mugging commercial carp 1

Mugging Commercial Carp

Mugging Commercial Carp

Mugging carp has become a very popular tactic during big matches on venues dominated by carp and is especially good on those still hot days when the carp are cruising around in the warmer upper layers. These carp aren’t really interested in feeding and the mugging tactic involves simply swinging out and dropping a bait right next to a fish and then hoping that its natural instinct see’s it grabbing the bait.

Lucky draw

Practicing this method really does help, as it tunes you into where and how to drop the bait in a split second and today I’ve come to Coleman’s Cottage, a typical carp dominated venue where mugging has really taken off. The carp here are mainly in the 3lb – 6lb bracket but there are bigger to over 15lb and its these that tend to hang around in the upper layers or right down the edge and underneath the fishing platforms. Obviously mugging only works if you’re lucky to draw a peg where the carp are cruising around and if you can pick a few of these out then they really do help bump your weight up. 

Intercepting lumps

Mugging is a really active method and if you’re on the fish and they are responding then you will certainly know it come the end of the session. Constantly flicking a bait, adding sections to fish at different distances, changing rigs, bait and depth is the order of the day as well as hooking, playing and landing hopefully numerous hard fighting carp. A word of warning though, being too aggressive and waving a pole around without care and attention can on occasions spook the fish so if there are some lumps cruising around it can pay to sit back with your pole resting on the rollers, buy your time then intercept one of these as it swims past. 

mugging commercial carp 2

Rig choice

A quick look from the car park at Wood Lake and there are plenty of carp cruising around so that’s where I’m going to set up. My kit consists of a Sphere Zero-G PT+ pole and I’m using a long No 4 section which gives the pole a bit of whip plus the long top kits, that come as standard with this pole, which makes the task of flicking over a rig that much easier. I’m using 4ft of Cenex 0.20mm Hybrid Power Mono attached to Xitan 2.3mm Microbore Elastic for my heavier rig which consists of a .3g dibber float shotted simply with 4No8 positioned directly under the float, a six inch hook length of 0.18mm Hybrid Power along with a size 16 Sphere Beast hook which has a pellet band attached to it. The lighter rig almost identical apart from the float is a .2g dibber and the elastic is the new Hybrid 2mm white, which has a 14-16 rating, a great all-round soft elastic for targeting medium sized carp.

mugging carp rigs
hybrid mono
sphere beast hooks 11
hybrid elastic range

Cheap or expensive?

Bait for the session is simply pellets but it’s worth having a mixture as on some days a certain size, even colour can make all the difference. Mugging doesn’t involve any feeding; however it is worth pinging half a dozen every few minutes to a certain line, similar to fishing the pellet waggler, as if there are no cruisers then a few flicks of the rig in this area can produce a few extra fish. It’s also worth feeding the margins as these can be very productive especially late in the day as well as nicking the odd lump as it appears. Casters have become a very popular bait with this method as they give a far slower drop in front of a carps face than pellet due to their natural buoyancy, however the drawback is the cost and for a big match you may go through a gallon! Pellet is far cheaper, but the fall through the water is quicker and if you don’t get a bite within ten seconds you need to flick again so there are advantages and disadvantages for both baits. 

Instant action

As expected it doesn’t take long for a flicked pellet in front of a carp to see the float disappearing and the elastic stretching as the first mugged carp falls to this deadly method. Keeping the pole low and using the pulla kit gets the fish under control quickly and when it’s close in just lift the pole, get its head up and quickly push the landing net underneath. Four hours in and I’ve lost count of the number of carp that have been caught, no real monsters, the best maybe 7lb but the average size is far bigger than the hoards of F1’s that you would catch down on the deck and come the end of a match these bigger fish will make all the difference. It was the lighter .2g rig and a 6mm red pellet that was the most successful today, the heavier float seemed to spook the fish so worth noting and using the lightest float you can get away with and consistently switching bait.

Mugging is a devastating method on its day and one that all match anglers need to master if they want to be consistent on commercial carp venues.

Alex Reynolds

"As expected, it doesn't take long to get the elastic stretching."

