Friday, 17 February 2017

New Blog Format and Mid February Update....

A warm welcome to this weeks blog update i hope i find you all well and your nets wet.  Well what can i say a week of work has come to an end and i find myself back at my desk.  Again writing this blog offers me a place of solace and, if only for an hour, a place to relax and enjoy updating the blog.

In this update i am going to cover a new format for the blog going forward and More importantly the reasons for this and will also have a look forward at what adventures are to come over the next month or so.  Grab a brew and lets get into it.

New Written Blog Format...

So we now move into another year of blogging and i think it is 6 years now since i started writing this blog and it has been fantastic to see it develop from a few paragraphs viewed by 10 people in a month to the almost feature length updates it now has on here attracting hundreds of views.

Over that time the blog has changed and like the very rivers i love to fish it has twisted and turned over time and now i feel we have come to the middle reaches, waters are calm and comfortable and the pace easy.    

"Easy, Calm and Comfortable are not a good place to be..."

Easy calm and comfortable is not a good place to be with anything you are passionate about.  you should be always looking at producing the best content you can and always be pushing some sort of boundary with your fishing whether that's going out of your comfort zone on projects or developing new ways of keeping your content interesting and due to this i feel the time is now for the blog to again develop and continue to allow me to produce the best blogs i can.

So going forward, regualr readers of this blog will be pleased to know the written blogs are going nowhere at all and i am more dedicated than ever to blogging on this media.  What will be changing is the regularity and the content of the blogs.   From march the blogs will go to fortnightly updates so there will be an update half way through the month and then another update on or around the end or start of the month.

The reason for these changes is simple,  my blog has now developed onto many formats and now is not just confined to the written format you see on here.  The social media side has grown to a pint where we have 2k followers on Twitter, close to 1k on Facebook and a growing popularity on Instagram.  As you will know recently i set up a Youtube channel for the blog and now regularly produce videos of my fishing sessions and have also undertaken a Consultant role at a local tackle shop.

all these commitments do take time out of my week and i am someone who puts my heart and soul into everything and to do all of these to the best of my ability there has to be balance so i am hoping updating this blog every 2 weeks, a video every Friday on Youtube and completing my consult role at the shop will all slide in nicely for me to do the best i can on all these avenues.

That is the fishing side of things but please do remember this is a hobby for me and there is no blog without the actual getting out on the bank fishing, all this is time out of my week.  I also work a 9-5 job and I am also a father to 2 kids and have a very understanding partner who quite frankly will always come first before all this so i really am doing my best to find some balance.

Lets see how it goes...

Looking Forward....

So February, a time of real change,  always a time tinged with mixed emotions for me as the daffodils coming up signal change is happening and for the river angler and pike angler in me i know the good times are now but it will all so quickly be over and another winter will have passed us by.

This time of year i really do start to think about the exciting fishing to come after the rivers close and my mind right now is ticking over with a few ideas of trips to come.  I am thinking of spending the two weeks after the rivers close on a commercial chasing silvers and carp and from march starting to get on the canal for silvers and chasing those carp again on floating crust.

One species that will be getting some attention from me this season will be the tench.  I have run into these red eyed teddy bears a few times over the past years on the canal and i think a targeted attack on them is well overdue, as is some dawn raids on bigger waters for them.  

All in all im looking forward to the new exciting adventures to come with spring even if i am a little sad to be leaving the pike, chub and dace fishing behind.

On to the Fishing..

So with a week off work it has been a case of having a back log of content to work through, never a bad thing i have learnt over the years.  The two fishing sessions released so far are a session on cheshire fisheries and a Chub fishing session on the river and here they are:

Cheshire Fisheries - A cold Winters Day

Monday morning and i headed in my car to meet my mate Gary for a days fishing on Cheshire fisheries near tattenhall.  The barometer recorded a barmy -3 and already before we left there was a wind howling through the trees outside Gary's house, experience over the years had taught me to expect a rough day as a wind before first light is always a bad omen for the rest of the day.

