England international and Garbolino UK boss Darren Cox has been talked into answering match fishing questions for members of the popular online angling club, www.total-fishingclub.com.

Darren’s the first of a number of top UK match anglers to agree to come to the rescue of ailing matchmen, and has come up with some fascinating, in depth answers for members. The ‘Dirty Dozen’ questions he’s answered are listed below.

Darren’s contribution is the first of a series in which Total-Fishing.com members will be able to glean tips and advice from match anglers right at their top of their game – former UK champ Jon Arthur, Shakespeare ace Dave Brittain, Andy May, Giles Cochrane, Cathal Hughes have also already had their arms twisted and have agreed to answer your questions.

If you have a query or conundrum for any of these anglers, drop them on an email to club stalwart WCN through the club site or pm him through the total-fishing.com site site . The one Dave votes to be the ‘star question’ each month will win a selection of the superb Mick Wilkinson floats.

There’s an exciting year ahead for members of Total-FishingClub. The club is basing its year around six major matches at top fisheries Cudmore, Lindholme, Gold Valley, Makins, Barston and Larford with the best four to count and the overall winner winning an absolute fantastic prize, more details of which soon. The club is also running its Glebe Festival again in May which has raised some £15,000 for the ACA over the years, and is hopeful that the OnlineFishing.tv cameras will be in attendance – and members will also get a special deal with membership of OnlineFishing.tv .

We are also entering the Division Two National on the Trent and the Supercup, with trophies, medals and having a craic with mates at the heart of our events, rather than money.

Darren’s ‘Dirty Dozen’

How can I stop maggots from folding over on the hook and resulting in lost fish?

What discipline in your angling helps keep you at the top end of your sport more so than others?

Having seen the handmade float market explode in recent years and more people making them and more people using them what do you feel offers more – commercial built floats or handmade floats? What do you feel are the pros and cons to each type of float?

With pole technology concentrating on stiffer and lighter poles, do you feel that 16 metres is as far as most poles will go. Do you see pole technology pushing the limits in future years, making for longer, stiffer poles, or do you feel the limit has been reached?

Do you think bait additives give you the edge when match fishing or are they just a waste of time and are made just to catch anglers out?

Looking back over the past year, what tactic has caught you the most fish and why do you feel it worked so well?

How do you see the England National Team in a few years time? Do you feel it will carry on achieving what has been done so far and are there many up and coming all round anglers to compete in such a strong team

When fishing shallow do you use a dibber or bristle float and why please.

To pole fish commercials in open water fishing 6mm hard pellets when the wind is pushing left to right but the tow is going in the opposite direction, how would you target the fish? Would you follow the tow or do something different? How do you think the fish want to feed in this situation, as I mostly follow the wind when fishing. I understand every day is different with the weather but would love to find out how you would target this tow?

What advantage can be gained by ‘backshotting’? I have always believed that a back shot was to steady your rig, and I never really got on with using one. I was recently fishing an open match and heard a couple of lads (one of whom was an England International) talking about swinging the rig in and drawing it back against the back shot to hit F1 bites?
Could you explain how to set up and use this rig please?

How do you determine how much joker you add to your mix on you initial feed session at the start of your match??

I just cannot get my margin swims to produce. I usually feed one heavy and one sparsely. I am constantly looking for signs of fish but seldom do I see any signs. I may have one but they just don’t produce. Baits are depending where I am. I do my homework so the baits I am using are usually the right ones but just don’t happen for me. I have tried all; left them alone for two hours; gone over them regular…. all very frustrating.

Total-Fishing would like to thank Darren Cox of Garbolino UK for taking time out to answer these questions. Also thanks to Mick Wilkinson for sponsoring the competition, and to Wheely for pulling all the questions and anwsers together.