So the second session of the season and i headed out with my trusty float ledger rig i showed in the last video. In this one i cover my simple float ledger rig in more detail and its versatility. How to construct this simple pike rig and how to fish it effectively for pike.
A manic session with double runs and and plenty of run!!
So we now sit on the cusp of my third full pike season and i have to admit i feel more like i do before the start of the closed season with the rivers as in the piking has lost that new feel it had in previous seasons, not to confuse that with a loss of passion or excitement for the forthcoming season, just a feel of wanting to enjoy that magical feeling of that first day of the new season come October 1st. Subtle changes in approach for 2017 Season...
The past few weeks have brought with them all manner of preparation for the new season ahead and some changes in my set up. I have upped my main line to 60lb braid this year and this is purely down to safety reasons as i am planning on doing a lot of river fishing this season and with the rivers i feel you need that extra strength in the set up to be as responsible as possible in doing the up most not to leave any tackle in the river that a pike could pick up.
New reels have come in and i have upgraded form 4000 size reels to 6000 size reels just to give me that extra casting ability when i tackle the bigger reservoirs and lakes on our socials. These reels are also the same size as my carp reels and as they come with extra spools it gives me the option, as i own a EA 3 rod licence, to load a spare spool with braid and attach it to my carp reels should the rules allow me to fish three rods. This season is all about giving myself more options.
The Bait order...
As in the past years we have again all chipped together to put in a big pike order of dead baits, if you know you are going to have a full season of dedicated trips then i highly recommend bulk ordering your dead baits as you really do save a fortune.
In past years i have experimented with all manner of dead boats ands i feel experience built up over the past two and half seasons has put me in the place i am now where i have confidence in a small number of baits that i know work on the venues i fish. The bait order this year reflects that with my purchases being spread over just a few species of dead baits.
This season i feel will see me diversifying more in my pike fishing and although there will be no naming of venues in the pike fishing, for obvious reasons, i do feel this season will see me move more away from still waters and more towards running water. I have targets this year on rivers that the guys you see me fishing with on socials do not really fish so i can see times this year where i am spending sessions finding my way on rivers i have never pike fished on my own in search of truly wild river pike.
That is not to say there wont be socials sessions as there will and there are already a number planned in for October but as the season moves on i feel our own journeys and goals may take us all onto venues the others do not have either licences to fish or the inclination to fish.
These adventures will not involve dead baits all the time as the river i have in mind is a river where dead baits just do not work and this is sheerly down to the amount of prey in the area the pike live. These pike have no need to rely on dead fish so the magnitude of my dead bait pike order also takes this into account.
The month before the start of the pike season is a time where evenings are spent in front of the TV putting together my wire traces. There is no doubt about it making your own traces haves a huge amount of bonuses over shop bought. The number one is of course cost, you save a fortune making your own and secondly is the amount of customization making your own allows, fishing a mackerel then you can space the hooks accordingly as you can if you want a rig for a smaller bait like a smelt. You then have that massive feeling of achievement when you land that fish of the season on a rig you have tied yourself.
To make sure there is not a huge weak link in my set up this year i have upped my wire strength to 40lb wire.
Below is the first video i ever made on my youtube blog channel and it goes into detail on how to make your own wire traces.
So the prep is done i have a weekend ahead of me chasing carp and then i feel it will be time to make that change over set ups on my carp rods and put them into pike mode for the coming season. Its a season i cannot wait to start and get out on that first morning. I hope we get some proper pike winter weather and a full season of settled low temperatures that make these pike sessions so memorable.
Its a season where achievements will not be measure on size of pike but on how well i put lessons learnt into practise as i tackle new waters on my own. Tight lines if you are also heading on the same pike journey come October 1st and thank you for reading
One of the aspects of fishing i love more than anything is the diversity of the adventures that can be created under the umbrella of the word "fishing". A man or lady mentions they are an avid angler and from that one sentence all manner of species, methods and locations can begin to sprout in all directions.
My journey, until around 2 years ago, never really involved the pursuit of carp but in the past two years i have slowly started to dip my tentative toes into the world of carp fishing. A few sessions on a small local water chasing carp on floating crust and on the method feeder allowed we to gain some confidence in catching carp to high upper doubles and allowed we to gain confidence and an identity within carp fishing of how i would want to approach this branch of the sport.
I soon discovered i was never going to be an angler who would be bivvied up for over night sessions, i found enjoyment in short morning and evening sessions adopting and developing the mentality of a little bit of bait in the right spot over sitting over a lot of bait and waiting for the carp to find me approach. I will never rule out the possibility of this journey winding with me delving deeper into carp fishing and the longer sessions but these short sessions on the small and intimate water and the lovely captures like the common below served the purpose of gaining confidence in my approach wetting the appetite for greater challenges.
Sometimes we set our sights on a venue and others we arrive on them by chance, this adventure began with the latter. Myself and my mate Garry where talking about new venues and we decided that we had nothing to lose in trying a local reservoir. Knowing the venue was quite a large one i scaled my gear right back for the trip taking only the bare essentials. A rod bag with two rods, a bucket containing rig bits bait and my licence and a large unhooking mat with a landing net.
