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Saturday, 27 September 2008 13:04

Piscatorial Past Times

PISCATORIAL PAST-TIMES - By steve Sheppard

Source: Steve Sheppard at Anglers Gifts

My interest in angling began when I was a youngster my father took me to a local soccer match between two local teams that left me scarred for life and desperately seeking a worthwhile pastime. I found it in angling and over the years I have developed a keen interest in anglings rich and varied history. Along the way in my quest for more knowledge of our noble sport I have come across many oddball rumours and tales past down in folklore.

Saturday, 27 September 2008 12:57

Saving Salmon

Help "save the salmon" in Carmarthenshire

Carmarthenshire's salmon are set to benefit from a new partnership project between Carmarthenshire Fishermen's Federation (CFF) and Environment Agency Wales.

The project – Supporting Catch and Release has been set up to help save Carmarthenshire salmon by encouraging more anglers to release their catch back to the river. Anglers that register their released salmon will also have the chance to win angling-related prizes, and all anglers will receive limited edition CFF badges.

With salmon numbers throughout the county's rivers declining, there may not even be enough salmon to sustain stocks. Action aimed at conserving and rebuilding these valuable fisheries is urgently required. This project should help ensure that our future generations can enjoy the social and economic benefits associated with thriving salmon stocks in Carmarthenshire.

Catch and Release is an effective management tool which is supported by anglers, the Environment Agency, sports governing bodies and international salmon organisations. By practising catch and release anglers can continue to fish whilst still protecting the stocks.

Anglers that register their released salmon will also be entered into an end of season prize draw. An extensive list of reward-prizes include fishing tackle and fishing permits on the prime Tywi and Taf estate and club waters. All anglers releasing salmon will receive limited edition CFF badges, either bronze, silver or gold, according to the number of fish released to river.

The Supporting Catch and Release promotion will be open to all anglers fishing the rivers Tywi and Taf and will run from 16 June until 7 October. Claim forms will be widely available locally to register a released salmon.

Philip Morgan Fisheries Officer for Carmarthenshire said: ‘Increasing salmon release rates on the county's rivers together with other measures such as building fish passes and restoring degraded habitat, will help with the recovery of stocks. All anglers can get involved and play their own part in helping to conserve and restore our precious salmon stocks.’

Garth Roberts, Hon Secretary of Carmarthenshire Fishermen’s Federation added: ‘The rewards of releasing a salmon are modest compared with the value of our wild salmon to the local community. By working in partnership we are able to achieve real benefits for fish stocks on our rivers.’

Source: The Environment Agency

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Published in Game Fishing Articles
Saturday, 27 September 2008 12:53

Specialist Anglers Alliance

The Specialist Anglers Alliance - By Paul Orford

Source: www.saauk.org

Who are the Specialist Anglers Alliance?

The Specialist Anglers Alliance represents the interests of specialist anglers and angling groups ranging from ECHO and the Pike Anglers Club of Great Britain to the Tenchfishers and the Eel groups, as well as member clubs and societies and individual angling members.

Saturday, 27 September 2008 12:50

River Lea at Fields Lock

WHAT A LOAD OF RUBBISH: Submitted by Sue Mcdermid

Uk Fisherman was recently contacted by a justifiably disgruntled angler who raises an issue that all anglers should take note of.

Sue Mcdermid and her partner decided to spend a day fishing Fields lock on the River Lea in Hertfordshire. Their experience was far from pleasurable.

Sue explains:
"My partner and I fished at Fields lock on the River Lea yesterday (7.8.06) and we were appalled by the rubbish strewn about amongst the trees and over the paths near the river. The bins had obviously not been emptied in months and therefore rubbish placed by the bins was being blown all over the place. This is totally unnecessary and if fishermen can be bothered to clear up after themselves then the surroundings should be cleared too to make it a nice environment to fish in."

"This is the worst site we have ever been to in order to enjoy a day's fishing - it was such a shame as we had travelled from Kent and was our first time there."

