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Thursday, 07 September 2006 00:00

Lizard Fishery, Middlesex

Lizard Fishery, Lake 2 - Middlesex

I decided that working too hard makes Paul a dull boy and gave myself the afternoon off. I was meeting up with Steve, an old work buddy of mine who is an avid carp angler. Last time we went fishing, neither of us got a bite all day so we were determined to set the record straight.

14lb Lizard CommonPartly due to an email I recently received from Nigel laughton, who had enjoyed an excellent days fishing there a week or so ago, I decided to show Steve the delights of Lizard Fishery. As I hadn't fished on Lake 2 for some time we decided that we would try for some of the larger carp at Lizard.

We met just after midday and bagged two swims on lake 2. This wasn't difficult as there was only one other guy fishing. Steve set up his two rods, bait alarms, pods etc etc and I set up my one rod, no bait alarms, pods etc. It probably isn't too difficult to guess who had the better day !!

4lb lizard tenchThe fishing was slow and neither of us got a take for the first hour or so. Then I heard the unmistakable sound of Steve's bite indicator going off and he was soon playing his first fish of the day...which turned out to be his best....a 14lb common.

Enthused by this success we both thought this was the start of something good. Well for Steve it was. He caught 4 carp and one tench which weighed in at a credible 4lb. I caught..........1 skimmer.

I'll let the pictures of Steve tell the rest of the story as I'm too depressed to say any more !!

Til next time, happy fishing (and better luck than me) !! Paul @ UK Fisherman

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Published in Diary
Tuesday, 22 May 2007 00:00

Marker and Spod Rods

10% off Grey's Marker and Spod Rods from Trev's Tackle 10% of Greys marker Rod

This week Trev's Tackle have a fantastic offer to share on Greys Spod & Marker Rods - Not only have we knocked 10% off the RRP on both rods, but we’ll also be giving away a fantastic Fox Horizon Marker Float with each Grey’s Marker Rod sold, or a fantastic Korda Skyliner Spod with each Grey’s Spod Rod sold!

Greys marker RodIn the modern carping age a marker rod is now an essential piece of kit. Using a marker rod will help give you a better understanding of the lake bed and enable you to find features such as depressions, gravel bars, weed beds and silt gullies. The rod tip is ground down for increased responsiveness making it ideal for finding those underwater features and contours such as gravel bars- silt areas and weed beds that are not visible to the eye.

The Marker rod features a powerful butt section which is able to cope with casting a 4oz lead attached to a marker float and achieve distances over 100 yards. The distance Marker rod- at 12' 6" - is designed for you to feature-find at distances over 100 yards with ease. It can cope with leads up to 5oz with a marker float but it can still be used at short range without any problem.

Both Rods Feature:

  • Depth markers at 6" and 12" for accurate depth measurement
  • SIC rings for use with braid or mono
  • Fuji NPS 20mm reel seat
  • Laser etched butt cap

Standard at £89.99
Distance at £107.99

Click here to buy Trev’s Combination Carp Kit DealPLUS FREE FOX HORIZON MARKER FLOAT!

Yep, buy any Grey’s Marker rod and get a versatile Fox Horizon Marker Float completely free of charge!

10% off Grey’s Spod Rod

Grey’s Spod RodThe two option Greys' Spod rod has become a common part in a carp angler's armoury and enables the angler to bait up well beyond catapult range. Neither rod features a test curve due to both rods ability to cast all spods on the market. This is achieved by each rod having a progressive power build-up within the blank. A lot of spod rods are so stiff it's virtually impossible to pull the tip round 90 degrees yet they are still rated with test curves! It's vital that the blank is progressively compressed by the spod in order for the rod to work properly and propel the spod into the distance.

The standard rod is ideal for mini rockets to large spods and is able to cast distances up to 80+ yards. The distance version is ideal for large heavy spods or when you're wanting to fish at distances of 90+ yards. Wet baits, big distances and large s! pods are what this rod is all about. There is a huge amount of power - compress the tip and release the power!

Both Rods Feature:

  • SIC rings for use with braid or mono
  • Fuji NPS 20mm reel seat capable of taking all big pit reels
  • Laser etched butt cap

Standard at £89.99
Distance at £107.99

PLUS FREE KORDA SKYLINER SPOD!

Yep, buy any Grey’s Spod rod and get a fantastic Korda Skyliner Spod completely free of charge!

UK FISHERMAN'S VERDICT

As usual Trev's Tackle have come up trumps with some excellent deals on Marker and Spod Rods. What are you waiting for - click the links above to get buying right now !!

To sign up for the newsletter and to browse all the tackle and bait on sale at Trev's Tackle, visit their website at: www.trevstackle.com

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Published in Various
Tuesday, 22 January 2008 00:00

Luckiest fisherman on earth

How to become the ‘luckiest fisherman on earth!’:

Source: Tim Richardson, author of Big Carp Bait Secrets

Have you ever wondered why one ‘lucky guy’ seems to catch the biggest fish again and again, while the majority of other fishermen just seem to get the average catches? Why is that?

