A Little help from my friends

Throughout my angling career I have been lucky enough to make friends with some of the best anglers in the UK.

These anglers have an endless amount of knowledge between them, and with a massive thank you to them, they have agreed to share it with you on this site!

I’ve learnt loads just uploading them, and many more of the country’s best have agreed to keep this page regularly updated.


"My preferred method of fishing is always for roach in still waters (mostly man-made lakes). If I know that the venue holds lots of roach, my first job is to prepare two mixes. The first is 3 litres of groundbait with coriander mixed in, to which I add 3 litres of black soil to create a 50/50 mix. I then like to make a 50/50 leam and soil mix, around 8 litres. These two mixes are very different. The groundbait mix has only 50 ml of joker, and will be introduced to the swim by throwing all the mix at the start. I throw the balls on my pole tip, but it is important that some of the balls are loose, breaking up (immediately on the surface of the water), some medium compressed, and the rest firmly squashed. I then add the main portion of joker (anywhere between 400 - 700 ml) to the soil/leam mix. And introduce 3 or 4 balls of this mix via a pole cup. This keeps the fish feeding well on top of my cupped bait, whilst the GB draws them to the area. If everything works I have bites during whole match (4 hours) without the additional baiting. Only what I need is to fish and regulary catapult the hemp. The best hook bait is nearly always single bloodworm. Give it a go!"
Adam Niemiec – Polish International, World Champions 2012


"If you need to keep the right distance on the feeder or the waggler, the best way is using the clip. But sometimes you need to remove the line because you hook a big fish or something else! Try placing a knot on the line from your reel. Use the same knot as for a hook with a line number 0,10mm. You will find again the right distance thanks to this knot quicker than counting again the distance with the reel. You have just to cast in open water and you will listen the knot along the rod. Then just place again the line under the clip. It’s a good help if you are afraid to forget how many turn you did on your reel ! It's better than coloring the line in white with a pen because it never disappears. When you stop fishing you can easily put this knot out thanks to a nails clippers. But be careful!!"
Johan Kouzmina – Rive Backed French International


"In Italy we now know how good fishmeal groundbaits are for skimmers, but for all the success they bring, we still catch many Italian bream sing sticky mag in the feeder! It is amazing how successful this can be. I simply add sticky mag powder to dry maggots and turn them over with a damp hand. Once they stick together you can push them into a cage feeder and the mass amounts of maggots get bream really feeding and keep them in the swim for ages. This works well with big bunches for hook too. Give it a go, it might be a winner in England too!"
Angelo De Pascalis – Italian Feeder Champion


"Carry several different strengths of elastic in your catapults, so you’re not always at full stretch to reach your chosen spot. The evolution of hollo elastics has made this easy, in addition to the standard elastics fitted I also carry small catapults with 13h and 17h fitted which means I can tailor them to different baits and wind conditions. Also, to help stop lead shot sliding when under pressure colour your line in with a permanent marker."
Ant Rogers - Preston Innovations Tackle Expert


"When rivers up and down the country are fishing well for small fish like roach and dace but lack of rain has left them gin clear, bigger fish like chub, bream and barbel can prove harder to catch on conventional tactics. A great tip when conditions are like this is the fish a straight lead over the top of where you have been feeding for the small fish. A big bait is essential, halibut pellet; luncheon meat, bread and even corn can all be devastating for picking out the odd big bonus that you would never catch on maggots or casters. Fish in conjunction with a long hooklength (up to 6ft) for best results and cast around your feed area in search of that elusive bonus."
Scott Geens – Preston Innovations Brand Manager and Top Match Angler


"A rest is as good as a feed! On natural venues when the fishing is tough, always be sure to leave a line alone when bites dry up, then try it again before refeeding. Often, you will find that fish simply back off after a few of their brethren have been caught, and need time to regroup over your bait and gain confidence to feed again. This is particularly applicable in clear water, and you will find that when you return to the line, you will be able to winkle out several more fish. You can often repeat this process several times before you need to feed more bait. By applying this theory over several swims you can often nick fish all day while others who feed their pegs more postiviely catch early then struggle."

Fining down your tackle is a great way to keep bites coming when the going is tough. If you stop getting bites on your standard rig, try stepping down a size in hooklength diameter. You will be surprised at the amount of extra bites that this gets you. Trying a lighter float can also be a great trick, especially if shy biting fish are the target, or missed bites are a problem. This often weans out the bigger specimens in your peg too! Finally, don't be afraid to spread your shotting on tough days, to give your bait a more natural fall through the water. Again, this can bring bites from fish that you never even imagined were in front of you!"
Tom Scholey – Esteemed Pole Fishing Magazine Editor and Ladies Man


"One of my biggest edges this year has been focusing on how a hookbait is presented - especially natural baits such as maggots and casters. Take lots of care to make sure the bait doesn't burst, and always pick-out a nice looking hookbait. This will especially make a difference as the weather cools and our venues start to become clearer. Those wise, bigger fish will watch a hookbait fall and inspect it before eating it. If a bait is damaged or doesn't appear right, the chances are that they won't have it! A good tip is to always use a really fine-wire hook with natural baits - it cause much less damage to the bait, and because it lighter fish intercept the bait with more confidence. you'd want your meal presented right, so why wouldn't the fish?"
Matt Godfrey – 3x World Youth Champion



"March can be an excellent time of year for shallow fishing.  The cool nights and warm sunny days mean fish naturally want to be in the upper layers.  Especially on deeper venues.  Don't ignore it!
Adam Richards, Browning


"When fishing for roach at any time of the year, carefully plumb the bottom and if you are faced with an uneven lake bed, or thick silt, then catching a big weight of roach on the deck could be difficult.  Fishing off bottom from anything to 6inch, to 1ft under the surface can be a lot more productive, even in as little as 3ft of water."
Bradley Gibbons, Daiwa Dorking and England U18


"When F1 fishing, starting new swims can make the difference over the course of a five hour match. This approach of starting new swims and fishing them immediately may seem alien to anglers who have fished more traditional styles, but trust me, it works. It is particularly effective when pellet fishing and I never feed more than one swim at the start. I will simply fish a swim until it dies before starting again somewhere else. You may only need to move one metre away from the original swim, but that will often be enough to get back in touch with the F1s. To start a new swim, simply attach the plummet and fill your pole pot. Accurately plumb the swim and then feed whilst plumbing up. By the time you have shipped back, removed the plummet and baited your rig, the F1s will have likely settled ready for a quick bite. This process can be repeated lots of times throughout the five hours and is a great way of catching a good weight of F1s from a tricky peg."

