Monday, 29 December 2014

Preston Pole Pairs - Round 2 at Messingham Sands


Messingham Sands was the destination today for the second round of the Preston Pole Pairs competition. Fortunately for me it is one of the venues that myself and my partner Carl Shepardson fish a fair bit. If you have not been to Messingham before, the fishery has 3 match only lakes, 4 pleasure lakes and 2 syndicate ponds.  The match today was to be split between 6 of these lakes, which should offer plenty of room and plenty of bites. The lakes being used was Island Pond, South Day Ticket Lake, Oaktree, Swan Newbit, Merrys and Tripp. I had 2 lakes in mind that I would like to draw which were Tripp and the South Day Ticket lake.


These lakes are both pretty deep with depths to 14 ft, both are teeming with silvers. Fortunately I managed to draw peg 8 on Tripp, which was a few pegs away from where I had drawn in the match yesterday. The downside was Carl's peg, I had drawn him peg 16 on the Swan's new bit which was the one lake we both would have preferred not to be on, as this is the lake that we knew least about.



On arrival at my peg I was faced with quite a strong head wind, with the occasional sideways gust. With this in mind I decided on a plan of attack

The Plan 
I decided on a three pronged attack. Due to the strong wind I limited myself to one long line at about a ten o'clock angle, this was to be more of an emergency line should I start struggling on the short lines. The other 2 lines where to be at a top 2 plus 2 distance one at a ten o'clock angle and the other a 2 o'clock angle, with a hope that I could catch on these all day. 

Bait 
After yesterday's match I decided on a positive approach. I would feed both the 10 o'clock lines with groundbait packed with corn, dead red maggots and a pinch of casters.


Yesterday I got plagued with gudgeon, so I was hoping the more positive approach would put these off and encourage the big crucians and skimmers to feed. On the other line I decided to feed just maggots by hand for an instant reaction at the start, this will also give the groundbait lines time to settle. 

Rigs
Short Maggot Rig 

  • Pole - Browning Z12 
  • Elastic - Double 4
  • Mainline - 0.14 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook length - 0.10 Browning Cenex 
  • Hook - Size 20 Kamasan B911 F1 
  • Float - Scotthorne 1 0.5 gram 
  • Shotting - Spread bulk plus 2 droppers 

Short Positive Rig 

  • Pole - Browning Z12
  • Elastic - Double 4
  • Mainline - 0.14 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook length - 0.12 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook - Size 18 Kamasan B911 F1 
  • Float - Scotthorne 1 0.5 gram 
  • Shotting - Spread bulk plus 2 droppers 

Long Line Rig 

  • Pole - Browning Z12 
  • Elastic - Yellow Browning Cenex 
  • Mainline - 0.14 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook length - 0.12 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook - Size 16 Kamasan B911 F1 
  • Float - Tubertini 1.5 gram 
  • Shotting - Olivette bulk plus droppers 

The Session 
I started the session by feeding 2 balls of groundbait on each of the 2, 10 o'clock lines by pole pot. My plan was to give these a bit of time to settle so I baited up the maggot rig with a single maggot and just before I shipped the rig into position I flicked a few maggots by hand for loose feed. This way the maggot hook bait should follow the loose feed down. It didn't take long for the first bite and after a few seconds the first fish was in the net, a small crucian was the reward.
I spent the first hour on this line as it was producing regular bites, even though the fish were small, I was still putting fish in the net. I decided to give the short 10 o'clock line a try but after a fruitless 5 minutes I was soon back on the maggot line. This is how the full session progressed; I spent the majority of the day on the maggot line as it kept producing regular small fish. The 2 10 o'clock lines never produced at all. I must have tried them both 5 or 6 times on each. At the end of the match I was quite pleased with how things had gone even though the groundbait lines never produced. At the weigh in I weighed in 21 lb 4 oz which was enough to give me the section win. Unfortunately Shep had not fared so well. His section had been extremely tight and was won with only 13 lb. he had 8 lb which placed him last in the section. Maybe the next round may see us fair better as this is at Lindholme Lakes, which is my regular haunt :)

For more info on these venues why not check out their web sites on:
http://www.lindholmelakes.co.uk or on facebook

http://www.messinghamsands.co.uk




Thursday, 4 December 2014

Lindholme Lakes Winter League Match

Every year Lindholme hosts a winter league series with some of the countries best known anglers taking part. This year I decided to enter as I thoroughly enjoyed the winter fishing at Lindholme late last year and early this year, plus it gives me a good incentive on those really cold days.

Today was the 4th match of the 11 match series. The first 3 matches have gone pretty well with a section 3rd in the first match, a section win in the second match and a section 2nd in the 3rd match. Today's match was to be split between Bonsai and Strip lakes due to the number of anglers attending. I was secretly hoping to draw Bonsai as this lake is just awesome. I was highly delighted when I drew out peg 70 on Bonsai, which is a fantastic peg with stacks of features and room. On arrival at the peg I was greeted with a slight breeze blowing towards me which was producing a nice steady ripple on the water. Everything looked perfect for a good days fishing.



The Plan 
After fishing the Thursday open match from peg 27 which is directly opposite peg 70, I had seen "Big Un" Paul Christie catch fairly steady on the pole with the odd fish on the bomb and he managed to come second in the match with 77 lb. With this in mind I decided on my plan, which was to start on the pole at 13 meters and select a number of areas to target with the same rig. If bites were slow I had plenty of option to push out up to 16 meters helping me cover plenty more water.  To the right I had an island which was 16 meters away, which could also be a good area to target. I also set up a bomb rod to target the big island which is slightly to the left.

