Friday, 8 July 2016

Browning Humberside Fire Team Update

The last few weeks have been pretty full on fulfilling team commitments. Our Browning Humberside Fire Team has been involved in 2 interservice teams of 4 matches at both The Oaks Lakes in Sessay and Tunnel Barn Farm. On top of these I was also selected to represent the British Fire Service team in a teams of 12 event at Tunnel Barn Farm too.

The Oaks Lakes 
The First match at The Oaks went pretty well on a personal note; I drew out peg 26 on Beech Lake which is one of the prolific new lakes at the venue. It proved to be a difficult day with the fish not really been in feeding mood. Fortunately I had a fair few fish in my corner and I managed to finish 2nd overall in the match with 103lb. Fishing maggots shallow and switching between lines did the business for me.
On the team front we only managed 8th, which was a bit of a disappointment but the conditions and  our draw (apart from mine) didn't help us.

Tunnel barn Farm
Tunnel Barn Farm was the destination for our next team match and after the disappointment of the Oaks, we were hoping for a much better result. We arrived the night before the match, enabling us to have a wander around the fishery to familiarise ourselves and save a long drive in the morning ;-)

When morning came and we arrived at the fishery for the registration; 21 teams were due to take part, so we needed to be on good form to compete. We decided the previous evening that when we had drawn the envelope with the 4 pegs in it, we would just draw the pegs blind instead of placing the anglers as none of us are particularly familiar with what pegs are good and which are not.
I drew out peg 41 on the New Pool and on arrival at the peg I was pretty pleased with how it looked. Firstly the island I had in front of me was pretty close at around 13 meters to the clear bank. Slightly to the right of this was a large reed bed which could be reached with as little as 11 meters of pole. This would hopefully give me the best of both worlds, shallow to the bare bank and deep water near the reeds. Both margins also looked really inviting as they had plenty of reed cover, hopefully this would be enough cover to get the fish to feed confidently.


The Plan
As the peg offered plenty of options, I tried to keep mine to a minimum as to not over complicate things. The main line of attack would be the shallow water tight up to the bare bank area of the island as this offered a really nice depth of around 18 inches. This sort of depth is usually perfect as its shallow, but deep enough to let the fish feed confidently. The second line was to be in front of the reeds on the island, this was quite deep at around 4 1/2 feet and because of the depth here I also set up a shallow rig for the same line.
The third line was a short line at top 2 plus 1 section, I was hoping this line would come into effect as the session went on. I also set up a margin line which covered both sides.

Bait
For the bare bank line I had some worms and casters plus some worm soil mixed up sloppy so it made a lovely little black cloud as it dropped down in the water.
For the reed line I decided to feed loose casters via catapult and initially start shallow and try the deck rig every so often.
For the short line I had some fishery 4 mm pellets for both feeding and the hook. For the margins I had some 6 mm cubes of meat.

Rigs
Bare Bank Rig
  • Pole - Browning Silverlite 10-12
  • Elastic - Yellow Browning Stretch 7 
  • Mainline - 0.16 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hooklength - 0.12 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook - Size 16  Kamasan B911
  • Float - Drennan Carp 4 0.2 gram
  • Shotting - A spread bulk set just above the hooklength. 
Island Reed Deck Rig
  • Pole - Browning Silverlite 10-12 
  • Elastic - Yellow Browning Stretch 7
  • Mainline - 0.16 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hooklength - 0.12 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook - Size 18 Kamasan B911 
  • Float - SM F1 wire 0.3 gram 
  • Shotting - Spread bulk plus 2 droppers 
Shallow Rig
  • Pole - Browning Silverlite 10-12 
  • Elastic - Blue Browning Stretch 7 
  • Mainline - 0.16 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hooklength - 0.12 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook - Size 16 Guru LWG eyed tied with a knotlees knot with a hairrigged Drennan mini band 
  • Float - Drennan Crystal Dibber 0.2g 
  • Shotting - 3 No10s 
Short Line
  • Pole - Browning Silverlite 10-12 
  • Elastic - Yellow Browning Stretch 7 
  • Mainline - 0.16 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hooklength - 0.12 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook - Size 16 Guru LWG eyed tied with a knotless knot with a hairrigged Drennan micro band. 
  • Float - SM F1 Wire 0.3g 
  • Shotting - Spread bulk plus 2 droppers 
Edge Rig 
  • Pole - Browning Silverlite 10-12 
  • Elastic - White Browning Stretch 7
  • Mainline - 0.16 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hooklength - 0.14 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook - Size 16 Kamasan B911 
  • Float - Drennan Carp 4 0.3g 
  • Shotting - Spread Bulk 

The Session
I started the session on the bare bank line, I baited up with a worm head and filled the pole mounted pot with a small amount of the worm and caster soil slop. I shipped the rig into the desired spot and tipped the slop out and followed this in with the rig. A minute or so went by and after a few lifts and drops the float buried, a quick lift was followed by a steady stream of elastic emitting from pole tip. A decent battle commenced and fortunately I came out the victor by landing a decent sized Common Carp around 3 lb. The next drop in followed the same pattern up until the point of landing the fish, the hook unfortunately pulled out, I was gutted as it was another decent Common Carp.
The next 20 minutes was spent trying to get this swim going, but it never really materialised, I only managed a single F1 in this time.
Time for a change, I switched rigs and tried in front of the island reeds but all I could catch was small silver fish. A try shallow on the same line did produce a couple of F1s, but I was going nowhere fast; I gave this 30 minutes but it just didn't seem right.
In an all out change I decided to try the short line, which I had been steadily feeding with 4 mm pellets right from the off.  I baited up the band with a 4 mm pellet and lowered the rig into position, the float barely had time to settle and I was into a fish, a small F1 soon graced the net. I spent the rest of the match on this line as it produced fish for the rest of the match. I did have a quick look in the margins but they didn't produce either.
At the weigh in I totaled 61 pound which was enough to give me the lake and section win. As a team we manged 5th overall out of 21 teams so we were pretty pleased as it was a huge improvement on the last match.