“As the water begins to warm up, bait choice is absolutely vital. Carp and F1s are beginning to think about spawning and need all of the protein they can get. Worms are brilliant at this time of the year as they are packed with protein and amino acids. Chop the worms into 2cm chunks and mix with casters and micro pellets for a fantastic feed. Feed this mixture with a small pole pot regularly to keep the bites coming. Worms really are a winner in spring!”
Joe Carass, Match Fishing Magazine


“In any fishing situation, especially a match, you must always believe there are fish somewhere in your peg, even if you are not catching them. If you stop believing, you are likely not to try hard enough to find where they want to be. In cooler months especially the fish will shoal up, so not only finding the right distance, but depth too is essential. I have often found that by using baits off the bottom, such as dobbing bread or popped up baits on a bomb. As it warms up, shallow approaches also work well, anything from 1ft off bottom to 1ft from the surface. These willingness to find the fish makes a big difference, not forgetting a few late margin lumps, which really can transform any peg into a winner. Don’t be lazy, get searching!”
Warren Martin, 2012 Fish o Mania Champion.


“Presentation of your hook bait makes all the difference, so to help with I like to use the lightest float possible and make sure it’s dotted right down so just the very tip is visible. Combine this with wire stemmed float, as this material helps a lot with stability, which is particularly important if the venue is effected by any flow or tow.”
Rob Wooton, 2012 Drennan Knockout Cup Champion.

“To win matches it vital to give yourself options. I have witnessed many times anglers who have done everything right on their main line but once this has dried up, they haven’t given themselves any other place to catch and have ended up short at the weigh in.”
Lee Thornton, Middy backed Top Angler.


“When using chopped worm for carp I like to add to the mix a few casters and maggots then a few drops of sonubaits monster crab liquid then chop the lot to make a chopped worm soup.
If skimmers and bream are the target try using F1 liquid instead of the monster crab.”
Ade Kiddell, Korum Backed All Round Specimen Angler and Barble Expert.


"Many anglers see the feeder as a tactic to tide them over for the first hour of a session or match while fish settle on their pole lines. While this can be the way to approach some venues more often than not I've found that by fishing a feeder for the full duration of a match or session I can have that line all to myself leaving the other angler to fight over the fish within pole reach."
Alex Bones, Editor of Match Fishing Magazine.


“As the water warms up fish start looking for baits with a higher protein content. I have found that worms and casters work particularly well from April to early June. Try chopping them once or twice and fishing two big worm segments on the hook for to pick out a better stamp of fish.”
Cameron Hughes, Kamasan Starlets and England Youth International


"If you are missing lots of bites, try switching to a bigger hook rather than a smaller one. This is particularly effective when shallow fishing or with baits like pellets. A bigger hook makes it easier to prick a fish and promotes self hooking."

"Pay attention to the noise that your Method feeder makes when it hits the water. Aim to feather the line and slow the feeder down just before it hits the surface. Often, the quieter it plops the quicker the bite. It will also be less likely to eject the feed prematurely. If it sounds like it's crashed in like a bag of spanners, it can pay to leave it in for a few seconds, just in case, then quickly reel back in, reload and recast."
Jon Arthur, 2x UK Champion


"I always try to watch the weigh in after a match. I know if you have had a bad day or its chucking it down the warmth of the bar may seem a better idea. However lots can be learned. I will make a point to ask anglers how they have caught,baits, tactics etc. This information may help you in forth coming matches."

"When targeting f1 carp on the pole in winter I believe it is essential to have the float dotted right down. It can often be the case that tiny lifts or dips of the float will indicate a bite. Having your float dotted to a pimple will ensure these movements are not missed. And one fish can make all the difference."

"As winter finsihes, the water temperatures start to rise and you can expect fish to start to respond to shallow tactics. If I'm not sure whether shallow tactics will work or not, a good tip is to start on the bottom and loose feed steadily over the top with a catapult. This way you can look for tell-tale signs that fish are off the bottom such as missed bites and movements of the float. This is the same on a feeder, loose feed the pole pile and look for liners to tell you the fish are active closer in."
Andy Leathers, 2013 Parkdean Masters Champion.


“With winter imminently approaching I always scale down my terminal tackle. Light lines, small hooks and light elastics ultimately put more fish in your net. I like to use fluorocarbon hook lengths in winter when the water clarity is very clear. Fluorocarbon line has the same refractive index as water, therefore decreases the lines visibility in clear conditions."

"Give yourself a little bit of space to bag up this year!! Find areas of your peg where you've got some room. Don’t go down the normal/one track minded approach, give yourself some different options, especially in winter. Fish back off into open spaces of water where you’re not fishing, it’s where they feel safe. You need to locate the fish and make things happen! Giving yourself space can be very beneficial on every venue you fish, whether it be a commercial, canal, river or a lake. Think outside the box, give yourself a chance of catching those extra few fish to boost your weight this year."
Frankie Gianoncelli - Barnsley Blacks