Monday, 31 December 2012



A post Christmas Messingham Sands pairs match was my first opportunity to use the new BROWNING XITAN REVOLUTION XTREME MARGIN POLE.

It has been designed with margin fishing in mind, as the name suggests; but due to the extremely light and strong design, it is also perfect for short distance fishing for silver fish and carp alike.

The pole itself has visible reinforcing around the middle sections; which gives it a really unique look. It comes supplied with three single length top kits, which are pre bushed. 

The diameter is 5,5m - Perfect for the largest of elastics! One kit comes in the pole, and two come separate, other kits are available to purchase separately  These all come in the same length and pre bushed in 3.9mm, and 4.5mm, a cupping kit is also available. This pole also comes supplied with a 1m pole protector butt section, which fits the 7m and 8.5m sections - to absorb knocks and bangs.

Another great feature with this pole is that it is fully compatible with the whole Xitan Pole Range!

 The Match

For today's match I have elasticated two of the three top kits, supplied with double 5 elastic with pull bungs for targeting silver fish. This will also give me capability of landing a carp; should I hook one!

The margins today are a real 'no go' area, due to the water been gin clear - I can see the bottom to about 3ft down! I have about 7ft or water almost everywhere in front of me at 9.5m, with only a slight variation to the far right, where it is slightly shallower.

 The Set-Up

I am going to feed a soft pellet and groundbait line to my right at a 2 o’clock angle with an aim to catch skimmers; and to my left at an 11 o'clock angle. I will fish maggot over the groundbait to maximize the chance of catching all species of silvers.

I am using the same rig for both lines, as the depth are exactly the same. The second rig I have set up is an off the bottom rig, for fishing over the maggot line. I feed both swims by pole mounted pot, with a mind to start feeding slowly, and build it up gradually. My plan is to start on the maggot line as this line is more likely to get an instant response.

As I ship the pole out with the pole pot loaded for the first drop-in, the ease of which the pole slides through your hands is second to none! With some short margin poles you get a bit of bouncing; but with Xitan Margin there is none at all. This is re-enforced when I get my first bite - The response from butt to tip is instant, and a small roach is straight into the net!

A good start, but unfortunately the rest of the day was extremely difficult, with bites been few and far between. I switched between the two swims on a regular basis to try and maximise bites. The maggot line was definitely the most productive.

At the weigh in I had 5 lb of small roach and skimmers.Unfortunately we came joint 4th as a team but were beaten for the money by weight count back “gutted”

 I am really looking forward to summer and to giving this pole a 'proper margin workout'; and when I do- I will be sure to write it up, so you can see how we both get on! 

Click on link below to view the full Browning catalogue range:

Saturday, 8 December 2012


Location: Newstead Farm, Black Bank, Susworth, N.Lincs, DN173AX
(01724) 763647Website:

The South day ticket lake is always in great form producing quality fish for visiting anglers. It has 25 well spaced pegs and is well suited to the natural angler, this lake tends to be overlooked with many anglers preferring to fish the Oak Tree lake instead but this lake holds many specimen sized fish which can be caught quite easily on a wide variation of methods and baits, If you are happy catching quality Roach all day then this is the place to fish with individual fish weighing in at more than 2lbs and many other fish attaining specimen proportions, the Carp can be caught on a wide variation of methods including on the surface and up in the water but the better fish are normally caught on more traditional bomb or feeder rigs using bigger baits that the smaller fish cannot get to, if you are a bit of a purist angler and enjoy fishing for fighting fit fish then this is the lake for you.

I had arrived at the South Lake at Messingham Sands to find the lake almost completely frozen; there were only 2 pegs which were ice free! I had about 13m to the ice directly in front of me, and about 9m to it at my right, with a slight bit of clear water to my left. Due to being restricted for distance, the pole was the only real option. I plumbed up both at 9m and 13m, with the depths being identical at 14ft deep.

