I've travelled all over the world in search of new and varied fishing, but when all is said and done nothing beats the excitement of float fishing. I'm amazed at how often anglers will ignore the use of the float in favour of ledgering, even when the float is the more effective method of the two.
So I've assembled this comprehensive guide to cover a wide range of float fishing techniques used in both still and running water. From the simple yet effective lift method, so deadly when seeking bottom species like tench, bream and especially crucians (even bigger carp if you invest in some larger hooks and stronger line), to trotting in flowing water, slow and fast for dace, roach and chub - even barbel. So follow my advice and the shotting diagrams carefully and you will enjoy catching on the float wherever you fish.
Points to Remember
John's Close-in Rig
To catch species like roach and rudd from small stillwaters, or when the shoal is fairly close into the margins of large lakes and pits I suggest a simple multi-purpose rig incorporating a fine-tipped antenna (such as a stillwater green).
For presenting the bait way out in large still waters the float to use is the tipped waggler. It can be shotted to offer the bait on the drop or at any depth from a few feet beneath the surface to hard on the bottom.
This method is much easier to do than most anglers realise, and you are certain that your bait is on the bottom where bream, carp and tench tend to spend most time feeding.
The addition of a minilink of SSG or a bomb gives plenty of casting weight and allows you to fish at greater distance.
For catching crucian carp, bream, wild and king carp and especially tench, there is no finer float rig for close range fishing in still waters than the 'lift'. Use a small peacock waggler float with all the shotting load pinched on close to the hook and see when a fish stands on its nose and sucks the bait in, how the float tip 'lifts' because the shots have been dislodged. Strike instantly!
Lift Method at Night
Night fishing using the lift method is also highly successful. Rig up as normal but insert a luminous element into the tip of your waggler.
One of the best ways to catch dace, roach and chub is with a simple stick float 'trotting' rig. I usually fish mine with a centrepin because the control is so superior to anything else.
Although dace, chub and roach are the quickest species to respond to our efforts to catch them, it can also be difficult to work out where in the water they want to feed. More often than not I find this river waggler rig, with the bait dragged overdepth, a successful tactic.
Stret Pegging using a Balsa Trotter Float
For all deepish runs close into the bank there is nothing that can beat stret-pegging. It's a brilliant technique for catching barbel, chub, bream and roach.
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