FL13 - Page 122



Putting It All Into Practice
tighten the clutch down, and lastly, it
should be illegal to fish at all without
some sort of medical gel. I use
Nashy’s version, but plenty of companies make them. There is a greater
chance when snag fishing that the
fish can come into contact with sharp
objects, so when they are on the mat
make sure you give them the respect
they deserve and cover any wounds –
it’s the least you can do!
Right that’s my little rant out of the
way, so let me move on. I want to look
at actually fishing the snags, bait
presentation, and the tips I employ to
try and trip one of these big old carp
up. There are certain things that
when snag fishing I wouldn’t be without, and the first is my 12m AI baiting
pole. The ability it gives me to present
a bait accurately, cleanly and tight to
the cover is unparalleled. Even if you
are a really accurate caster, just the
entering of the lead into the water
makes noise and commotion, and
often that’s all it needs to tip the balance further in the carp’s favour. They
may still be in the snags, but they
know you are there!
My other must haves are some long
bank sticks to support the setup and
make it ultra solid. I use abrasion
resistant 15lbs mainline so I am as
confident as I can be that my line is
up to the job. I also use strong hooks,
Fang Unis in a 6, and mega tough 20lb
Armour Braid hooklinks. Lastly, and
most importantly, I use a safe rig.
Don’t worry; I am well aware that the
last thing anyone wants to see is a
picture of my rigs. But for the record I
use a helicopter setup for virtually all
of my fishing. If it’s a pop-up it will be
on a chod rig, and if it is a bottom bait
it will be on a simple helicopter setup,
but the lead will be attached with a
rotten bottom of 6lbs line instead of
the normal clip. The reason I do this is
a little different to the norm. In
essence the perceived benefits of
playing a fish with no lead attached is
that the fish rises up in the water and
fights closer to the surface. In weedy
situations this is ideal, but when you
look at the nature of snags, nine times
out of ten they are undercut, and as a
result if the fish came up in the water
it would surface right amongst the
structure, so the likelihood of getting
it out is limited. The same goes for
fishing under trees, against islands or
even under boats on the rivers. It is
just a thought, but it’s personally the
way I feel most comfortable. The reason however I do use a rotten bottom
is if the fish does reach sanctuary the
lead is broken away easily and the
fish is a lot safer.
With regards to tips for snag fishing, the biggest tip I could give is to
keep really quiet, and I don’t just
mean turn the radio down. I mean set
up several swims away, and quietly,
only once everything is ready, move
into position, then don’t keep recasting, tread lightly, use light leads, stop
the lead before it hits the surface to
reduce disturbance, and turn the
mobile to silent as well as the
buzzers. I use a V2 system and put it
on vibrate just to reduce any potential
noise. In my opinion the branches etc
that make up snags act like tuning
forks and undoubtedly magnify noise
and vibration, so sit on your hands
and keep as quiet as possible!
With regards to bait application I
keep it very simple, if the area is
choddy then I will obviously use the
rig by the same name. I will use the
mega effective and mega buoyant
TNT Steamies, and literally 15 baits
very loosely scattered around the
edge of the snags. If the deck is hard
I will use a typical bottom bait setup,
in my case a blowback rig using a
ring and a size 6 Fang Uni. They are
super sharp and incredibly strong, so
ideal for snag or weed fishing. These
days I tend to use big barrels, so again
I use a 22mm TNT barrel tipped with
fake maize. I use maize because the
fake versions are a duller yellow. On
the waters I fish I dread to think how
many round hookbaits they have seen
tipped with bright yellow corn. TNT is
(Top) There is no
room for this sort
of fishing.
(Left) A pretty 20
caught tight to
the snags long
before they knew I
had arrived.
(Right) Fang Uni
hook
122 FREE LINE

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