Friday, 25 April 2014

Pond Fishing: Roach and Rudd on the Whip

A warm welcome to this weeks blog update.  I hope I find you all refreshed after a lovely relaxing weekend over the Easter bank holiday.  Myself I have been tempted by too many of the Easter bunnies chocolate eggs and am now on a self imposed chocolate detox.  Fishing wise I managed a few short sessions on the bank mainly targeting silvers and I will expand on the reasons for this later on in the update.

First things first and I start with the Canvas Design competition I was running on the blogs facebook page to win a free canvas of the winners own design.  The draw was supposed to have taken place on Friday but distracted by fishing and one thing or another it was not until a helpful blog follower reminded me late on Saturday evening the draw was made, thank you again Martin for your helpful reminder.  The names were numbered a random number generator was used to pick a winner and I am delighted to announce the winner of the first ever Danny’s Angling Blog giveaway was ADE GREEN, congratulations!!

I am currently in contact with Canvas Design about the prospect of running one on the Blogs Twitter account so if you are not already why not look out for this competition on there by following @satonmyperch.  From a social media point of view the blog is doing fantastic, on twitter it has just peeped over 1500 followers and on Facebook it is approaching the 150 mark.  I know we had the give away this week but as a rule I am not one who runs these giveaways to attract likes and views to my page preferring to have a low number of followers who want to be there of their own accord because they like my blog over people lured in with giveaway after give away, that’s my own personal stance on it anyhow.  I follow quite a few pages on Facebook and you see time and time again people being banned and some quite heated confrontations take place and I have to say I love the little corner of the world my blog holds on Facebook as there is always someone giving out some friendly advice and I always say to people to use the page for posting their fishing escapades and stories their fishing and in all in all updating the twitter and Facebook feeds is a part of the blog I enjoy as much as writing it and long may it continue.

Moving along and what a great Easter weekend it was, I have been making a conscious effort over the passed week or so to devote less time to the fishing and a little more to my home life as although the carp quest is yet to yield any fruit as in fish on the bank it has eaten up a lot of my time and it is something that I need to keep sight of and not get myself caught up in the quest at detriment to home life.  Striking a balance is important when it comes to fishing and is probably one of the parts I find most difficult as when I start something new or find a new venue for my fishing I can get really one minded and wrapped up in it.  I am very fortunate to have such an understanding partner who recognises when my time is too much towards fishing and reigns me in as such.  This weekend however I managed to get out on the bank a few times but was determined to get out with the family.

One such trip was too the local park where we fed the local duck population and was really happy to see my first clutch of ducklings of 2014.  She was obviously a young duck with little experience maybe this was her first brood as her ducking where spread far and wide right near a busy road and I did notice the local crows taking particular interest in these chicks and I did wonder if they took these ducklings as an easy snack.  Either way this video goes to show how close you can get to English wildlife if you take you time and build their confidence in you, I could have literally picked one up had I wished.

This wasn’t the first duck close encounter of the weekend either as during the past week I decided to change tactics on the carp quest pit and try for some of the bream and tench on there.  Whilst waiting for a run my new drake companion came over, as he always seems to do now, to say hello and of course our friend ship is a one way street with food overcoming his fear of myself.  I have been slowly building his confidence and I don’t think it will be long before he is taking food from my hand, up to yet we are on eating from my Wellington boot stage.

I have been a member of Warrington Anglers for the passed 5 years now and in that time I have really enjoyed reading Franks Weekly blog update where he writes about captures and developments within the club on a weekly basis.  Despite the hostility towards myself from certain high quarters amongst this club I still take time each week to read this interesting column.  I have to say though for some weeks now the updates have taken a darker tone with fish capture reports being overshadowed with a dark undertone of threats and what seems a wanting to portray a zero tolerance attitude to the club. I started to notice it a while ago when threats to ban people from the club for leaving gates open where mentioned in the odd update, this has now developed recent weeks to threats that if you are banned the club has signed up with other clubs so you are in effect banned from any clubs signing up to this agreement, a bit like pub watch.

