Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Rivers Open: Cracking Chub On The Stick Float...

A warm welcome to this weeks blog update i hope i find you all well and your nets wet.  The river season is well and truly open now and Facebook has been awash with mainly flood water barbel pictures.  The rain kept on copming down till late evening on the opening day and the only highlight was getting home from the carp to catch England pip Wales in the football.

We knew opportunities to get out on the river come the Saturday would hinge on a dry day on the Friday and with that we said a little prayer to the rain gods and prayed for a window of opportunity, in all honesty i feel like i am writing a winter blog here not a summer one, ridiculous weather we are having.

On to the update:

New River Season Preperation..

I have to say with all the stuff going on in work with over time and loads of jobs being done in the house the new river season really did creep up on me.  This season is without doubt the most unorganized i have ever been for the start of the rivers, normally by now i have spring cleaned my tackle box, replaced some weights and give my reel a through clean.

The beauty of the rivers is in their simplicity and in short its only a few components that come together to make up the stick float rigs i use so much and with my gear levels looking in an ok state i think i was only a new packet of weights away from being ready to go, so not too bad.

Although time to prepare for the season has not been there physically the mental thought processes have been working for some time and i did have a few changes i wanted to make in how i approach the rivers this season.  The main one is cutting down on the amount of gear i take with me, it has been ok carting my big Preston Onbox with its metal footplate to the banks of the river Dane these past few season as the walks have been quite short.  This season will be a lot different and long walks over rough farmland terrain are looking like being the norm, a wild river with wild surroundings will mean i will be lucky to have the luxury of having a peg where i sit on my basket at all.

The cutting down of gear started with me utilizing the Octoplus infinity box i was sent to review a few weeks ago, this box bos light and robust will be ideal for those river trips.  Its deep storage will spread the load i carry more evenly between my box and my net bag and should mean a more enjoyable walk to and from the river and if a swim is box friendly then i have a nice comfy box to sit on.

Of course terminal tackle would be an issue and i invested in a small tackle box above and in it is all the terminal tackle you need to fish a stick float.  This box will of course be built upon or joined by another box when we hit areas where bigger fish like barbel might be on the agenda but for my first session out this little box was ideal.  A huge reduction in weight carried losing the huge heavy box and the mountains of terminal tackle i carry but never use when fishing the river on the stick.

A Stinky Delivery...

I have really enjoyed the passed few weeks working with Stinky Stuff Bait Spray and incorporating it into my fishing for carp has been very interesting and rewarding.  Sessions where the flow on the lake has been towards the snag it gave me the confidence to know that smell was lapping into their hiding space and hopefully drawing them out.  Future blogs will show just how good this bait has been for the carp and it was great last week to receive a delivery from Stinky Stuff of two more bottles of their other products in the Stinky Stuff Match and Stinky Stuff Bubblecream.  The bubblecream is a really interesting one having spent most of my childhood next to a sweet making factory it brought back quite a few memories of summer nights where the streets where full of this sweet smell.

Excited to get out on the bank and a little teaser of sessions to come the Bubble cream is just as good as the crayfish for catching carp.

Glorious First River Session - Chubbin'

As mentioned in a previous blog June 16th passed by for me on a local lake fishing for carp, not the ideal way i wanted to spend the glorious 16th, but with rivers flooded it was better to be catching fish than struggling on a swollen coloured river.  Truth be told i had a nice day catching carp and thoroughly enjoyed my morning fishing for them and that will be covered in an upcoming blog.

Thursday gone and it was straight into a days work on Friday.  Looking out of the windows in work it was hard to judge temperature, dam air con, but i could see that the sky was cloudy but thankfully we had received some strong winds that kept the clouds passing over us and not dropping their rainfall.  It filled me with hope for the rivers the next day.

Fridays for me normally follow a set routine that see's me nipping into Widnes Angling Centre for my maggots and terminal tackle bits and pieces but seen as i already had 2 pints of red maggots left from the no go session the previous day it felt weird to fall out of this routine and not nip into the shop on my way home.

During the closed season hemp seed has featured in my canal fishing but i have to admit that despite having close to 10kg of hemp under my stairs i did take the easy option and buy some tinned stuff.  It splits nicely and is convenient for the canal sessions where you are not really using that much hemp seed.  The rivers are an entirely different animal and less care needs to be taken in the preparation for the rivers as i dont use it on the hook.  This coupled with the fact the batch we have at the moment is terrible and will not split well for us meant that come Friday night the kitchen was "high" with the smell of hemp seed on the boil.  I have to admit though i was in bad books as upon finding half a packed of chill mix in the cupboard and dded said mix into my hemp i was was soon busted by her in charge who had that put away for Saturdays tea!! House stinking like a drug den and using spices ear marked for meals i was not in good books, if the chub liked it though surely its acceptable. :-)

A quick sort of the tackle box and all the essentials loaded into the Octoplus box it was a chance to make up a few hook lengths and get the gear in the hall ready for a 2am wake up call the next morning, no rain i was excited to say the least. Over the past few years we have really put the time and effort in and now have quite a large portfolio of waters to choose from.  Time spent on these rivers in both high and low water and also time spent away from the bank studying how fast these rivers drop all pays dividends in the end when it comes to the fine lines between un fishable and fishable levels.  This info can not be gleamed just form the EA chart as it only gives you a number which means very little if you have nothing to refer that too as in how the river will be and fish at that level.

