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Bagging At Vale Farm

Guest blogger, Chris Glover, recollects a recent margin session at Vale Farm Fishery.

Over the last weekend I decided to dust off the kit and go in search of a few fish and ended up down at Vale Farm near Longparish. The weather seemed spot on, slightly cloudy throughout the morning with blue skies and warm sun in the afternoon. Perfect weather for a few fish!

The plan was to hit a few margin fish, due to the fact there are some large carp contained within the lake that regularly feed and hang out close to the bank. Looking at both margins I decided on fishing 4 metres to my left where there was an ovehanging tree - a nice feature to fish to and one that would also appeal to a few resident carp. With 2ft of water and a shelf that came out 1ft from the bank before a steady slope it seemed a good place to start and one I was confident on catching a few fish.

I am a firm believer in fishing a balanced set up for all my fishing and never going over the top, even in the margins. My main line choice hasn’t changed over the past 2 years and I opt for Browning Cenex every time. It's supple and strong, ideal for the type of fishing I set out to do.

I always use hook lengths as I believe it gives you more options on what line and hook you can use and you are not set to a certain pattern with it tied straight through. On the other hand you also have to think about fish welfare.

The floats I use have to be tough as boots due to the nature of margin fishing and it must be able to stand up to getting dragged through bankside vegetation and snags. For this I have opted for a Demon G made by G Floats. A diamond-shaped pattern made from high tech foam.

My hook choice hasn’t changed over the years (if it isn’t broken don’t change it) so a Kamasan B911 is always first choice.

The setup looked something like this: 12-14 Browning Cenex Reflex hollow elastic set lose on a pulla bung. 0.16mm main line to 0.14mm 6in hooklength with a Demon G 0.20g float finished off with a B911 size 14 hook.

The reason why I set the elastic lose is it gives me chance to set the hook once the fish has taken the bait and then walk them out of the swim into open water so as not to spook the remainder of the fish feeding I find with the more larger fish this is a achievable.

How many times have you hit a fish and its felt the resistance on the elastic and bolted for you then to see massive bow waves as the remainder of the fish get spooked and move back out into open water? Once the fish is in open water I let the balanced tackle do the work.


The plan of attack was to feed often down the margins with meat and corn and to make as much noise as possible when cupping in down the margin to ring the dinner bell.

For my bait it would be a 50/50 mixture of 8mm meat and sweetcorn giving me the options of changing hook bait to either. On the hook it was either double 8mm meat or double corn - nice large bait for a few large fish. 

Having let the swim settle it wasn’t long before there were signs of fish feeding with swirls starting to show as well as the water starting to change colour due to the disturbance in the swim. I let it settle for about another hour to get the fish feeding confidently it was time to go over and see just what resident carp were there.

It didn’t take long before the float shot under and fish number one was guided steadily out of the margin and into open water before finding itself in the landing net. A 10lb mirror carp started off the day with them queuing up after that! A nice 15lb mirror capped off what was a busy day catching margin carp and one that I really enjoyed. All the way through the session the fish seemed confident to feed while their brothers in arms were being picked off one by one. I believe this is down to having a balanced set up and one that you have confidence in!

Chris Glover is sponsored by Browning and writes a regular blog at peg2peg.blogspot.co.uk.
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