Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Cheshire Fisheries Pool 3 A New Adventure...

A warm welcome to this weeks blog update i hope i find you all well and your nets wet.  Well as mentioned in last weeks blog the river season for me ended as drab as the season its self really with my car breaking down.  The car back on the road and a weeks fishing missed i was as keen as ever to get out on the bank.

I had been told a few times by my mate about a fishery out Beeston way that was a really enjoyable place to fish and after nipping through a week or so ago to pick up a few lures i though why not give it a go?  So with my uncle about to go into his out of river season getting house jobs done mode i managed to persuade him to visit this fishery for one session before his hibernation.

The introduction this weeks includes a little on how my two trips to a proper commercial have changed my opinion on these waters and then the last piece of the introduction is a look at a reviews away from the bank and how they have been to test and write about.  The fishing is our first trip to Cheshire Fisheries.

Commercial Appeal..

In all my blogs i have always been brutally honest on my feelings around commercials and how they have sculpted and changed fishing in the UK in only a short time span.  I still am of the opinion they are the main reason why our banks are so empty on the rivers and canals and i think that is now widely accepted as fact in the angling community.  What i didn't realise is why the people where so in love with these places that to this point, fishing flushing meadows, where as described by the masses muddy holes in the ground full of carp.

On this session i found my self on the banks of a proper fishery, one where time had been invested over the years to produce somewhere that both looked a joy to fish but also had the amenities like a tackle shop on site and even toilets!!!

The banks on both sessions where quite busy, more so on the second session, but it gave me a chance to see what type of people where attracted to a top end fishery and the answer shocked me, all ages of all abilities! And the penny soon dropped, it was more than just the fishing why there people chose to come here.  The fishing for someone who can fish is easier than most places lets not be silly about that but when you looked at it as a whole package why wouldn't people fish here?

The banks where laden with hard core, relatively flat and even and the first pool you could literally fish out of the car park.  Litter bins all over the fishery and benches to eat your lunch at and given the fact there are literally over a 100 pegs there was no fighting or getting up at 4am to get a swim like we do on one of the rivers we fish.  As one guy i over heard said "that was a cracking breakie at Toby carvery this morning set me right up for a days fishing!".  It made me realise that everyone elses idea of fishing is not the same as my get out the crack of sparrows fishing and it really did make me look at it from a different angle.

I then noticed the sheer amount of tackle some of the, i presume, match men or guys who to them this is their fishing brought to the bank and safety must come into it.  I know when i fish the local canal i lean back on my heals as each person passes in case you get that one person who thinks its funny to push you in.  Never mind the fact if you ever got your gear stolen, safely was also an obvious reason why fisheries have become to places to go for people and you know what after my two trips i can see why!!  I see it now and although i could not myself fish a place like this every week i can see myself venturing here through the year and to others similar.

As a complete package its got huge appeal.  Even this bank holiday weekend just gone i was thinking of going the canal.  Early season its never amazing fishing and then i thought about the multitude of boats come 9am and of course watching my back for bikes, joggers and dog walkers every bite of put in, in short i found myself again on Cheshire fishery, more on that next week as i was a man with a plan on that session.

Blogging For Product Reviews...

As always the blogs email and social media pages have been full of questions around all my fishing but there have been quite a few in the past few weeks around blogging and product reviews.  The past few weeks there has been a few reviews on this page and it does seem to people new to my blog that companies are lining up to be featured on the blog, this is far from the truth.  One question i get a lot is:

"I have just started writing a blog, no companies have got in touch how long will it take?"

The truth is as a blogger starting out you are in a vast world of angling blogs already and if you are setting one up just to get free stuff then you are going to be sadly disappointed  My advise is to write a blog about your fishing to the best of your ability and try and find something that will make your blog stand out form the rest, update regular and in time the companies will come to you, but never expect them.  

I get quite a few companies get in touch now and believe it or not i turn more down than i accept as a lot am and not able to relate back to fishing in any way.  For me, i love the reviews they are like the little bits of extra fun on top of a blog i already love writing but the blog is not written as a means for getting 'free stuff'.