From huge spate rivers to tiny brooks all where looked at and we came to a decision to fish a river we knew would hold its colour and have some pace but we could also find a few fish willing to take a bait.  The walk to the river was quite a long one and i instantly felt the benefits of the new box, so much easier and lighter to carry than my preston seatbox.  Looking at the river in the darkness we could see she was still carrying a bit of pace, unexpected pace if we were honest, but we knew as the morning would draw on this river would drop and with it the pace would settle.  Setting up on opposite inside bends of an "S" shaped bend in the river we both had slack on our inside with the river moving fast around the outside bend.   It presented us with 2 main areas to catch, one just off the main flow as the river would naturally flow and two in the deep er inside slacker water under our feet, both i knew would bee good areas.

Setting up my 13ft Korum float rod i fed hemp right in line with some overhanging brambles as this is where i thought maggots fed at the head of the run would reach bottom.  A few hand fulls of maggots i knew would get the chub on the feed and in the flow, this huge influx of bait does quicken the process i have found on this river.

The set up a dave harrell 6 number 4 wire stem  stick float was the chosen float and with the extra turbulent flow i went with the dome top as i felt this would give me more control in the flow.  A size 18 hook to a 1lb 7oz hook length i was all set to go and it came a no surprise that second trot down the float buried and i was rewarded with my first chub of the season, it was great to be back on flowing water.

The chub in the swim and having had no pressure over the passed months i felt sure the next chub was not far behind.  Low and behold hald way down the run i was again into a aggressive and hard fighting chevin that made for the overhanging cover time and time again before giving me plenty of grief under my feet,  not a huge chub but two in the net in the first 10 minutes it was a great start to the session.

When the chub are in the swim every thing else barring trout i have found clear off and it was the same on this session you could tell when the chub had spooked or moved out the swim as i started to pick up smaller chublets and dace.  These are great to see as these are the next generation of fish coming through the ranks and although they dont always show its reassuring to know they are around and ready to make the jump into the main chub shoals when big enough. 

The dace and chublets came and went like the wind and after a few trots though without a knock i knew the chub had moved back in.  It took a few goes down but eventually i sussed it out and just holding the bait back slightly on my hemp would see the signs of a bite develop with shudders on the float, letting the float go would see it sail under with unmissable chub bites.  I can only liken chub bites on the stick to the bites you get from carp on commercials.

The action from these chub then was solid taking four on the bounce in what was crazy fishing as the cub really bullied in on the swim.

Fishing the swim i did i knew i was fishing for one shoal of chub as there was no way a shoal was moving through the rapids above and below this deep run.  The chub went and in came the dace and chublets again until eventually bites dried up completely.  My uncle had the same issue just down stream and had also had some chub and some nice roach.

The session finished for me with a 18lb9oz net of chub, dace and chublets and it was an excellent first session on the river.  Plenty of bites and had a few chub pull back so i left a happy angler.

Early Morning Carping Fun off the top......

The next carp session i got out was just after my 18lb pb and at this time i was treating carp fishing as something i would do when i wanted a challenge but at the same time some fun.  Armed with a loaf of bread and my floater rod i headed off to the lake.  Arriving at first light it was cold and many would be forgiven for dismissing floater fishing but i knew the carp would be in the shallows form the previous evening and being shallow i knew there was a good chance of them finding my free offerings of kingsmill.

upon arriving i threw in a few bits of bread all over the swim and under my feet.  Setting up the net and the floater rod it was a case of waiting for the carp to start taking.  Sure enough the rods was not even of its rod wraps before i heard the first swirl and slurp as a carp came up for its break fast.

I arrived at the water at 4.30am and i had to be leaving at 7am to get back, washed and showered before a full days overtime in work so it was a short session.  These short approaches seemed to see me do well with the early mornings also keeping the ducks away as they didn't seem to come to life till later in the morning.  The water colored i sprayed the crusts with some stinky stuff bubblecream to add some extra smell.

A cracking hour or so's fishing later i was leaving for work with 4 carp under my belt to just over 10lb.

Well thats another few trips on the bank caught up with and this format i think will continue for the next few weeks with carp trips added to the end of my other fishing,  I guess it adds loads of diversity to the blog as if you like rivers or carp fishing there is something there for everyone.

till next time

tight lines


Sunday, 19 June 2016

Smashing my Carp PB's and Mixing Canal Groundbait...

