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