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Sunday, 21 September 2008 19:53

Frant Lakes, Kent

Frant Lakes, Kent

Located just outside the village of Bells Yew Green near Tunbridge Wells, around 40 minutes drive from the South London area, Frant Lakes offers mixed and specimen fishing on eight lakes set in 200 acres of parkland as well as a fifty swim section of the River Teise. They offer disabled anglers more than 20 dedicated swims with adjacent car spaces.

Reader Review - Jel Holyoake, Kent - May 2007

This may sound silly but what planet do some fishery owners live on??

I recently went to Frant Lakes off the A21 in Kent. I arrived at 2.45pm and wanted to single rod surface fish the 'snags' (speciman lake) until the complex closed, 7pm. I was told by the bailiff that I would have to pay for an entire day, £15. I told the bailiff it was only for a few hours but he insisted that the owners would not let me fish unless I paid the full price. As there were only 3 cars in the car park I could quite clearly see that the complex was empty, but my £7.50 wasn't enough.

Are they so detatched from reality that they can't understand that some people only wish to fish for half a day and that on most waters there is a half day ticket policy.

I went down the road to Elphicks where I was sold a ticket for £6 and had 20 fish. I like Frant Lakes, but I think I'm going to struggle to go back there, a place I have intermittantly fished over the last-at least 15 years when Les Bowman (the present owners father) ran it.

How times change. When Les knew I was coming down by train he used to pick me up from the station and chuck my bike in the back of his little white van with his alsation. They were the times when the complex was struggling for anglers and he was consistantly fighting the council for planning permission. I was also the person whom he asked to tell all my friends that Frant was back on it's feet years ago when they had a big fish kill after witnessing the first 20 out, they thought all the big fish were dead.

Sometimes the little £7.50's are better than the no pounds-no pence at all, and us people who get the odd half day off can fish at a fair price.

Score:


Editor: Definitley a lesson for fishery owners to learn there then ! Don't alienate your regular customers as they will vote with their feet. With so many "rival" fisheries in Kent, perhaps Frant Lakes need to re-consider their pricing policy.


Reader Review - Anne - November 2007

Half day tickets are available at Frant Lakes as my sons and I have used them since we first came to the lakes around June this year.

As we have football in the mornings at the weekends we have only ever used the half day ticket and have paid monies to many people in the ticket office. We have found both Mr Bowman and his wife to be most helpful and polite on this our first season of fishing. Bailifs have also taken the time to offer us advice and tips to make the most of our time at the lakes.

We would highly recommend these beautiful well stocked lakes and hope that the previous review has not put people off.

Score:

Editor: Just goes to show there are always two sides to every coin.


Uk Fisherman would love to hear from any other anglers who have good or bad experiences of Frant Lakes. We would especially like to hear from anyone connected with Frant Lakes 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.

Submit a Review: UK Fisherman would be delighted to here from you if you would like to comment on any of our reviews. To do so, use the comment box below.

Alternatively if you would to submit a review of your own or submit an item for review at UK Fisherman, please visit the CONTACT page.

Sunday, 21 September 2008 19:43

DreamLakes, France

DreamLakes, France

The DreamLake Complex, consisting of six mature, tree-lined lakes offers excellent carp and catfish angling on either an Inclusive Package or Voyage Self-Drive basis. Currently five of the lakes are open, the sixth housing a huge number of stock fish, ensuring future growth and development.

DreamLakes aim to provide anglers with the highest quality French carp fishing holiday. Offering the size and numbers of carp you would never hope to find in any English water, the peace and tranquillity of the beautiful Champagne countryside only serve to enhance the DreamLake Experience. DreamLakes 3, 4 and 5 are able to offer a great experience for anglers who want to do their own pioneering in France. Only four hours drive from Calais, and with the advantage of knowing that there is always someone on hand to give expert help and advice, you have the freedom to enjoy some really impressive ‘all action style’ carp angling.


Reader Review - Luke "crazy carper" Thomas - August 2007

DreamLakes !!! - Lake 3

We arrived in Relyon Car park, Dover, at 9.45pm ready and set to make our long voyage over to Dreamlakes. We were absolutly buzzing by now and couldn't wait to get over there and wet a line. The two 36 seater coaches arrived, briskly picked us up, along with all our gear, and bombed off for the ferry port. The ferry journey over was about an hour and a half and we got ourselves aquainted with everyone we would be spending the week wit ... what a class bunch of guys !