Bait 
The bait I was going to concentrate on for the pole was 4 mm expander pellet for the hook and dampened micros for feed. This would be fed through a pole mounted kinder pot and sprinkled in slowly. For the bomb I had some 6 mm hard pellets as well as some bread as an alternative.



Rigs 
13 meter Rig 

  • Pole - Browning Z12 
  • Elastic - Double 4 
  • Main Line - 0.14 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hooklength - 0.12 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook - Size 18 Kamasan B911 F1 
  • Float - Scotthorne 1, 0.4g 
  • Shotting - Spread bulk plus 2 droppers


16 meter Rig

  • Identical to 13 meter rig 

Island Rig

  • Pole - Browning Z12 
  • Elastic - Double 4 
  • Mainline - 0.14 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hooklength - 0.12 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook - Size 18 Kamasan B911 F1 
  • Float - Scotthorne 1, 0.3g 
  • Shotting - A bulk plus 2 droppers 

Bomb Rod 

  • Rod - Browning Commercial King 8 ft F1 Wand 
  • Reel - Browning Black magic Burner 
  • Mainline - 0.18 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hooklength - 0.12 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook - Size 18 Kamasan B911 eyed tied with a knotless knot with a hair rigged micro band
  • Bomb - 0.9g square bomb


The Session
I started on the pole at 13 meters picking 2 spots initially. I fed both with a small sprinkling of micros on each, then lowered the rig in on the left hand side line. After a couple of lifts and drops the float buried and I was in immediately. Unfortunately after a couple of minutes the hook pulled out, "gutted" it was a decent fish too!
The following 3 hours were really hard; I spent most of this time swapping lines and searching the swim for bites. I did manage to pick up a carp, 2 small F1s and a skimmer, but I was really struggling. At this point I was well behind in the section as some of the other anglers in the section were catching steadily. I needed to change something and soon, otherwise I was going to end up last in the section.

A Change of Plan!
As I had been fishing the other lines I noticed a couple of fish roll close to the big island to the left. I had been constantly thinking of how I could make a drastic change and start catching at least a few fish. I then saw another fish roll and I thought sod it, I'm going to get my waggler rod from my bag..... nothing else is working.
I spent a good 5 minutes getting the float and rig right. I thought I'll start at roughly half depth and alter things as I need to. So I set the rig at 2 1/2 foot to start with, with 2 number 8 Stotz down the line, so that the hook bait fell slowly.  I baited up with a 6 mm hard pellet and cast it close to the island, 5 seconds later the float slipped away. A quick strike and I was in, a nice sized  mirror carp was the result - was it a fluke? Well 10 casts and 10 fish later say not. I now had a smile on my face instead of a blooming big grimace!

On reflection
One thing I had to  make sure of was that the waggler landed softly with a tiny plop because when it splashed in  I didn't get a bite. I think the waggler landing properly mimicked a pellet landing and as the hook bait was the only bait falling the carp took it quickly. I was only able to feed every now and then when the wind subsided as it had picked up quite a bit during the match, but I think the wind may have helped me as it stopped me over feeding. I think putting more feed in would have reduced the number of bites I was getting. Well it couldn't have increased it. as I couldn't get in quick enough anyway :-)   I spent the remainder of the match on this line picking up decent sized fish. 2 of the carp will have weighed over 20 lb between them. At the end of the match I could not believe how the match had gone from next to nothing to full on with just a simple change. At the weigh in I finished with 115 lb 3 oz which gave me the section and match win. Happy Days!

For more info on this venue visit: http://www.lindholmelakes.co.uk/

Friday, 14 November 2014

World Feeder Fishing Championship 2014


A report from the World Feeder Fishing Championship in Ireland by Kent Adell - Team Browning Sweden.

It was the biggest World Feeder Championship so far with 25 participant nations.




The World Feeder Fishing Championship was to be held at the big reservoir Inniscarra Lake at Coachford. It was a new area of the lake that was going to be used. To be able to do that a road had to be made alongside the bank - job done!


 Let The Championships Begin!


 A Resume Of The Practice Week

During the practice week we tested different ground bait mixes based on Browning M7, Dutch Danger Wild Black River, Dutch Danger Mad Roach with and without leeam. 

The mix we agreed on worked best was 2kg Wild Black River + 2kg Mad Roach + 0,5 kg M7. The mix was sewed hard to get the biggest particle out of the ground bait. We boasted the mix with one bag of CC Power Additive Toffee Karamell to get a strong smell.
At the end of the week I started to over wet the ground bait while I was fishing and noticed that it worked better for the bream. Hence it didn't explode out of the feeder and attract the roach.

At the same time we started to notice that if you had Jokers in your ground bait you attracted the bream better, so a tactic was formed for the competition days.


 The Competition Days

Day One Saturday: 
Was notified by our captain that I was to sit on peg 22 on C-section. When I arrived to the peg I saw that it was a bit out from the bay and closer to the point. Felt pleased with where I ended up, hence it was shallower in the bay. 

The weather for the day was over clouded with rain mid ways the competition. I started to plumb up and noticed it was much deeper here than in the bay, hence there were a lot of pegs that you couldn't fish too far out at; we said that we should find a spot between 18-25m and 6-10 seconds. I Found a nice smooth and snag free spot at 8 seconds and 22 meters out.

I tackled up 6 rods 2 11ft Champions Choice Stillwater, 2 12ft Champions Choice Super feeder and 2 13ft Black Viper MK 13 S. The choice of the day was the 12ft Super feeder with a 28g flat lead plastic feeder. I taped up the holes on the feeder to avoid ground bait getting out on the way down (I did this so I wouldn't attract to much Roach.)
The hook choice at the start was a size 18 thine wire wide gape black nickel tied to a 0,10 Cenex line of 65cm.
The tactic was to target the Bream in the start and go over to roach if the Bream didn't show. At the 10 minuet groundbating we agreed to take it slow and not over throw with feeders to avoid attracting Roach, so I started with a feeder mixed with Jokers, chopped worm and casters and made sure the feeder was clean from ground bait on the outside. I let the feeder lay for around 2 mins and then slowly emptied the feeder so the ground bait laid still on the bottom. I put out 2 more before the start nice and calm. 



