Saturday, 24 May 2014

Margin Carp on the Pin and Rixton Litter Email.....

A warm welcome to this weeks blog update and if it is anything like the weather this week then it certainly is a warm one. I start this week with the great news that RiverFest 2014 has officially sold out completely meaning all pegs for all matches are now sold, great news for the organisers and great news for river angling in general.  This year the Riverquest competition will take in all types of river venues around the country from matches on fast flowing rivers where trotting a float will be key to slow rivers like the river weaver where pole fishing will come into its own.  Although i did not enter the competition this year i am hoping to get down to the weaver to see the Riverfest qualifier. Good luck and tight lines to all that entered this year.

In keeping with the start of the river season i was busy this week scouring the Internet for the best deals available for bulk purchases of hemp seed.  My river fishing is predominantly hemp and either castor or maggot based so splitting the purchase of a bulk order with my uncle can see us saving a good deal of cash especially as we both do not mind cooking it ourselves.  The river weaver is going to feature a lot this year and it is a river that can demand a lot of feed so i am also looking at bulk buying some brown crumb to bulk out ground bait mixes, storage is going to be one of the main issues i will face though.

The opening weekend of the season can be a big let down for rivers but fishing it is a tradition i have kept up since i started fishing the rivers a few years ago and to be honest in that time we have built up a great portfolio of river venues to choose from so on the opening day i will be spoilt for choice on where to actually visit.  The past few years i have visited the river dee and the river dane and done OK on both venues but this year i think the opening trip should spell out a president for the season ahead so i am thinking of starting on a new water and begin the adventure of discovery from the opening weekend, start as you mean to go on.

last year opening weekend trip:

Moving along and this week amongst other emails i received from people who read the blog was a very unique email from a person who has nothing at all to do with angling but shares a very special venue in rixton clay pits with anglers to pursue his passion for wildlife and who can blame him rixton clay pits has to be one of the best places around for all types of wildlife.

The email was sent to me after he came across one of my previous blog posts whilst searching for information on Rixton.  The blog post i wrote was around litter left by anglers around this venue and how it put angling in a bad light.  The blog post can be found here for those wanting to read it:

This email starts off with praise for myself in dispelling the myth that not all anglers out there dump litter and do not care about the environment around us when we wet a line and moves on to mention some of the disgusting sights he has witnessed while wandering round the lake we fish from bin bags hanging in trees, wellingtons boots and broken fishing brolly's dumped in the bushes too the litter just dumped on the pegs fished by anglers.

The person in this email goes to show just what an effect litter has on the reputation of angling and how the sheer lazy act of dumping litter or not taking it home shows not only all of us who wet a line there but angling in general in such a bad light.  Don't get me wrong littering is not just confined to the angling world and is a problem in society in general but i do think it is a problem in angling that should not be there at all as it is as simple as taking a carrier bag and of course remembering to take it home with you and if you are taking tins of sweetcorn or luncheon meat for bait then open them at home and take them in a bait box.  And as for cans of lager and leaving the packaging on the bank then that is just beyond unacceptable on a water that is a breding ground for so many water birds.

As an angler i feel privileged to fish some beautiful venues and Rixton clay pits is up there with the best of them that i have the pleasure to fish on.  The blog posts i update on my blog for Rixton are always popular updates and i have no doubt that these attract the attention of some of the people who do leave litter.  I am not a person who uses my blog to preach my beliefs on the right and wrong ways of fishing but if you are one of these people who does leave litter on the pegs or in the trees or even in the car park please take take some responsibility and think just what a bad light it puts angling in when you leave litter and PLEASE take it home with you.  Rixton Clay pits are a SSS! (Site of Special Scientific Importance) and as such we should be doing all we can not to put our angling rights on this magnificent place at risk.

In keeping with wildlife this week's fantastic weather gave myself, my partner and our little girl plenty of opportunities to get out in the nice weather.  Trips to the local park saw us hounded by countless inquisitive squirrels, who i have to say absolutely love Cheesy Wotsits to the delight of the children feeding them, not their natural diet or pine cones and nuts but given they live in a public busy park I'm guessing they see their fare share of fast food!

Later in the week we went out to the local park and was delighted to peek though a gap in the reeds as see a swan on her nest incubating her eggs and in typical urban fashion a wooden pallet was used as structural support.  Fantastic how nature adapts and fits in to the world created by ourselves, utilising every opportunity no matter how unnatural it may seem.

on to this weeks fishing.....

