How to catch a mixed bag of river fish on the waggler

You never know what you’ll catch next with a waggler on rivers says Mark Pollard

How to catch a mixed bag of river fish on the waggler

by Angling Times |

The UK’s rivers offer some of our finest summer fishing, with big nets of bream, chub, barbel and roach to sit alongside some enormous individual specimens.

For me, there’s nothing better than putting together a mixed bag made up of eight or nine different species.

Here's how to do it...

Pick the right float

There’s a choice to make between an insert or straight peacock waggler, and which one I use is based upon the dominant species. If that’s roach, a finer insert will be better, while if I’m after chub and dace, a straight is my pick.

Pick the right float
Pick the right float

Land what you hook

There’s every chance of big perch and chub, so don’t go too light. A 6ins hooklength of 0.14mm Power Micron to an MXB-2 hook has power, but a small hook like a size 18 gives me an equal chance of catching smaller fish.

Land what you hook
Land what you hook

Keep baits simple

Fishing a float on rivers is all about loosefeeding, and that means maggots and casters. I’d fish double maggot on the hook and fire in casters, changing to maggots for the last hour or so of a session for any chub that are about.

Keep baits simple
Keep baits simple

Get a feeding routine

Building up a routine with the feeding is vital and that means little and often. Roughly 20 maggots loosefed every cast is ample. That’s enough to build up the confidence of the better fish, while ensuring enough gets past smaller ones.

Get a feeding routine
Get a feeding routine

Search the depths

In summer, it’s possible to catch at all depths. In an 8ft deep peg I’d start at 6ft and take it from there. If you’re getting bites on the drop, or very quickly once the float has landed, go shallower.

Search the depths
Search the depths

Beat the bleak!

Bleak can be a pain, but the roach and chub live among these tiny fish. Feeding more bait helps, ensuring there’s enough for the better fish, but the bleak keep something going in the net.

Beat the bleak!
Beat the bleak!
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