We arrived at the venue around 4pm and we decided to give the more well worn pegs a miss and opted for the more uncomfortable, quieter and ultimately less fished peg. A steep slippery bank down to a flat bank of around a foot or so provided just enough room to get bank sticks in. The green untouched banks testament to the lack of occupation in the swim and i instantly liked the look of the place.
Its weird with fishing how you can instantly like or dislike a venue just by the feel and ambiance of the place and i instantly liked the look of this water. It of course had plenty of nice pegs with features galore where you could lay out a bed of bait and wait for the carp but it also had plenty of those uncomfortable out of the way quiet pegs where i knew the carp would be found at times of high pressure.
My tactics for the session was my trust method feeder filled with a mix of dampened micro and 2mm pellets with the added attraction of Cheshire Particle Hemp Oil. The hook bait the ever reliable Bait-Tech The juice dumbells, a combination that had done we well all spring and summer and i am know that confident in it i leave the rig out there knowing the only factor in getting a run is if a fish comes across the trap. I know if they do then they will eat the bait its that simple ion my head now such the results its produced.
Casting around to find the gaps in the weed i soon found a clear patch out in front of me and another to my right, you could tell instantly when you had hit the spot as taps on the feeder from the roach would be instant. I didn't mind these at all as a crowd attracts a crowd as such and i knew if the roach could find the bait then so could Mr carp.
After hooking into a few roach i began to feel the pellets where not hanging round long and this trap does reply on the carp fishing the pellets dispersed from the feeder and you bait and more importantly your line being covered by the pellets so regular and accurate casts where the order of the day.
The taps stopped and i remember watching the tip fall silent, a large line bite gave away the presence of a larger visitor to the swim, another long pluck and half way through the tip resetting it wrapped round and the delkim alarm screamed into life. Lifting into the fish it was all heavy as the fish dived straight for the nearest weed bank. A sustained pressure on the fish saw it come free and a wallowing almost bream like fight ensued until the fish was coming up the shelf and as it did panic stations began to kick in and the fish went on a number on long deep runs. It was a fantastic fight.
Thankfully it was a fight that went in my favour and with an aching and relieved arm the fish slip over the mesh, a lovely dark mirror carp of 16lb 10oz1!
Whilst playing the first fish the other rod screamed off and for some time both me and Carry where playing carp. Unfortunately a hook pull on Gary's fish put pay to a fantastic double fish brace shot that would have really set off the session. The rods back out the taps from the roach continued and the rod tips danced almost as to the beat of the lapping waves as they washed over the rod tips.
The clouds moved in and with them so did the light rain but this did not deter the carp as again the right hand rod pulled round as the fish was hooked and bolted for the nearest reed bed. Strong tackle and gentle pressure the fish was back on the move and it soon became apparent that these carp where fine wallowing in 10ft of water until you started to bring them up the shelf. That part of the fight the carp where going mad and making long hard runs pulling line from the reel but soon a nice upper single figure carp was gracing the net. Two fish on the first session i was made up.
The next hour or two passed by with nothing of any note on the carp front, roach still continued to come in spells , but it was not until right on last light that my rod again sparked into life. I am always a great believer that when on a social its always more enjoyable when you all catch and my mate Garry had sat through the rain and the roach with me for the passed few hours so i allowed him to take the last run of the evening.
It turned out to be another fantastic low double figure fish. The clear water giving the fish a lovely dark back that gave way to yellows as you scanned down its flank. They where lovely looking fish to catch and this one certainly put Garry through the mill as it came up the shelf with some long hard runs.
The gear packed away it was time to reflect on the session and what a first session it had been with 4 runs and 3 fish on the bank. We had arrived on the venue not really having any expectations but had left with the grit between our teeth for more. This venue certainly captured me and i could feel the start of another adventure taking hold.
The full session is available in video format the blogs you tube channel here:
A warm welcome to this weeks blog update i hope i find you well and your nets wet. Planning for the written blog is going well, i find myself on my dinner hour again putting together this written blog and so far so good, i am half way through the first paragraph and writers block has not set in yet. There is time.
So i thought it would be good in this blog update to have a look at my hopes and ambitions for the upcoming river season and at the same time a bit of reflection on the 3 month closed season. What went well and what i could have maybe done better. The blog update finishes with a session in search of tench, a species its been far too long since it featured on my blog. Top 5 Stick Float Tips...
So this week the second video in the midweek vlog series went live on the youtube channel. I had received a question in around my tips for stick float fishing for someone new to the rivers and as its my main type of fishing i thought i would devote on midweek blog to some basic river tips. Stick float, rod and line choices feature as does some tips on plumming up the depth and some basic watercraft at the end.
If you read this blog and like the river fishing but are a bit daunted by the thought of fishing a river then give this midweek vlog a watch and get yourself out on the bank, you will not regret it.
A Closed Season With Cheshire Particle Hemp Oil..