Carpin on the Pin at Flushing Meadows Fishery

The weekend just past i was sat deciding where to fish and really could not decide what to do, my head wanted me to go spend a day for the carp on the carp quest but my heart wanted to have some fun in the sun and knowing how finicky the carp are on the carp lake i knew in the heat they would be up on top swimming round in the middle all day.  With this in mind i decided to visit a fishery i have not visited in a few months now in Flushing Meadows Fishery.

Arriving at the gates at 6.30am it was not long before i was joined by a growing line of cars waiting for this fishery to open, a sight that emphasises the popularity of this fishery.  I am not an anti social angler but its safe to say i like my peace and quite and with this amount of attention i was eager to get my own little area away from the groups.  The snake lake and the canal are always choker and i i was pleased to see the cars pulling off the main track in all directions behind my car as i headed along the track, one by one the queue dispersed till there was just me and a small overgrown pond left.

Fun was the order of the day so i came armed with only my 13ft float rod and my centre pin.  The carp in here range from ounces to over ten pounds but a good fish is normally around the 8lb mark, in all my time fishing here i am yet to catch a double, so i picked my pin loaded with 5lb power silk line.

When i do fish this place and decide to fish a pond or lake with other anglers i am constantly amazed by how many plumb up one or two rod lengths out in the deepest water and feed it heavily, sometimes with two tins of corn, believe me it happens and some people have no problem of doing it yards from your swim, these people then wonder why they sit looking at a still float for hours, another reason why i seek solidarity on this place.

In reality the fish in here can be caught on a single grain or corn or meat or maggot (if you can  get it through the silvers) just inches from the bank.  The picture above showing the maximum i ever fish out on this place as the fish are literally under your feet.  This place is a very easy fishery indeed but it is only easy if you are quiet and light footed around the banks and are putting the bait in the right areas, presented correctly.  The bait in a known spot it was not long before the float shot under an the first fish was on the bank, a small palm sized carp, perfectly proportioned and mint condition.

With this fishery containing so many fish you never really know what the next fish will be and even using bigger baits can see you connected with smaller carp and sometime believe it or not roach.  During the early part of the day i found it hard to search out the bigger carp as my bait was snaffled by small carp.  Moving around the pool it was amazing to see that in one swim i caught around 10 crucian carp on the bounce and this was the only swim on the small pond i caught crucian carp from all day.  Each swim i left i popped in a small hand full of bait so i could fish the swims in rotation but not enough to ruin the fishing should someone else turn up and want to fish the swim.

Sneaking round the different vacant overgrown swims i soon got to the last swim in the corner and a few tell tale swirls in the margin gave away the presence of some better fish so dropping the float in the margin i sat like a patient heron while the line tantalisingly flicked off the feeding carps fins.  Eventually the float shot under and a massive swirl erupted as the carp shot out of the margins.

the noise of line coming off a centre pin takes some beating in my opinion, although this will certainly need some oil before the river season.

eventually a nice 5lb carp was on the bank.

The bites where none stop all morning as i moved between the swims picking up the odd carp from each swim along with a rogue tench.

As the morning lazily moved on towards midday the carp started to show in the margins as they basked in the scotching heat, a new challenge now presented itself as floating baits are not allowed in this fishery so pieces or meat where teamed with bread crust so the meat fell slowly as possible through the water columns and proved to be a meal the carp could not resist.

the targets.. 

on the bank

I only had till around 1pm and thoroughly enjoyed catching a number of smaller carp on the drop over the next hour

1,30pm came round and it was time to pack in the knees of my jeans stained with mud and my arms red with nettle stings i looked like a ten year old kid and felt like it, it was great, fantastic in fact.  I walked back to the car past two ponds full to the brim with anglers all hunched round one lake, fighting for room and the fishes attention.  I left a happy angler, worth every penny of the 7 pound day ticket, did i have fun? You bet i did.

till next time i wish you all tight lines


Friday, 16 May 2014

Day to forget and Danny Fairbrass New Organisation...

A warm welcome to this weeks blog update and after a week trying to sort out the camera for last weeks update and me being laid up in bed all this weekend with a bug i thought it best to just recap the past two weeks in one update which gets everything nicely up to date and in order.

