One of my favourite summer tactics is catching fish on the long pole shallow. It is a deceptively simple technique, but one that requires practice to get into a rhythm and put a good weight together. On some days it will be a bite and chuck, whilst on others it can take time to get the fish feeding confidently, which makes for some interesting fishing. 

Today I am fishing the Beastie Lake at Decoy Fisheries and my main target will be the lakes stock of big F1’s and skimmers. I am sure there will be the opportunity to mug the odd proper carp as it cruises through my peg, which will be a nice bonus. 

The plan is to fish at 14.5 metres. This is a comfortable distance to fish all day, which is important as one of the keys to this method is pole control. Fish too long and you will struggle to fish comfortably, especially if there is a cross-wind, and that will lead to tangles and missed bites. As today is a pleasure session and there are no anglers on the adjacent pegs there is no reason to fish further than this. 

Banded 6mm pellet as hookbait and the same fishery pellets as feed.

I use a size 18 Sphere Beast hook.

A small super-strong Dibber float.

Use a Dacron connector to pink Microbore elastic.

"My rig is dead simple and designed to avoid tangles and enable the bait to have a natural fall through the water."

My rig is dead simple and designed to avoid tangles and enable the bait to have a natural fall through the water. Through past experience I know the fish on this lake like to feed in a top two feet of water; a bit deeper than on many lakes, so I’ll set the rig to fish at this depth. I use Cenex Hybrid mono in 0.20mm for the rig body. This is a very tough and quite stiff line, ideal for avoiding time wasting tangles The hooklength is the same line in 0.14mm to a size 18 Sphere Beast hook. A small bait band holds the 6mm fishery pellet tight to the bend of the hook. 

I’m using a sturdy 0.4 Dibber float with three no.8 shot right under the float and two no.10 shot strung between the float and the hook. I like to have a couple of small shot down the line to give a nice fall through the water. Most bites will come as the bait is falling through the water, and I’ll slap the rig every minute or so to keep the bait sinking and also to attract the fish. 

I’ve got the pink Xitan Microbore elastic through the top kit of the pole to a Dacron connector. This is a nice soft elastic, rated 7-9, ideal for this sort of work, and with the puller kit I can exert just the right amount of pressure on the fish. With this balanced kit I expect to lose very few fish, be they skimmers or double-figure carp. 

Bait wise, this is really simple fishing. It is important to keep a steady trickle of 6mm fishery pellets going in. I like to feed about every thirty seconds with roughly eight pellets at a time. Try to get into the habit of feeding even when you hook a fish, or the bites slow down, as this will draw more fish in and keep the bites coming. 

When a big carp cruises through I will normally have a quick go for it. Try to guess where the carp is heading and drop the hookbait in front of it. Some times, perhaps most of the time, they will ignore it, but you don’t need many of these bigger carp to boost your weight significantly. 

It has been a funny old day. The weather has gone from bright sunshine one minute to heavy downpours the next. The warm water temperatures mean that the fish are happy to be in the upper layers though and the bites have kept coming at regular intervals. As always, I’ve caught a few and missed a few, and it has been an enjoyable mornings fishing. 

Whether you are new to pole fishing, or an old hand, give shallow fishing a go. It’s great fun and is also a brilliant way of improving your pole-handling skills too. 


Jon Whincup



Jon’s Tackle

Sphere Zero-G PT+ Pole

Rig line 0.20mm Cenex Hybrid Mono 

Hook length 0.14mm Cenex Hybrid Mono

Size 18 Sphere Beast hook

Dibber Float

Pink Cenex Microbore Elastic


Jon’s Bait

4mm Feed Pellet

6mm Banded Pellet Hookbait

A nice bonus carp hits the net.

Get your set-up right and you will be much more efficient.

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Keep feeding every few seconds, even when playing a fish.

The awesome Zero-G PT+ pole means I can fish comfortably all day.