Sunday, 31 October 2010

Our River, will find out the name. Deep and hard

2 Ruffe and a roach

Back to the carp lake for 2 hours.  Had about 70lb.  Awesome

Saturday, 30 October 2010

France Oct 2010

My trip

Andy the owner of Vespe wanted me to go to France and experience the way in which they fish.  He said that I would be good to meet some good anglers and great chance of catching some fish.  However, he didn't know anything about the lakes.  So was concerned that I was going to look idiot from England, so I took everything!!

On arrival to the lake, I was shocked to see how small the lake actually was!!  Especially as I was talking to “Mad Fred” and I was well excited over my French breakfast as he was on about a catching huge carp on the pole, 30lbers!!!  As we got out of the car, we were greeted by the lake bailiff, you who seemed very enthusiastic   that were here, so sure what Fred had told him.  I hope his expectations weren’t too high?

Fred was our keen French angler, and also he was our translator as he can speak fluent English and of course French.  So we (Andy, Fred, Bailiff and myself) walked around the lake to choose an area and also discuss the lake. The Bailiff was telling us that there are also sturgeon in the lake and that most mornings it would expose itself by coming out of the water to breath!  However, after the recent frosts the lake was slowing down and there hasn’t been many fish caught since the cold snap.  Therefore, I was a little concerned as there was no fish activity and feared the worse.  The lake had an island, which of course would be a major feature and somewhere that would be a good holding area for the fish, as it would provide cover in the clear water.   I thought that it would be best fish at the island, and as we were walking back to the car, a carp leaped out of the water, enough said!
After carrying a mountain of gear a short distance to our pegs I opted to kit up a feeder rod, which I was going to fish a 25gram elasticised method feeder, with 0.22 vespro line and size 16 Drennan method hook and fish two dead red maggots, with 8lb maxi line.  On the pole fished 0,20 and 0.18 vespro with double seven elastic, with a pulla bung.  However Fred was fishing 0.26mm on the pole, which was straight through to size 12 hook to Vespe E2 2.85 elastic!!!  Gosh, what is Fred after?   Are the fish really that big?   Fred said that I was fishing too light and would get broken as the fish would average 6kg (13lb) plus.  Also he opted to fish paste, oh my favourite bait, but it was bright orange!?  I said “I don’t think that will work in cold, clear water”.   Also I felt that Fred’s gear  was way too heavy, but hey I had never been to France before, yet along caught a French fish, so what do I know?
So Fred started on the pole at 13 meters (which is their pole limit) and I started on the method feeder (my method mix was Sensas Gold, with some black dye, mixed dry) about foot away from the island.  I felt a foot would put me in slightly deeper water.  Now it is important to clip up, otherwise your end up the tree, now the best way to do this is cast a bomb to the island until you have the prefect distance, then set the line clip.  Also ensure you rod is on the rod rest when it lands, this way you don’t move the feeder away from the far bank as the bait wants to be on a five pence piece and not dragged all over the place.  If you hook a monster, doesn’t matter put unclip the line if the fish runs and once you have landed the fish change the feeder back to the bomb and recast to the right spot.  Or you could use tip ex or a line marker.
Now, I had a few people watching, and on my 2nd cast, which was thirty minutes I had a sharp pull, which result in everybody gasping,   but I didn’t move to their disappointment.  I explained that it was a liner, and that I didn’t want to strike otherwise I would spook the fish.  Then it pulled again which resulted the rod almost going in, “now that’s a bite!  5 minute fight and an 8lber in the net, a “stockie” Fred said.  But Fred was still was bite less, and  another cast and another fish about the same size straight away.  My fourth cast result in the tip moving, then went slack, so half a turn of the reel to tighten up but no the tip was still slack.  So I winding reasonably quick, which resulted in a fish on, and this time was much bigger!!  I got about five turns of the reel on it, and then the fish was not going to play ball, as I begin to back wind and the line clip was off to release  more line!  The fish did rise against the corner of the island and my Drennan DRX Method rod was bent double as it was trying to get to the tree!  So I decide to pull a little harder in order to stop it and lucky enough it did turn.  By this time I knew it was a reasonable size, but when I saw it about 10 meters away from me in the clear water I guessed it was about 18lb common.  However after fifteen minutes later, I got it out and it was 25lb 9oz!  This is the biggest fish that I have caught.  So I was well pleased, to say the least, and therefore a quick few photo’s and put the fish straight back as it was too big to go in the keepnet.

