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"