Saturday, 26 November 2016

Hillview Fishery

Peg 93
2nd in section (6 on our lake)
No good
36 fished the fishing match

I'm going to spend some time this winter at Hillview Fishery, it's close to home and is full of fish...... what more could you want?!  Don't get me wrong still love Manor Farm Leisure, haven't fallen out with anyone, just can't ignore 30 peg matches on a Saturday.

Drew peg 93' on canal 4, which didn't mean anything to me.  Gary Donachie caught well off it a few weeks ago. So he gave me some advice,  which was very welcome!  Struggled for bites, then started fishing maggots and micros and caught.  Dobbing bread was a waste of time for me.

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Thursday, 24 November 2016

Angling Trust Winter League

Peg C1 (end peg with an empty)
4lb 4oz
Second in section
47 fished the match

The final round of the Angling Trust Winter league saw me draw spot on??!!  End peg, game on and C2 not drawn.  More importantly pressure is off a little as we have qualified for the final no mater what happens today, however, the boys are up for a battle and wanna win the league out right. 

For me, I want to win the individual title of the winter league, so I was keen on doing that.  So hoped for some luck with the lob worms.  As this has saw me catch the last two fishing matches and hoped that I wouldn't be third time unlucky.  No matter what happens I have enjoyed this league and forgotten how much I enjoy this kind of fishing, the matches never seem to drag on, as your constantly thinking how you can catch fish.  The down side on this winter league is the hassle of boats and walkers, I fully appreciate he River and Canal is something that we can ALL enjoy, but we people are unreal and don't have consideration for other people.  Finally carrying your gear to your peg, maybe I've got lazy or carry too much?  I'll let you decided......

Really disappointed as I came second off a framing peg?  Never caught on lobs or anything over it.  A bit gutted, couldn't line up roach.  I think the pike didn't help.  Even though I didn't get any strikes.  Hooked three got one out, about 4lb, lost a 8lber hooked in the side and pulled out of one.  All on my squatt line, 0.064 Colmic Stream is unbelievable strong!!! 

Gear used

Colmic Airon F44

Colmic Senna is my number one float for Squatt fishing in two foot of water....


Team won on the day with 39 points, and won the league with 11 points.
Individually I won the league with 30 points.

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Wednesday, 23 November 2016


Colmic invited us to their annual visit to see the new products for 2017, we were eager to see the new F66 pole.  So Thursday morning I was a up at 3.50am and on the road at 4.20am for a long drive to Stanstead Airport.  Got to Italy and was greeted by Francesco (our boss) and he took us straight to restaurant for some food, music to my ears, food is always fantastic!!!

We arrived at the factory and we were all very eager to see the Colmic Airon F66 pole.  Andrea the owner, showed us the new pole and the new EC200 Top kits.  Wow.  Unbelievable stiff and a slow tamper, therefore your elastic inside your pole will work probably and not stick to the side walls.  Andrea Collini had hold of the tip section and was waving the whole of the top kit around.  It was scary.  See Richard Chave's video below.

I've seen quite a few people break their top kits whilst playing fish over the years, as they are bent at alarming rate with thick hollows.  These super stiff top kits allow your elastic to work properly and not stick to the side walls.   Colmic already have had a few super stiff top kits already, like PK55 and PK60 which has allowed me to use heavy gear with confidence and catch some pretty big fish and massive match weights!!  The new EC200 are even better.

Colmic Airon F66 pole.

The Colmic Airon poles were a great success for Colmic and they had 0.056% return rate on broken sections and the Colmic Airon F44 had a zero return rate!!!  Therefore Colmic are so confident that the Airon F66 is going to be so good, Colmic are giving the Colmic Airon F66 pole a two year warranty and also giving twenty year spares guarantee too!!  To enhance this great product Colmic are going to supply a few different packages.

16 meter Pole only

16 meter package
8 x Top 2 EC200
1 force 3rd section
1 cupping kit
1 rod bag
3 dolly butts

Unique package

Colmic Airon F66 Pole

For me and many other anglers the Colmic F66 pole has been a great tool.  I'm writing this now 13/10/17 as an update of using this pole for over year, and could of used it for all my fishing over the last year.  I've had fish 19lb 12oz, 200lb weights, used it strong winds and used it for speed fishing on the canal catching roach.  It's been truly awesome.  If your looking for top end pole, then I'd honestly look at Colmic Airon F66 pole.  (And yes I'm sponsored by Colmic but I still have to pay for my products).

See links below for independent reviews.


The Colmic Airon poles were a great success for Colmic.  Theese poles only had 0.056% return rate and the Colmic Airon F44 had a zero return rate! (To date of me publishing this post) 

Now Colmic are so confident that the Airon F66 is so good, Colmic are giving the Colmic Airon F66 pole a two year warranty and also giving twenty year spares guarantee too!!  To enhance this great product Colmic are going to supply unique package to the customer, so you have what you want.

