At this time of year, finding the correct depth to fish at is very important – being as little as an inch overdepth or off bottom can produce only a handful of bites, whereas the angler who is bang on the money will catch more.
Plumbing accurately not only ensures that your bait is on the bottom, but also lets you know of any changes in contour to the swim such as shelves or deeper holes, which can be a magnet to fish.
Using a plummet properly will also highlight what the bottom of the lake is made up of – silt, gravel or mud. This will go a long way towards helping you decide your tactics on the day.
For pole fishing there’s only one size of plummet you’ll need, and that’s a heavy one! I use around 30g for enough weight to let me feel when the plummet has hit the bottom. Too light and you won’t get the feel and a true reading.
A heavy plummet will also sink into any silt or mud and you’ll know this when you lift the pole – the plummet will ‘stick’ slightly before being freed.
Accuracy at all times
Having reference points when plumbing the depth is vital, so you know that you are fishing the right spot. Don’t rush things – time spent plumbing up means more fish in the long run.
I will pick something such as a far-bank tree as a marker to line the pole up against. To ensure the distance is correct, hold the pole as you would when fishing.
Although the name of the game is to find the depth in one spot, it does no harm to drop in a foot or so either side of this area or just past it. There can be a change in depth just inches away from your starting point and this change, especially if it is deeper, can be home to more fish on harder days.
On the waggler
Finding the depth on the waggler is different to the pole because you won’t have the pole directly above the float. It is still possible to get a very accurate reading, but I don’t use a standard large plummet.
Instead, I pinch a large SSG or double SSG shot on the hook and cast out, allowing up to 20 or 30 seconds for the angle of the line from rod to float to be taken into account. I then add an inch at a time to the depth until I can see the float tip and then begin to work backwards by a centimetre at a time until I have dead depth.
In the market for a new feeder rod and have no idea where to start? Then make sure you read this. We've gone to angling legend Tommy Pickering to help you figure out what feeder rod will be the best for you. With there being so many feeder rods out on the market at the moment it may be difficult to know what to look for especially with there being so many different sizes and weights around. We recently put together a buyers guide to feeder rods which you can check out here.
Typically measuring between 8ft and 10ft, these rods are very soft in action and designed for fishing with light lines and small hooks on rivers and lakes. However, they also make superb rods for winter work on commercials for carp or for all-round F1 fishing. The softer nature means you can’t power a cast a long way but with a bomb or on a commercial fishery, you don’t need to. I’d say 25 yards is reachable.
Most light feeder rods are around 10ft and this gives you a little more reach for going further, say up to 35 or 40 yards. You’ll rarely see these used on rivers or natural lakes for bream and roach but they are popular on commercial fisheries for casting to islands or far bank margins and they tend to have a little more power than a bomb rod for catching small carp and F1s.
This is your typical feeder rod of 11ft to 12ft and can do everything you ask of it, from lobbing an open-end feeder 50 yards for bream, pointing it up in the air on a river and for catching a bigger stamp of carp. For big fish work I’d look at a power version of the rod as it will be stronger and make landing carp easier.
The big boys of the range that you often see being used on bream venues such as Ferry Meadows and Barston Lakes. A heavy feeder rod can be up to 14ft long to help you throw well over 80 yards. They’re also what you need for tackling powerful rivers with heavy feeders.
Why try Drop Shotting?
If you haven’t already tried drop shotting, chances are you know someone who has! This style of lure fishing for perch is a tactic that’s sweeping through the fishing world quicker than a brush fire.
Drop shotting or light lure fishing for perch is active, dynamic, easy to master, great fun and best of all, you need a minimum amount of tackle to enjoy its rewards. Its also great in winter when perhaps you only get a few hours to go fishing at short notice.
Unlike other forms of angling with drop shotting all you need is a small, very light rod and reel, a pocket full of terminal bits and a few tiny lures. Kit you can keep in the back of your car!
Drop shotting or light lure fishing for perch is active, dynamic, easy to master, great fun and best of all, you need a minimum amount of tackle to enjoy its rewards. Its also great in winter when perhaps you only get a few hours to go fishing at short notice.
