Know your stuff | Tommy Pickering Special

What type of float should I use when fishing the pellet waggler?

So many anglers assume they have to use a large float with a thick top when fishing the pellet waggler, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Yes, this type does come into play when you are fishing at range, but on the vast majority of commercials I adopt a different style.

A thinner, clear waggler is a much better option, as this will show bites from all species. Carp may drag a big float under and give unmissable bites, but if F1s or big silvers start to show as well, something much more refined is required to spot the bites.

My favourite float is a loaded Preston Innovations Dura Waggler. Screw-on discs attached to the bottom make sure the float sits up correctly without any need for shot down the line, allowing a slow fall of the hookbait.

With one of these screw-on discs attached, the float will sit the very second it lands, enabling you to spot any bites the instant they occur.

There are so many groundbaits on the market – what colours work best?

There are indeed many varieties of groundbait to choose from these days, so it’s no wonder that anglers can sometimes get confused.

But the simple rule is to use a groundbait colour that matches your hookbait. I am a big believer in letting your hookbait blend in with the groundbait so that the fish hoover it up confidently while they are cleaning up the bed of feed you have laid down.

Baits that stand out like a sore thumb often lead to fish feeding more cautiously, and you’ll get fewer bites as a result.

How should I feed my swim at the start of a pole fishing session?

The first thing a lot of anglers do at the start is cup in a big pot of bait, but that isn’t a wise move.

Dropping bait in is all about attracting fish into the swim – not feeding them. After all, you want to convince them to take your hookbait, not the freebies.

I’ll start by feeding a small Cad pot of whatever bait I am fishing with and then introducing the same amount after every fish I catch.

The only time I will resort to a big pot is when I have fished for a while, know for a fact there is nothing in my swim, and need to draw a shoal in from elsewhere.