The British Fire Service Inter-Service National

A week later myself and Ian Ralph (a member of the Browning Humberside Fire Team ) were on our way back to Tunnel Barn Farm to represent the British Fire Service in a teams of 12 match in the Inter-Service National. All of our team arrived a day or two in advance for some practice to get a proper feel for the place. Unfortunately for me the lake I was due to fish was matched up on the practice day so I ended up fishing Canal Lake peg 2, as I was told this was similar to Club Lake with regards the fish you catch. I ended up catching shallow with casters to some flattened reeds on the island.

Match Day
Match day arrived and I drew peg 13 on Club, which is a corner peg and looks extremely 'fishy'; however, I will admit now I had one of them days to forget!
I managed to winkle out 28 pound for 5th in section, which in all honesty I was devastated with, as I thought I'd let the team down.

Redemption
Fortunately a lot of the other anglers had fared better and we managed to win the match as a team quite comfortably. One of our team Andy Hampson won the match individually form guess where?  You guessed it peg 2 on Canal, the peg I practiced on, so the practice session and my tips came in more than useful after all :-)



Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Newbridge Lakes

I recently payed a visit to Newbridge Lakes in the village of Burstwick East Yorkshire. For once I was visiting a lake for a pleasure session and not a match "yes you did just read that right" ;-)
For those who have never been to Newbridge before, the venue offers a wide range of fishing opportunities with 3 very different lakes on offer.





















Newbridge Lake
This is the main lake which is 7 acres in size and offers a large Carp fishing as well as some of the best silver fish fishing available.

Harrif Pond
Just over an acre in size and has 2 islands. This is a match style lake with a good stocking of F1s, Carp, Tench and Skimmers.

Skeckling Pond
This has 1 central island and is less stocked compared to the Harrif Pond, which allows the fish to grow to specimen sizes.

I opted to fish the Harrif pond as it looked extremely inviting. After a walk around the lake I opted for a peg that had a few different options. The peg I decided on offered an array of areas to target. Firstly there was the island which was within comfortable casting range for fishing the Hybrid feeder. The peg also offered plenty of open water to target with pole tactics.




The Plan
I opted for 2 pronged approach, firstly targeting the end of the left hand island with a hybrid feeder as this looked to be a great fish holding feature.
The other area I planned to target was a pole line at 13 meters, I had plenty of open water to target so this would be a great back up line for when bites eased on feeder line.

Bait
As this was a pleasure session I kept the bait options down to a minimum. I opted for dampened micro pellets and 4 mm hard pellets for both the feeder and the pole lines, "simples"

Rigs:

Feeder Rod
  • Rod - Browning 10ft Sphere Bomb 
  • Reel - Browning Sphere 930 
  • Main line - 0.18 Browning Cenex ABR
  • Hooklength - 0.16 Browning Hybrid power 
  • Hook - Size 16 Kamasan B911 eyed tied with a knotless knot with a hairrigged micro band 
  • Feeder - Guru Hybrid 24 gram

Pole Rig 
  • Pole - Browning Z12 
  • Elastic - Yellow Browning Stretch 7 
  • Mainline - 0.14 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hooklength - 0.12 Browning hybrid Power 
  • Hook - Size 16 Kamasan B911 eyed tied with a knotless knot with a hairrigged micro band 
  • Float - 0.3 gram Drennan AS1 
  • Shotting - Spread Bulk plus 2 droppers 

The Session 
I started the session on the feeder, with a 4 mm hard pellet in the band and micro pellets in the feeder for feed. I  cast the feeder and as I was clipped up it landed perfectly within a foot of the island. Within a minute of the feeder hitting the bottom, the tip pulled round and I was in, this resulted in a Skimmer around a pound in weight soon been netted. The next chuck was a mirror image of the first, but this time it resulted in a lovely F1.


The first hour was pretty relentless as the bites just kept on coming, Carp and F1's were the main species plus I did have a rouge Tench. Just as the second hour commenced a fish took me into a snag, resulting in a big commotion and me getting snapped off. This left me having to re-set up and bites grinding to a halt on the feeder line; I was pretty much forced into swapping over to the pole line, which I had been regularly feeding via a pole mounted kinder pot with micro pellets.
To make sure I kept the feed really accurate I picked a far bank marker to line up with. Another thing I did was whilst the micros were in the pot I gave them a little squeeze so that they came out the pot in a clump. This also helps keep thing nice and accurate, it also get the bait down to the bottom much quicker then feeding them loose. I baited the band with a 4 mm pellet and shipped the pole out into position. I then tapped the clump of micros in the desired spot and then lowered the rig into position. Within seconds of the float settling, I had a bite, a quick lift of the pole resulted in a steady stream of yellow elastic omit from the pole. This resulted in a proper chunk F1 followed quickly by another before the Skimmers moved in. I spent the remainder of the session swapping between the pole and feeder to keep fish gracing the net. I had a fantastic few hours fishing at a lovely venue ending up with around 40 - 50 lb :-)  






Friday, 25 March 2016

Lindholme Lakes Winter League Final Round

To say this weekend has been tiring is an understatement! It all started on Thursday evening when I traveled down to Farnborough for the Big One Show; after a 4 hour drive I arrived at fellow Browning angler, Mick Fordham's house. Mick kindly put me up for the night so we could get an early start setting up the show stand ready for the Saturday morning. After an early start, we finally got the stand and the pole alley finished around 5 o'clock before making our way to the hotel for a well deserved beer and some grub. Saturday was extremely busy at the show; the response to the poles was fantastic and the new 'under development' pole was a major crowd-pleaser.




After the show it was time for me to head home to get ready for the Lindholme Lakes winter league final round, in which I was lying joint second. The morning of the match arrived and even after a tiring weekend I was still up bright eyed and bushy tailed :-) I arrived at the venue and to say it was packed would be an understatement. There must have been a club match on every other lake on the venue apart form the 3 lakes we were due to be on. For this final round, the match was to be spread over Bonsai, Benny's and Oasis and with a great turn out of 78 we would need them all.
One highlight of the morning was chatting to Steve Dyson, I asked him which peg he fancied and he said 29 Bonsai, as he fancied a day fishing the waggler. Draw time arrived and I drew out peg 30 on Bonsai and seen as 29 wasn't in, it was close enough. Steve immediately joked about swapping pegs as he drew Bennys Lake.

