Regardless of the fishing discipline you favour, accuracy could be the difference between an amazing catch and drawing a blank. Location is obviously important, but accuracy comes a close second and shifts the odds firmly in your favour. Here are our top tips for improving your accuracy.
Setting your marks
Whether you are pole fishing or carp fishing, you will benefit enormously from fishing the same area over and over again - once you have identified a good one! Accuracy will concentrate your feed and the fish you are targeting. Always sit or stand on the same spot and ensure that you are stable. Choose a marker on the opposite bank. This should obviously be something which can't move and if your fishing overnight, it should be something which creates a silhouette against the night sky. Telegraph poles and single trees are good choices.
Maintain distance control
Having sorted out your direction, you must also ensure that you control your distance. Here, the line clip on your reel will help you. Cast from the same place and towards your marker and then hit the line clip with your rod high. It helps if you bring the rod tip back in the air and cushion the impact on the clip by pushing the rod forward again. If you hit the clip abruptly, the line's elasticity can make the rig spring back towards you and ruin your accuracy.
If you hone your technique, you will then drop your float or feeder in the same place every time. When you have to unclip for a catch, use distance sticks to mark your target area. make a note of where you fished and your success rate in that location so that when you return to the water, you will spend less time identifying good areas
Mark your tackle
You can utilise pole elastic tied with a three-turn grinner knot to mark your line. It also helps to mark where to hold your pole and the depth of your rigs.
If you are fishing the same area repeatedly, you must also bait it accurately. You could choose to utilise spods clipped up to an identical range to your rod. But over deeper waters, you must allow for swim back by reducing your spod length by a foot for every three feet of water. For pole fishing, use a cupping kit of the same length as your top kit. If you are fishing a river, a bait dropper is the best choice as if you simply throw your bait into the water, the current could take it anywhere before it finally hits the bottom.
Practice makes perfect
It is easier to hone your technique and accuracy when you cast within a comfortable range. Gradually extend your range as you enhance your accuracy and you will improve your performance over time. There is no substitute for time spent by the water but if you are new to the sport, you might benefit from practising your casting away from the water. Every minute you spend practising will yield dividends.