After the first few warm days they came become indifferent, spending their days sunbathing in the river. You can still enjoy good sport though even when the fish appear to be totally uninterested in feeding using a very simple and underrated method.

I donít think that anyone ever showed me how to fish the lasher. I picked up the name in an article written years later, which described the same method as we kids had been using for years. In many ways it is the perfect method for youngsters, as not only is it exceptionally simple, but it also teaches many lessons about the behaviour of fish and how they take a bait.

The lasher is basically a single or double maggot bait fished on as light line and hook as the size of the fish will allow. With virtually no casting weight the bait has to be literally lashed out to get it beyond the tip of a light float rod. The Lasher is actually most effective when the bait is fished under the rod top. At this distance the angler can gently lower the bait down through the water, checking the speed at which the bait sinks so that it resembles that of the free-offerings.

When I first began using the lasher it was to catch small roach, rudd and bream from the lakes at Longleat in Wiltshire whilst on holiday. Whilst shoals of small fish would eagerly take loose fed maggots, the canny fish would avoid the hook bait, or give tiny unhittable knocks on the float. As I could actually see the fish swimming along the reeded margins it was a simple job to remove the float and weights and simply free-line a bait. The method was dead simple. Chuck in a dozen maggots. Drop the hook bait on top and watch. When the hook bait disappeared strike! The use of white maggots made the whole job much easier, as the bait was visible several feet below the surface.

Whilst this might appear to be a method suitable only for small boys and small fish, you would be wrong. Large chub can become incredibly finicky during late summer when the rivers are running low and clear. OK, you can catch a few by fishing well into dark, but this isnít always possible or desirable. Enter the lasher.

Unlike the little and often approach adopted when we were young, that would often see a pint of maggots last the best part of a week, when chub fishing you will need several pints of maggots. Put your rod to one side and donít expect to make the first cast for an hour or more. The aim is to work the chub up into such a feeding frenzy that they will grab at anything resembling a maggot. A good pouchful of maggots every minute or two is about right. At first the chub will be put on guard and might even fall back out of sight. Donít worry, they know all about maggots, but even so they cannot resist them. The continual feed of maggots will slowly bring them round and soon you will have a swim full of chub feeding hard.

Catching chub on the Lasher is generally dead easy, with several fish possible before the fish are put on edge. The secret is to not feed your bait more than a couple of rod lengths out. There is no point in this as the Lasher is without doubt a close range method. Feed, cast and donít take your eye off the hook bait for a second. When the chub engulfs it, a firm strike will set the tiny hook and away you go. Simple really, yet a method that has long been derided as only suitable for young boys. Believe me though, get it right and big fish will fall over themselves to be caught.