I made my way to the peg and on arrival at it I could tell why Steve fancied it now. It had an island around 25 meters away with a tree over hanging into the water. To the right of the tree was a grassy flat bank, with another tree a bit further to the right of that. The peg also offered plenty of open water and a nice looking margin to the right. With this in mind I formulated my plan.



The Plan
My initial thought was to start on the bomb tight to the island and trickle feed it via catapult. I could then switch over to the waggler once the fish had settled. I also planned to set up a couple of pole lines, starting at around 13 meters, this would then give me the option of pushing out further during the day.
The final line was to the margin to my right which looked pretty inviting.

Bait
The bait tray was a relatively simple one revolving mainly around pellets. I had some 4 mm pellets for feeding and fishing on the pole line. I had some 6 mm pellets for the waggler and bomb, I also had a tin of corn, as it has been "the bait" for the majority of the winter months. I also dampened some micro pellets for feeding down the margins with a plan to fish corn over the top.

Rigs:
Bomb Rod
  • Rod - Browning 10 ft Sphere Bomb 
  • Reel - Browning Sphere 930 
  • Mainline - 0.18 Browning Cenex ABR
  • Hooklength - 0.12 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook - Size 16 Kamasan B911 eyed tied with a knotless knot with a hair rigged bait stop 
  • Bomb - 5 gram olivette style bomb 

Waggler Rod 
  • Rod - Browning Force Pellet Waggler  11ft 
  • Reel - Browning Xitan
  • Mainline - 0.18 Browning Cenex ABR
  • Hooklength - 0.12 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook - Size 16 Kamasan B911 eyed tied with a knotless knot with a hair rigged micro band 
  • Waggler - Drennan Insert Loaded Crystal

Pole Set-Up
  • Pole - Browning Silverlite 10-12
  • Elastic - Yellow Browning Stretch 7 Hollow 
  • Mainline - 0.14 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hooklength - 0.10 Browning Cenex Soft 
  • Hook - Size 16 kamasan B911 tied with a knotless knot with a hair rigged micro band 
  • Float - 0.3g AS1 
  • Shotting - Spread bulk plus 2 droppers 

Margin Rig 
  • Pole - Browning Silverlite 10 - 12 
  • Elastic - Yellow Browning 
  • Mainline - 0.14 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hooklength - 0.12 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook - Size 16 Kamasan B911
  • Float - 0.3g AS3 
  • Shotting - Spread bulk 

The Session 
I started the match on Bomb and corn tight up to the island, my initial plan was to utilise the visual bait and hope for a quick response before starting to feed anything. After a couple of recasts with not a single movement on the tip, I started to introduce 2 x 6 mm pellets every couple of minutes with a hope this would trigger the fish into feeding. 10 minutes went by and I had to change something, so I  switched over to the waggler. 25 minutes had now gone by and I still remained biteless, therefore I decided on a complete change of approach.

The plan was to go on the pole and trickle feed the island with a hope that it would fire up later in the match. I shipped the pole out to 13 meters and 'tip tapped' a few 4 mm pellets over the top then lowered the rig in nice and slowly, trying to mimic the falling pellets. I few minutes later the float dipped, a quick strike and I was in. For some reason though half way back the fish came off. This happened again the next bite, fortunately it was 3rd time lucky as I managed to land a nice chunky F1.


I probably spent a good couple of hours on the pole picking up mainly proper Carp every 10-15 minutes or so. It was a real waiting game and I had to keep the float active, lifting and dropping regularly. Most bites came just after the float resettled. For some reason bites on the pole ground to a halt, so trying to waste no time I switched to the waggler and fortunately never looked back as I started catching on this straight away and at a decent rate. 

One mistake I did make, but managed to get away with it was starting to up the feed. As soon as I realised the bites had deteriorated I cut the feed back to an absolute minimum and this soon had them lining up again. Towards the end of the match I had them coming almost every cast, The only thing that was slowing me down was getting the odd cast in the over hanging tree on the island and sometimes having to re-rig up; it was like a waggler graveyard near the island at the end of the match, but I had to be in it to win it! :-) 

At the end of the match I wondered if I had done enough to win the section, Ryan Bennet in the peg to my left had caught steadily all day so it was going to be tight. The weigh sling arrived at his peg first and he weighed in 82lb 4oz. 
It definitely was going to be tight,  but fortunately I managed to weigh in 94lb 3 oz, which gave me the section win I really needed. This gave me 6 section wins and a second that would give me 8 points to be counted for the final result.
I managed to finish second overall in the league behind a deserved winner Ryan Lidguard, who finish with 7 section wins and 7 points, well done Ryan :-) 

Top 8

1
Ryan Lidguard 
7 points
2
Me
8 points
3
Les Marshall    
9 points dropping 2
4
Ben Fisk          
9 points dropping 3
5
Chris Reilly     
9 points dropping 4
6
Andy Bailey   
11 points dropping 2
7
Nick Speed     
11 points dropping 3
8
Paul Wright    
11 points dropping 4

I would like to thank Lindholme Lakes for running a fantastic winter league and I for one am looking forward to the next one :-) 


Friday, 12 February 2016

Lindholme Winter League Round 8, Laurels Lake

Today saw me at Lindholme lakes for round 8 of the Lindholme Lakes winter league. To keep you up to date, so far I have had 4 section wins, a second, a forth and a missed round. The league is run over 11 matches with the best 7 results counting and the 4 worst been dropped.
Today's match was split over 2 lakes, Bonsai and Laurels. In truth I wasn't really that bothered which lake I drew as the main aim in these winter league matches is to win your section and gain the 1 point; if you come in the main frame (top 3 or 4), it's a "brucey bonus!".

At the draw I pulled out peg 50 on Laurels, which I wasn't disappointed with. The peg is situated on the right hand side of  the last arm on the left hand side of the lake (looking at the lake from the main car park). 
On arrival at my peg I discovered that I had the wind off my back, and as the wind was quite bad this was just what I needed. Another thing that went in my favour was having the bay to myself as the pegs opposite had been left out. With this in mind I came up with a plan. 

