Margin Fishing

How many of us inspect the margins when we arrive at a lake?

You might want to, if you want to improve your catch rate. Fishing for carp in the margins can be extremely productive if you find the right places and apply good angling tactics. How many fishermen/fisherwomen ignore the margins when fishing? They see all that water out in front of them and think that the fish must be out there. I often see anglers using three fishing rods with all of them cast out to the far bank. With so many anglers casting out far it makes the margins a safe place for carp to hang out. In fact, the margins can even be the best places to target the bigger carp in the lake.

Fishing in the Margins

As long as you’re quiet when setting up and fishing, you can take fish from the margins in most lakes. Carp have great hearing and will be able to pick up vibrations from the surrounding bank, so you do need to be as quiet as possible.

Centre Pin Fishing Reel

When it comes to margin fishing I tend to use a small 8ft rod and centre pin reel; this allows me to fish in-between trees, and other places where it would be hard to use a 12ft rod. It’s best to wear dark green or brown fishing clothing, or better still, use camouflage clothing, as you can blend into the surrounding. I like to find the more subtle features rather than the obvious ones such as overhanging trees, island banks, etc. I like to look for features like undercut banks, posts or trees sticking out of the water, small bulrushes, bushes, lily pads or inlet pipes all these can be ideal feeding spots for carp.

Carp taking bait

I like to use a small float, 8lb fluorocarbon line and a size 10 hook partnered with good quality bait. One of my best methods is to wrap paste around a small boilie, many fish have taken using this approach, as the carp are not wised up to these methods. So as the weather starts to warm up go out and have a go, this is a very rewarding way of catching carp guaranteed to provide a good fight whatever size fish you’ve hooked into.

Landing the Carp

All the best and good fishing!

Fantastic result!

Predator Paradise

Predator Paradise
Every year a group of us here at TFGear take a predator-fishing trip and test some of the prototype TFGear coarse fishing tackle at the same time. This year saw us revisiting Rutland water in Leicestershire for the opening few days of there Pike trials, so cars packed with as many lures, sample fishing rods, waterproof fishing clothing and thermal underwear ready for testing, off we head. Now visiting any of the big trout reservoirs is always a very exciting time and Rutland at over 3,000 acres is no exception because you just never know what it is capable of throwing up. Unfortunately the weather conditions made testing waterproof fishing clothing & thermal underwear out of the question, over 20 degrees, bright sunshine and very little wind meant it was more like the summer we never had!
The first morning dawned bright and clear with a little breeze as we headed off up the south arm to Manton bay an area we had done well on an earlier visit. With the bright conditions this meant the first couple of hours before the sun gets too high are really the best chance of any good pike fishing. Within the first hour we had a few pike following right to the side of the boat before turning away, a common occurrence on many trout waters, then a good strike to the jerk bait and a spirited fight ensues but as it come closer to the boat it turns out to be a good rainbow trout of about 5lb. Then Chris my boat partner hooks and lands a jack pike of 5-6lbs on a soft plastic lure.

With the sun now high follows die off so a quick call to the other TFGear lads Simon & Ceri to see if they are having anything. They are having takes in 35-40ft of water near browns island on soft jigs, with a nice zander lost by the side of the boat and two landed of about 1 ½ lb, so zander are still willing to have a go in the deeper water and we head over to join them. A few hours pass and nothing else to either boat we head off to the north arms tower. Quite a few fish appear on the echo sounder and we start getting takes straight away, now getting takes from zander is one thing but hooking and landing them is another. Both Ceri and Simon take a couple of fish each to 3 1/4lb and with ½ an hour to go I manage to boat a zander of about 1 1/2lb. This ends our first day on Rutland water and most of the pike boats have had a hard but enjoyable day.

The second morning is just as bright and even less wind, so we make a decision to concentrate on the zander unless the conditions change. A quick word with one of the rangers who points us in the area we should try for zander. So rigged up with one of the new prototype TFGear jig fishing rods and a very special new braid we’re testing we head off. The breeze has now pick up a little so we set the drift upwind of the spot selected, drogue(underwater parachute to slow the boats drift) deployed to slow the boats drift and echo sounder showing we’re in 60ft of water and plenty of fish showing on the screen. Straight away we start to get takes on our vertically fished jigs and I’m soon into my first zander of the day landing it I find its hooked on the stinger treble.

