THIS WEEK: Fish a wag­gler and catch more is­land carp

Angling Times (UK) - - THE COACH -

BE­FORE the ad­vent of su­per-long poles and Method feed­ers, the only way to catch carp when faced with an is­land in front of you was with the wag­gler. But even though this float has gone out of fash­ion a bit in re­cent years, it’s still hard to beat.

Ver­sa­til­ity re­mains the wag­gler’s great­est virtue, al­low­ing you to fish at any depth and dis­tance close to or away from the is­land.

You can also cast around the is­land, fol­low­ing the fish if they move or try­ing to land the bait on the nose of any fish you can see.

None of this can be done with a feeder, and if you’ve ever wres­tled with 16m or more of pole across to an is­land, you’ll know what a back-break­ing job it is!

Say ‘wag­gler’, though, and you may think ‘pel­let wag­gler’, short dumpy floats that look like mini pike bungs. In­stead, I pre­fer clas­sic stream­lined crys­tal wag­glers with a load­ing at the base to fish on the bot­tom with banded pel­lets. WHY FISH THE WAG­GLER? F1s can be caught at all sorts of dis­tances, from open wa­ter to right across to an is­land or far bank, but where carp are con­cerned, my ex­pe­ri­ences sug­gest that with an is­land on of­fer they won’t tend to stray too far from this fea­ture.

This means that to catch them you need to land the bait inches from the bank. You can’t do this when the is­land is out of long pole range – with the wag­gler you can! In fact, the tighter you can get to the is­land, the more carp you will catch. Land the float a me­tre away and you will still get bites, but these will nor­mally be from F1s.

CAST­ING AROUND I don’t clip up, even when fish­ing up to an is­land. This al­lows me to try dif­fer­ent ar­eas along the far bank as op­posed to cast­ing to the same spot as of­ten. I can then cast to fish I see mov­ing about for an in­stant bite. More im­por­tantly, though, if a

hooked fish charges off I can­not get bro­ken on the line clip!

I aim to get the wag­gler to land just short of the is­land with the hook­bait plop­ping be­yond it, as tight to the bank as pos­si­ble.

Per­se­ver­ance is es­sen­tial, so I rarely leave the float in the wa­ter for more than 20 sec­onds be­fore reel­ing in and re­cast­ing.

My choice of wag­glers for is­lands.

The re­wards of fish­ing to is­lands.

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