The Plan 
My initial thoughts were to target a couple of lines in the open water, one at a 10 o'clock angle and the other directly in front of me. I planned to start at 13 meters and push out to 14.5 meters and 16 if required. 
My third line was to be tight to the flat bank to the right hand side, my plan was to target different areas with dobbing tactics.



My final pole line was to be at 15 meters if front of the over hanging tree from the flat bank to my right. I planned to fish a meter or so away from the bank in the deep water. 
I also planned to fish the bomb 3/4 of the way across the bay. 

Bait 
For all but one of the pole lines I planned to fish 4 mm expander pellet on the hook and tip tap dampened micros over the top via a pole mounted kinder pot.
For the pole line that I planned to fish along tight to the flat bank, bread was to be my bait of choice.
On the bomb, I planned to fish and feed corn.

Rigs
Pole Rigs 

  • Pole - Browning Silverlite 10-12
  • Elastic - Yellow Browning Stretch 7 hollow
  • Main line - 0.14 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hooklength - 0.10 Browning Cenex 
  • Hook - Size 18 Kamasan B911 F1
  • Float - 0.3g Steve Musitano F1 Slim 
  • Shotting - A spread bulk plus 2 droppers 
I used the same rig on the 2 open water lines as these where the same depth and a separate version of the same rig on the tree rig as this depth was quite a bit different from the other lines.

The Bomb Rod 

  • Rod - Browning Sphere Bomb 
  • Reel - Browning Black Magic Burner 
  • Mainline - 0.16 Browning Cenex ABR
  • Hooklength - 0.12 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook - Size 16 Kamasan B911 eyed tied with a knotless knot with a hair rigged bait stop.
  • Bomb - Inline 6 gram olivette style Bomb 

The Session 
I started the session on the pole at 13 meters directly in front of me, I tip tapped a few micros from the pole mounted pot and then lowered the rig slowly into place. With no indications after a few minutes I moved the rig to the to the 10 o'clock line and repeated the initial process; again the float remained motionless.


After a bit of looking around it was pretty apparent it was the same for everyone, so I persevered switching between these 2 lines. During this time I had been firing a couple of grains of corn every 2 minutes via catapult onto the bomb line. As the pole lines hadn't produced a single movement I decided to give the bomb a few chucks. After a couple of minutes the tip flew round and I was into my first fish, which resulted in a good sized F1 soon been netted. The second cast resulted in a proper Carp around 5lb, again I had to wait for the bite for approximately 5 minutes. Had I sussed it? The simple answer was no, as these were the only 2 bites I could muster. 

















The Fish That Got Away!
In a bid to make something happen I reached for the dobbing rig, I baited up with  2 8mm bread discs squeezed slightly together. (I find this fluffs up lovely after a 30 seconds in the water.) Within seconds of lowering the rig in close to the flat bank the float disappeared and I was into my 3rd fish which was a decent F1, but unfortunately the hook pulled out right in front the net. 

With 2 hours gone I was really struggling, so in a bid to make something happen I decided to up the feed on the bomb line to 4 grains of corn every minute, I also opted to try my back-up tree line. I wasn't optimistic but what choice did I have! 
I shipped the rig into position and tip tapped a few pellets in and lowered the rig slowly over the top. 30 seconds later the float dipped I lifted and it was fish on. A lovely chunky F1 was the result. The next 5 drops in all resulted in F1s been netted. Bites then dried up so I decided to feed the peg with around 50 micros and have a go on the bomb whilst the bait settled. This had the desired affect as a minute after casting the bomb out the tip pulled round, resulting in another F1; I had 5 more casts and these also resulted in more f1s. 

Final Results
The rest of the match was spent alternating between the 2 swims which kept odd fish coming the the net. 
At the end of the match I was really pleased with how things had gone and was hoping for another section win. At the scales I weighed in 43lb 14oz which was enough for the section (which i was over the moon about!!!)
I now have 5 section wins, a second and a 4th which puts me joint top of the league with Ryan Lidgard, who also has 5 section wins. 
With 3 rounds left its all to fish for :-)     


Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Lindholme Lakes

First 2 Matches of 2016 

With a couple of week lay-off over the festive season due to work and family commitments, I was itching to get back on the bank ASAP. With this in mind I decided to go both Saturday and Sunday to Lindholme, to try and get myself back in tune ready for next Sunday's winter league match.

Saturday 
I was up pretty early on the Saturday morning all giddy and eager to get fishing again, after what seemed like an eternity lay-off. The match was to be held on Bonsai, which has been in great form considering the time of year; the mild weather has definitely helped keep the fish feeding well! 

After a bit of banter and catch up with the regular open lads, it was time for the draw. I pulled out peg 1, which I was slightly apprehensive about as the best weights lately have been caught in the 40s, 50s and 60 pegs but this peg can sometimes throw up some good weights. 
This peg has plenty of fish holding features on offer, firstly a reed covered island which is around 14 meters away and you can cover 2/3 of the island with 16 meters. To my left in the corner is a thinned out reed bed which normally holds loads of fish. To my right I had plenty of open water as the next peg in was peg 6 around the corner. With this in mind I came up with a plan. 



The Plan 
I decided on a 3 pronged approach, firstly starting with the island but after plumbing up as far as I could reach I decided on setting up 2 separate rigs; this was due to variations in depth along the island. The second line I planned to fish was close to the reed bed to my left hand side. Fortunately one of my island rigs was perfect for this as it was identical depth. The third and final line was into the open water, both towards the aerator to the left and at a 2 o'clock angle to the right. 

Bait 
For the island I had opted to go with bread, with the idea of dobbing it along the reed fringe. This tactic has caught quite a lot of fish in recent weeks, but If this didn't work I had some pellets and corn as backup. For the reeds in the corner I planned to start with bread on the hook and move the rig along the reed bed in the same manner as the island rig. Again if this didn't produce I could switch to pellet or corn. For the open water rig I had some 4 mm hard pellets which I planned to feed and use as hook bait. 