This last week I read with astonishment as it was announced that two people found on Grey mists fishing at night without a night permit where to be banned from the club at a recent hearing at the clubs HQ.  Now I am not saying this is not a serious breech of the rules but surely asking them to pack in and a slap across the wrist to the effect if caught again without one then a ban for the season may be given is better treatment of this problem as if I have also read it right these people will now also be banned from joining any other clubs!.  I am not being funny but I have fished WAA waters for a long time and seen some treatment of fish and blatant littering in broad daylight and using the pathways as toilets that in my opinion is a far worse breech than not having a night permit that could just be a case of them not being aware they cant night fish with the normal card.   This of course is all based on an outsider looking in but to a regular reader of this update it is how it reads to me.

I also took the time this week to read that the club has admitted to the fact there was discussions on them turning Sandiway lakes into a Syndicate part of the club.  I sincerely hope this remains the case as it is my money as well as many other anglers money that has been put into this club to fund the incessant stocking of carp after carp into these waters, to then not be able to fish these waters without signing up and paying more money on top to then fish for fish that I have already paid into the club to stock is not only wrong but a disgrace should it go ahead.  In the piece I read the club had said it would not happen and fingers crossed it is never even thought about again, it’s a terrible idea that not only segregates the club but also is totally wrong for the reasons mentioned above.

The stocking policy of this club this year still is based around stocking carp into the clubs waters I see from the introduction in the licence.  It is obvious to myself that although this club is not a money making organisation aimed at profit that profit margins are looking to be widened in the long run, carp is a popular arm of fishing, bigger carp in large numbers attracts more anglers in turn equals more licences and then in turn as its carp anglers the purchasing of night cards is increased, it makes sense but leaves the average silver angler wondering just what he gets out of this stocking policy, apart from being snapped to pieces by carp when fishing light for pristine roach on his local reservoir. 

I finish this introduction with a story that I feel proves my point I made a few months ago before I was kicked off the WAA facebook page for having an opinion.   I said at the time that the stocking of High Legh fisheries after its fish kills was a disgrace.  After a complete fish kill the club bought 80 3-6lb carp from winsford anglers and this was seen as a great stocking by the club, hailed as the club devoting money to their waters.  I said at the time that the stocking of carp was all well and good but the club also needed to stock silvers as well unless you will be left with a water that only fishes in warmer months when the carp are active and the water will become a waste of time in the colder months.  In this time of our waters being abused by poles and cormorants I believe our only defence is anglers being on the bank all year round, if this was a great silvers water as well as containing carp it would attract anglers all year round and see the banks regularly visited and deter these problems.  I logged into a second facebook account I have on WAA Facebook recently to see a number of anglers complaining at fishing this water and blanking and not even getting a sign of a bite after a few trips, complaining at the lack of bites and captures, well had the club stocked silvers there is the option to fish fro roach, bream, perch hell even gudgeon that will feed in this winter to spring period, it is really simple to anyone that actually fishes the waters all year round and when you think a few hundred roach costs about the same as one of these 20lb plus carp they are stocking it really is a sad state of affairs, my point proven? I have also been told by a mate that fishes there that a few fish are looking a bit battered now from repeat captures, well with only 80 fish in such a small water they are not going to look well around their mouths for long.

All in all there are a lot of people in this club who fish for silver fish in both our rivers and lakes and I think its about high time some of them found their mouths before this years and many more years to come licence money is ploughed into creating carp runs waters and possibly an elite carp lake for only the elite to fish. 

And with that it’s onto this weeks fishing,

Saturday – Stealing a quick hour on a local pond.

As the years pass writing this blog you begin to get to know your waters in more detail and begin to build a picture of waters you know will fish in certain conditions and times of year.  I had planned all week to get out fishing but knew I would only have a short hour to hour and half long window to get my fix in on Saturday; location was paramount in getting a net together.

As I have mentioned in other blogs I dedicate most of my dinner hours to searching for new little ponds or areas of local canals that may through up a fish.  This searching of canals can prove very productive when it comes to the pike fishing especially as so many fish right next to the access points near the car park when if they only took a second on the internet they would see a lovely reed bed or permanent barge mooring just around the next bend.

