Mark Pollard’s red-hot match tactics
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.”
GROUNDBAIT AND MICROS
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.
WIN EVERY BATTLE
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.