How To Fish Snake Lakes 1

How To Fish Snake Lakes

The popularity of Snake Lakes, especially with match anglers, has increased massively in recent years, and the one at Puddledock Farm in Essex is a classic example. Many are stocked with a mixed variety, especially the more common silver fish we are use too, some have species such as barbel and ide which offer consistent sport throughout the colder months but here at Puddledock its really an all out carp venue. In this article I will look at how to fish Snake Lakes.

Look for the mud bank

Every swim here is almost identical with a uniform depth and cover down the near side margin and across to the far bank which in this case is around 15m, however some swims do stand out and they are the ones with a clean mud bank on the far side, the ones you wish to draw in a match but rarely do. For today’s session I have headed to a banker swim, peg 29 which is a bit of a walk but does produce bigger than average carp and often weights that frame in matches. 

Critical depth

It’s been cold overnight and the chill in the air indicates winter is just around the corner. This will affect how to fish snake lakes. I’m a little apprehensive just how it will fish but I’m going to approach it in the same way I would a routine match, but expect that I may have to make a few changes throughout the session. That mud bank on the far side will be where I start and first job is to have a good plumb around to find not only the depth, ideally between 12 -14 inches tight to the bank, but an area where I can present a bait effectively. The reason I’m looking for a certain depth is at 12-14 inches the carp don’t have the depth to mess around meaning bites are nice and positive.  Deeper swims will see carp intercepting bait at all depths creating loads of false bites and foul hooked fish, frustrating and time consuming.

Totally reliable

The rig I’m using for the long line consists of a strong 0.4g homemade rugby ball shaped float connected using two rubbers to Cenex 0.18mm Hybrid Power Mono and I’ve placed a no12 shot directly below this to stop the float moving along with six no8 just above a 3’ Classic Mono hook length. Finishing of the rig is a size 16 barbless Sphere Beast hook with a band directly attached which retains a 6mm hard pellet. One other important addition to the rig is two no8 back-shot attached above the float which keeps the float pinned into position and the elastic I’ve chosen for this line is the No 10 white Stretch 7 Hollow, ideal for carp in the 2lb – 10lb range. 

how to fish snake lakes 2

Always start across to a clean mud bank if possible.  

sphere beast hooks

Sphere Beast Hooks are my choice when carp fishing.

snake lake bait

Bait, micros, 6mm pellets with maggot and groundbait as backup. 

"I look for a clean line across to start with."

commercial pole float

Robust floats are needed and a yellow tip stands out against the mud. 

commercial pole float stotz

A bulk of no8 placed above the hook length.  

How To Fish Snake Lakes 2

Back shot keeps the float pinned in place.

Under control

I’ve also recently switched over to using the one piece Skyline kits that are ideal for this type of fishing, strong, rigid and along with a side pulla gets even the biggest fish under control quickly. They also have depth measurements every four inches which allows me to adjust the rig if needed but also return to the initial plumed depth instantly.

One bite at a time

Having plumed the depth it’s time to head across and feed the swim. This is where many get things wrong and introduce too much feed using a large pot. What this simply does is gets too many fish into the swim which simply leads to prolonged fights from foul hooked fish, many of which are lost at the last moment. What I try to achieve is to get just one or two carp in the swim at any one time and do this by feeding a small kinda pot of micros, just enough to entice that positive un-missable bite. If I don’t get a bite after a few minutes I simply ship back in and feed again with another pot of micros. Don’t press the micros into the pot to firmly, what you want is when releasing these for them to fall out in a steady column above the hookbait. Keep repeating this and it won’t be long before there are signs of carp in the swim, the float sails away and the elastic extends from the pole.  

Instant action

Quite often it takes a little while to get a bite but today first put in and a good fish around 6lb comes to the net. The action continues as an even bigger fish falls a few minutes later but after a dozen fish during the next couple of hours bites slow up, time to start feeding the margin. 

Down the edge

The chilly overnight temperature has certainly toughened things up, it’s certainly not fast and furious like the summer months, yet a switch down the edge starts to produce bites, not on top of the shelf but at the bottom which shows they’re not that keen on coming up in the water. 

