Josh Bennett gets his head around fishing in thick weed!

Thick weed can be daunting for some anglers, but those who master fishing amongst it often reap the rewards.

Josh Bennett has had to adapt his approach to keep on getting amongst the fish at the Oxfordshire syndicate water that he fishes, as it gets very weedy during the summer months.

As he revealed: “The weed provides an abundance of naturals and is a safe haven for the carp to sit in and laze in the sunshine, and I prefer to find the smaller feeding holes in amongst the weedbeds. By combining this approach with good, solid end tackle I’ve been managing some success during what can be some very difficult months on this venue.

“I have complete faith in the Kable leadcore, however due to the excessive weed I wanted a system to drop the lead immediately, and the Heli-Safe system looked perfect for what I wanted.

“Using a helicopter style rig is not something I’d done before and it meant the presentation I was using would have to be different. With a lead clip, my usual choice would be a wafter hookbait with a PVA bag attached to the hook to prevent tangles.

“For this particular rig to be safe the top ‘drop off’ bead needs to pull away with the slightest of tension and this meant that any PVA bag on the hook would cause the rig to pull up the leader on impact with the surface, and that could cause the bead to come off.

“As a result of that, I’ve been using both hinged stiff rigs and my preferred snowman set-up, incorporating a 14mm wafter and a 10mm pop-up, and both are balanced so that the stiff or semi-stiff material can push the rig away from the leadcore. The material I use is dictated by the lakebed – the firmer it is the stiffer the hook link.

“The Heli leads have also been beneficial when casting to small gaps in the weed, as the flattened head has allowed me to gain much more feel when the lead is going down and I know when it is on the money! This has allowed me to bank fish from incredibly weedy swims lately.”

Josh has been putting all of this to good use during his recent sessions, taking some great catches from some very weedy swims.

“My latest 48 hour session produced eight fish, including a pretty 26lb 10oz common, fishing accurately to small clearings in the weed, and the majority of the fish have risen to the surface as soon as the lead is ejected, allowing me to play them away from the dangers of the weedbeds. My best fish so far has been a 31lb 8oz mirror.”