Rigs
Island and Reedbed Rigs 
  • Pole - Browning Silverlite 10-12
  • Elastic - Yellow Browning Stretch 7 
  • Mainline - 0.14 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hooklength - 0.10 Browning Cenex 
  • Hook - Size 16 Kamasan B911 
  • Float - Scotthorne AS3 0.3g
  • Shotting - Spread out pattern

Open Water Rig 
  • Pole - Browning Silverlite 10-12
  • Elastic - Yellow Browning Stretch 7 
  • Mainline - 0.14 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hooklength - 0.10 Browning Cenex 
  • Hook - Size 16 B911 eyed tied with a knotless knot with a hair rigged micro band 
  • Float - Scotthorne AS1 0.3g
  • Shotting - Spread bulk plus 2 droppers

The Session 
I started the session on the long pole to the island with a bread hookbait. This is what is meant by the term "dobbing". The plan is to lift and drop the rig in different areas along the reed line until you get a bite. The spread out shotting lets the bread fall slowly, hopefully tempting the fish into taking the bait quickly. 
It didn't take long to get my first bite, but unfortunately the hook pulled out half way back. I re-baited and shipped the rig back to the island starting off where I'd just had the bite and worked the rig along the reed line but to no avail, I just could not get a bite anywhere. In a bid to make something happen I decided to leave the island to rest and have a look to the reed bed. I'd seen plenty of movement in the reeds and temptation got the better of me. The first drop near the reed bed resulted in a bite and fish on, this resulted in a chunky F1. I was finally off the mark. I re-baited and dropped the rig in the same area hoping for a similar response, but again to no avail. 




I definitely had to get my thinking cap on and sharpish as I was going nowhere fast. My thoughts were that the fish wanted some feed and not just a visual hookbait. I decided on a drastic change of plan, I decided to ditch the bread and go with a pellet approach on both lines. I opted to feed slightly dampened micros through a kinder pot, with a hole only big enough to allow a micro at a time through. I thought that feeding this way would make a bit of noise but not overfeed the fish. For hookbait I thought I'd start with a 4mm expander and I also had a bit of corn for a change bait. This worked a treat as no sooner had I tapped a few micro's in on the reed peg and lowered the rig over the top the float buried. A minute or two later another chunk F1 was in the net. I knew things wouldn't be fast and furious, so the rest of the match was spent rotating lines and picking up odd fish. At the weigh in I managed to put 24lb 3oz on the scales which got me absolutely nowhere :-( 
   
Sunday 
Sundays match was supposed to be split between Bonsai and Beeches, but as there was a few winter league matches taking place, numbers allowed us all to stay on Bonsai. I was hoping the Draw Gods were looking over me and would let me draw between 52 and 70, as this is where the best weights had come from the previous day. I was over the moon when I drew out peg 56 as this peg had come 2nd the day before and I'd managed to have a chat with the guy who was on it as we packed up :-) 
The peg has a fair amount to offer with an island around 25 meters away. There is also plenty of open water to go at too. 




The Plan 
The plan was really simple, to fish bomb and waggler to the island. I planned to target the left hand end of the island with the bomb and a small clay bank halfway down the island with the waggler. I also planned to set up the pole as an emergency backup.  

Bait 
After chatting to the guy the day before, he had caught on corn, but would they have it 2 days on the trot? I planned to alternate between ;orn and 6mm hard pellet; I thought that varying the hookbait maybe a good way of going, especially if they have wised up to the corn approach. I also had some 4mm feed pellets for the pole line. 

Rigs 
Bomb Rig 
  • Rod - Browning Sphere Bomb 
  • Reel - Browning Black Magic Burner 
  • Mainline - 0.18 Browning Cenex ABR 
  • Hooklength - 0.12 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook - Size 16 Kamasan B911 eyed tied with a knotless knot with a hair rigged micro band 
  • Bomb - 1/3 oz bomb (free running) 

Waggler Rig 
  • Rod - Browning Force 11ft Pellet Waggler 
  • Reel - Browning Black magic Burner 
  • Mainline - 0.16 Browning Cenex ABR 
  • Hooklength - 0.12 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook - Size 16 Kamasan B911 eyed tied with a knotless knot with hair rigged micro band 
  • Waggler - Drennan loaded Insert Crystal 
  • Shotting - 2 x locking shot plus 2 no 8 droppers 

Pole Rig 
  • Pole - Browning Silverlite 10-12
  • Elastic - Yellow Browning Stretch 7
  • Mainline - 0.14 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hooklength - 0.10 Browning Cenex 
  • Hook - Size 16 Kamasan B911 eyed tied with a knotless knot with a hair rigged micro band 
  • Float - Scotthorne AS1 0.3g 
  • Shotting - Spread bulk with 2 droppers 
  
The Session 
I started the session on the bomb with a 6 mm pellet on the hook. It took all of a minute for the first bite which was a massive drop back. A good strike and I was into a decent sized fish which resulted in a decent sized Mirror Carp. All I can say is the next 2 hours were like fishing in the summer as I was getting a fish every cast almost. Sometimes I would have to wait 5 minutes or more for a bite but eventually it would come. 

It's not something I have experienced very often but nearly every bite was a drop back bite, only maybe 3 or 4 pulled round properly. With 2 1/2 hours gone I had a bit of a lull in bites, so I decided to give the bomb line a rest and switched to the waggler, which was unbelievable as I was soon into fish on this too. 
After a few fish though I soon discovered that if I didn't drop the wag tight to the island I didn't get a bite. Even though I had a back wind casting wasn't easy as trying to draw the rod back to get the float behind me was near on impossible. as the wind tried keeping it in front of me. I persevered for a while before switching back to the bomb.

With around an hour or so left, bites almost ground to a halt. this seemed to coincide with the club match on the other side of the arm in the 70s and 80s pegs packing up and starting vans up and leaving them running close to my peg. I did pick up odd fish but not many. At the end of the match I was pleased with the way things had gone and when I weighed in 71lb 8oz I was more than happy, as this was enough to give me the match win!
Definitely a tale of 2 days :-)   





Saturday, 14 November 2015

Tips for Winter Hard Pellet Fishing

Firstly I would like to apologise for the delay in posts. I realise it has been quite some time since my last blog post!
In recent weeks I have been out on the bank pretty regularly, fishing the open matches and the winter league matches at Lindholme Lakes. Fortunately I have had some decent successes of late and this has come mainly by fishing one particular method; that been long pole and hard pellet on the deck. I have real confidence in this method at the minute and hopefully this will continue through the winter.

