Saturday, 14 November 2015

Tips for Winter Hard Pellet Fishing

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

A Roundup of Recent Results

Tuesday 20th Oct
91 lb 7oz
Match win
Sunday 25th Oct
The wife’s birthday!
1st round of the winter league
54lb 11oz
Section win
Thursday 29th Oct
102lb 6oz
4th overall
Tuesday 3rd Nov
59lb 7oz
Slight blip!
Sunday 8th Nov
2nd round of the winter league
75lb 1oz
Section win
Second overall

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, 18 September 2015

White Acres 2015 - Part 2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My Set Ups

Method Rod

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

Bomb Rod 

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

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

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

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

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

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

My rigs 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Monday, 14 September 2015

White Acres 2015 - Part 1

I have just returned from a cracking week at White Acres, which is situated only a short drive from Newquay.

'White Acres Holiday Park has become the ultimate resort for anglers and their families. Enjoy 10 pleasure lakes and 3 specimen lakes set in 184 acres of stunning Cornish countryside.
Our 13 coarse fishing lakes provide the tranquillity and choice that will thrill all anglers of all ages and abilities. The highest standards of care and tuition are maintained by Clint Elliott, Fisheries Manager, and his team to ensure great sport for all skills, whether you are a Pleasure, Match or Specimen Angler.
We have over 300 pegs, including wheelchair pegs, spread across our well stocked lakes and have an on park tackle shop as well as weekly resident matches and expert advice and tuition.  With waters of various sizes and depths, you can fish for:
Roach, Tench, Bream, F1's, Catfish, Rudd, Perch, Carp, Barbell and Chubb'

The fishing, weather and company  could not have been better.
The week started last Saturday morning when I got picked up ready for the 6 hour drive from Hull. After a couple of short stops and some longer delays due to accidents and road work chaos we finally arrived safe and sound.
After a bit of shopping and getting the caravan sorted, it was beer o'clock, so we were nice and relaxed ready for the next day, or something like that! :-)

On our first day of fishing we decided to go on the Canal lake, as this would be the only opportunity due to the lake been closed for a festival for the rest of the week. I opted for peg 6, for no other reason than I liked the look of it; I fancied a day fishing short pole, so I set up 2 top kits, a deck rig and a shallow rig, which I planned to fish at a top 2 plus 3 sections distance.

Bait wise I had some 4 and 6 mm pellets. I planned to start on the 4 mm pellets then possibly switch to a 6, depending on what response I got.
I started on the deck rig with a banded 4 mm pellet, I opted to feed the swim by hand, flicking 10 to 15 pellets over the top every 30 seconds or so. I soon had good size F1s coming regularly.

After an hour or so I switched to the shallow rig, but even though there was plenty of signs that the fish were shallow, they wouldn't have  it at all. I then had an idea, so I set up another rig. This time I set up an AS 3 Scotthorne float. I plumbed the rig up dead depth but I set the shotting up shirt button style with a no 10 shot spaced at 10" intervals. I thought that a slow falling rig would be the way to catch these crafty F1s.
Instead of laying the rig in slowly, I slapped the rig over and kept a tight line between the pole tip and the float. This worked an absolute treat, I was soon catching at a mega rate. All the bites coming in the top 2/3 of the water, if it went beyond this I never got a bite. so slapping the rig over regularly was a must. Every days a learning day!

Monday was 'Gold Match Day', which I had booked onto the day before. On the morning of the match I discovered 60 were booked on, so the match was to be spread over both Twin Oaks lakes, Trewlawney and Acorn lakes too. I was hoping to draw either Twin Oaks or Trewlawney as these are both lakes I have fished during previous visits . Fortunately I drew out Twin Oaks Peg 11, which I wasn't disappointed with. This is in the middle of the first lake and is towards the better end of the lake.

I had a plan in mind before getting to the lake, which can be essential here due to the fact that there is a bait limit of 8 pints allowed at your peg. I opted to go with an almost all out pellet attack. I had a single tin of meat, which I planned to use on the hook down the edge. I also had some groundbait which is an allowed extra bait for feeding the margins.
My plan of attack was a 4 pronged approach, I planned to start on the method feeder, then as bites deteriorated (which normally happens when fishing to a far bank) I planned to switch to the long pole at 13 meters and gradually as the session progressed move to the short line the eventually the margins. "sounded all good in theory!"

As explained above about the bait limits, I had to select baits carefully. My selection was 3 pints of dampened micro pellets for the method feeder, I had 2 pints of fishery 4 mm pellets for the long line and 2 pints of fishery 6 mm pellets for the short line. I also had a small tin of meat and some groundbait, which is an allowed extra bait.

