F1’s and carp with Rob Gandley

Rob is a fantastic angler and it was great to watch him down at Wassell Grove fishery. He fished the match pool and his target was the larger carp and F1’s. The weather was bad, and a lot of cold water had gone into the lake resulting in more difficult than expected conditions. Never the less, Rob caught well. Fishing peg 16 on the match pool, he fished pellet, meat, corn and paste to an island 14.5m away on pole. Here, Rob talks you through some of the techniques he used to catch these fish.


He started with fishing 2 lines. A 6 meter line and a longer line about a foot away from the far bank. On the shorter line, a slim bodied float is the preferred choice. This is a handmade float. A slim bodied float for deeper water (3 foot plus) aids presentation and increases the likelihood of you being able to see shy bites.


He starts on the 6 meter line and feeds 4mm pellet (brought from the tackle shop) and fishes meat on the hook. The bottom starts to fizz showing lots of fish activity, but the float remains stationary. What causes this? Rob thinks that it could be a variety of reasons, but most likely, the fish are just gill feeding, or running the silt on the bottom through their gills to filter out all of the silt. When there is a mass of bubbles but no bites, try changing hookbait. A brighter bait like corn, or a larger bait like paste may be more visible to fish that are gill feeding.


A run of smaller fish including skimmers and roach prove that the bubbles are not from the target species carp but are from silver fish. They are great action and a lot of fun, but Rob changes tactic to the far bank line to focus on carp.


Bait for the day included fishery 4mm pellets, a range of hooker pellets and hard pellets for the hook (that are banded on), meat that has been cut up by being pushed through a riddle (this creates smaller, un-uniform chunks rather than perfectly formed 4 or 6mm cubes), corn and caster.


He starts his 14.5m island line off with a large pot of pellet. This is to force the carp to feed on the bottom. When they are at a variety of depths, it is very difficult to know how shallow to fish. A large pot means that fish have to go to the bottom to feed.


These tactics work well and Rob quickly hooks into a fish of a larger size. The important thing when fishing close to islands and snags is that your line and elastic is up to the job. Here, he is using a 12 elastic to 0.15 line (around 5lb breaking strain). You have to react quickly in these situations and pull the fish from the island and potential snags as soon as possible.


A few F1’s are quickly put into the net. When you have fish feeding, it is important to still fish smoothly. Rob does not rush when landing fish as a hook pull could result in a tangle, resulting in lost time catching the large amount of fish he has got feeding by the island.


Tench also made an appearance on this line. It is amazing how quickly these tench have grown, having only been stocked in the lake a few years ago when they were only a few ounce each. They provide great fun and fight harder than you would expect for a smaller fish!


Things are going well now, and Rob is picking up larger carp and silvers from the island, including this fantastic large Ide. It weighed in excess of 2lb and in a match or a pleasure fishing session, these are great fish to catch!


After a heavy rain spell, the carp started feeding. This beautiful fish fell to a single piece of corn over the bed of 4mm pellet. When bites dry up, try changing hookbait. Sometimes, this is all that is needed to start catching again. If you are getting a lot of indications on the float but it is not burying, try shallowing up. Constant indications are a sign that fish are not feeding on the bottom. Take 6 inches of depth off at a time, and discover what depth the fish are feeding.


What a fantastic session. 4 hours later, and Rob has caught more than 50lb of fish with difficult conditions. His catch is more than possible without a pole. A lead fished close to the island would have produced the same results, with 4mm catapulted pellets fed over the top.


Rob is soon to become an angling coach. If you would like to expand your fishing knowledge and find out more about this please contact us using the contact form. We look forward to hearing from you!