As the session went on I noticed that the drop backs resulted in big fish, and you need to wind to discover if it is a bite or sometimes it maybe where the fish have moved the feeder (liner) or they have picked it up and swim towards you and therefore wind quickly to set the hook, other you won’t  connect to them.   The smaller carp (not small by my standards) would rip the rod in.   Ensure you don’t strike as you may spook the fish!  I can’t stress that enough.  Normally the fish should hook themselves as the bites are very aggressive, unless you get drop backs. 

After a 15 minute battle

I got it finally in the net

25lb 9oz, my biggest fish to date

The pole did work, was a little worried about catching huge fish on the pole, as my Drennan Icon is only a match pole really, even though I have had carp up 19lb on it.  I had one carp knocking onto 20lb on the pole today.

Pulla kits really do make things easier!!

I had a few carp on the pole, had 4lb Grass Carp and 18lb + mirror on the pole

Me, with "Mad Fred"
I would look at his website

Also Mad Fred has done a video on this lake

Some great pictures.

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Angling Times 24/10/10 (round 2)


  • Peg 80
  • Weight 2lb 9oz
  • 4th in my section 7

Very cold today

A lucky 1lb 10oz perch

Sunday, 17 October 2010

North Wessex Winter League 17/10/10


I had been looking forward to this match for a few weeks.  However I little disappointed with my peg when I arrived.  As you can see below, it was jungle, with Kevin "god" Rowles folding a few reeds over.

  • 2lb 8oz
  • 8 points out of 14, very disappointed.
  • Team was 2nd, which is a good result
  • Lacked any fish of any size!  Mainly caught tiny little roach, with a few little perch.
  • Squatt was by far the best bait for me, a few inches off the the "deck".
An hard core 30 mintues later and cut the peg out, I had to borrow most peoples gear to help me.  I would of been easier with a can of petrol and light.

(will write full report)

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Manor Farm 13/10/10

Middle Pool

Peg 9 on middle today

  • Peg 9
  • Weight 85lb 12oz
  • Match win (11 people fished)
  • Caught on method at 25 meters
The set up was:
  • Dawia Spectron 11 foot quiver (1oz tip)
  • Shimano Twin Power Reel 400
  • 8lb Maxi main line
  • 0.178 vespro hooklengh
  • 14 Gama eyed pellet
  • 6mm banded coarse pellet (F1 Mosella bands)
I had a feeling it would be harder than normal today, but spoke to Jason Cooke and still felt that 100lb would be needed to win, even with the very bright sunshine, little breeze and a lot colder the last few days.  So I felt the pole would score well today, on the bottam with 4mm pellet at 13 meters.  Also the waggler later at 25 meters, I wouldn't start by feeding this line, as I do feel this does hinder and have a negative effect on your long pole line.  However, if it was going to be a "bagfest" then I would feed it from the off.  But "baggin" is off the cards on, and much more steady approach is advised.  So be warned!

I started off by cupping in 50 coarse 4mm pellet at 6 meters and the same amount at 13 meters.  Also planned to go straight onto the long line, as I felt I may seek a few early fish.  However, it took 10 minutes to get a bite that resulted in a foul hooker that come off.  I maintained positive and filled the toss pot full of 4mm pellet.  But Jason Cooke to my right (peg 5) was catching well.  He must have had 3 carp and there was a few anglers catching across the lake, apart from me!  20 minutes had gone and I had my first common carp, about 4lb.  Then I shouted to Jason " hey Jason what you got", and I hand signal of 5, and the guy between us was catching well.....

