THIS WEEK: How to play fish on the pole and boost your hauls
O YOU’VE done the hard part. You’ve carefully fed your swim and got your perfectly presented pole rig in place.
You’ve waited and waited and then finally the float has gone under and a big fish is on the end.
The last thing you want to do is lose it, but with unbalanced tackle and incorrect technique that’s a very real risk.
This week we’ve enlisted the help of one of the very best in the business, the one and only Bob Nudd, to show you how to land fish properly. Follow his advice and you can be sure that when you hook your next fish on the pole it’ll be as good as in the net! Make sure you cut your pole tips back accordingly and fit a large internal or external bush with hollow elastics. If the tip diameter and bush is too thin, the elastic won’t work properly.
Balance your rigs. Don’t combine light lines and small hooks with heavy elastics. Instead use lighter 5-8 rated elastics and leave the thicker elastics to stronger lines and large size 12-16 hooks! A sharp lift beats a firm strike.
Try not to strike too hard. Get into the habit of striking by applying a short, sharp lift. Doing this means you’re less likely to foul-hook fish and fairly hooked fish won’t bolt off out of the peg. When fishing to an island or margin, get 2m of pole back straight away to persuade the fish away from others that are feeding over your bait. Guide the pole back on to your rollers at waist/chest height. If the elastic is under the pole or to the side, start to bring the fish in steadily. Break the pole down at the elasticated top-three. If the fish runs to one side, counter it by holding the pole to the other side to turn it. When the fish stops running, strip elastic from your side puller or puller bung to apply pressure and get its head up ready for the net. With the fish under your feet, lift the pole to net it. Have the net ready in your free hand and try to scoop the fish in at the first attempt. Use this simple routine to land fish of all sizes. Even if you hook decent fish on lighter tackle, you can still land them by being patient and taking your time.