The Coach

Match ace Des Shipp’s tips for con­quer­ing deep mar­gin swims

Angling Times (UK) - - WELCOME -

SOME an­glers think that mar­gins with 4ft of wa­ter are too deep to catch carp from – Eng­land star Des Shipp thinks dif­fer­ently.

The Eng­land star isn’t even fazed by 7ft of wa­ter down the side and ap­proaches it much as he would a deep swim in open wa­ter. But there are a few ba­sics you need to get right to catch well here.

Said Des: “No mat­ter how care­fully you feed and work out the bites, such a depth en­cour­ages carp to come off bot­tom when bait goes in.

“Carp can still be caught here but you need to adopt a slightly un­usual ap­proach and try to catch them shal­low,” he con­tin­ued.

“Per­haps I should call this style of fish­ing ‘off bot­tom’ as you may only be sus­pend­ing the bait a foot or two off the deck – wher­ever carp are swim­ming and feed­ing.”


“One rig and one float won’t al­ways cover all your bases. I use dif­fer­ent floats, de­pend­ing on how shal­low I’m catch­ing. If I’m get­ting bites up­wards of 3ft deep I’ll fish a small 4x12 Tyson 6 dib­ber, while for go­ing deeper I pre­fer a bristle­topped 4x14 In­ter Carp 4 which of­fers a lit­tle more sta­bil­ity.”


“A mar­gin swim may of­fer lots of spots to try and catch from but it’s bet­ter to pick one area and try to catch con­sis­tently from this.

“Per­haps I’ll add a sec­tion to go fur­ther along the bank if the fish back off, which com­monly hap­pens in a match sit­u­a­tion. This may be as much as 14.5m.

“A good rule of thumb is to fish as far away from you as you com­fort­ably can, as carp won’t come off the bot­tom at just a top kit’s length down the peg.”


“I’ll use pel­lets or meat, de­pend­ing on how many sil­ver fish are in the peg. A 6mm meat cube will be my choice if just carp are present, but if there are skim­mers and roach that love meat, I’ll opt for 8mm hard pel­lets fished in a band. If you miss a bite you don’t have to un­ship and bait up again.

“Feed­ing takes place with a cat­a­pult. To start, I’ll fire in six 8mm pel­lets ev­ery minute or so to get the fish off bot­tom.

“How­ever, if noth­ing is hap­pen­ing I up the feed and lash the pel­lets in. All this takes place at the start of a ses­sion, as I want to build the peg up steadily but re­tain the op­tion of drop­ping in here for a quick look early in the day. How­ever, the longer I can leave it, the bet­ter things will be.”


“I be­gin fish­ing on the deck in a deep mar­gin but will be on the look­out for signs of fish – reeds knock­ing or even in­di­ca­tions on the float that don’t re­sult in a hooked fish. When I get a run of these lin­ers, that’s the sig­nal to come 12ins shal­lower. I re­peat this un­til I start hook­ing fish, which tells me I’ve found the depth those carp are happy to feed at. Keep the line to the float tight and the carp will hook them­selves as they hit the bait hard and pull against the pole-tip... ex­actly as hap­pens when you’re fish­ing shal­low into open wa­ter.”


“One trick that can work when bites ease is to rest the swim com­pletely and do some­thing dif­fer­ent, but keep on loose­feed­ing pel­lets.

“A half-hour break can be enough to en­cour­age fish back into the swim. Dur­ing this break I’ll feed more heav­ily than be­fore, as more noise and more bait fall­ing through the wa­ter will grab the at­ten­tion of the carp.”

Deep or shal­low, the mar­gins of­ten hold the best fish.

Two floats Des uses for the deep mar­gins.

Loosefeed pel­lets when rest­ing the swim.

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