On a product review front it has been a really exciting period with the octoplus box review not live and the stinky stuff one in last weeks blog.  I am currently reviewing the GCell back pack and its already saved my blushes on a recent family trip by charging my phone up so we could get home, of course as soon as a review a back pack with a solar power source a storm hits!!  Still the sessions i have planned reviewing it as soon as the sun comes out will be interesting.

On to the fishing..

Cheshire Fisheries Pool 3

Driving down the A49 at first light we turned off at beeston as the busy A road gave way to a long winding country road that wound its way to a quiet fishery lying the the shadow of the historic castle.  With a back drop if ravens or crows ringing in the early morning air we walked around the fishery.  To be honest most of the pools looked very similar apart from pool 3 that had a high thicket fence behind it and a tree that was submerged in the edges.  

We made our way back to the fishery shop to pay our day ticket and had a good chat with the people on the till who where really helpful with their information.  In short all the pools hold good heads of silvers and carp, all have big carp in and fishing maggot and corn the word was we would have a busy day.  Great we thought as river anglers who fish mainly for silvers we are always happy with the float going under.

Me and my uncle decided to give pool 3 a go and we set up either side of the sunken tree with the plan being that if the wind arrived on this really open fishery it would be over our shoulder and the fence would offer us some protection.  My bait for the day would be around 3 pints of maggots, corn laced with stinky stuff and micro pellets also loaded with cray fish stinky stuff. 

As with all fishing the most important part of the session is the first 10 minutes where you plumb the swim.  I found the bottom of the shelf quite close in at my top section plus my number 4 section and i also found the same depth at my top two plus two sections of pole level with the end of the tree.  My plan was to fish maggot and pellet close in and while i did this i planned to feed the far out line on just corn and micro's.

In keeping with fishery rules i did away with my trusty size 20 micro barb hooks and replaced it with a shark hook sized 16 barbless hook with a 2.7lb main line.  From the first put in i was straight into roach on my near in line and i was shocked at the quality of the roach i was catching from a swim that had literally only had two cad pots full of bait.

A lot of the bites at this early stage where in the drop and even at this early stage i was thinking i would be on for a nice weight of roach if i kept the quality of roach coming for a prolonged period.  My uncle on the peg next to me was fishing caster and although he was waiting a little longer for bites he was also getting a good stamp of roach but the castor was also picking him up the odd carp.

I then struck into a weird bite that saw the float move along the top before sliding under.  To my amazement up came a crayfish!  I had been told about these but i have to be honest i never expected to see one come up in my swim when i lifted the float.  No sooner was it on the bank than it fell of the line and shot back in the pool!  No sooner had i let it go than my uncle latched into one as well, the kray brothers!

These where to be the only two crays we caught all day, thank god, horrible things and what shocked me more was the fact the water was tick quite cold yet under its tail it was loaded with black eggs.  At this stage i was feeding the swim by cad pot each put in and was literally filling the pot full of maggots.  The bites kept coming on the silver line but did eventually slow down and despite little tricks like moving a little past the swim and altering my shot the silver action slowed down.


At this point i moved over to my corn line off the tree that i had primed all morning and took a carp quite quickly, only around the 2lb mark but it was a carp.  This close to the tree it made me think about my choice to bait up so close.  I did not have a puller kit and was on a doubled elastic so it was not a cast of moving them away from the swim more of a case of having no back bone once close in to stop the fish getting into the huge sunken tree to my left.

The time around noon i was sitting it out on corn in the deep water with little success apart from the odd skimmer and roach so i decided to have a plumb around the margin to my right.  I found it went from really shallow close in, inches deep, to around a foot and half on the picture below.  Nicely lined up with a molehill!!  This gave me a cracking point to line up with and i fed on the inside of this mole hill and from previous experience on Flushing meadows in this depth i knew the feeding fish would gradually push bait down the slope so i fed quite a bit inside the mole hill and to kick it of put in a good spread of micro pellets, maggots and corn.

The feeding was not chaotic as in hand fulls of bait, that would come later, it was still a measure amount as i did not know if i would even get a bite down there at this point, remember i had never fished here before so it was all new.  A roach was quick in coming and then a few more came and of a nice quality as well and i was happy that one i would get bites here and also in such a shallow depth my bait was also getting to the bottom and not intercepted on the way down.  It didn't take long for me to strike a zooming bite and the whole margin to boil as a carp angrily left the swim.

