Q&A

Improve Your Coarse Fishing (UK) - - Lure Tactics -

Q Can I catch on hemp in re­ally deep river swims or would ground­bait be bet­ter? OLIVER POT­TER, VIA EMAIL

A You can, and depth is largely ir­rel­e­vant be­cause once roach get turned on to feed­ing on hemp, they won’t be in­ter­ested in any­thing else. Ini­tially, some ground­bait will help to draw the fish into the area and keep them on the bot­tom. Loose­feed­ing alone may risk bring­ing the roach up in the wa­ter where they’re dif­fi­cult to catch. Pick a mix with a lot of hemp in it or even add some crushed hemp, pack­ing it with whole grains as well, and then be­gin loose­feed­ing over the top, a dozen grains each cast. Hemp sinks quickly but take into ac­count the pace of the flow and, if nec­es­sary, feed up­stream so it hits bot­tom where you can run your float. If the fish do show signs of com­ing off the bot­tom, feed a large pole pot or a big cat­a­pult pouch of hemp in one go be­cause a ‘blast’ of bait will force the fish back down again.

Q How does whip fish­ing dif­fer from pole fish­ing? DAR­REN KENT, VIA EMAIL A Whip fish­ing was in­vented and pop­u­larised on the Con­ti­nent for speed fish­ing on big Euro­pean rivers and deep canals. It is pri­mar­ily a tool used to catch small fish quicker than you could by us­ing ei­ther a con­ven­tional pole or rod and line tac­tics. The length of the rig should be slightly shorter than the whip it­self so that hooked fish can be swung straight to your hand with­out the need to use a land­ing net. This en­ables you to quickly catch a large bag of small fish such as roach, bleak, gud­geon, perch and skim­mers. Fished with­out the elas­tic you would use in a pole, fish are ac­tu­ally cush­ioned on the strike and while play­ing by the flex­i­ble na­ture of the whip’s tip. Un­like a pole, when you lift into fish with a whip you need to make a very brisk strike. They are also de­signed dif­fer­ently to poles. Avail­able in lengths from 2m through to 10m, whips are thin­ner and more flex­i­ble than a pole. This en­ables them to cast the rig in a ‘whip­ping’ ac­tion. Poles and whips also dif­fer when it comes to rigs. The float needs to be heavy enough for cast­ing while re­main­ing slim and sen­si­tive enough to spot del­i­cate bites.

Hav­ing the tub­ing hang­ing over, helps pre­vent tan­gles Usu­ally, the ini­tial feed is enough, but fish may want reg­u­lar balls of crumb lit­tle and of­ten A 1.5g Dino Chi-Chi pole float ideal for a whip set-up A 1.25g olivette helps to get the rig down quickly to the feed­ing fish and past any tid­dlers in the up­per lay­ers

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