Friday, 30 October 2015

Roach on the Bolo....

A warm welcome to this weeks blog update i hope i find you all well and your nets wet.  From a blogging point of view i am currently two trips behind schedule.  This is not necessarily a bad thing as a back log means i have plenty of content there stored ready to write about and also means when i do get some free time i can write a couple of updates at once and schedule them to go live over time.

At this moment in time i am into my pike season and loving it i have had some tough times already and had a nice capture already but most of all i am enjoying my pike fishing.  As you will read in coming blogs i now have my 17ft rod back in action and feel prepared now for any river we tackle.

In this weeks update i will be covering a very very special session by long time blog follower and good friend Garry had on the bank recently and we finish the introduction with a little bit on a gift i was sent by a fellow blogger to review and develop, a product i am really excited about. 

On to the update...

Pike Heaven for Garry...

Two years ago struggling on the canal to get a bite and with the wind howling in my ear i was close to giving up on my new pike dead bait adventure.  I was wet behind the ears in this branch of our sport and as always my blogs at the time where brutally honest in reporting the blanks i was going through.  It was not long after returning home i received a message from Garry offering to help me out and through a number of messages he got me to a stage where i was confident in what i was doing was right and given time i would catch pike.

Over the coming moths a few messages developed into actually going out on the bank together and again Garry was really help full in showing me how to tie my own wire traces and what knots i should be using.  Always happy to help i discovered he had helped many people over the years and with piking and it was great to see someone willing to give so much back into the sport.  I was very lucky last year to catch a fish of a lifetime and looking at the set up i caught it on it was so much more refined from the set up i was blanking on in those early day, hell i caught it on my own tied wire trace for one.

Garry's target since i have met him  has been to beat his personal best pike of i think 14lb 10oz and through the two years he has come so close with huge pike that where hollow to catching obvious 17-20lb pike that where low on weight due to hooks stopping them feeding.  Well on the 14th October at 5.30pm it all came together for him, it all came good, here is your blog mucka...

Leaving work at 4.30pm i was undecided as to whether or not to make the 40 minute journey through reams of traffic to see how Garry was doing on his day off pike fishing.  A early morning call on my break had revealed he was struggling and it was no surprise with temperatures rising to 15oc!  A quick text revealed he had moved from his morning haunt and when i arrived on the bank i was met with a man frustrated having tried every trick in the book to get a bite.  "last time i was here it was all tiny jacks" was a comment from me that in hindsight did little to improve the situation.  It seemed like i was there only a few seconds before Garry's left hand rod bounced once, causing a circular ripple to erupt across the surface in all directions around his bubble float, a slow move to the right and the float slid away.  A hard strike saw the float staying in the water and his rod bent into a nice curve, i moved his other rod into the margin and grabbed the net.  The fish at first seemed to just stay in one spot coming slowly up a little in the water columns.  I think this suddenly awoke the pike to the fact all was not well and in one long run the pike zoomed off taking line from the reel as it went.  This fish was not messing around at all and its size, unknown at this point, was added to by the fact Garry had no choice but to walk along the muddy banks with the fish to keep up with it.

"Got to be a nice fish Garry" and then she came up for the first time, "Jesus she wont fit in the net!" was the general consensus and this confirmed to me Garry was connected to a certain pb and at this point i knew it was at least a mid to upper double.  The fish came into the waiting net and her head about to grace the mesh she violently turned away on another run!!.  Holding the net i had flash backs of a lost fish where the hooks got stuck in the net and the fish flipped to safety, taking no chances we waited for the fish come in but time and time again the fish shot off at the sight of the net!. 

Walking back we knew we needed to get the fish in this time and walking back Garry eased the fish in and with a deep scoop she was in the net and Garry had his long awaited prize!.  The fish on the unhooking mat she was a fat fish with plenty of depth and width to her, to not be a personal best at this point she would have needed to been made of balsa wood, a proper pike.  It sent me straight back to a year ago for me and i wanted to make sure i captured as much of this special moment as possible for Garry so he had plenty of stuff to look back on and remember.  A few videos and a plenty of nice pictures we rested the pike in the net while we set it all up.  At 19lb 4oz he had demolished his personal best.

All the hours on the bank and numerous pike captures to get to this moment and i was privileged to have shared this moment with Garry given the fact he had helped me so much with my pike fishing. It was amazing to see such a nice pike on the bank but also see Garry bouncing up and down the bank full of excitement and jubilant at his new personal best.  It en captured everything that is so special about fishing for me, nothing in this wold can beat that feeling of walking on air after the capture of such a beautiful pike.