I normally start with an introduction and then move onto the fishing but this week i am going to be a little different and get the fishing out of the way first and then move onto a few topics i wanted to discuss.  The only time i have been out fishing in the past week or so was a Sunday morning trip to Little billinge where i was hoping to connect with a tench or two.  It always great to see a friendly face on the bank and Sunday was no different and i was really pleased to bump into Ade Green who had chosen Little billinge as his destination on this fine morning as well.

The fishing on this venue has been slow to say the least of late and those anglers targeting tench and bream have saw bites hard to come by.  The morning session brought a solitary bream for Ade and a lost tench, for myself I had a screamer of a run on my left hand rod, so violent it had the rod bent in half and pulled off the rest, lifting the rod i was met with nothing at all, how is that even possible?  The rod reset it was not long before it was off again and i was connected with a hard fighting tench that had me all over the place, under and over my other rod and then back into the middle, eventually it came into the edge and just about ready when the hook pulled, again it baffles how a fish can be on for so long and fight so hard all over the place for a good 2 minutes to then part the hook at the last minute.

Come 1pm the action had ceased completely to the point there were 7-8 anglers all staring lazily at floats or tips that stubbornly remained inactive.  I decided to call it a day and head off to the small pond for some roach action hoping to spend the rest of the afternoon bagging up on fat roach.  A quick nip home to change set ups i was on my way armed with my seatbox and pole and half a pint of maggots and corn for bait.

The seat box positioned and a new rig made up i took my time to make sure i was comfortable and ready.   My aim was to put together a net of quality roach so i started off on corn.  The float settled and no sooner had the bait hit the bottom the float was under, i lifted and the float stayed in the water and my pole lifted, using blue hydro i was perplexed, the bottom? then the bottom realised it was hooked and with that a strong solid run to the heavy weed in the middle of the lake where all became solid, on light elastic there was literally nothing i could do to stop it.  Some may say it was careless angling but from my point of view i was fishing a pond where i had only ever caught roach, rudd, perch and bream so my elastic was perfect in my opinion for the quarry.  This was almost certainly a carp or big tench in the way it went solidly to the weed and really shocked me.

Left connected with weed i managed to get hold of the elastic and began to pull for a break and eventually back came the elastic, only problem was it came back with no connector! Great, could this day get any worse, 2 lost fish and my only top kit i had brought roach fishing left useless by a big fish.  Tail between legs i wrapped in and headed back home, my dad amazed to see me so quickly.  Maybe i should have quit while i was behind, hey ho that is fishing.

Well that's the way my fishing seems to be going at the moment and as i have said many times on here before, you fish every week of the year, you take the highs and you suffer the lows but its all part of this blogging diary of an angler.

Danny  Fairbrass's New Venture

  Without doubt the biggest news of recent times in the angling world has been the announcement by Danny Fairbrass around him setting up an organisation to protect waters all across the UK and help preserve fishing from otters for generations to come so they can enjoy a sport he loves so much.  First of all I think we need to take our hats off to Danny for using his own money to get this project off the ground as to begin with this project will have no way of making money to pay the people he needs to, to complete the work.   I also think it is refreshing to see someone come up with an idea to tackle the issue of otters in this country that doesn't involve anglers being stood outside the houses of Parliament trying to get laws bypassed to cull 'problem' species like otters and cormorants.  I think these, as much as they are well intended, do nothing to promote angling in any better light than the mindless barbarians who recently gained a right to deal with a TB problem by culling countless numbers of badgers and look how well that has sorted out this initial problem, so from that point of view i think his idea is a really refreshing.

Now in the past week or so Danny has come in for some flack from some quarters and i have to think that he must have expected this when he first decided to go public with the idea.  The main areas he has come under scrutiny from are:

- The purchasing of waters, fencing them all off will see many waters across the country out of the reach of many anglers and will turn them into venues for Fairbrass and his mates ala fairbrass mere. 

- This is just a publicity stunt to generate more money for his company Korda in the way that more waters across the country that are associated with Danny means more people look at what he sells which means bigger profit margins for Korda. 

- This is all about Carp and preserving carp fishing and does nothing for coarse anglers and this will just mean the protection of waters that contain many silver fish being out of the reach of silver anglers as they become overrun with carp anglers sighed up to the this organisation in that area. 