Venues like canals are ideal for trying out this deadly tactics but it also works on stillwaters and rivers too. Not sure where to go? Try our recommended venues
What is drop shotting?
Drop shot fishing offers lure anglers a highly effective way of targeting smaller predatory species such as perch, zander and pike.
Unlike traditional lure and plug fishing, where a plastic or rubber bait is attached to the end of a wire trace before being cast and retrieved, dropshotting sees the lure being presented very differently. As it is primarily a tool for catching perch, the leader is a length of fluorocarbon, with the hook being tied around 12 to 20 inches up the line.
The casting weight comes in the shape of a special dropshot lead that is attached to the end of this fluorocarbon leader. The hook is then ‘baited’ with a 1in-3in rubber lure and the rig is cast.
Rod: There are many dedicated dropshot rods on the market. They have a stiff mid-to-butt section, for setting the hook in to the very bony mouths of predators, while the tip is very light. This allows you to impart the all-important action into the lure. Lure rods are weight measured. For drop-shotting a 0-15 gram model is ideal.
Reel: Becuase you are holding the rod in your hand for long periods a small light reel is essential. Most tackle companies cater for this with tiny reels in the 1000 to 2500 size range.
Line: A thin 0.06 to 0.10mm braid is ideal for drop shotting. With zero stretch it allows the angler to easily impart the movement on the lure and youll feel the often subtle perch bites more readily. It also casts better than mono.
Leader: As described earlier a flourocarbon leader is great for drop shotting. Around 2ft in length is enough. This is tied to the braid by knot or to a micro swivel. The breaking strain is determined by the venue you are fishing and the size of fish expected. A good starting point is 6lb.
Hooks: Drop shot hooks have a unique shape so that the lure will sit horizontally in the water, at right angles to the leader. The are also fairly fine wired but larger in size than ordinary match hooks although some lure anglers like to use match fishing hooks as small as a size 14.
Weights: The actual dropshot is usually either a ball or a long pencil shape. The ball, being denser, enables you to ‘feel’ the lure easier. The pencil weights are generally used where it is snaggy, weedy or rocky. Use the lightest weight you can as you’ll feel the bites much better. A general rule is you use 1g per one foot of water on stillwaters and canals, 2g-3g per foot on rivers, depending on strength of flow. All dropshot weights have a pinched swivel, which enables the weight to be quickly and easily moved up and down the leader, which adjusts how far off bottom the lure will fish.
Lures: The actual lure is what elicits the bite. The number now on the market is legion, but the one element they have in common is they are all small, up to 3in maximum, with most being between one-inch and two. Tail shape – whether pin, paddle or curly, and colour – can all affect the day. The type of tail gives different forms and strengths of vibration in the water, while colour-wise, a guidline to follow is bright in coloured water, muted in clear. Always carry plenty of different lures, changing them regularly until you find one that works better on the day.
Other kit: A small landing net is essential as is an unhooking mat as often you will be fishing on concrete banks on urban canals. Items like forceps in case you catch a pike and scissors are also handy. Dont forget some scales in case you hook a monster!
Tie the rig
The best way to attach the hook is to use a palomar knot. this ensures that the hook also sits at 90-degrees to the leader. The quite often have either an out turned eye or a straight eye again to exaggerate this.
How to Drop Shot
The idea is that once the rig is in the water and the weight is on the bottom, the angler is able to impart movement into the tiny lure with delicate flicks of the rod tip working it in any area for as long as he chooses.
The trick is to not retrieve the lure like you would a spinner when drop shotting. Instead keep the weight on the bottom and move the lure gently to induce a take. The benefit of this is that it allows you to lure fish in really tight areas or tight up to feature where predators like to hide.
The special weights, which can be found at most good tackle shops or online, allow you to move them anywhere underneath the lure in order to adjust the depth at which the lure sits. A good place to start is around 6 - 8 inches from the bottom.
Where to fish
Canals: Your local cut is ideal for drop shotting. They are full of features such as locks and marinas and these are the places to look for. Most predators like to sit very close to boats and the bank itself so target these when fishing.