Due to a high bank behind the peg I opted to start on the 9m line – The tactics that I had in mind was to feed small nuggets of groundbait through a kinder pot with a few pinkies in the mix, and fish maggot over the top. I had also set up a slider rod, and a waggler rod. I had a planned to fish the waggler half depth on the same line as the slider, and loose feed maggots over the top once the ice had melted enough. I started on the 9m line, and it only took about a minute for the first bite, and a pristine roach of 6oz hit the net. I had a couple more bites before re-feeding, and the trend continued; until I fed for a third time, when the bites grounded to a halt. I left it for about 10 mins, and the bites returned, so I fished until the bites slowed right down before re-feeding again; which did the trick! Bites increased immediately after feeding with roach & skimmers nearly every put-in.

While I had been fishing the pole the stiff breeze from right to left had melted the ice sufficiently for me to try the slider. I started feeding with loose fed maggots at around 20m, and gave it 15 mins before trying it. The response was instant; I was once again catching roach on a regular basis. For the last hour of the day I decided to give the half depth waggler a try – This was UNBELIEVABLE, the bites were instant, and with roach to 2lb!. The last hour seemed like only 5 minutes…….Gutted!!! I had caught about 40lb; and with a few roach over 2lb it was an amazing days fishing for a cold December day!!!

Friday, 7 December 2012


VENUE: Lindholme Lakes – Strip Pond
LOCATION: Lindholme Lakes, Don Farm, West Carr, Epworth, Doncaster, DN9 1LF
TEL: 01427 872905/01427 87555/07785 75222



  • 2 Keep nets required for all matches and must be dipped before use
  • Groundbait with pole cup or feeder only
  • Method feeders must not be fixed rigs and not elasticatedLindholme feed pellets only
  • Barbless hooks only max size 10
  • Floating baits are to club rules not allowed in open matches
  • No cat meat or dog meat


  • 16mtr pole length
  • If you want to use a dolly butt on the end of your 16mtr section, you MUST measure your pole between the measuring poles
  • NO slapping or tapping poles
  • You must use a FLOATING float
  • A bead must be under you method or feeder to stop fixing
  • NO knots above your feeder


This 1 acre lake with its 24 pegs is popular with the smaller clubs who want a venue to themselves for their club matches. The Strip is stocked with carp up to 9lb, barbel, F1’s, an array of silver fish and some good quality tench.



Last week was the first time in nearly a year that this lake had been used for an open match. After exceptional weights were produced it was decided that this lake should also be used as the venue for today’s open match on this cold December day.

On peg 19 with nothing but open water and the wind blowing behind me from left to right, my main approach was going o be the pole. After plumbing up the full swim, I would only need the one rig as the lake bottom was completely uniform.
(I did not plumb up for the margins, due to the water being quite clear; when this happens the fish tend to move out into the deeper coloured water)


The rig I used was a ‘pencil rig’, 0.12 main line, and a 0.10 hooklength to a B911 F1 hook - size 18. The bait is 2mm & 4mm expanders for hookbait, and fishery micros for feed. I fed the micros by kinder pot in small amounts 10 – 15 micros each put in.

It took a good 30 mins for the first bite, a 3lb mirror carp; which was a welcome sight, as I struggled to get any more bites, and took the decision to start a new swim at 13m to my right at a 2 o’clock position, it again took another 30 mins before I received another bite – a 2lb carp; after a couple more carp the bites began to dry up again. I kept trying both lines, but I was unable to get anymore bites.


The frustrating thing was that the guy to my right is bagging up! (I think this was mainly because the wind was blowing directly into his peg – lucky sod!!!) So with nothing to lose I decided a complete change was required, so I retrieved my trusty bomb rod, with an idea to fish popped up bread, (a method which has worked really well for me this winter) I casted it just under half way across at a 2 o’clock angle – 10 mins later the tip flew round, but I had clipped up, and the line snapped from under the clip – bugger! 

I set the rod back up and tried again, resulting in as F1, but this was too little, too late, as the final whistle blew. Needless to say the guy to my right had the winning catch of 60lb - well done mate"


Wednesday, 21 November 2012


Today the open is on Bonsai Lake, the flagship water at Lindholme Lakes; and one of my most favorite all time lakes!

This three-acre, 85-peg lake is one of the newer lakes at Lindholme and one of the flagship waters. At 85 pegs it contains tens of thousands of F1s averaging 1lb 8oz. This is the main venue used for the Fish O Mania qualifier and is regarded as the fairest venue on the complex.

BONSAI LAKE WAS VOTED “THE BEST LAKE OF 2006-2007-2008-2009” BY Anglers votes!