A warm welcome to this weeks blog update i hope i find you all well and your nets wet.  Still loads of fishing to catch up on hence the 3 blogs in two weeks but i guess that is not a bad thing.  This weeks blog sees a bit of talk on the new river season and a question i have been asked a lot this season around how i prepare my ground bait for canals, really simple this but a few parts of the process are vital.  We finish up with some short sessions i have done recently for carp that saw the PB's roll in.  I will go into detail next update on my set up and how i have been fishing for these carp.

On to the update:

Canal Groundbait Preparation

This is a subject i covered on the blog last year and i included a video in the update so if you are looking for a bit of a video of what i am about to write then its on the following link.


So you get on the bank and you are ready to attack the canal in front of you, before you do anything else groundbait should be running through your mind, it is the first thing i do when i arrive on the bank is knock up the ground bait.  The mix needs time to soak up the water and settle before you can make a decision if it needs more water or not.  Ideally you mix it up and by the time you have set up all your gear and rigs you should be there or there about sto go back to it.

Canal fishing it is important to remember we are dealing here with a branch of angling that is so delicate and all parts of our approach need to be really refined, lines, baits and of course our ground bait needs that extra bit of care and attention when fishing a canal.

Opening the bag of ground bait you could be forgiven for thinking its all just a bag of finely breadcrumbs and additives but you would be wrong.  A quick run through the riddle of the dry mix reveals there is more in the bag than meets the eye.  The one i use has quite a bit of dry hemp in it but i have in the passed riddled other roach and bream mixes that have contained a huge amount ogf particles like hemp and maize flakes, for canal fishing i remove these as its just extra feed that will soon fill up the fish.  Remember we are here to catch fish not feed them.

All the below came out of half a bag of groundbait riddled straight form the bag

This extra feed removed you are left with just the crumb mix.  I add water slowly in a round bucket and spend a good few minutes really working the mix to get it as mixed in as possible and when i can form a ball in my hand with just a soft squeeze and then it breaks up completely to nothing when i rub it between my hands i know i am there.  This mix is then left till after i set up all my gear and i have plumber my lines.

Going back to the mix you will normally find it has soaked in most of the water and is drier than when you left it.  Add more water here will you get it to how it was before you left it.  Maximizing how much water your ground bait can take will see you left with a neater mix.  Once you are happy with it, unfortunately this stage does only come with time and practice as you can feel the mix is right, if you get me.

I then pass the whole mix through my riddle shaking at first to get the small bits through you are left with just the wet balls of ground bait.  These left in the mix will fill the fish up and we need to break theses down.  Gently rub these lumps though the riddle.  What you are left with now is a fine fully mixed in base mix ground bait and you can now control what you do with it and more importantly how much feed you want to include in the mix.  The most important part is you are now in control and have a mix with high attraction but little feed content to work with, an excellent starting point to build a swim with.

The "Glorious" 16th Arrived...

The actual fishing part of the blog is still a few trips behind but i feel its important to keep the main body of the blog up to date with current events.  Sat here now the night before the river season is due to open and all i can hear is the patter of rain against the window and the angry rumble of thunder i the distance.  All in all a very drab way to start the season and three months ago little did i imagine i would have to be checking the same flood tables come june 16th.

To put this in perspective in terms of my fishing being a angler who float fishes the river, a river only has to be slightly in flood for the river to be unfishable for me.  There are of course hundred of barbel and chub anglers out there jumping with joy at the sight of this extra rain, rightly so too, i would if it where me.

The fishing this year ironically enough should see me targeting barbel but there is no way i'm going straight onto the banks of a flooded river i have only ever been once to try for a barbel.  This season is going to see us taking strides into the unknown with two rivers that could not be further apart in appearance and size in the Dane and Weaver.

Not to spoil an future blog too much but the opening day actually saw me carp fishing and although not where i wanted to be ideally i caught a few carp with one being a pristine 14lb common below.  This eased the pain of not making it onto the banks of the river i can tell you that.

on to this weeks fishing:

Smashing Those Carp PB's

So with overtime schedule well and truly in place it was again short evening sessions from around 5pm till dusk that where proving to be the norm for me and my fishing.  Leaving work at 4pm it was a nice relaxed gathering of the gear and drive to the lake knowing the better fishing didn't really come on till the surrounding trees hid the sun from sight.  Again travelling as light as possible it was a rod rest, rod, net and some tackle placed in a bucket that i would be taking.

Bait wise it was again the trust wet micro pellets round a method feeder and sweetcorn on the hood.  Each cast the method was sprayed with some Stinky Stuff Crayfish spray.

Most people i saw in the evening fishing the lake popped into the first swims by the car and why not it was close to the car and quick to get off the lake but i found this swim to be better early in the morning as the sun was first to hit here.  Based on that thinking but flipping it i guessed the fishing would be better in the evening right down the other side of the lake as this would be the last place the sun would hit.  The down side to this was the fact the pegs where really overgrown and muddy under your feet and the added cover and foliage certainly meant added attention from the mozzy's.