Rivers: Slow moving rivers like the Thames, Soar and Weaver are ideal for drop shotting. You may need to take heavier weights to combat the flow. Slack areas, lock cuttings and islands re all hotspots.
Stillwaters: Its work checking your local commercials as some allow drop-shotting in winter. Other stillwaters such as park lakes are good and you never know what might be lurking in specimen carp pits too. Look for drop-offs and features like overhanging trees.
Check out this page for a list of top drop shotting waters near you.
Drop shotting, light lure fishing, jigging or street fishing whatever name you wish to call it, this style of fishing is as exciting as angling gets.
From catching big perch and zander on urban canals to wrestling with pike and chub on small rivers, light lure fishing or drop shotting is a great option especially during the cooler months when species like carp go into hibernation.
If you're not sure how to fish the method read our guide here..
Need inspiration on where to go drop shotting/lure fishing? Try one of our venues…..
Beverley Canal, Beverley, E Yorks
The boatyard at Beverley is a winter hotspot which contains pike perch and odd zander.
Contact: Hull DAA, 07976 779983
Prices: £3 on the bank, Hull DAA
Huddersfield Broad Canal, Huddersfield, W Yorks
With old mill houses and railway lines you don’t get much more urban than this but the fishing here is excellent with a huge head of jack pike and big perch to go at.
Contact: Chris Roberts Fishing Tackle 01484 545032
Prices: £3.50 from Chris Roberts Fishing Tackle, Mirfield AC
Leeds & Liverpool Canal, Wigan, Lancs
The inner city section around the DW stadium is full of bream meaning predators will not be far away.
Contact: Harry's Fishing Tackle, 01942 728532
Prices: £2 on the bank, Wigan DAA
Rochdale Canal, Chadderton, Oldham, Lancs
The Broadgate Length through Chadderton Industrial estate is a popular match venue which also contains plenty of predators.
Contact: Heywood DAS, 07905 906261
Prices: £3 on the bank, Heywood DAA
Salford Quays, Manchester
Now under the control of Salford Friendly Anglers the Quays are renowned for their quality fish and numerous lure fishing competitions are held on it each winter.
Prices: Free fishing, anglers must join Salford Friendly Anglers, Contact: Salford Friendly Anglers, 07985 733969, Sat Nav: M50 3AZ
Shropshire Union Canal, Chester, Cheshire
The L-Shaped Basin is a wide section of canal in the centre of Chester offering typical canal species including big stripeys.
Contact: Chester Tackle Locker, 01244 345069
Prices: Part of the £20 a year Waterway Wanderers Scheme, see Canal and River Trust Website
Cauldon Canal, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffs
Amongst the chimneys and buildings from a bygone pottery industry the canal around Lichfield Street offers easy access and some great fishing too.
Contact: Goms Mill AC, 01782 318173
Prices: £3 a day on the bank, Goms Mill AC
Grand Union Canal, Loughborough, Leics
Lined with red-bricked industrial buildings the canal through Loughborough in known for its head of perch particularly the Albion Wharfe pegs.
Contact: Smiths Angling Supplies, 01509 239136
Prices: £5 a day from local tackle shops, Quorn AS
River Welland, Spalding, Lincs
Known for its huge shoals of roach in winter meaning the perch and pike follow them in.
Prices: Free fishing, Contact: Granz Angling, 01775 712206, Sat Nav: PE11 1XA
River Trent, Nottingham Embankment, Notts
Big perch and specimen pike have been caught in previous winters making this a popular water for predator fans.
Prices: Free fishing, Contact: Matchman Supplies 01159 813834, Sat Nav: NG2 5FB
River Derwent, Derby, Derbys
The Earl of Harrington's club run, Pride Park stretch is as urban as this river gets. Most people target the barbel leaving the predators as an un-tapped resource.
Prices: £5 from Nathans of Derby, Contact: 01332 515353, Sat Nav: DE24 8XL
River Wensum, Norwich, Norfolk
Another classic urban waterway which holds plenty of predators thanks to the big shoals of bream and roach which flock here in winter.