After 5 hours following the ferry journey we arrived at Dreamlakes, met by a bacon roll and tea, coffee etc. How welcome it was ! The sun was just starting to come up and it looked like it was shaping up to be a lovely day. We managed to settle into our swims and get set up, wandered around for a chat and then cast in. Our Bailiff for the week, Garry, informed us that the lake wasn't fishing as well as it should and that the previous week, the swim I was in had blanked. I was a little apprehensive but took the approach "it's about time they were here" and got on with it. I knew alot of bait would be the kiss of death so stuck with tiny bags of pellets with plastic corn as hookbait and within 2 hours I was in to the first fish. It went like stink, taking out 1 of my other lines and nearly snagging me up, until I managed to get its head up and land it. The scales flew round to 23lb 10oz Mirror Carp and a lovely first fish it was.

I then went the next day without so much of a sniff. I was starting to worry a little now and decided that a change of bait was in order, something a little more attractive and smelly than my tutti-fruitti pop-up corn ! This new bait was to be Mainline's Pulse boilies which we had pre-ordered. That night I was to reap the rewards as a 34lb 8oz Mirror Carp and a 31lb 4oz Mirror Carp graced my net. I was over the moon with these as my change of tactics had paid off and what fish to catch !

The following night using these tactics I managed a 34lb 12oz Mirror Carp, the biggest yet, and was happy that what I was doing was right. It was clear now that the majority of the fish were coming out at night and that my efforts should be doubled for the hours of darkness so I could catch consistently.

The next day Bruce, Dean and I were talking about how it would be nice to catch a lovely common as all the fish we had caught were Mirrors. Unfortunatly that night Ii failed to catch at all and morale was lowering a little.

The following night it became clockwork and I recieved a screaming run which resulted in a gorgeous looking 29lb common carp. I was over the moon and breath taken by the fish but had no idea what was to come. An hour later I had another run which I managed to loose, and then at about half past 3 I recieved a slow powerful run. I hooked into it and was adamant it was a small carp or tench. How wrong I was. I got it to about 15 yards out and this thing went nuts. After a series of powerful lunges and runs, along with 20 minutes of struggle I got it in the net... it was big. I secured the net and ran to wake Dean and Bruce up. "I've got a big common mate, bring your weigh sling and scales !"

They finally dragged themselves out of bed and they're reaction when they first saw it was un-printable. We made sure the scales were zeroed first ... weighed it several times ... and then photographed it ... all 47lb 10oz of it !!!!!

I was absolutely smashed, never did Idream I was to catch a fish of that callibur. Phil and Andy (Andy incidently is in the final of the Welsh Carp Masters and is a top bloke !) came round to congradulate and lend a hand. Thanks alot lads !

That was the last fish I caught, Bruce managed 5 fish to 42.08lbs (Common) and Dean managed 3 fish to 34lb 12oz (Cracking Mirror). So overall it was great !

Would like to give a special mention to all the other guys on lakes 3, 4 and 5 it was a great laugh and must do it again next year !

Get yourselves to Dreamlakes, its the place to be !

Luke Thomas
Crazy_carper




Score

Uk Fisherman would love to hear from any other anglers who have Dream Lakes in France. We would especially like to hear from anyone connected with Dream Lakes 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.

Submit a Review: UK Fisherman would be delighted to here from you if you would like to comment on any of our reviews. To do so, use the comment box below.

Alternatively if you would to submit a review of your own or submit an item for review at UK Fisherman, please visit the CONTACT page.

Sunday, 21 September 2008 16:06

Carple Steamers baits

This is not so much of a review by me but a chance to gaup in awe at some superb carp caught recently using Carple Steamers Baits from the Baitmaster. Words seem unncessary - just feast your eyes on these beauties and then head over to THE BAITMASTER to order your baits direct from them.



Ben May catches over 374lb of carp using Red Crab SteamersRed Crab Steamers have been catching fast and furiously where ever they go, whether it's European or British Waters.

For example Ben May from Carpers.net Forum has recently won the Seniors/Juniors competition, which was held at Etang De La Boissonie (Carp Anglers Dream) in France having hauled in a mighty large bag of Carp weighing 374lb over 48 hours.

Why not get some Red Crab Steamers for yourself.

CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE



Kevin Stait with a 20lb+ ghostie cuaght using Carple Bloody Squid SteamersKevin Stait is just one of our many successful anglers baiting up with Carple Bloody Squid Steamers. Here's how Kev's been getting on since changing his bait over to Bloody Squid Steamers.

