Fishing Methods & Baits

Kev Russell Carp
Believe it or not, carp of this size can be found in just about all of our lakes.

Our advice about how to fish our lakes is the same as what Roy would have told you:

do what you’re good at, and if you’re not good at anything then do what you enjoy

That really is the best advice that he could give. You can catch fish on any method, be it feeder fishing, fishing with a rod and line or fishing with a pole. All of the lakes are constructed with similar characteristics, the middle of the lake will be 5 or 6 feet deep, sloping up both sides to give anything between 12 inches and 3 feet in the edge.

Feeder Fishing

The very best feeder anglers are able to cast to the same spot just a few inches from the far bank time after time. Lesser mortals might not be as proficient but you’ll still catch on the feeder, just remember that it’s open ended feeders only i.e. no method feeders, and that there must be 20″ or more of line between the feeder and the hook. Favourite baits are bunches of dead maggots, corn or mini boilies, with groundbait or micro pellets in the feeder.

Rod & Line Fishing

This is probably the least popular method amongst the match anglers but a waggler float on a rod and reel still catches lots of fish for our pleasure anglers. Pellet or corn are the favourite baits but go ahead and try anything and everything, worms. prawns, maggots or  paste can all produce great results.

Pole Fishing

Pole fishing is definitely the most popular method of catching fish on our lakes.  Although you can catch fish using 16 metres of extremely expensive carbon, you can catch just as much with a 5 metre margin pole, in fact most of the really big catches are taken using poles at either 5 metres straight out in front of you or along the margins. No two years are the same on these lakes, a couple of years ago sweetcorn was the only bait worth using then last year you couldn’t buy a bite on corn and you needed to fish pellet in the deeper water or groundbait and maggot in the margins.

Whatever method you decide to employ, the most important factor is feeding. Pleasure anglers simply don’t feed enough, you need to feed regularly. It’s not enough to chuck a couple of handfuls in at the start and then just sit there waiting for the float to go under or the tip to go round. In the summer months you need to be feeding every cast, maybe a little ball of groundbait no bigger than a walnut or maybe half a dozen grains of corn but keep it going in. Those fish are hungry and they’ll mop up your feed in a few minutes. If you don’t keep feeding them they’ll wander off elsewhere and you’ll be staring at a float that’s refusing to move or a tip that won’t budge. If you’re feeder fishing you should be recasting regularly, certainly waiting no longer than 5 minutes for a bite. As the water cools towards autumn and winter, then you need to feed less, wait longer for a bite but still feed regularly. In the middle of winter you might end up feeding just three or four maggots but do it EVERY CAST.