The rig down the edge is almost identical apart from a 4×12 float; 4’ hook length, bulk of no10 and a short hair to a bait band along with Xitan blue Microbore Elastic through the top kit. Feeding this line is different as whilst continuing to fish the far bank I start trickling in a few 6mm pellets by hand, just enough to draw a few carp in and start feeding confidently. The reason I found the fish in deeper water was whilst testing the shallow margin I noticed bubbles coming up further out, so keep your eyes open at all times, especially as the seasons change. 

The rain and wind has started to increase and having landed plenty of carp to nearly 10lb I’m happy with what I’ve learnt, winter is on its way and those shallow marks are getting tougher.  I hope this has been useful and given you an insight into how to fish snake lakes.

Alex Reynolds


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

Find out more about our team of anglers here.


Visit the Browning poles website here.

stretch 7 elastic

Stretch 7 Hollow, great for the Skyline Kits.   

browning Xitan SLK 1 piece kit

Skyline kits, perfect for commercial carp.  

commercial pole float locking shot

Put a small shot under the float to ensure the float can’t move when playing powerful carp.

Alex’s Tackle – How to Fish Snake Lakes

Sphere Zero-G PT+

Skyline Kits

Cenex 0.18mm Hybrid Power Mono

Cenex 0.16 Classic Mono

Sphere Beast barbless size 16 hook

Stretch 7 Hollow/Xitan Microbore Elastic

.4g/4×12 handmade float


Alex’s Bait

Micro pellet

6mm Hard Pellets


Dead maggots

Alex Reynolds carp

The carp here can run big and often you will find the better fish right on the mud line.

Match Fishing Live - Autumn Carp Pole Fishing Tactics

Join Jim Hall throughout the recent Browning Teams match at Rookery Waters in Cambridgeshire.


Having never fished the venue before, how will Jim’s years of commercial fishing experience translate into this new venue? Having drawn a decent peg, can he put together a good performance?

We follow Jim right through his match to see how it unfolds, his thinking and the tactics he uses.


Hit the play button below to watch now, or find it on the Browning Europe YouTube channel.

Pole Fishing Snake Lakes

Pole Fishing Snake Lakes

Alex Reynolds from Browning Wickford looks at how he approaches pole fishing snake lakes in the autumn months for carp and F1’s.

Click the play button below to watch the whole video or find it on the Browning Europe You Tube channel.


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

Find out more about our team of anglers here.


Visit the Browning poles website here.

Pellet Waggler 1

Pellet Waggler for Carp

The Pellet Waggler is a very fast and action-packed fishing method that requires a high level of concentration, but is also a lot of fun! In the summer, when the fish are actively swimming around in many layers of water, I like to use the Pellet Waggler and try to catch the carp in upper water layers. The intention of Pellet Waggler fishing is that you attract the carp by feeding pellets and we catch them close to the surface.

I modify the method a little and also like to feed only corn kernels and look for the depth where I get the most bites.

It is also important to feed a few kernels of corn continuously and to cast the float over and over again and to get into a rhythm.

The bites in when the hookbait is falling are tough to hit and really fun!

For this type of fishing I use a short, light but stable parabolic match rod that is built for Pellet Wagglers.

The Carp Waggler rod from the Carp King (CK) series is just right for this and is exactly the right choice in conjunction with a small and robust reel like the Black Magic MSF 330.

A 0.20mm mono line, a balanced Pellet Waggler and a 0.18mm hook length is all you need, and the fun begins!

best regards, 

Martin Siwon


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

Find out more about our team of anglers here.


Visit the Browning poles website here.

CK CARP Waggler 1
CK CARP Waggler 2
CK CARP Waggler 3

autumn carp pole fishing

Autumn Commercial Carp Tactics

Jon Whincup shares his autumn commercial carp tactics during a session at the lovely Rookery Waters in Cambridgeshire.


Jon looks at why this can be a tricky time of the year when the weather conditions can play havoc with your plans. By staying flexible and explaining the three lines that he will fish, Jon keeps catching a puts together a lovely net of fish.


With the weather still remarkably warm for the time of year Jon finds plenty of carp and F1’s still willing to feed in the near and far margins. Here he finds around two to three feet of water. Unlike in summer, the carp are happy to feed on the deck in this depth of water.


