How to fish a margin line

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.

Short line

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.

Long line

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.

Waiting game

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.

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