In all angling we have to have a theory to work toward, a way of thinking the scenario through, before we hit the bank.  I guess the more you think over your fishing and the more time and effort you put into you session before you hit the bank then the more successful you will be.  In all fishing you can just turn up and cast any bait anywhere in the lake and catch the biggest fish in the lake but to be successful over time i feel you need to work a little more at it.  Luck is always needed but you can do your best to increase your odds by formulating a plan.

On this session i had one rod, fishing towards a snag its all i dared, it was placed just down in the margin to my left besides a overhanging bush.  Dark and mysterious water beneath and being un-fishable beyond its leaves it look the perfect place to find carp.  Having seen some nice carp caught by my mate Ste i knew there where better fish to be had in the pool and my mentality was now in trying to find a method that would see me picking up these better carp.

The rod placed on the bite alarm it did not take long for the tell tale taps on the tip to start, over time i have learnt to read the taps and work out if bream where at the feeder or carp, but at the time of this session i was dipping and diving for the rod with every line bite and aggressive move of the feeder by feeding fish.  The rod of course then wrapped round and it was hands on the reel to stop the fish in its tracks before it reached the safety of the roots.  Out in open water the fish was a different prospect and was soon in the net waiting to be unhooked, a nice single figure mirror.

The fish returned and the hot sun beating down i could see the odd car moving around in the upper layers and i knew it would be a waiting game for them to settle down and go on the feed.  I also knew there was the odd fish holding in the back of the snag i was fishing as tell tale swirls of them moving gave away their presence.  They where deep in though and i knew would need tempting with regular casting to build up a bed of smelly bait in the area.

A few casts and signs of a fish on the bait started and this one must have been on the feed hard as it did not take long for the the violent taps to result in a run.  A hard fighting common was my reward.

The swim after this went through a big lull and with the sun beating down hard and the mozzys biting even harder i did consider calling it a day.  Its a tough one as you know if you wait it out the fish will come but it comes down to the decision if you can be bothered waiting for it.

The lull in activity was passed a by a bit easier by some nice sized bream moving into the swim.  They where great to see and i guess any fish is better than no fish on the bank.  They showed me the need to keep casting regular as there was plenty of mouths to feed.

Although the bream where a good addition to the action i also knew they where a sure sign that the carp where not on the feed or in the area.  These bream would soon be pushed out by a group of carp coming in.  A hour or so passed and the started to finally sulk behind the tree line. As the last of its light lit my nearside margin i saw a large group of carp sulk into the baited area, where my theories correct? where these fish moving to the now warmer end of the lake?.

The excitement levels grew and having just recast i knew this shoal would be met with a nice bed of pellet.  Signs of feeding fish where soon showing as big bubbles rose from the swim and then there was two beeps on the bite alarm and a slow bend in the rod.  Grabbing the rod there was solid weight at the other end and thankfully the fish moved slowly out into the lake by itself.  The fights itself was more of a battle of attrition than any long runs for freedom as the carp shook its head from side to side.  It woke up under the rod tip briefly but as fights went it was quite poor and it was only as i slid the carp over the net i saw it was a decent fish.  Ont the scales i was rewarded with a new PB of 13lb 2oz,

By the time i had taken the pics and slid here back it felt right to call it a day on the session, i left buzzing and the woes of work where left by the waterside, i love fishing.  Video is of the carp going back in the warm evening glow.

Second Special Session in a week....

So with the last PB still seeing me floating on air i returned to the lake later that week to find the banks a bit busier and the swim i was sat in the previous week fully occupied.  I decided to set up on the other bank and there was only one spot to put the bait and that was right on the edge of the sunken tree.  This side of the bank allowed you to fish close to the snag as you have the angle to apply pressure on the fish to get it away from the snag.

To do this type of fishing you do need to have the backbone in the rod and the right strength line.  I had loaded these reels with 15lb maxima from my previous car fishing and knowing how snaggy this swim is i upped the hook line from a 7lb to a 10lb hook link, boy was a glad i made that decision!

Some would say this i far too heavy for just carp fishing and they might be right but its what i had to work with and in my opinion its better to know you have the strength to get fish out rather than be losing fish and leaving them with tackle in their mouths.  In passed sessions i had become accustomed to the set up and i could tell from how long the feeder took to hit bottom just how deep it was.  Dropping the bait about 2 foot from the snag i was pleased to find it quite shallow, great news i thought.

The rod in place the drag set quite tight and i positioned myself just next to the rod so i was straight on it.  The action was really really really slow and it seemed to take an age before i got a bite but eventually three taps on the rod and again two beeps on the tip saw me lifting into a fish.