I started with a feeder with the same mix as the ground baiting and a single maggot on the hook. I got a Roach straight away and the next 10 fish was Roach and hybrids. I noticed that I was catching bigger Roach and hybrids then my neighbor due to my heavier ground bait. After around 30 min I noticed a different indication on my tip so I pulled up and changed bait to a small red worm. I put out the feeder again and got a nice pull-around on the tip and hooked my first Bream. I put out the feeder again and got a good pull-around on the tip again; Igot the feeling that the Bream had parked on my peg.



I kept feeding the next feeders with worms and castes and started to notice the bites getting very delicate and just small 2-3mm indication. I did strike a couple of times on these small indication and there were no fish, so I did leave the worms and casters out of the next feeders that I put out and only put in Jokers to see how the fish would react.

After 3 feeders the fish started to respond really well with the best pull-arounds on the tip for the whole day! This would last for around 30 mins, until the rain started and the fish turned back to being shy biters again. This time I had to wait out the bites until I got a good indication on the tip. For the remainder of the competition I had to sit on my hands so I didn't strike to soon, sometimes. I could see indications for several minutes until a good bite came along, I did try different hook lengths and baits to see if I could get a better indication but didn't find the best way of the day; still I manage to catch a total of 49 fish and of those I had 26-30 Breams.

During the competition I felt that I was putting fish regularly in the net compared to my neighbors and that I would be in the top; I did know that peg 24 was netting fish regularly. I was told by some spectators that I had done well on my section and when I heard that the top weight so fare was a bit over 12kg, I got the feeling that I could have more.
At the weigh in the scale stopped at 13.058g and top weight so far, I knew that peg 24 had been catching well. I was informed that he had weighed in 11.777g …. YES!!! It was now clear to me that I had won the section.


 Day Two Sunday:

After day one I felt that the tactic worked very well and that I had a chance for a medal. I was drawn to sit on peg 11 on D-section. It was not in an area that would have been my first Choice, it was just after the point that was on D-section.The weather for the day was over clouded at the start and sun midways in to the competition. I tarted to plumb up and noticed that it was deeper closer in then the day before. I had 8 seconds at 19 meters out and the bottom felt ok, so I decided to fish the same depth as the day before.

Today I only tackled up my 12ft rods and the 11ft rods. I used the same groundbait mix as the day before and did the same ground baiting at the start as well. Similar to day one the Roach and hybrids was first to show and I was catching well compared to my neighbors. After 35-45 min I noticed a change in the bites. The next feeder I put out was with a small red worm. It didn’t take long until I hooked my first Bream, it was a nice fish around 700g.


 From What I could tell I was the second one catching a bream on my section. I felt very good that it worked today as well; I did catch another one just 10 minutes after. Then the bites were gone. What happen was that the sun broke through and the bream moved away. Shit, what do I do know!! Move out further and take a chance that the bream are there or go for the roach and put fish in the net. After a debate with myself I decided to go for the roach and get as low points as possible for the team. It was now around 3 hours left of the match.

To get a good speed on the roach fishing I started to fish 5 turns on the reel further in. I also changed feeder to a plastic with open holes so the ground bait would disperse quicker. I went down to a size 20 black nickel thin wire wide gape hook as well. I starting to catch roach straight away on the new spot, but unfortunate the roach was very small, ranging in the size 30-60g.After a good start the bites were starting to fade so I went back out to my first spot to see if there were any fish there. There was roach here as well and I did catch some quick ones.

So from now on I shifted spots as soon as I noticed the bits starting to fade; in this way I had quicker bites and did put more fish in the net. I noticed that it was very important to put on the maggot the right way. I had to thread the maggot on to the hook but not on to the whole hook. It needed to be thread on like a rubber jig with the hook coming out in the middle of the maggot so the maggot was straight. When I didn’t get the maggot pointing straight I didn’t get quick bites. During my roach fishing I didn’t put down my feeder rod on the feeder support because the bits came very quick and if I didn’t have a bite within 30 secs I moved the feeder 10-15 cm to get a movement on the bait. When I got a bite, I only did a shot strike with my wrist that moved the feeder 30-50 cm so that I could keep fishing if I didn’t hook the fish. In this way I didn’t have to recast without had put a fish in my net every time. My neighbors had to recast every time they didn't hook a fish.

After the finish signal I had manage to catch 129 fish and I wasn't very pleased with it. My felling was that I would end up around 12-13th place on the section. When the weigh-in arrived to me I asked what the highest weight was so far and I was told it was a bit over 7kg; I was surprised that it wasn't more! When they put my fish on to the scale it stooped at 5979g and I was 2nd so far on my section. I knew that the French guy 2 pegs on my right had a very good weight so where would I end up?
Our captain arrived at the end of the weight in and he got the final results from one of the other captains and I finished on 5th place on my section after all. I was very pleased to hear that I ended up on a 5th place on my section.


So I had a total of 6 points over the two days, how far up the result would it take me? I was notified by our captain that I had manage a 9th place overall and our team finished on a 12th place. I was very happy I managed to get a place within the top 10 at a World Feeder Championships!


I would like to thank my Team members for a fantastic week with all that comes with it. Also a big thanks to Zebco for helping me and my team members.


 Kent Adell, Team Browning Sweden.




Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Pole Fishing Magazine - Preston Pole Pairs Event

The Pole Fishing Magazine, Preston Pole Pairs is a new event organised by Pole Fishing Magazine. This is a dedicated silver fish event spread over four matches at four separate venues. 50 pairs places were up for grabs at the start and it sold out quickly. The event as stated is a silver fish event but F1s are allowed too. 
The morning of the first round was upon us and Barston Lakes and Packington Somers was the destination. Myself and Carl Shepardson (another Browning sponsored angler) had entered the event but with his missus recently giving birth to their first child shortly before, he was unable to attend this first match; fortunately Mark Henderson, a good mate of mine was able to stand in for him at late notice. After a 4am wake up call and a couple of hours drive we arrived at the draw venue, which was the West Midlands Golf club, the home of Barston Lake. After a bit of breakfast and cup of tea it was time for the draw. I went up to draw and drew out pegs 114 at Barston and 15 on Little Gearys at Packington Somers. I also had to draw out which of us would be at what venue; it turned out that I was going to Packington with Mark staying at Barston. 



After a bit of a chat with Dan Tresigne, who fishes these venues regularly, I found out that Little Gearys is full of F1s. On hearing this I pretty much decided on an approach even before I arrived at my peg. 
On arrival at my peg I was really pleased to see the wind blowing down to the end of the lake that I was at, as F1s tend to follow the wind at most venues. The only down side was the blooming rain. 

My plan 
I decided on a three pronged attack, but the majority of the match would be spent concentrating on just 2 of the lines. The first line would be a line at the bottom of the shelf at a top 2 plus 2 distance. The second line was a line at 13 meters directly in front of me. The third line was the margin to my right next to the reed bed. 

Bait 
The rules for this event stated natural baits only. This included maggots, casters, worms, ground bait, corn and bloodworm and joker. I had all these with me but I decided on a simple maggot approach with just a few casters mixed in for an alternative hook bait. 

Rigs 
13 Meter Rig 

  • Pole - Browning Z12 
  • Elastic - Double 4 
  • Mainline - 0.14 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook length - 0.12 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook - Size 18 Kamasan B911 F1 
  • Float - 0.4g Scotthorne 1 
  • Shotting - Spread bulk plus 2 droppers 

6 Meter Rig 

  • Pole - Browning Z12 
  • Elastic - Double 4 
  • Mainline - 0.12 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook length - 0.10 Browning Cenex 
  • Hook - Size 20 Kamasan B911 F1 
  • Float - 0.3g Scotthorne 1 
  • Shotting - Spread bulk plus 2 droppers 

Margin Rig 

  • Pole - Browning Z12 
  • Elastic - Yellow Browning Cenex Reflex 
  • Mainline - 0.14 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook length - 0.12 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook - Size 18 Kamasan B911 
  • Float - Middy Styrex  
  • Shotting - A bulk plus 2 droppers 

The Match
I started the match by feeding both lines with around 30 maggots and a pinch of casters by pole cup.



I decided to start on the long line and give the short line a bit of time to settle. I put a few maggots in the pole mounted pot and shipped the rig out. I tapped the maggots out then lowered the rig in really slowly; I like to do this due to the way that F1s feed, F1s tend to follow a bait down and just as it settles they grab it . Another thing that I like to do is regularly lift and drop the rig, as the can provoke the fish into taking the bait quicker.  After a bit of lifting and dropping I got my first bite which resulted in a small Skimmer. This took the bait a second after the float settled. I re shipped the rig into position and lowered the rig in exactly as before, a second after the float settled it disappeared, a quick lift and I was in.  This time the fish was much bigger and after a steady battle, a pristine F1 was safely landed.



The next drop in resulted in another, I was off to a flying start. Unfortunately the following drop in resulted in a motionless float. This is definitely a trait with F1s especially when the water temperature starts to cool down. You will catch one or two and then they will back off. I decided to swap to the short line but before doing so I made sure that I topped up the long line with around 20 maggots and a few casters. The switch to the short line immediately paid dividends as I was straight into fish, but as before, I caught a couple then they backed off. I re-fed the short line and switched back to the long line, but after a biteless 5 minutes I soon switched again. I had a feeling that something seemed to be unsettling the fish more than just the cooler conditions. I decided to stop feeding with the pole mounted pot and concentrate on putting a small amount of bait in by pole cup after every couple of fish. (I had an inkling that the feed going in over there heads was the thing that was spooking them more than any thing else).  This did the trick as it seemed to settle the fish on both lines. As the match progressed the short line seemed to get stronger and stronger. I did manage to keep catching odd fish on the long line, but I only really ventured onto this when the short line needed re feeding.

At the end of the match I was really pleased with the way things had gone, I knew I had beaten most the people around me. The scales arrived and I weighed in 26 kilos 250 grams (almost 58lb) which was enough for me to win the section and come 2nd at Packington. I was over the moon!
My partner Mark weighed in 20 kilo 500 g which gave him 4th place in his section. 

I am really looking forward to the next round at Messingham Sands, which is one of the venues I fish quite regularly. I'll keep you informed how it goes :-) 

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Browning Team Meeting and Warhorse Match

Every year Browning organise a meeting and match for all of their UK sponsored anglers and teams. This year the match was held at Tunnel Barn farm located in Shrewley in the heart of Warwickshire. This year it was made extra special as the following day was the first ever Browning Warhorse Match. A match that stipulated only Browning poles from before 2005 could be used.

The Team Meeting
Friday morning arrived and I could not wait to get the fishery, I love these meetings as they give you plenty of opportunity to catch up with all the lads from the different teams as well as the lads who are individually sponsored.
I arrived at the fishery early and there were plenty of black and burgundy clothed people already chatting in the car park. After a few pleasantries the laughs and banter soon started. Being part of Browning is "family-like" and everybody is so friendly.



