fragile nozzle can get off the hook.

He uses a rather strange, but terribly effective technique. His equipment does not touch the water at all until it reaches the fishing spot. She swings from right to left while Dave pulls the bait. It supports this pendulum movement until the tooling is directly above the right place. Acting this way, in 4 hours of fishing, Dave didn’t have any tangles! This is clever!

What if bite subsides?

When fishing in half a year, the rhythm of a bite is rarely constant. Often you can quickly catch several pieces at once, and then suddenly the bite subsides. Then you can try the following:

  1. Try to catch at the same depth, but around the lured place. Move your rig one meter to the right or left, or deep down, attaching another whale.
  2. If you have a lot of false bites, reduce portions of bait for prikormlivaniya. Perhaps in the heat of fishing, you throw too much bait and the fish rose even closer to the surface and extremely excited. So you need a little temper her ardor.
  3. On the contrary, if the fish does not show the slightest sign of activity, without any hesitation, increase the rhythm of feeding. If the bait being tossed is too small, the fish may descend to the bottom or, more likely, leave the fishing ground altogether. So again begin to lure pockets full of pellets or larvae, and be prepared to reduce the dose as soon as the fish returns to your place.

Opinion of Dave Vincent:  “When fishing in the half-waters, you can often see small bubbles at the fishing spot. Most anglers think that these are carp, bream, or line digging at the bottom, but this rarely turns out to be true. In fact, these bubbles are released by the fish itself, sucking in food and filtering it through the gills, and then sharply pushing the water out. This is exactly what happened today: chains of bubbles were observed in my place for more than two hours, but they were produced by fish swimming only a few dozen centimeters from the surface of the water. ”

Is it hard to catch the surface if there are no signs of fish activity?

However strange it may be, you can fish one after another at a depth of only 30 cm and the fish will not splash and jump at the surface. The same thing, when you pick one of them up, you might think that the rest of the fish, panicking, will start jumping here and there. Nothing like this! It’s quite funny that the fish behaves very calmly, lazily swimming near the surface.

At the end of the fishing, when I asked Dave to pull his cage out of the water, I confess, I was extremely surprised at how much he caught fish, despite the strong wind. The species diversity of the fish caught is also surprising. Less than 50 cm from the surface, Dave caught a roach, as well as crucians, carps, bream, and even one tench! This is proof, if any evidence is needed at all, that catching in half a year is most effective in summer!

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