The pond I chose to fish is a real place of unknown potential, every time I fish it I am taken back by the quality of the roach and rudd and you never really know once that bait settles in the bottom what you will catch.  In the passed we have caught tench, golden tench, crucian carp and some nice perch, so it can be a real place of adventure into the unknown and in truth I think the reason I love it is the fact it takes me right back to a kid fishing ponds and canals with my dad where the magic of what you will catch next burns bright inside.

I knew I only had an hour but was I confident? Course I was the sun was burning down and I knew those rudd and roach would be there for the taking on the drop.  To maximise my chances of putting together a decent net I set up my old whip I have had since a kid, I think it cost me 25 quid at the time and is a whip or a “snatcher” as we used to call it in the real sense of the word as it is not elasticated in any way and the line simply ties to the eye at the end of the pole, fished the full length of the pole to hand it’s a deadly way to put fish caught on the drop in the keep net fast.

Arriving at the pond I passed a few other pools and to my amazement they were all empty, as a kid we would have been up in the dark to get the best spaces on these ponds that are jammed with silvers but jump forward 20 odd years and the age of computers and commercials really has put the local ponds right down the pecking order of things to do as a kid, a real shame as what for the price of a whip (15 quid) some line, hooks and float (5 quid) and half a pint of maggots (a quid) there is hours of fun to be had for free on many local ponds in the country.

Anyhow back to the fishing and with the whip set up with a really light float that takes 4 number 10 weights and a size 20 guru hook I began to fish a swim I had been drip feeding with maggots since my arrival.  Already while setting up I had seen a few swirls giving away the presence of some nice roach or rudd up in the water so in knew a bite would not be long in coming and so it proved, you cannot complain at that for a regular stamp of fish from a pond can you?

The action on the drop was fast and furious with roach and rudd coming at regular intervals.  Anyone who has done any amount of this type of fishing “on the drop” knows it is almost impossible to keep going long term as the fish either spook of move to cover.  There are a number of ways to get around this and the one I adopt is the principle the fish move further out beyond where you are feeding so with that I began flicking the line out in front instead of to the side and the bites continued to come again.

This type of fishing is up there with any fishing I do and in honestly the stamp of fish are of a standard that some people would pay good money to fish a commercial for in my opinion.  This water is in the middle of nowhere, open to all the predators that can easily land on its waters and get an easy meal, or can they?  This is where some clubs fail in the fact they pay to stock fish but fail to devote as much money to providing a safe habitat for the fish.  There is a good reason why these fish are thriving here in these ponds I fish and its cover, most of the pond is covered in thick blanket weed and lines with reeds offering these fish a mountain of invertebrates to feast on, a place to spawn and of course a place to hide from predators.  Build the habitat and then stock the fish and you will find yourself with sustainable water where you can stock any species of fish you like and don’t need to use avian predators as a reason not to stock.

I was only on this water for a short amount of time, around hour to hour and half and put together a reasonable net of fish in that time.  I am hoping to get back on here for a full day soon to see if I can build a swim and get some bait on the bottom to see what else lives in this quiet pond.

Till next time I wash you all

Tight lines


Sunday, 20 April 2014

Tench Fishing Little Billinge, Carp Quest Blues and Summer Arrivals....

A warm welcome to this weeks blog update.  Well where do I start with this weeks update I really do not know at all,  from a fishing point of view I feel about as low in confidence as I ever have in the whole of my angling life, this carp quest really has taken it out of me both mentally and physically.  I am putting in the hours, too many in fact, resulting in more time away from the house and less time spent on the fishing I normally do like tench and silver fishing.  All time away from this water and the quest not only feels like time wasted but I am not actually enjoying the fishing I am doing when I go for silvers as my mind it locked into this one venue and cracking it.

