Coarse fishing for beginners

Coarse fishing for beginners

Coarse fishing tips


Daniel Hughes


Match & Coarse



Coarse fishing tips

  • Mix your ground bait before you start fishing to give it time to soak in the water and gather consistency for plugging into your feeder, the aim is to get a soft fluffy mixture which comes together easily but also breaks down easy. You can use a sieve to get rid of some of the lumpy parts of the mix.
  • When feeder fishing, cast to the same spot so to build the spot up. You don’t want to be casting all over the swim depositing ground bait in different areas. You want to keep the baited spot as close together as possible. Line the spot up with your rod above your head ready for when you cast, don’t cast with the rod at different angles. This will improve your casting accuracy.
  • When casting a feeder or a lead, try and feather the cast with your finger gently against the spool before the feeder hits the water. This should help the hook length straighten out away from the feeder or the lead.
  • If waggler fishing, plumb your swim to understand what depth you are fishing your hook bait at. If you want to fish the bottom or mid water, you need to plumb the swim to gauge this.
  • Bait little and often, don’t over bait. What you put in you can’t take back out.
  • Take a few different baits, you might find one works better than others and will get you more bites.

Coarse fishing techniques

Waggler fishing

What you will need:

  • Waggler Float (Few varied sizes, depending on the distance you are casting)
  • Selection of split shots
  • Hook length material (3-6lb) – Depending on species and circumstances.
  • Hooks (Varied sizes size 14-10)

Feeder fishing

What you will need:

  • Feeder (Closed or open ended)- Different sizes and weights if possible
  • Buffer Beads
  • Float stops
  • Hook length material (3-6lb)- Depending on species and circumstances.
  • Hooks (Range of sizes if possible)
  • Quick change swivels (For the feeder)
  • Quick link swivels (To connect & disconnect the hook length)

Ledger fishing

What you will need:

  • Lead weights (1-2oz)
  • Buffer Beads
  • Float Stops
  • Hook Length material (3-6lb)- Depending on species and circumstances.
  • Hooks (Range of sizes if possible)
  • Quick Change swivels (Change lead size if required)
  • Quick link swivel to connect & disconnect the hook length.

Coarse fishing rigs

Float fishing rigs

  • The ‘Waggler set up’- you will require, a waggler float, split shots, some hooks (Size 14), mainline and a lighter hook link material 3-4lb.`
  • Thread the waggler float up the main line.
  • Tying the hook length is simple and requires a 30cm section of line to be tied to the hook (a half blood knot to tie the hook) and the other end to be tied into a loop to connect to the mainline (overhand loop knot). This will help snap off if you get snagged and help you retrieve your float set up.
  • Tying an overhand loop knot on the end of your mainline, enables you to tie the loop to loop, from the hook link to the mainline. You can also change the hook length by simply disconnecting the loop to loop knot.
  • Now you can lock the waggler float in position, with the split shot. The float should be labelled with the weight required, but test this out in the water. If it says ‘2AA’ you want to lock the float in place with 2AA split shots and test how the float cocks in the lake. You can also use smaller shots (to add up to the weight of the 2x AA and spread the weight down the line, to change how slow or fast the bait sinks.
  • The float should sit with the coloured section approximately 1-2cm above the surface of the water.

Feeder fishing rigs

  • Fishing the open ended cage feeder, one of the most common ways to fish the open ended feeder is to use a quick link swivel on the main attachment to the feeder itself, this enables you to change the size/weight of the feeder without having to cut the line to take it off. Also if you decide that you want to change to a ledgered set up rather than the feeder, you can swap the feeder over to a lead.
  • The ‘Running Rig’ you can slide the feeder swivel onto the line, after the feeder is on the line you want to thread a small rubber bead. This will protect the swivel which you will tie your hook length too, when the feeder slides down the line it will hit the buffer bead against your hook length swivel.
  • You can tie a hook length together with a hook at one end, either hair rigged or tied with a blood knot. The other end should have an overhand loop knot which you can simply connect to your quick link swivel.
  • You can set the distance of the float stops as far up your mainline as you would like, to enable more movement and less resistance when the fish are mouthing at the hook bait etc. Or you can lock the feeder in place with the float stops close to the feeder.

Ledger fishing rigs

  • You can use a versatile set up which enables you to switch from a feeder to a ledger weight. The first thing you need to do is to slide a float stop up the line. Next you can slide your quick link swivel up the mainline, the quick link will allow you to change the size of the lead which you attach. After the swivel is on the line, you want to slide on one or two float stops to stop the lead from hitting the hook length swivel.
  • When attaching your hook length swivel, you want to tie an overhand knot at the end of your mainline after your swivel bead. This gives you the opportunity to use a loop to loop connection to your hook length or you can tie the loop to a quick change connector swivel, or just tie it direct to a swivel (this gives you a little more trouble if you want to change your hooklength).
  • The hook length material is usually around 30cm in length, but you can change this to your personal preference, you can tie hooks direct to the hook length or you can tie a knot-less knot to enable you to hair rig harder baits on which can’t be hooked.
  • Depending on where you place the float stop on the mainline, will depend how much line the fish can take before hitting the resistance of the lead. You can lock the lead in position or have it free running up to the float stop.