Prices: Free fishing, Contact: Lathams Tackle 08432 891368, Sat Nav: NR1 4LH
Soho Loop Canal, Birmingham, W Mids
The Winson Green stretch sees few boats and anglers despite contains plenty of fish. Pike can be found to over 15lb along with perch to over 3lb.
Contact: Black Country AS, 07813 618819
Prices: Free fishing
Basingstoke Canal, Ash Vale, Hants
Located close to Gold Valley Lakes, this section of canal offers plenty of features including lock cuts and bridges where big perch lie in wait.
Contact: The Creel Aldershot, 01252 320871
Prices: £4 on the bank or £3 from local tackle shops, Basingstoke Canal AA
Gloucester Canal, Hempsted, Gloucs
A wide deep canal holding plenty of big predators particularly perch which go to over 4lb.
Contact: Lobby’s Tackle, 01453 791417
Prices: £4 a day on the bank, Winget Angling Club
Grand Union Canal, Little Venice, Paddington
just a stones throw from the skyscrapers of London, big perch and odd pike like to hide amongst the house boats. An urban havenin the middle of the capital well worth fishing.
Prices: £20 a year, Canal & Rivers Trust Waterways Wanderers Scheme
Contact: First Tackle, 02084 557778
Grand Union Canal, Milton Keynes, Bucks
Over 5 miles of inner city canal with plenty of locks, bridges, wharfes and wides to explore. A big perch hotspot can be found between the factories at Wolverton.
Contact: Gone Fishin MK, 01908 313158
Prices: £6 on the bank, Milton Keynes AA
River Medway, Maidstone, Kent
The Law Courts area is a hotspot for silverfish so pike and perch also reside here but predators can be found all the way through the town.
Prices: Free fishing, Contact: Maidstone Angling, 01622 677326, Sat Nav: ME16 0GB
River Ivel, Biggleswade, Beds
The town stretch is lined by houses and is well known for its huge perch to over 3lb which are caught all year round on lures. The river is also worth a try at Langford and Blunham.
Contact: Ivel Protection Association, 01234 823959
Prices: Vary from club to club which are included in IPA
Drop shotting brings rewards like this plump perch
Matchman Rob Wootton has scooped £70,000 thanks to a last-gasp carp he landed in the Maver Match This Final at Yorkshire’s Hayfield Lakes.
The Leicester angler claimed competition fishing’s biggest prize in the most dramatic fashion, netting the valuable fish seconds after the final whistle, after crucially hooking into it just before the all-out.
The fish helped him to a total weight of 42.175 kilos, just two kilos ahead of runner-up Chris Cameron.
But for Dynamite Baits man Rob, there were no fancy rigs and secret baits involved. Instead he relied on simple bomb and pellet tactics for his bumper payday, after catching a few early carp on the pole and later on a Method feeder.
“I wanted to select the carp and avoid the skimmers and small fish in the venue, so large hard pellets were the automatic choice for me,” he said. “I started the match on the 6m pole line, and although I caught a couple of decent fish early using an 8mm pellet on a band and feeding 6mms, the fish soon backed off.”
With anglers nearby fishing the long pole and struggling, Rob decided to go straight out to a line at about 25m where he’d been loosefeeding 8mm pellets.
It was here that he caught most of his fish, with a few also falling to a Method feeder fished to the island 65m away. He said:
“Feeding is really important on the bomb and it seemed the best tactic on the day was to cast out and immediately catapult about eight 8mm pellets over the top of the rig, three times in succession. This kept the fish on the bottom.”
Here exclusively are the three rigs that won Rob Wootton that £70,000 prize pot...
Not risking hook pulls in such a big match, Rob’s was a size 12 QM1. The pellet on the band was almost touching the bend of the hook.
This was an 8mm light-coloured Skrettings pellet.
A 12ins hooklength of 0.18mm Guru N-Gauge was Rob’s choice. It’s long enough to keep the bait away from the lead and short enough to give a bolt effect.
A 20g Guru Cube was perfect for a short 25m chuck. A lighter lead may have struggled to achieve a bolt effect in the deep, towing water of Hayfield.
QUICK CHANGE BEAD
The simplest and easiest way to connect both lines. The 6lb mainline is tied to the back of the Stonfo part of the bead, with the hooklink clipping into the front.