A Roundup of Recent Results

Day
Match
Weight
Lake
Peg
Position
Tuesday 20th Oct
Open
91 lb 7oz
Willows
43
Match win
Sunday 25th Oct
The wife’s birthday!
1st round of the winter league
54lb 11oz
Laurels
61
Section win
Thursday 29th Oct
Open
102lb 6oz
Bonsai
65
4th overall
Tuesday 3rd Nov
Open
59lb 7oz
Bonsai
6
Errm
Slight blip!
Sunday 8th Nov
2nd round of the winter league
75lb 1oz
Bonsai
52
Section win
Second overall

All these results mentioned above have revolved around fishing hard pellet on the long pole on the deck . The only thing that has altered during the last few weeks is the way I have fed. This has changed from using a catapult to using a pole mounted pot and tip tapping the pellets in.

The rig I use for hard pellet fishing in the cooler months never changes as I have massive confidence in it.

The rig consists of:
  • 0.3g AS1 float - This is a wire stemmed float which gives unrivalled stability which is essential for pellet fishing. 
  • 0.14 Browning Hybrid Power main line - This is a strong mainline which is stiff enough to prevent tangles and robust enough to prevent breakages when constantly rubbing on the net. 
  • 0.10 Cenex Hooklength - This is super supple and discreet which helps you get and hit shy bites (a must in winter). It is also strong enough to deal with Carp and F1s. I use a 6" hook length as it keeps the dropper shot just far enough away from rubbing on the fish whilst they are feeding, which could spook them. 
  • A size 16 B911 eyed hook tied with a knotless knot with a hair rigged micro band. - This hook may seem quite large but from experience it is far more productive than using an 18. The mechanics of the rig work far better with the 16 as the hook bend is not masked by the pellet which can happen with an 18 
  • My Shotting pattern never changes, I have a bulk of 3 x no 8 shot set 12 above the hook length which have a small gap between each shot. This enables the line to stretch between the shot preventing weakness. I also have 2 no 10 droppers set with 1 directly above the hook length and the other half way between the the first dropper and the bulk. This gives a nice slow fall which is essential for the way f1s feed. 
  • The elastics I use are both from the Browning Stretch 7 range. Firstly the yellow, which is an 8 plus rating. This is not the lightest elastic but it is very forgiving, it also has a bit power when required if used through a puller. The other elastic I use is the blue, which is a 6 plus rating. I tend to use this if smaller F1s are the quarry.

Feeding
This is probably the most important part of any fishing and if you can get this right you can have a great day, but get it wrong and you can destroy the peg in seconds. My biggest bit of advice, especially at this time of year would be to feel your way into the session. What I mean by this is start with minimal feed; you can always put more in but you can't take it out!

During the summer months I like to use a catapult for nearly all my feeding, which these days  is more commonly known as "pinging". By feeding this way you can catch on the deck then as the session progresses you can catch shallow as the fish come up in the water to compete for the feed. A great summer tactic!
As the weather changes and the water starts to cool, the way you need to feed starts to change. You may still be able to use a catapult but I tend to opt for using pole mounted kinder pots, as fish become less active and are less willing to go searching for feed, so keeping the feed in a nice tight area should draw the fish in and keep them in the swim. "Well that's the theory anyway!"

I have loads of different types of pole mounted pots and they are nearly all adapted for trickle feeding. By trickle feeding you can monitor carefully what feed is going into your swim and you don't have to feed it all at once. You can feed 2 or 3 pellets then lift and drop the rig a couple of times, then tap a couple more pellets in and do the same until a bite comes. You can gauge then how many pellets you need to feed.



Pellet size can be massively important and my personal favourite size is 4 mm for feed and hook. Lindholme contains lots of silverfish and micros seem to draw these in really quickly, something the 4mm pellets don't seem to do. I believe that sound plays a fairly important part in attracting fish into the peg and the 4 mm pellets make a lovely little 'plop' as they hit the water. For the hook I always start with a 4 mm pellet in the band as this matches the feed and appears natural. If however bites reduce it can be worth trying a 6 mm pellet as it can sometimes trigger a response.

During the last few matches, using this method has worked a treat. I have on most the matches started with 2 lines at 13 meters, 1 at 10 o'clock angle and 1 at a 2 o'clock angle. I start by tapping 6 pellets on the 10 o'clock line the moving the rig to the 2 o'clock line and tapping 6 pellets on this line too. I then lower the rig in slowly to mimic a falling pellet.

By feeding and lowering the rig this way a response usually comes quite quickly.
Every time I ship out I feed the opposite line to what I'm fishing first, that way hopefully this line will be primed for when I go on it.

I will change lines when bites go iffy or ease. I then feed the lines the other way around. If bites disappear completely it's always worth just adding a section and pushing out past the original feed point as the fish may have backed off slightly. This is something that has happened during the last few matches and it has put me straight back on to the fish.

I will point out though that this tactic and feeding will not work at every venue, but it will work at an awful lot of them that stock Carp and F1s. By adopting this approach you may be able to adapt it to suit the venue you fish.       




Friday, 18 September 2015

White Acres 2015 - Part 2


Tuesday
On the Tuesday we made our way to Eery Lake, which is a lake I have never even seen or fished in my previous 5 visits to White Acres. The lake is only small with 14 well spaced pegs and a small island situated at one end. It looked absolutely stunning and I was eager to get cracking. I opted for a peg on the far side of the lake (peg 9 to be exact) due to the early morning sun glaring on the water on the near bank.



I fancied a day fishing the long pole with hard pellet to start with, then switching to paste later on in the day. Its not that often I get the chance for pleasure days, so when I do I like to make the most of it and experiment with rigs, baits and feeding. I started initially by rigging just 1 top kit up consisting of:

  • Elastic - White Browning Stretch 7 Hollow 
  • Main line - 0.16 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook length - 0.14 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook - Size16 Kamasan B911 eyed  tied with a knotless knot with a hair rigged band 
  • Float - Scotthorne AS1 0.3g
  • Shotting - Spread bulk plus 2 droppers 

On plumbing the rig up I noticed that the lake bed was quite silty, so to plumb up and make sure my float is absolutely dead depth. I used this method below.