This raises a general issue concerning care for the environment that we all love to fish in. All anglers have a responsibility to ensure that the venue they fish in is left free of rubbish when they leave. If bins are full to overflowing, then take your rubbish home with you. Fishery owners also have a responsibility to maintain their venues and keep them rubbish free. I don't know who has responsibility for maintaining this stretch of the River Lea. If anyone knows, please let UK Fisherman know.

Edited By Paul Orford
Shame you both had such a disappointing days fishing Sue, but thanks for bringing the matter to our attention.

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Saturday, 27 September 2008 12:37

Transforming Angling Development

Source: www.nfadirect.com

The Angling Development Board is now seeking the services of senior volunteers and a team of professional development staff to realise the aspirations of the Angling Whole Sport plan.

A Chair and Finance Director are also sought to be key members of the Board, and a team of development staff, led by a Senior Development Manager, will be charged with the delivery implementation.

MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A LICENCE BEFORE HEADING TO THE RIVER:

Submitted by Adrian Westwood at The Environment Agency

Anglers eagerly anticipating the opening of the coarse fishing season on June 16 should make sure they have a valid rod licence before heading for the river.

The reminder comes as 270 anglers were prosecuted by the Environment Agency in May, resulting in more than £38,000 in fines and costs. In addition three anglers received cautions.

Tuesday, 23 September 2008 20:40

Lessons for anglers from a fishy education

LESSONS FOR ANGLERS FROM A FISHY EDUCATION:

By Rex Bledsoe

Humans have a tendency to believe most animals are relatively stupid - especially fish. When anglers believe fish have limited powers of observation and intelligence, they tend to exclude the lessons most schools of fish teach their young. When they do so, they continue to believe old wives tales and misguided assumptions about fish behavior. In particular, they underestimate the capacity of the fish they are pursuing to practice the hook-avoidance techniques that are a regular part of a fishy education.

Monday, 22 September 2008 20:30

Carp fishing with Marc - carp baits

CARP FISHING WITH MARC - By Marc

Seasonal Changes 2006 - Part 2

Thinking About Baits

Welcome to part two in which I’m going to talk about baits & the successes I have had of late.

In the late eighties I never bought used shop made baits. I allways rolled my own & I’m sure many of you will appreciate just how long this takes. Many hours I spent in the garden shed after getting banned from the kitchen mixing, rolling & boiling boilies. Yes pre-made boilies have come along way since then but I just preferred making my own on the basis that I had control of what went into my final bait, colour, flavour levels etc.

Most of my boilies were made from BFM (big fish mix) with various flavours/colours, until I stumbled across the amazing flavour of cranberry. This flavour was & still is today a top fish attractor. I did mess around with maple too but it just didn’t match cranberry.

As you maybe aware BFM is a brownish red colour & with a small amount of red robin a lovely dark red colour was formed. Red, purple & brown are apparently some strongest colours found in the carps colour spectrum - worth remembering!

I wasn’t heavily into particles at this time, a few tiger nuts, sweet corn & hemp were used occasionally and I had massive confidence in my boilies so I stuck with them.

During my brief encounter with marriage I had to sacrifice a bit of my carp fishing, the long hours bait making was one of the first to go & my over night sessions were cut down too. The birth of my daughter Annalise really limited my time on the bank, but as many of you dads will agree is a well worth sacrifice.

This was when I really had to find a pre-made bait that lived up to my expectations!

Friends & magazines really made my decision easier; everyone seemed to be raving on about Mainline baits! So my next trip to the tackle shop saw me leave laden with 10 kilo’s of Assina8 (freezer boilies). They looked good, smelt good & tasted great, yes I eat my boilies. Not regularly honest, but I believe if I like them the carp will too.