So here we are at the end of our three month exile from running waters and the freedom and tranquillity they bring. I am far from anti social but at the same time i can only take so much shouting and "banter" when i am fishing and i have to say thet my listening to "banter with mates on the bank" from the anglers around me is just teetering on the edge of madness. That said though i have had to endure far worse closed seasons with regards dealing with idiots on the bank and this season they do only seem to have arose on the commercial scene.
"Cheshire Particle Hemp Oil The Find Of The Summer"
With the closing of the river season I normally move over to the canals for my fishing but as you have all read and witnessed on the youtube blogs fising has led me down a different path this closed season. The finding of my Drennan Puddle Chucker and my unexpected thirst for wanting to get to grips with commercial fishing has seen my canal fishing plans fall by the side.
This diversion onto commercials and method feeder fishing has seen my use of hemp seed in my fishing go with it too but what this change did do is highlight to me the fantastic Cheshire Particle Product that is Cheshire Particle Hemp Oil. When this oil is added to their fantastic hemp seed before a session it can be hard to judge how much impact the hemp oil is having, this last 3 months has shown me just how much fish pulling power this oil has.
Added the oil to my pellets after they have been prepared ready for the method feeder has provided me with a pungent heady hemp based pellet mix that when tested in the margins leaked for well over 50 minutes off one small nugget of pellet. This fantastic addition to the pellets along with watercraft in placing the bait in the right place has seen me cross paths with some fantastic fish this spring and early summer.
Below just a handful of fish i have had the joy in sharing a few special moments on the bank side with..
In short this summer has shown me how good this hemp oil is on its own so when the season arrives for the rivers and its added to the fresh hemp seed Cheshire Particle are famous for it will be done with 100% confidence. A little goes a long way and at just over 4 quid a bottle it will last you ages.
The season is now literally days away and the reels are loaded with new line and the tackle box has been given a nice tidy up and organised. The bag of hemp seed has been split down into pint session bags and i am all set for the season to come.
Early season will be all about getting back into the groove of river fishing with a few stick float sessions on the smaller rivers but this year i am alos going to try my best to devote time on the bank to targeting the barbel. The barbel is a fish that has featured very sparsely on the blog and i have tried on one or two occasions to change that but not being really close to a barbel holding river it can make finding time very hard.
So barbel are certainly on the agenda for sure and i am also hoping as the season goes on to also delve deeper into a bait that i have never fished before in tares. A lot of rivers i fish are abundant in roach so it would make sense for me to try and expand into this area to try and get the best from the river i fish.
Fishing for me is all about learning and trying the develop my knowledge of all aspects of fishing so i can try and be the best anger i can be and along the way share that learning journey with yourselves through the blog. This year has plenty of promise and i am excited to see what adventures lie along the way.
Summer is far from finished and i am hoping to also get out on the bank still for the tench and carp as i have really loved the adventures so far this year. On that front a 20lb carp would be a lovely milestone to achieve and is at least a possibility now with the waters i am fishing, so that might happen any time which is exciting.
With regards content on the blog i don't think the blog has ever been so diversified with regards species and content as well as formats to follow it on. I am hoping to introduce more live streaming on the blog on facebook so that's something else to look out for.
A Tench Session On The Tip....
All spring and summer i had spent time on the bank targeting carp on method feeder tactics and over that time i had began to notice a few things that worked with regards my baiting approach. The hook bait aside for now and talking about the mix of pellets i had noticed that the micro pellets along brought bites but the addition of 4 mil pellets into this mix certainly brought the better carp onto the method.
Additives to the mix over this period have been stinky stuff sprays and Cheshire particle hemp seed oil and i have found both to be beneficial in attracting fish into the swim and are additives i certainly have confidence in when i cast them out.
The main feed sorted i now look to hook baits and one bait has been doing the business for me this season and it has been Bait Techs's the Juice dumbells. What can i say about this bait other than it has caught me so many fish it is untrue. It has caught me fish on commercials and natural waters. So in these two paragraphs lays the trap i have been setting up till about two weeks ago for all my carp fishing.
A new card and a chance to try new waters and early on Saturday morning i found myself on the banks of a new club water. Out went a method feeder and with it out went an approach i have so much confidence in. The bait presented in an area i seen as a patrol route for fish and where they would feed confident in feeding i was out to play the waiting game and leave the feeder there until the tip pulled round on my drennan puddle chucker.
The sun creeping over the horizon to my right and its rays just starting to illuminate the bank behind me i sat listening to the early morning bird song. A heron circling above out looking for its breakfast soon landed a few yards down the bank, good enough for him good enough for me. A tap on the feeder alerted me to something in the area and over excited i went to grab the rod. It can be hard to sit on your hands with this but you really have to wait for that wrap round.
Eventually it came and lifting the rod i was instantly locked into a battle of wills as a fish made hard for the reeds. Persistent pressure soon turned the fish that by now knew it was in trouble and made for the lillies. At a fair distance it was a tough battle but soon the power in the puddle chucker brought the fish into open water and then i knew, baring a hook pull, a fish would soon be on the bank.
Played out nicely a lovely tench was soon posing for the camera.