 Club Matches  Rules:
  • 2 keep nets required for all matches and must be dipped before use
  • Groundbait with pole cup or feeder only
  • Method feeders must not be fixed rigs and not elasticated
  • Lindholme feed pellets only
  • Barbless hooks only max size 10
  • Floating baits are to club rules not allowed in open matches
  • No cat meat or dog meat
  • No dogs allowed around lakes
  • No litter or tab ends to be left on bank
  • Fishermen must sit at a peg (not on bank)
  • All anglers must be of site before 9pm in summer (dark in winter)

Extra rules for Open Matches:
  • 16mtr pole length
  • If you want to use a dolly butt on the end of your 16mtr section you MUST measure your pole between the measuring poles
  • NO slapping or tapping poles
  • You must use a FLOATING float
  • A bead must be under you method or feeder to stop fixing
  • NO knots above your feeder

The Match
I have drawn peg 47, which is close to the cafe/tackle shop. I have 2 islands to go at, due to the amount of room we have today; but there is a strong cross wind blowing from right to left.

My plan is to fish a straight bomb close to each of the islands, with a 6mm pellet in a band. I am using a 0.12 hook length to a size 18 middy hook.

At the start I cast the bomb to the end of the island directly in front of me, feeding is quite difficult due to the wind. I'm feeding around 6 pellets at a time, and am also feeding the island to my left; which is easier because I am using the wind to my advantage, which enables me to feed this island much more accurately.

 After 15 mins the tip steadily pulls round, and after a short battle the first fish is in the net, a Small carp about 2lb. I cast to the same island again and leave it for 15 mins; but when no bites emerge I decided to try the left island, and 5 mins later I am rewarded with another carp, about 2 1/2lb.

Over the next 2 1/2 hours I catch around 12 more carp from the island, before the bites stem to a disaster! The next 1 1/2 hours are almost biteless, so I keep switching between the islands;  having the odd cast into the open water between the islands.

I keep feeding the same, hoping that the fish will return. In the last 30 mins I catch 4 small F1 carp.  At the scales I weigh in 45lb 7oz for 3rd place. 65lb wins the match.

If only the fish hadn't disappeared, maybe, just maybe I may have been pushing the winning weight, but I can't grumble considering late November!

Thursday, 15 November 2012



The Stainforth and Keadby canal is a wide deep canal around 30 meters wide and the average depth is around 10 feet. Main species are roach, bream, roach/bream hybrids, perch, tench, eels, rudd and pike. There are odd carp into double figures, and a scattering of dace and small chub.

Have you ever had one of those days where nothing goes right?, well this was certainly one of those days!
After drawing peg 185 today, i was quite optimistic about catching a few fish; at the draw people had said it would be quite hard fishing, "how right they were!"

After parking near to the bridge, and a decent walk I arrived at my peg - It was a few pegs from the marina mouth, so a pretty good area. My approach was to fish 14.5m in front of me, and another line at 8m; as the depth was pretty uniform I could use the same rig for both lines.

The next line was just past the marginal weed that runs all the way along the stretch of the canal. I also set up a small maggot feeder, with a plan to fish across near to the boats on the far side.

On the all in I cupped in 2 balls of ground bait onto the 14.5m line, and the 8m line, along with a few pinkies & maggots (this had worked really well in previous years)

I spent some long periods on this line, and never had a single bite! I plumbed up a 14.5m line at a 10 o'clock angle, and only fed a few maggots & pinkies; my thinking was that the ground bait had put the fish off on the other lines - But I never had a single bite after that either, so I decided to give the maggot feeder a try, after 2 mins I finally had my first bite, and a small skimmer was in the net; well that was the only bite I had on that!

The only line I had left was the marginal line, which I had been feeding really sparingly by hand with maggots at one side, and casters at the other.  I never had a bite on caster, but on trying the maggot side, I finally had a second bite.... and missed the bloody thing, "gutted"
I kept trying the other lines, some I fed, some I never - I never had another bite on either!
It was one of the most fustrating days I think I have ever had!