The match was to be fished on an individual basis, and was split over 4 lakes, New, Canal, Extension and House. At the draw I drew out peg 29 on new, to be perfectly honest I didn't know what to expect. On arrival at the peg I was pleased with what I saw. I had an island to fish to, that was around 13 meters away. There was plenty of far side reed cover plus some bare bank to the left of this. Margin wise, I had fairly clear banks all the way to the next peg on each side.



My plan 
My plan was to start on the far side whilst feeding a short line, then switch to the short line as soon as the far side line slowed. I planned to leave the margins alone until the last hour, hoping for a few bigger fish late on. I also set up a shallow rig, just in case the fish decided to feed shallow. 

Bait
After a touch of information gathering I opted for both maggots and fishery pellets. The plan was to use the maggots for the long and edge line and pellet for the short and shallow line. 
Rigs 
Far Side Rig 

  • Pole - Browning Z12 
  • Elastic - Yellow Browning Cenex Reflex 
  • Mainline - 0.14 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook length - 0.12 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook - Size 18 Kamasan B911 F1 
  • Float - Chianti Style 0.2 g 
  • Shotting - Spread bulk 

Short Rig 

  • Pole - Browning Z12 
  • Elastic - Yellow Browning Cenex Reflex 
  • Mainline - 0.14 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook length - 0.12 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook - Size 18 Kamasan B911 eyed tied with a knot less knot with a hair rigged micro band 
  • Float - Middy Styrex 
  • Shotting - A bulk plus 2 droppers 

Shallow Rig 

  • Pole - Browning Z12 
  • Elastic - Double 4 
  • Mainline - 0.14 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook length - 0.12 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook - Size 20 Kamasan B911 eyed, tied with a knot less knot with a hair rigged micro band 
  • Float - Drennan Crystal Dibber 0.2g 
  • Shotting - Bulk set just above the hook length 

Edge Rig 

  • Pole - Browning Z12 
  • Elastic - Blue Browning Cenex Reflex 
  • Mainline - 0.14 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook length - 0.14 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook - Size 16 Kamasan B911 
  • Float - Chianti Style 0.2 g 
  • Shotting - A bulk set just above the hook length  

The Session 
I started the match on the long pole, fishing and feeding maggots. The feeding was done by a small pole mounted pot so that I could regulate my feed and keep it accurate. I shipped the pole across to the far side, tapped the maggots from the pot and then lowered the rig in slowly over the top. It didn't take long for the first indication, a second or 2 later the float disappeared and I was in to my first fish. A chunky F1 was the result, this was followed by another 4 fish in the following 4 drops. For some reason the fish backed off really quickly, so I was forced into making a change really early. I switched to the short line on the deck with a hope that the fish would return and settle on the long line. 
The short line produced from the off, but the fish were really small on this line. I had a good 30 minutes on this line picking up mainly small fish with the odd one or 2 decent sized F1s mixed in. I decided to give the far line another try but this never really got going, until I switched to pellet on the hook and feeding micros. I was soon catching much better fish at a much faster rate. During this time I continued to feed the short line with small balls of micros and 4 mm pellets. I started to see fish showing shallow on this line, so even though I was catching on the long line I made the decision to swap back to the short line, but this time with the shallow rig.



I was soon catching at a rate off knots and the fish were a really good size. As the match drew to a close this line got stronger and stronger; I ended up cutting out the 4 mm pellets and feeding just micros and this did me the business. I spent the remainder of the match on this line. 
At the weigh in I weighed in 82 lb 2 oz which was enough to give me a section win. "Happy Days". 

Day 2 - The Warhorse Match 
I was really looking forward to this match as it was something completely different from the norm. As Browning have been making poles for at least 40 years the idea of this match was to bring some of these "old poles" out of retirement. The response to this match was incredible, with anglers from far and wide getting involved. The rules stipulated that only poles produced before 2005 could be used.

Browning put up some amazing prizes for this event, including the awesome Xitan Z8 for the winner, the brilliant Xitan Allrounder for the runner up and the cracking Xitan Xtreme margin for third place. There was also an array of other prizes for sections winners. Browning legend Bob Nudd was also fishing the event , but he was not eligible to win any of the prizes!


The draw took place and the anglers disappeared off to their pegs. After a quick cappuccino myself, Owen Thomason, Paul McBrinn (Browning reps)  and Gary Bull (a previous Fishomania qualifier) went for a walk around the lakes and took a picture of every angler and their vintage pole.  There were some amazing poles on show and some of the stories behind how they managed to come to own the poles was really interesting.


As the match got under way, straight away fish were been caught from all over, which was fantastic to see. As the match developed it became difficult to see any out right leader as that many fish were been caught.


We left the anglers to it as we didn't want to disturb them, so we disappeared back to the on site cafe for another cappuccino and a try out of the brand new poles that were on show at the event. 
Towards the end of the match we again made our way to the lakes to get some final catch shots before the weigh in. As the all out sounded, the odd shout of fish on could be clearly heard. As the weigh in got underway it was still very unclear who had won. As the weigh drew to a close we made our way back to the cafe for the results.


Clive Nada was announced the winner with a magnificent 108lb 3 oz and was presented the Xitan Z8 by none other than Bob Nudd 
Everybody thoroughly enjoyed the day and the event should be even bigger and more popular next year. So if you have an old Browning pole collecting dust, look out for for next years event.

*To inquire or enter for next years match drop an email to: warhorse@zebco-europe.com with your name and contact details and model of Browning pole you will be using.
 





Sunday, 12 October 2014

Zebco/Browning Factory Visit

I recently had the pleasure of visiting the Zebco/Browning factory in Tostedt Germany. The purpose of the visit was to see all the new products for 2015. The products are all on display in a purpose built marquee situated in the grounds of the factory.