This fight was epic it was hit and hold at the start which saw me dunking the rod below the water and holding the clutch to not give the fish an inch of line.  The rod bent round and a huge boil coming up just of the tree i knew i had stopped the fish but i just needed it to turn.  Thankfully she did and she zoomed out into the lake making one heart stopping long run to the middle she was one powerful fish!

The run stopped i noticed a little lad who was fishing with his day on the next peg appear to my left.  I had my heart in my mouth every time the fish came up to the top as i knew it was a nice fish but every time it came up and shot off on another run this little lad would jump in the air living every second of the fight!  It was funny to watch and added to the fight.  It was some fight as even when i got her up in the water she had some power and time and time again made hard lunges for the snags.

Eventually and with my arm feeling like it was about to fall off the fish showed signs of giving in and thankfully went into the net first time, she was a huge common and i knew it was a pb for sure, easily the biggest carp i had seen on the bank.  The fish rested in the landing net i sat back and got my own breath back!

I knew my mate was on his way down for a natter so i left her to sulk in the carp net for a few minutes while i recovered!  Time to weigh the fish and i nipped along the bank to see if the little lad wanted to come and have a look at the fish.  I knew struggling lift the net form water it was heave and onto the scales i was over the moon to see them settle on 18lb10oz, now that is a carp PB i thought!!

Speaking to the young lad while waiting for ste it was great to hear he had just started fishing with his dad and his biggest fish to date was a roach.  It was great listening to his stories about fishing and to see his reaction to the carp which just added to the experience but i think most of all about this evening i will remember him jumping up and down out of the corner of my eye.

A quick chat with ste and he took some great pictures for me of this special fish, cheers mate.

A good chew of the fat with Ste about our plans for the upcoming river season and he was off on his way.  After he left i fished on for a hour or two and picked up two more fish.

The night for me will be remembered for that special fish.  A upper double i knew just had to come sooner or later but as in most fishing it comes when you least expect it.  Two new personal bests in a week and i was absolutely buzzing!

Till next time

tight lines



Saturday, 11 June 2016

What Camera for blogging and Cheshire Fisheries Fun...

A warm welcome to this weeks blog update i hope i find you all well and your nets wet.  Well what can i say i had just got to the end of 3 double weekends overtime and they come along and dangle the carrot of another 3 weeks in your face.  Having moved house last year and with sights also set on some new fishing tackle it proved too good to turn down.

The weekends where overtime has been on i have managed to sneak in some short evening trips for carp and the weekends in between i have been taking full advantage of the full days fishing and hitting the local canal or commercial.  This weeks blog is the first of those longer days where i decided to visit Cheshire fisheries, my heart set on having fun.

The introduction this weeks covers a bit of info on a question i get asked a lot around what gear i use for taking my blog pictures and a change i have recently made.  The introduction also includes a huge offer sent to me by GCELL for blog readers and followers on social media to receive 20% off when they purchase the GCELL backpack!! Worth every penny in my opinion, i am constantly being impressed by this product every time i use it.

On to the update:

What Camera To Use For Blogging?

This is a question i get asked all the time by people wanting to start out writing their own blog.  The answer in most cases comes down to how much quality you are looking for in your blog pictures.  If you are looking for a blog that contains amazing photography then you would of course be looking for a a high end camera.

Myself, i feel there is more to writing a blog than just a camera and to successfully write and maintain your blog i really feel that a smart phone is the way to go.  With a smart phone you have all your pictures in one place and when you download the right aps you can easily update these pictures from your camera roll directly to your blog.

In this day and age Social Media plays a huge part in any blog and getting your work out their and noticed by as many people interested in your content as possible.  I find the smart phone here shows its worth big time as you can quickly update followers on facebook and twitter from the bank with the press of a few buttons and when sharing blog posts you can easily upload the relevant pictures for that blog post.

There is of course also no messing around with SD cards and transferring files onto your laptop then uploading them from there.  A smart phone really takes alot of the time out of the blogging process. There has also been a huge update recently to the Blogspot App and you can now literally write you blog on your phone now, upload the pictures and publish the blog post meaning if you wanted you could literally produce and manage all aspects of your blog from your smart phone.

The huge downside i have found though with just using a smart phone is when wanting to capture wildlife.  On the bank i often see beautiful sights such a kingfishers in the tree opposite or a barn own hunting the the field next to me but with only a smart phone and no zoom it is impossible to capture these sights in any detail that is worth sharing, for me, this is the only downside of not using a dedicated camera for your blogging. 

Iphone or Android??? 

Since i started writing this angling blog i have always done so using an iphone for my pictures and general day to day managing of the blog on social media and email.  Over them years the phone has done me really proud.  This year i decided on making the huge change over from Iphone to android, picking up a Samsung S7 Edge,   it was for a number of reasons:

- Quality - The camera on the android phones at the moment is drastically better than the current iphone and although content on the blog is more important i did feel i was falling behind quality wise with the pictures.  Straight away the extra quality was noticeable.