The match was won with a measly 4lb, like I said, just one of those days!
 Fingers crossed it will be better next time round :(

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Rush Lyvarss Lake - Hedon

Location: Preston Road, Hedon, Near Hull, East Yorkshire HU12 8JU
Tel: 07582248037/07547191984
Price: £5 per day ticket - 1st extra rod £2, 2nd extra rod £1, available on bank side (close 8pm)
Night carp fishing only - £15 per night (Bookings Only) - from dusk till 7:30am NO GUESTS
Facilities: Free parking, toilets, designated disabled pegs (wheelchair friendly)
Lake noted for:Rules: Barbless hooks only. No ground bait or hemp allowed. All Carp to be returned to water immediately
Stock: Carp, Tench; Ide, Bream; Perch, Crucians; Roach and the odd Barbel

Situated on the outskirts of Hedon, Rush Lyvars is a 7-8 acre lake, which was formally 2 lakes a coarse lake, and a trout lake. It was made into one lake approx 12 yrs ago. It has a number of islands, which are accessible by bridges and a single island, which is not accessible. Pegs are concrete, and a good size, making them comfortable. The lake has 2 specific areas, the deeps and the shallows. The deeps is the former trout lake; which is the part closest to the car park. Depths range from 5 feet on the car park bank to 15 feet on the far bank. The shallows is the former coarse lake, which has a reasonably equal depth of 6-7 feet, with a few pegs been slightly deeper.

Today I am on the car park bank, on peg 20. I am going to fish the pole at 11 metres, due to the water being quite clear close in. I have 5 feet at this length. The rig I am using is a pencil type float 4 x14 - with a 0.12 main line, and a 0.10 hook length, with a size 20 fine wire hook. The bait  am using is maggots, (1 pint)

I start by feeding a small toss pot of maggots, and fishing a single maggot on the hook. I feed over the top with a catapult, with about 10 maggots every minute. The first bite comes quickly, and a small perch is in the net, this is followed by a couple more Perch in quick succession before bites grind to a halt. I stop feeding for 5 mins, to see how the fish react, and the bites soon start again. The fish are a much better stamp, resulting in plenty of Ide, approx 8oz each.

Keeping The Fish InterestedI now start feeding 5 maggots every 2 minutes; which keeps the bites coming regularly. I am having to change the hook bait regularly from double reds to double whites, as after a couple of fish, the bites soon slow, then a change gets you a few more bites, and fish!

I ended up with about 15lb, not bad for just a few hours fishing, and I only ended up using 1/2   pint of maggots!!!

Monday, 22 October 2012


Last week I was given the opportunity to represent Browning Zebco at the Tackle & Guns Trade Show at Stoneleigh Park in Warwickshire.
I have to admit that I was a little apprehensive before going, but was straight away put at ease on arrival by the UK
Director Anthony Connelly, the Territory Sales Manager Nick Worrell,  and the Browning/Zebco representatives; the three Lee’s.

On the stand was the full new range of Xitan poles: The All Rounder, The Ultra Power; The Z6, The Z8; The Z9, and the top of the range Z12. Alongside was the new Xtreme Margin pole 9.5m. The quality, strength, and stiffness of these poles is unmatched; complete with fantastic spares packages, marketing them unbeatable value!

Also on the stand was the new Commercial King range of rods, which are an up rated version of last year’s superb Force Range. “The range”.
There is the 8 foot Wand which comes in 2 options; the traditional Wand, and the lighter F1 version. We then have the Pellet Waggler rods; these are 11 foot, and again there are 2 options; the Medium Pellet and the Power Pellet.
We also have the 9 foot Micro Waggler, and the 10 foot Micro F1 Waggler, There’s also the 10 foot Bomb and the 10 foot King Carp Feeder; all in all a fantastic range of rods to cover all aspects of commercial fishing.

During the 2 days I was at the show I got to meet some really great people; a lot of these people came to check out the new Xitan pole range.
 Also on the stand we had a  Browning seat box, so customers could sit with the poles as they would on the bankside and get a proper feel for the, and I don’t think a single one of them was disappointed; I certainly wasn’t when I had a go when we had a quiet spell!
The first pole I tried was the mighty Z12, this pole is simply “awesome” it’s as stiff as a board all the way to 18 metres, “yes” 18 metres!  The response is as good at 18 metres as it is at 13 metres; this is due to the new longer base sections and reinforced joints. “ I NEED ONE”.!!!

