The 12 Tips of Fishmas!

Our colleagues Will Smith and James Roche got their heads together to list some of their best ‘fishing tips’. Can you send us any of your own? Will writes…

At our Christmas Team ‘Get-Together’ I got talking to my colleague James Roche about how sometimes the simplest things can make a big difference, make fishing easier, more fun and lead to more fish in your landing net!

James and me thought we’d list a few of the things we’ve learned over our combined 60+ years of fishing experience. Here they are along with links to our “12 Tips of Fishmas” which you can follow on Twitter and Facebook – we’re currently on day 7 and will update the links below as the countdown continues to our Top-Tip on day 1!

Please email us with your own fishing-tips so we can add them to the list below, share and help both newcomer and experienced anglers. Follow the links in the text for more info…

Will Smith

Job: Angling Promotion Manager
Fishing since: Age 6 (…I think!)
Favourite Fishing: Chub fishing on the River Teme, trout fishing on running water in the coarse fishing close season (March 14th to June 16th) and currently, learning to lure fish in the sea for anything that comes along (usually wrasse, bass and pollack) while on holiday at the seaside.

My fishing-tips:

* On ponds, lakes and canals, when you arrive at your fishing spot, sit as far back from the water as you can reach with your rod or whip and start by fishing a few inches from the edge for 30 minutes – it’s often where the biggest fish are!
* To keep your line as strong as possible, stop a waggler float sliding up your line between float stops and attach the split shot to a short length of line threaded through the float eye
* You can get an inexpensive Waterways Wanderer permit which gives you access to miles of canal fishing in England and Wales from the Canal & River Trust
* Take a pair of cheap small round-nosed scissors fishing – you’ll find them useful for all sorts of things – you can even use them to cut things like luncheon meat, cheese and bread into cubes for bait
* Make your own different sized fishing weights by using a hot glue gun to attach a swivel to pebbles. Colour the dry glue in with a green/brown permanent marker to match the stone
* Set a phone reminder to take your fishing licence with you – it’s probably the most important bit of your fishing kit! Fishing licences for a whole day out or a year of fishing trips are free for under 13s and great value for adults
* You can use your reel line to cut luncheon meat into cubes if you’ve forgotten to do this before you go fishing
* Try attaching a “Starlite” to the top of your float with a short piece of float-rubber or tube to allow you to see your float and stay fishing longer in the evening

James Roche

Job: Partnership Development Manager (Northern)
Fishing since: Age 7
Favourite Fishing: Barbel fishing on the River Trent, trying to catch big roach, carp fishing in spring and any type of river fishing really – I’m not fussy!

My fishing-tips:

* Using large baits doesn’t always guarantee big fish, especially when its cold. Baits like maggots, casters and hemp can be a great way to catch big fish like barbel, carp and chub in the colder months
* You can buy some fantastic fishing baits in your local supermarket. Bread, sweetcorn and dog biscuits are a few examples but it’s always worth keeping an eye out on your next trip food shopping
* Your local tackle shop is a great place to get up to date information on local places to fish, hot-spots and tactics that are working well. Don’t be afraid to ask a few questions on your next visit and find out where’s fishing well.
* Keeping warm in the winter is a lot easier when you remember a few key things
Merino wool socks will help keep your feet warm
-Don’t forget a flask with a hot drink or soup
-Take plenty of pre-tied hooklinks with you to save tying small hooks with cold hands
* Whatever the weather always remember to put a pair of polarising sunglasses in your fishing bag. Not only will they protect your eyes when the sun is shining but they will take the surface glare off of the water making it easier to spot fish. You can get an inexpensive pair of polarising glasses online or at your tackle shop 

The 12 Tips of Fishmas

As well as the tips from James and Will, check out angling expert Rob Hughes’ ‘12 Tips of Fishmas‘ on Twitter and Facebook:

Here are Rob’s 12 tips so far…

Day 1] How To Fish – Licences:

Day 2] How To Fish – What is ‘coarse fishing’?:

Day 3] How To Fish – Watercraft Explained:

Day 4] How To Fish – Fishing seasons explained:

Day 5] How To Fish – Fishing Rods explained:

Day 6] How To Fish – Finding how deep the water is:

Day 7] How To Fish – Playing Small Fish:

Day 8] How To Fish – Playing Big Fish:

Day 9] How To Fish Etiquette – Setting Up:

Day 10] How To Fish Etiquette – No Kill:

Day 11] How To Fish – Carp fishing – a brilliant surface bait:

Day 12] How To Fish Etiquette – Respect your fellow anglers: