If you are fishing in a lake, you should cast out so that you are fishing as close as possible to a weedbed or waterlily bed. The bulk of the shot required to cock the float should be close to the float so that the shrimp sinks slowly through the water, with luck attracting the attention of any fish in the “vicinity. The float itself needs to be sensitive, because quite often a feeding fish will delicately sip at the shrimp without changing its position very much. It is wise, therefore, to strike at any abnormal movement of the float, no matter how slight. When fishing close to weeds, it is advisable to use a bigger hook and bait with more than one shrimp, because of the chance of picking up good sized tench. The hook link can be 2lb b.s., but the reel line should be at least 50 per cent heavier. The rod should have a fairly easy action, and should not have the pronounced and exag-gerated tip action of the fastest match rods.
When fishing small rivers, the art of the exercise is to trot float tackle down the runs between weedbeds, occasionally holding back so that the hookbait swings up higher in the water, and then drops down again as the float is allowed to travel on freely again. In the main, roach, dace and the occasional perch will be taken in this way. So the smaller hook sizes and lighter links can be used. Every now and again a larger fish, such as a chub or barbel, may be hooked, and it is up to the angler to do the best he can to land such an opponent on this light tackle.
When fishing Stillwater with freshwater shrimp as hookbait, it will be realized that groundbaiting is difficult, if not impossible, because cereal groundbaits are not recommended. However, the shrimps dart in and out of the weeds, attracting fish and keeping them interested.
In rivers and streams, the situation is different. Here, the shrimps tend to stay inside the weedbeds, because there they are protected from the current against which they cannot swim successfully. The in-telligent angler will turn this to his advantage, using a longish stick (such as a landing net handle) to stir up and agitate the nearest weedbed. This will dislodge many shrimps from their places of concealment, and the natural flow of the currrent will wash them down to where the fish are lying in wait. Raking of the weeds must be done carefully, because unnecessary splashing and crashing will certainly scare off every fish in the vicinity.