For best plumbing results always plumb up with the rig under shotted as this prevents false readings.
Plumb up with a normal plummet so the float is somewhere pretty near where you would want it to finish. Then remove the plummet and squeeze a BB or AAA shot to your hook. Then re-plumb up to the exact point on the float you want showing when you start fishing.  This then ensures you are bang on dead depth, as the shot is not heavy enough to sink into the silt, but is heavy enough to sink your float should it not be set right. You then can add your final shot safe in the knowledge you are on the money!

I started the session with a 4 mm hard pellet in the band and feeding 4 mm pellets over the top via catapult. It didn't take long for the fish to switch on and I soon had fish coming every drop in. The fish were small Carp which fought like mad; they were some of the fittest I've ever caught!
In the space of a couple of hours I must have been touching the hundred pound mark, it was that frantic. It was on this note that I decided on switching to the paste before I was worn out :-)
As the pellet rig is not really suitable for fishing paste I rigged up another top kit with the rig below.

  • Elastic - White Browning Stretch 7
  • Mainline - 0.16 Browning Hybrid Power (straight through)
  • Hook - Size 12 Maver Eagle 
  • Float - Maver Invincible  Series 3 (4x14)
  • Shotting - None 

To make my paste I used some Browning Method Competition ground bait, which is really fine and makes a lovely paste.
For mixing the the paste I start by filling a bait tub to around half way with water. I then pour the ground bait into the water while constantly mixing, to ensure all the ground bait is mixed in. Once a thick gravy consistency is achieved I stop and leave the ground bait to absorb all the water, which can take around 10 minutes. This should then leave you with perfect paste. If you find the mix isn't quite right, you can always add a little more water or ground bait to either thin out or thicken the paste as required.

For hooking the paste, I simply take a 50 pence sized bit of paste and flatten it. Next I place the hook on top then roll the paste round to enclose the hook.
To ship the paste out to the correct position for fishing, I find its best to use a decent sized pot on the end of your top kit. This is best positioned close to the tip to ensure accuracy. I then place the hooked paste into the pot along with a few pellets and ship the pole to position. I then carefully tip the paste out of the pot close to the water and wait for it to sink and cock the float into position... Simples!

I decided to fish the paste over the ready baited pellet line. Again I was straight into fish, but what I did notice was, the size of fish definitely increased. The paste seemed to pick out the bigger ones, Happy days!  By the end of the day I must have had well over 200 lb of fish which was brilliant. If I go back I wont be leaving it so long before visiting Eery again.

Wednesday
As the majority of the lads we had gone with were fishing the Wednesday Bronze match, myself and Dave (who I was travelling with) ventured to Pollawyn lake. We did have thoughts of trying out Python Lake but Pollawyn just appeared more inviting.
We had a look around the lake and decided on a couple of pegs on the end of one of the spits. (pegs 23 for me and 22 for Dave to be exact)
Peg 23 offers an island at around 20 meters away which is beyond pole reach. With this in mind and the fact that I had had a lovely day on the pole the day before I opted to go with method feeder and bomb for the day.




My Set Ups

Method Rod

  • Rod - Browning Sphere 10ft Bomb
  • Reel - Browning Black Magic Burner
  • Mainline - 0.18 Browning Cenex ABR 
  • Hooklength - 0.16 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook - Size 16 Kamasan B911 tied with a knotless knot with a hair rigged band 
  • Method Feeder - Inline Preston 30 g small 

Bomb Rod 

  • Rod - Browning Sphere 10ft Bomb 
  • Reel - Browning Black Magic Burner 
  • Mainline - 0.18 Browning Cenex ABR
  • Hooklength - 0.16 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook - Size 16 Kamasan B911 tied with a knotless knot with a hair rigged band 
  • Bomb - Browning 14 g Distance lead 

For bait I had some dampened micros dusted in ground bait for the method feeder and some 4 & 6 mm pellets for the hook on the method and bomb.
I started the session on the method, casting tight to the corner of the island to my right; it was a proper slow start and took almost an hour of switching methods to get my first bite. A small Skimmer was the result. The next hour be honest wasn't that much better as this resulted in another Skimmer and a lost carp.

I decided enough was enough and cast the other way down the island. Within seconds the rod wrapped round, which resulted in a hard fighting Ghost Carp around 6lb. The next 3 hours were unreal, I ended up catching every chuck in on the method, which I couldn't believe considering the first 2 hours. It sometimes goes to prove that its worth casting around the swim to find the fish if your struggling in one area.... Lesson learned :-) 

Thursday 
Bolingey Lake was our destination and for those who have never been, its hard to explain how good this lake is. Its absolutely solid with hard fighting Carp and F1s. Some of the Carp are huge too! 
Bolingey Lake is off the main White Acres site. It is around 13 miles away set in the quaint village of Bolingey. The lake is stunning and set in beautiful surroundings. 
The lake is split into 3 separate lakes, which are interlinked but fenced off to prevent fish moving form one part to another. The fish stocking in each part of the lake is equal to one another, so no matter where you go you bag up.  




I chose to fish in the lake at the back of the complex, this lake has a large central island. It gives you options of fishing the waggler, bomb, method or on the pole. I decided to set up a Waggler, bomb and pole for down the edge. The fish come in the margins extremely quickly on these lakes and enormous weights can be caught in very little time. 

Bait was as simple as can be, 6 and 8 mm pellets done 

My rigs 

Bomb 
  • Rod - Browning Sphere Bomb 10ft 
  • Reel - Browning Back Magic Burner 
  • Main line - 0.18 Browning Cenex ABR
  • Hook length - 0.18 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook - Size 14 Kamasan B911 XS tied with a knot less knot with a hair rigged band. 
  • Bomb - 14 g Browning Distance lead.