- Durability - Lets face it iphones are a fragile breed of phone.  They do not like wind when recording video, they quickly break if any rain gets into the phone jack and if any dirt gets in the charging socket it quickly reduces the ability of the phone to charge correctly.  In short they do not like the outdoors at all.

- My new Phone is water resistant to the point i can literally wash my phone after i have used it and even this yerar so far i have picked it up covering in ground bait and literally washed my phone.

- Storage - It was getting to the stage with my iphone where i was constantly deleting data to keep it below the 32gb limit and it was reducing my ability to record video and take photos.  This new phone has up to 200gb expandable memory insert so hopefully running low on storage is thing of past.

So if you are thinking of starting to write a blog the smart phone in your hand is by far the best item to be using in my opinion.

G-CellDiscount Code FOr BLog followers

So in last weeks blog update we covevered the review of the GCELL solar back pack.  The review has been really well recieved and as such the company got in touch to inform me they had opened up a discount code for followers of this blog.  Simply enter DannyBellfield on checkout to get the discount.  This product is worth every penny in my opinion and a fantastic product for anyone looking to travel lightweight with electrical devices they will want to charge, i can really see this being popular with lure anglers.

link to update:

On to the Fishing...

Last Trip For a While To Cheshire Fisheries...

So the rumour was that this was the last weekend that keep nets where allowed on Cheshire Fisheries till the weather cooled back down again.  Seeing the catch at the end of the session is one of the areas of fishing that i love.  Whether that's a net of roach and bream on the can, a net of dace from a river or a net of carp and silvers from a commercial all give me that buzz when you see the result of your days fishing.  I honestly would visit commercials a lot more if more allowed nets and there is no way im entering matches just for this privilege.

So the car loaded and i was again a man with a plan visiting this destination.  I had two keep nets one for carp and one for silvers and the plan from the outset was to fish for silvers till 2pm and then move over to carp as the light faded.  Armed with corn, a few pint of maggots and ground bait i was all set for a days fishing.

Arriving at the pools i had a walk round all the lakes and i was amazed to see how clear the pools where, they where so murky on the last trip, i noticed immediately that the carp seemed to be all at one end of the pool in a tight group.  I knew this area attracted a few rowdy visitors during the day so i decided to give it a miss and setup on the other side of lake 5.  A nice margin to my left and i knew i have a drop off around top four out in front or me.

I started out on double maggot and was getting a bite a chuck from silvers to the point when i chucked some bait in it was a like a frenzy of fish taking the3 maggots, whole hand fulls where being taken with none getting to the bottom.  I spent a good two hours catching silvers and i forced myself to stop, had i continued i was sure a 100lb of silvers would have been the outcome there was so many fish in front of me.

The day was a really warm one and it felt wrong to continue on the silvers line, huge nets of silvers would be nice but that amount of fish in a keep net all day was certainly not a good thing and then there was the task at the end of weighing and photographing them on my own, it just was not worth it.  At this point i weighted my net of silvers and my when you see a net of 42lb of fish in just over 2.5 hours you can see my point, silly fishing.

I decided on having a little bit of fun and with that i set up my 1.75lb shimano barbel rod, a centre pin loaded with 6lb line.  The rig was simplicity itself a pole float down to a size 14 hook with a BB weight 3 inches from the hook.  No need for a depth plummet here if the float sunk you where too shallow it made moving from swim to swim easy so off i went with a tin of corn, a net and an unhooking mat.  A good spray of Stinky Stuff over the Corn in the bait tub and i was off on my way.

Walking the pools the fish where up in the water but moving around and i targeted a little gap that joined two waters on one of the pools.  The carp moved through here regular and being only a narrow gap it was hard for them to miss the jewels of yellow corn on the bottom.  I fed the swim for a bit and peeping over i could see tails up in the causing the small vortexes on the surface.  I slowly lowered my smelly corn into the feeding fish and it was not long before the float zoomed under and the carbon in the rod had a healthy bend.

On relatively light gear and a centre pin it was great fun and with the warm sun on my back it was great fun playing the carp.  The net slipped under the first i don't know whether it was the carp who had bit or me biting into a branch of angling i have done so little of.

During the next few hours or so i caught a few carp on the centrepin and corn combo and i also lost a few and was also left frustrated as carp moved in and ate everything but my hook bait!!  I was exciting stuff and so visual to see the carp coming from a distance and then the excitement of seeing them stop as they picked up the scent and go down on the bait.  Then the will they wont they scenario where all the time you can see the fish in the swim and your float is moving from side to side a sudden jolt under and your into another hard fishing carp, it was great fun and here is a few of the carp i caught, there where more but in the end you just don't take pictures.

Two hours before packing up time i decided to feed the margins of my peg to the left of me and in went a huge amount of ground bait, maggot and corn.  I made up a rig and kept my eyes on the margins and all was quiet?? Strange i thought i was expecting instant action.  For the next hour i fed the swim by bit but the carp where strangely absent.

