Learn to fish on our canals and rivers
Fishing on our peaceful canals and rivers is a relaxing pastime - and a great way to get some fresh air. Take a look at our guide to fishing for beginners.
Setting up your equipment
Put your rod together, ensuring that the line guides (rings) are aligned. Attach the reel to your rod at the top of the handle, ensuring that the reel spool lines up with the rod's first line guide. Open the bale-arm of the reel and thread the line through all the line guides.
To attach the float, thread the line through the small eye at the base of the float.
Now, you have to add the shot to cock the float, ie make the float sit at the right level in the water. The float you select will have a guide printed on it, telling you how much split shot is needed. An important rule when float fishing is that the bulk of the split shot, around 90%, is placed at the base of the float. The rest of the shot should be smaller in size and spread equally down the line.
Next take a size 18 ready-tied hook to nylon from the packet and tie it to the end of the line.
Note: If fishing with a small pole you only need to connect the sections together up to the required length you wish to fish, then attach a length of line and a float as described above or attach a ready tied pole rig.
Next, you need to plumb the depth of the water you are fishing, ie find out how deep it is. Attach the plummet to the hook and let it hang below the float. Swing the plummet into the anticipated fishing area using a gentle under arm cast. The float will either sink or lie flat on the water depending on whether it is set too shallow or too deep. Bring the rig back in and adjust accordingly until the exact depth is found by sliding the float up or down the line until just the painted tip is showing above the water surface. Remember you want your hook to lie either on the bottom or just slightly above the bottom.
The float rig is now set up; remove the plummet and you’re ready to fish. Now set up the rest of your tackle so it is close at hand. You need to fish from a sitting position so get yourself comfortable on your chair or box and insert your rod rest in front of you so when you place the rod on it with butt of the rod on your knee the rod tip is just touching the water. Make sure your landing net is set up and your bait and catapult are at hand.
There are many different types of bait out on the market nowadays, but the most commonly known, and the bait which is eaten by nearly all fresh water species of fish is the maggot.
Starting your session
When you begin your session it is recommended that you start off by feeding six to ten maggots at a time - this means throwing six to ten maggots into the water so that the fish get used to seeing the bait.. Keep feeding six to ten maggots every couple of minutes, even if you are not getting any bites. The key to successful loose feeding is to keep the bait trickling in. Feed little and often.
Attach one or two maggots to your hook, cast into your chosen swim and get ready to strike when your float is pulled by a fish eating your bait.