Go for big hard pellets
Lots of baits will work for mugging, but big hard pellets seem to be the best. They won’t fall off the bait band, they’re small-fish proof, and are heavy enough to make a decent noise when hitting the surface. I use 6mm and 8mm hard Bait-Tech pellets, mainly in a plain brown colour, but I also have some red ones as a change bait to use if I think the fish have wised up.
Pick a heavy float pattern
Generally, you’re fishing a long line between pole and float when mugging, sometimes as much as 6ft to help stop fish being spooked by the pole tip. That means a big float is needed to swing the rig well past the pole to a fish. I use a 0.5g or 0.6g DT Floats Skittle pattern, with all the shot bunched under it. This is a dibber pattern, which makes no difference to bite indication – in truth, the float is used as a casting weight and as a sight bob to tell you when a fish has taken the bait!
Invest in some sunglasses
I wasn’t a convert to polarised sunglasses until recently, but they really do make a world of difference! These glasses cut through any glare or ripple on the surface to let you see fish but, more importantly, they also let you see little deeper down into the water, which is handy when the carp aren’t always immediately under the surface.
Stand up if you can!
Some fisheries don’t let you stand up to mug, which makes life hard. However, standing not only lets you see more of the water and to identify where fish are, but it also makes swinging the pole around and shipping out faster. The plan is to see a fish swimming slowly, quickly ship to the distance it’s at and drop the rig around 1ft in front of it, trying to anticipate the direction it’ll swim in.
Move it about
A fish could appear anywhere from right at your feet to 16m out – it’s rare to catch all day at one distance. Be prepared to ship the pole in and out quickly to go to a fish you can see, even if this means having two or three pole sections behind you. It’s awkward fishing like this, but standing up will help and, with practice, you’ll soon get the hang of it.