I decided to again put a big pot of bait in and this time put it in form a height.  It worked a treat and all of a sudden the swim was like carp soup with carp feeding hard in literally 6-10 inches of water! Was amazing to see.  The action was fast and furious and in the next last hour the fishing went mad with carp bites coming thick and fast.  Foul hooking was an issue but with so many in such shallow water i don't know that else i could do it was carnage.

The final net of car was 7 bars of gold and i must admit i was shattered.

What a days sport on the commercial, a place i will be back to for certain when they allow keep nets again and of course next year in the closed season.  It wet my appetite for the carp fishing to come and doing the carp fishing i love to do, up close and personal travelling light and seeing the fish in the swim.  Carp fishing my way and it was a great way to start the closed season campaign.

Till next time i wish you all

tight lines


Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Octoplus Infinity Competition Live and New Carp PB!!

A warm welcome to this week's blog update i hope i find you all well and your nets wet.  Life at the moment is absolute chaos and all i seem to be doing is spending hours upon hours at my desk in work whether during the normal week or then on overtime of a weekend.  What it has meant is any spare time left after spending time with the family has been taken up by sneaking in actual fishing trips and the last thing i have felt like doing after days looking at a screen is loading up the laptop to then write a blog.

The overtime is now coming to an and and i am so relieved, its been a grueller, i have plenty of fishing content saved up so the blogs from now on will be bumper editions as i try to catch up ready for the start of the river season.

So on with the update and what a fantastic update it is with the launch of the Octoplus Infinity Competition with a fabulous 10 ways to enter!!  The next part of the update we look at just how simple my tactics for my carp fishing have been of late and in a world full of hair rigs, balanced baits, pop ups and spodding you can have fun and put fish on the bank with good old classic cheap baits.  The fishing is a few sessions i did on such a method and without really trying too a  PB was broke .

On to the Update...

Octoplus Infinity Competition!!

So around the end of the closed season i was really privileged to have reviewed in detail the Octoplus Infinity Fishing Box.  Working closely with the team at Octoplus it was a pleasure to share this project with them and thanks to all the support the review was given it was agreed to run a competition for someone to win one of these boxes!!

Link to Review:

So the people over at Octoplus have kingly set up a Gleam competition and once you have clicked the link it will present you with 10 options.  Each one of these if selected will give you a chance to enter the competition,  enter all 10 actions and you will have 10 chances to win this fantastic piece of kit.!!

link to gleam comp:

This box really is a great product for those anglers looking for a study yet light weight box for their fishing, plenty of internal storage and legs already attached for those muddy swims.  i personally will be using this box for my river fishing sessions where i may be walking two of three fields to the river.  It will offer me huge storage for my bait and tackle whilst giving me the option to either stand in the river with my bait waiter of sit down level with the water on the box.  A great bit of kit and one i can not wait to get out and get some use from.

Simplicity Itself - Carp Talk and Carpin' Tactics.....

It is safe to say i might be the only person out there in this decade who has a PB of 10lb3oz, in fact i think there may well be a good head of kids under 5 with a better pb carp.  In essence it is just not something that has been part of my fishing, i grew up on the canal fishing for roach and bream and then moved onto the rivers in recent years.  I did dip my toes into the carp scene a few years ago but in all honestly i think i chose the wrong venue to target, idiots casting, sorry walking, baits metres form my baits and the constant smell of weed floating over on the wind, in short it just wasn't what i call fishing.

The upside of this was i had some solid bite alarms and carp rods that put me in good stead for my pike fishing and ironically enough till the start of this closed season i had certainly caught more pike on them than carp, i think i still may have.  So this closed season came along and with it plenty of over time in work was up for grabs.  Full two day weekends meant there was no chance of a full session on the canal and i needed something that would fit in nicely and into my lap carp fishing fell.  It fit perfectly as i could finish work and be fishing in a matter of half an hour.  So tackle wise i literally have been hitting the bank with two bank sticks with bite alarms, two rods set up with method feeders, a landing net and a bucket full of bait and unhooking mat.

This set up means i can hit the bank with two rods made up, remove the sleeves put the rod together and in the time it takes my pellets to soak i am ready to cast in.  Bait wise it is, as regular blog readers would expect, very simple.  Over the coming blogs there will be many carp blogged about and apart from a session on Cheshire fisheries they have all been caught on baits a simple as bread, corn, micro pellets and a Can of Stinky Stuff.

I am a firm believer in the rule that the actual bait pays the least importance to catching fish and location, time of day and most of all keeping quiet.  You place a bait in front of a fish that feels safe and has no danger receptors alerted you will catch it.  In corn and bread i have baits that i can target the fish on the top and the bottom.  In all fishing there are little edges you can add to get that bite quicker and that for me is where the stinky stuff comes in to play.  Sprayed in the bag of crusts before the session i feel adds that scent into the water and it is interesting how the carp hunt out that smell, a additive that i have up most confidence in.

