THIS WEEK: Fish a waggler and catch more island carp
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.