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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.