Wednesday, 27 February 2013


On 23rd/24th February I had the honour & privilege of acting as a distributor on behalf of Browning/Zebco at "The Big One" show in Farnborough near London. 

I can honestly say I have had a cracking time; the show had been absolutely rammed on both days, with many thousands of visitors each day.


On the stand we had all the very latest rods, reels, clothing and terminal tackle from Browning. The fantastic new Xitan pole range was situated a short distance away in the purpose built “pole alley” section of the show.
Alongside the Browning tackle was the very latest offerings from some of Zebco’s other brands such as: Quantum, Blackcat, Fin-Nor, Rhino and Van Staal. If you enjoy specialist fishing; the equipment from these brands are exceptional, and well worth taking a look at.


The Big One 2013


Over the 2 days we had thousands of visitors to our stand, and plenty of interest in our range displayed in “pole alley”. Nearly all the equipment on show was available for the visitors to get a “hands on” experience.
The reception towards all the equipment from the visitors was extremely positive, with two particularly noticeable areas of interest, which were the amazing Browning Xitan pole range, and the brilliant Commercial King rod range.



Pole alley, as I said previously was a designated area where visitors could come and sample the full new range of poles. On show was the Z12, Z8, Z6, Ultra Power and the All Rounder as well as the Xtreme Margin pole. We had a seat box available, so that visitors could sit and hold the poles like they would on the bank, giving them a chance to evaluate what they are like to use.
Browning poles are now the bench mark for all the other companies, and this was evident, as our stand had a constant stream of visitors, whilst all the other companies’ stands remained empty for long periods of time, which exhibited how much recognition these amazing poles have achieved.


Bob Nudd, who is probably the most famous angler of the last 20 years has been associated with Browning for many many years, and was on hand for both days of the show signing autographs and having pictures taken with visitors............. “oh yes and me!!!”

The Big One 2013


Over the two days I got to meet quite a few of the sponsored teams’ lads who were all spot on….. with plenty of ideas getting bounced about, with regards to venues, tactics and equipment, some good tips where to be had!

I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to Lee, Nick, Lee, Lee, Frank and Tom, who all made me feel extremely welcome over the two days, not only at the show but afterwards as well.

For information or advice on any of these products, drop me a line or visit the Browning 2013 catalogue range, available at:                          


Friday, 22 February 2013


I had the privilege of recently meeting up with MATCH FISHING'S  Joe Carass to demonstrate "how to keep the bites coming!",  which is featured in the March edition of their magazine. 

Well, what an absolutely fantastic days fishing we had! ........... but for those who have not had the chance to check out the magazine, here's the long, and short of it!


All we need to do is have a look out of the window to realize how variable the weather can be at this time of year. It doesn't take much of a change to put the fish off feeding at the best of times. True – fishing slows down in winter, which can cause the fish to be inactive or in a non-feeding mood, but it is also true that fantastic catches can also be caught this time of year by refining your rigs and feeding, and if you are willing to put in a little effort, you can reap the benefits while others around you may struggle!


I think the biggest bit of advice I could give to people is not to be static in their approach, for example: In summer you may put a large bed of bait down, and fish over the top; the fish will move in over the feed. In winter if you did this, you would more than likely end up biteless all day, as the fish are less active and don’t require a lot of food. So with this in mind, light feeding, light rigs, and a willingness to change the depths you are fishing at, you too can keep the bites coming all day.
Weather conditions are been more than favorable today being 10 degrees and very little wind; which is a welcome change from the cold, windy and wet weather we have been experiencing.


I am here at Messingham Sands today, which is situated on the outskirts of Scunthorpe. The complex boasts 10 lakes, comprising of 4 match only lakes, 4 day ticket lakes and 2 syndicate members only lakes. I have opted to fish the South Lake, which is one of the day ticket lakes, to demonstrate how an active approach can keep the bites coming all day.This lake boasts good depths, with some areas around 14 feet deep. The area I have chosen today gives me around 10 feet at about 10 meters. I have chosen to fish the pole at this length as I plan to fish a waggler line at 20 meters, and a bomb line at 40 meters. 


