Lately I have been fishing the Skerries for the early Plaice, and the rough ground off the back of the Hands Deep about 10 miles south of Looe in Cornwall.

Drifting a boat over this sort of ground whilst fishing for flatfish, whiting, cod and so on, is a superb method of finding the fish. The lazy way is to enjoy long drifts whilst you have a natter, a hot cuppa and your sandwiches. If you find that two or three rods get hit together then it is likely that you have found a pocket of fish behind a sandbar or structure. Then, using your GPS, it is time to become more pro-active and fish short drifts over that point.

On a neap tide the drift is likely to be slow, the fish will have a lot of time to investigate and inhale your bait… but it is a fact that spring tides with their faster drifts invariably produce more fish. What happens then is that the baits bump along the bottom at a much faster rate. Half the time the fish nods the rod a couple of time and the bait is gone, whisked away from the fish by the speed of the drift. Many anglers accept this as part of the day, some you win and some you lose. But there is a simple technique which will often turns those hesitant bites into solid hookups.

All you have to do is to "dropback" a few feet of line so that the bait remains accessible to the fish. After a taste of a sixty pence peeler or a tasty lugworm, the fish will come looking for more and if the bait is dropped back to it, the fish will often pounce on it - and the rest is history!!

Fish with your thumb on the spool, constantly feeling for the bottom. If you cannot constantly feel your sinker tapping the bottom then a heavier sinker is needed because your bait is flying high above the seabed. Once you can feel the sinker skidding along the bottom then the tap-tap of a bite can usually be distinctly felt; then if the fish is not on, drop back a couple of yards of line, you will be surprised how often the fish will find the bait again.

Any questions to