Browning Xitan Z12 Evolution

  • Stated length: 16m
  • Actual length: 16.08m
  • Closed length: 1.99m
  • Top kit length: 2.58m
  • Match kit elastic rating: No12
  • Power kit elastic rating: No20+
Other features: Diamond Surface, Nano Carbon, Precision Points
SSP: Standard 16m package £2,499; 17.5m Pro package £2,999
Package: 16m pole including match kit, cupping kit, eight spare kits of your choice, 3x pole protectors, power No3, D Section and deluxe hard holdall
Pro Package: Same as above with extra extension, two more kits of your choice, an extra power No3 and an extra D Section
Spares: SLK Kits £85.50; Puller Kits £95.50; Parallel Extension £394.95
The second pole I tried was the brand new Ultra Power “my God”, this is the strongest pole I’ve EVER seen or tried. It’s being given an extra carbon wrap on all sections apart from the base sections and the top kit, which not only gives it super strength but it looks great too. The New Xtreme Margin pole has the same wrap on its sections as the Ultra Power, making this a must have piece of kit. It is fully inter changeable with the complete Xitan range... “AWESOME”

On day two I was fortunate enough to meet Frerk Petersen, who is Zebco Europe's Marketing & Public Relations manager based in Germany.  He recently gave me some extremely good advice on how to write an article for the angling press, after trying for myself before and never getting a response, then immediately after receiving his advice I tried again, and "BINGO" it was published in Angling Times in the fishery of the week category J

I would like to say a massive thank you to Browning/Zebco Frerk Peterson, Anthony Connelly,  Nick Worrell and the three Lee’s, who all made me feel extremely welcome during the two days, and I look forward to helping out at the next Big One Show! J


Saturday, 6 October 2012



I arrived earlier than usual for today's match, due to being rather eager. I fish Lindholm quite regular on the open matches, and know how good this lake is; but today we faced a rough day. It was blowing an absolute gale, and with Oasis being a canal style lake, long pole is usually the main attack; which today is going to be tough. At the draw I end up with peg 51, an area that has not been fishing as well as the early pegs, so right from the get go i'm up against it!


Even though it's rather windy, I set the pole up to fish long, 14,5m with the plan of using meat or pellet on the hook , and feeding micros through a kinder pot.
I also set up a line to fish down the track half way across using 1/2 worm on the hook, feeding caster & chopped worm.
For the margins I am going to fish at top 2 & 2 down the edge, feeding loose ground-bait and fishing 2 worms over the top.


At the start of the match I begin on the long pole, using meat on the hook. It takes about 5 mins for the first bite, one minute later, and the first fish is in the net, a small carp!
The next 1/2 hour I only get a few more bites picking up a few fish, so I decide to change to a 4mm expander pellet on the hook. The result is instant, and another F1 in the net!

The wind then changes, and blows the pole, and my rig ends up stuck in a tree!!!! (a walk round to free it is required; fortunately my old man is on hand to support the pole while I go round)

On my return I decide to try the track line, which had been fed with a large pot of worm & caster about 20 mins ago. It takes about 10 mins before I receive a bite, resulting in a better stamp of F1, about 2lb. I stick with this line while the wind is bad, picking up a couple of tench, and one more F1.

The wind again changes, giving me chance to go back on the long pole using pellet, giving me an instant response, so I decide to ditch the meat for the rest of the match.

The wind is making it difficult, but I battle on to the last half hour on this line, picking up small F1's. I go down the edge for the last 1/2 hour over the loose groundbait, which I have been feeding for the last hour. A few indications on the float as soon as I lower it in gives me confidence, it buries 2 mins later, resulting in a 2lb barbel.

The next put in, another small barbel! It's then  a good 10 mins before the float buries again. I miss the bite, resulting in an explosion of activity, and blow waves going in every direction away from the swim "I think I may have spooked them!" I feed some more groundbait, and decide to keep fishing the line, resulting in one more small barbel.


On the weigh-in I end up with 32lb, 8oz; I'm disappointed, but that's fishing!!!
The match was won in the early peg with 60lb, with the majority of weights been in the 30lb bracket, so considering the weather & difficulties it's fished pretty well!

