Q When fishing to snags, how do you know how close to cast? Unlike overhanging willow trees, when fishing to a fallen trees etc. there’s probably the same amount of branches etc. above the surface as there is below.
A “This really could and probably should be a four-page feature in itself!” laughs Chris Cox. “You really need to learn as much about the snag as you possibly can and the only way to do this would be to have a real good lead around. This simply incorporates tying a lead to the end of your main line spending as much time as you can casting all around the area. You need to do this from as many different angles as possible as casting straight at the snag by itself will not tell you enough. You need to be 100% sure that where you finally end up placing your bait is 100% safe to fish. Snag fishing shouldn’t be taken lightly and you need to make sure that everything you are doing leads to the safe landing of your quarry. It is not just the positioning of the bait that is important, but a number of other factors. Here’s a list I’ve put together…”
1 ALWAYS fish with your clutches locked up and NEVER use the free spool facility!
2 ONLY fish with a small drop on your bobbins to give the carp less distance to run.
3 ALWAYS sit on top of your rods and NEVER leave your swim as it only takes a second for a carp to pick up your bait. This includes popping next door to see your mate for a cup of tea!
4 Make sure your end tackle is 100% safe. You need to be sure that should the worse case scenario happen and the carp makes the sanctuary of the snags that you have done everything in your power to ensure that the carp can get rid of everything. This involves a lead that will always come free and from a personal point of view NEVER using leadcore. I don’t feel that the properties of leadcore allow for safe snag fishing as once it’s knotted round a branch there is no way for it to come free and could easily result in a carp fatality.
5 Personally I would only ever fish to snags during daylight hours as this is the only way I can be 100% sure I can be on top of the rod as soon as it goes. Again, if you feel that you are unsure of doing something then the chances are that you shouldn’t do it! This really is a brief look, but as a final note I would just say question everything that you do when snag fishing, because if you get one piece of the jigsaw wrong then it can end in disaster.