These are the main points being aired against Danny at this moment in time, some of them i feel are unjust as lets face it the fact Korda will see an increase in profits from this in the long term is inevitable.  Part of this vision is to offer fishing to the next generation of anglers in this country, this will no doubt involve tuition's being held on these waters and lets face it anyone working for Danny Fairbrass is not going to be using Fox products in their tuition's.  I feel this point is null and void in the fact that i feel profit margins of Korda are the least of his worries i would imagine that company makes vast amounts of money already and as said its inevitable that he will see further increased profits as a result of this for the company, his own personal finances in the short term may even take a hit if as he says it is self funded by himself.

Some of the points do hold some validity though,  Danny has made no attempt to hide the fact that although this organisation wants to help clubs by educating them on how to protect waters and also help out with fencing them off that a big part of his plan is to bid on waters where the leases are coming to an end.  We only need to look at the buying power of clubs like Prince Albert to see how a club with the right backing can basically buy a huge proportion of waters from other clubs as they become available and even they have a massive waiting list given the huge portfolio of waters they own.  If this club does get off the ground and leases are bought as they come up we could see a lot of clubs that rely on there one or two prime carp waters for members being left with little to attract anglers to their club.

Put it like this, for arguments sake Warrington Anglers don't own any of their waters and the lease on Sandiway (a jewel of a carp water for any carp anglers and currently open to otters) and Grey mist mere (a venue with massive history in carping) come up for lease and the club loses these waters to this new venture.  The club if in a good financial state could probably take the hit and try to buy other waters but good carp waters are hard to find, especially with the ever increasing competition form this bigger venture as it snowballs.  I think we would see a huge reduction in membership, its a scenario that is not impossible for many clubs and could soon become a reality.  This purchasing of leases and waters makes it impossible for this venture not to become a Danny fairbrass angling club that you have to join to fish waters that has the added benefit that your money goes towards preserving the fish in its waters with the club and some of the money goes towards fighting predation in the court.

"This Dannys' Problems with it and concerns.."

Now i will move onto a point that has not even been mentioned at all in any shape or form in any of the discussions i have seen and this is around where the otter problem originated, our rivers.  This club promises to fight otter predation and preserve fishing in this country for generations to come, surly this involves protecting our most delicate of ecosystems, our rivers and i am sorry Danny but this problem cannot be solved with fencing.  The idea of fencing off waters in my opinion could be all well and good for preserving stocks in the waters his team fence but i think it could speed up the problems on our rivers, how is that possible you say well...

Lets take for example the River Weaver, a good example as it holds numerous carp stocks, is currently having a otter nature reserve built on its banks and also has a few carp waters along its length.   For arguments sake we will say the river is in a state where like many rivers the fish stocks are just enough to sustain the growing otter population but the otters also dip in and out of the local carp lakes along its length as their easy prey.  The organisation then fence off the five large carp waters along its length completely meaning there is no access to the stocks by the otters.  These otters are not going to just keel over and die over night from starvation, what will happen initially is you will put more pressure on their main source of food which is the river.  Now on the weaver we are blessed with high numbers of silvers but on other river like the ones down south where barbel stocks are being decimated you put even more pressure on these stocks thus speeding up the process of these fish numbers being reduced. 

This speeding up of the process in some eyes might be seen as a good thing, the quicker they starve the quicker their numbers drop and that would be the case if all waters where lakes that you could fence off but we are dealing with rivers here so what you will see is the speeding up of the spread of otters through our rivers as the species spreads along their lengths for food.  The rivers are the arteries of the country as are our canals as such and this pushing of the otters away from still waters simply puts more pressure on rivers and pushes them away from the protected waters but what does it hold for the rivers and the other unprotected waters along their lengths??  

Rivers by their nature are wild and free the anglers that fish them love them for the fact but its this fact that will provide this new venture with the biggest problem.  That is if they even intend to deal with the otter problem on rivers as there has been no mention of rivers so far,  I look forward to hearing their plans for this as it is not as simple as fencing them.  His venture will certainly not loose any momentum or backing by not having a plan for rivers but i do feel it faces loosing credibility by not including them. 