On display are products from all the Zebco brands, including  Zebco, Quantum, Van Staal, Fin-nor, Mustad, Black cat, Rhino, Radical and of course Browning. I will be honest I was like a kid in a sweet shop and I didn't know where to look first. The first thing I set my eyes on was the brand new Browning Sphere range of rods, which I have to say I am mighty impressed with. So impressed that one or two will soon be in my holdall, well hopefully any way :-) 





The blanks of the rods are second to none, with a super thin diameter and amazingly smooth action. These are then complemented by a well crafted specially designed handle along with the finest quality guides.



Amazing rods that will match or if not out class the very best rods available on the market today.

I had a good hour or so looking and taking pictures of all the new and revamped rod ranges. The work that has gone into making these rods perfect is staggering. Huge amounts of testing, refining, then retesting go into every single rod in every range. So when you buy a rod from Browning you know you are getting a top quality product.   

A magnetic force then grabbed hold of me and dragged me to the pole alley section of the exhibition. Here sat waiting was the jewels in the crown for me. The Xitan Z14, the Champions Choice Silverlite and the Hyper Carp poles. These were all set up on rollers waiting to be "waggled". I sat myself on the strategically placed new Browning box and started waggling. I picked up the Z14 which was initially set up at 13 meters, I wanted to see if it was actually 10% lighter and stiffer than the mighty Z12. Straight away the difference was noticeable, it is definitely lighter than the Z12 even at 13 meters, I added the 14.5 meter section and then the 16 meter section, at both of these lengths it is noticeably lighter and stiffer than the Z12, which is unbelievable as I have a Z12 and it is an extremely stiff pole.



Another one of the features I wanted to check out was the brand new square pole protectors. These are so comfortable to use as they take the direct pressure off the elbow. The flat surface of the pole protector helps distribute the weight to the entire forearm, it also makes it comfortable on your legs too.


Also on show was the newly designed puller bush, which will be fitted as standard to all Z14 puller top kits. It makes stripping the elastic from the pole smooth and effortless as there is very little friction due to the design.



Then I picked up the Silverlite, a pole designed for predominantly silver fish fishing. This thing has to be seen to be believed. The rigidity at 16 meters is phenomenal which gives instant butt to tip reaction, which is essential for silver fish fishing. If you don't fish for Carp then this is definitely the pole for you.  Next in line was the Hyper Carp which is at the complete opposite end of the scale. This pole has an unlimited elastic rating and is designed for the biggest of Carp. With this in mind you would think the pole would be heavy and floppy, well you would be wrong. This pole is stiff and fairly light but as strong as an ox. It will be perfect for big fish commercials.

I had a good hour checking out the poles, most of this time was spent sitting on the new Browning box, which is as solid as a rock and extremely comfortable. 2 styles are a available, the feeder version and the match version. The main difference is the legs. The feeder box comes with long legs that extend below the frame and footplate. The match version comes with shorter legs that extend above the frame and foot plate perfect for getting your box nice and low. There are also a multitude of accessories available so you can add to the stack system.



This is only a small part of the new products available from Browning, for further information on any of the products please check out Browning Fishing UK on Facebook or check out www.browning-fishing.com

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Stainforth and Keadby Canal

There is definitely something magical about this Canal; for some reason it's the match I look forward to the most each year. I don't know whether it's because it takes me back to my younger days, or just that it's a total change from the fishing I do the rest of the year.


Every year the Police and Fire Service hold a number of inter-service matches on the canal, which are open to both serving and retired members of the Police, Fire Service, Prison Service and others.We always meet and do the draw at the Delves cafe in the town of Thorne near Doncaster which is a 5 minute drive away from the venue.  At the draw I pulled out peg 185, which I know is a fair walk from where we park the cars. It is not far from the Blue Water Marina mouth and there are normally a few boats moored up on the opposite bank, on arrival at my peg this is confirmed. The first thing I noticed was how clear the water was and how weedy the near shelf was. I had to position my box where there was a gap between the weed, so that when I caught a fish it would make it easier to land.

The Plan
I planned to go with a three pronged attack for today's match. My main line was to be at 13 meters which is just over half way across the canal, this is a comfortable distance to start at especially if the wind gets up. The canal is quite exposed so wind can affect it easily.  My second line was a line at 9 meters down the main track of the canal at an 11 o'clock angle. my third line was line just in front of the near shelf weed at approximately 5 meters.

Bait
I have a bit of a selection, for the main line I have some mixed pinkies as well as some red and white maggots, I also have some dark coloured ground bait, as the water is usually fairly clear a dark ground bait doesn't stand out and spook the fish.  For the 9 meter line I have some hemp seed and for the 5 meter line I have some hemp and casters.

Rigs
Main Line

  • Pole - Browning Z12 
  • Elastic - Doubled up 4
  • Main line - 0.12 (3.7 lb) Browning Hybrid Power
  • Hook length - 0.10 (2.25 lb) Browning Cenex
  • Hook -  Size 24 Preston PR 35
  • Float - Alan Scotthorne 1   0.5 gram
  • Shotting - Olivette Bulk plus 2 droppers


Hemp Line

  • Pole - Browning Z12
  • Elastic - Doubled up 4
  • Main line - 0.12 (3.7 lb) Browning Hybrid Power
  • Hook length - 0.10 (2.25 lb) Browning Cenex
  • Hook - size 16 Kamasan B520
  • Float - Dino Duke 0.2 gram
  • Shotting - Small bulk plus a single dropper


Caster Line

  • Pole - Browning Z12
  • Elastic - Yellow Browning Cenex
  • Main line - 0.12 (3.7 lb) Browning Hybrid Power
  • Hook length - 0.10 (2.25 lb) Browning Cenex
  • Hook - Size 24 Preston PR 35
  • Float - Alan Scotthorne 1 - 0.4gram
  • Shotting - Olivette bulk plus 2 droppers


The Session
I started the session by feeding a single ball of ground bait and a few pinkies by pole cup on the 13 meter line. I baited the hook with a single red maggot and
shipped the rig out and lowered it in slowly. The rig never even got time to settle and I was in, a small Skimmer been the result. The next 2 drops followed the same pattern but a Roach and a Perch were the result of these.