Over the next hour or so i slowly picked up roach and the odd carp and at this stage there was little to give the presence of when a carp was there away.  Till around 2pm i was happily picking up the odd carp and enjoying the fight form them, i lost a proper nice one as well, i only saw it once on the top and it looked 10-12lb and i had it on for ages to the point my arm was aching and under my feet i tried to get its head up and was all going well till it saw the tree and it was good night Vienna  The carp to this point where around the 2-4.5lb mark.

After 2pm all changed in the swim i began picking up fish quite quickly after catching the last one and sometimes while playing one fish i would see swirls and tail patterns down my margin to the right as another carp was on the bait.  Missed bites at this point where seeing boils going out the swim as carp spooked in the shallow water and the margin that was, not clear,  but had some clarity was now very coloured up.

At this point i was still feeding by cad pot and was getting to work out the swim.  Pot in some bait and i was laying the rig down the swim to try and avoid the line bites.  It seemed to work a treat and by 3pm i was starting to get a little shocked at the fishing.  The carp where being caught amongst other carp but the swim was just a jacuzzi of boils and tail patterns as the carp with their heads down vacuumed up the bait.

At this point i did away with the cad pot and i was literally throwing bait in by hand, a hand full at a time.  As mat Hayes would say "it was like feeding the monkeys at Dudley zoo".  The bait going in the size of the carp was getting bigger with the fish in the last hour before we packed in all averaging 7-8lb.  Exciting fishing and all on two and three sections of pole.

As time went on i began to think  about how i was going to weigh and photograph the two keep nets i had in.  I knew i had a decent net of silvers already and although these carp where coming one a chuck i was starting to think about the sheer amount of carp in my carp net.  My uncle at this point came over and had a few fish in the swim and even he was shocked at what he saw, it was crazy fishing.

My uncle on the other side of the tree had caught steady all day and he suggested we called it a day as it was heading into the not being able to lift my net territory.  We looked at my uncles net first and when he lifted his net and i saw him get to the cod end of his keep net and he strained to lift his net of silvers i began to think about my net 15 yards away.

I always carry an unhooking mat with me now and my 32inch rubber mesh pike net so with two of us there it was simple to move the fish from the net into landing net.  On the scales it went a barmy 27lb of mainly silver fish with the odd carp.

We then moved over to my swim and we started with the silvers net and repeated the procedure we had on my uncles swim.  The fish put into the large rubber net over an unhooking mat it was quick operation to weigh the net and take a quick picture for the blog.  A 17lb net of silvers and for me had that been all i had caught i would have been over the moon as that alone to me was a cracking days sport.

17lb silvers

We then moved over to the carp and we tried to judge the weight so my scales did now completely bottom out, i was really intrigued to see just how many fish i had caught in those last two few hours.  We weighed the first few carp and took a picture and the net went 37lb.

 37lb carp

We then let these rest in the margin in the big net before letting them go and then brought the keep net out and weighted and photographed the remaining carp.  This second net went 22lb so in total nearly 60lb or carp.

In summary it blew me away completely i was knackered and gobsmacked at what had just happened.  Some regular commercial anglers will probably look at this and say "wow excited over only nearly 80lb of fish" and this might be a poor day for commercial fishing i really don't know.  What did scare me more than anything was the fact that had i carried on fishing till dark the weight it could have been!  Those fish where heavy on the feed and averaging a nice weight  I am sure that would had continued after the light fell and i am confident that 3-4 more carp would have come to take the total on the day to 100lb.  Who knows it might well of died and not got another bite, that's fishing i guess.

My first trip to a proper commercial and i left having gained a new insight into this part of fishing and if I'm honest a greater respect for it.  The fishing was easy at times but looking on the other pools it was quite clear this was not the session going on around the complex so how i fished and fed the swim must have had some impact.  It left me feeling knackered but excited to return and have some fun with this venue before the keep nets where banned for summer.

Till next time i wish you all tight lines


p.s I slept like a log that night

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Stinky Stuff Review And Final Rive roach Session

Stinky Stuff Review - 

Product Information:
Link To Site:
Price: £9.99
Available Flavours: Original, Crayfish, Bubblegum cream, Original Sea and Peeler Crab.
100ml Bottle

Little info on Stinky Stuff: 

Stinky Stuff has been in development for the past two years. Starting from a concept of breaking down other baits and finding the core amino acid from each bait that was attracting fish to feed.We also looked at the natural environments of fish, natural food sources and circumstances that trigger a fish to feed. These circumstances are not always associated with the actual food or bait, they might be climate or other chemical and nutrients in the water. All of this information was collated into a database, now locked away in safe.