Colmic Pole Airon F66 pole only
Complete pole
3 Dolly Butts
Pole only £2400 ssp.
Colmic Airon F66 "full package"
£2900 ssp
8 spare top 2 kits
1 cupping kit
3 dolly butts
One rod bag
Colmic Airon F66 unique package
Also build your own package.  So the customer buys what they want, ideal for river anglers.

The Colmic Airon F66 Pole is a joy to use, for shallow fishing, slapping, very responsive and equally great down the edge for lumps.  I've had fish up to 19lb and pulled 18lbers out of the edges.  Unreal product.

Reinforcement joints.  Built to last, hence the two year guarantee.

The EC200 top kits are so stiff!!!

Frank Donachie loves his

EC200 top kits are unreal.  Super strong and stiff

Liam Dennick bagging on the Colmic Airon F66 pole

To fit a size 48 Colmic bush, you loose about 115mm off your top kit

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Sunday, 20 November 2016

Angling Trust Winter league

Peg B6
7lb 14oz
Won section
Third in match
48 anglers fished the match

I have been lucky at a K&A at Marlborough, and had some success over the years and hoped it would continue?  I didn't have the best of draws last week at Wolfhall, are section was one of the toughest on the match length and 4lb weights on the end pegs and then 1lb weights in the middle of the 6 peg section made it difficult, I was lucky to catch four perch for 3lb and then caught some small roach to boost my weight to 5lb 10oz to win the section and be the highest weight at Wolfhall.  So happy days.   The team done well last week too, Adam won the match and Aid was second overall.  So great result team wise, but was only an open match..... have we used up all our luck?

Today's match

Lucky enough we didn't, I won my section off a dolly peg and came third overall.  This means we are winning the league by 3 points.  Happy days.

Gear used

Colmic Airon F44 pole.

Colmic Senna Floats
4x8, 4x10 and 4x12
0.11 F1 Spider Line and 0.06 Colmic Stream hook length to 24 and 26 Image IM1's
Vespe Solid two elastic

Colmic Lux

4x12 and 4x14
0.1p1 F1 Spider Line and 0.06 hook length and 22 Colmic 22 B2000 hook
Colmic Damper 0.8 elastic

Jon Walker "Chop" float
0.3 gram
0.135 Spider Line to a 0.10 stream hook length with a 14 Colmic N600 hook
Colmic hollow elastic, 1.5mm

Bait used

1/4 int white squatt
1/4 pinkies
1/4 caster
70 lobs
500 grams of Sensas Noire

Cold water pellet fishing by Frank Donachie

I am having had a fair bit of success with my pellet fishing over the last couple of years  so I thought I'd put together a small piece on my winter pellet rigs and methods.

To start with all  my winter pole rigs are tied to Colmic's durable , and I believe invisible 0.15 F1 Spider line. The reason is I like to put my shot on tight so that they don't get moved too much when unhooking fish in the landing net, and the slightly heavier line somehow has a more natural slower fall through the water. Hook length is always 4 inches of Colmic Stream 0.08 to 0.10. to be honest I've landed some proper big carp on this line and could have bullied more should I have needed to. Bigger carp tend not to fight so hard in the colder water, so hard runs are not the norm.

Floats at the moment for most of my deep water fishing are Phil Reynolds or John Walker wire Diamonds. 0.2 to 0.4. When I get them made I ask the maker to leave a little more wire on them so they take less shot, brilliant for fishing through the water.

Hard pellet is always lassoed and soft pellet is always Dynamites 4mm and 6mm. A little trick with the 6mms is the cut them in half so they are more like a disk, then hook um like a maggot. hook for soft pellet is Tubitini T175 smallest size N1

hard pellet is lassoed to Guru's MWG smallest size is 20. these hooks are a little positive but, I believe if you hook it, land it, this is the only hook I have confidence in at the moment. If just F1's are the target then Kamazan B911 size 20 is my choice.

A lot of F1's only just lipped hooked.  Light elastics are critical.  Hence the 1.5mm Colmic Hollow

No need to use heavier than Colmic 1.5mm or 1.8mm hollow elastic through a stripper kit as it powers up nicely. set the light elastic a little pingy so that you have no need to keep re-tightening after playing fish. positive strike is key when fishing these rigs.
Shotting for the hard pellet is normally 3 to 5 number 11 shot, not stotz. strung out from just below half way and right up to the 4 inch hook length. no need to put a shot on the hook length.
Soft pellet shotting is slightly different. I will use the Taper bulk style shotting where from just under half of the way down the rig. start about 10 mm apart and double the distance to the next shot as you work towards the hook so the the space increases until the last shot is about 4 inches from the hook. Again shot not stotz. stotz look too much like a 2 mm pellet and you'll get phantom bites or liners.

The F1 carp are beautiful at Manor Farm Leisure.