Method Feeder

  • Rod - Browning Sphere Bomb 10ft 
  • Reel - Browning Black Magic Burner 
  • Main line - 0.18 Browning Cenex ABR
  • Hook length - 0.18 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook - Size 16 Kamasan B911 XS tied with a knotless knot with a hair rigged band 
  • Feeder - Preston 30g large method feeder 
13 Meter Line and top 2 plus 2 line

  • Pole - Browning Champions Choice Silverlite 10-12
  • Elastic - White Browning Stretch 7 hollow 
  • Mainline - 0.16 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook length - 0.14 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook - Size 16 Kamasan B911 tied with a kntless knot with a hair rigged band 
  • Float - 0.3g Scotthorne AS1 
  • Shotting - A bulk plus 2 droppers 
Margin Rig

  • Pole - Browning Xtreme Margin 
  • Elastic - Green Browning Cenex 
  • Mainline - 0.16 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook length - 0.16 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook - Size 14 Kamasan B911 
  • Float - 0.3 Scotthorne AS3
  • Shotting - Spread Bulk

The Session 

I started the session on the method feeder casting it tight up to the far bank; after a couple of casts I finally got my first bite. It was definitely worth waiting for as it was a nice Mirror Carp around the 6 lb mark. I re-cast and immediately had indications but no bite materialised.
I could see the fish with their backs out of the water, which prompted me to re-cast, but this time drop it a foot shorter than before. This worked a treat as a steady run of small Carp soon followed. It wasn't long before they backed off though, so I switched to the long pole which I had been prepping from the start of the match with 10 x 4mm pellets every 30 seconds or so. I shipped the rig out into position and lowered the rig in nice and slowly. The float soon buried and a stream of white elastic omitted from the pole tip. After a good fight a decent Carp around 5lb soon graced my net.
The next drop in resulted in another smaller Carp before I endured a run of foul hooked fish. I tried altering feeding patterns form little to lots but nothing seemed to stop it. My last resort was to switch to the short line which I had started feeding with 3 or 4, 6 mm pellets every minute or so. This switch was just what I needed as I was soon catching much bigger fish and not suffering from foul hookers.
When this swim quietened down I moved back to the 13 m line and fortunately the break had settled the fish back down because I never suffered another foul hooker. I continued swapping lines until the match finished. I did feed and try the margins several times but I didn't have a single fish.
The end of the match sounded and I was pretty pleased with how things had gone. I weighed in 74 lb 14 oz which was enough to give me 5th overall in the match :-)

For more information on the venue visit them on:

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Lindholme Lakes Open Match

The last couple of months have been fairly hectic with work and Fire Service matches covering the length and breadth of the country. During this time I have had no time to get my backside to Lindholme. I decided that enough was enough and I had to get there.
After Fishing the Sunday open match on Loco, in which I had around 60 - 70 lb for nowhere in the match, it gave me the Lindholme bug back and with a vengeance. With this in mind I made my second trip of the week to fish the Thursday open on Bonsai. I was hoping that a couple of trips in close proximity would soon have me back in tune with the venue.

At the draw all the familiar face were in attendance so a decent draw was essential. Out of the bag came peg 67, which I wasn't disappointed with as this can be a productive area.
 On arrival at the peg, I was faced with a steady cross wind from left to right. I did notice that the gusts seemed to be coming directly at me, which should make holding a pole possible. The peg has plenty to offer with the left hand end of
the island directly in front of me at around 25 meters. There was also the open water in between the islands, which can sometime be a great place to target. The margin to my left looked spot on as I could easily reach the next peg which was empty.

My Plan
I decided on a 4 pronged approach. The main target area would be the end of the island, which due to the wind would mean using the bomb, as a waggler would end up been blown all over the place.
The second target area was a deck rig at 13 meters, I decided against setting a shallow rig up as well for this line, as I thought the wind would hinder the presentation to much. My third line was at a top 2 plus 3 distance at an 11 o'clock angle, as this stops me bringing fish from other lines over it. The 4th and final line was a margin line to the platform to my left.

I had a really simple bait tray consisting of some fishery 4 and 6mm pellets for the bomb and pole lines plus some groundbait and corn for the margins.