A very important addition to the jig the stinger treble is attached to wire and threaded through the jig body coming out near the tail, without this you will seriously reduce your catch rate.
Quite a few more fish landed and lost then my jig is hit by something a bit bigger and the clutch squeals as line is taken, after a good fight a PB zander of about 8lb slide into the net and I’m over the moon.

We end the day with over 25 zander to our boat and Simon and Ceri have also had a cracking day landing fish up to 5lb and a bonus pike on a jig, all this and we get to watch a beautiful Rutland sunset in the bargain.

River Stripys on Lures

I have a little secret spot near my house that at certain times holds some absolutely cracking perch. Now looking at the stretch of water there’s no real cover or structure to speak of and I thought the river bottom was fairly even so what attracted these large perch here? Normally I fish this stretch in the autumn & winter months but now the river is down to its summer level is on went the chest fishing waders, a light plug rod and down off down the river to see if I could find some of the specimen strippy’s, wading into the river I found that the first few yards from the bank was a mix of silt and gravel but then the bottom changed to large rocks and boulders perfect hunting ground for the perch. In the colder months skipping a soft rubber lure over the bottom has done well but on this occasion I went for a floating Rapala plug which when cranked back will dive to about 5ft, reeling in till I feel it bumping across the bottom I then letting it rise back up a few feet watching the 15lb Tfgear Grunt braid that hangs from the rod tip for any movement. A slight twitch on the second cast and I strike into a solid feeling fish that puts up a great fight on the light 7ft spinning rod, the Grunt braid means I can feel every twist and turn the fish makes and within a short time a beautiful perch around the 2lb mark comes to hand, this seems to be the average size here. Over the next hour another 8 perch of similar size are landed great sport anywhere, then as the light starts to fade a really solid thump on the lure signals something larger, after a hard fight a superb stripy of 3lb 4oz is landed weighed and release great sport in just a couple of hours after work. Lure fishing is a great form of fishing and can be done with the minimum of gear.

Layers…

You’ve probably noticed that we have got quite a bit of fishing clothing in the TF-Gear range. What with the primal range, second skin and the latest ranges it’s quite a comprehensive collection. Designing and selling fishing  clothing for the British market is sometimes frustrating though, primarily because a lot of British anglers simply don’t understand layers.

The common misconception is that if you want to stay warm the answer is to wear something big, bulky and with plenty of padding – the old fashioned one-piece suit being a classic example. They are awful things! When you walk to your swim you sweat like crazy and then, when you arrive the sauna lasts for about five minutes before you start to feel cold.

Why? Well, the answer is body moisture or, to put it more bluntly, sweat. When we move we sweat. Our skin is breathable and can exchange moisture with the atmosphere. If we want to stay warm our clothing should do the same – hence the term ‘breathable.’ The beauty of layered fishing clothing is that it can be made breathable and because the layers trap air between themselves, the result is a warm, comfortable wearer. The other advantage of layers is that you can take them on and off to cope with changing weather.

The art of making breathable clothing is to ensure that sweat can pass through the layers but water molecules can’t. In many respects Gore-tex is the ultimate material but it does not sell well here in the UK because whilst Brits are happy to spend a fortune on fishing rods the same principle does not extend to clothing. We have worked very hard to source waterproof, breathable fabrics at a price that won’t break the bank and we have enjoyed great success with it. Seams are very important too – most clothing is let down by leaking seams. Ours isn’t.

Let’s look now at the layers and what they are designed to do.

Base or skin (second skin): this is a thin, breathable layer worn next to the skin. It forms the base layer and can be worn on its own on warm days or form the first layer on cooler days.

Mid- Layer : this is the layer that builds up warmth, usually in the form of a heavier fleece. Sometimes, if it is very cold, two layers of second skin and then the mid-layer are needed. Primal fleeces are perfect for this layer.

Top (shell): whilst most people love to wear padding, it is rarely necessary. Shell type jackets allow moisture (sweat to escape) but keep rain out. If you want to build up more heat, add more mid-layers. Some people prefer a lined or padded jacket and pants for the top layer and for less active styles of fishing this is OK.

At the end of the day, in addition to keeping you warmer and drier, there are other advantages to properly layered fishing clothing – notably that it is more comfortable to wear and makes you look less of a plonker.