Alex’s Tackle

Sphere Zero-G PT+ 

Microbore/Hybrid Elastic

Long No 4 Section/Long Top Kit

0.20/0.18mm Cenex Hybrid Power Mono

.2g/.3g Dibber Float

Sphere Beast size 16 Hook

Pellet Band


Alex’s Bait

4mm/6mm red/natural pellets 

big carp in net

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Mugging Carp web

New Video - Mugging Crafty Carp

Just in time for the warm weather, Alex Reynolds takes a look at a brilliant summer tactic – Mugging carp off the surface. Alex looks at the tackle and tactics you are going to need to get to grips with this useful tactic that can make the most of those days when the carp are ghosting around just under the surface.


Hit the play button below to watch now, or find the video (and many others) on the Browning YouTube channel.

Shallow Fishing - Tips & Tricks 2022

Jim Hall visits the prolific Lindholme Lakes and spends the day on the famous Bonsai lake in search and carp and F1’s shallow.


Jim looks at the rigs and tactics you need for shallow fishing, including the Jigga rig.


Hit the play button below to watch the video now, or head over to the Browning YouTube channel to watch this and hundreds more tactical videos.

kennet & avon 1

The Brilliant Kennet & Avon!

Pole fishing on the brilliant Kennet & Avon Canal.

It’s a real treat for me to head to my favourite canal and with certain stretches of the middle reaches of the Kennet and Avon staying open during the traditional close season it’s always a trip I look forward to. It’s not just refreshing to get away from the busy commercial match scene, you rarely if ever see another angler at this time of year here, but it’s just great being able to unwind in the peaceful, unrushed countryside. 

Pole Position

The stretch I’m fishing today is close to Hungerford in West Berkshire and I’ve chosen this swim for two reasons, the first is it has a mooed boat opposite, one I hope won’t be moving, along with a lock to my left, an end peg so to speak which is always a good area at anytime of the year. My only concern is the colour of the water which has a strange brownish tinge to it, an algae bloom I suspect, but at least I can still see around eighteen inches down. 

Perch Attack

Knowing this canal has a reputation for big perch I’m going to have at least one line with these in mind and the root system extending into the water from a bank side tree to my right looks the perfect area. I’m going to prime this spot first with a big cupful of chopped worms plus a few casters which I hope will draw in any bonus fish throughout the day. The canal is quite low; it might be too shallow here, so if it fails to produce I will switch to a more central line down the middle to my right with chopped lobworm.  The rig I m using for my inside perch line is Stretch 7 No8 elastic, a 0.5g float, size 14 Sphere Beast hook with the mainline and hook length created from Cenex Classic Mono in 0.14mm and 0.12mm diameters. 


kennet & avon pole fishing 2

With a boat moored on the opposite bank this was an interesting swim with plenty of options.

kennet & avon pole fishing 3

Bait choice consisted on mainly larger, more positive, baits, such as maggots, casters and worms as I was hoping for a good stamp of fish.

Boat Line

My second line of attack is right over to the far bank moored boat, one I’m going to kick start hopefully with a big cupful of casters and then on a regular basis pult a few more over the top. This line really could produce anything from that bonus big perch right through to net roach and skimmers. The rig I’ve set up for this consists of 0.3g float size 18 hook, Microbore lime green elastic and Cenex Classic Mono in diameters 0.10mm and 0.08mm.

In the Deeps

My final line, and one that I’m hoping will attract mainly skimmers, is straight down the middle in the deepest water, a maggot line which I’ve kicked started with a small ball of Quick Skimmer groundbait. The rig for this is a 4×12 float, with a strung out bulk of no11 shot plus two tiny dropper shot. Once again the line consists of 0.10mm/0.08mm Classic Mono, size 20 hook and Microbore lime green elastic and the pole for all three lines is my trusted Sphere Zero-G F1+. 