Bomb Rod
  • Rod - Browning Sphere 10ft Bomb 
  • Reel - Browning Black Magic Burner 
  • Main line - 0.18 Browning Cenex ABR 
  • Hooklength - 0.14 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook - Size 16 Kamasan B911 eyed tied with a knotless knot with a hair rigged band. 
  • Bomb - Browning Distance lead 14g 
13 Meter Line and Short Line
  • Pole - Browning Champions Choice Silverlite 
  • Elastic - Yellow Browning Stretch 7 Hollow 
  • Mainline - 0.14 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hooklength - 0.12 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook - Size 16 Kamasan B911 eyed tied with a knotless knot with a hair rigged band 
  • Float - Scotthorne 1  0.3gram 
  • Shotting - Bulk plus 2 droppers  
Margin Rig
  • Pole - Browning Xtreme Margin 
  • Elastic - Green Cenex Hollow 
  • Mainline - 0.16 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hooklength - 0.14 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook - Size 14 B911
  • Float - Scotthorne 3  0.3gram 
  • Shotting - Spread bulk 

The Session 
I started the session on the bomb and 6mm pellet, casting tight to the end of the island. I started by feeding a couple of 6 mm pellets over the top via catapult. It only took a matter of a minute before the tip flew round. 30 seconds later a small Mirror Carp was safely landed. The first 30 minutes was really productive and I was catching pretty steadily, but for some reason the bites soon dried up. 
I altered feeding patterns but this never altered anything, so I switched to the short pole line to give the bomb line a rest; I had been feeding the short line like all the others from the start.
 The switch did the trick as I was soon back into the fish. I was catching some proper chunk F1s, but after a few fish again the bites disappeared. In a bid to keep things moving I switched straight back to the bomb; I thought this was going to be one of those days were switching lines would be the only way forward.

In Short
To be fair this is how the day progressed, I managed to keep fish coming all day, but not at a fast enough rate to compete with some others that I could see. 
At the end of the match I totalled 88lb 2 oz which I was pretty happy with. It was nowhere near enough to win but I was happy that I had managed to keep fish coming all day. 

Saturday, 1 August 2015

Viaduct Fishery - Fire Service National

Every year the FSSAA, which is the national sports and welfare body for the fire service, organise a national teams of 4 competition. This years match was held at the beautiful and wonderfully scenic Viaduct fishery in the heart of Somerset.                                                                                            
This was to be our first outing since our Humberside Fire team joined forces with Browning. We decided due to the 4 and a half hour drive to get to the fishery from Hull, that we would travel down the day before. On our arrival in Somerton we headed straight for the fishery. The plan was to try and get a feel for how the venue was fishing and what areas would be best; however within minutes of our arrival, we managed to get collared into helping weigh-in the part of the open match that was been held over a number of the lakes.

The section we weighed in was Cary Lake, which is renowned for its huge resident Carp.  On weighing in this became even further evident as one angler weighed-in 2 fish for 38lb! After the weigh-in and a bit of a chat, we completed a circuit of the lakes before making our way to the hotel.
Morning arrived and after a hearty full English breakfast, we made our way to the venue. The weather though was terrible and we were due rain all day. Oh and it did nothing but, all blooming day!

Draw Time
Draw time arrived and we drew 3 pretty decent pegs (from what we had seen the previous day) and 1 we didn't have a clue about. I drew peg 43 on the Match Lake, John Holness drew 123 on Campbell, Ian Ralph drew 76 on Cary and Mark Davies drew 22 on Spring (the peg we didn't have a clue about) On arrival at my peg I was pretty pleased as I had loads to go at. An island, open water and a really fishy looking margin. What more could I ask? Apart from the weather to book its ideas up!

The Plan
After chatting to a local lad the day before, I knew the lake contained a huge stocking of F1s, which suited me down to the ground. With this is mind I decided on a 4 pronged attack. Firstly a bomb to the island, with an island been such a fish holding feature it would be suicidal not to target this area. The second and third line of attack was to be a pole line at 13 meters aiming slightly to the right, both on the deck and shallow. The reason behind aiming slightly right was so that I wasn't dragging the bomb over the pole line all the time when retrieving it. The 4th line was to be to the reedy margin to my right hand side.