The next couple of drops remained bite-less, so I switched hook bait to 2 fluoro pinkies on the hook and the response was instant as I was now catching regularly. To complement this I started feeding small amounts of pinkies via a pole mounted pot to keep the feeding nice and tight. This seemed to work a treat as I started catching at quite a fast rate.

After around 2 hours the canal started to tow like a train, so I switched to a maggot hook bait as it is slightly heavier than pinkies. I let the rig tow through which again worked really well I as kept catching whilst other around me were struggling. I did find a couple of patches of weed whilst towing through, but after a couple of runs I sussed where they where and I managed to line them up with some far bank markers. This made things so much easier as just before the rig reached the markers I lifted the rig up a foot or so over which prevented me from snagging on the weed. This kept the rig running through nice and smooth.
After an hour the tow stopped so I topped up my original swim with a small ball of ground bait, but during the time I had been the rig through there was a certain point that I would get a bite at, so I kept fishing at this point until the bites slowed down.

With just over an hour to go I switched to the hemp line which I had been feeding via catapult for a good hour or so. I had a bite as soon as I dropped the rig in, which resulted in a chunky Roach. I spent the remainder of the match on this line and I kept catching right till the final whistle.
At the weigh in I managed 11 lb 6 oz which was enough to win the match. Happy days!

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Redwood Park Fishery

Today I payed my first ever visit to Redwood Park Fishery near York, and what a lovely fishery it is.
There are 4 well maintained lakes to choose from, which offer plenty of room and features. The fishery is situated just off Tollerton Road off the A19, 7 miles from York. Information can be found at:
http://redwoodpark-york.co.uk/ 
Facebook@Redwood Park


The Lakes 
Redwood Lake 
This has 32 well spaced pegs and is stocked with Carp, Bream, Tench, Barbel, Crucians and Chub. Depths vary from 4.5 ft to 11 ft

The Arc 
This has 30 well spaced pegs and is stocked with Carp, Bream, Ide, Chub, Crucians and F1's

The Moat
This has 12 well spaced pegs and is designed with ease of access in mind with it been close to the car park. The pegs have been designed to meet British Disabled Angling Association standards. The Lake is stocked with Carp, Bream and Roach

The Canal
This has 45 pegs and is stocked with F1's Carp Chub and a variety of silver fish.

I chose to fish the canal lake, peg 11 to be exact. It gave me just over 12 meters to the far bank plus plenty of cover down the margins.

The plan 
I planned to start tight up to the far bank where there was a small cut out in the far side vegetation. As the day progressed I planned to change to a shallow line slightly away from the far bank but at a 2 o'clock angle.



Bait 
As I didn't know what was in the lake I thought I would air on the side of caution to start with, so I opted to start with expander pellets on the hook and softened micro pellets for feed on the tight across line. I planned to feed the micros via a small pole mounted pot. I also had a bit of corn for a change of hook bait should I need it.  For the shallow line I planned to use 4 mm hard pellets for feed and for hook bait.

Rigs
Tight Across Rig

  • Pole - Browning Z12 
  • Elastic - Yellow Browning Cenex Reflex 
  • Main Line - 0.14 (5.6 lb) Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook Length - 0.12 (3.7 lb) Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook - Size 18 Kamasan B911 F1 
  • Float - Shep Special, Chianti style 0.2 gram 
  • Shotting - Bulk set just above the hook length.


Shallow Rig

  • Pole - Browning Z12 
  • Elastic - Yellow Browning Cenex Reflex 
  • Main line - 0.14(5.6 lb) Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook length - 0.12 (3.7 lb) Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook - Size 18 Kamasan B911 Eyed, tied with a knotless knot with a hair rigged micro band
  • Float - Drennan Crystal Dibber 0.2 gram 
  • Shotting - Bulk no10 Stotz set just above the hook length 


The Session
Starting the session on the tight across line, I shipped the pole across, tapped out the micro pellets and lowered the rig in slowly over the top. I had an indication immediately then a second or two later the float buried and I was in. A small F1 was the result. The next put in and it was almost a mirror image of the first put in, another small F1 was soon netted. This rate continued for the first 30 mins before bites subsided.



After a few bite-less minutes the float buried and I was now hooked into a better size fish. Succeeding a short battle I soon landed the fish which was a Mirror carp around the 2 lb mark. The next drop then resulted in a Common Carp around the same size.










The following couple of drops resulted in F1's again before they disappeared once more. I then hook into a better Carp that dragged me into and snagged me in the reed bed to the left of the cut out. Unfortunately on trying to free my rig the reeds bent over blocking access to the cut out, "bugger!".
I tried a couple of different areas to the right and left of the cut out but bites never materialised.

A switch to the shallow rig was now required. The first couple of fish I caught on the shallow rig were small Chublets around a couple of ounces each. The F1 s soon homed in on the feed and I was soon catching regularly again. I kept on this line until time ran out and it was time to pack up.
I had managed around 40 lb in a few hours which was thoroughly enjoyable, another visit will definitely on the cards!