We are proud of the fact that Stinky Stuff has gone through in depth research, development and testing and through to achieving an off the shelf product. Stinky Stuff is aquatically safe, environmentally safe and in balance with a fish' digestive system.

My Review:

'Impressed with Development"

For my review i requested a bottle of the Crayfish Stinky Stuff.  This was down to the fact i planned to test this bait spray for chub on a river and this river also contains crayfish.  As with all product reviews i do some research on the product before writing the review on it and i was shocked when reading up on the Stinky Stuff just how much effort went into making this spray and more importantly all the science behind how this bait works.  Seeing the bait being developed in a science lab really added that layer of depth to how much time and planning went into this bait enhancer.   Time science behind what they where trying to achieve is broken down well to allow understanding at all levels and i though this was a excellent way of getting the message across.

'All About that Smell'

So as you can imagine with a bait called STINKY stuff the product has to have a bit of a smell to it so i was eager to get my nostrils around this bait enhancer.  When i got home and saw the parcel on the floor of my hall i was dying to see what it smelt like.  I had seen this product getting a lot of attention online and there was plenty of fish captures already coming in so stood in my hall came the first smell test!

"Smells like an Explosion at a Beef Monster Munch Factory"

Before we go any further with this review i would like to add my partner is now speaking to me.  So in the hall i spay the can and straight away it hit me, literally right between the eyes!  This bait is so strong it smelt initially to me like the small you get when you open your bait box on the bank that is full of freshly cut up luncheon meat you know that really heavy meat smell.  Commenting on the products facebook page i saw the quote above and it really does hit the nail on the head, an explosion at a beef monster much factory.  The stuff really does stink, but in a way only an angler would find appealing.

So the spray test done i set about my normally after work routine and it was not until around 2 hours later my partner came home, walking int he door she straight away said "what is that smell".  There and then i thought this has got some potential. It was then i noticed on the products webpage a funny story about the bait in development where people trailing the product had got it on their hands and rang up 3 days later saying they could not get rid of it.  

This product for me was ticking all the boxes for me, a strong meaty smell that we know fish from carp to roach love and whats more for my river fishing a long lasting one that just had to leak of smell over a long time.  It was time to get this product out on the bank.

Proof is in the pudding: 

Stinky Chubbin'

This river season has been the worst season so far and its all about taking small windows of opportunity so with that in mind i headed off to the river with a tin of luncheon meat and a bottle of the stinky stuff.  I only had an hour on the bank and the river was carrying colour so it was ideal conditions as the chub would not be feeding on sight.

It took literally a minute from placing the rod on the rod rest for the tip to tap once and wrap round and i was connected to the solid resistance of a chub.  This chub in the net as to not spook the shoal it was back out with another piece if meat sprayed with stinky stuff.  Again it seemed like no time before the tip shot round again and the second chub had fell to the link ledgered luncheon meat. 

I then lost two chub on the bounce and this is normally the kiss of death for the swim on this river for a good hour and half in some instances.  The swim did die but after around 30 minutes the tip again wrapped round and the third chub of the session was in the net.  I only had a hour for this short chub session and i left with 5 bites and 3 chub.

With product reviews on bait its always a hard review to write as there is no solid facts you can work with as to if it was the bait why the fish took the bait, all i can say is i know this river well and 5 chub in a hour is good going and the fish did come back on the feed a lot quicker than normal after a lost fish.

Something a little different..

So the river for chub was a completed mess every weekend i planned to get out so and i really had to think on my feet as to how to test this product.  Fishing a local commercial for carp on meat i would catch a lot nice roach so i decided to see how if this would be any good in catching roach from a river mixed in with the ground bait.  I mixed my ground bait up as normal, mixing it slightly in the dry side before spraying a liberal amount of the stinky stuff spray into the mix and giving it a good mix.

