Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Catch Cult Edition 1 - Review

Well my copy of Catch Cult arrived in a "something for the weekend" brown envelope and with a great sense of joy it was opened and flicked through.

First impression is that we have a quality angling magazine in my grubby mites.

I have now read every article and it didn't disappoint me, in fact it was better than I expected.

The feel of the magazine is great, every time you pick it up, it has a newness to it, like when you get a new car. The editorial is no nonsense and there is a comfortable amount of advertising in it which in most publications is now the main focus of the publications.

The writers are mostly guys ones that I have heard of from my days as editor of the pike pool, from other magazines or books, but some are untried and fresh. The articles that stood out for me was
from the stables of Danny Taylor and John Costello, whom really went to town and produced exceptional pieces of angling literature.

One thing, is it a magazine or is it a book? No its both its a magbook, the readers digest of angling publications. Not as high brow as Fallons Anglers, and not tacky or over run with adverts like some of the mainstream publications, but a happy balance of quality articles, nicely places adverts and stunning pieces from a various angling disciplines.

Looking forward to edition 2 already, so a big well done to Messrs Shallcroft and Mumby.

Check out the website

Tuesday, 4 April 2017


The alarm was off and I was up and out of the house like a mad march hare before daybreak.
Well the first part was true anyway.

I arrived at the lake later than planned due to a) not setting the alarm correctly and b) because of the slow old boy taking a early morning Sunday drive on a Saturday.
So it was not at day break that I got to the swim but about 40 minutes after, so I hastily set about getting the spombing due as quickly as possible. The spomb was put to good effect and in quick time two around some 3/4 rod lengths out was baited up. This was then left to rest while I had a quick chat with the overnight carpers. They'd not seen much action bar some mid doubles and I was soon back in the swim getting the rods out.

The first rod out was the reliable in line maggot feeder with a 3" hook link and the second was to be a in line lead baited with a sweet boilie and a PVA bag. Once out it was time for breakfast.
Breakfast has become a bit of a thing of late, gone is the gulping down a bowl of cereal at home, gone is the porridge bot on a winters morning and hello to the bank side butties!
After breakfast and only a hybrid to show for my endeavour, which had hung itself on the size 12 maggot bunch, I noticed that during the many retrieves, on a number of occasions the maggot had either been sucked or taken off of the hook.

The in line feeder rig consists of a in line maggot feeder taped up to reduce the flow of maggots, a quick link, 3" fluro hook link with hook sizes varying from 10-16 depending on whats on the hook or hair. To start with I had used a size 12 with the maggots bunched on to it, but due to the issue of bait being nicked off of the hook I decided to change to the fake baits.
So off with the hook rig and on with the hair rig. The hair had two fake bait red maggots hooked in a V shape rather than the T shape that a lot of other tenchers seem to favour. Whilst I've found the T shape effective, the V shape seem to deter the small silvers.

So with the rig change sorted, the feeder when back out and it brought a near instant result. The bobbin rose and the was pulled tight to the alarm before it dropped back. I connected with something, but it was soon evident that it wasn't a tench and the nodding of the tip signalled a bream had come into the margins.

The bream was soon netted and whilst not a monster by any means, it did show that something was feeding over the baited area.

It was soon returned and the feeder was back out and I settled back to enjoy the sights and sounds around the lake.
A  pair of Great Crested Grebe's were on the water courting in their normal head bobbing manner, three pair of buzzard were using the thermals to climb the thermos, a pair of kestrels were roosting on a branch on an Oak tree.
On the ground signs of plant life were spied and I took a couple of snaps of the wild flowers Primrose and cowslip, were taken around the lake.

Whilst enjoying these sight, it was noticeable that the insect life was not as abundant as previous springs, but this way to due more to the chill in the wind.

After an hour enjoying just being out there the maggot feeder rod was away again. This resulted in another bream taking a liking to the fake bait.

