Questions & Answers

Do you have a question for our professional anglers? Email it to us and get their expert advice here.

Q: I fish with my local club and want to start getting involved in the open match scene to help me learn more. Making such a big step is a little daunting. How should I go about this?
Alan Jones, Brighton.

Andy Neal says:
“The best thing to do is look at fishing 2 or 3 venues to start with. Pick ones you feel comfortable with and ones with decent turnouts. Stick to these venues and by fishing these regularly you will soon start to get to grips with the methods and tactics involved. Don’t aim too high at first and be prepared to take a back seat when it comes to the payouts. By listening to the regulars and talking to the other anglers you will soon start to learn how to fish the waters and slowly make your mark. The methods and tactics you learn whilst doing this will put you in good stead with other waters you may encounter in the future. Take it step by step and you will soon be winning section prizes and then framing, as your confidence grows you can take what you have learnt and venture further afield.”

Q: When fishing the feeder I have trouble with accuracy and find it hard to be consistent. Is there anything I can do to improve this?
Daniel Williams, Cleveland.

Steve Barraclough says:
“Accuracy is vitally important in feeder fishing. Firstly use your line clip on your reel to give you an accurate distance. Once you have found how far out you need to fish, put the line under the line clip, this stops you casting too far. It’s important when casting that you ‘hit’ the clip as this will make sure you are at the same distance every time. Regarding casting accuracy, there really is no other way than to practice. Try and find a rhythm so you are always casting the same way every time, try and keep things smooth and consistent and you will soon improve. If it helps, go and sit on your local lake and spend some time casting (not fishing, just practicing), and you will soon get to grips with it. This is something I have done in the past and it’s helped no end.”

Q: I fish my rigs straight through on the pole. Everyone I know fishes with hooklengths. Should I be doing this and what advantage will this give me?
Jeff Knight, Cardiff.

Andy Neal says:
“I would always advise hooklengths for a number of reasons. If you need to change a hook or drop down a size then it’s quick and simple to do so. This can make dramatic differences to your catch rates. There is also the safety factor. Not many people realise that when fishing straight through the weakest part of the rig is the loop knot where you attach it to the pole. If this is under extreme pressure it will give before any other part of the rig, meaning you leave a fish towing a whole rig around which it could get tethered on. Also, you have completely lost your rig costing you vital time in a match. With hooklengths the loop knot will be the one that gives first, meaning if this does unfortunately happen all you have to do is put another hooklength on and you’re fishing again. Hooklengths will make you a better angler and are in my opinion safer.”

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