My au­tumn mar­gin rig – don’t fine down!

Angling Times (UK) - - TIPS & TACTICS -

EVEN in the cold I don’t tend to fine down my rig in or­der to try and get bites, as I feel this is counter pro­duc­tive.

Mar­gin carp are big fish, and ev­ery one you hook needs to come out, so I see no point in fin­ing down line and hook size.

To be hon­est, I don’t ac­tu­ally be­lieve that go­ing lighter pro­duces more bites in any case.

Go longer

A great tip for edge fish­ing when the water starts to go clear is to use a longer-than-nor­mal length of line be­tween pole-tip and float, up to 18ins or more.

This en­ables you to hide the po­letip from the fish, which can make a big dif­fer­ence in clear water.

With longer lengths above the float I back­shot the rig with three No11s to en­sure I stay in touch with the float.

Float choice

For fish­ing in 3ft of water my float is a 0.2g Mick Wilkin­son Mar­gin Di­a­mond. The body shape and stem make it a nice, sta­ble float while the thick tip en­sures bites are very easy to read.

It’s also pretty much in­de­struc­tible!


For edge work I rig up with 0.19mm Guru N-Gauge to a 4ins hook­length of 0.17mm in the same ma­te­rial.

Hook choice

This is a size 14 Guru XS spade, which is a strong wide gape hook with an ul­tra-sharp point – ideal for sin­gle or dou­ble corn hook­baits and big fish!

Shot­ting pat­tern

This is a strung bulk of No 10 shots with the bot­tom shot 5ins from the hook and the rest of the drop­pers spaced at 1.5ins in­ter­vals above this.

With the water be­ing clear I al­ways feel that carp rely a lot on sight to feed, so a slow fall­ing hookbait can pro­duce more bites as a re­sult – hence my spread-out shot­ting pat­ten.

Mar­gin elastics

My choice varies a bit from venue to venue but at the mo­ment, for fish­eries like Mead­ow­lands’ Lamb­s­down Lake, I’m happy to stick with Red Hy­dro. This gives me the power to get the fish out of the swim quickly and with min­i­mal fuss.

In an­other month or so, when the water tem­per­a­ture re­ally starts to drop and the fish be­come a bit more slug­gish, I’ll con­sider drop­ping down to Black Hy­dro.

Hook­baits to try

When it comes to hookbait choice it’s all about sweet­corn.

Once the water starts to clear I re­ally don’t think there is a bet­ter bait in terms of catch­ing big carp.

This is of course purely down to its colour, as be­ing bright yel­low it re­ally stands out and gives the carp a bait they can home in on.

As a guide I will look to kick off fish­ing a sin­gle grain on the hook, but if I feel there is a fish there and I can’t catch it I will switch to dou­ble corn on the hook.

For some rea­son, two grains can be bet­ter than one at times, my the­ory is that carp just home in quicker on a big­ger, more vis­ual hookbait at times.

Work your rig

Some­thing I al­ways do when fish­ing corn in the edge is to try and keep the bait on the move.

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