Waggler
  • Rod - Browning Commercial King Power Pellet Waggler 
  • Reel - Browning Xitan HM 
  • Mainline - 0.18 Browning Cenex ABR 
  • Hook length - 0.16 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook - Size 14 Kamasan B911 XS tied with a knot less knot with a hair rigged band 
  • Waggler - Drennan Loaded Crystal 3 g 

Pole 
  • Pole - Browning Xtreme Margin 
  • Elastic - Solid 22 
  • Mainline - 0.20 Browning Hybrid Power (straight through)
  • Hook - Size 14 Kamasan B911 XS tied with a knot less knot with a hair rigged band 
  • Float - Diamond Edge 

I started the session on the bomb casting around 2 ft from the island and feeding a selection of 6 and 8 mm pellets over the top. I also started feeding the margin to my left. My first bite came after around a minute and a war commenced. I don't know if its the Cornish water or what but the fish down there fight like mad. I finally landed the fish after a 5 minute battle, which turned out to be a Mirror Carp around the 8 lb mark ( average by Bolingey standards) The first hour flew by and I must have had near on 100 lb on the bomb and pellet waggler, one of the carp was touching 17 - 18 lb.

I had noticed that the edge fish had turned up good and proper down the edge, as it looked as though someone had  switched on a washing machine. I baited up with an 8 mm pellet and lowered it slowly down the side. It took all of 5 seconds and the float buried and I was attached to another zoo creature. The next hour or 2 was absolute bedlam. At lunch time a few cheeky beers was required as I was beginning to become dehydrated, well that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it :-) 
Some lads stayed at the fishery to keep an eye on the gear while the rest of us popped across the road to the Bolingey Inn.

After re-hydrating I returned to my peg and continued were I'd left off as I was immediately back into fish down the edge. 
The day got more and more hectic (how I don't know) as it went on and eventually I just had to pack up as my arms felt like they wanted to fall off. 
This lake is absolutely awesome and is a must visit if you ever to to White Acres. 

Friday 
Our Final Day of fishing 
One of the lads had booked 12 of us a match at Gwinear Fishery a few miles drive from White Acres. I last visited Gwinear a good few years ago and it was turned from 1 big lake into 3 smaller ones. On arrival at the fishery I was really pleased to see that the new owners had reverted it back into 1 big lake. 
There has been a huge amount of work done at the fishery, with a brand new, purpose built tackle shop. The owners have also erected a fence around the venue to prevent otters from getting in and destroying the fish stocks. I was just hoping it fished as good as it looked. 

For our match the owner spread us around the outside of the lake, leaving the arm going up the lake clear. I drew out peg 27 at the draw and on arrival at the peg I was pretty pleased as it looked bang on. 
The peg had plenty to offer, starting with a short cast to the central arm around 20 meters away. There was a overhanging tree hanging off the arm and into the water, which looked like a great fish holding feature. 
The rest of the peg was open water with some shallow looking margins. One thing I did notice was how clear the water was close in. With this in mind I came up with my plan of attack. 




My Plan
After chatting to some lads who had fished the venue a couple of times during the week, I opted to set both a bomb and a method rod up for targeting the far side. They also suggested fishing short on the pole, but with how clear the water was I decided to target an area at a top 2 plus 3 distance, which I knew I could feed comfortably by hand.
On plumbing up this line I discovered that if I lined up with the pallet on the opposite bank, I had 3 foot of water. If I Moved my rig a couple of foot to the right it dropped off to around 5 - 6 ft. I thought if I stay on top of the shelf, 2 foot clear of the drop off then it would make a perfect ambush point for fish coming up the slope as they would see the bait straight away. 
 My final line was the margin to my right which appeared to be slightly deeper than the left margin and slightly more covered. I didn't hold much hope for this line, but you never know! 

Bait 
I planned a full on pellet attack so I had some dampened micros for the method and some 4 and 6 mm pellets for the bomb and pole. For the margin I prepared some ground bait and had a tin of corn for the hook.

Rigs 

Bomb 
  • Rod - Browning Sphere 10ft Bomb 
  • Reel - Browning Black Magic Burner 
  • Mainline - 0.18 Browning Cenex ABR
  • Hook length - 0.14 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook - Size 16 Kamasan B911 tied with a knot less knot with a hair rigged band 
  • Bomb - 14 g Browning Distance lead 

Method Rod 
  • Rod - Browning Sphere 10ft Bomb 
  • Reel - Browning Black Magic Burner 
  • Mainline - 0.18 Browning Cenex ABR 
  • Hook length - 0.16 Browning Hybrid Power
  • Hook - Size 16 Kamasan B911 tied with a knot less knot with a hair rigged band
  • Method Feeder - 30 g Preston Small 

Pole line 2 + 3 
  • Pole - Browning Xtreme Margin 
  • Elastic - White Browning Stretch 7 
  • Mainline - 0.16 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook length -0.14 Browning Hybrid power 
  • Hook - Size 16 Kamasan B911  tied with a knot less knot with a hair rigged band
  • Float - Scotthorne 1 (0.3 g)
  • Shotting - Bulk plus 2 droppers 

Margin Rig
  • Pole - Browning Xtreme Margin 
  • Elastic - White Browning Stretch 7 
  • Mainline - 0.18 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook length - 0.16 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook - Size 14 Kamasan B911
  • Float - Edge Diamond 
  • Shotting - Spread bulk 

The Session 
I started the session on the method feeder cast a couple of foot from the far bank. This gave me chance to start feeding the pole line by hand. I started by feeding 10 pellets every 30 seconds or so. 
The first half hour of the match sailed by with no bites materialising. I even switched to the bomb during this time, but this never improved anything. 
I had no other option but to switch to the pole. This is just the move |I needed as after a minute of lowering the rig in, the float buried and I was in. A small Carp around 2 lb was the result. This was the start of a great few hours as I was soon getting a bite every drop in. Unfortunately this ground to a halt when I smashed my rig on a fish. So while I re rigged up I chucked the bomb across to the far bank. I had been feeding this line regularly with 6 mm pellets. A minute later the tip flew round and a small Carp was the result. I had 6 small Carp on the bounce before bites eased. By this time I had my pole re rigged and after a couple of minutes I was back into fish on this line,
I spent the remainder of the match catching steadily on the pole and by the end of the match I had had a great day. 
When the scales arrived I totaled 118 lb which was good enough for the match win with 61 lb coming 2nd; this win topped of an absolutely awesome week!!!