Bomb Rig
  • Rod - 10ft Browning Sphere Bomb 
  • Reel - Browning Black Magic Burner 
  • Mainline - 0.18 Browning Cenex ABR
  • Hook length - 0.16 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook - Size 16 Kamasan B911 XS tied with a knotless knot with a hair rigged band. 
  • Bomb - 14 g Browning Distance lead (free running) 
Deck Rig
  • Pole - Browning Z12 
  • Elastic - Browning Stretch 7 (white)
  • Mainline - 0.16 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook length - 0.14 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook - Size 18 Kamasan B911 tied with a knotless knot with a hai rigged micro band 
  • Float - 0.2 Scotthorne 1 
  • Shotting - Bulk set just above hooklength ( no droppers due to the shallow depth, just over 2 ft) 
Shallow Rig
  • Pole - Browning Z12 
  • Elastic - Blue Browning Stretch 7
  • Mainline - 0.16 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook length 0.12 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook - Size 18 Kamasan B911 tied with a knotless knot with a hair rigged micro band 
  • Float - 0.2gDrennan Crystal Dibber
  • Shotting - 3 X no10  set just above hooklength 
Edge Rig
  • Pole - Browning Z12 
  • Elastic - Green Browning Cenex hollow 
  • Mainline - 0.18 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook length - 0.16 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook - Size 14 Kamasan B911 XS
  • Float - 0.3 Scotthorne 3 
  • Shotting - Spread bulk set just above hooklength 
The Session
I started the session on the bomb with a banded 8mm pellet. I casted it nice and tight to the island and started firing 3 or 4 8mm pellets over the top. In-between firing the 8 mm pellets, I was also firing 6 mm pellets onto the 13 meter pole line. My hope was to get the fish nice and settled on the pole line before going on it.  After a couple of casts on the bomb, a liner was suddenly followed by a proper wrap round. The fish kited immediately left and straight under a overhanging tree, where it shed the hook into a branch. Bugger one nil to the fish. The next cast saw it two nil to the fish, this one snapped me. Fortunately I had 2 identical bomb rods set up, so with no time wasted I was back out fishing right away. Straight away after casting I was getting indications that fish were in the swim, a minute later the tip wrapped round and this time I was not going to let the fish anywhere near that bloody tree. This resulted in a proper chunk F1 around the 3 lb Mark.

I decided to give the bomb line a rest for a while and have a look on the pole. I baited up with a 6mm hard pellet and shipped the rig into position. Seconds after the rig settled the float dipped, a quick lift of the pole and a steady stream of white elastic emitted from the top kit. Another decent F1 was soon landed. I had a couple more fish before the bites started to become iffy. A switch back to the bomb saw me into fish straight away. The rest had done the swim wonders. This was to be my tactic for the majority of the match.
Towards the end of the match, the rain lulled for 20 minutes and my constant feeding saw the fish start swirling. For 20 minutes I couldn't get the rig in quick enough I must have had 12 fish in 12 drops, with a couple of the fish been proper Carp. The rain soon put a dampener on this again as it decided to proper hammer it down, this seemed to unsettle the fish.  I remained on the shallow line for the remainder of the match just picking up odd fish as the other lines just stopped producing. I did give the edge line a few goes but I could not get a bite.

At the weigh in I was really pleased when I weighed in 80lb this was enough to win the lake. On return to the carpark, the other lads told of their days. John had 105lb Ian had 37lb and Mark had really struggled as he had 12 lb. At present I still don't know where we actually finished as we left before the presentation, as we had a supposed 4 and a half hour drive back, which actually turned out to be nearer 7 due to the blooming M1 roadworks. I will update you when we get confirmation of the result.

Friday, 17 July 2015

The Angling Trust Canal Pairs On The Aire & Calder Canal.

It was quite some time ago that myself and Carl Shepardson entered this match, in fact it was so long ago that we both nearly forgot all about it altogether! This is very unlike us both as we both like to do our homework and get plenty of practice in on the venue. I don't know what triggered in my head, but something clicked and fortunately I remembered about the match, the downside was it only a week before the match, which gave us very little time to do anything about it. With the pair of us having to work all week, we were going to have to do something that is really quite alien to us, "go into the match blind".

Match Day
We arrived at the rugby club in the town of Thorne, the venue for the draw. After a nice breakfast it was draw time. I was in section B and Shep was in section A . This was designated by the Angling Trust on the tickets they provided. My home for the day was to be permanent peg 421 on the Pollington Boats stretch. Shep drew peg  32  on the Rawcliffe Wides stretch. We didn't have a clue how good the pegs were, but hey ho, off to the pegs we go. I finally arrived at my peg, which was a decent walk away from where I parked the car and to be perfectly honest, I liked the look of it. The Canal on this stretch is really wide at around 35 meters or so and there are plenty of boats moored up on the far bank. things looked good

My plan
My initial plan was to target 4 separate areas. The first line I opted for was at the base of the near shelf which was around 7 meters, this wasn't blatantly obvious as near shelfs go. What I looked for was (with some careful plumbing) where the shelf flattened out and turned into the main channel. The next line was at 11 meters. I would like to have gone beyond this but the wind was blowing straight down the canal and this would have made holding the pole really difficult. The 3rd line was at a 10 o'clock angle to my left well away from my main lines. The reason for this was I planned to fish hemp only on it, but feed it up and leave it till the last hour or so. My final plan of attack was to fish a maggot feeder across to the boats on the far side.

