The Best Landing Net Combo for Carp 1

The Best Landing Net Combo for Carp?

The Best Landing Net Combo for Carp?

Match fishing on commercials today, especially on carp oriented venues, is all about speed, and every few seconds that can be saved during its duration simply means more fish in the net and the difference between winning and coming absolutely nowhere.

One area of concern has to be landing fish as when you finally get a carp under control and it surfaces you need to get that net under it ultra quick. If the handle is too short or heavy this can be a serious problem. Once in the net comes another time consuming problem as if the mesh is too big then often is the case of your banded pellet getting caught within the mesh or worse still breaking. 

Finding not just a landing net handle that is light and strong enough to solve this problem but also a net that’s big enough for sizable carp but also light as well as having a fine mesh can be difficult, or so you thought!

Take a look at the Hyper Carp XTR landing net handle and Black Magic Compact Pan net as if, what’s been mentioned before, is an irritating situation that you find yourself in then your problems have just been solved!


The XTR handle itself is long, 4m in fact and comes in three sections. It weighs an incredible 370g and isn’t just at home on carp commercials but also on running water, especially those with steep high banks, and as for its strength, rigidity and robustness, well its simply mind blowing. Moving this through the water is effortless, doesn’t bend even under the strain of a very big carp and when most handles would just break under the strain this handle simply makes light work of everything thrown at it which is all down to its reinforced spiral winding construction.  


As for the Black Magic Compact Pan net, well it teams up with the XTR handle perfectly, not too big (L 44cm x W 38cm) but big enough to drop an oversized bonus carp in if needed. Another point I love is it’s not too deep, just 24cm, which means I can unhook each carp easily before lowering and releasing into the keepnet. As previously mentioned the mesh is soft, strong and fine, just 2mm, which eliminates those teething problems of caught up/broken hairs! 

Having had this net for years I’ve certainly used and abused it and being robust, light and strong it’s withstood everything I’ve thrown at it as has the Hyper Carp XTR landing net handle. 

 If you want the best handle/net combination then you’ve just found it!

Alex Reynolds

The Best Landing Net Combo for Carp 2

Watch the video now, click play above.

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hybrid elastic group

Hybrid & Microbore Elastics for Carp

Hybrid & Microbore Elastics for Carp

Although I have been using Browning’s Microbore elastic for most of my commercial carp fishing over the last few years I have to admit that after experimenting with the new Hybrid elastic I can honestly say that I’m now torn between the two, especially for certain methods such as mugging. 

When mugging I have two basic setups, a light rig and a heavier rig. I always start of on the heavier rig, basically because if the carp are feeding aggressively then this rig will allow me to get them under control and in the net quicker, however if they are a big spooky and I need to fine things down to keep the bites coming then the lighter rig comes into play.

Let’s first talk about the elastic used for the heavier rig.  The elastic used here is the Microbore 2.3mm blue/pearl elastic that has a rating of 9-13. It’s used in conjunction with a pulla kit and has a 7x stretch factor. I like this elastic as it has a very thin bore, feels really light through the top kit, is far stronger than most other elastics for its diameter, is long lasting and as it doesn’t flatten under pressure against the bush it runs so much smoother under load. If you haven’t tried Browning’s Microbore elastic yet then you need to as the difference in feel when playing a fish is unbelievable! 

For the lighter rig I use the Hybrid 2.0mm which is a brilliant all purpose carp elastic with a rating of 14-16. It’s really good for bagging medium sized carp as; once again in conjunction with a pulla kit, gets those carp under control quickly. Coming in 6m lengths there’s enough for three short or two long top kits and it powers up nicely and is very smooth, certainly one that you need to take a look at if you prefer solid elastic!  


Alex Reynolds

pole fishing carp
microbore elastic group shot
hybrid elastic 2mm

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duo bush 1

Duo Bush System

Duo Bush System

When buying a Browning pole you will find that they all come with a Duo Bush as standard. This simple but innovative bush allows you to switch between using two diameter elastics using the same top kit, which means the need for less top kits and no cutting back.

If you don’t have a Browning pole don’t worry as these are supplied in packs of two, in three different size options meaning that you can still benefit from this simple solution. Once fitted (the packaging comes with a measuring guide) the Duo bush allows for a fine diameter elastic to be used, yet simply by removing this and leaving the white bush mean that a heavier, larger diameter elastic can be used.  

Made from aero quality black PTFE these bushes are purposely short and have a very thin walled to give the largest possible hole size and to reduce friction, they also make top kits look very smart.