It all in action you are left with a mobile set up that means you can move on the fish as you see them with ease, this is something that has deffinitly come form my piking sessions over winter, travel light you are more likely to move than if you have set up camp in one swim with the kitchen sink.  Literally not shown in this picture is my landing net and unhooking mat.

Mornin Carping...

So after the session in the previous blog it was clear i had hit on a part of carp fishing i enjoyed.  The location, intimate and atmospheric, grabbed me from the start and it was clear there would be many a hour spent chasing carp here.  A early morning trip and i was pleased to find my mate Ste already bent into a fish on my arrival.  A quick catch up and a few pics taken for him i decided to set up net to him and have a short session hopefully catching a few carp and a catch up, it had been a few weeks since our last pike session.

Casting in i reckon it had been about a minute max before the rod ripped off and i was playing the first carp of the session.  A small common carp was my early reward, a quick snap on the mat and it was back in.  I then lost two more carp hook pulls which was not ideal but we had both caught and on any social its always the aim.

Fishing two rods on the method i felt sure more runs would come but it was some time before my next take and boy was it a savage one with line oozing from the spool a proper one toner!!

Just before packing up time around 9am i had my final take of the session and it was a lovely hard fighting mirror carp that shook my pb as it hit the scales at 9lb8oz, only just over half a pound out, being so close it warranted a picture.

Glad I Decided To Go!!!

So Sunday came and walking around walton gardens i visited the carp pond they have there, a high light of any trip.  It does day dont feed the fish but as an angler you just can not resist. On the day it was not so much bread they wanted but cheesy wotsits!  They wet bloody mad for the things!  Any how seeing these fish certainly got me in the mood for a trip out carping.

Arriving around 6pm I decided to try a new swim and a new tactic.  To this point i had mainly cast into open water but on this session i decided to fish to a sunken snag feature.  I knew i would have to be quick on the rod placed here and early pressure on the fish would be essential so i tightened up the bait runner tension, if only i knew what i was doing haha.  Two rods in with one to my right in the margin i was all set and i sat back to enjoy the evening.  Method feeders on pellets with corn on the hook and a good spray of the stinky stuff before it went out.

Well what can i say only to say i say a prayer very time i relive this moment.  Little taps on the rod tip and then the tip belted round and with it the but if the rod went with it at a 90 degree angle the only thing that saved my rod as the reel landing and hitting the edge of the peg! A savage take and i was amazed when the carp came it it was only a small one!  Heart in my mouth i can tell you.

The drag altered a little the rid was straight back out and no sooner had i set the drag than the right hand rod tore off.  Again a wild take and a scrappy fight from a lovely fully scaled mirror carp.  This was followed by a lull in activity and i was made up to be visited by dave.  A regular on commercial scene he explained how the small carp really tear of but i will know the better ones as the fight and the take will be a lot slower.

The fish then seemed to move into the area i could see a group moving just under the water and the line bites had started again but this time large plucks on the line rather then the odd rattle.  The taps built till the rod screamed off and what a weird looking fish it was a common with a odd shape to it.

This was followed seconds later by a nice mirror carp and was the best of the session so far at 8lb.

Both rods back out on the spots and all hell then broke lose.  A run on the right hand rod was quickly hit and being played and slipped the net under when seconds later my right hand rod swung round, absolute chaos!! Two fish in as many minutes and both rods had been wiped out!.A double hook up and two carp in the net at once.

The two fish rested and returned we where getting on for the 8pm.  A method feeder loaded with the hook covered i made probably the best cast i have made in a long time, it went straight through some over hanging branches with the weight of the feeder pulling the line down through them so in effect my bait was literally under the branches of a tree.  A peach of a cast and that rod was not getting moved for all the money in the world.

A good 20 minutes passed before the rod showed any interest and then taking me by surprise i had a "beep....Beep" on the alarm and a hunger bounce on the rod tip.  I hit it and was met with a solid pulling of a carps head.  Sinking the rod tip i kept pressure on the fish and thankfully she moved out into the main body of the water.  Keeping deep and dave a little quieter than normal i thought this is a better fish.

My arm aching and i had not even seen the fish dave said he thought it was a better on as it seems a harder fight, no screaming runs just a dogged battle of attrition.  Eventually she came up and i took my chance, she was a better fish for sure and i just hoped it beat my personal best. She went 11lb 10oz on the scales so it was a new personal best by a good 1lb8oz.  

A nice common and i decided after this fish it was time to pack in.  Not that there was not fish in the swim but i knew better fish where sure to come on this adventure and a new personal best was good enough for me.  You have to remember here in piking i went from 14lg straight to 21lb in quick time.  I wanted to enjoy the little milestones in carp fishing as they come along and i knew i still had a great chance of beating this PB next time out.

Till next time,

tight lines