Sunday, 14 September 2014

Messingham Sands - Hollywood Pond

Today was our last Fire Service match for this year, the match was held on Hollywood Pond which is part of the Messingham Sands complex. The lake is situated off the main site and is a Canal type lake around 25 - 30 meters wide and hosts 30 well spaced pegs. It is stocked to the rafters with Carp, Crucians, Ide and Skimmers.
At the Draw I was left with peg 18 which I was fairly happy with as I have had some good days previously in this area. On arrival at my peg I discovered I had a fair bit of far side cover consisting off a small thinned out reed bed then a small gap then at the other side some over hanging sedges. To the left of  the reed bed was a tree then a small amount of flat bank before another reed bed. Margin wise I had some reeds to my right and a tree to my left. I had a 2 meter gap between the platform and the tree and this offered some shallow water. 


The Plan 
My initial plan was to start on the Bomb to the far bank with a plan to alternate this with the Pellet Waggler as the session progressed. I also planned to feed a short line for the pole on the deck as well as a longer shallow pole line. 

Bait 
I had 8 mm fishery pellets for the Bomb and Pellet Waggler, 6 mm fishery pellets for the shallow pole line and some 6 mm meat for the short pole line.

Rigs 
Bomb Rig 

  • Rod - Browning Force 10 ft Bomb 
  • Reel - Browning Backfire 
  • Main line - Browning Cenex Feeda line 0.18 (6.10 lb) 
  • Hook length - Browning Hybrid Power 0.16 ( 6.7 lb) 
  • Hook - Size 16 Kamasn B911 XS tied with a knotless knot with a hair rigged micro band 
  • Bomb - 14 g Browning Hybrid distance bomb 

Pellet Waggler Rig 

  • Rod - Browning Commercial King Medium Pellet Waggler  11 ft 
  • Reel - Browning Black Magic Burner 
  • Main line - Browning Hybrid Power 0.18 (8.5 lb) 
  • Hook Length - Browning Hybrid Power 0.16 ( 6.7 lb) 
  • Hook - Size 16 Kamasan B911 XS tied with a knotless knot with a hair rigged micro band 
  • Waggler - Drennan Loaded crystal 5.0 gram 

Shallow Pole Rig 

  • Pole - Browning Z12 
  • Elastic - Yellow Browning Cenex Reflex 
  • Main line - Browning Hybrid Power 0.16 (6.7 lb) 
  • Hook length - Browning Hybrid Power 0.14 (5.6 lb) 
  • Hook - Size 18 Kamasan B911 XS tied with a knotlees knot with a hair rigged micro band
  • Float - 0.2 gram Drennan Crystal Dibber 
  • Shotting - Bulk no10 Stotz set just above the hook length 

Short Deck Rig 

  • Pole - Browning Z12 
  • Elastic - Blue Browning Cenex Reflex 
  • Main line - Browning Hybrid Power 0.16 (6.7 lb) 
  • hook length - Browning Hybrid Power 0.14 (5.6 lb) 
  • Hook - Size 16 Kamasan B911 
  • Float - Middy Styrex 4 (4x14) 
  • Shotting - Bulk plus 2 Droppers 

The Session  

The session could not have started any better, as the first 2 casts both produced decent Carp. I was casting the Bomb to the gap directly in front of me and tight up to the far bank. Feed wise I was catapulting 3 or 4, 8 mm pellets every 30 seconds or so. 
The first hour was pretty steady after the cracking start, producing a couple more fish. 
I decided to pot in some meat on the short pole line after an hour, as I have had some real success doing this in previous matches. As I waited for the meat line to settle down I persevered on the on the Bomb. I really wish I hadn't as I went through a spell of if it can go wrong it will go wrong. I caught up with the reed bed and ended up snapping my line, so I had to re-rig up. 

Whilst I was re rigging up I could see fish swirling on my far side line, it felt as though they were teasing me. A few more casts and yes I ended up snapping off again, so I switched to the waggler. I casted the waggler right across to the far side, the float had hardly landed and I was in. This was a much bigger fish, a Carp around 8 lb was soon netted. The next few casts resulted in the float remaining motionless and then I ended up snapping the Waggler off too, this was my indication to swap to the pole line. I baited up with a 6 mm cube of meat and shipped the pole to the desired spot, the float soon buried, this time a small perfectly formed Crucian was the result. I had a few more Crucians and a couple of Skimmers in the next few drops. Unfortunately people around me where catching decent Carp and as the fish were still splashing on the far bank I had no real option but to re-rig up the bomb rod again. 

As I was rigging up the bomb rod I noticed a couple of massive Carp hoovering up the bait I had spilt when topping up my pole mounted pot. My heart nearly skipped a beat when I saw them, especially when I never had a margin rig set up. (The reason for this was I have never had any real success in the margins on this lake in the past). I shot up the bank like a rat up a drain pipe and got out my margin pole out. I soon rigged a margin rig up, but by this time the fish had backed off. I grabbed a slack handful of meat a flicked it down the margin and eagerly awaited the return of these lumps. Whilst waiting for these lumps to return I switched my attention to the bomb, where I started casting properly and not like a plank! I had a couple of fish. 


I then noticed the beasts where back down the edge. I baited the margin rig with 2 pieces of meat and slowly lowered the rig in. I saw the fish swim towards my hook bait and after a couple of seconds the float was dragged under. I lifted and I was connected to a right lump. A 5 - 10 minute battle commenced but on landing the fish it was well worth it as the fish was a good 15 lb. I spent the remainder of the match switching between the Bomb, Waggler and margin line picking up odd fish. I did manage to hook into an even bigger fish from the margins but unfortunately the hook pulled out under the strain of trying to get the fish to come up in the water. I saw it down the edge before I hooked it and it must have been near on 20 lb. 
At the weigh in I totaled 84 lb 7 oz which was good enough for 4 th place. A cracking days fishing at a cracking venue, even though I fished like a plank.