Friday, 4 April 2014

Pond Fishing: Pristine Rudd and Canvas Design Review

  A warm welcome to this week's blog update.  A few weeks ago i was approached by a representative of a UK Canvas company called Canvas Design asking if i was interested in writing a review of one of their products on my blog.  I receive quite a few emails asking me to write features on the blog, some obviously angling related, others not so and for me it has to be in some way linkable to my blog and as each of my updates contain a number of pictures this fit the bill perfectly.

Based in Darwen in Lancashire Canvas Design began producing canvas's in 2004 and since that can boast some high quality customers including DVB, BBC and 60 minute makeover.  There canvas's are produced from 380GSM pure cotton and is stretched over a 18mm or 38mm deep profile pine frame.  All kits come supplied with a hanging kit and the company aim to deliver your order with 48 hours. 

With all the dealings i have with companies around product reviews i base my initial opinions a long time before i see the specific product and its around how the company are to deal with and communicate with, this makes up a huge part of my opinion of the whole package involved with purchasing from this company.  I have to say the representative of Canvas designs i dealt with was professional in her introduction email and her help in subsequent emails was above and beyond what you would expect from a company, so much so they agreed to allow me to not only run a competition on the the Blogs Facebook page for a chance to win a Free Canvas of the winner's own design but also sent me a discount code allowing all the blogs followers who purchase canvases from them a 15% discount by entering BLOG15 in the discount box on checkout. 

Follow the blog on facebook here to find the competition in the coming days:

The company then asked me to send off an image i would like on my canvas and after some deliberation over some of the pictures u have of the rivers i fish i decided to go with the picture of my uncle fishing the sankey canal at sunrise, very atmospheric and a picture that brings back memories of early mornings in the pursuit of angling dreams.  After i sent the picture off i received an email thanking me for the picture and asking if i wanted to also send another picture in of me holding a fish and they would send me both of them, again as i have said earlier top quality customer service, you cant knock that. 

The next i heard was 24 hours later i received a text informing me that my order would be delivered the next day and also a number of automated options for me to delay delivery to another day.  The next morning i received another text informing me of the exact hour my parcel would be delivered, both are shown below and i have to say as a person who works 9-5 it was a touch i found most useful as i could nip home on my dinner hour to take delivery, again all aimed at a good quality customer experience. 

Taking delivery i was taken back at the exceptional level of packaging on these canvas's they where well packaged and well marked as fragile giving no doubts as to how delicate its contents where, inside the layers of card board each canvas was protected by its own individual bubble wrap and protective crate paper.

I had my apprehensions with the canvas's around the quality, not with the product but with the quality of the images i sent in, writing this blog i literally am one man and his iphone and sometimes my proper camera and opening the canvas's i was amazed at the quality of them and how well the images looked, i was over the moon with them and was really happy to then see all the bits and pieces you need to hang them included in the package.  The quality of the canvas's i was really impressed with and being able to look at that pike from the winter deadbaiting sessions on a daily basis will inspire me every time i leave to go fishing.  

In summery the person who wins the competition on facebook will be receiving a top prize in my opinion i have nothing but good words to say about this company, a joy to deal with, nothing was too much trouble and the product they sell is equal to this standard, thank you for asking me to review the product on my blog and good luck for the future. 

you can check out the Canvas Design page here:

Both pictures now hold pride of place in my house.

on to this weeks fishing:

Pond Fishing: Google Earth Finds and Pond fishing delight. 

I am a great believer in angling you get out what you put in and any one who has wet a line will vouch i certainly put the hours in away from the bank, many dinner hours have been spent researching waters in preparation for future trips but one of my favourite activities is to search out little ponds, some nothing more than a spit of water in a field and then going out there to investigate.  Sometimes your heart sinks as you find another angling clubs signs all over it bit other times you find a real gem, this is a fishing trip to one of those hidden gems. 

This session started with us visiting the Trent and Mersey canal by the Little and Big Billinge waters, turning up i expected to see the far bank lined with overhanging trees like i had seen on Google earth but was horrified to see the banks had been hacked to death with every inch of overhanging cover cut right back.  I have no doubt there is a very valid reason to be put forward for this by the agencies involved but from a fish point of view given the pressure from predators our stocks are under i can only see this as a destruction of habitat, how can young fry and big fish be expected to have a chance to find safety from these predators with no cover to hide in. 

Cormorants are the biggest threat but this grebe in the video below shows how exposed these fish have been as this grebe just casually dived along the whole length taking a few fish in the time we was there.  Not the best signs for what i read is a really good area for fishing.

We fished for around a hour or two but will an endless line of gudgeon to show for our efforts and no sign of anything better showing, possibly down to a harsh over night frost, we immediately made tracks to a small pond that holds a good track record for some surprising fish that wake up from winter early each year. 

Arriving at the new location we could already see a few swirls from fish feeding on what looked like a small fly hatch, a sight that filled us both with confidence although the dark clouds building in the distance had us a little worried.  My past experience on this water saw me setting up my lightest pole float i own, i think it takes 3 number 10's.  My thinking? i wanted to fish on the drop and wanted the bait to sink as slowly as possible and i also plumbed up so i was dead depth so i also could be in with a chance of picking up the odd bottom feeding fish. 

I started of just over the edge of the weed, great cover hiding me from the fish, so with just the tip of the pole poking through the reed stems i knew i was in prime position for catching a few fish.  The first fish took a while in coming, a small roach, but it soon was added too with a lovely perch.

The pond, well i say pond, its a spit of water most would walk past, is usually synonymous with big roach but in the early exchanges it was a case of quality over quantity as i took a few of these pristine roach shown below, fin perfect.

The close in line continued to build and it culminated in a lovely palm full of skimmer bream.  This for me was the highlight of the day as we both caught plenty of tiny skimmer bream which means the bream are breeding well in here and really does bode well for the future of this pond.

The weather that had threatened on the horizon all morning arrived with a earnest as both wind, rain and hail stone combined to batter the side of my umbrella.  This weather you would feel sure would ruin the fishing but the place come alive.  My uncle was first to try the open water a bit further out and i noticed him pick up a few fish so i decided to chance my arm and the results even shocked me and the fishing took off with quality rudd coming one a chuck, bolstering my keep net.

The fishing when its as good as this can only last so long before the fish spook off and so it was the case as the weather passed and the sun returned so the fishing slowed down and we decided to call it a day on the session both happy to have had a few bites.

my net

uncles net

Well that is it for another weeks blog, i hope you enjoyed following my weekly adventures and don't forget to enter the facebook competition for the canvas.

till next time, tights lines


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