It's exciting, it’s good for your health and it’s relatively inexpensive. If you’ve not yet tried kayak fishing, there’s never been a better time to get afloat.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?
Being aboard a kayak allows you to reach areas unavailable from the shore – great when lure fishing, for example, as you can get really close to the features where fish such as perch hide out. You’ll also benefit from being active, keeping you warm in winter and healthy too.
WHERE CAN I TRY IT?
You can kayak fish on any venue you wish but you must first get permission to access your chosen venue from the controlling club or landowner. You may also need a navigation licence on some rivers and canals, for example, the Thames.
Kayaks really come into their own on large stillwaters and rivers where you can reach areas previously inaccessible by foot, and where the fish may be out of casting range.
It’s also worth checking where you can launch it on the venue before setting out. Try to avoid areas where matches are taking place, and always be courteous to other anglers.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
Kayak fishing isn’t as expensive as you’d expect. A fishing kayak will set you back as little as £300 or as much as £2,000 – it’s up to you.
If you are planning on just coarse fishing, a lightweight, budget kayak is all you will need. Most kayaks come with a paddle and seat, so you will only need to purchase an anchor and buoyancy aid. Finally you will need to consider transporting it to your venue. Most anglers use a roof rack with strapping to hold it down.
Tommy Pickering talks you through how to fish a margin swim and why feeding two lines is essential when wanting to catch big carp from the margins.
We all know that the margins are a fantastic place to catch big fish from at this time of year, but sometimes we don’t make the most of this part of our swim. More often than not we will fish just one area down the edge – but this can be a big mistake. when it is a better option to feed two different zones down the same margin to keep the bites coming.
This line is located around 5m away from my platform, and will be fed by hand. Fish in commercials respond to noise, which they associate with food. By regularly trickling bait in you will make plenty of commotion that won’t be ignored. Pellets, corn and meat all work well, thanks to the loud noise they make when they hit the surface.
Keep trickling bait in on a little-and-often basis when the rig is not in the water. Once you start fishing the zone, stop feeding like this as the noise often sends the fish into a bit of a frenzy and this can lead to line bites and foul-hooked fish.
Look further down the same margin and there is every chance there will be a vacant platform. If this is less than 14.5m away it is well worth feeding close to it.
I always feed this line directly in front of the platform as this is where keepnets are positioned. This means that the area is highly likely to be free of snags.
Feed pots of groundbait laced with free offerings, introducing it loose in less than 2ft of water and in balls when it is deeper. This area is a great place to try when bites stop on the short line. The fish won’t disappear – they’ll simply push further down the margin.
You might be tempted to fish the margins from the very first minute, but this is a big error. The margins get stronger as they day goes on, so it is much better to target other areas of your peg during the early and middle parts of the session.
The time to switch your attentions to the edge will be with just one or two hours remaining.
THE UK has some of the most incredible and iconic fishing lakes and destinations. From historic carp fishing lakes filled with myths and legends to some of the country’s top river stretches to try and fish, here are 15 top fishing spots that you simply have to visit before you kick the bucket….
Redmire Pool, Herefordshire
The altar at which most carp anglers would love to worship.
This tiny farm pool shaped the history of carp fishing for decades most notably in the 1950’s when it produced British best carp for angling heroes Dick Walker and Chris Yates.
The popularity of this venue, which no longer contains any monsters, means getting a session depends on a Glastonbury-style phone booking system on a single day each year (usually January).
01989 770703, www.redmirepool.biz
River Trent, Nottingham Embankment, Notts
River fishing's most famous match venue
This historic match fishing venue has held numerous big matches over the years including a European Championships. Some of the sport’s biggest names have placed their seat boxes on these hallowed concrete steps. Bar the cost of parking your car nearby you can fish the stretch for free. It holds virtually every river species going.
Matchman Supplies: 0115 914 0210
River Avon, The Royalty Fishery, Christchurch, Dorset
The UK's most iconic river fishery
Arguably Britain’s most iconic river fishery, the Royalty is renowned not only for the famous anglers who have graced its banks but the fact that it regularly produces some stunning fish including barbel, chub, pike and game fish. Classic chalkstream fishing awaits those who visit but take a good pair of polaroids in order to enjoy the sight of fish moving over the gravel beds.