It begs the question should fishing really be this almost obsessive? I am putting in the time on the lake and leaving each time learning a little bit more about the place but not really feeling any closer to the end goal, not at this moment at least leading into the bank holiday weekend.  Some people will say how can fishing be tiring all you do is sit there all day well I would agree with them a few weeks ago but just try sitting there expectant of a bite all day, I guess some can switch off but I cant and one thing carp fishing gives you in abundance is time to think over your plans and problems time and time and time again and as that time goes on so the hours without a bite rise and with it the puzzles grows.  Like all things I do new on this blog I never do the easy option and yet again have jumped in the deep end starting on a really hard water where most bites come in the night and at the moment at least seem to come from one or two spots that always are taken.  I will of course cover these session on the mini carp quest blog but as this blog is about me and my fishing i thought i would get down in the blog just how I am feeling.

I also can say 100 percent I was not prepared for the nature of some of the people I have had the displeasure to share a lake with on this quest, don't get me wrong I have met some really genuine guys on the lake but as in all cases the minority can leave a place tinged and non more so than a session I did on Saturday.  I arrived at the lake just before first light and as there was two guys night fishing on the main bank i set up on the far bank putting one rod just before half way to a gravel bar and a rod down my left hand margin about 20 yard up the bank.  Anyhow my rods set i settle in to my first brew of the day and with that two guys I met the week before arrive on the other bank on the other side of the lake.  I thought nothing else of it till one of the guys bait in hand walks round the whole lake to drop his bait in my margin just 10 yards up my bank!  I politely said i have got a bait in the margin there mate and you will be over my line.  To this the guy walked round the bank telling his mate I had bait in the margin to which a barrage of "i don't give a "£$% ill cast over his lines" "I'm facing his bank i can fish in a straight line to that bank" and so for the rest of the bay the "whispering" continued (there not the quietest).

Now I see myself as a genuine, nice mannered and decent guy and after years fishing empty banks with my uncle I must say I am not used to feelings of anger and down right frustration on the bank when fishing, especially to other, I was going to say anglers, but i could teach our little girl to walk a bait round the other side of a lake and wait for a bite to be frank.  I must say its left a bad tinge and has really effected my fishing and i know it should not but it does and I am not alone one guy passed me this week who packed in not long after their arrival saying I cant be doing with the noise and constant shouting and he packed in!!.  Anyhow back to the problem I am a fond believer in if you want to fish a certain area so badly or peg then you dam right make sure you get on the bank before anyone else does, I wanted the far bank to discover a new area so I got out of bed and got my back side to the lake.  Any how rant over ha-ha.

I am making this carp quest sound a right doom and gloom but I guess the events above and me knowing i was documenting them in this blog have tinged the introduction with a tinge of upset and well to be frank disappointment. The reality is that a lot of the time spent on this water has been during the change from winter to full on spring and I have to say for the wildlife alone this place is a real mecca.  There are currently a family of grebes on the lake that this week have brought their young out of the nest and onto the main lake, boy do they consume a lot of fish a day!  There is also three families of coots that are constantly at war with one that has a nest right in the bank margin and I know for a fact she is currently on eggs.  To the skies and the recent warm weather has seen the buzzards out soaring above the pit and this week I even saw a kingfisher flash across my swim.  The sad news this week is that the family of swans I wanted to document as they courted, nested and brought up a family have sadly moved on and I think it may have to do with a local predator as there is the skeletal remains of a swan in the wooded part of the pit from a while ago, i fear these swans may have been spooked off by this predator.   Great fun is never to far away and the three bulls in the field behind me brighten up long bite less day on the bank so charismatic and some of the faces they pull crack me up.

Away from angling this time of year has become synonymous with one bird for me and that is the osprey and to be more direct about it the known birds that return each year from Africa to the Dyfi project in Wales.  Long term readers of my blog will remember i covered this project last year and I was really made up recently when Glensi and then Monty returned back to the nest.  Things have quietened down of late as for the passed week or so there has been a monumental battle between Glensi and Blue24 for the rights to the nest which is prime real estate in these parts for sure.  A link is attached below to the Dyfi site so if your interested in Wildlife i am sure you will love this little slice of wildlife bliss that's documented every year.