The session did not stop there for Garry as for the next hour his rods went mad with 3 more pike, 2 jacks and a pike of 15lb that would have been his personal best 30 minutes earlier.  Again another cracking fish.

Looking at these pictures I'm right back there on the bank with him sharing that moment and it was a privilege to have been there.  Well done mate and here's to the rest of the season to come!

Pike Float Perfection..

The blogging fishing world is at times just like one big community we all share the same passion for writing about our catches and all kind of have our own niche.  One fellow blogger, mike Cootes, writes a very good blog around his adventures on the bank but he also makes his very own floats.  All his floats till now have been stick floats or wagglers aimed at silver fishing but he recently we got into talks about me possibly looking at his new prototype pike float with a view of using it and feeding back any improvements.

As you can see from the pictures above the floats are as pretty as a picture and i was really excited to receive the float in post.  The float was fantastically packaged and protected so when i opened it up it was as beautiful as as the pictures suggested.  The float felt as light as a feather and at first i thought a little small, i was expecting it to be a lot bigger from pictures, i did wonder as to what the weight capacity of the float would be, the ultimate test being getting it out on the bank.

The line threaded through the float fine and sat on the line i could feel no weight at all on the line, everyone bangs on about resistance in this game and if that's the case no fish was feeling a thing from this float.  I went out on the bank on Sunday with this float for the first time and my usual 18 gram weight took the float to the red on the float so it gives me the option to fish on the bottom of a bait suspended.  You will read about the trip in coming blogs but as a sneak peak it has already claimed its first pike....

All in all i feel really privileged to have been sent the bespoke and personalised item of tackle it really does feel good to use it, my only worry now being losing the float!  A few more trips and i can give a full feed back report on the float but if you are looking for an item of tackle with that special touch whether for fishing a river or lake check out mikes blog on the link below!!

Mkes Blog:

on to this weeks fishing...

Roach on the Bolo!!

A new venue always gets the blood flowing with me and even more so when that new venue is a river!  Most of the fishing i do and new venues we fish is down to our hard working in scouting them out but on this occasion it was a nice tip off from a friend.  We hit the bank at dark thirty like we always do and with the mist rising from the river and the sun peaking over the horizon it was a magical moment to get on the river bank.

I only had my 13ft rod on this session and i just hoped and prayed the water in front of me was manageable for me.  Pluming up i found a nice run on the shelf dropping into a deeper channel around 10-11ft deep.  I started off on the stick and was instantly into fish and nice ones to boot which got me thinking if this was the average stamp we were in for a good days sport.

Although the float was going under regular i was missing or bumping a lot of bites.  I had a quick visit from Ste and despite speaking to him a lot on the blower and on Facebook it was great to have a face to face catch up and of course talk turned to the pike season.  I quickly changed over to a bolo float and as the sun was getting up and the sky was clear made up some ground bait to hopefully get some colour into the water.

The change over to the bolo certainly made all the difference with the bumping bites of missed bites suddenly being turned into fish on the bank and at around 5-7oz a piece some of the roach where a pleasure to catch.  I plodded along and was genuinely amazed at the quality of the roach as time and time again a palm sized roach graced my welcoming hands.

My uncle was having trouble with pike taking his fish so i decided to take a break from the trotting and see if we could land the toothy piscator from his swim.  A roach fished mid water was soon picked up and despite it not being the start of the pike season, it felt fantastic to be playing a pike again and had me looking forward to the October pike season.

The pike returned i returned to my peg and resumed my quest for roach and it was some of the best fishing we have had this year.  It really gives me great pleasure catching in deep water as it was large depths where i struggled so much in my early years so to be able to go a new venue and not be daunted by 10-12ft of water was a great feeling.  The roach continued to feed confidently and what was even better was they fed right on where i was feeding my spicy homemade chilli hemp, maggot being the hook bait.

The day drew to an end and it was time to look at the nets we had caught, with all the pike activity i expected a empty net with a hole in if i was honest! A 13lb net of red fins for me and 11lb for my uncle, a top days sport.

my net

 uncle net

Well that wraps up another week of fishing on the blog, till next time,

tight lines



  1. I enjoyed reading about your fantastic Roach Fishing exploits, a really nice net of the Red Finned Beauties. Which river were you fishing, could you give details of the venue? Thanks, looking forward to reading more of your fishing exploits soon.

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