How to catch ‘through the water’

Ryan Whilton breaks out the grubs to get some guaranteed cold weather action

How to catch 'through the water'

by Angling Times |

November is the last chance saloon for catching on pellets, meat and corn. The colder the weather gets, the more selective these baits become. While you may have the odd good day on them, most of the time it’ll be slow going.

The answer lies in maggots. Two pints of reds and whites guarantee bites from almost every species and lets you fish in a way that catches at all depths.

This is commonly known as ‘through the water’ and is deadly for F1s, ide, big roach and chub. The idea is to use a light float on the pole, feed regularly and positively and allow the hookbait to fall gently through the water rather than racing to get to the bottom where the fish might not even be!

Start on the deck and come up in the water later on
Start on the deck and come up in the water later on

Here's how to do it...

Go for light floats

My floats will always be very light – a 4x10 for fishing on the bottom and a 3x8 for off the deck. They’re both Chianti-style patterns made by Dave Pearson.

Go for light floats
Go for light floats

Add big backshots!

Roughly halfway between the float and pole-tip I fix a large backshot, typically a BB. This keeps the line tight to the shot and absorbs any movement on the pole created by wind.

Add big backshots!
Add big backshots!

Side-hook the maggot

Rather than hook a maggot normally, I nick it on through the side. This looks odd, but a maggot falls through the water sideways. Matching this gets me quicker bites.

Side-hook the maggot
Side-hook the maggot

Loose groundbait

On my skimmer line I’ll use groundbait but feed it loose. The bottom of the lake is silty, so cupping it in loose makes it end up like a sandcastle where the fish can easily find it.

Loose groundbait
Loose groundbait

Keep firing bait in

Loosefeeding is key, especially for ide and roach. These fish will quickly come up in the water and can be caught either on the drop or at half depth with a shallow rig.

Keep firing bait in
Keep firing bait in

Use a bump bar

When fishing the long pole for skimmers, I’ll always use a bump bar. It keeps the pole dead still and ensures that I’m always keeping a tight line to the backshot.

Use a bump bar
Use a bump bar
Maggots are a great way to catch mixed nets
Maggots are a great way to catch mixed nets
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