Fake baits are flooding the market and I've noted that with this there is a massive difference in the shape, appearance and feel of them. I'm in the mind that the fake bait needs to feel and look right to fool the fish or maybe its just to fool the anglers so I've stuck with the original and still the best in my opinion.

The morning drifted to midday and a few more bream took a liking to the rubber maggots and it was soon evident that a shoal had moved over the baited area and that they were hoovering it up every last piece of bait. Bream could be seen breaking surface and ever so often I get line bites too.

Just after lunch the boilie rod alarm was screaming and a fish was on the run, but there was one issue, the baitrunner was too slack and the running fish made a tangle mess of the mono before I even got to the rod. I lifted the rod and the fish was already gone. I was left untangling the spool before recasting.

By the time the session end, I had had seven bream and a small hybrid all from the margins, but not a sign of the tench that I had been targeting. With the weather turning milder, I'll soon be able to do short evening session on the pond so I'm hopeful of snagging a few over the coming months.

Back home and preparation are started for the next session and 2kg of hemp was bubbling on the stove.

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Change of Tact and New begining

With the pike now spawning, I decided that this should make the end of the season for them, so a change of species was in order.
Another chance to wet a line came my way and it was back to the pond for another crack at the roach.

The alarm didn't have to sound and I was up and out before dawn. After having a mooch about I decided on a spot were as it had been reported that the larger fish were starting to head there with spring upon us.

I arrived in the car park and not a sole was about, so I had my choice of swims and settle into one that had been kind to me this time last years. It was also a spot would give me shelter if the impending wind starting blowing.

Instead of the usual tactics of ten ball of bait crashing out into the depths, I opted for a little and often approach utilising just the 35g feeders. The bait for the feeders was to be kept simple too, brown crumb, a dash of maggot, and corn plus a lot of hemp.

Whilst I settle back and enjoyed the first brew, I looked out across the water and in front of me was a few grebes feeding and a buzzard cruising on the thermal.

The feeders were refilled and recast in 15-20 minute intervals. It was time for breakfast. It was a bacon butie sort of morning so the new frying pan came out for a trial session. I found this one in the camping section again, the beauty of it is the folding handle . I had suspected that I need to really build up the swim before the first bite would come, but surprisingly I didn't have to wait too long and soon the roach were upon the bait and the alarm sounded giving single bleeps.
With the bacon cooked, the first real bite came and massive drop back of the bobbin that I missed by a million miles.

The morning drifted on and there was sporadic bites on maggot and caster baits, but most of the time the bites were un hittable.
Morning turned to afternoon and I finally managed to get a roach landed.Not a massive roach by any means but a blank saving fish and this was followed up with a few more until the bait ran out.

 What was nice bout this special place is that roach was a species that some would say were in decline on this water, but since 2011 they having been making a come back and it does just go to show that natural can sort its self out if given time.

There is also something new on the horizon with respect to a angling publication. Two very passionate anglers have come up with a unique printed magazine which will appeal to anglers whether they are coarse, game or sea, if the fish for roach, pike, carp there will be articles that everyone will enjoy. So here is a taster of Catch Cult.

Friday, 10 February 2017

Long Time Coming

The blog has been neglected since the last post, this has been for a variety of reason including pike fishing most weekends, long hours at work, studying, DIY, pestering the Environment Agency (EA) with FoI/EIR's and writing for others.

Pike Fishing, So far...

I been fortunate to have been out most weekends for a day on the banks in pursuit of my favourite species since October, but I have been surprised but the lack of sizeable pike considering venues I've been targeting should hold bigger pike.

Most session have rewarded me with a number of pike, but sadly nothing bigger than mid double. This have been
Whilst the size may have been small the average per session is three or four, so that not a bad average considering some of the venues are very difficult.
One of the most memorable session so far was on a local still water. I ventured down for dawn and had decided that I need to catch a few pets to using during the session. It was a bitterly cold day with a heavy frost on the ground and I was expecting a slow day.
Out with a mackerel tail first in area were I'd caught being and a lamprey on a float ledger next to the reeds. The float was just settling on the float ledger when the alarm sounded on the rod baited with the mackerel tail. I wound down and I could feel a weight at the end of the line. After a short scrap a low double was netted. At little over 13lb she was not a monster but was most welcome. The mackerel was still attached so it got chucked out again.