Bait wise I tried to keep things pretty simple so I had 2 pints of maggots, 2 pints of casters and a couple of pints of hemp plus a couple of kilos of groundbait and some soil. The soil is to make the groundbait heavier so it gets down to the bottom quicker. (Pretty similar to Shep really)


Near side Rig
  • Pole - Browning Champions Choice Silverlite 10-12 
  • Elastic - Browning solid 5 
  • Mainline - 0.12 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hooklength - 0.10 Browning Cenex Soft 
  • Hook - Size 20 Kamasan B911 F1 
  • Float - Tubertini Serie Pro 1.0gram 
  • Shotting - Olivette bulk plus 3 droppers 
11 Meter Rig 
  • Pole - Browning Champions Choice Silverlite  10-12
  • Elastic - Double 4 
  • Mainline - 0.12 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hooklength - 0.10 Browning Cenex Soft
  • Hook - Size 24 Preston PR35
  • Float - Tubertini Serie Pro 1.5gram 
  • Shotting - Olivette Bulk plus 3 droppers 
Hemp Rig 
  • Pole - Browning Champions Choice Silverlite 10-12
  • Elastic - Browning Solid 5 
  • Mainline - 0.12 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hooklength - 0.10 Browning Cenex Soft 
  • Hook - Size 16 Kamasan B520 
  • Float - Match Master 0.5gram 
  • Shotting - Strung Bulk 
Feeder Rod 
  • Rod - Browning 10ft Sphere Bomb 
  • Reel - Browning Blackmagic Burner 
  • Mainline - 0.14 Browning Cenex ABR
  • Hooklength - 0.10 Browning Cenex Soft 
  • Hook - Size 16 Kamasan B520
  • Feeder - Browning Window Feeder 20 gram  
The Session
I started the match by feeding 3 balls of groundbait with some casters, hemp and some chopped worm mixed in on both the long and short lines. I then filled the window feeder with maggots and casted it tight to the boat directly in front of me. After a couple of recasts I had a small Perch, but that was it. I had notice anglers around me catching across, but they were using groundbait feeders. This is when I realised I'd left my cage feeders in the garage at home. (What a plank!)
I decided to give the short pole line a try as I'd given it a bit of time to settle. I baited up with a single red maggot and lowered the rig into position. The rig immediately started towing from left to right, but after a couple of minutes the tow seemed to stop. After around 10 minutes I finally had a bite and a nice hand size Skimmer was the result.

Bites were seriously slow coming and it didn't seem to matter how I fed, I just could not get the fish to settle on any of the lines. I had to keep changing lines, altering the rigs, by going over depth, holding the rig back when it towed, letting it run through when it towed, lifting and dropping, everything you can imagine, I tried it.
Towards the end of the match I with a make something happen approach and potted in a shed load of maggots and casters. This has the desired effect as a large 'Eric the Eel' soon give me a good run about and after a number of attempts I finally landed him. This was the boost I needed. I fed some more maggots and casters and 10 minutes later I was into another, even bigger eel, fortunately this one played nicer and was landed much quicker. I was now a lot happier as i'd sussed it. Yeh right! I never had another bite on that line.

The remainder of the match was spent scratching for bites, I did manage to land a couple of Skimmers right near the end. In total I fished with 2 eels, 6 Skimmers, a Roach and a Perch and weighed in just under 3 kilos. Carl had a reasonable day, he manage to catch a lot more fish, but they were on the tiny size. He managed to finish with just over 3 kilos.

The ride home was certainly filled with what ifs! One thing this really did highlight, is that preparation and practice are absolutely essential and I will certainly not be making the same mistake twice!.

Saturday, 6 June 2015

The Brand New Browning 16m Campions Choice Silverlite 10-12

I first laid eyes on this pole on my visit to the Zebco factory last October; well before it was available on sale, and to say I was impressed was an understatement! Since this visit,  I have been fortunate enough to attend a number of shows were I have had delight in demonstrating the pole to both the trade and members of the public. The feedback received from every person who has had a 'waggle' with this pole has been phenomenal; during this time my desire to have one of these poles had grown to the point that I HAVE to have one, no matter what!!! For those who have not seen or possibly heard about the Silverlite - where have you been?

This pole has been designed for when ultimate performance is more important than ultimate strength. 
In recent years poles have needed to become increasingly strong to cope with the large fish now commonplace in most lakes and rivers. However, extra strength invariably means extra weight, therefore the latest generation of poles are heavier than their predecessors. 
Browning has recognised that not all anglers want or need a 'power' pole. Many anglers still mainly target small to medium sized 'silverfish' , therefore a lightweight, ultra stiff and fast pole is more suitable and desirable than ultimate strength.

Don't be fooled into thinking this pole is weak or fragile because it certainly isn't. The wall strength of the sections is impressive and this down to the highest grade carbons used to make them. If you are like me and fish for F1s on a regular basis on light tackle with light elastics then the Silverlite is the pole for you too.

