Our insightful general angling blogger, Colin Mitchell shares his ten top tips that he thinks will help all anglers. If you like this blog, please click the social media icons above to share with your fishing pals.


WHEN you watch other anglers you often learn – both how to do things right and how not to do things wrong.

Over the years I’ve picked up some great little tricks from fellow anglers but also adapted or created a few myself.

Here, in no particular order, are ten ideas that will hopefully make you fish better or help you catch more…


Do you often forget what breaking strain line you have put on a reel spool? Some reels now have numbers you can push onto the spool – but if they don’t write the strain in marker on the inside of the spool, next to the reel. Or write it on a piece of paper and stick it there with clear tape.


Changing your line? Keep the old stuff for backing other spools. And be sure to mark the breaking strain on the reel spool you’ve just filled up.


When you decide to change your reel line don’t ditch the stuff off the spool. Use it to create backing so that you don’t need as much new line on deep spools. And if you wind it onto your spare spool it means the line that hasn’t seen the light of day, and is still strong, will be nearer the top in case you do get down to your backing whilst playing a big fish.


Magnetic hook boxes can be bought at a very reasonable price now. They stop your hooks from falling out and stop them rattling about and potentially damaging points. Or you can make your own by Supergluing a small magnet to the bottom of a small plastic container.

I wouldn't use this particular hook myself - but I use one of these magnetic boxes.

I wouldn’t use this particular hook myself – but I use one of these magnetic boxes.


Staying with storage – airtight plastic boxes, with clip down lids, are great for keeping pellets, hookers and other baits in your tackle bag. You can get a few at pound shops for… well you can guess that answer!


Many hooks will now not go rusty as easily as they did in years gone by. But ensure their protection from the damp by dropping a grain or two of dry rice in your hook boxes. This soaks up damp and should occasionally be replaced.


Don’t ditch old pole elastics. Usually it’s only the end bits that have worn and you can cut the rest up, form into loops and then use to hold together folded down top two sections – or even make stronger loops from carp elastic to create rod bands.


Luncheon meat-2

A tin of meat you’ve kept in the car can save the day!


This might sound a bit strange – but always leave a tin of meat and/or sweetcorn in your car boot. It’s amazing how many times this will cover for forgotten bait, give you a change bait or even be there should you run out on the bank.


Most anglers are aware that feeding liquidised bread is a great way of attracting fish, especially when the water is clear and cold. But sometimes ‘lickie’ can feed fish up fast or in faster water might not get down to the bottom quickly enough. When this is the case I mix up some groundbait, usually dark coloured, and then sprinkle in a bit of liquidised. This means I have a dark patch on the bed of the river, lake or canal, which means fish are more likely to be confident feeding over it – as they won’t be spotted so easily by predators – but I still have some particles to root out.


There’s not much worse than the stick of sweaty maggots when they stink to high heaven with ammonia. The fish don’t like it either. Riddle off the bait and stick the grubs in a bit of groundbait – with the added advantage that the additives in the crumb will now flavour your maggots a bit too!


How often have you wondered what to do with an old landing net pole or broken section of pole? Cut it to the right length and use it as a quivertip storage tube. Don’t have the tips inside when you cut it. Use tape to seal one end and an old pole bung or piece of plastic as your cap, or create a plug from some bubble wrap.


Blog Mitch