On the Move

A quick look down the edge on the worm line produces just one small perch and line down the side of the boat is strangely quiet, however it seems that most of the fish are in the deeper water as bites are coming frequently from small roach, skimmers and perch. Unfortunately the boat on the far bank isn’t staying, it’s a risk we take which doesn’t always work in our favour, as after an hour it’s on the move and as expected kills sport for a while. Another look down the edge produces nothing so the lobworm line is activated for later in the session. Introducing a small ball of groundbait in the deeper water every ten minutes along with steadily pulting pinkies and big maggot over the top on a little and often basis gets the bites coming again. The fish, mostly skimmers and roach are slowly getting bigger and then as expected something bigger grabs the pinkie hookbait and see’s the elastic extend and it’s not long before a perch, probably around 1lb 8oz falls into the waiting net. 

kennet & avon pole fishing 4

Microbore lime green is ideal for my lighter rigs.

"as well as catching some quality fish in beautiful surroundings it’s time to head home one happy angler"

Toothy Encounter

Strangely just when I’m putting a weight together the bites dry up leaving me scratching my head. Time to check out the lobworm line! Straight away the float buries and a big fish is hooked, let’s hope it’s a big perch but the speed of this fish has me thinking otherwise and after a tense fight a pike is somehow bundled into the net. Now I know why the swim died so suddenly! The pike is released well away from the swim and once again after feeding the bites return with some nice net perch showing along with the odd gudgeon and a surprise minnow, now I haven’t caught one of these for years. 

Heading Home Happy

The early morning cloud cover has now given way to bright blue skies, however with the minnow, hearing my first cuckoo of the year as well as catching some quality fish in beautiful surroundings it’s time to head home one happy angler.

Colin Sheppard

sphere beast hooks

Sphere Beast hooks are ideal for worm fishing when hard-fighting fish can be expected.

cenex hybrid mono

You can’t beat Cenex Hybrid Mono in demanding situations with hard-fighting fish.

sphere f1+ pole

The Sphere F1 Plus pole handles everything that I can throw at it and is incredibly well balanced and stiff.

Colin’s Tackle

Sphere Zero-G F1+ Pole

No8 Stretch 7 Elastic

Xitan Micobore Lime Green 3-5 Elastic

Cenex Hybrid Power Mono 0.14mm/0.12mm

Cenex Classic Mono 0.10mm/0.08mm

Sphere Beast size 14 Hook

Sphere Feeder size 18 Ultra Lite Hook


Colin’s Bait




Champion’s Feeder Quick Skimmer Groundbait

kennet & avon 7

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big bream 1

Specimen Bream on the Feeder

Specimen Bream on the Feeder  

Sometimes it’s really refreshing to get away from the carp dominated commercial match scene and head somewhere new, especially when the venue contains some very big bream and potentially a personal best is on the cards. So recently I headed off for a session in search of specimen bream on the feeder.

Homework pays off

Having never fished the venue before I’ve done a little homework and found out that the bream average around seven pounds with the occasional bigger fish into double figures possible. Although these fish have grown big on a feast of pellets and boilies introduced by the carp anglers it’s still quite early in the year and I’ve been advised to fish maggot on a rig I’ve never tried before, the Helicopter Rig. A little searching on YouTube goes a long way and although I’m somewhat apprehensive just how effective this rig is, it would be nice to get an early fish to boost my confidence.

Decision time

Unfortunately two hours into the session and no so much as a tremor of the tip has come my way and I’m just beginning to think I’ve made a fundamental error when I notice some disturbance on the far bank and on closer inspection find the bream have gone into their mating ritual somewhat earlier than expected. Its decision time, do I stay put in hope or head to the smaller lake next door, one I have know little about apart from it does contain bream?

gravel pit fishing

Mature gravel pits make an interesting change from commercial fisheries.

sphere bomb rod

The Sphere 10’ Bomb +10%, a true all-rounder and will cope with a wide range of bomb and light feeder fishing.

cenex method mono

Cenex Method Mono is an incredibly tough, fast sinking, line that I use for a lot of my bomb and feeder fishing.