Friday, 5 October 2012


Venue: Newbridge Lakes
Location: Newbridge Road Burstwick HU12 9HS
Price: £5 day ticket
Contact: 07817 058054

"Newbridge Lake is a 7 acre lake set in 8 acres of picturesque woodland in the heart of East Yorkshire. It contains specimen carp to over 30lb, as well as: Bream, Roach; Rudd, Perch and the target for today - Skimmers. The lake during the summer months is predominantly occupied by carp anglers, but as the winter and cold nights approach a large percentage of them disappear, leaving a skimmer fishing heaven!"


The beauty of Newbridge is in it's depth, as the fish during the winter months tend to feed well on the bottom. You're looking at approx 12ft, at about 9m out, getting deeper the further out you go.

Two methods seen to dominate here, the pole and the cage feeder; which are going to be my approaches for today.

  • THE FEEDER will be in a running loop, connected by a quick release swivel. (I find this best as the knotted boom prevents the rig from tangles.)

  • MAIN LINE  is 6lb Browning Cenex, which is 0.18 in diameter. (This may sound quite heavy for skimmer fishing, but you need the line to be able to withstand regular casting.)

  • THE HOOKLENGTH  is 0.12 Browning Hybrid line, to a Kamasan B011 F1 size 18 - PERFECT for today's hook bait; 2 red maggots, as this seems to be the hookbait the skimmers here prefer.

    • ON THE POLE  I will be using a 1 1/2 gram Tubertini Series Pro float, main line 0.14 hybrid line, to a 0.12 hooklength, and an 18 B911 F1 hook. 

    • THE GROUNDBAIT I am using today is a Zebco Roach, which is a really sweet smelling dark groundbait. It can be mixed quite heavy by adding a drop of extra water, making it ideal for deep water like today.


    I have found that fishmeal, and sweet groundbaits works really well all year round here. i know this goes a bit against the grain, and non-fishmeal groundbaits should be better in the winter, but I have tried these in the past, and have always had much better results using sweet fishmeal types!

      *I will be using an Ollivette as bulk to get the bait down as quick as possible, to maximise fishing time.


      For this session I am on peg 10. This peg gives you approximately 12 feet of water at 9-10 metres out, and at the moment each side of the peg is lily lined. 

      First off I feed the pole line with 3 orange size balls of groundbait via a pole pot, as well as a 1/4 pot of maggots & casters. (I don't put particles in the ground bait, but instead feed them separately, so that I am able to monitor what I am feeding.) 


      I will leave this for 15 mins to settle and start on the feeder, I cast 6 feeders of groundbait out to get a bed of bait down before putting a hookbait on.The feeder is only out about 2 mins and the tip pulls round, resulting in a 6-8 ounce Skimmer. 

      The next bite comes after a 10 minute wait; another Skimmer is extracted and retired to the net. 


      I now decide to give the pole line a try, just to see if any fish have moved in over the bait; which results in a quick bite, and my third Skimmer is enticed into the net. Over the next hour or so I get a fish nearly every put-in on pole, but they are mainly Roach & Perch -


      I don't think I've quite fed enough to get the Skimmers to settle yet, so I up my feed rate considerably to what I have been doing.   I adjust this by putting a tangerine size ball of groundbait in, as well as a handful of maggots & casters every 20 mins. After an hour it really starts to pay dividends, by once again bagging a Skimmer on nearly every-drop-in.

      By observing how the fish were reacting, and steadily upping the feed, I was able to get the fish to settle properly, without spooking or killing the swim. At the end of the session I have a respectable 35lb; Newbridge Lake one again yeilds a great days sport.

      Sunday, 16 September 2012


      Thursday 13th Sept saw me at Far Grange Fishery for the Humberside Fire Brigade inter-service teams of four matches. We arrived at the fishery at 8.30 am; the buzz was that it could be a hard days fishing, due to the prolonged rain from the previous day, and its low night temperature of 40c.

      I drew peg 65, and after what seemed like a mile long walk I arrive at my peg. All I have is open water, but on previous visits I have caught well on the pellet Waggler. I set up my Browning pellet waggler rod, and my Browning force 10” bomb rod, to fish on the same line; I also set up a method feeder rod, due to having some good success in the past. Down the margins I also set up a pole line for 6mm to my left towards an empty pallet. The fish here sometimes come close very early in the match!

