Mark Pol­lard’s red-hot match tac­tics

Angling Times (UK) - - WELCOME -

THE mar­gins are likely to give you a late run of fish in your next match.

But could al­ter­ing your feed­ing help you dou­ble what you usu­ally land in the dy­ing stages?

Dump pot­ting sev­eral pints of dead mag­gots and a cou­ple of ki­los of ground­bait down the edge is widely seen as the best way to draw the big carp in close, but Mark Pol­lard thinks there’s a route to a last-gasp match win.

Since sum­mer ar­rived, the Ma­trix and Dy­na­mite Baits an­gler has added win af­ter win to his tally thanks to mas­ter­ing the in­side line.

Glance from across the lake at how Mark does it and his tac­tics ap­pear to mir­ror what ev­ery­one else is do­ing. It’s what he’s pil­ing in via the pole cup that makes all the dif­fer­ence.

“Gal­lons of dead mag­gots are in­tro­duced into commercials th­ese days and I’m con­vinced that carp come into the mar­gins look­ing for them,” said Mark.

“If they see any other bait they al­most seem to ig­nore it, but any scent that is com­ing from the area will hold the fish while they con­tinue to look for mag­gots.

“When there is a big bed of mag­gots for the fish to feed on it could take a while for them to find your hook­bait, but if the five dead mag­gots on your hook are the only ones in the swim then you’ll get a bite within sec­onds.”


Ev­ery other an­gler on the lake is go­ing to be ‘fill­ing it in’ down the mar­gins in the last cou­ple of hours, so it’s im­por­tant that you fol­low suit to draw in your fair share of carp.

“When I first came up with the idea of feed­ing no dead mag­gots and just us­ing them on the hook I knew that I needed to come up with a feed­ing regime that had plenty of scent in it and en­cour­aged the fish to root around for a long time,” he said.

“Ground­bait is a great holder of fish and a 50/50 mix of Dy­na­mite Green Swim Stim and Ma­rine Hal­ibut is my choice. The for­mer is com­monly used on commercials, and fish as­so­ciate it with be­ing fed, while the lat­ter has a very dis­tinc­tive scent that lingers in the wa­ter.”

A bag of damp­ened 2mm mi­cros is also added to the mix, and be­cause th­ese are so small the fish will stay in the swim for a long time, try­ing to suck them all up.


A mis­take many an­glers make when plumb­ing up down the mar­gins is that they don’t pin the rig tight to the bank.

“I see so many an­glers claim­ing to fish the mar­gins and yet their rig is a cou­ple of me­tres out from the edge, where the wa­ter is al­most cer­tainly deeper than tight in,” said Mark.

“It is im­por­tant to have your rig sit­ting right next to the bank, as this stops fish from get­ting be­hind it and giv­ing false in­di­ca­tions that lead to foul hook­ers.”

When plumb­ing up, Mark likes to find be­tween 1ft and 2ft of wa­ter in which to launch his at­tack. This is deep enough for the fish to feed com­fort­able in, yet shal­low enough to stop them com­ing off the bot­tom and giv­ing line bites.

If he is un­able to find less than 2ft of wa­ter in the mar­gins any­where, then he will aban­don plans to fish down the edge, as the num­ber of foul-hooked fish you will ex­pe­ri­ence will slow you down and give an ad­van­tage to your ri­vals.

“When the mar­gins are too deep I will sim­ply look to fish other ar­eas of my peg, such as a Ra­tioning dead reds is key to in­stant bites

shal­low line on the long pole or an area 5m out,” said Mark.


One of Mark’s favourite commercials is Rookery Waters in Cam­bridgeshire. Mag­pie Lake holds a large per­cent­age of the matches, and this pretty pool is cov­ered in rushes and lily pads.

“The fish know where ev­ery snag is. Give them half a chance and they will see you off and have you tan­gled up in no time.”

Mark’s no-non­sense rig is made up of 0.20mm main­line to an 0.18mm hook­length and a size 14 Ma­trix Carp Bag­ger hook baited with five dead red mag­gots.

His float is a 0.2g MP6 with a thick, buoy­ant tip that will only fully go un­der to a gen­uine bite.

The fi­nal piece of the jig­saw is a Ma­trix Stay Fresh No12 or No14 elas­tic that is soft enough to let the fish bolt and leave the mar­gins quickly, yet soon pow­ers up to tire them into sub­mis­sion.

“Watch on as ev­ery­body else piles in the mag­gots late on this week and be safe know­ing that us­ing just a hand­ful of grubs will give you the best chance of win­ning the match,” said Mark.

A late run of mar­gin fish for Mark. Five mag­gots stand out over the feed.

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