Surface Fishing Tip

It’s that time of year again, the sun is shining (sometimes) and the temperature has been sneaking into the 20s already. My surface rod is always on my work van and I will try to seize every opportunity to have a crack at catching a carp off the top as it’s my favourite style of fishing.

I don’t need to pack much tackle or have much time to get amongst the fish which suits me perfectly as work and family commitments prevent me getting out as much as I would like. Whether it be on a canal or lake, the carp are usually easy to spot on the top so I can turn up and get straight into the fishing without spending hours choosing a swim.

Most of my surface fishing is done using mixers but I never use one as a hookbait as I find they absorb water too quickly and sink under the weight of the hook. Instead I opt for a pop up boilie as my hookbait choice, which I cut down to the size of my free offerings. Using a pair of scissors I gradually chop away at the pop up, creating a cube the size of a slightly swollen mixer.

The Bait-Tech Poloni pop ups are perfect for this as they are almost identical in colour to a mixer. I then thread the cubed Poloni pop up onto a really short hair so it is pinned against the shank of the hook. All of my free offering mixers are given a good drenching with Poloni Oil before I start, to make them more appealing to the carp.


A great surface fishing edge is to add a couple of maggots to my hookbait to make it stand out from the mixers. I thread two lively maggots onto a small sowing needle and slide them onto a couple of inches of bait floss. I then put one end of the floss through the loop of the hair instead of a hairstop and knot the maggots tightly down so they are wriggling against the freshly cubed Poloni pop up. Cut away the excess bait floss but be careful not to cut through the maggots or the hair loop. Carp cannot resist a lively hookbait.

I find the surface bites are quite aggressive as opposed to the hesitant and aborted bites you often get in surface fishing so brace yourself for the possibility of some instant action.

A recent carp caught off the surface of the Grand Union Canal, using a chopped down Poloni pop up, tipped with maggots.


Be Lucky

Ben Soane

2 Responses to Surface Fishing Tip

  1. Tony Banks May 31, 2016 at 5:37 pm

    Great article. Just wondering if you could answer a quick question. I am going on holiday in Spain in July and I’m fishing a small local lake. Space is tight in my luggage so I’m wondering if you could recommend a go to bait and rig to use. Cheers Tony Banks.

  2. Ben Soane June 2, 2016 at 5:58 pm

    Hi Tony,

    I don’t have any experience fishing in Spain but have spent plenty of time in France fishing. It’s difficult to recommend the perfect rig without knowing a bit about the lake and how big the fish are. If I’m fishing pop ups I nearly always use a Withy Pool rig. A size 6 hook with a 14-16mm pop up boilie, and for bottom bait and wafters I always use a blow back rig with a hook bait up to 20mm on a 6 or 4 hook. Maybe take a selection of bits but keep it simple if you are new to the place.

    Bait wise I have total confidence in the Bait-Tech Poloni range. It’s a take anywhere and catch bait. Their shelf life’s are nice and soft like a freezer bait , perfect for taking abroad. Get a tub of washed out Poloni Pop-ups too as there is a selection of colours to try on the day. Maybe some PVA bags and pellets if you have space. Tie up short rigs inside solid bags. Where lever they land, you’ll be fishing. A great tactic to try on a new lake. I hope this helps. Good luck buddy. I hope the trip is a success.

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