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10 boating tips you need to know

Just like using a bait boat, the more precise and effective you are with a rowing boat, the better your results will be…

1. Keep a light on

Top tip: If you’re going out in your boat at night, it’s very easy to become disorientated and lose sight of the bank. Stick a lamp on in your swim and use it as a homing beacon on your return.

2. Use a friend

Top tip: When rowing out hookbaits, having someone in your swim to mend your line and keep things in order is an absolute godsend.

3. Don’t use your freespool

Top tip: If you have to row out hookbaits alone, don’t be tempted to use your reel’s freespool or drag system, it’ll just create horrendous line twist. Bail-arm off is less hassle.

4. Take your rod out with you

Top tip: The alternative to leaving your rods on rests in your swim is to take them out with you and row back with the bail-arm open. It takes a bit of practice but it is the best method for ensuring the best presentation so it’s worth the effort.

5. Feel for the donk

Top tip: Whether placing rigs by hand or with your rod out in the boat, don’t just launch them overboard. Feel the leads down like you would on a cast.

6. Get a prodding stick

Top tip: Feeling the firmness of the lakebed can be a great indicator of fish-holding spots. A landing-net pole will suffice in shallow water, or buy a purpose-built prodding stick.

7. Row where possible

Top tip: Rowing is less disruptive than using an outboard and if done with finesse can get you silently amongst the carp without their noticing.

8. Wear polarising glasses

Top tip: Just as you would from the bank, use time in the boat as an observation routine, not just a means of baiting up. You could find THE spot.

9. Keep it tidy

Top tip: Loose bait will inevitably fall into the boat, and if you leave it in place you’ll soon get tired of the smell and of scurrying rodents using it as a restaurant.

10. Wear a life jacket

Top tip: It’s not a tip and we really shouldn’t need to be said, but it’s often ignored. Falling into a lake, even in summer, is very different to taking a dip at your local pool.