The first hour saw me have 3 carp (10lb) and I had missed a handful of bites, which was fading away from me.  Gosh, I need to do something, otherwise I am going to add another "blow out" to add to my long list.  I felt the pellet waggler wouldn't work yet, as there wasn't enough fish and also it was too cold.  Therefore, got off my box and quickly put my feeder rod together from the Drennan rod sleeve.  Awesome, took about a minute, time well saved, would recommend to get some if you already don't have any.

I lobed the feeder 25 meters which was loaded with 4mm coarse pellet.  Now normally wouldn't use pellets as they are very filling, but I felt there was lack of F1's in my peg, and the fish that I have caught were all carp.  Therefore, I was going to feed them, if I was catching F1's I would use groundbait as it is less food content.  Now this method, on the "method", was reasonably slow and one thing that I have learnt over the years is to be patient.  So I was lucky enough to get the rod got dragged in for the next couple of hours.  I caught steady, not crazy, but steady.  All the fish were carp between 3lb to 6lb, which is a good size.  Think, I only need 20 5lbers and I have my magic ton!  So, I don't need many fish to build a weight, as I was so surprised with my weight of 85lb at the end of the match.  What made it worse was my shocking spilt of fish as I had 27lb in one net and 58lb in another (sorry Dave). 


4mm pellet was soaked in water, now this is important, as they need to be molded around the feeder almost in their original form.  So you need to add enough water to achieve this, which will take a "trial and error" approach and will depend on your batch of pellet.  Skretting coarse pellet does vary, I find the dustie grey colour seems to be best.  Ensure you don't squeeze the pellet too hard around the method feeder, another wise you have paste around it, which isn't normally any good.

Lessons learnt

The crew weighing in
Adi Davies next to me had 8 carp in the last 40 minutes on the "baggin waggler" and I had only 1 carp!  The temperature lifted and the fish did come up in the water, which I knew they would....... but I couldn't catch on the pellet waggler and messed up my method feeder line as a result.  I loose feed pellet over the top and it didn't work.  Only had two fish on it, which were F1's.  So baggin waggler in Octocber out scored the pellet waggler!  One word about todays match, FLEXIBLE.

Full result, see link

Sunday, 10 October 2010

North Wessex Winter League 10/10/10

Chippenham and Sutton Benger

  • Team was 8th on the day.
  • 9 points out of 14.
  • 2lb 15oz

Cracking looking peg.......... but they all looked nice to my right

At the draw

Everybody feared the draw at Sutton Benger, as it is a long, long walk.  There was three sections at Sutton Benger and three sections at Chippenham.  So I was lucky draw as Chippenham, so no heart attack walk, however really  stuggled to catch and caught almost everything in the first hour and ten minutes.

The match.

After plumbing the various rigs, I discover that it was 10 foot deep at 14.5 meters and it was reasonably flat there, it did shallow up at a 45 degree angle (1 foot shallow).  There was very little flow.  I run my rig through before the match and it took about 30 seconds to move 1 meter, gosh!  No weed problems unlike last weeks nightmare match.

There was 6 foot at 5 meters, again with very little flow.  So I decided to put three large bait droppers full of chop worm and a few casters at 14.5 meters.  Now, I will stress I always use a spare top for my bait dropper with cable tie. This way I never damage my rig that i going to fish and also I don't lose my bait droppers!!  So ensure your top kits are the same length, so you know that you are fishing directly over your bait.  Then throw six balls of ground bait (50/50 sensas black lake and gros grodon), this had about 100 stunned pinkies and 50 caster and stunned maggots.  Stunned pinkies and maggots are just me rubbing them aggressively between my hands so they don't move, which would break my balls up.