The fish returned i was straight back out and knowing how fast the bite had come i was optimistic of more. A passer by stopped by for a chat and he was lovely to speak to and was intrigued by how the method feeder works. The mechanics explained the wrap round on the tip soon showed him the results and what a fish to show someone how good a method feeder can be as though us both laughing at the battle this fish gave me as it went hard for any dark snags it could find.
A had said moments earlier if i hit a carp it would be interesting and so it proved as one hell of a tussle was played out in front of us both. A lovely dark common carp of 9lb was my prize.
It was a fantastic start to my first session on here and i was pleased my confidence in my set up had come through. Confidence in angling is huge i feel, it means you leave the bait longer in the good spots you find and you know that time is the only deciding factor in getting a bite. The time it takes a fish to find your trap.
Over the next few hours a few more tench and bream fell for the trap set, check out the video below for the full story and the end of this adventure.
A warm welcome to this weeks blog update i hope i find you all well and your nets wet. Sat at my desk in work and these very dinner hours will now be the time where i sit down and devote some time to the written blog, lets see how we get on! I must say it does feel good to be back at the screen putting my thoughts down on paper rather than worrying about lighting and if i have the shots needed for the video of the session.
So lets get right into it,
The River Season Looms...
We are now in touching distance of the new river season and i have to say this closed season has flew by in the blink of an eye. A trip last week to the bait shop to pick up a new licence saw me sneakily nipping down to the river for a look, she looked low and very clear of course but boy did she look beautiful. The air was fresh and the banks willd from the 3 month exodous. The angler inside me knew where the swims where hidden, i made most of them after all, it was not long till i was stood in familiar swims throwing floating crust down to obliging chub.
The river alive with fish a few bits of bread threw in the margins soon attraced some attention as roach and chublets moved in on the free offerings. As you can see in the short clip below, a low and clear river but a river full of life.
I left excited for the river season to come and the trip to the bait shop saw me picking up some tackle for the coming season as the thoughts of casting a feeder and running a float through still flowed through my thoughts.
New Youtube Series...
So recently i sat down and thought about all the things i do with fishing away from the bank and got down on paper all the ideas i have got coming up. Future content for Warrington angling centre and Cheshire Particle and some ideas for the Youtube channel and for this written blog.
Some exciting stuff made the spider diagram of ideas and one such one was a new midweek series on Youtube. A short video each week containing all things fishing, my upcoming fishing that weekend, my thoughts on the previous weeks and some Question and Answers i have received on social media.
If you enjoy reading the channel and watching the content and have any questions on my fishing or anything in the fishing world you would like my views on then post them in the comments on here or on social media and i will answer them on the blogs.
The first one went live last week, check it out below, any feedback is welcome!!
Closed Season Commercial...
So the closed season has flown by in a flash as said above and i have to say i have really enjoyed it. I started off hoping to fish the odd commercial and then move onto the canals but isn't it amazing how fishing has this habit of sending us on its own little adventure.
We start of down a path and like the very rivers we are missing fishing takes us down its own meandering route. This closed season has saw me splitting my time really between two ventures, firstly a series called "the hunt for the Gems of the Lake", a series where i target a water full of small carp but within its depths lies a few original carp that go up to around 18lb and are in fantastic condition. A quest to catch these gems was started and i think has nearly come to its close during this closed season, A link to the playlist is below.
The rest of my time has been spent really on commercials and i decided very early on that this closed season i wanted to get better on commercial fishing and learning the different methods of catching fish on these venues. It was an area i felt i was turing up and catching the odd carp or silvers but i had very little understanding of the how and why i was catching and i really wanted to improve my knowledge on these.
I started of fishing for silvers and had some lovely nets of roach over 2olb and then as it warmed up so the carp moved into play and time was spent learning margin fishing, fishing on pellets and finally fishing the method feeder. All these areas i felt i was very weak in and although i am still learning i am certainly more confident now on going a commercial than i was before and feel i now can tackle these with a set game plan.
So really in that closed season i achieved what i wanted from my fishing and i now move onto the rivers and canals. The canals did not feature but i am hoping that will change over the coming weeks as i spend less time on the commercials and more on the canal.
So that pretty much covers some info on where i am at now with the fishing and a bit looking forward, lets get into some fishing...
Puddle Chucker Fun....
So a few weeks ago i was back at my dads house and sorting out some of my old fishing gear and i came across a rod holdall that had a good thick layer of dust on it. Closer inspection revealed it to be my old Drennan 10ft Carp Puddle Chucker feeder rod, a rod that had now seen any use for a good 3 to 4 years at least.
I had recently been watching a guy on youtube called Jamie Harrison, a Bait Tech sponsored angler and a feeder fishing guy and watching his videos i thought hey why not get it out and give it a go, it proved to be one of the best decisions i have made and the sight of this became common place as this my laughing with excitement at some of the battles i had with fish using this rod..
The session below is one such session:
Arriving at the lake i was armed with only my seat box, a landing net and my puddle chucker. I had literally a few hours in the morning and i just wanted to get a bend in the carbon. Work had taken its toll during the week and i had put many of the household jobs on hold till the weekend, this meant a severe lack of fishing time!