01202 485169, www.southernfisheries.com
Sywell Reservoir, Sywell, Northamptonshire
John Wilson's tench mecca
Once known as the tench fishing mecca, this 67-acre, council run water is steeped in angling history. Although it has never laid claim to a record for the species it was the go to venue for big tench to double-figures. Even John Wilson visited its sloping banks for one of his much-loved Go Fishing TV shows. Today there are still big tench to be had and the fishing is on the up thanks to efforts being made by the Tenchfishers group.
0300 126 5935, www.northamptonshireparks.co.uk
Marsh Farm Fishery, Milford, Surrey
Crucian carp superwater
If you want to catch a crucian carp of a lifetime this is the venue to visit. Available to fish on a day-ticket, the fishery has three pools which hold crucians to 3lb plus and at least two of the pools are also prolific for tench. Summer fishing at its best.
Apollo Angling: 01483 428885, www.godalminganglingsociety.co.uk
River Wye , Symonds Yat, Herefordshire
The most beautiful river venue in the UK?
We’ve chosen this place just for its sheer beauty. Surrounded by steep, forest clad, limestone cliffs, this stunning stretch of river will leave you breathless. The fishing isnt bad too with big barbel, chub, grayling, roach and pike in abundance.
Angling Dreams: 07976 908985, www.anglingdreams.co.uk
Makins Fishery, Wolvey, Warwickshire
The original commercial carp fishery
Created by match fishing legend Billy Makin in the 1980’s this is one of the first commercial fisheries to emerge onto the UK angling scene. Still available to day-ticket anglers the huge complex has three phases with dozens of pools.
01455 220877, www.makinsfishery.co.uk
Caerphilly Castle, South Wales
Battle with huge carp in a fortress
Who wouldn’t want to fish for big carp overlooked by the stunning views of a Norman castle? That’s whats on offer at Caerphilly which is a lake formed out of the moat from the original castle. You can literally position your baits against the castle’s medieval foundations but who knows how the carp got in there.
029 2088 5409
River Trent, Collingham Weir, Nottinghamshire
The most prolific barbel venue ever?
You'll need a bionic arm to fish this famous weirpool as the barbel fishing is often out of this world. Anglers often go there and catch as many as 40 fish in a single session including lots of PB breaking doubles.
Collingham AA, 01636 892573, www.collinghamaa.co.uk
Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, Oxfordshire
Fish like royalty at the home of Winston Churchill- OHHHH YES.
The birthplace and ancestral home of Sir Winston Churchill, this historic, Baroque style palace also boasts one of the most scenic estate lakes you could ever visit. Fishing aboard a punt for the resident tench, bream and big perch will make you feel out of this world.
01993 810520, www.blenheimpalace.com
Chew Reservoir, Somerset
Target a pike of your dreams
Now the pike fishing mecca of Britain, there is nowhere else in Britain better to break your personal best pike than on this huge 1200 acre water. Monster fish to over 40lb show regularly, mainly during the cooler months and anglers catch them on a variety of methods including the fly!
01275 332339, www.bristolwaterfisheries.co.uk
Adams Mill, River Great Ouse, Newport Pagnell, Bucks
Tread the banks ofthe home of the biggest UK caught barbel
At first sight you wouldn’t believe this tiny, narrow section of the Ouse once held so many monster barbel including the current British record at a mammoth 21lb 1oz. In its heyday in the early to late 1990’s people would actually queue to get on this stretch. Today you can fish it by joining Milton Keynes AA for a respectable £43 a year
Horseshoe Lake, Lechlade, Gloucestershire
Fish a true carp fishing great
Originally made famous for its Leney strain of big carp, Horseshoe has for years been one of carp anglings most sought after venues. Its history and traditional values are what attracts hundreds of anglers to the 62-acre water each year. There’s also a huge head of big tench and the pool is also popular with members of the Tenchfishers.
