Originally Published in English

The middle to lower river Trent is booming at the moment with huge numbers of silver fish to be caught in many areas. One of the great things about the river at the moment is that you can pick and choose your tactics based on the peg that you are fishing. Generally speaking, the more depth and flow that you have close in the better a peg will respond to float tactics, whether that be running a stick float through, fishing a Bolo, or on the pole line that I will be fishing today. I wouldn’t say that todays peg is perfect for the pole, the deepest part of the river is further out, but for a great days fishing you can’t really beat the precision of the pole, and it is just such a lovely way to fish. 

I am on a peg at Burton Joyce today, which is pretty typical of the Trent around Nottingham. The main species to aim for are roach and dace, with a few perch thrown in for good measure. There is also the chance of a bigger bonus fish, particularly chub, but you can’t count on these. The rocky banks slope away quite steeply, and once you get past the weedy margins the depth levels out at about 2.5 metres by 13 metres. I will start off at this distance, as it gives me somewhere to go if the fish start to back off. 


I am not intending to start on the pole line, but I will introduce a little patch of feed that the fish will hopefully settle over and gain confidence, ready for when I want to use this line. With the hemp fishing in particular, the longer that you can leave the fish to settle the more confident they will be and the more bites you will hit. 

I’ve made up some really dark groundbait using the Champion’s Choice Black Magic and Champion’s Feeder Black Roach mixed 50-50. To being with, I will introduce two decent-sized balls of this mix, laced with some hemp and casters. I’ve compressed the balls fairly hard to get the groundbait down to the bottom before it starts to break up as I want it to act as a focal point in the swim. 

Feed a pinch of casters twice every run through.

Feed hemp, but don’t be in too much of a hurry to switch to it as a hook bait.

You can expect some cracking roach to show up on the Trent.


I am going to aim to catch fish by slowly running the float down the peg. A good starting pace is about half the speed of the surface, as this helps to keep the hookbait running in front of the line, and better matches the flow close to the bottom. Holding back slightly harder will cause the bait to rise off the bottom slightly and almost stop, often conjuring up an extra bite. 

My rigs are pretty straight forward and are designed to enable me to control the fall of the bait. Floats are a Chianti-style pattern that have a slim profile which cuts through the water perfectly and carry 4×14, split into no.10 shot spaced at 6cm intervals. By breaking up the shot I can adjust the fall of the bait. Bulking the shot up to get the bait down faster, especially if bleak in the upper layers are a problem, or spreading them out to give a more natural presentation. 

The rigs are made up on 0.14mm diameter Cenex Hybrid Power line, to a 0.12mm hooklength, terminating in a size 18 Sphere Match hook. Make sure you bury most of the caster inside the hook as this will bring more bites from the roach, especially when the water is clear. 

For this style of fishing I run solid no.6 elastic through the top kit of my Xitan Z16-L Advance pole. I have fitted a puller kit just in case I hook a bonus fish as this will enable me to tension the elastic quickly, giving me more control. 


With roach being my main target on this line I am going to feed a small pinch of caster and hemp twice each run through. Because of the bleak, which can be a right pain on some pegs, I will avoid feeding maggots. The casters sink a little faster, and being dark are less likely to be picked off by the bleak. 

The hemp is an obvious choice for roach, both as a feed, and if the fish get on it later in the session, as a hookbait too. Once the roach are confident on the hemp the average size of the fish will definitely be a bit bigger than with the casters, but it can take a few hours for them to get enough confidence to take it well. Go on to the hemp too early and you will either get less bites, or fat bites that are difficult to hit. 

I have some maggots with me as well, and these will come into play as another change hookbait should the bites on caster slow down. With regular feeding though I would expect the fishing to get better for at least the first couple of hours, before I need to make any changes. 


This morning I have started on the feeder, fishing half-way across the river, for a couple of hours before dropping back onto the pole line. I have kept feeding the float line the whole time with a pinch of casters and hemp every couple of minutes and I’ve not noticed too many bleak swirling on the surface, which is a good sign. I’ve been busy catching a decent dace almost every cast on the feeder, and it is easy to forget to feed the pole line, when you are as busy as this, but it is essential to keep the bait going in to build up this line. 

I could have stayed on the feeder, but as I am practicing today, I force myself to put the rod down and pick up the pole. First run through, with the rig plumbed to have the bait just tripping along the bottom, the float only moves about a metre before it pulls under confidently. Roach number one is soon in the net – a good start. 

With a slight upstream wind today presentation is pretty good and I am able to edge the float down the peg at whatever speed I choose. Soon I find the area where most of the bites are coming and I slow the rig down a touch when it gets to this spot. The roach vary in size, from a couple of ounces, up to about half a pound, lovely sport, only partially spoilt by a big pike that has taken up residence right in front of me! 

I suspect there could be more predators about, as the bites start to become a bit more sporadic after the first hour, which often happens if there is a big fish down there spooking the roach. The fish have kept coming though and a switch to hemp has made a difference too, with the fish getting noticeably bigger. The bites are really positive too, and despite me fishing with quite a long line on a top-four kit, so that I can run teh rig down the swim, I’m not missing many indications. 

The great thing with the Trent is that you can catch on so many different methods, with each peg being different. I must say though that for a really nice days sport nothing beats running a float through on the pole for me. These tactics will work equally well on other large rivers with a bit of flow too. Give it a try, you won’t be disappointed. 

Tom Noton

Browning Hot Rods

I use a slimline 4×14 float unless the conditions are really blustery, or the flow very strong.

Strung out no.10 shot allow me to adjust the fall of the bait through the water column.

Don’t fish with too short a line. I like to be able to run the float down the peg and search for extra bites.

"Switching to hemp will bring a better stamp of fish."

Tom’s Tackle

Xitan Z16-L Advance Pole

Cenex Hybrid Power 0.14mm rig line

Cenex Hybrid Power 0.12mm hooklength

Sphere Match Size 18 Hook

4×14 Chianti Pole float


Tom’s Bait

Two pints of casters

Two pints of hemp

One pint of maggots

One bag Champion’s Choice Black Magic

One bag of Champion’s Feeder Black Roach

The river Trent has some brilliant silverfish sport.