      On the whistle I cup in a couple of large pots of dampened micros, then cast the bomb 25m, with an 8mm pellet on a hair rig. I am catapulting 8mm pellets 2 at a time over the top, to prep for pellet waggler. After a biteless 10 mins a couple of the lads to my left are playing fish caught down the edge; so I decide to give it a go. I ship the past where I want to fish, and drop my paste hook bait over the fed area then move the float back over the top. After 30 secs the float dips, then it buries. I lift the pole, and elastic screams out. The hook then pulls out - was it foul hooked? The answer “yes”, a large scale on the hook gives me the answer. This happens 5 times in the next 8 put-ins before a bite-less 15mins (they have been spooked!) So I decide it must be pellet wag time. I've constantly fed the swim all the time. (There are loads of chub in this lake; which in the past I've caught loads of in this area!) – Not a bite, the rain and cold has knocked them right off!

      What I have noticed is the lad to my left has started catching on method feeder – he’s feeding the area with pole pot, and then casting the feeder over the top, so I try it. I dump 2 big pots of micros at 13m, then flick the method with the same micros wrapped around it. The response is instant; a 3lb carp hits the net. I stick on this line for almost the rest of the match, topping up with the pole when bites slow down, trying on the odd occasion to see if anything has come down the margin – but no!

      At the end of the match I weigh in at 66lb 8oz; which I am pretty pleased with, considering having such a bad start!
      Results in and one of our team members comes third Individually with 94lb, we as a team also came in third by 1 point; the story our week!!!!


      Saturday, 15 September 2012


      Messingham Sands has got to be one of my favourite lakes; which in the past has rewarded me with some cracking days fishing and some fantastic weights, resulting in some good match wins!

      Today (12.09.12) I was left with peg 4 in the draw bag, an area I have had good results from in the past.
      On reaching my peg I always sit down on my box and survey the area surrounding me. At approx 60yrds in front of me I have some 'stick ups' with a few lily pads; to my right I have a small island at 25yrds; and in the margins, to my left I have a tree in the water, to the right a large rush bed.

      The first bit of kit out the bag is my trusted 10" Browning Force Bomb Rod. With a plan to fish bomb and 11mm pellet close to the stick ups.

      Next rod out – my 11" Browning Force pellet Waggler, this is usually a good area for pellet wag, due to the large amount of open water.

      I also set up a pole line for the rushes to my right, with a plan to fish soft pellet – All pellets have to be the fisheries own pellets, even hookers; But they are really good value!


      On the whistle I start out by firing 11mm pellets as far as I can, just reaching the stick ups - due to back wind, I cast the bomb to within a couple of metres of the sticks, never taking my eye off the tip. I also feed 2 pellets at a time to the island, the middle and to the sticks. The tip gives a sharp pull-round after 5mins, resulting in a 3lb carp.

      In the first 2 hours I have 10 carp, and 2 lovely golden tench; but all the carp have been relatively small by Messingham standards!

      As I normally do at Messy, I try for silver fish on the pole swim - you can get 50lb of silvers from most pegs on the lake. After 30 mins, and 10lb of crusians later, I go back on the bomb, which I have been constantly feeding, as well as the other two swims; resulting in 2 more carp.

      On the pellet wag swim carp are taking the pellets when they hit the water, so I decide it's worth a go; not a touch after 15 casts! There still taking the feed, but will not take my hook bait, so I'll keep feeding the line and go back on the bomb.

      Trying the island swim, having just 1 fish in 10mins, I decide to go back on the long range line picking up the odd small carp until 11/2 to go; when the light drops due to heavy rain clouds above, so I try the pellet wag again. As soon as it hits the water the rod is almost ripped from my hand.

      The next few casts I have 4 more fish, which are much bigger than the stamp I was getting on the bomb! – Then the heavens open; ½ hour it decides to last resulting in no fish, but I keep feeding.

      With ½ hour to go it settles down, and the bites start again, a few more good fish hit the net!
      The whistle goes; on the weigh-in, with Messingham unique weighing methods, were the fish hardly leave the water (which is a great way of preventing damage to the fish!), my final weight is 119lb 4oz, giving me a comfortable match win with 2nd place having 63lb.

