Margin Fishing Tips – Alex Dockerty

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Margin Fishing Tips – Alex Dockerty

Angling coach, Alex Dockerty gives you his top tips for targeting commercial carp in the margins..


lindholme carp alex dockerty




With the summer season in full swing now is the perfect time to target those big fish late on in the margin. However it can be a nightmare at times with foul hooked fish and liners so here’s a few quick tips to help you get the most of your margin session.

Depth matters


First up is the depth of the peg. This will determine what bait I will be feeding in the edge. Anything over 2.5ft I will favour larger particle baits. Be it 4mm and 6mm pellets or corn. These heavy baits will enable me to pin the fish to the bottom making them easier to catch.

F1 corn open with packet

large particles like corn work well in the margins when its deeper than 2.5ft


Water which is 2ft or shallower I’ll nearly always opt to kick my peg off with groundbait. The smaller particles and the attraction this offers will help drag fish into the peg. And the shallow nature of the water will mean the fish will automatically be feeding on the bottom rather then up in the water column.

The margins of the next swim made for the ideal inside line

Groundbait is perfect if the water is less than 2ft deep in the margins

Bait volume


Secondly is paying attention to the volume of bait you’re feeding. By varying your pole pot size or through the use of the cupping kit, it will help you regulate the numbers of fish coming into the peg or help you draw new fish into the area should you need more of a response. If fish are confidently feeding in your peg there is no need to feed a large amount of bait as this will create line bites and foul hooked fish as more come into the swim.

Just a few pellets fed little and often was the key on the day

Pole pots allow you to easily regulate how much bait you are putting into your swim

Mix it wet


third, is the way in which you mix the groundbait. I always try to overwet my mix, this means its as heavy as possible and prevents particles being kicked all around the peg. For all my margin fishing I’ll opt for a 50:50 mix of SwimStim Betaine Green and Marine Halibut which is a heavy mix full of attraction and brilliant for cupping in down the edge.

Alex dockerty margin groundbait mix

Marine Halibut and SwimStim Green – a fantastic combo for feeding in the margins


I like to mix it wet when fishing the margins to prevent fish kicking particles far and wide

Target hookbait


Next up is to fish a large target hookbait, be it double corn, a hard 6mm or 8mm pellet or bunches of maggots. This will help the fish focus on your bait and pick it out quickly. Also as you can see all these baits are heavy so when big wary carp are in the area the bait will stay pinned in place helping to stop you foul hooking those big edge fish late in the day.

large pellets are perfect for margin fishing

large hard pellets are perfect for margin fishing..

Ring the changes


Finally is to not be afraid to change should there be not many fish coming into the swim feeding smaller particles will offer more in attraction. This is when ground bait and micro pellets score well. However should line bites and false indications be a problem a larger size particle for feed can help slow the peg down and get you more proper indications.






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