I fed the swim with a few large balls of ground bait laced with pinkie and fished a morning session using maggot as a hook bait.  As expected the river was carrying a fair amount of colour from recent rain and again i think this is where this bait comes into its own.  It will of course attract fish in clear conditions but i feel its edge will certainly be seen in waters that are coloured.   The fishing was really good and the ground bait fed in small nuggets kept the roach coming.

There are many different bait additives out there on the market and by design this steps outside the box being in the form of a spray.  The smell of this product and its long lasting smell has got to add something to your fishing.  I can see this being a bait that would do really well in my local commercial for carp in the margins and next season when i hope to target barbel.  The proof really is in the pudding and there are already some fantastic fish being caught using this product.  Thumbs up!

Last Session of the River Season -  Stinky Stuff Roach....

So the end of the season has been slowly creeping up on us for a few weeks now and with one week still to go of the season little did i know on this morning i would be on the banks of the river for the last time this season, my car breaking the following Thursday putting pay to my final week river plans.  The river i was fishing was not my initial plan for the session, i had planned a nice day fishing for chub with meat and a can of stinky stuff. In an ideal world i would see how the bait enhancer did over a full session for chub and give me some ideal opportunity to test it out for how i intended to use it, for chub and carp.

Rivers are wild beasts though and over the years i have learned to take no planned session for granted.  The day before the session it had rained none stop and even waking up in the morning of this session there was still some rain around.  The chub swim i had intended to fish was a complete mess and un-fishable with a torrent of filthy water pushing through and the odd unfortunate sheep to boot, it was a no go.

Thinking on my feet and with time on the river season running out i came up with the idea to hit the banks in search of roach again and lace my groudbait, like last week, with stinky stuff.  The water had plenty of colour but i felt i had more chance of catching roach on this day than a chub on the other river.

I mixed up the same ground bait as i normally would then left it to settle and when i come back to it it is always slightly dry this is when i gave it a good blast with the stinky stuff and this really mixes in well and gives the ground bait a unique smell and texture before i added some pinkie and balled it up.  In went 4-5 good balls of ground bait and i left the swim to settle while i set about setting up my stick float and pole line.

From the first run through the fish where lined up in the swim, small fish at first and then the better stamp began to muscle in on the lose fed maggots.  The roach where certainly on the feed and in the murky water they where picking out the maggot hook bait with ease as time and time again i went through the swim and come back with a bar of silver.

Like previous weeks i kept on feeding the swim every so often with a small nugget of ground bait and pinkie.  Once you get into a rhythm with stick float fishing you begin to get a feel for where the fish are feeding in your swim.  You ideally want them between 10 and 15 yards down stream as this gives you bait enough time to get on the bottom where you want to be catching the fish and also enough time for your float to settle and mend your line ready to hit the bites.  Too far down the swim and through the course of the day you wont draw the full potential from the swim and too far up the swim catching the fish is a nightmare.  This is where time on the bank is essential as you learn just how much to feed the swim to keep the fish where you want them.

The river during the session was falling slowly and as it did so i could see the clarity slowly dropping from the water and with clear bright skies now over head i knew this would present a new problem.  I made a huge change and added extra ground bait to the mix and then a lot of water and a good spray of stinky stuff.  The mix was really wet and almost sloppy and this was purely down the toe fact i no longer wanted the ground bait to draw the fish into the swim, i was confident the smell and bait on the deck was doing that.  I now wanted the ground bait to cloud the water up for me and keep an almost artificial cloud in the water.  I fed this into the slack so it was not washed away so fast and i am sure it got me a good hour and a half extra fishing from the swim during that time some nice roach showed up.

The final net was a nice way to send of the river season and i left happy with my efforts and happy i made the right choice.

Looking back over the sessions i fished with the bait i am sure there are not many people out there writing reviews who have used it the way i have and sometimes thinking out side the box can prove to be the best thing and i think in this case it showed how versatile this can be.  I will be of course using this bait mixed with meat and corn in the coming sessions for carp on commercials and i can not wait to see what it can do.

till next time

tight lines


Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Octoplus Infinity Box Review and River Roach On GroundBait

A warm welcome to this weeks blog update i hope i find you all well and your nets wet.  Its been a crazy week this week with my little boy being really poorly with conjunctivitis so this update was literally only possible thanks to my other half allowing me to lock myself away in the man cave and get my review head on.  This past few weeks has seen me reviewing two products on the bank and those have been the Octoplus Seatbox system and a bait enhancing product called Stinky Stuff.