At the all in I always go for a bit of a throw away line where I will pot in 150 damp micros at about 13 meters' then a shorter line at wherever the first drop off is, this is usually shorter the 7 meters.
On the long line fish with a small toss pot, 15 or so dry 4mm pellets. Just before shipping out dip the pot in the water to quickly wet them, they'll stay in the pot better and guarantee they'll sink. When you get to the feed area leave the pot pointing skywards and give the pole a little tap so that some pellets fall out, lift the rig and lay it in the water when you think the pellets have reached near the bottom. In six foot of water I may give it just 5  to 10 seconds. lay the rig in almost flat on the water and hold the pole float as still as you can. Most bites are just as the rig touches down. If no bite then lift the rig about 18 inches and trip it across the baited area. Be sure to be just a couple of inches over depth. I've found fishing dead depth makes F1 bites much harder to hit. don't forget, strike at everything. you'll get used to hitting really quick shy bites that you may otherwise have left.

You should get a few taps on the pole pot, I normally get to about 4 then start pinging 4mms over the top, only 2 or 3 at a time.

When bites dry up start a new line a few feet away and begin the process. it's rare to catch on the same line through the session.

I fish the expander or soft pellet much the same way but, the lifts are much less as I would be expecting the majority of the fish to be caught on or very near the bottom. one of my favourite tricks is to just lift the rig so that the hook bait just about comes of the deck then drop it quickly, often the float keeps going under and your in.

You can ping very slightly damp 4mms over the top but, try and be disciplined and use to toss pot.

Hope you have enjoyed the read.  Tight lines baggers

Hard pellets for the "big uns" and expanders for "small uns"

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Sunday, 13 November 2016

Kennet and Avon Canal - Marlborough

Peg A2
5lb 10oz
Won section
51 anglers fished the match

A2 at Wolfhall was somewhere i didn't wanna be and with 2 end pegs in section in was always going to be tough.  As Ditch was on one and my old team caption Mark Tresure was on the other, two good anglers to complete against.

I was lucky as I had two early perch on lob worms and then a further two more on the squatt line, forgot how strong 0.06 Stream is, especially as perch snagged me in the middle of the canal!!! For once luck was on my side and I pulled it out.  Gave it a kiss when I netted it.  Sorry. Had to be done.  To my surprise I won the section.  Team mates done well, 1st, 2nd and 5th overall.

I don't wanna write to much as we have the winter league next week.  So when the last two rounds have finish.  I will give everything away.....  

Hillview Fisheries

  • Peg 31
  • 43lb 8oz
  • no good
  • 19 fished
After heavy down poor of cold rain. I wasn't surprised that even Hillview Fisheries fished hard.  I drew peg 31.  So decided to fish pole only has I felt casting a lead or feeder would be a bit a pi$$ take as I'm a little boxed in. 

It was a bit of frustrating day, struggled to put anything together, until the last hour where I caught a few F1 carp.  Loads of fish swimming around in a big ball,  but anglers failed to catch them.

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Round 4 Angling Trust Winter

  • G3
  • 2lb 1oz
  • 4th in my six peg second
  • Team came second overall.
  • Team winning the league at the moment.
Biggest fish, 4oz skimmer. 

Tiny Roach, and this was a bigger one

A really hard frost greeted us on the Round 4 of Angling Trust Winter League.  I drew next to Steve Long, who decide to give a boater a few tips onto how to drive, bad idea as she gave it some......... I'll let Steve explain ☺️................

Really tough to catch anything of any size and found myself getting a little frustrated. Had about 80 fish for 2lb 1oz and a unfortunately only 3 points. Disappointed.

On a positive and more important note we came second overall as team on the day behind Talisman, well done, and now we are winning the league by the skin of are teeth. Next round at Marlborough, so hopefully due a bit of luck!!!

Saturday, 5 November 2016


Peg 12
118lb 8oz
2nd overall
31 fished

I haven't fished Hillview for years and I'm not sure why I've shied away from the venue?!  Drew peg 12 and was told I'd catch on pellet long.   So fished maggots and micro pellets short to begin with which resulted in one bumped fish and went long after 15 mintues had caught straight away where have been pinging pellets.

I fished 4mm fishery pellet and used 4mm on he hook.  Simple.  Feed about 3/4 of a bag.  I had 60lb of carp, up to 12lb and 58lb of beautiful F1 carp.

Gear used

Colmic Airon F44 Pole
Jon Walker Pellet Float
Colmic Yellow 2.1mm Hollow
0.152 Spider F1 Line
0.125 stream hook length
18 Drennan Carp match hook

Colmic Professional 4x10
0.152 Spider F1 Line
0.125 Stream Hook Length
18 Colmic WN501

Hill View Fisheries weights below

Top 4

Frank Donachie 129lb 8oz - Peg 16
Chris Telling 118lb 8oz - Peg 12
Matt Hamilton 104lb 12oz - Peg 84
Gary Donachie 102lb - Peg 95

Part of Frank Donachie's winning catch

See link