Go for the bigger carp when you’re fishing on commercial waters

WEIGHING IN -- match ace Ken Parkes with a good net of big carp that he landed at Hayton Lakes Fishery, near Retford.

WEIGHING IN -- match ace Ken Parkes with a good net of big carp that he landed at Hayton Lakes Fishery, near Retford.

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Fishing on commercial waters is not particularly difficult, but if you want to get your weights up, you need to target the bigger carp, which often feed in the margins from mid-afternoon and in to the evening.

Match anglers often target the margins in the later stages of a match to try and pick up bonus ‘lumps’ as the bigger fish move in for an easy meal.

The more space you have around you, the better, and with minimal disturbance, big carp will feed very close in. If you’re lucky enough to have an empty peg or platform next to you, then this is the ideal place to present a bait.

Carp will often feed directly beneath a platform on the bait anglers have dropped. Also, this is where anglers often discard their leftover bait at the end of a session. The fish wise up to this.

Feed with lots of loose bait and wet groundbait and fish over it with bunches of maggots, worm, sweetcorn or large pellets around 11 millimetres. Hemp or micro pellets also make a good carpet feed with a large bait fished over it.

Start off by feeding in five pots or more of bait and allow the swim to settle for around 20 minutes. After each fish has been caught, introduce another pot or handful to keep the swim topped up.

Marginal fishing is basically ‘hit and hold’. As soon as you hook a fish, you need to get it out of the immediate area to keep disturbance to the swim down to a minimum. That is easier said than done, but you need heavy gear to give yourself the best chance.

A margin pole with a 20 elastic, heavy main line and strong specimen hook, should give you the bullying power you need to get bigger fish away from the swim and landed quickly.

If opting for waggler or feeder tactics, make sure you’re using a bait runner reel with clutch set accurately. Keep hold of the rod because runs can be very powerful. There are many fine diameter lines available today, so you can step up to 10lb-plus, breaking strains without compromising on presentation.

TOP TIPS

USE at least a 0.20 to 0.25 mainline and where there are no snags, you can fish this straight through to a strong specimen hook.

USE a purpose-built margin pole with heavy, solid elastic up to number 24 and a thick bristle float around 0.4g. Only use a hollow-core elastic in snag-free areas.

HOOKS should be thick, strong and sharp in a size appropriate to the bait. Use a minimum size 16 or even size 12 if using a large bait.

TOP up your feed after each fish you catch.

WHETHER you’re fishing for pleasure or match fishing, try targeting the bigger carp tight into the margins. It’s a thrilling way of catching bonus carp and will give you the edge on most commercial fisheries.

IF you have any angling stories or pictures, e-mail our angling expert, Alan Dudhill, at alan@pikemaster.co.uk, or give him a call on 07815 308463. This column is sponsored by www.retfordangling.co.uk