Margin Fishing – The Forgot Spots

I have been know in the past to love margin fishing and have had some great results.  However, over the years within the fishing world, it has become a lost method, as everyone is obsessed with range fishing (and the fish have also learnt this to be the case).


Last year, I spent quite a lot of time using one rod and fishing tight intermediate swims, which most modern day angler’s would never consider.  This is for a couple of reasons, they don’t want to fish with one rod only, that swim is to small and uncomfortable.  But as I was only doing sort 4/5 hour trips these where the perfect spots for me.


You need to do some homework before hand with a lead.  This is to check for snags and other obstructions.  This can’t be done on the day as stealth is the name of the game,  as you are sitting on top of the fish and bang in the middle of their little sanctuary.

The lake that I have targeted this approach on has one bank with only day swims amongst all the overhanging trees.  I was able to fish and bait up these swims, each time I was there, which was normally 3 to 4 times a week.  I opted to only bait up the swims on my way home after fishing, as not to disturb their safe haven.  I used a kilo of Boilies and a mixture of their ground bait   with pellets soaked in oil.

On arrival, I would put a small handful of chopped up Catalyst boilies out, with a small  PVA mesh bag filled with micro pellets (soaked in oil),  as a way of masking the hook.  This would be lowered down onto the spot and I would sit back a wait.  At first I was not using a bank stick or an alarm, however, I found I needed to be on the fish instantly and a buzzer gave me this extra edge over the fish.  It would shock me into action, which was needed in these tiny swims, as they have no room for any give on my part, otherwise the fish would win the fight.


The tackle I was using was a cut down Diawa black widow (now  10 feet long), with a Big Pit reels loaded with Asso Fishing Line bullet proof fishing line and a single dinsmore power stick, CAMO up with realtree tape.  I like to be able to get the bank stick into the ground quite a way down, to give the holding power on the take. As I dip the rod under water instantly and hold the fish there, until it turns away from the underwater snags.  At this point you are in control and can give some line out and play the fish out under the rod tip.  Its an amazing adrenaline rush that you get with this type of close quarters fishing.

I like to use a pop up rig, as there can be the possibility of some Chod on the bottom and I use a 3oz lead to make sure the hook is set.  As I lower the bait down there will be no big plop to disturb the fish.  If I need to flick the bait out, under a branch I will use a 1oz lead,  as I would rather not disturb them.

I still carry the everyday essentials – unhooking mat, weight sling & pole, camera & tripod, wet weather gear as there is no room for a brolly.  However, I cut down on other things, I will have rigs and pva bags made up, as once I have had a fish, I will bait that swim and move onto the next one as I am only there for 5 hour’s max, you don’t need that much extra kit.

Until Next Time








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About richardhandel

I would like to give a brief snap shot of my life and introduce myself; My name is Richard Handel and was born in 1965 in Suffolk. I have worked as a UK Operation & Intermodule Manager for a shipping company. I live in Hampshire now and am married with 2 young children, both girls so I am a bit outnumbered even the cat is a girl! I have been fishing since I was about 7 years old. I started on small local rivers in Suffolk, then moved onto gravel pits and then carp fishing. My personal best is a 39.08 mirror, over recent years I have started river fishing again, on the Hampshire Avon, this is a nice break from the carp lakes. My life has turned a big corner this year, the company I was working for relocated their Operation centre to Estonia. I was offered a job at the head office in London. This would have meant a 5 day commute and working in Stratford. As a family, we did not fancy this, as I would hardly spend any time with the children (and the Mrs). So after 22.5 years, I was given a nice redundancy package and with my wife is working full time. I became the house husband. This has meant a complete turn around in my fishing, as I can pick and choose when I go. I have found a splendid new syndicate to fish this year, which includes 5 lakes and some 8 miles of river with only 150 members. It's an amazing change to the way I am able to fish. I am now trying to start my own tackle business and make a bit of a name for myself in the world of fishing, as I have retired from real work. Richard
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