Anyhow thank you for reading this weeks angling blog i hope it all came across on paper how i wanted it to sound and i look forward to hearing you points of view.

till next time 

tight lines 


Friday, 9 May 2014

Evening Roach Fishing and Little Billinge Tench

A warm welcome to this weeks blog update.  I read with interest many reports on Facebook and angling forums about the problems people have been having in receiving their Environment Agency licence this year with some having ordered it over a month ago now and yet to receive their licence and some have also reported that their licence did not come away from the letter cleanly leaving white paper on the front of the licence.  I was very late ordering mine this year and it was midday on the Friday before the end of March I finally ordered mine and I have to I did not experience any problems in receiving my licence which arrived the following Wednesday but I did experience the problem with the front being left slightly defaced as the licence did not come cleanly from the letter.  The Environment Agency have issued a statement assuring all anglers who have received an on line confirmation email or had a receipt from the Post Office will receive a licence by the end of May and anglers should continue to use these in the meantime to prove they have purchased a rod licence.  The statement also confirmed the delay is down to a problem with printing.

Right now the opening of the river season officially is next month and although still around 6 weeks away just saying next month makes it seem a lot closer and as such over the passed few days I have allowed my thoughts to drift to that magical opening day.  I have of course booked the day off work,well i tell a lie my boss had already booked it in the diary this year before i even asked and i do have a trip planned for the opening day.  The next river season will see me fish the River Weaver and River Dane a lot more where i hope to connect with some of the better silvers in this river and in winter do battle with some River Weaver pike.  As always I am excited for the season to come and I cant wait for the new season to arrive.

Trips like this one a few weeks ago now just wet the appetite enough to make you start dreaming of silver darts and fat chub.


This passed week or two I have made a concious effort to get completely away from the Carp quest, clear my mind and just do some other fishing and that has taken the form of some pond fishing and tench fishing.  The decision to take a break was one that was hard to make as in my heart i wanted to be at the water side as many hours as i could but it is not till you step aside you realise you are just ploughing time and effort in the wrong areas and with tactics that are not working, you sometimes only realise this when you take a step away and allow yourself time to think and summarise where you are up to with it.  The break as you will read below proved to be just the tonic i needed and was certainly the right decision.

Moving on and looking forward to this bank holiday weekend and i am hoping to get out on the bank for at least two sessions.  One thing i normally do when wanting to target just bigger fish isto spend the morning on one venue and then drop back onto another for silvers around midday giving me the best of both worlds so over the two days i will almost certainly be fitting in some silver fishing and  some hours in pursuit of Mr cap and tench.  If your out this weekend then tight lines for your session and why not drop in on  the blogs Facebook page and let us know how you got on with your trip.

blogs facebook page:

on to the fishing:

Thursday Evening 5pm-7.20pm - Pond Fishing: Dog Roach on Corn..

After having only limited time the previous week at this pond i was eager to try and get a few more hours in there after work.  Now on the last trip i mentioned that the roach were strangely absent on that trip so i was eager to try and connect with a few of them.  I had hoped to try and get a full day on this water but to date i have not really had time to dedicate to this place.  I am quite an organised person when it comes to my fishing and although the exact location on the river trips may change on the night before the type of fishing i am doing is normally set in stone and this week i knew i wanted to devote a few hours on Sunday to my tench fishing.

I managed to winkle another early dart from work and as with the carp fishing, pole fishing, can be such a time forgiving vein of our sport as in not time at all i was at the side of a pond, pole put together and a pre tied rig loped to the end of the elastic and ready for my first put in.  I came armed with only the remains of the half pint of maggots from the weekend that where mainly casters by this point and a half tin of sweetcorn.  My plan was to start off on maggot and feed the odd bit of corn hoping to attract the better roach in and then fish corn for the last hour of the session.  The first put in on maggot resulted in a tiny perch, not the start i was after but my worries where soon put aside as the very next put in the float slid away confidently and a swift strike resulted in elastic melting from the tip, my prize? a plump roach above.

In all angling i believe the key to catching fish consistently, especially silvers, is feeding and you can get it so wrong.  My uncle is very good at trotting a float down  a river and catching fish but it is his feeding of the swim that keeps the fish coming.  I have sat there many a time and got off to a flyer when fishing but not fed the swim well and before i have realised it the swim is ruined or I have fed too heavily and the fish have moved up in the swim, its exactly the same on still waters, you need to keep the fish where you are fishing and feed to keep them there. A good way of thinking about it is to always be thinking in your mind you are there to catch the fish not to feed them.