I went straight on the balls are 5 meters and caught very quickly.....awesome 5 ting roach, 8 gudgeon in the same about of casts, was a good start.  Then I saw what I thought was bleak, so picked up my shallow rig, and caught 3 huge bleak (8 to the pound).  Then it went.  So with about 1lb  in the net, in 30 minutes gone, goodish start.  So I didn't need to refeed that line, and went out to 14.5 meters on the chop.  I caught 8 fish in so many casts, just by holding it still against the flow (which wasn't difficult, as lack of it).  Then picked up a rig to run it through and picked up a couple more fish.  10 chop fish for 1lb 10oz, which was 3 perch and 7 small chub.  Then, that was it.......  I caught a few tiny chub (6 to the oz) on the waggler and a couple of  gudgeon.  It was so bad, I couldn't catch.  Started to loose fed at 11 meters, with a beautiful strung rig, which caught nothing.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Manor Farm 06/10/10 and 07/10/10

Middle Pool

  • Peg 22
  • 2nd with 136lb 12oz
  • 13 meters pole with pellet, 4mm on the hook and feed pellet
  • Tapping at 16 meters, 6mm pellet and 1 foot of line.
With Chris Lewis winning last two matches on the bounce he is going to be hard to beat, and with an end peg today.  And he won, fair play to him and three matches in row.


  • Peg 8 (flyer)
  • 1st with 117lb
  • 13 meters pole with pellet, then coming to 6 meters
  • Tapping at 16 meters, 6mm pellet and 2 foot of line

My Gear
Jonny Walker Floats
Gama LS1150 size 16 and 14
Vespro Line
Mircale Bait pellet 4mm white jelly

see sites below:

Mircale Bait pellets are sold at these tackle shops

Island Pool

(Will write a full report)

Vespro Line

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Angling Times 03/10/10


  • Weight 2lb 12oz
  • Fourth in my seven peg section
  • Team was sixth out of seven

Ready for action............................. didn't happen the way I expected.

I have fished the river quite a few weeks on the trot, so was updated with steady progress of the river.   However after me moaning that the river is in need of rain, I seemed to get my wish as we have had quite a lot of rain in the week.  The river looked "sock on" and all I hoped is that I would miss Radcot up, as it has been fishing hard.  When Mark read out what sections we were in I discovered that I was Radcot upstream.  Oh well, stay positive.

After plumbing the depth for a while, I discover that the peg is very weedy.  I think the best way to discover weed issues is to put a your a heavy rig on, like you chop worm rig on 3 elastic and a heavy plummet.  Now you can drag it around without fear of loosing your gear.

I did focus all my attention on the pole, seven top 4 kits kitted up.  The rigs were

5 gram sensas bernard.
3 gram lollipop
2 x 1 gram sensas bernard
4x16 and 4x14 pencil float, at full depth for running though??!!!
4x14 pencil float half depth for bleak.


Saturday, 2 October 2010

Match Fishing Scene 02/10/10

Specimen Lake

Looking at the guy two pegs down playing another carp, which was his third, made me think are they going to feed now?  With almost 3 hours into our match without having a carp.................

Luckily enough I had one at 13.58 about 4lb.

Peg 81
Weight 34lb
30lb of skimmers on pellet (4mm) and red maggot.
Section win

see links

To access this page you will have to be a full memeber.

The Match

On arrival to the lake, it was flat clam, which was unbelievable especially after a wet and wild day, today couldn’t any more different.  It was a beautiful day, with a very gentle breeze and bright sunshine.  Unfortunately these conditions don’t normally suit fishing and with almost every peg in, it’s going to be very tough.  Anyway, as always, I was hungry, so went to the cafe on site with Andy.  After “filling my boots” with a good full English breakfast, I said that I would like to draw in the early sixties or twenties.  But I had to settle for peg 81, which isn’t the best of areas.  I wanted to be in the middle of the lake, not sure why but this seems to be normally a little more consistent. 
Woody was on the end peg next to me and Telboy the other side, so I was going to be in for a tough day.  I said to Andy that I am going to fish a “tidy match” as I knew that it was going to be hard.  I am normally very aggressive and positive, but I think this would blow the peg.  So to I made things simple:

