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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