Octoplus box:
Stinky Stuff:

The octoplus review is going to be published on the blog in this update and they have kindly agreed as part of the product review to run a competition later in the year so there will be more information on that later in the year.  The Stinky stuff update as far as i am aware will be on the pondip website so i will link into that review once it goes live.

on to the review:

OctoPlus Infinity Box Review

Product Information:-

- Price £79.99 
- 65litre Capacity
- Dimensions - 58x39x38cm/23x15.5x15"
- Durable and Strong in Cold Conditions
- Strength Tested to 400kg (without Attachable legs)
-Newly developed Material to resist high impact damage
- Attachable legs come encased in bank box
- Lid snaps into place when pressure applied
- Compatible with all Octoplus accessories
- Separate Seat Cushion Available (£17.98)

A little about Octoplus

Established in 1988, Octoplus is home to integrated fishing station systems. Originally designed by a fisherman, Octoplus products take the hassle out of transporting fishing equipment, whilst enhancing the experience to help even the most amateur of fishermen.
In 2013 Octoplus merged with What More UK Limited, who are one of the biggest designers and manufacturers of plastic products in Europe. The Company has continued to grow and provide great products for its customers, as well as, introducing new and innovative products and accessories.

All Octoplus products are designed, developed and manufactured in the United Kingdom, something which is very important to the Company, using only the best quality materials. We believe that the quality customers crave from the products they buy, should never be compromised by the price.

My Review

Octoplus, a name most anglers will be able to relate to either from their youth purchasing these attachments for their seat boxes or as a new angler to the scene looking at their extensive range of top end seat boxes. Octoplus is always a word that screams one thing with anglers and that work is quality.  Their attachments are made to last and this is echoed in my fishing every week as my uncle to this day still uses the same Shakespeare box with the original octoplus attachments.  This box he has fished with for over 25 years now, mostly on the rugged banks of a river, his box and attachments have really been through the mill and still going strong a sign of the quality products this company makes. So when Octoplus asked me to review their new Octoplus infinity range i was delighted to do so.

Doing my research on this product before it arrived it looks like Octoplus are looking to take their already quality and sturdy box accessories and adding this to to a box made to the same high standards and selling this as one robust package to the angler.  My expectations before the box arrived where that it was going to be a quality item with a solid box and hard wearing accessories.  My only concern was the construction of the Octoplus system onto the box itself.

With any review i do the review is not only the product but how the company conduct them selves as a whole and i have to say my whole dealings with Octoplus on this review have been really good.  They quickly replied to my emails and where happy to help, i can only imagine the after sales service would be first class with this company.

The box was delivered promptly and was well packaged with the legs and seat cushion stored safely inside the box i presume to avoid any chance of damage during transit.  My earlier concerns over the manual setting up of the box where none existent as the brackets come already attached to the box as you can see in the picture above and it was a case of pushing the legs through the holes and tightening them up.  Really really simple installation process.

The legs and seat cushion out of the box it became apparent just how much storage this box has to offer you could easily fit in a sizable tackle box, reel, bait and numerous bait boxes inside this deep box and still leave room for you to store the seat cushion and legs back inside if you so wish.  With nothing inside the box was really lightweight yet felt really strong backing up the claims it makes about the weight load it can take.  All set up with the legs on the box it was time to get the bank testing underway the next morning.

As regular blog readers will know there was no way this product was getting tested out on a comfy nicely pruned hard gravel swim at the local commercial this was going right in at the deep end and it was off to the saturated muddy banks of the river.  After the amount of rain we have had of late it was a proper bank test!  My boots sinking into the mud as i set up the box in the peg it was a proper river peg and i was really impressed with how the mud feet sat on top of the mud.

The legs on the lowest setting i sat on the box like this for the first bit.  Being low to the water when trotting can be a secret bonus as you can really dot the float down, this box does allow you to get low to the water.  Setting the legs up to keep the bottom of the box of the ground made for a solid foundation to fish from and the mud feet sinking slightly into the mud soon used their wide surface area to provide a solid platform to fish from.