Heading onto the Cheshire plains i knew we would be exposed to the elements so we set up on a pool down the embankment hoping the wind would blow over our heads and miss us.  It surely was a lot calmer down the bank out of the wind and with a few fish topping it all looked well.

setting up either side of a overhanging tree i had high hopes for the session ahead and i set out a all pole plan to fish ground bait and maggot on one line and hemp and caster on the other.  Cutting the first few hours short it was a very very slow start that saw us catch the odd fish and i also lost a carp but when the fish started coming like the one below i knew it was time for a move.

A move onto the top pools put is right in the weather but straight away i was into roach and of a nice stamp.  All on maggot at first and i did try to put in a caster line but no bites where forthcoming on it.  As the session wore on the bites slowed and i managed to latch into a carp, the peg dying was a sure sign of their arrival.

The wind howling now and icy cold rain coming down i moved over to castor shallow and it proved to be a good call with roach coming at regular intervals. The wind and rain made it hard to get pictures never mind blog so it was a grueller but enjoyable in a mad type of way.

Garry was also fishing a pole with a waggler rod out the side and was also picking up regular roach and had also snared a nice carp, a good reward for suffering the weather.  The roach continued to come as well as two more carp that had been attracted onto the castor line.

At 3pm we decided to call it a day and weigh out nets.  A combined net of over 23lb of fish and some quality silvers did warm the soul, even for a few minutes.

As the weather warms i am looking forward to getting back on this exciting fishery.

Chub Fishing Session - Deadly Tactics For Catching Chub 

In river fishing it always pays to spend as much time on your rivers and learn their moods.  How quick they rise, how quick they fall and how the colour varies with their depths after rain fall.  Each river is different and learning them means you can pretty much always have a river to try.

Sometimes after the levels of rain recently the river might only be right for a few hours before the next load of rain sends them back into flood so you really do have to make the most of small windows of opportunity.  Last Friday was one of those windows so after dropping the kids off at school i set of in search of chub.

With Rain due in the afternoon i knew it was going to be a whirlwind session of only a hour or two.  In this video i cover that short session and a deadly tactic i use when chub fishing to get a few quick bites from wary chub.

Please like and subscribe to the channel to be updated when new videos go live:

That concludes another angling blog update.  I hope you have a fantastic session on the bank and till next time i wish you all.

tight lines


Thursday, 2 February 2017

Fishing the Whip Using Mole Hill Soil and Free Kids Fishing!!

A warm welcome to this weeks angling blog i hope i find you all well and your nets wet.  So we are now a few weeks into the year and i have to say i am feeling confident and optimistic for the year ahead.  The piking is still dreadful but i guess thats where being an all rounder adds strings to your bow as the roach fishing on the rivers has been fantastic and if i am honest has drew my attention more than the piking.

A nice update this week to the written blog where i will cover a session recently using mole hill soil ground bait for the fish and of course i am as busy as ever trying to keep all angles covered there is a video to go with the session as well.  So if you like a read you can read the blog and if you like to see it in action and on film then there is the youtube arm of the blog.

Thats it from myself point of view as the only thing i need to add is the fact my profile has gone live now on the Warrington Angling Centre website on the links below and there is one or two articles already on there.


Free Fishing For Under 16's!!

I was recently contacted by a club and asked if i would share some information on their club via the blog and social media.  As you all know i am all for getting the next generation out on the banks of the rivers, lakes and ponds so i was more than happy to help the club out.

"Free Fishing for kids under 16 at Twyford & District Fishing Club"
The Club is called Twyford and District Fishing club and is based just outside reading.  They have several stretches of the rivers Loddon, Thames and St Patricks Stream which offer fantastic barbel,chub, pike and silver sport.  The club also has lakes containing bream and carp as well as some beautiful ponds on the card.  

A Junior ticket last year cost £15.00 but in a fantastic move for angling the club has wavered this cost this year and with the fact the EA has also wavered the licence costs for children from April 1st it means youngsters under 16 can now fish this clubs waters for FREE!! 