Personal best

Half an hour later and after casting a dozen feeders out containing a good quality fishmeal groundbait laced with maggots the decision to move to the smaller lake has paid off as I’m into my first fish and by the feel of it, it’s a big bream. As the fish nears the net the weight increases and I have to admit that I’m getting nervous, please, please don’t fall out hook! In the net she goes and straight away I know it’s a personal best weighing over 7lb, happy you could say that! Fifteen minutes later and with two more big bream in the net the swim dies, time for another six feeders cast and retrieved quickly to hopefully get those fish back in a feeding mood. 

Simple but effective

The tackle I’m using consists of a Sphere 10’ Bomb +10% Power Rod teamed up with a Sphere MgTi 930 Reel loaded with Cenex 0.20mm Method Mono. The rig itself consists of a size 10 swivel trapped tightly between two float stops and the hooklink which is created from Cenex 0.16mm Hybrid Power is attached to this. This hooklink has a size 16 barbless Sphere Beast hook attached along with a tapered sleeve threaded onto it which pushes up and covers the swivel creating an anti-tangle boom and tied directly onto the mainline is 20g Big Pit Standard Feeder. At first you would look at the rig and think, that won’t work but believe me it’s really is effective and has opened my eyes to modern day bream fishing and I’ve been told works equally as well for big tench!  

helicopter feeder rig

A simple Helicopter Feeder Rig is easy to make and very tangle-free. Ideal for bream and tench fishing on still waters.

XENOS feeder 2

A Big Pit Feeder is the ideal choice for the Helicopter Rig. Choose the size and weight based upon the amount of bait you want to feed and the distance.

helicopter rig stops

Use two Rig Stops to semi-fix the short hook length in place about 20cm above the feeder.

"After half an hour I'm into my first fish, and it feels like a big bream..."

Attention to detail 

Although this rig is devastating, to get the very best from it you do need to pay attention to bait and bait application and accuracy is very important, especially early in the year. Before casting out and with the use of marker sticks I clip the mainline in the reels line clip at a distance of forty yards which just happened to be in line with the edge of an island in front. Bream love plenty of bait, especially a fishmeal groundbait so I decided to be positive and attack the swim by casting out the feeder twelve times, hitting the reels line clip firmly before waiting a few seconds for the bait to be released then sweeping the rod back and winding in. 

Top up time

Fortunately by topping the swim up with a further six feeder loads has worked and the bream are back resulting in a five more to 7lb 15oz, what a session. I just wished I’d not spent those early hours on the big lake, but then again if I hadn’t have moved I could have well blanked. It really is all about making the right decisions, being positive, having confidence in what you are doing and some days like today it all pays off.

If you haven’t tried the helicopter rig yet and have a lake close by with some big bream within then I can honestly say you need to give the Helicopter Rig a go.


Ethan Etherington

Ethan’s Tackle

Sphere 10’ Bomb +10% Power Rod

Sphere MgTi 930 Reel

Cenex 0.20mm Method Mono Mainline

Cenex 0.16mm Hybrid Power Mono Hook Length

Sphere Beast Barbless size 16 hook

Big Pit 20g Standard Feeder

Sixe 10 Swivel, Two Float Stops, Tapered Sleeve 


Ethan’s Bait

Sonubaits Super Feeder Fishmeal Groundbait

Red and white maggots

bream catch

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commercial silvers worms 1

Worms - The Key to Unlocking Commercial Silvers

Worms - The Key to Unlocking Commercial Silvers

One of my favourite baits, especially in spring when the water is beginning to warm up is worm as it’s a bait that almost every fish will readily eat and on those occasions when all else fails will often get a response.

It’s not all about carp

Today I’ve come to a typical commercial fishery, Frant Lakes on the Kent/Surrey boarder, a complex of eight lakes, where most anglers target the large numbers of carp. However these lakes aren’t just about carp as they also contain a good head of slivers namely bream, roach and perch which have been caught to over 4lb.

Recipe for success

Bait for today’s session is going to be worm fished over regularly introduced helpings of chopped worm, casters and maggots. This has in the past been a recipe for success with bags of perch exceeding 30lb, many being over 2lb along with the occasional three.

