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Underwater Angling by Paul Garner and Stuart Morgan


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Stu Morgan (L) and Paul Garner with 'Underwater Angling' - It will open your eyes to a whole new world... Stu Morgan (L) and Paul Garner with 'Underwater Angling' - It will open your eyes to a whole new world...

Just what does your end tackle look like underwater? How do baiting techniques vary? Is bait colour important? How long should your hooklength be? How should you tweak your tackle to get more bites? Ian Welch looks at the new book 'Underwater Angling' and finds a few answers!




Angling – always more questions than answers.

Thankfully, with the game changing every session, indeed every hour - or every minute - as conditions change and fish react to our presence there are no definitive answers – ever. That is why we fish, that is why the forums are full of opinion, why we are continually trying new techniques, experimenting with baits and baiting patterns, adjusting our rigs as we fish – or at least that is what we ‘should’ be doing!

So what if you could actually see what was happening underwater?

What if you see how different hooklengths behaved? Observe how your spod mix landed around your marker float? See just how far below your feeder those pellets were travelling? Watch as your stick float travelled through a swim? See how a back lead changed your barbel presentation? Check the presentation of a popped up deadbait in a river?...

The hugely popular Korda Underwater DVD series gave most of us our first ‘proper’ glimpse of the underwater world and how fish reacted to our attempts to catch them. Focussing entirely on carp and flawed in many respects the Korda films nonetheless opened our eyes – or should have done – to the three-dimensional environment we cannot usually see and, for many, cannot comprehend.

This was taken further by some of the carp angling titles and readers of ‘Carpology’, for example, will have enjoyed the excellent underwater photography of Rob Hughes as he exposed the inadequacies (or otherwise) of the baiting and presentation techniques of different carp anglers fishing in different situations.

Did these glimpses into the ‘unknown’ suddenly make it all ‘easy’? Did these glimpses into the fishes’ world give us the answers we needed? Were we suddenly able to gain the upper hand? No, of course not!

Just as the development of electronic fish finders didn’t suddenly ‘find us fish’ these portals into the underwater world didn’t suddenly give us the answers we needed but, like fish finders, they have undoubtedly helped anglers to think about the way they fish and the thinking anglers have used what they have seen to make those small changes which, cumulatively, make big differences to results.

Even fishing on commercials is examined in detailSo now we have ‘Underwater Angling’ from Paul Garner and Stuart Morgan.

Paul is well known to readers of FishingMagic and has been a regular presence on the site for a number of years and is one of our current monthly diarists. A highly accomplished angler, fishery scientist and respected tackle industry figure he is an all-round angler comfortable fishing for anything.

Stuart is, perhaps, less well known. Twice British barbel record holder, joint creator of the massively influential (at the time) ‘Up Close and Personal’ barbel videos and now running a media production company he is regarded as one of the UK’s foremost underwater film makers.

Put the two together and what do you get? Well, in my opinion you get something very special indeed.

More than three years ago now Stuart and Paul began working on a project to look at how fishing tackle actually performs underwater. This was fuelled by their own inquisitiveness and soon the project grew out of all proportion. Now, several years down the line they are still at it, with a massive archive of underwater images and video, covering most aspects of coarse fishing gear.

‘Most aspects’ says it all; unlike almost all that has gone before Paul and Stu look at more than carp and carp fishing, in fact they look at just about every technique any modern angler will ever use from the baggin’ waggler and flatbed method on commercials, to the maggot and pellet feeder on rivers and onto pike rigs and float fishing.

Every widely-used modern method is discussed, photographed in action underwater in a variety of different situations, and the observations from the underwater analysis used to make conclusions about how the technique can be best fished, and improved, by anglers looking to use the tactic; including detailed step-by-step instructions on how to construct the best rigs to use with the various methods.

Like fish finders this book will not suddenly make fish easy to catch but, if you look at the images and think carefully about the conclusions, and how they might apply to your own fishing, then you will learn a great deal which WILL help you to put more fish on the bank.

The book is aimed at all anglers and it pretty much hits the mark: Experienced anglers will already be aware of many of the conclusions and will have been applying them to their own fishing for years but even they will still come across the odd nugget of information to give them food for thought for further experimentation – and there are some very surprising findings! Less experienced anglers will find an incredible wealth of information to apply to their fishing. Whatever your level of experience this book has the potential to make you a better angler – and I can think of very few books I could say that about.

The hardback book totals 268 pages, is split into 26 chapters and covers 23 different tactics, along with chapters on how rivers and lakes ‘work’ in order to put the findings into context:

Just how do pellet feeders empty in a river?Chapters are as follows:

- Introduction

- How Lakes Work

- Bait Colour

- The Method Feeder

- Flat Method Feeder

- The Open End Feeder

- Commercial Legering Tactics

- The Helicopter Feeder

- The Baggin’ Waggler

- Zig Rigging

- Surface Fishing

- Marker Floats and Spodding

- Basic Carp Rigs

- Chod Rigs

- All About PVA

- Margin Float Fishing

- Waggler Fishing

- Stillwater Pike Fishing

- How Rivers Work

- The Open End Feeder

- The Block End Feeder

- Barbel Rigs

- Legering Bread

- Stick Float Fishing

- Big River Float Fishing

- River Pike Fishing

- Conclusions

Underwater Angling retails at £24.99 and is available to buy HERE

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Book Review, Paul Garner, Angling Books, Underwater Angling, Stuart Morgan