If you are local follow this link and fill in the form: 
On to this weeks fishing:

River Fishing on The Whip using Mole Hill soil Ground Bait..
A video of the following session is available here:

After 2 weekends over time i was chewing at the bit to get out on the bank and wet a line so when the opportunity of two days came up on the leave i hastily booked the Thursday and the Friday off work.  The 3 days in work seemed to pass by in a second and i was soon getting the fishing gear into the hall on the evening of the session and preparing some rigs.

The next day was due to see a drop in temperature so i made the decision there and then not to go with the stick float and decided to fish a small whip.  The huge advantage here would be speed of course and also if we had a freeze over night then i knew there would be no issue with the rod rings freezing.

The night before i prepped one rig using my favourite 2lb 10z line and a nice fine hook length.  A simple light float was all that was needed as i knew with not much rain about i expected a low and clear river.

The whip was made up in seconds and put away in the holdall and i was all set for the session the next morning.  I have to say i was really excited as the 2 weeks exile had me itching to get out on the bank, if only to wisp away the cobwebs from 2 weeks at a desk.

I awoke the next morning to the ground glistening white and opening the front door i was met with a icy blast of cold refreshing air.  Not ideal but not exactly a disaster.  As an angler who fishes all year round i am more than accustomed to the bad weather this country can produce and to be honest opening the door to a hard frost fills me with more excitement than opening the door to it blowing a hooilie and raining.

The layer of ice removed from the car i set about my normal Thursday routine of dropping the kids off at school.  A few funny looks later from the teaches who seemed a little surprised to see me in thermal boots and fishing gear and not my normal work shirt and pants i was on my way to the bank.

The luxury i have of a weekend was evident straight away as i fought through rush hour traffic to get to the river, never an issue at 5am on a Sunday morning!

"With the Ground bait my whole aim was attracting the fish
and not feeding them so reducing feed content was essential"

I arrived at the bank and first job was to mix the ground bait.  The temperature was just above freezing cold so i knew feeding the swim was going to be a balancing act and this had to show in my ground bait.  My whole aim here is to attract the roach into the swim and not feed them. My mix on the day was Dynamite baits silver x ground bait, a fantastic silver fish ground bait all year round but like all ground baits it does contain a lot of feed like hemp and maize in i so the first job was to riddle the ground bait straight from the bag.

As you can see below just a quarter of a bag contains quite a lot of bulk feed

So the extra feed removed and up the bank i mixed the ground bait as normal and then passed the mix through a riddle to give me a nice fluffy ground bait base.  I then added the mole hill soil, i add here i had riddled the soil when it was harvested.  

The aim here is to bulk out the ground bait so you have a lot more to work with and also to reduce the feed content of the mix.  The mole hill soil is neutral and contains no feed at all so it means that every time i mix a ball up that ball contains a mixture of mole hill and ground bait so its not all ground bait going in the swim.  The mole hill soil will add colour and the ground bait adds the smell and attraction with little or no actual feed when the fish arrive.

The most important component when whip fishing is feeding.  You only have a certain arc and range in which you can catch fish so you need to feed in a way so the feed is on the bottom of going through the water in front of you.  Keeping the fish where you want them is key and you control this by feeding the swim correctly.

Too much feed will see the fish come up the peg and in the water and make them hard to catch while too little can see not enough fish attracted to the swim and can see the fish back off out of range where they know its safe.

In an ideal world you feed just enough to keep the fish in the swim and to attract more but still only enough to keep the fish in your swim competing for the food.  Once the roach are competing the formula is complete and the fishing really does become easy.

The feeding established i soon got into a rhythm,  cast in, feed, hold back, hold back and then strike.  Doing this i was soon putting fish in the net at a good rate and although the fish where not of any size i knew through sheer numbers a weight was possible.

It was literally a bite a chuck all session and by the end i had the fish right off the end of the whip.  When you get the feeding right and prepare your baits correctly you can have a really good and cheap days fishing.

The final net went 19lb and the only thing that saw me leave was the coldness on my hands from holding so many freezing cold roach.  I left the bank a little sad i didn't stay a but longer for the magical 20lb net but happy with the session and the footage i had put together.

Thank you for reading and please like and subscibe on the youtube channel to be alerted when videos go live.

till next time

tight lines