Wash those worms

At the start of the session I simply feed a line down each edge along with one around ten metres out where the lake drops off into slightly deeper water. If the perch don’t show on the longer line then normally by alternating the inside line will produce. Each line is kicked off with a big Pole Cup full of chopped worms, maggots and casters and then every fifteen minutes or so these will be topped up with the same mix using a small Mini Cup. A little tip is to place a few big handfuls of worms in a fine mesh landing net and wash of all the soil they come in as this isn’t something I want to be depositing in my swim and if you lose feed here all that will happen is the carp will respond to this and potentially ruin a good perch swim.

commercial silvers worms 2

Bait consists of worms, casters, red maggots and pinkies.    

commercial silvers 3

Large Pole Cups kick start each line and the Mini Cups top them up.

commercial silvers 4

You just can’t beat the head of a worm as bait.

Plan B

The session hasn’t gone to plan as starting on the Waterfall Lake in perfect overcast perch conditions all I’ve been able to catch has been skimmers and after forcing the feeding a bit too aggressively dragged in the carp resulting in at least six doubles. Time to move and after three hours on the previous lake I’m now set up on the Car Park Lake which is much deeper, the only problem is high pressure has drifted in and the earlier overcast skies have disappeared leaving a bright blue sky and an ever growing chilly north east wind. 

Spread bulk or olivette

The pole I’m using today is my trusted Sphere Zero-G F1+, a fantastic all-rounder that will not just cope with bagging big weights of carp but is equally as good when things need to be fined down for silvers. Top-kits are the Sphere two-piece ones, all with pulla systems and Xitan Microbore Lime Green 1.30mm elastic running through which has a of 3-5 rating. The rigs I’m using are all very similar created from Cenex Hybrid Power 0.14mm and 0.12mm Mono and wire stem rugby ball shaped floats which combat any tow. The only difference being on the Waterfall Lake the rigs were cocked using a spread bulk of shot along with two No10 droppers down to a size 16 Sphere Beast barbless hook as opposed to an olivette bulk and two droppers on the deeper Car Park Lake.

sphere f1 plus pole

he Sphere Zero-G F1+ a great all-rounder.


A nice gate crasher, but I don’t want to catch too many of these as they can scare off the perch.

sphere beast hooks

Beast hooks will deal with anything but still regain some finesse.

Against the odds

Amazingly, even in such bright conditions the move has paid off as after around thirty minutes the leak of from the chopped worm and all their amino acids have drawn in some fish, not perch but skimmers, odd bream and roach. These have all come on my two longer ten metre lines in around nine feet of water, one being worm head hookbait fished over chopped worm, casters and maggots the other, that did produce a few fish for a while, being corn fished over groundbait, always worth a try as a backup line when skimmers and bream are around. The odd occasion I did try the inside marginal lines produced, yes you’ve guessed it, more double figured carp so these have been neglected relatively quickly as carp aren’t what I was looking for.  

It’s been a frustrating but rewarding day as I really was looking for a bag of big perch but for some reason they just didn’t show, yet making the effort to move not just swim but lake has made the session so worthwhile as around 30lb of silvers have graced my net. Just a shame those perch didn’t show! 

John Pantrey

roach and bream

John’s Tackle

Sphere Zero-G F1+ 

Sphere 2-piece top kits

Xitan Microbore Lime Green 1.30mm elastic 

Cenex 0.14mm and 0.12mm Hydro Power Mono 

Sphere Beast Barbless size 16 Hook 

John’s Bait






microbore elastic

Keep up to date with all our latest match news here.

Find out more about our team of anglers here.


Visit the Browning interactive product catalogue here.

Specimen Bream on the Feeder

This week we join Ethan Etherington for a brilliant bag-up session catching some specimen gravel pit bream on the feeder.


Hit the play button below below to watch now.

cenex lines

Guide to Cenex Lines

Guide to Cenex Lines

The ever popular Cenex lines such as Classic Mono, Hybrid Power Mono and the fantastic Fluoro Carbon Hook Line are often raved about and reviewed, yet there is so much more to the growing Cenex range than just these, if fact there are four more, Feeder Braid Sinking, Low Stretch Mono, Method Mono and Feeder Mono, all of which I use on a regular basis and are such great mainlines.