The set up comprises of the following rigs:

Pole Rig

  • Pole - Browning Xitan Xtreme margin pole
  • Pole elastic - double 5
  • Float - 1.5g Tubertini Serie Pro; which has a long thin bristle tip for ultimate bite detection
  • Main line - Browning Hybrid 0.14
  • Hooklength - Browning Hybrid 0.12;  which is 6” long
  • Hook - Kamasan B911 F1 size 18
  • Shotting - Olivette bulk and 3 number 10 Stotz droppers.

*The Olivette is set 2 feet from the hook and the droppers are spaced equally between the Olivette and the hook length. I want to get the bait down quickly which is the reason for the Olivette; but I still want some finesse and a slow fall over the last 2 feet to make the bait look like its falling naturally.

Waggler Rig  

  • Rod - 11 foot Browning Force Pellet Waggler. This has a lovely responsive tip, perfect for light waggler fishing
  • Waggler - Browning straight insert  4BB
  •  Main line - Browning Cenex 4lb sinking match line
  • Hooklength - Hybrid line 0.12
  • Shotting - The main bulk will be around the float with 3 number 8 Stotz droppers; The Stotz help give the bait a more natural fall than normal shot due to their shape.

*The float will be set at 3 feet deep. 

Bomb Rig

  • Rod - 10 foot Browning Force Bomb rod
  • Bomb - ½ ounce square bomb
  • Main line - 6lb Browning Cenex feeder line
  • Hooklength. 0.14 Hybrid line to a 16 Middy KM-1 with a hair rigged band, tied with a knotless knot


  • Groundbait - Sensas 3000 Roach and Silver Fish; with the main target been silver fish, this is perfect
  • 4mm fishery expander pellets (This is a fishery pellet only venue, this also includes hook pellets which are available on site for £1 per bag)
  • Red and White Maggots; nearly every fish loves maggots!

*I have also Dyed a handful of pellets yellow using Mainline yellow bait dye, for use as an alternative hook bait. With these been more visible it can sometimes draw you an extra bite even on the hardest of days


I have plumbed up 2 pole lines; one is at an 11 o’clock angle, and the other at a 1 o’clock angle. This gives me enough distance between the swims as to not draw fish from one to the other, which could unsettle them and reduce bites.  I can use the same rig for both lines as both depths are identical.

  • On the 11oclock line I am going to feed groundbait and expander pellets
  • On the 1oclock line I’m going to feed ground bait and maggots; the reason behind this is simply to see which works best
  • On the waggler line I am going to spray maggots via a catapult to draw the fish up in the water, and fish maggot on the hook
  • On the bomb line I’ll be feeding 8mm pellets, x 4 every 10 minutes with an 8mm in the band for hook bait.

Today’s Session 

I start by feeding both the pole lines; on the pellet line I cup in approx 50 expanders and 3 pressed nuggets of ground bait, which have been pressed via a Preston Cone press. I prefer the pressed ground bait method in the winter as it allows me to have more control over the quantities that I feed. On the maggot line I cup in 2 nuggets, plus approx 20 maggots. This is the line I am going to start on as I believe maggots usually give an instant response; it will also give the pellet line time to settle.

Within 2 minutes as predicted the response is instant, and decent sized Roach is in the net! My plan is to feed a pinch of maggots after every fish through a toss pot to keep the feed nice and tight.  After 15 minutes I have 5 Roach in the net.

I decide to give the pellet line a look to see if the fish have settled with a natural pellet on the hook. I always start on a natural pellet because this is what I have initially fed.  I will try a dyed pellet every now and then just too see which colour gives the best response. I am going to feed this line in the same way as the maggot line, but with a pinch of pellets instead of maggots. In previous sessions this line has provided the bigger fish. After a 1lb skimmer first drop-in on this line, the trend has continued. 

