Match ace Des Shipp’s tips for conquering deep margin swims
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.”
STICK TO ONE SPOT
“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.”
WORK YOUR WAY UP
“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.”
GIVE IT A REST
“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.