Dyfi Project website:

Closer to home I have also seen a few migrants arriving of late arriving in the local area, now i know the lapwing is not so much an immigrant more a gypsy traveller in winter to mainly coastal areas but the arrival of them back in the local fields around the area is a sure sign the weather is set to drastically improve and become more stable and warm.  Along with these arrivals come the long haul travellers in my first swallows skimming the water late in the evening for a lat minute drink and to mop up the first of the fly hatches of this year.  The seasons changing, wildlife and the coming and going of species and being a part of the seasons as they are changing is a magical part of my time on the bank and for me the fishing can be as good or as bad as it wants the wildlife and experiencing nature up close and witnessing such beauties as the first frost or an early morning low lying fog burn from the water or seeing a pair of grebes cautiously coaxing their young from the reeds for the very first time are moments that will live with me forever, truly magical experiences.

And with that its on to this weeks fishing...

Tench Fishing:  Little Billinge the home of Teddy bear eyed monsters???

Another session completed on the carp quest and sat behind silent bite alarms it was time for a change and during the drive home I began to think if what it was I wanted to do so.  Last year I had been quite good at catching tench instead of carp so with that I decided to have a few hours on the Monday afternoon chasing my first tinca of the year.  Sunday evening I began thinking of a plan of attack and rummaging through my old bait in the bait cupboard I cam across two items that had done me well in the passed in a unopened gag of Crab and Garlic monster boilies and a glug pot of the same bait that had been marinating in a glug of hemp oil, korda goo and a secret additive that will remain secret.....forever!.

That night I began making up a few specialised tench rigs for the session ahead, smaller hooks and lighter hook lengths were needed and as I was tying them I began to remember those rod bending runs I was getting on last years carp quest and quite how my results using the same materials could be so different and it was then it struck me something in my set up for the carp water was not right and I needed to begin tweaking in stead of casting out the same set up, any how that is another story.

My tactic for the session was a two pronged approach with a different bait on each rod,  my first rod would of course be on the monster crab and mussel boilie fished with a pva bag of crushed boilie and whole boilies in the bag and the second would be fished with a marine halibut pellet with again a pva bag approach filled with mini pellets hoping to pick up a tench or one of the big bream that live in this lake.

Arriving at the pit around noon I was hoping to sneak in around 6 hours of fishing as I knew I had to be off around 6.30pm to do a few jobs, not exactly the best times for picking up a tench but if i managed to pick up just one fish I would be a happy man.  I set up in a quiet swim towards the far end of the lake presenting one bait along a snaggy margin and the other one into open water to my right

My hope this summer is to get around a document as many waters on the Northwich card as possible to try and get them added to the venues I fish area of the blog, with them being all within a 30 mile radius it should not be a hard task, finding time to fish them may take a little longer though.   The baits set it was time to chill out and relax.

Little billinge sits in the shadow of its bigger brother big billinge, both separated by a road these two pits i believe at one time where connected as one body of water.  Speaking to a number of anglers on the bank over the past weeks it has been common for a few people to repeat the the same story that any tench and big bream the carp anglers catch in big billinge are put into little billinge and given how close these lakes are you can see it happening.  As wrong and i think against the law this is it has left quite a small water in size to be populated with some really special fish with bream to up around double figures and tench again to the same its a place that could really throw up the odd surprise.  The water contains a number of pegs on both banks with the ones as you walk on looking really inviting for the pole angler as the far bank reeds are easily accessible by pole for at least the first 3 pegs after which it becomes wider.

It turned out to be an unplanned social fishing session as Gary and his mate turned up and not long after blog follower scott turned up as well to fish.  Scott had a decent session on the pole taking a few big bream and tench,  Gary and his mate had a steady day on the close in margin line taking countless roach and perch and gudgeon and Gary ended the day with two fantastic tench on the feeder.

I had a few liners giving the presence of fish in the swim away and after around 2 hours the rod screamed away, not used to activity of my new bite alarms panic set in which saw me striking the wrong rod to the amusement of the baying crowd (cant believe i am admitting to this).  Anyhow after realising my comical error I struck to second rod and was into a hard fighting fish that I must admit a played lightly being the first decent fish in ages I had hooked into.  A prolonged battle later the fish was in the net waiting to be unhooked.

