Back Issues June
CARPology Features

10 Rowing Boat Tips

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.


Frank Warwick: “When I turn up at a venue, and this is especially so on big waters where dingy and boat use is normal, I do my best to find out what times the fish are getting caught. If it’s during the night, say 1 until 3a.m., then I go out in the boat at that time with the fish-finder switched on and try and locate where the fish are at their feeding time. The point being, if you go out in the boat as soon as you arrive, which is usually during daylight hours, and go looking for carp, quite often they are not in the same place as when they are in ‘feeding mode’.”

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.

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