Kevin braved heavy showers and thunderstorms during his 48 hour sessions to take five fish topped by a 20lb 14oz Ghostie and a 20lb 2oz fully-scaled mirror. Kev caught his fish from both open water and the marginal reed beds where he offered Carple Bloody Squid Steamer Baits...

Why not get some Red Crab Steamers for yourself.

CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE


Clint with a 23lb common caught using Carple Red Lobster Seaweed Steamers Carple Red Lobster Seaweed has also seen some great catch reports. Let's see what Clint has to say about his recent session. 18mm Carple Red Lobster & Seaweed Steamers, Carple Green Crab 'n Lobster Stik Mix accounted for these carp. The venue was a local lake.

The day started well Carl with a few fish to just over 10lb but as the morning turned into afternoon the fish came thick and fast. Rig set was a 5oz running lead, hook link 15lb E.S.P sink link, hook Korda Hybrid size 6.

Best fish was a 23lb common followed by 20lb, 20lb 8oz, 19lb,14lb. Total fish caught 12, size and quantity wasn't at all bad for just a days session.

Why not get some Carple Red Lobster Seaweed Steamers for yourself.

CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE


Score:

Qaulity fish caught using quality baits. Get yours NOW !!

Click Here to View all the Baitmaster products

Submit a Review: UK Fisherman would be delighted to here from you if you would like to comment on any of our reviews. To do so, use the comment box below.

Alternatively if you would to submit a review of your own or submit an item for review at UK Fisherman, please visit the CONTACT page.

Saturday, 20 September 2008 17:04

Sticky Sharp Rigs

Pre-tied fishing rigs from Sticky Sharp Rigs - By Marc

Firstly I would like to thank Paul at UK Fisherman & the guys from 'Sticky Sharp' for giving me the opportunity to try out these rigs, I have been carp fishing for many years now & have always tied my own rigs so when the sample rigs arrived I was semi cautious/excited about using them.

Rigs Tested

The Basic Rig, The Blow Back, The Line Aligner, The Withypool & The Combi-Rig

First Impressions

Dont expect any fancy packaging with these rigs. Each rig arrived in a clear logo-less plastic sleeve with just a brief description hand written on the sleeve.** I must say how nice it was to actually see the whole contents of the sleeve laying perfectly within & not a tangled mess you receive from other rig companies. All five rigs looked as if they had been hand-tied using top quality components & they even had the highly fashionable quick release hoops attached to the main line end.

** Please note that the rigs supplied for review were samples and not the finished article. All sticky Sharp Rigs are supplied with full graphic inserts with text on the reverse. (Paul, UK Fisherman)

The Tests

Would these rigs withstand the abuse of everyday carp fishing on the end of my Ballista's? fishing against snags & lily pads? fished with pva bags attached? More importantly would they pass the on the bank knot test?

At this point I must emphasis just how important it is to check all your terminal gear before casting out, knot checks, hook sharpness check etc

The Basic Rig
The Basic RigAs many of you will know this is a no frills rig, simple construction, simple mechanics, a rig found in many carp anglers rig wallets all over the UK/Europe including my own.

The hook was perfectly tied to the soft braided material, the braided material was smooth, kinkless & unfraid. As with any rig tied to my mainline a thorough test is undertaken on all knots. The rig passed all bankside abuse I could throw at it. Laying the rig in the shallow margins of the lake things looked good, hook link camoflage looked good & with the use of a pva nugget on the hook the whole rig came to rest nicely on the bottom.

With bait & pva bag attached the rig was chucked to around 70yds, things seemed to land in a nice straight line & the pva nugget floated up to the surface from the hook below ... I was happy. Thirty or so minutes later I was more than happy when a carp of around 15lb was lying on my mat, the hook had caught hold just off the middle of the bottom lip ... good enough for me. As I do with all my rigs after a capture, I recheck the setup. Bearing in mind the carp did take me through two lily beds all looked very good. I did however slip my sharpen stone lightly over the hook a few times. The rig was rebaited & recast to the same spot. I did get another run on this rig but lost the fish in the lily pads, the rig came back with a slightly fraid hook link, the hook looked good for another carp but was replaced.

The Blow Back Rig
The Blow Back RigThis rig is one of my all time favourite rigs. For many years I have used this type of rig. This is my favoured rig when used in conjunction with pop-ups or snowman baits. The rig was perfectly constructed, the only modification I made to this rig was the length of the hook link. I do prefer my hook links quite short & after some minor adjustments the rig looked good. Once baited & attached to the mainline I again dropped the rig into the margin to check the presentation. Again I was more than happy. It looked very good & blended in very well with the lake bed. A small counter balance was added under the hook just to sink the hook bait down & it was ready for the lake.