Being ultra stiff and fast, it will definitely assist you in hitting more of them shy bites that you get from F1s as well as other silverfish such as Ide and Crucians. 
The elastic rating for the pole is a 10 solid elastic or the equivalent in hollow, which is usually more than enough to handle most fish, even a stray lump.

 The Standard package that come with the pole is pretty impressive!

  • 16m Silverlite SL10-12 
  • Section 8 Adjusta pole protector 
  • Section 9/10 Adjusta pole protector
  • 1 additional C section 
  • 4 x additional 3.9mm tip pre bushed top kits 
  • 3 x additional 3.0mm tip pre bushed top kits 
  • Silverlite cupping kit pre fitted with screw connector 
  • Set of 3 pole cups 
  • Silverlite pole holdall 
The Silverlite share many of the advanced features found on Brownings Xitan poles. However the Silverlites have some unique features specifically designed for this type of pole.
  • Pre bushed 2 piece top kits available with 3.0mm and 3.9mm diameters to suit light solid and medium hollows 
  • The complete top kit is 2.75m long, the second sections have reinforced bands so they can be drilled to convert to side puller kits.
  • The top kit tip sections are 1.6 m long so perfect for use with light solid elastics running through the tip section only. 
  • The poles are supplied with an Adjusta section which can be cut down to make the pole exactly 13 meters long. (CIPS rules)
  • the Silverlite top kits and 3rd section are compatible (including length)with all Browning Xitan poles.
The Silverlites are aimed at experienced pole anglers who want the performance benefits of lightweight and increased stiffness, but also understand and are willing to accept compromise on the poles strength.  

RRP £2799

Monday, 18 May 2015

Rush Lyvars Lakes

This was the first match I had fished at Rush Lyvars for quite some considerable time, but I have been for a fair few pleasure days as the fishery is only 2 minutes from my house. Around 18 months ago the fishery came under new ownership and since then has gone through a massive transformation. They have split the lake back into 2 separate lakes with one being now designated as a Carp lake and the other a coarse/match lake. The coarse/match lake has undergone an extensive stocking program and has been  stuffed with a large variety of species, making it a fantastic mixed fishery.

On arrival at the fishery, I was extremely pleased to see a great turnout of more than 25 anglers. This alone proves how good the fishery has become in such a short space of time!
After a chat and a catch up with a few of the other lads, it was time for the draw; I pulled out peg 30 which is is a decent walk to the far side of the fishery. On arrival at my peg I was really pleased to find calm water, which was great as everywhere else seemed to be affected by the strong winds. The only problem was I had to jog back to the car as I'd left some of my bait in it,  do'h!

The Plan 
My plan was pretty simple, first of all I planned to fish 2 short lines, one at a 10 o'clock angle and one at a 2 o'clock angle at a top 2 plus 2 distance. The idea behind this was to fish a single line out then feed it up, then switch onto the other with a hope that the fish kept feeding all day. The second line I planned to target was a long pole line at 13 meters directly in front of me. The last line I planned to target was the margin to my right hand side. 

For the short lines I planned to fish and feed 4mm expander pellets, as this is something that seems to work really well on this lake. I also had some dampened micros should I need them. Sometimes by potting in micros, this helps to keep the fish feeding on the bottom instead of coming up in the water when feeding the expanders over the top.
For the long pole line I had 2 tins of meat chopped into 8mm cubes. I planned to feed this by catapult as this has worked well on previous occasions. Finally for the margins I had some groundbait, which I planned to pot in. For the hook I opted for 8mm meat.

Short Line Rig

  • Pole - Browning Champions Choice Silverlite 
  • Elastic - Blue Browning Stretch 7 Hollow 
  • Main line - 0.14 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook length 0.12 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook - Size 18 Kamasan B911 F1 
  • Float - Scotthorne 1 0.3g 
  • Shotting - Strung Bulk with 2 droppers 
Long Line Rig 

  • Pole - Browning Champions Choice Silverlite 
  • Elastic - Blue Browning Stretch 7 Hollow 
  • Main line - 0.14 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook length - 0.12 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook - Size 16 Kamasan B911 
  • Float - Scotthorne 1 0.4g 
  • Shotting - Strung bulk plus 2 droppers 
Margin Rig 

  • Pole - Browning Xtreme Margin 
  • Elastic - Double 8 
  • Main line - 0.16 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook length - 0.14 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook - Size 16 Kamasan B911 
  • Float - Scotthorne 3 0.3g 
  • Shotting - Strung Bulk 
The Session 
I started the session on the short line at a 10 o'clock angle, close to the overhanging willow tree. I started by feeding around 10 expanders by hand every 20 seconds or so. The idea behind this was to make a bit of noise and attract the fish to the swim quickly. It didn't take long for the first bite, and a small Silver Bream was soon in the net. This was soon followed by another. The 3rd drop resulted in a quick lift followed by a steady stream of elastic omitting from the pole. This was a proper fish and soon enough a decent Bream broke the surface before diving again making a final bid for freedom. Fortunately it soon gave up and was safely netted.