I had some really good catches on this bait but something was missing. The carp loved the bait but often got bored & would start feeding in the silt around the boilies? I started asking questions, having thoughts about this to myself. I think it was a match angler friend who suggested loose feeding maggots & cutting down the amount of loose boilies offered. God did this work, the carp went crazy, the water was fizzing with activity & they readily picked up both baits. This is when I stumbled across chopping the boilies & feeding them with the maggots, yep I had cracked it. Bearing in mind this was during the nineties & I did get many a strange look from other anglers as I sat there chopping boilies into a bucket & mixing it all with maggots. Maggots are for Roach, Rudd etc aren’t they?

I skipped the introduction of the Activa8 although some of friends caught very well on them. I stuck with my current bait until Maple8 was released. This boilie was so close to my BFM bait I just had to move on to it.

There comes a time when every angler has to raise his targets & move on to new venues, I had six great seasons on Furnace Wood syndicate & Buckhurst Park Estate lakes, with me moving homes too made finding new waters easier.

This is where I found out about a 10 acre lake, little pressure from anglers & stocked with carp to mid thirties (Lake View). This was also around the time when I heard about a new bait from Mr Hearn, ‘The Source’ & I was lucky enough to get a few kilo’s before they hit the shop shelves. New water & new bait? After a few investigating walk rounds of my new water it was becoming clear that the few anglers who did fish here were getting smashed up the likes of sweet corn, hemp & maggot, this got me thinking about particles more.

So here I am sitting in front of a new piece of water, armed with ‘The Source’, a bucket of halibut pellet & a bucket of particles (sweet corn, maize, hemp, tares, chick peas & a pint of maggots). I was expecting too much on my first visit but after plopping the marker round around the swim I found three likely areas, one in the margins, so many still today forget how productive the margins can be. I love fishing the margins, you can guarantee your presentation is 100% & your baiting up is bang on.

I had very good night, very little sleep, an aching arm & two sacked up carp, I don’t usually sack for fish for more than a few hours but it was so close to day light & wanted to get some good pictures. I asked the first day angler on his arrival to assist me in accurately weighing & photographing the fish. He did look a bit bewildered with my request but agreed. On removing the first sack from the lake my new friend Gary asked how many fish were in the sack, I could only laugh & said “One Bro”, there was no reply until I transferred the carp from the sack to weigh sling then came his reply “Bloody hell, how big is that?” “The small one of the two” was my answer. The scales swung round to 24lb, pictures taken by a very excited photographer & the carp safely returned with the use of my floating mat ( I prefer to return big fish safely with the use of the mat, just in case they flip/wriggle).

The second sack was hoisted from the lake, I knew it was bigger, just how much I was unsure. On seeing the carp my friends comment is unprintable! The scales pulled round to 29lb 10oz, my heart sunk a little I was sure she would go thirty. Photographs taken, carp returned safely & friend asking all sorts of questions.

A year later Gary has become a total all out carp angler & has broken the twenty pound barrier, a very happy moment for both of us.

During the summer of 2005 a friend of mine bought two smallish waters (Hunters Lodge) & I was invited for a session in exchange for some work he wanted done. We only had rumours of twenty pound carp to fish for & we found some of them during the next few months.

I now had three new waters close to my home, not 100% sure of their total carp stock.

The start of 2006 I found myself using particles more & more, I changed boilies again due to ‘The Source’ becoming so popular (Top Bait). I was still catching lots of fish but the edge had gone, so I switched to Richworth’s ‘Multi-plex’. A truly worthy replacement to my last boilie.

My particle mix had now evolved big time with no less than 15 different pulses, seeds, nuts mixed within it. Four different sized, flavoured pellets were also introduced to the final bucket of goodies. It didn’t look very good but it smelt great & tasted even better. The safest way to get this bait into the swim was using a spod even though my bivvy has been covered with splatters & spills from casting out.

I was lucky enough to fish a swim with shallow clear water within the margins. I introduced a few handfuls under an overhanging bush & watched. After a short wait the water fizzed into a cloudy mess, the carp loved this stuff big time.

