Myles Gibson looks back on the most pivotal lessons he has learnt whilst chasing, big, elusive carp!

Myles Gibson looks back on the most pivotal lessons he has learnt whilst chasing, big, elusive carp!


Rigs play a massive role in everyone’s angling I am sure, but for me the advent of my Claw rig was somewhat of a game changer. It all came about when I was doing some time on Stoneacres, a lake that sees a hell of a lot of traffic in the marginal areas. This was especially prominent straight after spawning, if you did a lap of the lake you were always sure to find a few tucked away in a corner somewhere.

On this particular session, I had a wonder round to a weedy area with the odd clear spot and scooted up a tree. With the perfect clarity, I spotted two very good fish milling around in the zone; Kev’s Linear and Bitemark. Obviously two of the fish you really want to catch! I whipped up a typical rig, with a nut balanced with cork, but only enough to take the weight out the bait. I dropped it on the spot, flicked a few baits round it and shot back up the tree ready for the instant bite I was sure would come!

The fish mooched back into the spot, and Kev’s linear literally come straight in, picked up one bait, moved to a second and righted itself off the bottom. It then hovered there, staring right at my rig for what seemed like an eternity. Before almost semi spooking, not savage like it bow waving off into the abyss, just really twitchy like it knew something was up. With the rod still in, I made up another rig, exactly the same, but this time I balanced out the tiger much more, to the point the hook sat over like a claw.

I got back up the tree checked the fish had moved off and replaced the rig with the new one, with a clawed-up presentation. After a little while, the fish ventured back into the zone, and the linear sucked up a couple of baits and without hesitation, sucked the rig straight in. I went on to land it at over 40lb, and from that point on, the rig was formed and has been a mainstay in my angling ever since. They just can’t deal with the weight of the bait, the almost invisible hook and the shape of that shrink tube.


By using a mixture of different sized baits with the fleck of yellow it opens up a lot of hookbait options. I have always been a fan of a fluoro hookbait over my mix, as I feel it gets quicker bites, especially early on in a session. As the session progresses, you can then switch to something more match the hatch, as the fish switch on to the mix completely.

I love getting bites when I am fishing, and don’t we all love that moment? That’s why my approach is aimed at creating a competitive feeding response. Yes, you will catch small fish, but those big girls are always there somewhere, and in the end, you are always going to catch them, as proven by a recent visit to Linear Fisheries’ Oxlease Lake.

I arrived on the famous day ticket lake to find the fish milling about on the surface, and who could blame them, it was scorching! To my surprise, no one on the relatively busy lake was doing anything to try and spur the fish into feeding, they were more content with chilling out in the sun! I wasn’t having any of it and got everything ready in my usual manor. However, this time I had come armed with Krill Active, and I knew it was going to work from the off. How could something so attractive fail in these conditions!


I couldn’t go fishing without a pack of PVA nuggets, they are absolutely vital in my angling. The reason being my rigs are incredibly delicate, I use slip-Ds a lot of the time with the soft, uncoated core of coated braid. As much as they are super effective, the massive amount of flexibility is a bit of a pain, as the hook ring swivel can spin round on the cast. By wrapping PVA foam around it, this problem is totally alleviated.

The use of PVA nuggets really came into my angling on Dinton. It’s a strange complex in a way, you could call it a super complex even! It has a reasonably high stock density in the lakes and as such when you get a few fish on you, a good hit can be achieved. But in order to make the most of it, you have to capitalise on the spells the fish are having it. By using PVA foam, I could accurately cast out after having a fish, super quickly, at the first time of asking. There was no worry of tangles and it just kept the spot absolutely rocking with the lack of disturbance.

I have this horrible habit of being super anal with watching rigs in flight, and without foam I would often watch the rig zinging through the air and it would just wrap up or not look right to me. I would have to wind that rod in! This could have happened six or seven times without foam, and each time I would disturb the swim, reducing my chances of another bite.

It sounds so simple but using PVA foam undoubtably helps my confidence. I vary it up a bit depending on range. Most of the time, I put them in a bag with a pinch of pellets, but at extreme range, I slice them in half and put it either side of the hook. No matter how I use them, my confidence in my presentation never dwindles, and that in my fishing is a number one priority.


Chod fishing became all the rage a few years ago and has recently made a bit of a resurgence. There’s absolutely no denying that it is a brilliant method and I for one have caught plenty of fish doing it, but, and this is a big but, you have to fish it the right way!

This is something I have learnt from the boat, that few people have the advantage of and so would never know this happens. Imagine the scenario, you are fishing a big pit, the fish are going crazy at something like 100 yards range, but they are over low-lying weed. Most anglers would dive straight into their Chod box and whack three out over the fish. The thing is, I don’t need to imagine this scenario, it actually happened! I then sat there with fish absolutely all over me, slashing Chods out to them, catching absolutely nothing! But why?

Well, I had the use of a boat, so I decided to have a look at what my rigs looked like, and I was shocked! Due to the distance out, the decent chop on the water and drifting strands of weed, I was fishing my Chods suspended up in the water, even on leadcore. The tight line I had to fish because of the under tow and weed, lifted the leadcore up so much that the Chod section was sat miles above the weed; no wonder I never got a bite!

Ever since this huge learning curve, I have reserved Chods for close range catapult work. By using them close in you can fish them with slack lines and let them bed down into the weed properly, rather than stringing them up like a bloody washing line! Nowadays if I have to fish in the weed at longer range, I just use a lead clip with a long hooklink, which gives me the option to fish a super tight line as required, without affecting my presentation.


I hate to sound like I am preaching to the choir here, but mobility in your angling is a key asset to have. I have always been one for moving swims if it doesn’t look right or if I see the fish elsewhere. My gear is kept to the absolute minimum, but without compromising any single angling situation I might come across. With my fishing, I am often far away from home, so nipping back to grab other bits and pieces is simply not an option.

I am sure everyone out there will have certain bits of gear that they take for the sake of it, that they never even use. I regularly go through my stuff and thin out items I have no use for. However, I never leave anything to chance, I always have Zig kit, different styles of hooks, braids even bait. I just compact it down to make moving less of a chore, I also don’t live like a tramp on the bank, I still have comfy kit with me.

Moving on to the second and final half of this section, is to just keep your eyes open all the time. I cannot remember the last time I caught a fish, where I hadn’t seen something first that lead me to it. There’s always something visual to be gained in the capture of a big fish, it does surprise me the amount of lads that sit there on their phones all day, with a dry net swinging in the breeze!