Whilst, on the day, the deeper centre line, with around six feet of water, doesn’t produce consistently on the day, this can be a really good line once the temperatures start to drop.


To learn Jon’s Autumn Commercial Carp Tactics just hit the play button below to watch, or check out the video (and many others) over on the Browning YouTube channel.


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

Find out more about our team of anglers here.


Visit the Browning poles website here.

Sphere Power Partner 2

Sphere Zero-G Power Partner

If you are looking to get into the Browning Sphere pole ‘ecosystem’, looking for a power pole to compliment your Sphere, or just want the best 10.5m pole around, then the Sphere Zero-G Power Partner is for you. 

Originally developed to compliment the Sphere Zero-G poles, the Power Partner features some extra section strength, for when you really need it, but without adding significant amounts of weight. 

The stiffness is also right up there with the other Sphere poles, and it is completely compatible with the other models. Use the Power Partner as a shorter companion pole to your Sphere, or in combination with your main pole. 

The Power Partner is supplied as a ‘bare’ pole, with a single two-piece multi-kit. The idea being that Sphere owners will already have a number of top kits. Being fully section compatible, you can build up just the array of sections and kits that you need. 

In use I find it hard to tell the difference between the Power Partner and my Sphere Zero-G PT+, it really is that well balanced and incredibly stiff. You are just as likely to find me setting this pole up for fishing a flat float on the river Trent, as you are for fishing shallow on a commercial. 

If you fish a wide range of different venues, or want a second pole, then I can’t rate the Power Partner highly enough. It is a brilliant concept that adds great flexibility to the Sphere pole line-up. 

Tom Noton


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

Find out more about our team of anglers here.


Visit the Browning poles website here.

Sphere Power Partner 1

The Power Partner shares all of the same features as the rest of the Sphere range.

Sphere Power Partner 3

The Sphere Power Partner is supplied as a bare pole, but is fully compatible with all of the Sphere top kits, enabling you to mix and match the gear you need.

Sphere Power Partner 4

You are just as likely to see me fishing with the Power Partner on the river Trent as on a commercial.

Short Dacron Connector 1

Dacron Connectors

When fishing really shallow with extremely short rigs tangles can be problematic. However, I have a little trick up my sleeve using the Dacron Connectors that will totally eliminate tangles. Saving you loads of time during a match.

Instead of using Dacron Connectors in the way they are meant to be, which does reduce tangles when fishing a longer more conventional line, I completely remove the inner loop.

Left with just the soft rubber tulip shaped sleeve I thread this onto my elastic, thin side first before creating a knot that will pull back into the rounded section, but remember to leave a short elastic tag end.

This tag allows me to pull the knot out, before attaching the loop of the rig around it. Rig securely attached the knot is then pulled back so it’s encapsulated within the sleeve, leaving the thin end of the sleeve butting up nicely against the poles PTFE bush. 

Not quite how it’s supposed to be used, but it creates exactly what it is designed to achieve, a tangle free connection between elastic and rig and allows me to completely concentrate on catching fish.

Filipe Passeira


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

Find out more about our team of anglers here.


Visit the Browning poles website here.

Dacron Connector

Dacron Connectors make a great connection between elastic and rig, but can be adapted for different styles of fishing.

Short Dacron Connector 2

I remove the Dacron loop to give a really short connector when shallow fishing.

Short Dacron Connector 3

Hitting more bites ultimately puts more fish in the net.

Shallow Pole Fishing 1

Shallow Pole Fishing for F1's

Today I am planning on Shallow Pole Fishing for F1’s on a lovely summer day.


Although loads can be learnt from practice sessions on a venue, don’t get caught out and expect the lake to fish exactly the same once it’s crammed with match anglers. One of my regular venues, Falklands in Essex is a typical example of this, a venue full of silvers which the match anglers ignore, being more content on bagging up on the vast shoals of F1’s. This is a recipe for disaster as although the F1’s will kindly oblige all day long when its quiet, come match day they simply disappear after a couple of hours due to the noise and pressure around the lake, yet many still flog the same line in hope they will switch back on. 