What I am doing whilst fishing one line is making sure the other line is fed as well, so if one line becomes quiet I can rest it and fish the other to keep the bites coming. At the same time as fishing the pole lines I am constantly feeding the waggler line with about 20 maggots every minute. On the bomb line I am feeding 4 x 8mm pellets every 10 minutes, this is a backup line if all else fails.

Today the pellet line is definitely the most productive of the 2 pole lines, and the natural coloured pellet is producing more fish than the dyed pellet.It’s now time to give the waggler a try; 2 red maggots are my hook bait of choice, as I believe they stand out, especially when fishing shallow. The action is fast and furious with bites almost every cast, Roach and Rudd are the main flurry on this line.

During today’s session I have kept alternating between all lines to keep the bites and fish coming, this also ensures the lines don’t become exhausted of fish. I would definitely say the waggler line was the most productive of all the lines used today; but the pellet line has produced the biggest fish.

At the end of today’s session, I swim the fish down the keep net and transfer them into the landing net head, which is placed in the water (This is the way fishery staff transfer the fish from keep net to weigh sling for all matches). 

A fantastic net of fish around 25lb is a well earned reward for this time of year!

Friday, 1 February 2013


Out of the draw bag today came peg 4, to be fair I wasn't disappointed; in summer this is a great pellet waggler peg due to the amount of open water in front of you, but today it is definitely not summer!  However the one thing I do have in my favor is that the wind is off my back, so there should be no difficulty in casting or feeding.


I am going for a three pronged attack. First of all is the bomb; my plan is to fish visible baits and alternate it with and without the pellet cone. The pellets I am using in the cone are softened fishery 4mm pellets. I have chosen 4mm over micro’s because you can fit a lot less of these in the cone, and I want a minimal amount of pellets around the hookbait.  


Secondly I am going to fish an insert waggler starting at around three feet deep, in approximately 7 feet of water at around 25m. On this line I’ll be feeding maggots and fishing maggot on the hook.


The final line I’ll be fishing is the pole. I have opted for a swim at around 9 meters, as the water is quite clear close in; this will give me approximately 7ft of water, so hopefully the pole will not spook the fish. The bait I plan to use is maggot on the hook over a small amount of ground bait. In the mix are a few pinkies and maggots, as I want the fish to remain in the swim once they are there.


I am going to start the match on the bomb with an 8mm pellet in a band, with a medium cone of pellets. I am going to start off at around 50m.
At around 70m there are a row of stickups in the water, but the water close to these is only shallow. In winter I prefer to start in the deeper water; I will try the shallower water at some point later in the session.

I leave the bomb out for around 15 minutes without a single sign. During the next ¾ of an hour I have 5 more casts, choosing a different spot each time. On a couple of these casts I change to a 10mm bright orange boilie, to see if this makes a difference. Not a single sign???
I decide to give the pole a try. At the start I fed 2 small balls of ground bait; I get a bite after around 5 mins, a small Skimmer is scooped into the net. I persevere for around 30 minutes, resulting in only 3 more small fish.

I have been constantly feeding the waggler swim from the off, with about 10 maggots every minute or so. I now think it is time to give it a go. I start on single maggot, which results in an almost instant bite, and a chunky little Roach is in the net. Over the next 1 ½ hours I get a bite nearly every cast. Some of the bites are like lightening and these tend to result in missed bites, but I am catching at a nice steady pace.

I give the bomb another try, this time with double corn. This gives me chance to rest the waggler line. I cast it close to a gap in the stick ups; after 10 mins the tip pulls round, I’m into my first carp. After a 5 minute battle the fish is finally landed, a welcome bonus at around 7 lb!

For the remainder of the match I stick to the waggler, with just the odd chuck on the bomb, but unfortunately that was the only bite on it.
I weigh in 21lb 14oz, not enough to win, but an enjoyable day.