Freshwater fishing for beginners

Freshwater lake

Whether you are fishing a club water or a day ticket, make sure you comply with their rules. It is always essential you read the fishery rules before you start fishing. You won’t have to worry about combating the flow as you are fishing a still water lake. The fishery should be able to give you a head start on what areas have been producing fish, what bait has been working etc. So don’t be afraid to ask plenty of questions when you are paying to fish the lake. If you have the ability to float fish and feeder fish, try out both! If you don’t have that luxury, then fish one of the tactics as effectively as you can. If you are float fishing, trial different float fished depths and different baits depending on what species you are targeting. If you are feeder fishing, trial different hook baits, and don’t go too heavy with the ground bait baiting to begin with, remember you can’t take out what you have put in! If your swim isn’t producing the goods after exhausting several options, and other anglers are catching elsewhere, you may want to move swims and locate a shoal of fish elsewhere!

Freshwater river

First of all check the section of river online to see whether is under rules of an angling club, if it is you can become a member or pay a day ticket to fish it. When you have confirmed this, it is worth speaking to the angling club or the locals to find out what areas are best to fish, if you can. If not you will need to walk the river and have a good look around yourself for likely areas and signs of fish.

The river will have flow, so if you are float fishing, anglers will tend to use a trotting set up on the river, which carries the float and bait along the flow in a natural manner. As you let line out, you let the float take the natural route downstream, where other natural food sources will be travelling.

If you are feeder fishing or ledgering, make sure the lead you have is strong enough to hold bottom. If the flow is strong, you might have an issue with it carrying a light feeder or lead downstream. You will also want to beef the tackle up a little, maybe some stronger hook length materials and mainline just to combat the snaggy unknowns in the river and the chance of maybe hooking a big chub or barbel in a powerful flow, where a light set up may struggle.

Freshwater canal

Canals are made up of a series of dams and locks which creates reservoirs of low speed current flow. First of all check the section of canal online to see whether is under rules of an angling club, if it is you can become a member or pay a day ticket to fish it. Once you have figured this out and decided what you are going to do, you can ask the club about what spots produce fish so you have an idea of where to start. If you can bait a spot on a canal before fishing, this will give you an edge before you start to fish it. You will need to be mindful of boats and mindful of the public on the tow path. If boats are coming through, you can either try and sink your lines or simply reel the rod in to remove it out of the boats path, don’t set your gear up on the towpath and obstruct it, allow room for the public to get past you.

The flow in the canal shouldn’t be too much of a problem, you can actually waggler fish on canals, you certainly wouldn’t be trotting with a powerful flow. Once again, you can alternate between the ledger, feeder or float. Whatever your preference is on the day, the canal will have an element of drag which you may need to combat with different shot patterns on the float. Keep the bait trickling in, little and often and bait according to the canal drag if there is any.

Coarse fishing – when to strike!

Watching the float

  • You need to distinguish line bites and actual bites on the float, when fish are hitting the line the float may knock and twitch. When a fish is mouthing at the bait, the float might dip, do not strike the float until you see the float disappear under the water. You can be confident that the fish has been hooked and is swimming off with the bait.
  • You can also fish the float over depth, so that when the fish picks the bait up, instead of the float disappearing under the surface, it will actually cock up out of the water and potentially lay flat.
  • You can also night fish with the float by putting fluorescent isotopes on the tip of the float, this enables you to see the float at night!

Watching the quiver tip

  • When a shoal of fish comes over your baited spot and feed, they will brush against your line. This will be indicated on the quiver tip, you may see small twitched and knocks. These are what we refer to as line bites, it is important to distinguish these against real bites (fish taking the bait). Over time it will become easier to distinguish the two, generally you will not strike the quiver tip until it bends around and holds in that position. You don’t want to strike when it is tapping or twitching.
  • Ensure there is slight tension through the rod tip, to allow the tip to show bite indication. You don’t want the line too slack and you don’t want it too tight.
  • Again, you can quiver tip at night, you can attach fluorescent isotopes to the tip of the quiver which enables you to see bite indication at night.

Bite alarm

  • The bite alarm is quite self explanatory, you rest your rod on the alarm with the line going through the indicator section of the alarm, when the line pulls through the roller or vibrating tongue, the alarm will sound. You can adjust the sensitivity and volume on some alarms to cater for the conditions etc.
  • When to strike? Well it all depends on the species and the conditions, bream for example can give very sporadic bites with the bobbin going up and down and the alarm constantly bleeping. But a carp may take the bait, and give you a ‘One toner’ where the alarm sounds and doesn’t stop as the carp is taking line!- (You want to strike this bite as soon a possible.)
  • You can also get drop backs, if you were fishing tight to a snag with a bobbin up tight against the alarm and the alarm sounded but the bobbin dropped to the floor, there is a good chance a carp has picked up your bait and swam towards you.
  • In the winter, bites might not be so vicious, they may be more sensitive so you need to use your best judgement on the current conditions.
  • Wind and weed can also give you false bite indication.

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About The Author

Daniel Hughes Dangler

Daniel Hughes

CEO & Co-Founder

Being out on the bank and catching a fish is just a bonus for me, what I really love about angling is it provides us with the ability to be at one with nature and appreciate what most do not get to see. I discovered my passion for angling at the age of 9 and it has never left me, carp fishing has always been the core of my angling but I will never turn down the opportunity to target other species and enjoy what our waters have to offer.

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2020-06-30T18:57:16+01:00June 29th, 2020|Fishing Tips, Match & Coarse|