01367 253959, www.thecarpsociety.com
River Welland, Crowland, Lincs
Bag-up on Ivan Marks' favourite venue
The stretch of river, between Four-Mile Bar down to Crowland, was once a favourite haunt of the best match angler that ever lived – Ivan Marks. In fact Ivan loved it so much the angling community chipped in to have a memorial stone for the Leicester hero installed on its banks after he died in 2004. Today you can fish for the section’s resident perch, bream, roach and pike on a day-ticket.
Deeping St James AC: 07808 429239, www.deepingstjamesanglingclub.co.uk
Drayton Reservoir, Daventry, Northamptonshire
Go carp-crunching at this match superwater
First stocked with small carp in the early 1990’s this venue soon became one of the most prolific carp-crunching match waters in the whole of the UK. Even today, very few venues match up to the quality of its sport and the carp are as big as ever. What other venue can you consistently expect to catch 20lb carp on the pole? Nuff said.
07889 532563, www.canalrivertrust.org.uk
Jamie Hughes won the Fish O' Mania final for a record-breaking third time on July 8 2017 on Arena Lake at Cudmore Fisheries with 26kg 900g of carp and silvers.
Now we've got the lowdown from the man himself on the exact tackle, bait and rig he used for the third title. This is how you can fish like a three times Fish O' champion, in his own words...
"I caught most of my fish up-in-the-water with these MAP SF2 foam floats, which have a diamond body and short fat bristle. I had a lighter 4 x 10 (0.1g) and a heavier 4 x 14 (0.4g) set up. Both had a 5-6ft length of line above them to keep the pole away from the fish near the surface. I either slapped my rig in or swung the rig out to cruising fish."
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"Hooks were my favourite Kamasan B911 eyed in size 16. I tied a knotless knot hair-rig with a small microbait band to mount the hookbait, a 6mm pellet."
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"A great tip when pole fishing shallow is to use a much thicker mainline than your hooklength. I used 0.18mm MAP Power Optex because a thicker diameter is stiffer to avoid tangles. My hooklength however was a much lighter 0.12mm Optex to bring more bites."
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"Wherever I can I always like to use light hollow pole elastic and Fish O' Mania was no exception. My choice was the pink grade 6-9 MAP Twin Core Hollow Elastic. I expected to catch everything from silverfish to carp up to 5lb. A light elastic means that fish cause less disturbance in the peg when you hook them, as they don't bolt off."
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"I catapulted casters as I initially expected to catch silverfish. But it brought a few carp into the peg instead! On the hair-rig I fished a bigger, selective bait the carp could pick out, a 6mm Bag 'Em Matchbaits Super Natural feed pellet. I put all my shot under my float so the rig could swing out easily and the bait could fall naturally."
"There's only one choice for me, the 16m MAP TKS 901 2G. It's won me a lot of money!"
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"On venues with a raised bank behind you, such as the Arena Lake at Cudmore, you need a pole roller which you can extend to a decent height. I have a couple of MAP Dual Pole Rollers with telescopic legs which are perfect and the rollers themselves are very free moving and smooth, so I can fish at speed."
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LANDING NET HANDLE
"Pay attention to your landing net handle choice and don't compromise on one which is too short. I prefer a 4m version, a Parabolix, because it enables me to net a fish as soon as it pops up, even if this is 4m away! It definitely saves you time in competitions."
BUY NOW for £119.99 from Chapmans Angling
If you're looking to catch an abundance of different species on a river this season then you really need to give a weir pool a try.
Weirs are a haven for a number of species thanks to the warm, oxygenated water that’s constantly being flushed through the swim. Food items naturally collect in the basins of weirs too, and there’s plenty of underwater features to create the perfect home for predatory species such as pike, perch and zander.
However, weir pools can be quite daunting for those who have never fished one before, so Angling Times is here to help. Here’s our exclusive overview of these fantastic river structures which will explain where you can expect to find each species and what tactics you can use to catch them, whatever you fish for.
dace are widespread in weir pools. They, too, thrive in shallow water much like the minnows, and can be found in numbers at the tail end of the weir. A trotted stick float or waggler with bronze maggots will find plenty of bites from these stunning fish – with the odd roach, perch and minnow too.