How do I catch fish “On the Drop”?

Catching on the drop

Catching fish “On the Drop” simply means, the fish are taking the bait as it drops through the water. It’s a great way of catching fish that feed near the surface like Rudd and in the summer months, Carp.  The key to catching fish on the drop is how you feed.  The approach “little and often” is required.  Imagine the scene underwater.  Throw in one maggot and as that maggot falls through the water if we’re lucky it will get taken by a fish.  The fish in the immediate area may also pause and start searching for the food source.  throw in another maggot and those few fish will take the bait and draw the attention of more fish in the area.  To get to the food source first those fish will now need to compete and to win they will need to swim higher in the water to intercept the bait.  Keep this going and very quickly you can draw a large shoal of fish to the surface.  If you were to throw all of your maggots in one pile into the lake they would sink to the bottom and that element of compeition and surface feeding wouldn’t be created.

How do I catch fish “On the Drop”?

To catch on the drop successfully you need to;

  1. Float fish with a waggler float. Put all the shot around the base of the float.
  2. Set the depth to around 2-3ft
  3. Feed around 6 maggots every 60 seconds. Be accurate and get into a rythum.
  4. You should aim to Cast, Feed, Strike, Land the fish, every time.


Join The School Of Fish for a lesson and we will look at how to feed fish so you catch all day long.

How do I catch carp with a fly fishing rod?

Carp on the fly

Fly fishing for Carp was unheard of until quite recently.  It’s an exciting way of crossing over the increidble sport of catching any fish on a fly rod, with a really hard fighting fish like the carp.  It really only lends itself to sruface fishing for carp when either a large fly imitation like a daddy longlegs is readily taken by carp or, an imitation dog biscuit is used and fished amongst biscuits that are being fed to the carp.  It can be quite tricky as many carp fishing fisheries are beautifully wild and overgrown which makes casting a fly tricky but, a well executed roll cast will get you amongst fish in even small swims with no space for a back cast.  So if you’re a trout fisherman, and the summer heat is putting down those Rainbows and Browns, try your luck at Carp fishing.

Fly Fishing for Carp

  1. Tackle should be a 6-8 weight fly rod, a floating line, an 8-12lb leader and either a daddy longlegs type fly or imitation dog biscuit tied from deer hair.
  2. Fish on a warm sunny day, and look in quiet corners of the lake, often in the margins for fish basking on the surface.
  3. Get the fish feeding confidently first by feeding dog biscuits or floating trout pellets. Use the little and often approach and watch for the fishes’ reactions.
  4. In tight swims use a roll cast to reach feeding fish and not get snagged in bankside bushes and trees.
  5. Hold on tight!  A carp of any size caught on a fly rod is a superb experience.

Join The School Of Fish for a lesson during the summer and we can target surface feeding carp.

How can I catch a Crucian Carp?

How can I catch Crucian Carp

Crucian Carp (Carassius carassius) are one of the the smallest members of the Carp family native to the UK.  The British record is 4lb 10oz, so way below it’s King Carp cousin, but tackled with a light balanced set-up, they are a great fighting fish, perfect for the summer months.

Catching Crucian Carp

  1. Find a water that contains Crucian Carp.  You can’t catch what isn’t in front of you.  A list of Crucian Carp fisheries is has been published by The Crucian Carp website.  One of my favourites in Cornwall is Oakside Fishery.
  2. Float fishing for Crucian Carp is the traditional approach.  Use a 12-13ft flaot rod balanced with a small fixed spool reel loaded 4-5lb line.  A hook length of around 3lbs and a size 16 hook is a great starting place.
  3. Plumb the depth accurately at the start of your session.  Look for the bottom of the marginal shelf and fish here.  Ideally there will be some bankside cover and/or weed beds near by.  Set your float so the bait is just touching the bottom.
  4. Bait for catching Crucian Carp can be almost anything. Everyone has their favourite but try maggots, sweetcorn, luncheon meat, casters and pellets.  If the water holds lots of small fish, avoid maggots.
  5. Use a delicate presentation and set your float so only the tip is showing.  You’re likely to be fishing close in so a small float can be used.  Strike quickly as the float is going down.



Join The School Of Fish for a lesson on one of the idlyic lakes to catch your first ever Crucian Carp.

How do I catch Perch with Prawns?

Perch Fishing with Prawns

How can I catch Perch using Prawns for bait?