      Another fantastic day at Messingham Sands!!!


      Top 5 AnglersPegWeight
      Jim Hall4119lb 4oz
      Ian Ralph1562lb 5oz
      Neil Iveson659lb 13oz
      Bob Duncan6353lb 5oz
      John Holness6248lb 8oz

      Friday, 14 September 2012


      Monday 10th September saw me at Lake View Fishery Leicestershire, for a practise run for the Fire Service National teams match the next day. 

      We arrived at 11am, after a 2 hour drive from Hull. We parked right next to the cafĂ© and popped in for a quick brew, got our pellets and a quick low down on how it’s fishing! We had a walk round to suss out a good fishing spot, eventually deciding on the Stream Pond. I sat on peg 6, which gave me an island reach of 12m, so quite comfortable!


      I decided to start close to the island in 12’’ water, feeding softened micros using a  ‘kinder pot’, and a Bait Tech 4mm expander on the hook! Things started off well with a fish every drop in. This lasted for some 30 mins, before bites started to slow enough to warrant a change in tactics. A worm on the hook and I’m in again resulting in another good run of fish!

      Happy with this set up, I then decided to fish the shallows, which I had been feeding by hand for the past ½ hour, at 2 & 2 distances. It started off really well, again a fish every cast. I concluded that the best way to feed was to use about 10 pellets, then slap the rig directly onto the ‘fed’ area. This resulted in a confident bite on most occasions, so overall I was more than happy with the approach we needed for match day! And so on to the B&B for shower, tea, & a few beers.

      MATCH DAY 

      20 teams had found their way to the fishery, there was a heavy downpour the night before and the conditions were cold and windy. As teams captain I had the responsibility for drawing our pegs for the match, I drew peg 12 on Marina Lake. This was an end peg out of the wind, which was a wee bit chilly to say the least! The only drawback was that it was unfortunately blowing to the other end of the lake!!!

      THE SET-UP

      I set up the pole to fish into a cut out in the reeds at the island, which was 11.5m. I utilized the rig I had used yesterday, but replacing the hook length keeping the rig bang on the same depth as previous; perfect!

      Next I set up a shallow rig for top 2 & 2, and a margin rig at 9m down to my right. This boasted a large reed bed, which also had a nice little cut out just in front of it giving me 2 foot, a depth which gives me confidence when fishing the margins.
      The last rig I set up was aimed at the end of the island, which was at 13m

      THE BAIT

      I began with the 11.5m rig to the island fishing a 4mm Bait Tech pellet, feeding micros through a kinder pot. A steady run of fish from the off was a good start, they were a little on the small side, but it was fish in the net! But as repeated in the practice run things started to slow up, so again a change to the worm, which this time - never worked, gutted!!!


      I decided to rest this area and try the 13m line; I also started to feed the shallow line by hand.  So with the 13m line been deeper I again fed micros, but this time I squashed them into the kinder pot so that they would fall in a clump, getting it to the bottom quicker while lowering a 4mm pellet on top.  A bite almost instantly, and a slightly bigger stamp of fish, had I finally sussed it?  The answer was no, I never had another bite on that line!


      Shallow rig time; and guess what?... Not one bite!,  So moving back to the 11.5m line, I started to pick up a few fish, but it was slow going. During this time I had noticed few fish cruising in the corner to my left, so I decided to start firing a few 4mm pellets every 2 mins. After 30 mins of feeding I decided to give it a go. 

      Using the shallow rig I shipped the pole 13m into the corner and slapped the rig over, the float buries straight away, and elastic streams out the end of my pole! The fish turned out to be a mirror carp approx 3lb, ‘brilliant!’ Before shipping the pole back out I catapult a dozen pellets, then the same thing happens, but this time a hook pulls at the net, bugger!

      I spent the rest of the match approx 1 ½ hours on the line picking up better size F1 carp and the odd mirror. When the whistle went for all out I had a fish a cats whisker, into the net it went!  

      The scales arrived and two weights later I had 44lb 6oz, giving me 2nd place on the lake and 2 points.

      Jim Hall         2 points
      Ian Ralph 2 points
      Steve Bontoft 3 points
      John Holness 7 points

      TOTAL 14 points
      The team finished in 4th place by 1 point.
      Bring on next year!!!