Jack Pells re­veals sim­ple steps to catch­ing your first grayling

THIS WEEK: Make the most of the cold and catch a late-sea­son grayling

Angling Times (UK) - - NEWS -

FRESH from a pro­duc­tive trip to a small river not far from his home, Berk­shire spe­cial­ist Jack Pells re­veals his sim­ple three-point plan to help you tempt a big late-sea­son grayling


Grayling are usu­ally found in chalk streams that of­fer the clear and fast run­ning wa­ter in which the species thrives. You need to look out for ar­eas where there is cover for the fish. Over­hang­ing trees, bridges and wooden struc­tures are good places to start.

The streamer weed will shel­ter fish too, so a nice clear run past some weed or down the edge of a hole is a good place to tar­get.

By us­ing po­lar­is­ing glasses you can spot fish in the shal­low wa­ter with ease, and in the deeper wa­ter you need to look out for lit­tle flashes as the grayling dart around. Grayling can be eas­ily spooked at times, so make sure you keep low and blend into the back­ground, tread­ing care­fully. Oth­er­wise, the chance of a quick fish will be jeop­ar­dised.


All fish love mag­gots, and grayling are no ex­cep­tion. How­ever, some­times you need a Plan B and I will al­ways take a bit of corn with me, as this can sin­gle out the big­ger fish. Some peo­ple think that corn looks like large fish eggs (es­pe­cially when dyed or­ange) and this en­tices the grayling into feed­ing.

Per­son­ally, I use it if bites are slow on mag­gots or I am strug­gling to get through the tid­dlers.

Don’t be in a rush to wet a line. I will flick out four or five red mag­gots ‘lit­tle and of­ten’ for five to 10 min­utes be­fore cast­ing. You want the grayling to dis­card their cau­tion and wolf down any­thing that comes their way!


For me, it’s all about the float, and de­pend­ing on the con­di­tions of the river I tend to trot a top-and­bot­tom float tak­ing the equiv­a­lent of 3BB-5AAA shot. There are no fancy shot­ting pat­terns – I sim­ply pinch the bulk of the shot 12ins from the hook and then add two No6s or No4s (de­pend­ing on the weight of the float) 3ins-5ins above the hook. Shot­ting like this gets the bait down fast, right in front of the fish.

Grayling will most of­ten be found on or just off the bot­tom, so it makes sense to present your bait right in front of their noses. Un­for­tu­nately, grayling have bony mouths and this can of­ten re­sult in a poor hook hold and a lost fish.

Us­ing a fine-wire hook can help over­come this, and since chang­ing to a Dren­nan Red Maggot hook in size 14 or 16 I have bumped far fewer fish.

Tackle needs to be balanced – I use a 13ft float rod, a cen­tre­pin reel loaded with 4lb line and 3lb-4lb hook­links. This helps ab­sorb ev­ery head­shake grayling will make, and will keep the fish hooked for the du­ra­tion of the fight.

Trot­ting a float with a cen­tre­pin is a top tac­tic.

Keep low and you’ll catch fish like this (in­set).

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.