I added two more ingredients to the mix during the late summer - mashed up sardines & aniseed extract. The extra smell & oil content meant I could now use the mix as a sort of ‘Stik mix’ (oil based baits don’t melt pva bags/mesh).

To this day I’m still catching well on the baits.

Just to be a bit different I have fished some of the particles from my mix on the hair & the results have been amazing, the bigger fish seem to prefer small particle baits placed just off the baited area.

Up to this date I have safely landed fifteen different twenties, one thirty & numerous doubles from three venues.

I am sticking to my particle mix for the coming season but I’m looking into a new boilie for the coming season.

I hope you have enjoyed my latest article & found it useful. If you contact Paul @ Uk Fisherman I’m willing to share my mixes in more detail with you, but I recommend experimenting yourselves. There is nothing better than making your own bait mixes & catching big-time.

All the very best & tight lines as ever

Marc

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Published in Carp Fishing Articles

CARP FISHING WITH MARC - By Marc

Seasonal Changes 2006 - Part 1

With runs drying up, Mr Carp getting harder to find & the winter weather becoming even less inviting, it was time to start thinking, debating, putting a few changes into my coming seasons quest.

I decided upon three areas of my fishing that needed a bit more concentration, modification etc. Terminal Tackle, Location and Bait. I chose these three points as like many other anglers we become lazy, “It worked last time, why change it”, “Everyone else is using this”. It’s so easy to fall into complacency but a few little changes can pay off big time!

I hope from reading this article you can pick up some ideas which may help you put a few extra carp on the bank.

Part One: The End Bits !

Terminal Tackle? Where do I start? We are bombarded by magazines, videos & crammed shelves full of all the latest gadgets & gizmos at the local tackle shop.

Don’t get me wrong I have tried, tied some of these space age rigs & had some great results, but I prefer to keep it simply with a few modifications.

Lets start with hooks, this past year I have switched to using Korda hooks, the wide gape & the long shank X. These hooks are incredibly strong & stay sharp even fishing over gravel, stone etc. The wide gape I have found to be perfect for fishing against weed & snags. They seem to be like a magnet in the carp’s mouth, absolutely brilliant. I have used other brands of hooks with a few problems, opening out on the bend, snapping at the bend etc.

Hook links have become a bit of a fashion accessory to me, manufacturers bring a new one out, I gotta have it !!

I prefer soft hook links, in various lengths, but I’m decreasing them in length.

During a visit to one of my local lakes, I had a quick walk round, visited the four other anglers in situ & got the same response from all of them “Its hard going Marc” not exactly what I wanted to hear!

This got me thinking & after a few searching questions a pattern emerged - they were all using hook links from 6”-9” in length with loads of freebies scattered around.

Rather than just getting my rods & casting to the hot spots I sat there for while, smoked a cigarette, deep in thought. I proceeded to take my rods out of the quiver & cut the long hook links off. I tied one rod with a link around 3” long & mounted a single 14mm boilie. The next rod I tied a link around 2” & mounted one piece of glugged maize & a small piece of yellow foam above it. The third rod I kept to the normal pattern I had been using in the past. All three rods had a small pva bag of chopped offerings attached & cast out to the likely spots.

I was hardly settled into my chair when the maize rod was off, not a monster fish but a carp all the same. I made another pva bag up & cast back out to the same spot (I all ways mark my line whether day or night). I had literally resat back down & poured a coffee out when the maize was off again, two runs in less than thirty minutes of fishing - this time an upper double graced my mat & the attention from the other anglers was growing. The nearest angler kindly did the photographs for me & as I slipped the fish back into the water the single 14mm boilie rod leapt into action, I was in again, another small double laid on the mat.

On returning the fish, the owner of the fishery popped over with two other anglers, all with the same question “What bait you on then mate”? I replied “Two fish on maize, one on boilie” there was a bit of head shaking going on in disbelief from the other anglers as they departed to their swims.

I went on to catch another four carp that day all from the short hook links, not one of the other anglers asked me about my presentation, just about the bait?