I fished on the box for a six to seven hour session you will read about below for roach and i have to say as soon as i had got accustomed to the new box, it took a hour or so having fished on the same box for years,  i soon forgot i was sat on a plastic box.  After the six hour session i felt no aches or pains or any discomfort and it was actually a more pleasurable experience than i had expected it to be, certainly as comfy as my £240+ seat box.

The mud feet did their job perfectly in keeping myself, quite a big lad, up out of the mud and all in all a functional fishing box that can certainly handle the toughest of river swims.

Summary -

Having had a few weekends with this product i am made up with it.  I can see me using this as a dedicated river box for my stick float fishing.  Those long walks across farmers field will be a lot easier carrying this light weight box for sure.  The box lived up to its description as it was both strong enough to take my weight and also functional in the hardest of river swims.  The price point at 79.99 (for the box and extending legs) does put it at the high end of the range of boxes of this type but when you think that this box being well designed and produced with octoplus's quality then this box could potentially last you many many years to come, just like my uncles has, a sound  investment.

I will say now i have no qualms that this box will see me through many winters river fishing and then be a solid first box for my daughter and little lad to begin their fishing adventures on.  A product that certainly gets a thumbs up from me, well done Octoplus on another solid, quality product.

River Roach On Ground Bait...

Having had two weeks fishing for roach on maggot and hemp seed i decided to change it up a bit and i decided to replace the hemp seed with a ground bait mix.  The main reason for this change was down to the fact that during the week we had again had another bout of rainfall come through the upper reaches of this river and it meant that come this session the river was running through quite coloured.

The previous sessions identified quite a lot of fish in the swim of all sizes and to help feed the better fish off i decided to lace the ground bait with pinkie.  This small maggot would certainly add sustenance to the ground bait mix and that extra feed content that i hoped would get the fish in the swim and hopefully encourage the bigger fish the feed.  The ground bait mixed on the dry side i sprayed the mix with a good spray of stinky stuff.

The method for the day was a stick float fished over depth to allow the bait to move slowly through the swim.  Along with the pinkie laced ground bait i also had just over 2 pints of white maggot as hook bait and feed.  I was going at the swim in a positive manner hoping to push the fish to feed and really test the peg.

Once my line was sorted and i knew where i would be going down the swim i fed 5 big balls of ground bait right down the line i was going to trot.  A totally alien tactic to me as i am angler who prefers to feel their way into a peg, feeding light at first and only upping the feed once i knew the fish where having it.  This session was like "Edward Shovel hands" had arrived in the swim such was the magnitude of the feeding.   It really was all or nothing on this session.

Sometimes you have to experiment, its a part of learning any river,  this session would teach me just how these fish reacted to ground bait and if it would sort out the better fish.  The bites from the fish where instant over the bed of ground bait that i had fed.  Small roach at first as you would expect from any swim but i did notice that unlike the previous week i did not wait 30-40 minutes for the first fish on the bank.

The bites where there and it was noticeable that the bait had dine the trick in keeping the fish down the swim.  Although i had 20 odd pound last week the fish where right under my feet and i wanted them just down stream as this makes casting and striking easier.  As the first part of the session moved on i began to get in a rhythm and understand how the fish wanted it on the day.  A few maggots fed by hand kept the swim topped up while i noticed that feeding a small nugget of ground bait every so many fish kept the fish rooting round in the swim, nothing huge just a nugget.

As the session developed the odd better fish showed in the peg in and around the 6-8oz bracket.  These would prove to be the bonus fish on the session.  Once in that rhythm you go really into auto pilot and a routine of cast feed maggot and then nugget of ground bait was played out, holding the bait on the spot in the swim brought the bite on most occasions.

We normally fish from first light or just before dark till around 3pm but in this session i only had 6 hours to fish so packing in at 1.30pm it was really hard as the fish where having it.  I felt like sticking it out till dark would see the better fish come but i had to be home and with a few pictures for the octoplus product review to take and the stinky stuff one i had to drag myself from the fishing.

On the day the ground bait mixed with pinkie ans sprayed with the stinky stuff worked really well and the net of 10lb plus of roach showed the quality of the fishing on the day and who knows had i not had to go would we have been looking at a net close to that 20lb mark come end of play?  The better roach where about at the time of packing in but i had to drag myself away.

till next time i wish you all

tight lines