Sunday, 14 July 2013

The beauty of the beachcaster

With the scorching weather of late I've not really had much inclination to go fishing much preferring instead to sit around in the garden with a cold beer. I don't do sunshine and heat overly well and sitting by a river slowly cooking in the full glare of the sun whilst getting eaten alive by insects doesn't appeal in the slightest. It's weird, I spend most of the winter looking forward to the summer and most of the summer full of anticipation for the winter, I guess there's no pleasing some people!

I did get out on the bank the other evening however and got the chance to put a rarely used but deadly technique to good effect. A phone call from a mate earlier in the day informed me there was a lot of Carp showing on the surface in one of our lakes and for me it was a temptation too much to resist. I decided It was a good opportunity to fish a beachcaster rig, a method I picked up on whilst fishing Nanpantan res in the mid 1990s. For those who have never heard of it, it basically involves hanging a bait off the line onto the waters surface so that any fish which approaches the bait can't see any line around it to spook off.

Upon arriving at the lake it didn't take long to find a few fish which looked interested. A couple of pouches of mixers were sent out upwind of them and one or two fish were soon swirling at them. I cast the rig out way past the fish and gently pulled it back into position, just paying out enough line off the baitrunner to quietly lower the bait into the killing zone.

A couple of fish mouthed the bait but didn't hook up and then the resident swans decided to move in. One of the great things about the method is that all but the most determined birds are put off by the line on show hanging above the water. This saves having to reel in everytime a hungry beak comes near. If the bird really wants the hook bait, a gentle pull on the line to lift the bait out of the water is usually enough to deter them and when they're gone simply lower the bait back in.

The fish seemed to back off a little as the swans did laps of my float but suddenly and without warning there was a big swirl where my bait was, the rod buckled over and the baitrunner hissed. Straight away the fish buried in thick weed but in the clear water I could see a decent Common shaking its head and twisting about. After much tugging the fish came free only for the nylon hooklink to part as it neared the net! Wounded!

As I tied a new one on there was still fish taking the odd mixer so I was still confident of a fish. The swans were becoming a real pain in the arse now and over the next hour I think my bait spent more time hanging in the air than it did actually in the water! I did hook another fish though and this one managed to stay on. At 15.6 it was a nice fish which was followed by another of 15.8 shortly afterwards. Seeing as the swans were doing my head in That last fish was my signal to pack up but it wrapped the trip up nicely and ill certainly be back down soon to try for something a bit bigger. Incidentally there were two other chaps on the lake fishing floaters using conventional controller float tactics and neither had a bite all evening.


I've used the beachcaster method on many venues over the years and I'm truly shocked that more people don't use it. It's absolutely deadly even for Carp which have been hard fished for on conventional floater tactics. I've even caught river carp on it so there's no limit as to where it can be employed.
I'm not sure why nobody really uses it, is it because its old fashioned? maybe it's because they've never heard of it? Maybe because its a bugger to tie up? Maybe because it looks a bit silly and clumsy? I don't know ,but to those that have never used it then you've missed out big time because it outfishes any other floater rig out there by a considerable margin without a doubt.
There's never been a great deal written about the rig on the net or in the mags but I came across a post on a carp forum which gives a pretty good explaination of how to set it up etc. Have a look here, .
Give it a go, you won't regret it!



  1. It became fashionable to slag the rig off mate, possibly stemming back to its original form which involved a three way swivel ensuring that it was a fixed "death rig".

    It's the only viable solution when the birds are bad, seagulls in particular. Not the final solution fish wise when it's windy but it is excellent on its day

  2. Hi Leo
    Does everything slide down to the weight when playing fish or do you play a fish trailing a 2oz lead and pike float?

  3. Hi ian, everything collapses down, if the line ever broke the fish would only be trailing a 6inch nylon hooklink, rig safety isnt an issue with my version. The action of casting the rig out is what separates everything into position.

  4. Try it Ian you will probably end up bald!

    Seriously though when it all works well it's great but it often takes a bit of adjustment to get it right and combine that with a typical floater fishing day of blazing sun and sweat in teh eyes and i have seen men almost cry!