The bait for the session would be simple, micro pellets with a few 4mm mixed in coated in stinky stuff with Bait Techs the juice dumbells as a hook bait. It had worked before and i hoped it would work now. Captures on this combo this summer have surely got me confident in this set ups ability to catch fish for sure.
"Small Margins Matter In Fishing"
The more i fish the more i am convinced that small margins in fishing make a huge difference. On this session i was fishing to some reeds and i took my time to clip up so the feeder was landing bang on in front of these reeds.
The reeds moving violently ave the game away and i knew it was only a matter of time before one of the carp came across my carefully laid trap. Well that was the plan anyway at least in my head.
An early set back came as the tip wrapped round and a fish bolted hard for the base of the roots. It was a short battle but as soon as the line went slack i knew the hook had pulled. In a morning where i might only get one chance it was a real set back. I just had to hope the commotion had not ruined my chances.
A fresh hook length put on, not that the previous one had snapped, but i always do this to put my mind at rest that the best rig possible is out there working for me. The feeder still clipped up i was soon back on the sweet spot and if another fish did turn up i would be ready.
Like a coiled spring i waited for the tip to go round and when it did it was a lovely slow pull and i was onto the rod like a hawk, A huge boil off the reeds told me this was a better fish and i think the slow take ave me the early momentum to turn the fish and get it out in open water.
A reed bed near by offered the fish a dark safe home to bolt for but again the puddle chucker shocked me as its power through our the rod kept the fish under control. Slipping the net under a beautiful dark common it was mission completed.
A perfect common of around 14lbs i think it was and it felt good in the palms, well rested i returned her to the lake and thanked her for her time with me.
A warm welcome to this blog post i hope i find you all well and your nets wet. I first of all need to apologise to all the people who regularly read this blog and enjoy the written content i have found it very hard to find the time to produce content for all the platforms that i now create content for and ultimately one has had to slip a little as a result.
I am very concious that this written blog is the very bread and butter that has allowed other doors to open and other ventures to have a little push start in their existence. I have no intentions of letting this page die and fall by the wayside and am constantly thinking of ways in which i can provide content that i can upload on here.
I do have a number of ideas for the written blog and they consist of producing a monthly written blog as a recap of all my fishing for that month, a fact filled break down of one session where i cover in detail one session in written form and then continue to discuss topics that i grab my attention.
Beginning in June i hope to find a formula and a schedule that allows me to get content regularly back on her in some form or another.
Over the passed month i have been getting out on the bank and recoding my sessions and uploading them, onto the blogs youtube pages and social media pages on the links below
These links are a fantastic way to keep up with my fishing and please check them out for daily updates on all things i am up too.
So in short starting in June there will be more content on this blog, i have found a gap where i can produce content for it so keep your eyes peeled for regular content and hopefully it will be back to the old standard.
Till then here are a few pictures of recent captures on the bank.
Hello and and welcome to this product review of the Theseus Carp Cradle and Carp weigh sling currently on sale from Fishing Republic. These products where sent to me a few weeks ago for me to use and review on the blog. After extensive period of use across many different types of fishing please find the review below of both products and a review video i have posted on the blogs you tube channel.
Youtube video review:
Theseus Carp Cradle and Carp Sling Review..
Name: Theseus Carp Cradle Dimensions: 115cm long x 55cm Wide x 26cm high
Link to Product: THESEUS CARP CRADLE LINK
Name: Theseus Carp Sling Dimensions: 125cm Long x 60cm Deep x 45cm Wide
Link to product: THESEUS CARP SLING LINK
Review The Carp Cradle -
When the carp cradle first dropped on my doorstep and i opened it up i was genuinely shocked at two aspects of this product from the outset, one was how light the carp cradle was and two i was really impressed with how neatly it was all packed away. My expectations all week had been for a large heavy and quite bulky product.
The actual cradle comes in two parts, a padded base and then the cradle with a mesh bottom and both fold in half and are held securely in place by two straps at either end which wrap completely round both produces when placed side by side to hold them securely. I will go more into this feature later as this i found hugely beneficial when transporting both products together.
The water i chose to put this item through its paces was a local pool with a good head of small carp and a few bigger originals into double figures. This pool i had fished for the past few years and i had used a small cheap unhooking mat during that time and i had found it really difficult from a blogging point of view to "process" the carp from catching them to unhooking them and then keeping them under control on a slippery mat with no side. at times it certainly made for a frustrating experience.
"From a Blogging point of View the Cradle has been a God send"
The biggest compliment i can pay this product is how it has revolutionised my experience on the bank fishing for carp and blogging. The fact the fish can be placed inside this padded cradle and i feel confident the fish can come to no harm encased inside its sides. The fish has plenty of space to move and the well padded bottom and sides ensure no damage to the fish. As a blogger it makes the process of unhooking the fish and holding it up for a photo a very smooth process.
As regular blog readers will know i am not a angler who is going to catch a 20 to 30lb carp any time soon but i wanted to also show how this sling can be used in other ways and with that i went down the road of using it as a piece of apparatus that has its uses in match fishing. On a recent session on Cheshire Fishery i knew i was in for a decent net of carp so i brought the cradle along for the final net shots to show the catch.