The next few drops in produced a good run of small fish before another decent Bream was hooked and safely netted.  The line then seemed to go dead for some reason; it was as if the disturbance of the hooking the Bream had spooked the peg.

 In a bid to get things going again I upped the feed on the 10 o'clock line, but instead of going straight back on it I opted to try the long line. I had been feeding this line regularly from the start of the match with 3 or 4 cubes of meat via catapult. I shipped the rig out to position and the lowered the rig in really slowly. A second later a really positive bite materialised resulting in a decent battle, soon enough the culprit was in the net, which turned out to be a cracking Ide around 3- 4 lb. Unfortunately this was the only bite I had on this line.

I soon switched back to the short pole line and I'm pleased I did, as 2 proper Bream in 2 drops were the immediate result. I picked up a few more smaller fish before the line again died. I decided to try and make things happen so I potted in some micros and meat at 13 meters and some micros and expanders on the 2 o'clock line. I left the 10 o'clock line alone so I didn't put all my eggs in one basket. After persevering on the 10 o'clock line for a further 10 minutes, I switched over to the 2 o'clock line which was solid with small F1s, Crucians and skimmer. After 5 minutes I potted some micros onto the 10 o'clock line too, so that when the bites deteriorated I could switch lines and top up with another pot of micros.

This worked an absolute treat as I started catching really well. During this time I had the odd go on the longer line and picked up a few better stamp Carp, but I was having to wait longer for bites, so I opted to stick to the short lines as I could catch much faster. As the match drew to a close I was catching small F1s at a cracking rate. As the whistle blew to signal the end of the match, I had no idea how much I'd caught. As the scales arrived I was quite eager to find out!  I was really pleased when I weighed in 48lb 12 oz which was enough to give me second in the match.....Happy days!!! 

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Westlands Lakes - Catwick East Yorkshire

It has been a fair while since I last went for a dabble at Westlands, but the chance to help my former club mates was all the incentive I needed. They were going to try and suss out some tactics for their upcoming Supercup match at the venue. The match is to be held on the Middle Lake, which is the biggest and deepest lake on the complex. I have fished the lake a couple of times in the past and had decent days both times.

After meeting up and having a good walk round myself and John Holness decided on picking a couple of pegs out of the strong winds; we decided on the first 2 pegs on the arm as these were the most sheltered pegs on the full lake. The 2 other lads opted for pegs on the road bank, which gave them a brutal side wind. They manned up good and proper!

The Plan 
The plan was pretty simple really, I planned to feed 2 pole lines, both at 13 meters, one directly in front of me and the other at a 10 o'clock angle. The plan was to switch between the 2 to try and keep regular bites coming. I also planned to fish a Banjo Feeder at around 30 meters 

For the pole I had some 6 mm fishery feed pellets, which I planned to feed and fish on the hook. For the banjo I prepared 2 separate feed options. Firstly some dampened fishery micros with a really small amount of groundbait on them to help them bind properly. The second option was some sweet fish-meal groundbait with a few micro pellets mixed in. For the hook I opted for 6 mm hard pellet. If I needed a change bait I also had some corn with me. 


Pole Rig 

  • Pole - Browning Z12
  • Elastic - Double 4 Browning Cenex 
  • Mainline - 0.14 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook length - 0.12 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook - Size 18 Kamasan B911 tied with a knotless knot with a hairigged micr band 
  • Float - Garbolino DC4 1.0 g
  • Shotting - Olivette bulk plus 2 droppers 

Banjo Rig 

  • Rod - 10 ft Browning Sphere Bomb 
  • Reel - Browning Black Magic Burner 
  • Mainline - 0.18 Browning Cenex ABR 
  • Hooklength - 0.14 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook - Size 18 Kamasan B911 tied with a knotless knot with a hairigged micro band 
  • Banjo - 30 gram Free running 

The Session 
I started the session on the banjo after feeding a dozen pellets or so on each of the pole lines via pole mounted pot. For feed on the banjo I opted to start by using micros as this normally instigates a quick response. Unfortunately I never had a liner never mind a bite, I was casting pretty regularly too, but still I remained bite-less. I decided enough was enough and changed over to the pole. I fed a dozen pellets on the line directly in front of me and lowered my rig in over the top, all 12 ft of it! After some lifting and dropping my float slid away, a quick lift and I was in. It was a decent fish as elastic streamed from the pole immediately. 

