THIS WEEK: How to play fish on the pole and boost your hauls

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Angling Times (UK) - - TIPS & TACTICS -

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.

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