Available in three sizes –

Standard 4.5/3.9mm

Large 5.5/4.5mm

Extra Large 6.5/5.5mm 

Mick Fordham

duo bush system 2

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Mick Fordham big carp

How to Tackle Deep Margins

How to Tackle Deep Margins

Most carp dominated commercials are very similar in topography with an average depth of around 4ft and very shallow margins. Fishing tight to the far bank, maybe to an island or down the edge is generally one of the best areas with eighteen inches and a relatively flat bottom being what we all are looking for, however there are exceptions where the margins are deep, maybe upwards of six feet just inches from the marginal vegetation and if you treat these in the same way as a shallow margin, well it’s a recipe for disaster!

Exception to the rule

One such venue is Willow Pool near Basingstoke in Hampshire; it’s a small deep water run by Adventure Angling Society and is one of very few fisheries that still contain true wild carp. Being an irrigation resource the water level can fluctuate dramatically, especially in the summer when the farmer needs to water the crops and even in these conditions it’s rare to find less than four-feet of water tight to the nearby rushes! 

deep margin pole fishing

Irrigation reservoirs often have deep margins.

Cenex Hybrid mono

Cenex Hybrid Power is such a versatile line.

Heavy particles

Feeding is so, so important when fishing deep margins and if you feed baits such as live/dead maggot, casters and groundbait all that will happen is as it descends through the water it will spread, depositing items all over the place along with the fish. On these venues it’s much better to feed heavier particle baits such as 4mm and 6mm pellets, corn as well as paste as these will fall far quicker, create a tighter feeding zone that can be accurately targeted throughout the session. 

Plumbing up, so important

Before feeding it’s really important to take your time plumbing up and its best to use a heavy plummet as this will transmit so much more through the pole, telling me what the bottom is made up off as well as if there are any obstacles such as reed roots lying around. Once I’ve found dead depth, as well as an even area really tight to the marginal rushes, I always add an inch as I want to know that my pellet is always lying in the feeding zone. I will always plumb up on both sides of the swim as this allows me to take a fish or two from one side before feeding and switching position.

Stand out bait

Having found a couple of marginal spots it’s time to get some feed in and I always start with half a big pot of 4mm pellets which are dampened down to add weight plus a nice scattering of bright visual corn. If the margin was deeper, say six feet plus then I would be feeding bigger 6mm pellets. Hopefully after leaving this to draw a few fish in for ten minutes bites should come almost straight away but if not then I will add more bait, not as much, say quarter of a pot and continue to do this until one or both lines start to produce. Having laid the table it’s time to drop in over the top and I like to use a big stand out bait, usually an 8mm pellet or double corn. If everything goes to plan it should be a case of taking a couple of carp from one spot, feeding more 4mm pellets and corn before switching sides and repeating the process. One small but very important tip is when positioning the rig within the swim instead of swinging the hookbait alongside the marginal cover its best to drop the bait and float in open water then drag the float into the rushes as this will allow your hookbait to fall unhindered through the swim coming to rest on the deck. 

commercial carp baits

Pellets and corn are my main baits, but I always have some paste as a change bait too.

"take your time plumbing up and use a heavy plummet"

pole float
bulk shotting

Getting it down

Rig wise I like to keep things nice and simple and use a .4g pellet shaped handmade float which has a nice visual 2mm bristle and leave plenty showing so that I can watch and hit those positive bites. The float is attached to 0.20mm Cenex Hybrid Power Mono and positioned around six inches from the pole tip so I can hit those bites fast and hard. Below the float and positioned just above the four-inch hook length, which is made from 0.19mm Cenex Fluoro Carbon Hook Line, is a spread bulk of seven No8 shot which gets the hookbait down to the bottom quickly. As for hook it’s a size 14 barbless eyed Sphere Beast which has a short hair extending from it which contains a small micro band which is really versatile as it retains different pellet sizes and corn firmly.

As expected the short evening session has once again been action packed with plenty of wild carp to around 6lb plus a few of the recent stockies gracing my net, proof that even in such hot temperatures and with a vast amount of the carp sunning themselves that by thinking about what and how you feed, keeping the rig nice and simple will still produce the goods. 

Mick Fordham

Mick’s Tackle

Zero-G F1+ Pole

Hybrid 2.2mm Elastic

.4g pellet shaped float

Sphere size 14 Beast barbless Hook

0.20mm Cenex Hybrid Power Mono

0.19mm Cenex Fluoro Carbon Hook Line

Micro Bait Band

Spread bulk of seven No 8 shot


Mick’s Bait

4mm/6mm/8mm Pellets


hair rigged pellet
sphere beast hooks
netting big carp

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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

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