"My fishing might not see me put a 6olb carp in the cradle so i filled it with 60lb of carp"
Again from a blogging point of view this kit came up trumps again for me. Many times when i have large nets and a good days fishing i can find dealing with the net at the end very hard work and the true scale of how good a session i have had can be hard to capture. On this session i had over 60lb of carp and the cradle and the sling made light but quick work of the final nets.
The matt had more than enough room to fit all the carp and its high sides and fish friendly material ensured no damage to the carp when i took this quick photo. This certainly could have benefits for those anglers looking for good shots at the end of their commercial fishing sessions.
The final good point i found with this kit was the material it was made from. We all get it in the ear when our kit comes home smelling of fishing but this material meant a quick trip to the hose in the garden when i got home and it was easily cleaned and did dry quite quickly. The Carp Sling -
This piece of kit i feel completes the package and I do feel to get the most out of them you do require them both. The sling fits perfectly into the cradle so when i had a fish i knew i wanted to weigh the sling sat nicely over the edges of the cradle and the recess in the middle was created for the carp to sit in the middle.
The material inside the sling felt of a high quality and the mixture of mesh and material with holes in ensured the water drained quickly when you wanted to weight the fish and also the holes and mesh meant that water could completely fill the sling and allow a flow of water through the sling when it was submerged with the fish in the margin.
"With Plenty of Holes and mesh it allowed for the free movement of water through the sling for resting the fish"
A complete wrap round zip ensured the fish could not escape and although i never night fish so did not ever need the rest a fish in the sling for any amount of time to get pictures i did testing and the floatation tops on the sling ensured the sling held in place. A huge amount of space in the compartment to hold any size fish you are likely to encounter i tested the sling with weights up to 60lb and straps coped with it easily.
Again as a package the sling slides in between the base of the cradle and the cradle to make the package easy to carp and transport to the bank. I like to be mobile when fishing and these two going together so easily made it easy to move around swims and never felt like i was over burdened and not wanting to move with a view of the gear being a problem.
All in all two products that really surprised me, i am not going to lie it presented some real challenges to incorporate it into my fishing but with a little thought and imagination i found products that dovetailed nicely and will certainly be a piece of kit that will feature in many more of my photos and sessions for both carp and pike. Being a blogger i saw huge benefits in me dealing with fish on the bank and having more control of the fish when on the Matt, the camera set pics where obtained or video pieces recorded in quick time. One bloggers life made a lot easier, now to catch a carp to fill them both :-)
A warm welcome to this weeks blog update i hope find you all well and your nets wet. Two blogs in short succession it finally feels like i am getting stuck into this routine and finding the time to fit it all in. I am on top of the extra additional duties and sticking to my promise to be more proactive in my fishing this year.
Recent trips out on the bank have seen me bump into loads of people who read the blog, like buses you don't have many people mention it then all of a sudden you get people coming over for a chat everywhere you go. I love this side of the blog and if you do ever see me on the bank please do come over and have a chat its great to hear your fishing stories.
The past two weekends has seen me targeting carp for a product review i have got coming up for a carp sling and it was great to bump into a regular blog reader on the bank and share a moment that saw him catch his first ever chub! A keen predator angler it was good to hear his stories from the same canal we fish, share some of my hot spots i have come across for perch and then sat back and waited for a run whilst watching his roach swim get stalked by a small jack pike. We spend all winter chasing them on dedicated gear and how typical if fishing when you set up a roach rod and leave the pike gear at home, mr esox then finds you. Who would be a fishermen eh?
I can honestly say i am loving my fishing at the moment and in that i mean all aspects of it. The challenge of the fishing, different challenges with the writing and then the extreme challenge that is the youtube channel. Challenge is good in any part of life not just fishing it keeps you on your toes and makes the journey one to remember.
Cheshire Particle is a North West bait company run by Mark. Working from home to produce his own blends and mixes of particles he, in a short space of time, has gained a reputation for producing quality baits. The 2016 sponsor of the wales carp fishing is a testament to the hard work put in by mark and his team of anglers.
The range of products on offer is fantastic ranging from parti-mixes, pellets, nut mixes to his new range of snail boilies and of course his particle mixes with hemp tares and maize, it is a range where anyone can find a bait that fits into their fishing. I always like it when i come across anglers with an obvious passion for their sport and products and even more so when they are local, long term blog readers will remember me working with Beechwood baits a few years ago.
Of course this blog does stray into the world of carp fishing from time to time but when i was asked to work with Cheshire Particle i wanted to of course use items that compliment my fishing and dovetail nicely into my methods and ideas. The stand out was of course hemp seed and i was also very interested in the hemp oil the company produced and the different ways i could incorporate that into my fishing. A review of these two products will bin the coming blogs but here is a little taste of what this hemp and hemp oil can be used to catch.
Lymm Anglers Bailiff Role...
The world of fishing can be at times a world of gripes and discontent, certainly if you frequent facebook groups a lot you will certainly be open to this world. I, at times, have also been guilty of having a lot to say on certain subjects but offering little in the way of a solution to the problem but like i said earlier 2017 i made a resolution to be more positive and more proactive in my angling, April is fast approaching and i think i have been true to that word.
