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Beginners Guides:

Beginners Guide to Pole Fishing


We, the coaches, at Catch Nature have put together some basic pole fishing information which will help the beginner angler to catch more fish.


Most beginners now start fishing with a pole or a whip. Steve, one of the coaches will show you different methods on how to catch fish on a private pond in Denton.


Fishing up in the water

When fishing a venue especially a commercial venue which are usually full of fish, fishing shallow can be a deadly method. In these venues were there are so many fish that they have to compete against each other for the bait the angler is feeding.


The way to put a net of fish together by fishing this method is by choosing a small pole float in both size and weight e.g. 4x8 or 3x8 (see pole floats.)


Then the rig should between 10cm to 40cm depth depending on how the fish are feeding, which you won’t know until you start, and so start at about 40cm. The line is 0.10 direct with a number 20s hook attached.


Today I expect to catch roach and rudd with the odd chance of a small carp that’s why I chose 0.10 direct so there is no weak parts in the rig. The Shotting pattern can not be any simpler. The best way to shot a rig like this is to put a single shot under the float just enough to cock the float, this single shot method also helps prevent tangles. (See shotting patterns). The hook depends on what bait you will be using on the day and what fish you expect to catch, if you was fishing maggot or caster you would use 18s or 20s, basically the bigger the bait the bigger the hook you use. (See bait and hooks). When you are targeting small fish like roach and rudd you should use elastics grades 3s to 5s but if you are fishing for carp or chub you would need to uses 8s or 10s depending on the size of the fish you are most likely to catch,( see fitting it all together) but most of all check the maximum grade of elastic your pole is designed to take You can go as high as a number14s elastic so be for you go fishing find out as much in formation on the venue and what you expect to catch (see elasticising a pole).


Feeding this method

Getting the feeding pattern right is very important part to fishing. The method to achieve this is to constantly feed, and to achieve this, your catapult should never leave your hand. A good way to constant feeding is to count to 10 in your head then feed but you could go through a large amount of bait this way. Don’t be surprised if you feed two or three pints of bait when fishing this method. When the feed hits the water lift the pole rig out of the water and drop you hook bait in the feeding area which will hopefully result in a bite but keep repeating this action and it will help you get more bites, so try to get into some sort of rhythm 1 feed, 2 lift bait, 3 lower bait, 4 wait for a few seconds for a bite if no bites repeat this process.



When you start your fishing session you should start by feeding fairly heavy then when you get signs of fish in your feeding area you should cut back on the amount of feed you are feeding but this depends on what species of fish your are catching and how many bites your getting for example if you are fishing for carp you may have to up the feeding rate as they can eat large amounts of baits in to keep them interested. If you try to do this while fishing for roach then you run the risk of overfeeding them.


Holding a Pole

Holding the pole and feeding is the key to catching more fish if you can learn this you are on you way to catching big nets of fish.


Seating Position

Seating position is very important part of pole fishing, if you feel comfortable it will improve you fishing. First when setting up place your box 2 feet from the waters edge, this will reduce the chances of you or your equipment falling into water. If you have a continental style seat box with adjustable legs you should set the level of the legs at the height where your own legs are straight when you sit down, which will make holding a pole easier


Keep everything in easy reach

Another very important part of setting up is to make sure everything is in easy reach like you bait, landing net, and you keepnet which will make the fishing experience more comfortable.


Shipping out the pole

When fishing the pole to help you prevent your rig getting tangling when your shipping the pole out is to point the pole tip at the water and push the rig through the water. Then when you get the pole to the feeding area lay you rig out on the water so it falls in a straight line which will help you to detect a bit instantly.


Fishing At Depth

There are many variations when fishing at depth. The choice of floats the size of your elastic and the breaking strain of your line all depends on where you are fishing and what species of fish you are likely to catch (see fitting it all together).


Usually the deeper the water the heavier the pole float should be, for example if you was fishing a venue that is 3 to 4 feet deep you would us floats mark 4x10 if you was fishing in 6 to 7 feet of water you would use a float mark 4x12 and water to 10 feet in depth you should be using a float which is marked 1g. (See pole floats).


Shotting pattern

There are hundreds of different shotting patterns but if you keep it simple there is less chance of tangles. The shotting pattern which is manly used is called the bulk shot this is several shots 12 to 18inchs above the hook and 2 or three dropper spread evenly below the bulk, you can also spread the weight out evenly down the line and let the bait fall slowly through the water. When the fish are feeding of the bottom this method is call on the drop (See shotting patterns).


Plumbing the Depth

I cannot stress how important plumbing the depth is, you can carry out this process by attaching the plumbet to your hook then by starting from the edge gradually moving out, and this will help you to get a picture in you head on how the bottom looks like under the water. If you don’t complete this task you will never no if you are fishing on the bottom or up in the water plus you will have no idea if your using the right pole float. Some ponds or lakes have drop of points that we call shelfs and some just slope off but its important to find these features. If there is a steep drop of point this would be a good place to build a swim at the bottom of the shelf, but if it just slopes off then it will pay off to find a flat section of the pond or lake. A useful tip is when you find the depth mark your pole with tipex don’t forget to mark your pole where the hook is as well which will help you when you what to fish over depth or off the bottom by moving you float up past the tipex mark or below (See plumbing the depth).



Once you have plumbed the depth you have to consider your feeding method, there are many ways you can feed but you must put a bed of feed on the bottom of the venue you are fishing. You could put 2 or three balls of ground bait at the start of your session then through out the session keep toping up by loose feeding over the top, your loose feed should not be as regular as you would if you was fishing up in the water as you run the risk of bringing the fish up in the water when you are fishing the bottom. (See feeding methods).


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