After a 10 minute battle I finally managed to get the better of a pristine Carp. On landing the fish I realised why it had given me such a run around, it was foul hooked in one of its pectoral fins. The next couple of drops in never produced a bite but after some steady feeding and plenty of lifting and dropping, my float finally disappeared, I was in again. 

This time a lovely F1 around the 2 lb mark was quickly landed. 
I started getting regular bites from this point on; I had to wait a while for them, but lifting and dropping definitely sped up the process, as most bites come just after the float resettled. I swapped between the 2 lines, but the majority of the fish came off the line directly in front of me.

I opted to give the pole line a rest and retry the banjo. This time for feed I went with the groundbait and what a difference this made. I had 4 fish in 4 casts and most came within 30 seconds of the feeder hitting the bottom.

As soon as I landed the 4th fish I decided to rest that swim and change back onto the pole. I was straight into a couple of fish on the pole which was great. 
We decided to pack up at this point and have a chat between the four of us, we had learned a fair bit between us and if the tactics work the visit will have been well worth it. Fingers crossed the lads will do the business on Sunday 
Come on Hull Midweek!

Friday, 3 April 2015

The Big One Show 2015

Once again Browning were in attendance at this years 'Big One' show spectacular, which is held yearly at Farnborough Airport in Hampshire. The show is renowned for being the UK's largest fishing show - With a colossal 210 exhibitors from all over Europe in attendance and 30 more tackle stands than last year, it just keeps on getting bigger and better!

This year the decision was made to alter things a bit, instead of having a combined stand showing all the products from our parent company Zebco Europe, like in previous years, it was decided to individualise a couple of the brands by them having their own stands.
The 2 brands given their own stands were Browning and Quantum, which are Zebco's 2 most popular brands in the UK. In addition to this we also had the Browning Pole Alley stand which for this year was doubled in size due to the popularity at last years show.

The Set-Up
After a 4 hour plus drive and a fair amount of traffic jams and speed restrictions, we finally arrived at the the airfield. We made our way to the stand to find it almost complete, which was a credit to all the lads who had been setting up. (I thought I'd get this in as we did get a fair amount of stick for not been there earlier.) We helped put the finishing touches to the stands and then we were done. Nothing like grabbing the glory eh! :)

Sir Bob Nudd On Hand!
During the two days Browning's ambassador Sir Bob Nudd was on hand to offer tips and advice.

Day 1.
We all met for breakfast on the first morning and this gave us the opportunity to sort everybody's position at the show; I was asked to work on the Pole Alley stand, which I was really pleased with as I thoroughly enjoyed it last year. We made our way to the show, which was a 5 minute drive from the hotel and arrived at 8am as the show opened at 8:30, this gave us enough time to put the finishing touches to everything. 
The doors opened bang on time and after a quiet start, we started getting a steady stream of customers coming to the stand. The 2 main attractions were the Xitan Z14 and the Champions Choice Silverlite. The reaction to both of these pole was unbelievable, they were both a massive hit. 
As the day wore on we got busier and busier, it was a good thing that we brought 2 sets of poles this year, otherwise there would have been long waits for a 'waggle!'

On the main stand the reports were extremely positive with the highlight been the awesome Sphere rod range. This show was the first time the full range had been on show in the UK and the reaction was incredible.

 Another highlight on the stand was the new competition seat box. The box is available in 2 different styles, the competition box and the feeder box. The main differences been the legs and the draw combinations.

The end of the day arrived and we had all been run off our feet. I was glad to get back to the hotel for a quick shower, a meal and a few beers then bed. Ready to do it all again tomorrow. 

Day 2. 
Day 2 started slightly later which gave us all an extra hour in our beds,which was well needed. We made our 5 minute journey to the show and made sure everything was in place for day 2. Expectations were that it would follow a similar path to the day before. To be fair it did on the main stand, but on the pole stand a different path was followed. Yesterday everybody seemed interested in the Z14 and the Silverlite, today a lot of people wanted to look at the early to mid range poles such as the Allrounder, the UltraPower, the Z6 and the Z8 as well as the Xitan Margin pole.

We had a theory that the majority of match anglers had probably visited on the Saturday and were fishing matches on the Sunday. This could be what was responsible for the change in interest. 
The morning and early afternoon was pretty hectic again, but as the afternoon wore on the crowds thinned out quite quickly. The end of the show arrived and it was time to pack up and dismantle the stand. It took a good 10 of us a couple of hours to get everything packed up and loaded on to the van . We then had the joys of a 4 plus hour drive home - But not before some of our guys enjoyed a well earned rest!

What a cracking weekend, looking forward to next year already! Happy days 

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