Keep an eye on others

Witnessing this behaviour became apparent during the first match I fished here, yet I noticed it wasn’t just my swim that died, every other angler was going through the same scenario, however knowing the venue was full of roach, ide, skimmers, barbel and perch I had been constantly feeding another line with maggots, a line that paid off as I won the match with a fifty/fifty net of F1’s and silvers.

I’m going to go through the same routine as I would during a match, one that has seen me win the last six matches here, however with just one other angler on the lake I’m sure those F1’s won’t follow the same pattern as on match days, let’s see? 

Don’t get carried away

Getting the best from a swim here really does all come down to feeding, keeping those options open and not getting carried away with one that’s gives you that flying start and lures you into a false sense of security. Every angler that goes long, shallow pole fishing for F1’s and will catch steadily at the start of the match but the first hour is always the best and each that follow will get worse and worse. It’s knowing when to switch and in my experience half way through a five hour match is about right. The downfall of many, even those who start feeding a maggot line is they forget to keep feeding and for those that try and get a second line going cold later on; well the damage has already been done.

Shallow Pole Fishing 2

Fishing long and shallow makes me really appreciate the quality of my Sphere pole.

Shallow Pole Fishing 3

Getting your feeding right is essential with all forms of shallow fishing.

Shallow Pole Fishing 4

I really rate the SkyLine top kits for fishing shallow as they are less obvious to the fish sitting just below the surface.

Don’t stop feeding

My approach from the start is quite simple as it’s based around two positive lines, one at 14m, the other at 5m shallow pole fishing for F1’S.  And one down the edge where I might just have to go in search of a barbel or two, yet rarely has this line had to come into play. The 14m line is my F1 line and where I will start with the 5m line being my silver line for the second half of the match. All seems really straight forward but it’s amazing how the F1’s can draw your attention for far too long and even the anglers that do feed a maggot line can soon forget to feed in the hope that the long line will stay good all day. Not feeding, or stopping to feed is the biggest mistake on this lake as the silvers will stop responding and simply move to where there’s a steady trickle of bait falling through the water and in most cases this will be 5m in front of me!

Quick routine

Whistle blows and it’s time to get into a routine and straight away two pouchfulls, containing around ten 4mm pellets are catapulted to the 14m line. I then ship my pellet rig to the 5m line and feed to pinches of mixed red and white maggots by hand to this line, before another ten 4mm pellets a fired to the 14m line. Shipping the pole out and once in position I once again feed a few pellets, plus a pinch of maggots close in and hope that a bite comes quick. Often it takes a few minutes to get the F1’s up in the water and feeding and bites can be small dips of the float that simply need to be lifted into, yet once they get use to those pellets being fired in on a regular basis it won’t be long before swirls can be seem and the elastic to come stretching out of the tip. All the time I’m waiting for that first bite I’m feeding a few maggots by hand yet once a F1 is hooked this is where the routine really starts as once hooked and guided away from the swim I let the elastic do its work before feeding a few more pellets then shipping in and landing. Once unhooked and in the keepnet I fire another ten pellets out, ship the pole to the 5m line, feed two pinches of maggots accurately, fire another ten pellets to the 14m line and ship out into position. Hopefully by the time my rig settles an F1 will be ready and waiting which in more cases happens. All that’s left to do is hopefully repeat the process.

One day, maybe

You really do have to make the most of those first two hours on the F1’s as this line will noticeably start to dry up and during a standard match I would be looking at placing around 30lb in the net. It’s now time to hit that silver line, the one I’ve been priming for over two hours on a little and often basis, yet don’t get lazy, keep those pellets going in on that 14m line because, although I’ve never had too, you never know when you will need it!

microbore elastic

The initial softness of Microbore Elastic means that I bump less fish, but can easily land the odd bonus carp.

Cenex Hybrid Power

Cenex Hybrid Power is such a brilliant all-round line. Very clear, yet with great knot strength and high abrasion resistance.

Dibber Floats

Dibber floats are ideal when fishing really shallow, causing less tangles and spooking less fish.

"In summer shallow fishing is by far the best tactic."

