Fish­ing a few inches from the bank is the best way to get plenty of ac­tion from the big­gest fish

Improve Your Coarse Fishing (UK) - - Guide To Pole Fishing -

SURELY, all the bet­ter fish are at range, which is why we fish there. Isn’t it? Oh, how wrong you would be fol­low­ing this train of thought! If you want a chance to catch the big­gest fish in your lo­cal com­mer­cial, you need to fish 2ins from the bank, not 16 me­tres or more. Or at least that is what Middy-backed, Chris Cameron reck­ons! “Fish love to feed in and around fea­tures, and there is no big­ger fea­ture on any lake than the

mar­gins, re­gard­less if it is a tiny farm pond or an in­land sea,” Chris told us. “Fish, par­tic­u­larly the big­ger ones, know that the mar­gins are ab­so­lutely stacked with nat­u­ral food, as well as be­ing an area of the lake where they feel safe.

Why tar­get mar­gins?

Of­fer­ing plenty in the way of food, shel­ter and safety, lake mar­gins al­ways at­tract the bet­ter fish. These fish have learned that there is of­ten a ready supply of safe-to-eat food in the mar­gins.

Nat­u­ral of­fer­ings fall off the trees, and a host of aquatic life is of­ten found in and around reedbeds. A sec­ond supply of feed is leftover bait, heaved into the swim at the end of the ses­sion or match by de­part­ing an­glers. “My first job when fish­ing any lake is to take a long, hard look at the mar­gins,” said Chris. “March to Oc­to­ber is the best time to snag a mar­gin mon­ster, but you need to re­mem­ber that mar­gin swims can vary greatly, and they’re not all the same. Just be­cause you can fish hard against the bank, that doesn’t nec­es­sar­ily mean it is a great mar­gin swim,” he cau­tioned. Ide­ally, Chris will look to tar­get both the left-hand and right-hand ar­eas, but if this is not phys­i­cally pos­si­ble due to the con­struc­tion of the peg, he is more than happy to tar­get just one. If he is able to fish both, he will feed them dif­fer­ently to see if it

makes a dif­fer­ence on the day. One will be fed heav­ily, while the other will be fed more spar­ingly. The best place to fish is al­ways to the next peg along the bank. As well has hav­ing a clean bot­tom, due to keepnets go­ing in and out, the carp treat this as a very safe area be­cause they are rarely, if ever, caught from here, due to an­glers usu­ally fish­ing out into the lake. It is also the place where dis­carded bait is of­ten dis­posed. The per­fect mar­gin swim, ac­cord­ing to Chris, would have a sheer mud bank with a slight slope at the bot­tom, lead­ing to a flat area. This en­ables Chris to lay his rig against the sides of the de­pres­sion to help pre­vent fish get­ting around the back of the rig, which con­sid­er­ably re­duces foul-hook­ing prob­lems. Depth wise, the per­fect swim would be 2ft to 2ft 6ins deep. “The max­i­mum I would fish is 3ft deep,” he con­firmed. “Deeper swims en­able the fish to come up in the wa­ter, which can lead to foul-hook­ing.

Mar­gin tackle

The key to mar­gin tackle is its strength. You are tar­get­ing the larger fish in the pool, so need to step up accordingly. Chris used a Middy XP35-2 com­bined with a 12-16 hol­low elas­tic. Hol­low is far more for­giv­ing for any smaller fish he catches, but still has plenty in the back end for the ‘big girls’. The main­line was Middy Lo-Viz 0.18mm (6lb 1oz) to a hook­link of 0.16mm (5lb 2oz) al­though in pools where the fish are very large, he will step up to 0.24mm

(12lb). To bal­ance the set-up, Chris has a Middy Styrex Se­ries 1 4x16 float. At the busi­ness end a size 12 KM4 hook is plumbed to fish an inch overdepth and baited with a 6mm ex­pander pellet.


Ground­bait is Chris’s first choice of loose­feed. “Over the top I then fish a whole worm, large pellet or a bunch of (4-6) mag­gots. “The ground­bait is cupped in loose a whole 250ml pot at a time, top­ping up reg­u­larly with the same amount af­ter ev­ery fish”.

Ground­bait is cupped in loose a whole 250ml pot at a time

Tough hooks and line are re­quired when you are tar­get­ing the ‘big girls’

Carry a se­lec­tion of baits in­clud­ing corn, pel­lets, mag­gots and cast­ers

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