As much as I love my feeder fishing, there’s something unique about doing battle at close range with massive fish.
Often these can be located just inches away from the bank, where you can see them swim into the area and upend to feed, sending clouds of mud from the lakebed billowing upwards before your float vanishes and the fight kicks off.
If you’re on the lookout to up your personal best, there really is no better way to do it than from in the margins.
Because this is a method that works later in the day, it’s ideal for after-work or evening sessions when a couple of hours is often ample to catch a string of fish.
So why not get up close and personal with the fish? It’s a really satisfying way to fish.
The right floats
A margin swim is typically 12ins-18ins deep, calling for a 0.3g or 0.4g float. In deeper water you’re better off trying to catch shallow with a 0.2g float. In any case you must always get the float as close to the bank as possible to eliminate line bites.
For carp, double corn, double expander pellet, two worms or eight or nine dead maggots is perfect. For F1s, double maggot or caster rules on a size 16 hook. Red-dyed meat or pellets work really well in heavily coloured water.
Dyed meat works brilliantly in coloured water
Find the flat spot
If I can’t find a flat area, I will fish on the slope and set my rig to 14ins, plumb up and find where this is on the slope. I then lay the rig in with the float closest to the bank and drag it into position so that the bait is resting on the bottom.
It is essential to plumb the depth
Try the feeder
A big Hybrid or Method feeder fished on an underarm cast tight to the bank is an easier way to fish than the pole. If you are getting line bites on the pole, a change to a feeder will give unmissable bites and properly hooked fish.
The feeder will give unmissable bites down the margins