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Waggler Fishing


Fishing the waggler with Giles Cochrane

Giles Cochrane



Five pints of caster was taken from his holdall, washed to rid them of any maize, and placed into a bait box with a small amount of pool water. A single caster was hooked the same way as a maggot albeit deeper, and a line cast towards the island but not to close.

Giles reasons that with all the tree snags close to the island and with him only fishing light, he wouldn't stand a chance of getting the bigger carp out if he was near. His plan was to lure the bigger fish out into the more open water away from the snags to give him a realistic chance of landing them.

Two pouches of casters were sprayed over the float and before long it buried. The first fish of the day was a roach in the 6-8oz region. Giles constantly fed caster over his chosen fishing area and his next cast produced another roach of a slightly smaller stamp, before a carp intercepted the single caster on the drop.

I was amazed at what happened next.

The carp, of approximately 3llb. in weight, was in the landing net within seconds of being hooked! What was more amazing was that he didn't strike into the fish. Giles explained. 'If you lift hard into a fish it's natural instinct is to bolt away and if the fish is a decent size the chances are you will either pull out or crack off, especially if you are on light tackle as we are to-day. What I do is simple. I strike by reeling into the fish until I feel resistance. Then once the hook is set I will pull the fish towards me, but not in a bully sort of way, with the rod tip submerged reeling in the slack line until the float touches the top of the rod. I will then pull the rod back behind me still as near horizontal as I can, and the fish will come to the surface. As soon as it does I will net it! If I miss, the fish will bolt and will fight like anything. If I get it right the fish will be in the net before it knows what's going on. It takes practise but well worth the effort. My record is 27 carp in the net within 30 minutes and some of those fish ran to 9llb. in weight.'

fishing the waggler

Giles Showing his landing method.

Out the bait went again and before long the fish were rolling for the loose feed and the bites were proving hard to hit.

At this Giles placed some floating putty on the line, explaining that in doing so it automatically sets the depth shallow due to the putty floating on the surface. It then becomes a case of watching the putty rather than the float, when the putty disappears, fish on! Before long chub after chub were coming to the net along with roach, rudd, skimmers and crucians such is the versatility of the caster. All of a sudden Giles reels into a bigger fish, which immediately breaks his 0.12 maxima line and his terminal tackle is lost. As a result he sets up a similar rig but this time with 0.14 maxima with 0.12 omini hook length, to give him a better chance with the bigger specimens, which are in plentyful supply within the pool.

floating putty with the waggler

Floating putty on Line

From the moment the line is next cast, it is noticeable that the bites are harder to come by, even though the fish are rolling and swirling in the swim, after the loose feed. Fifteen to twenty minutes later and the lighter rig is back out and the bites are thick and fast once again. Giles gives a reason. ' The fact that the 0.14 is a thicker line, it is sinking much quicker than the lighter rig, dropping the bait through the water much quicker than the loose feed. The main line was sinking too deep causing me to miss fast bites which I would otherwise have hooked on 0.12 diameter.'

Giles worked hard for the feature and put together over 30llb. of a fine mixed bag of fish including the fish shown at the start of the feature that was near double figures. This bag, I'm convinced, would have been a match framing weight on the day as others around him were struggling.

A nice bag of fish for Giles

Over 30 lb. for Giles

Giles continually worked the caster believing that if the bait lay on the bottom for to long the feeding fish would ignore it or it would be more difficult for them to see than when it is wafting in front of their nose!


Giles states: ' Never sink your line when getting bites quickly, if you do you will be wasting valuable fishing time and putting less fish in your net.

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