As I mentioned earlier I try to keep my hook links simple, eighty percent of the time I use the knotless knot with a small piece of tubing near the bend of the hook & a piece of heat shrink of about ¾”. The heat shrink I like placed opposite the point down the hooks shank & about ½” above the eye with a slight bend towards the point.

I have also been using a micro ring on the hook replacing the tubing - this does increase the weight of the hook towards the point & aids in hooking/turning of the hook when entering the carp’s mouth.

I do use combi-link materials too; however I do prefer to use them when fishing pop-ups.

If I want a stiff rig presentation I use amnesia (fluoro) rather than combi material.

I have had some blinding results from single bait popped up 2” from the lead.

This season all of my rigs incorporate the kwik change links that are available from most fishing tackle suppliers; they simply speed up all the process of swapping rigs & getting fishing again.

Another change I made this season was my lead arrangement, rather than follow all the other anglers with the semi fixed lead I started using running leads, leads with a stop bead 3” up the rig tube & the helicopter rig, all with different sized leads. Yes some rigs do rely on a heavy lead to function properly, but this season saw me use leads only heavy enough to reach the baited area.

My rig tube choice has to be Korda, the sinking version; they make various colours, its always super smooth & supple. Tungsten putty seems to grip to it beautifully too. Above the tubing I will normally place a flying back lead with a stop of about 3ft-4ft on the main line. I find these little weights great for pinning the last few feet of rig down to lake bed.

For the last two seasons I have been loading my reels with the unrivalled X-Line - it sinks like a brick, its fluorocarbon based, casts well & has yet to let me down.

I hope upon reading this you may get some useful tips, ideas to try out yourselves & please remember to keep your rigs safe!!!

By the way I’m not a Korda consultant; I just love & have 100% faith in their tackle.

Next time I’m going to have a natter about the bait changes I made during the season 2006.

Tight lines Marc

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Published in Carp Fishing Articles
Sunday, 21 September 2008 20:16

Pondwood Fisheries, Berkshire

Pondwood Fisheries, Berkshire

Located in Berkshire, Pondwood Fisheries is the premier fishing facility for anglers of all categories with three coarse fishing waters, one of which dates back to medieval times and one which is in excess of 30 years old. In addition there is the Snake, a still water course dating back to medieval times which was opened for day tickets in 2002 after widening and extension.

Pondwood fisheries offer carp, roach, chub, perch, rudd and tench fishing as well as some of the best catfish fishing in the South of England.

Reader Review - Jason Barnes, Berkshire - July 2007

Just thought I would let you all know about a lake I go to called Pondwood Fishery. It is the only place I know about where you can guarantee to have an amazing day's fishing.

It has 2 lakes and a snake river. The first lake has an amazing amount of catfish and some big carp in it - it is the only catfish lake I know where you can guarantee to catch a cat in the day time. Some of the catfish I have caught (pictured below) are a 32lb 5oz fish and the other was 38lb 7oz. I have caught so many cats here it would take the whole site up to show you them all - like I said before, AMAZING !!

The second lake is great for the whole family. It has a lot of carp and anyone can catch in this one. I took my little boy fishing for the first time the other week and below is a picture of him with his first carp ... now I can’t keep him away from the place. So much for my peaceful weekend away from the kids ha ha !! But thats what kind of place Pondwood is - great family run lakes.

The last water at Pondwood is called the snake river which has carp, tench, roach, perch and pike. This is where I caught my personal best carp of 32lb floating bread of the top ... amazing !! I know it seems like I’m going on a bit but if you’ve been there you will feel the same way as I do. All this for a tenner a day ... can’t be beaten.


Uk Fisherman would love to hear from any other anglers who have good or bad experiences of Pondwood Fishery. We would especially like to hear from anyone connected with Pondwood Fishery who would like to comment on this review.
Paul @ UK Fisherman

Please note the views expressed on these review pages are not necessarily endorsed by UK Fisherman.

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