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Searching Your Peg On The Bomb

Time after time I have arrived at unfamiliar venues, drew a peg with no form and even been sat in a prolific area and have struggled to catch, sometimes due to the ever-changeable British weather. Even so, you may find yourself doubting your decisions or preconceived plan for the day ahead. 

Typically, at this time of year your catch rates can be very inconsistent, what works one day may fail completely in the same spot on another. Trying to make something happen in the usual way, such as feeding, can kill your peg completely so sit back and pause for thought to consider what may get you catching again. 

First thing first – reach for the Bomb Rod…

With the bomb rod, searching the water in front of you is not just chuck it out and wait/hope for bite. It is an approach that requires careful consideration and tactical thinking. Casting out ad Hoc will just spook any fish balled up and push them out of reach, and potentially for another angler to enjoy at your expense. 


The length of the rod is dependent on the distance you are wanting to cast, the longer you’re casting the longer the rod needs to be in order to maintain accuracy over a greater distance. The same goes for the reel, longer distances require bigger reels. For your average commercial fisheries, a 10- or 11-foot bomb rod with an average medium size reel are ideal for the job in hand. 

A correctly loaded reel with a line diameter that isn’t too thick will cast easier – I go for Preston Innovations Feeder Sinking Line in 0.18mm or 5lbs. This product has never let me down since its launch, sinks well and is as inconspicuous as possible for spooky fish.

Preston ICS Bombs are great and versatile with easy changing available, I use as light as possible to reach the distance required as I want the bomb to enter the water with the least amount of disturbance to any fish as possible.

Hook length length and diameter is once again something I change a lot, but I go for Preston Innovations Reflo power – always lighter than the main line and 18 inches is a popular starting length.

Hooks – Preston Innovations KKM-B eyed barbless, strong, dependable, and versatile. Hook size depends on targeted fish and hook bait size.

The First Cast 

Being as sneaky as possible to start with I opt for 3 10mm discs of punched white bread, attached on a quick stop hair and hook size is 16. Not too big and heavy to affect the natural fall of the hook bait but strong enough to deal with big carp. 

Top Tip – keep the hair a little longer than usual as the bread will swell a lot and you don’t want the hook point to be covered. 

I start by casting directly in front of me (12’o’clock) just out of normal pole reach at about 18 –20 meters. There is a chance the fish have backed away to here and slow falling bread may just catch their eye. 

Top Tip – Set the stopwatch running and take note of any indications you get and how long you have waited for them. This info is priceless in making the right decisions from that point. 

When you cast in give a couple of turns on the reel as soon as the bomb has hit the water, this will help to straighten the hook length on the bottom allowing you to see bites more clearly on the tip. Allow the line to sink and everything to settle and slowly tighten the mainline so you are just about in touch with the bomb, barely enough to see it on the tip but enough to notice a drop back. 

If you are getting line bites and indications on the tip but no proper bites this could mean the fish are moving in front of you, and you have cast beyond them. All you need to do is rebait and cast 1.5meters shorter, keep doing this until your line bites turn into proper bites and fish in the net. 

No Bites – What now? 

If you have tried the above and had no indications of fish life (I leave the bait in this position for 20mins) then repeat the process at the same distance but to the left or right. I start at the 11’o’clock position, then 10, moving over then to the right at 1’o’clock then 2. If I go through this to no avail, I simply repeated the entire process but further out between 2-4 meters longer than before depending on how much water is on front of me and, continue with this until I find the fish. There are however a few things to keep in mind…. 

  • Once you find fish it does not guarantee you will bag up from the same spot, once you have caught a few they will often move again – you will have to keep chasing them to stay in touch and keep fish coming to the net. 
  • Consider ringing the changes with hook bait, bread isn’t always the answer. Other double hook baits on a hair can score really well such as sweetcorn, 6mm expander pellets, barrels and wafters of different flavours and colours, dead maggots and pinkies directly on the hook can also save you from a blank. 
  • Consider changing your hook length length – go longer for a slower fall of the hook bait, particularly in deeper water. A smaller diameter line and smaller hook are also a possibility, especially if you find a silver fish shoal – then switching the bomb for a cage of maggot feeder could completely change your day for the better. 
  • Should you find yourself in the position of nothing having worked, and it does happen, it is worth trying again at the start before you pack up and home. The fish may have never been in front of you but, due to the pressure of other anglers around (and bait going in) they can sometimes move in front of you late in the session, this is because you have been casting around out of their way and have therefore created a no pressured quiet area of water in front of you. 

Hope you have enjoyed the read and I look forward to seeing on the bank soon. 

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