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An Introduction and guide to Pole Fishing

float fishing in a lake
pole float fishing

An usual but effective method of fishing. Unlike standard fishing rods a pole does not contain a reel. The line is connected directly to the end of the pole using a piece of elastic.

Although you may be restricted in terms of how far you can fish you can be much more accurate when pole fishing. Placing your bait onto the end of the hook is similar to almost all methods of fishing.

You then guid the pole out into the body of water you wish to fish. Lower the hook into your desired spot and place the pole onto a stand.

If you enjoy open sea fishing or like to cover large bodys of water, pole fishing is probably not for you. Although, if you love to be pin point accurate of smaller boys of water such as rivers and canals pole fishing is definitely recommended.

Selecting a peg beside some overhanging vegetation, or lily pads means you can go from fishing out in open fast flowing water to inches away from some reeds that are closer to your bank position.


What will you need for pole fishing?

● The pole itself.

● Heavy duty waterproof clothing.

● Appropriate bait.

● Elastic. For controlling your pole.

● Floats. An indication of when your bait is being taken.

● Rigs. To pace your bait onto.

● Elastic lubricants. To help retain the quality or your elastic.

● Pole stand. For resting your pole on so as to not strain your arm.

● Tackle box. For storing all of your technical, smaller parts.

● Padded seat (not required) For added comfort.

● Bite alarm (not required) To be alert when a fish takes our bait.

● Puller kits.

Puller Kit

Puller kits can be viewed as essential for landing a big carp quickly.

A puller kit is a top kit with a side hole drilled near the bottom end.

A dedicated puller bush is fitted and the elastic pokes out, tied off with a bead and knot.

Some modern poles may have a puller kit pre attached to it. Sometimes puller kits must be installed onto rods.

Match Fishing

Match fishing is a very common sport associated with pole fishing. Match fishing is a relatively simple form of competition. Angles will select their “peg” by two methods. Some competitions first come first served.

Meaning any individual can claim a peg if they get there first. Or a more common method for selecting pegs is by a random selection.

Once the angler reaches there peg they are not allowed to fish anywhere else. The aim of the competition is to be the angler with either the longest or heaviest catch.

Some fisheries may award prizes for those with the most catches no matter the size.


There are a wide variety of baits available for pole fishing.

If you are targeting coarse fish to uncommon but effective bits are tiger nuts for ledgering and marshmallows for surface fishing.

Prawns, cat food and mussels are also great baits for pole fishing. Any form of ground bait can be used when pole fishing.


There are a wide variety of species which can be targeted using a pole. It is much more common to use a pole in lakes and rivers. Therefore, all the species referred to are freshwater fish. The most common use for pole fishing is coarse fish. Salmon and trout can also be caught using a pole.


When setting up for pole fishing ensure you are seated on level ground. When using a pole depending on the length of your pole some areas may be inaccessible. Check behind you for vegetation before pole fishing.

Once you have found level ground, set your pole stand up first.

This is essential. Poles can be difficult to hold for long periods of time.

Once your stand is up, extend your poles and attach your rigs.

Add your bait onto your risg. Once the bait has been added, lower it into your selected body of water.

From this stage you can place your pole onto your rest and attach a bite alarm. Ensuring the pole is correctly held in place.

Some larger fish could pull it into the water if it is not secured correctly.

You can now do one of two things, relax and wait for a bite or prepare fresh rgs to change out in approximately twenty minutes.


As addressed previously pole fishing has its benefits and drawbacks. Its lack of casting ability means it is unsuitable for large bodys of water.

Although, its pinpoint accuracy enables it to be suitable for a small body of water. Some anglers may find pole fishing difficult as it can cut a large amount of string onto the nagler when fighting the fish.

There are methods of pole fishing that can make it less strenuous. Such as using a bump bar. A bump bar is a bar running along the front of your fishing chair used to prop the pole against.

This helps lower the power the fish has when the rod is held high. This method can be compared to fighting larger species from a boat and using a rod assist/prop.

Fishing Notes

Overall, pole fishing is a perfect coarse/game method for almost any small enclosed area. Ensuring the land you fish on is flat, pole fishing can be a thrilling form of fishing.

As cpole fishing is more common with coarse fishing, many of the baits mentioned are specifically tailored to fish such as barbel, bream or carp.

I would recommend purchasing a decent pole rest and chair as in strong winds pole fishing can become tedious due to the immense size of the poles.

by Daniel ONeill

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