The Perch (Peca fluviatilis) is in my opinion one of the best looking freshwater fish in the UK.  The huge spikey dorsal fin, bold stripes and red/orange fins make this a really handsome fish.  In recent years there has been a boom in big Perch fishing from many waters where they have been neglected and they have been thriving.  They make an excellent target during the winter months when other species slow down their feeding habits.  Using large baits can help single out the largest specimens and any fish over two pounds will give you an excellent fight.

  1. Find a lake that contains Perch.  You can’t catch it if it’s not there.
  2. Look around the lake for areas with cover; weed and overhanging trees are perfect.
  3. Use a 12ft float fishing rod rated for use with a 4-6lb line.
  4. Plumb the water depth and fish with you bait on or very close to the bottom.
  5. Use large worms of prawns for bait.  These are proven catchers of large Perch.
  6. Use a size 12-8 hook and remember to strike early to avoid deep hooked fish.


Why not book a lesson during winter and join The School Of Fish at the favourite big Perch fishery.

How do I unhook a fish?

Catching a fish might feel like the hard bit, but what do you do when you land the fish?  You need to be able to quickly remove the hook and return the fish.  The first time you do this can be quite daunting but with this simple giude and our simple fish dummy, you’ll have the technique perfected in no time so when that first fish does come along, it’ll be easy.

How do you unhook a fish?

  1. If you can see the hook, use your finger and thumb to gently push the hook in the opposite direction to which it’s entered the fish, this is generally back into the fish’s mouth.
  2. If you can’t reach the hook, use a disgoger.
  3. Slide the line down the barrel of the disgorger and into the fish’s mouth. Remember to keep the line tight.
  4. Push until you feel the disgorger stop on the hook.
  5. Now push down gently to release the hook before carefully drawing the disgorger out and extracting the hook. Practice makes perfect!


Join The School Of Fish for a lesson and I’ll make sure you know how to unhook a fish quickly with and without a disgorger.

How do I hook a maggot?

How to hook a maggot

There isn’t a fish in freshwater that won’t eat a maggot, they are a fantastic bait.  From tiny Minnows to huge Carp, fish love nothing more than a fresh and wriggly maggot.  Getting the most out of them depends a lot on how you hook them.  Get it wrong and you might endure a frustrating day with lots of bites but no fish hooked or worse still, you don’t even get any bites at all.  What you’re looking to acheive is hooking the maggot very lightly so it still wriggles enticingly in the water, just what the fish love!  This simple guide will show you how to hook a maggot and get it right every time.

How to hook a maggot

  1. Grip the maggot in your weaker hand, I’m right handed so hold the maggot in my left hand.
  2. Ensure the blunt end of the maggot is exposed.  Let one crawl on the palm of your hand, you’ll soon see the pointy end and the blunt end.
  3. Hold the hook with your stronger hand and guide it through the very end of the maggot.
  4. The maggot shouldn’t burst and should remain very lively.

Maggot facts

  • Maggots are the larval stage of a fly.  It’s like the hungry caterpillar story with a less glamorous ending.
  • Most of the maggots we fish with will become the large Bluebottle flies we see buzzing around.
  • The chrysalis stage of a maggots lifecycle is referred to by anglers as a “caster”.  In the right conditions, they will then turn into a fly.  Casters are also a great bait.
  • To slow down the lifecycle of maggots and prolong your bair supply, keep maggots in a sealed container, with small air holes and in the fridge.  This slows down their metabolism.
  • Fisherman use different coloured maggots.  The colurs are achived by feeding the maggots different coloured foods.  They are what they eat!


Join The School Of Fish for a lesson and we’ll make sure you’re hooking maggots and other baits in the right way to help you catch more fish.

How do I take great photos of the fish I catch?

How do I take photos of the fish I catch?

Getting a great photo of the fish you catch helps make the memory last a lifetime.  It can be done on your own but needs a little practice to get great consistent results. Once you’ve practised with your setup, you can recreate great self-take fishing photos time and time again.  Once you got that mastered, you can great creative.  With so many good cameras now included in smartphones as well as very affordable small tripods, you never need to show people poor photos of your catch of a lifetime lying on an unhooking mat, you can lift it up for the camera and share it in all it’s glory!

Taking great fishing photos

  1. Get a tripod, a cheap one is fine.
  2. Choose a plain background with limited contrast.
  3. Clear all your tackle and any litter out of the frame.
  4. Kneel about an arm’s length from the camera lens.
  5. Kneel over a soft surface or unhooking matt in case the fish jumps.
  6. Hold the fish up in the frame so you’re photographing you and your catch and nothing else.
  7. Practice, practice, practice!


Join The School Of Fish for a lesson and if you like, we can include self-take fish photography in the session.