In the past 2 years i have seen the banks of my local canal, the bridge water, (Northern One) become a place i dont like, a place where you worry about its long term future and the effects certain types of behavior are having on the water. In the past two years i have seen the pike fishing be reduced to a shadow of its former self and increasingly in that time i was catching pike with large sea hooks in their mouths and trailing tackle where the angler had been snapped on really light lines with no traces.
More and more i was seeing anglers mistreating fish when handling them and after getting chatting to few anglers an ever increasing number of anglers with no licence. This year i got chatting to another bailiff and i decided to put my name down to join a team of dedicated bailiffs and as a group we are now completing checks on the canal and in only a short amount of time have i think got a message that the canal is now in safe hands and being well bailiffed.
For me a bailiff role does not just confine to the boundary of checking cards and i want it to become the canal i remember as a kid, i want to see anglers back on the banks fishing the canal, The lads and dads getting out and about to wet a line and create memories together on the local cut. To achieve this is going to take time and a lot of effort and hard work. I will certainly be covering in detail my sessions on there in the form of my youtube videos and on here and if you are local to the Cheshire area come and give this canal a go, you will not be disappointed.
So with a few product reviews in the past few weeks my fishing for once has been mainly dictated by the blog, not my normal way of doing things but some times it has to be done and carp fishing has been the area i have been spending most of mt time in recently.
As with all aspect of life it is always good to break away and spend a few hours doing something completely different, an evening on a local small pond with my uncle offered such an opportunity and it was away with the carp rods and out with the maggotts and hemp.
A small secluded pond situated in the ruins of an old monastery it holds a wealth of history and the pond itself is part of that with it being a stock pond for the monks when they inhabited the local area. How times change now someone taking carp from this pond for the pot would be seen in such a different light.
This pond is also quite sentimental to myself as both me and my dad helped to create the fishing pegs many years ago and s reward we where both granted with a fishing licence for life to fish the pond, a reward we drop in on from time to time, but in all honesty a place i fish quite infrequently. A place, like the local canal, that holds so many special memories of mine and my dads fishing trips.
So with only a few hours in the evening we decided to give this little pond a go. The margins lined with toads in quite a amorous mood it was one of those typical early spring evenings, a warm breeze and intermittent sun and cloud, i was interested to see how the fishing had changed.
Feeding red maggot via the catty over the top of my light pole float soon saw some roach coming on the drop. A decent pouch of hemp from the off would guarantee some feed on the bottom when the maggot arrived. A deep swim for a pond at 10ft i fished a rig full depth with little shot to catch in all the layers as the bait fell. Roach where soon coming steady on the drop.
As with all truly wild fish that need not our baits to sustain their existence their natural instincts soon kick in and caution outweighs the need to feed. Changing feed and depths can fool the stranglers but keeping the fish coming can really be a game of cat and mouse. My uncle was also getting steady bites and had actually landed a few small carp, distant ancestors of the very fish this pond was created for, the history of this place as i have said makes it so special.
A solemn silence soon came over my peg and it all felt very atmospheric as the float sat lazily dancing to the ponds tune as the slight ripple lapped up against the float. A rhythm soon interrupted by the slightest of line bites, a fish moving on the bottom was the obvious culprit and when the float finally gave in the ever excited angler on the other end of the pole and sunk into to depths i knew little of what was going to be on the other end.
A hard fight seeing the drennan aqua elastic oozing from the end of the pole it was a good while before the fishes identity was certified especially with the severe depth of this pond. Eventually through the surface came the shimmer of dark olive green and that most iconic of spring fish was slid into the landing net. A teddy bear eye and a paint brush tail she was by far the fish of the session and a sign spring had finally sprung.
As the session wore on to its end and we reached that most mysterious time in any session, the last hour, the witching hour, a hour when you know those wise old fish are starting their hunt for food and if you get lucky maybe they will slip up and allow you to admire their beauty.
The last hour as the oily sun dropped below the horizon my palm was graced with bars of gold time and time again as some lovely crucian carp moved in over the bed of hemp seed. A sight that brought those childhood memories flooding straight back.
A session end came in just as fast as the darkness began to fall and a cool mist began to creed over the pond, many say the morning mist is the ghost of anglers past then surely this mist rolling in just had the be the ghosts of the monks moving in to protect their pool through the hours of darkness.
Two nets that held so many memories.
Till next time enjoy you fishing and creating those special memories that will last a lifetime.
A warm welcome to this weeks blog update i hope i find you all well and your nets wet. Its safe to say that spring is well and truly here now and its fantastic to see all the little changes i spotted a week or two ago no bursting into full life and all around it seems like the world is coming to life.
Recent trips to the bank have seen the ducks starting to pair of and "do their thing" if you get me and a recent trip for an evening session on a a pond i was greeted to the margins alive with toads all preparing to spawn. The morning commute to work is now done to the back drop of bird song and i know i always say that i love winter as the best time of year for myself enjoying my time on the bank but i think the reality is i love all the seasons for the little bits of magic they bring.