I quickly tackled up the float gear and baited with a couple of maggots. After about an hour, I had a few pets in a bucket ready for the session and soon had one out underneath a float. This plodded around the swim for a while before the float started dancing and then when sailing under. Tightening up a lively jack was soon at the edge and as the trace only had a single treble which was neatly in the scissors it didn't take much to nick it out and release the jack.
Another pet was attached and cast back out.

The float had hardly settled being it was buried again and another jack was soon reeled in and attached. This scenario went on for most of the morning, sling a pet out get a run, attach another cast it out get a run.

It was then the turn of the mackerel tail to have another run and and another jack decided that it would try to swallow a bait half as big as its self. This was soon returned without its meal.
The final run of the day was late in the afternoon on another pet. This time the pike was not a jack but another low double.

Finished the day with seven pike landed and two runs missed. Nothing huge  but very entertaining.

Pestering the EA with FoI etc

For the last year, in the region where I reside, its been noticeable that the EA are simply not spending money on the rivers in these parts. So I wanted to find out more. Que FoI and EIR for some answers and answers is what I got. F*ck all. I'm not going to go into depths as this is forming evidence for a show down with EA, but quite frankly it is a disgrace how much of the rod license money is not going back towards improving the rivers or angling.

Writing for others

I have also been trying to get some answers for an article I've written for Pikelines,which is the Pike Anglers Club quarterly club magazine. The article is about Windermere and its declining pike populations. I was asked by the Club's Secretary, John Currie to find out as much as I could about the water going into Windermere from United Utilities treatment work. The article was published in November 2016.

This has been quite time consuming article and it wasn't helped by the long time its take to get answers from both the Environment agency and United Utilities, but the end result was very rewarding and enlightening.

There is also a new magazine on the horizon so watch the news stand for Catch Cult which is being producer by Rob Shallcroft.

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Afternoon & Evening

Haven't had time to write a blog entry as been busy with writing for others and a nasty summer cold so the fishing has taken abit of a breather over the last month.

I did manage to get out for a short afternoon session last weekend in search of some specimen roach.

I arrived at the lake around midday and had a mooch about to see what was about. The weather was warm and overcast with a light blustery westerly wind and soon I found a spot to fish.
Back to the car, grab the gear and mooch back to the swim to set up. With the ground bait prepared at home, was easy to get ten balls rolled and catapulted out about 40 yards were the weed becomes less dense.

It was to be a two rod on buzzer type of day, one on a maggot feeder heli rig and one on a ground bait feeder paternoster rig. Hook bait would be mixed up during the session to see what preference the roach had.

The first rod out was the heli baited up with a couple of maggots and no sooner had the bobbin been attached than it was jumping about with a snared roach attached. This happened a number of times over the next 15 mins and I was surprised the number of baits by the roach, but when I looked out across the water I could see that the roach were boiling over the baited area.

Once there was a break in the action, the second rod was baited and cast out with a couple of casters on the hook.

With the rod settled the kettle went on and the first brew was in my hand, but not for long.
The caster rod was away and a nice roach of about a pound was landed, happy days.

The action on both rods was frantic and not what I expected. In the first couple of hours I must have landed 8lb of roach which on rods on buzzers is quite noisy. With the stamp of roach not being huge, it was time to switch things around and put on some bigger baits to try to limit chances of smaller roach snaffling the bait. So off with the maggot and casters and on with the corn and mini boilie.

The bigger baits did have the desired effect to a point, but whilst the micro roach didn't get the bait even with double corn on a size 12 hook the 8-10oz roach were able to take the bait with relative ease. Meanwhile the boilie remained untouched but I was hopeful that something would take it before it got dark.

Alas nothing did, but it was great to be back out.

Tuesday, 9 August 2016