Cast out to the already baited area once again the pva nugget popped to the surface & I added a few freebies over the spot. It wasn't long before the delkim alerted me to some action, the bobbin rose then gently slid down indicating a drop back. I tightened to the lead & struck, the battle was short lived. On retreaving the rig Ii noticed the hair had become tangled around the bend of the hook. I'm not sure whether this was down to the length of the hair or rejection of the boilie from the carps mouth?

I shortened the hair & with the use of some pva string I tied the hair tightly down the shank of the hook to the bend, this should keep any tangles down to the minimum while casting out. Just to make sure & give me peace of mind I inserted the hook link into a pva stocking & recast. After three hours I had landed two carp on this rig & after the minor modifications I was 100% confident in the rig. If the hook hadn't felt & looked so dull Ii would of probably left it on!

The Line Aligner Rig
The Line Aligner RigThis is another very popular rig, not too much different from the Basic Rig apart from the use of the shrink tube at the hooks eye. Great looking rig, nicely constructed ... so I thought?

As with all the rigs, I put them under a knot test using the Korda Knot Puller. This is where the hook link parted about half way along its length. I couldn't see any visible fault/damage in the link it just snapped. Sadly this hooklink was taken apart, hook/QR link were saved for later use on my own hook link material.

The Withypool Rig
The Withypool RigPersonally im not a great fan of this rig but I gave it go on my third rod, the rig passed all the knot tests & looked good in the margin with a single 18mm pop-up attached. I was very impressed with the silicon/shrink tube used on this rig. After several pulls & tugs on it, it went back to its original pre-steamed shape ... well impressed. As I said earlier, a single pop-up was attached & cast just off the baited area. The reason for this being I was receiving several liners on the other two rods.

I sat there wondering about the rig, thinking how crude it looked, trying to understand why & how it works so well for so many anglers around the country when to my amazement I was in! Amazed & shocked when laying on my mat was my first twenty of the season & it fell to a rig I had little confidence in. After checking the hook & its components it was re-baited & cast to the same spot with greater confidence & high expectations. Within the hour I hand landed another carp just short of 18lb on this rig & quickly tied up my version of this rig & cast out just before night fall.

Excellant rig, thumbs held up high on this one guys!!!!!!!!

The Combi Rig
The Combi RigThis rig & variations of this rig have been knocking around for years and it has accounted for loads of carp up & down the country. Like all the rigs, it looked the business, nicely tied, hook sharpness 100% and the knot test passed with no problems. Not even any knot slip, which is quite common when using these coated hook links.

One useful tip when using these styles of rigs is to slightly heat the coated area of the link before casting out, just to make the link nice & straight & to stop any coils from occuring during use.

This was a very friendly rig to use, sadly no fish were caught upon it but it didn't tangle, the outer coating didn't start to peel off like some other brands do and it laid nicely on the lake bed. I did add a few drops of Tungsten Putty up the link just for peace of mind. I apply this tactic to most of my hooklinks nowadays.

Conclusion

When asked to test these rigs I was a little reserved as for many years I have tied all my rigs myself.

  • As I said before I liked the way the rigs were packaged, you could see what you were buying, no tangled messes at the bottom of a fancy looking display bag.
  • All the hooks were beautiful & sharp.
  • The addition of the QR hoop at the end of the link was a nice touch as well as the knots that were all shrink tubed.
  • Apart from one of the hooklinks snapping when testing i was pleased with all the materials used.
  • Some of the hook links were a little long for my preference, but easily adjusted.
  • To my surprize the Withypool Rig out fished the other rigs accounting for five carp including a twenty. Two carp fell to the Blow Back Rig & two to the Basic Rig.

So overall i was very impressed with the rigs & would have confidence in attaching them to my mainline.

I highly recommend these rigs. Thanks to the guys at Sticky Sharp for a great product.

Score:

Where to buy the The Sticky Sharp Rigs

Check out their website at www.stickysharprigs.co.uk where you can buy these excellent rigs online.

Submit a Review: UK Fisherman would be delighted to here from you if you would like to comment on any of our reviews. To do so, use the comment box below.

Alternatively if you would to submit a review of your own or submit an item for review at UK Fisherman, please visit the CONTACT page.

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