It is at this time of the year i find myself just heading out with just my camera on my phone to take some shots of nature and leave the rods tucked away at home. The venues are always water related in some way but its just good to be out in the fresh air. The Monday to Friday job as i have always said is simply just a means to an end to putting food on the table and pay the bills. Its 4 walls and 5 windows do get you down so time is needed alone out in the wilderness with your thoughts or just by a river to wash away those stagnating days in the dungeon.
There have been some good changes recently in work and one of them has been the introduction of a late shift every week till 6.30pm. The late is not great news but with a late finish comes a late start so it has meant i can take my time and after dropping the kids off at nursery i have a hour or two to burn. This week i am writing this piece for my main blog but last week i took a leisurely walk along the local canal.
The walk was on a warm Wednesday morning the sun on my back and my camera in my hand it was a great start to my day. Daffodils lines the path and fish where topping on the end of the wind i was heading into work in the next half hour but that was firmly at the back of my mind.
A lovely spring day
On to the update...
Time To Spring Into Life....
This week my next article for my role at Warrington Angling Centre went live. I always try to keep these articles in a different style to this blog with them being more about the how i fish than the fishing as such. I have always tried to keep this written blog about the experience of my fishing and not so much about the diameter of the line used.
In this latest blog i look at how i prepare away from actually fishing a session as spring arrives. How and why i travel to the venues before i even wet a lone and the best times i have found for visiting that water you are looking forward to fishing in the coming weeks.
The XChange Interchangeable Landing Net Head is a landing net with a difference because you can change between different mesh sizes, depths and materials with ease. It comes supplied with a set of 3 different varieties of mesh, and two more can be purchased separately. Not only does this provide you with an all-round net, that is more cost effective, but it also means that if one mesh was to break or get a hole in it, you could easily put on a new one without having to buy a whole new frame!
A few weeks ago i was contacted by a company asking if i was interested in reviewing one of their products. A landing net that allowed you to change the mesh to either a deeper one or a rubber one depending on the size or species you where fishing for. It looked a really exciting product so i agreed to take a look. What came really did capture myself as i think it is a fantastic bit of thinking outside the box and innovation.
Like with all things the best ideas are almost always the most simple and this one i no different. A cut in the metal allows you to slide off the widget on the landing net mesh and pull it completely off the metal rim. Attaching the new net is a simple as sliding the next net onto the gap into the metal.
I found this net really useful on a a recent session on Cheshire Fishery where i knew the carp had woken up so i wanted a deeper net in case some of the carp showed. Luckily i did as in the last hour 27lb of carp appeared under my feet.
The net offers fantastic versatility whilst only carrying the one net. The rubber net will certainly come into its own for predator anglers fishing for perch who want a lightweight net with some depth in case an esox makes an appearance.
All in all a great product and below is it up close on the bank with my first ever video review.
Cheshire Fishery Silvers On Pole...
The river season in truth came to a drab and wet conclusion with most of the rivers carrying a good amount of water as we moved into the closed season. At times like this it can be hard to decide what to do as the natural still waters are still slowly waking from their winter hibernation. It can mean we are left with a period of quite hard fishing and this is when i firmly turn my attention to the commercials for some action.
A fishery we headed to last year was Cheshire Fishing in Tattenhall and it served us well for both silvers and the odd rod bending carp. We decided to again head there again in search of the fantastic roach that reside in this venue please check out the session below.
The plan for the session was to fish two lines, one on caster and hemp for the silvers and the other for carp on a heavier elastic and bigger bait in corn. The first few hours we sat in a cold corner of the complex struggling for bites and we soon decided to have a move onto one of the other pools on the lake. It was a move that would remind me just how mad fishing can be. Two pools on the same complex with the same conditions and same water depth yet one was dead and the other was alive.
With only 3 hours of the session left it did feel like it was only a case of hoping to get a few bites if we moves. I set up on pool 5 and literally went down to one line on castor and Cheshire Particle Hempseed. My plan was to try and make the most of the time we had left and just enjoy getting a few bites.
The rig was a simple light float that took 3 number 8 weights and i spread them evenly down the line to allow me to target fish in all the water layers as the bait fell. The bait was introduced via a Preston soft pot.
The fish where soon coming regular to the hemp and caster and with this type of fishing you really do get into a rythm. I find each session is different with how the fish want you to feed, sometimes it is better to lay your rig in and feed over the top and others its best to feed and then follow it in with your rig. On this session feeding first was certainly better.
The fish in the swim in good numbers i knew competition for the bait would son see the fish coming up in the water to the castors so i quickly set my rig to half depth and i certainly saw the quality of the silvers improve. Testament to the competition i started to even get the odd skimmer on the drop.
Why is it with this type of fishing that when its good the time flies bye. As the session came to an end the fishing went from strength to strength as the swim built up and the dusk set in. I knew i had caught well but i was not ready for the final net to go over the 20lb mark!!
My first session out with the Cheshire particle hem seed and hemp oil, more on that in the coming weeks blogs but as first outing s go, well 20lb of roach in 3 hours speaks for itself!
Just a quick update this one really but there is some exciting news coming in the next update along with the regular videos on youtube.