This gave me a chance to get some practise in for when I eventually connect with these carp so it was out with the unhooking mat and the weight sling.  I was also using my 42inch landing net which I thought was great as it kept the fish quiet ans secure in the margin and allowed me to unhook and place the tench in the weigh sling in the water.

Like most of my purchases of late they will cross over into my winter pike fishing and I can see the weigh sling being a great bit of kit next season and the large landing net has also got me thinking of picking up a large rubber net for the piking as well.

The tench went exactly 5lb on the scales and being a male bodes well for the possibility the females could go to double figures.

Well packing away at 6.30 i certainly felt like i was leaving at the wrong time of day but needs must and getting out as much as I do I can't really complain.

till next time i wish you all

tight lines


Friday, 11 April 2014

Wildlife And Childhood Memories of Wiggs Island

A warm welcome to this weeks blog update I hope I find you all full of the joys of spring the fields are awash with all the colours of spring from bright yellow daffodil's to ivory white blossom on the trees its a great time to be out and about in this wonderful country of ours and even better when your wetting a line at the same time.  I passed a field on the way to the water I am fishing for the Carp Quest this year and it was a joy to see a whole field full of early season rape seed a field of bright yellow situated amongst empty barren fields it was a joy to see but alas situated right on a 50mph country road with no lay byes I will have to wait till I spot another opportunity elsewhere to capture a similar image.

In all honesty my time over the past week has been crammed with all things around the Carp Quest 2014, preparing rigs, buying gear, pluming depths and actually fishing the venue have all dominated my time of late with all things angling and as such I was left on Friday night with a decision to make.  Do I go fishing for silvers and put a net together for my normal blog update on a Friday night or do I go "all in" and risk it all to devote a day and a half to just the quest hoping to get a quick result on it, I decided to go with the "all in"  mentality and devoted all weekend to the quest.  Most of my spare time away from family life has been spent putting together the introduction for the Carp Quest 2014 and also beginning to write up the first few sessions i have been fishing on it, as of right now the Introduction is wrote and needs pictures adding and the first two session on the bank are ready to be added in the next day or so.  This weekend I am certainly going to be dividing my time between the quest and I actually feel like doing some fishing for some tench on one of the Northwich Anglers waters.

To keep up with the Carp Quest in more detail you can follow this link here: Carp Quest 2014

Regular readers of my blog will know how much I love my Rivers and trotting them but will also know how much I feel it hinders my ability to capture on film the beautiful sights and special moments I see with regards British wildlife,  many times on the river I will see a kingfisher or a bird of prey but not have time to grab the camera, these few carp sessions already have provided me with so much opportunity to capture some special memorable moments.

The moment I walked onto this new water I instantly fell in love with the wildlife and tranquil nature of the place from its location I knew i was going to be treated to beautiful sunrises over farmers fields and special sunsets as the Sun drops behind the far bank trees I was not let down when the time came to spend some early mornings and late evenings on this water.

Sunrise and the rods are out:-

The sun beams through the trees at sunset.

On my first visit when i was just plumbing depths I was delighted to see a pair of swans that had decided to call this place home, my mind thought back to the pair I had become so attached to over the years on Almere Ferry on the River Dee and it was another piece of the jigsaw that made this place the right place for this Quest.  Over the next few trips either fishing or just drooping in for signs of fish locations a routine emerged where the swans would travel out to the middle of the lake in the middle of the morning and early evening and putting on a display of perfect symmetry.  One one of the following trips I was delighted to capture on camera one of those special pictures that I feel sums up spring time, a time where all wildlife is most certainly 'twitterpated'. (props to anyone who gets that word).

Being such a small water and swans being so territorial it came as no surprise when the male swan became instantly angered by the arrival of any other swan intruders on HIS lake.  On one session on the Saturday I counted 20 individual swans he saw off.  The lake may contain a fair number of king carp but in reality this is where the royalty of the lake reside, i wonder how long it will be before she begins construction of her nest castle.