I began drip feeding 2 or 3 maggots and the odd grain of corn, waiting for bites to dry up before feeding again to draw the fish from the safety of the cover.  The fishing in that first hour was patchy with one decent roach followed by a wait for a small perch, I knew the better fish where about as past experience of this venue has taught me that they really do shoal on here and once you hit one nice roach your in for a decent number of them.  I made one change at this point and it still amazes me each time how little changes can have such dramatic results.  A move over to a tiny piece of corn on a size 18 hook saw roach after roach come to the bank.

The quality and quantity of the fish even shocked me and i have fished this pond for many years now and this session put this tiny spit of a pond in a different league for me as roach and rudd between 6oz to a pound came with great regularity and yet another surprise came in the last few put ins with this roach bream hybrid below.

I really am going to have to dedicate a full day to this pond sometime to see just what weight i can out together.  Sweetcorn on the night was the killer bait and picked out the better fish time and time again and i would say the majority of the final net came in the last hour of the session.  My eye on the clock it was one of those sessions that passed by all to fast and one i did not want to come to an end.  I left it until as late as i could before calling it a day.  Leaving this secluded intimate venue after catching a nice net of roach i was more than made up with my few hours fishing.

Saturday: Morning Session On Little Billinge for Tench

The past week or so I have been preferring short sessions as opposed to the mammoth 12 hour sessions we do on the river and there is one good reason for this.  I hoped that i would get more out of my fishing if i fished with full concentration for a few hours rather than 12 hours where after around 8 hours of the session sat behind bite alarms i found myself not really enjoying it and actually wanting to go home.

Saturday morning and arriving at Little Billinge on the Northwich card whilst it was covered it a thick blanket of fog was very atmospheric to say the least, especially as the road where you park actually dissects big and little billinge.  I settled down in the swim furthest from the entrance as basically it looked the best swim with a marginally sunken tree and plenty of open water it looked like it screamed tench and carp.  I cast one rod along side the the tree and the other just up the nearside margin hoping to pick up any patrolling fish.

The morning brought all manner of visits from wildlife including herons, kingfishers, woodpeckers, lapwings and wood pigeons the name a few and it was great to take in the world as it awakened from its overnight slumber.  I was amazed to see that i was the only person to visit the lake early that morning and only shared it with a lad that was on a night session, his unhooking mat hooked up to dry giving away some night time captures.  The rods remained silent all morning apart from the odd liner and it was not until around 12 noon when the bailiff arrived i was dropped a few hints on where the carp and tench had been showing of late i decided to move.

With only a hour and half of the session left I deemed it was worth at least a hour or so in this new spot before i called it a day.  Twenty minutes in and the alarm sounded out a short set of bleeps and the bobbin shot to the top, watching a few carp blogs on Youtbube all say this is you getting done over when the fish had sucked in the bait but not got hooked, being an optimist i saw this as a good sign rather than reminiscing on the fact i had not got a fish.  It was certainly more action than I had experienced in the morning.

The time slipped away and in what felt like no time at all i was looking at around 20 minutes of fishing time left before i had to leave.  Another blank was looking to hit the blog until right on last knockings as i stood to bring the first rod in it shot into life the alarm giving a complete one toner i quickly lifted into what felt like a really nice fish that had me in all types of trouble on the far bank as it went under my other rod, its all well and good having two rods in the water but i tell you what soon as you get a run you wish it wasn't there at all!.  The fish away from the bank came in like a wet lettuce with no fight at all to the point i felt like it had come off, very strange i thought as i slipped the net under a pristine looking female tench.

on the scales she went just over 5lb.

It wasn't till i lifted the fish from the weigh sling to put her back in the net for release i noticed her tail, well lack of to be more precise.  The tail had completely gone which must give this fish problems moving around but upon release did not seem to bother her one bit as she shot away.  The injury looked old and healed over and she was obviously feeding well at 5lb and in great condition.  Asking on the Internet the general consensus that this was a injury due to infection or disease that eats away at the tail when its young till the tail flesh is gone, sad really.

Well i leave you with a picture of Nemo the tench and until next week i wish you all

tight lines


(late blog this week due to problems getting pictures from camera)