Shallow and short

Rigs and tackle for shallow pole fishing for F1’s are relatively straight forward, but having a light pole such as an EXO Sphere Zero-G F1+ will pay you back big time and make fishing long so much easier. I have a number of SkyLine one piece top kits made up but the standard F1 top kit is elasticised with Xitan Microbore pink rated 7-9 which is ideal when using a really short line and rig. The rig itself is connected to a Dacron Connector, albeit slightly differently than normal to totally eliminate tangles and consists of 0.18mm Cenex Hybrid Power Mono onto which a 4×14 Dibber float is placed before a three-inch Cenex 0.14mm Hybrid hook length is attached. A bulk shot half way down shots the float and a size 16 barbless Sphere Beast hook tied knotless knot style leaving a short hair containing a pellet band finishes the set-up. When I say I’m fishing shallow, I mean shallow, concentrating catching at between 8 and 12 inches so with a total rig length, including hook length, of around 15 inches you start to realise what shallow and short really means!  

Red is best

As for bait it’s a 4mm banded pellet but a little trick that works for me is to use a red pellet as hookbait. I’m not sure what it is but these F1’s seem to pick a red one out well before the standard light brown ones that I’m feeding. I dye my hooker pellets red, flavour them with krill powder and do add a few to my loose feed. I also have some 6mm pellets to hand as if a few larger carp come drifting through the swim a quick switch can often tempt one! 

The maggot rig is very similar apart from I’m using a top kit with Microbore orange elastic rated 5-7 and slightly thinner Cenex 0.16mm and 0.12mm Hybrid Power Mono and place the maggots directly onto a size 18 hook.

Predicted result

Today’s session is so typical of a non pressured fishery as the F1’s have continued to feed aggressively throughout the five hour session and although they did slow up there was no need to switch to the silvers and with well over 70lb in the net it’s been a productive few hours.  

Getting the best from a peg in a match situation here at Falklands isn’t about technical rigs, it’s all about feeding and the angler that keep his work ethics up and then is prepared to switch from what was a productive line, well before others will certainly come out on top.

Effort equals reward; it’s as simple as that!

Filipe Passeira.


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

Find out more about our team of anglers here.


Visit the Browning poles website here.

Sphere Beast Hooks

The brilliant Beast hooks keep their sharpness incredibly well.

Red Pellets

Red pellets have definitely been the best bait today.

Pellets for commercial fishing

I feed both plain and red fishery pellets.

Fil’s Tackle

EXO Sphere Zero-G F1+ 

SkyLine Shallow Kit

Xitan Microbore Orange and Pink Pole Elastic

Cenex Hybrid Power Mono  

Sphere size 18 Beast barbless hook

4 x 12 Dibber Float

4mm Bait Bands


Fil’s Bait

4mm pellets

Red/white maggots

F1 catch shot

A lovely days fishing when the F1’s just kept on feeding.

Bob Nudd pole fishing

Autumn Pole & Feeder Fishing

Join Bob Nudd on the river Great Ouse in this great Autumn Pole & Feeder Fishing video.

Bob goes through the the top tactics to put together a weight of roach and skimmers at this time of the year from this historic venue.


Hit the play button below to watch now, or find the video in HD over on our YouTube channel.


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

Find out more about our team of anglers here.


Visit the Browning poles website here.

How to Catch F1's Shallow

Commercial Fishing Tactics - Catch F1's Shallow

In this new video we join Filipe Passeira looking at his Commercial Fishing Tactics – Catch F1’s Shallow.


Alternating between two lines, one for F1’s on the long pole, and one short for silvers, Fil gets the best from his peg. In the end, the F1’s just keep on feeding, whilst the roach don’t really show. Even so, by alternating lines, Fil keeps putting fish in the net for the whole of his session.

By fishing two lines in front of him Fil can easily feed both lines, even when playing a fish. Hard pellets are the go to bait on the long line. Whilst maggots are fed on the inside to attract the roach.

By fishing the short line at the distance Fil breaks down his pole when shipping in, he can consistently feed accurately whilst catching further out.


If you are interested in catching more carp, F1’s and silvers on the shallow pole then this video is a must watch. Some great tips and tactics from our team Wickford angler.


Hit the play button below to watch the video : Commercial Fishing Tactics – Catch F1’s Shallow


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

Find out more about our team of anglers here.


Visit the Browning poles website here.