The next daily arrival on the pool are a pair of Canadian geese, they arrive at 10am and 6pm every day, they land on the lake and then walk to the farmers field along side to water eat and then leave.  I wonder what it is about this grass that appeals to them so much and it left me wondering how many fields they fly over to get to this one patch.  I am almost certain they are the same birds each day.

Wildlife wise I saved the best till last in my opinion and it may surprise you as there are so many of these about but over the few sessions i have managed to befriend a drake.  I have called him Ashley on the grounds of the similarities to the amount of diving both him and his name sake Ashley Young of Manchester United do.

I must say I felt sorry for this guy as there are two pairs on the lake of ducks and drakes and he is literally the gooseberry of both of them, smaller in size than his rivals every time one of the females is ready to mate he takes a right pasting from the other drakes.  Dejected and looking down in the dumps he drifted over to me and I treated him to some of my sweetcorn, it seemed to perk the little fella up and I'm thinking of spiking my next batch with some body building power bulk him up a bit ha ha, poor fella.

More to come on the wildlife on this water and others I visit over the next coming weeks I am sure there will be plenty of arrivals as spring progresses.

The next bit of news I wanted to add is that the competition for blog followers to win a free Canvas of their own design from has gone live on the blogs Facebook Page.  Entering the draw is simple you need to fill the following criteria:

1) Be someone who LIKES Dannys angling blog page on Facebook
2) LIKE and SHARE at least on of the posts advertising this competition over the next few days.

Link to the blogs facebook page is here:

Closing date for entries is midnight Wednesday 16th April and winners will be announced in that weeks blog update and on Facebook. Good luck!!

This week me, my little girl, my dad and brother took the rare opportunity for us all to be together to take our Cocker Spaniel, Pipper Wolfey ey for a long afternoon walk.  We chose Wiggs Island as our destination and it brought back so many childhood memories especially when we reached the lost canal.

As a kid the whole of Wiggs island was open for people to walk on the land and you could walk from Wiggs island to Warrington along the road.  Venturing off the beaten path playing foxes and hounds as a kid you would see plenty of wildlife and also you would come across the lost canal.  A stretch of water that was tinged with a slight bit of colour and was alive with fish from roach, tench and crucian carp it was a childhood dream fishing spot and we spent many a day on its banks.

This all paints a pretty picture of rabbit filled meadows and trees full of birds but the true reality of this places sinister past was highlighted in the 1990's when fencing went up across the path and first field and a gate was erected to only allow waggons through.  As mischievous teenagers we learnt that at low tides you could walk around the gate and come up the wall the other side and we many a time snook in the back route.  What we saw still is clear as a bell to me this day as we came across many blue barrels with corrosive signs on them and many deformed rabbits, may have been myxomatosis looking back.  Venturing to the lost canal i remember it being a vibrant brown copper colour all along its length, it looked dead.

Over the years I have looked into wiggs island's history and it was actually a site in the war called Hush Hush where mustard gas was produced for the World Wars and upon speaking to my dad it turns out that his mother and my grandmother actually worked in hush hush during the war efforts. There is also a landfill site on there that explains why access was still needed by the lorries and also a great amount of the site is owned over the years by I.C.I.  The canal apparently was a testing site for the mustard gas bombs or maybe for the manufacturing process which may explain the unusual colour of it.

In recent years the site has been radically transformed into a nature reserve of all things, paths have been built, bird hives have been erected and the fences taken down.  Its a beautiful place to look at and contains a vast amount of wildlife now and when I visit I always take a second to think whether any of the people walking those paths knew it as I did and its past.  So what of the Lost canal, well it is still there today as you can see and was actually recently stocked with fish again it is now gin clear but if you look towards the far end you can still see the odd sign of brown copper leaking into the canal.

This week I also noticed that the blog had passed the 150,000 views mark, I must say when I started writing these rambles its a situation I never thought I would ever reach but I guess I treat it like I do my fishing, I put 100% into it and try to make a conscious effort to update it whether I catch or not.  I am immensely proud of this blog I publish at thoroughly enjoy thinking up of new ideas for its content each week, where it will lead god only knows but all I can say is so far its been a joy to write it each week and long may the fun continue.

till next week I wish you all,

Tight lines


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