The ability to be accurate across all fishing disciplines is often what separates those who catch a few from those who catch a lot. Secondary to location, if you can be accurate in your angling, you are certainly staking the odds heavily in your favour. Here are a few tips to consider in terms of accuracy:
On Your Marks
From pole fishing to carp fishing, being able to fish in the same exact line time after time is such an advantage. Not only does it concentrate your feed, but also the fish you are hoping to catch. In order to keep everything in the correct line you need to ensure that you are on ‘your marks’, this doesn’t mean you are ready for a foot race. It means you are standing in exactly the same position (or sitting in the case of a seatbox) and that you are fishing in line with a mark on the far bank. This far bank marker must be something that stands out on the skyline at night if you are wanting to fish overnight, for example, a telegraph pole is perfect, and silhouettes against the night sky. Another consideration is to make sure that this far bank marker can't move, otherwise so will your spot, resulting in a reduction in your accuracy.
You have the right line, now you need to ensure that your distance is the same time and time again. A simple solution is the line clip on your reel. Ensure you are casting at your far bank marker from the same spot and that you hit the line clip with your rod up high when you’ve cast. This way you will drop your float, feeder or lead in the same place each time. You can use distance sticks to mark how far out you are fishing in case you have to unclip for a fish, then you can hit the same spot every time with no worries. Always record where you have been fishing to and how many wraps it is, that way if you are ever in the same swim again then you can find a successful spot without loads of hunting around.
Use pole elastic tied with a three turn grinner knot to mark your line, to help reduce the time it takes to wrap out your lines. You can use Tippex for marking where to hold your pole, and the depth of your float rigs, all of which help you accurately fish at the same depth, in the same spot, over and over again.
Now you are fishing in the correct place, make sure you apply bait to the same area. The use of spods clipped up to the same range as your rods works, however if you are fishing over deep water allow for the swing back by fishing your spod/spomb rod 1 ft shorter for every 3 ft of water than your fishing rod. If you are pole fishing, the use of a cupping kit the same length as your top kit will help dispense the bait to your area accurately, right on top of where you drop the rig. In waggler fishing, the use of a good quality catapult will help you accurately fire bait over the top of your float. Finally, for river anglers the use of a bait dropper is the best way of getting bait down on the deck over your spot; if you simply throw in bait, you are never sure of where the current will take it and when it will reach the bottom. Combine this with a PVA bag on your hook and it's deadly.
Start at a comfortable range, and, as you practice more and more, you can extend the range that you are able to accurately fish and bait. There is no substitute for hours on the bank in terms of helping your accuracy. Remember the tips of having your marks, having the distance controlled and baiting accurately and you wont go far wrong, you just need to get on the banks and do it.
I hope these tips help you with your accuracy on the bank, there’s one thing for sure; if you are getting it right the fish will let you know! Best of luck.