  •          Paste at 8 meters (didn’t expect to catch on it......... and didn’t!!)
  •          13 meters pellet, feeding fisheries 4mm pellet (nothing else)
  •          25 meters with a bomb and pellet waggler
  •          60 yards method feeder (catch an early carp......... didn’t)
Before the match started I cast a bomb at 60 yards, to discover that it was about 7 foot and at 30 yards it was about 12 foot.  Now I thought the fish would come to that shallower water.......... they so didn’t.  I had four quickish casts and then the fifth I left for 7 minutes, which resulted in a knock.  So after thirty fruitless minutes I decided to try the pole at 13 meters, which I cupped in quarter of a pint of 4mms at the start and had been loose feeding 4mm over the top, I was hoping for a bite quickly.  After kinder potting a full fox toss top of pellet in and lifting and dropping the rig for a few minutes,  finally resulted in a bite..... thank god, this match is going to be more harder than I thought.  A 6oz skimmer, now these are normally a shoal fish.  So on went another Miracle Bait 4mm white jelly pellet and another bite after 4 minutes.  I thought the fish were backing off the bait, as bites should be coming more quickly than this and I needed them too, otherwise I won’t do any good.  So I decided to maintain a positive approach by feeding a full toss pot once I hooked the fish.  So I took the lid off my cup and with my slightly damped pellet I would push these into the cup so they would stick in.  I shipped out to the marker on my pole, which was Z (Zircon Pole), and lowered my rig and had a bite almost instantly.  Awesome!  I lifted the fish slowly to about two foot off the bottom and twisted the pole over, I light tap and the pellets fell neatly into the water.  I done this for an hour and put a steady amount of fish in the net.  But they were lacking in size, with the fish only been 6 -8oz, I felt I wasn’t going anywhere and with one hour 30 minutes gone, I need to do something. 
I cast the bomb out at 25 meters, after feeding 8mm pellet throughout the match, hoping for a luckily carp.  I’m not lucky.  No liners.  Hmmmmm, back on the pole.  I had a 1lb skimmer, things looking up?  Nope, the fish were backing off.  2 hours gone, got to do something to catch and impress Andy, Andy travelled a long way to see me.  So I big ball of pellet, this full my Vespe Dumper pot (1/2 pt).  Now I know this could kill the swim, but I planned to leave it for twenty minutes and cast the method again at 60 yards.  Nothing.  Bugger.  Back on the pole, which resulted in a bream of 3lb.  But the guy two pegs down was playing carp number three!  No more positive bites, so I decided to mould some 4mm pellet around my method feeder (8mm banded hard pellet on the hook) and cast it 25 yards over my 8mm pellet.  Bang!  4lb carp, welcome, but not a famous Larford beast!  So cast again, nothing.  Back on the pole, after some very frustrating bites, that I could hit on any of my four rigs.  Andy suggested a red maggot, I said “I bet you this doesn’t work”  and after moving the rig result in a 4oz skimmer.  Gosh, a fluke?  I had another bite which was 1lb skimmer.  Loose fed 10 red maggot on the top via catapult, another bite, roach. At least I was putting something in the net.
Red maggot did bring me some extra fish, so a learning curve, but 4mm pellet was the best bait on the day.  But the next time I go fishing on pellet, I will try red maggot over the top.  I didn’t feed any, until I had a few bites on them and I only fed about 100 maggots in total after that.   I put fish into the net for the rest of the match.  I admitted that I would have between 18lb -20lb.  I had a sneaky look in my net before the weigh in and was shocked I thought that I would have 25lb!  Wrong, 34lb, a lot more than I thought and was even more surprised that I won my section.
My Pole Rig
Jonny Walker 0.7gram Diamond, with a cane tip
0.159 Vespro to 13.6 hooklength.  A Gama LS1150-B size 16
Vespe double 7, with a pulla bung
I did really enjoy the day, and had some good banter, which is what fishing is all about.