Not as common in the UK as in Europe, the Prodding Stick is a very accurate method for finding out the depth and topography of the lake bed you are fishing over. The sections are fitted together until the end of the pole touches bottom and you can have a poke or prod about to see if you are fishing on a soft or hard bottom and it will give you an accurate depth reading too. This all takes place from a boat, enabling you to explore a lot of water quite quickly.
Prodding sticks do have other uses, once the spot has been found the prodding stick can be pushed into the lakebed marking the spot perfectly while you return with a baited rod and some free offerings. Once the rod is in position some anglers do the prodding stick in situ, the fish certainly don’t seem to mind!
If you watch angling videos on YouTube then you may have seen the short film from ESP with Terry Hearn fishing an old estate lake, ‘Old Friends and Mr Fox’. In the footage, Terry is fishing near to an island and is concerned that any fish hooked may kite behind the island resulting in a lost fish for sure. The solution was for Terry to position a prodding stick into the lake bed 20 yards off the island so that any fish that tried to kite behind the island the prodding stick will act as a pivot point, hopefully stopping the fish from reaching the snaggy island!
Both Anaconda and Nash Tackle produce excellent prodding sticks, both come with two different ends, a point or pushing into the lake bed and rounded end for the prodding and poking part, pretty smart!