Let’s take a closer look and discuss when and where I use them and where they could compliment your fishing and increase your catch rate.

Cenex Feeder Braid Sinking

I first started using this braid when fishing the matches in Ireland, often on big windswept venues where conditions at times couldn’t get much worse. The reason being was I needed a mainline that sunk, withstood the constant crashing of waves around the rod tip bit most importantly gave me instant bite detection. It gave me a massive advantage over using mono and is my first choice when fishing large venues for big fish such as bream. It has a lovely round profile which loads well on the spool and great for casting long distances. It really is a superb zero stretch feeder fishing braid which sinks straight from the spool so no bedding in needed, is extremely strong and has an exceptional fine diameter.

Available in three diameters on 150m spools –

0.08mm 10lb

0.10mm 12lb

0.12mm 15lb

cenex feeder braid

Mono/braid? Can’t make your mind up? Try this.  

cenex low stretch mono

My go to reel line on big venues. 

Cenex Low Stretch Mono

This mainline is a great for the angler that doesn’t feel comfortable using a braided mainline but understands its advantages and needs an in between option. I use this line on venues where braided mainlines are banned as it’s pre-stretched, creating an ultra-low stretch mono that boosts bite detection. Many use this when fishing at distance as it’s an easier-to-use alternative to braid and its low diameter, abrasion resistance and smooth surface fishing all heighten the experience. 

Available in four diameters on 150m spools –

0.14mm 4.60lb

0.16mm 5.80lb

0.18mm 6.90lb

0.20mm 8.50lb

Cenex Method Mono

This specialist Co-polymer reel line is one I use when I know it’s going to take some beating, such as bagging bigger than average carp from a commercial. It really is a dependable line that cuts through the surface tension and immediately sinks. An added advantage is its camou-coloured, great for the match or specimen angler that needs to be as inconspicuous as possible and once again its fine diameter and super soft feel make it a mainline to be reckoned with. 

Available in four diameters on 150m spools –

0.20mm 8.10lb

0.22mm 10.40lb

0.24mm 12.80lb

0.26mm 15.00lb

cenex feeder mono

Hit the horizon with this one.

cenex feeder mono

One for some serious punishment.

cenex lines

Cenex Feeder Mono

If you’re looking for a quality, medium-stretch, sinking mono for feeder fishing then this is the one. Its special smooth surface seal increase casting distance, improves the retrieve and is highly abrasion resistant so it’s up taking some serious punishment. Being very supple it’s also become very popular with anglers fishing the waggler at medium to long distances and I’ve used it to great effect fishing the slider in really deep venues!

Available in eight diameters on 150m spools –

0.14mm 4.00lb

0.16mm 5.00lb

0.18mm 6.00lb

0.20mm 7.40lb

0.22mm 9.70lb

0.24mm 11.80lb

0.26mm 12.80lb

0.28mm 13.70lb

If you haven’t tried these then you really need to check them out!


Tim Bruce

Keep up to date with all our latest match news here.

Find out more about our team of anglers here.


Visit the Browning interactive product catalogue here.

hybrid elastic for commercials

Choose the Right Elastic for Commercial Fisheries

Choose the Right Elastic for Commercial Fisheries

Alex Reynolds takes a look at the brilliant new Browning Hybrid elastic and how to choose the right diameter of elastic for Commercial Fishery work throughout the year.


Hit the play button below to watch the video.

Keep up to date with all our latest match news here.

Find out more about our team of anglers here.


Visit the Browning interactive product catalogue here.

New Video Out Now - Feeder Fishing for Bream

In this weeks new video we join Jim Hall in session at the lovely Messingham Sands where Jim enjoys a lovely days feeder fishing for the venues prolific bream and silvers.


Follow Jim as he adjusts he tactics during the day, demonstrating why feeder choice is so important, and looks at different baits with some interesting result ….


Click the play button below to watch now ….