Many of us would love to catch those big catfish, carp, bass, trout etc, every time we go fishing. It may just be that the guy is a genius angler, but real fishing success is often simply about using bait that is more effective than most other anglers baits at getting round fishes natural fears and resistance to eating it!...

But how can we achieve this? Well here’s a few of some of the best most proven methods of increasing your catches, especially for carp and catfish, but can be applied very effectively to many other species:

1. Try taking a look at the most popular baits where you fish and eliminate any similarity your homemade bait has with them. This especially applies to your own unique fishing bait recipe or formulas. This removes the fishes ‘danger reference points’. This gives your bait a massive ‘edge’ because the fish will not associate your bait with danger, anything like as much as with the baits everyone else are using - afterall , the whole point of a bait is simply to fool the fish into taking a hook into it’s mouth!

2. Make your bait different sizes, odd shapes, density, colors, flavors, with different attractors and additives, the more different to the usual bait the fish experience, the more effective your bait will be potentially be. Making your own bait puts the odds back in your favor and the power back into your hands - literally!

3. Absolutely pack your baits with “powerful ‘free amino acids’ (the type bodybuilders use as a liquid protein food supplement.) Even if you’re making a proprietary bait using a ‘commercial base mix’ that anyone can purchase, this will really set your bait apart and make it preferable to fish!

4. Pack bait with minerals, vitamins and trace elements - get a health tonic supplement from your local drug store. Very few people realize that these are in fact amazing attractors in their own right! An astounding edge is to massively increase the attractiveness and soluble nutritional message leaking from your bait, by soaking your hook bait in a mixture if fresh liquidized sweet corn, molasses and liquid protein food (so-called ‘free amino acids.)

5. It has been proven that when tested carp were provided with a number of complete foods providing all their nutritional requirements, preferred the food that had been sweetened. Eg, try sweetening honey and molasses , fruit sugar (fructose), or saccharin.

6. Add Sea salt to your bait - this is one of the most proven and unbelievable fish feeding triggers, and a great nutritional taste enhancer full of minerals. Nearly every animal and fish cannot live without salt!

7. For many fish including catfish and carp, pack your bait with fresh good quality digestible protein - it doesn’t need to be a large proportion, no more than a third of your bait. Ingredients such as trout pellet powder, meat and poultry meals, blood meal, fish meals and shellfish meals and liver powder are great. Add energy rich carbohydrates to provide balanced nutrition and binding. For example, soya flour, semolina, or even ordinary white or brown wheat flour. For carp try adding some wheat germ it has excellent properties!

8. Add a small amount of oil to your bait for a balanced nutritional value. For catfish this could be you favorite fish oil. For carp the best is probably pure cold pressed hemp oil -it’s natures ‘super food’ and is one of the richest and most healthy and nutritional oils known to man and fish!

9. Give your bait some protein that’s been ‘predigested’ or ‘hydrolyzed.’ This is easily achieved by adding a small amount of proprietary powder, like predigested liver, fish meal or shellfish extracts to your bait; available from bait companies all across the worldwide web. This method is incredibly effective, improving the fish attractive ‘amino acid profile of your bait. Fish are extremely efficient at detecting and utilizing amino acids, and you may well find that with the higher the rate of inclusion of these highly fish digestible ingredients, your catches and numbers of bigger fish soar too!

10. Allow your bait to ‘cure’ for 3-4 days prior to use; this allows your bait to start to ferment and lets bacterial enzymes release alcohols, sugars and increase the level of predigested proteins in your bait; all amazingly extremely good fish feeding triggers and attractors. See the difference this makes to your catches!

11. If you use ‘boilies’ rather than paste or dough baits, try chopping edges off your hook baits as if other fish have been ‘playing with your bait and taking small chunks out of it; this can really make the bigger fish ‘feel’ safer when they sample your hook baits - try piecing your hook baits right through to release the maximum attraction even from the center of your bait; it really works!

12. Try wrapping your bait and your hook (except the point) in a paste or dough. Try a mixture of ordinary flour, marmite, parmesan cheese, garlic granules, curry spices, sea salt, eggs and liquid amino acids - this mixture is pure ‘dynamite’ and really makes ‘em bite!

13. One of the most successful paste / dough baits of recent times is made from a mixture of fish meal and a couple of predigested ingredients like predigested fish meals, or predigested shellfish extracts. Try binding them together with just ordinary flour and loads of liquid amino acids / protein food supplement. ( But no eggs.) Experiment with different proportions to get your dough / pate to hold and last on your hook for different times. When you ‘bait up’ or ‘chum your swim with free baits like this, to attract the fish - hold on to your rod/s!!!

14. Add natural ingredients to your bait, for example, bird foods contain all kinds of fantastic foods fish love, like insects, seeds, grubs and worms. Many times, these encourage smaller fish to find your bait, and these can lead the bigger ones to your hook...

15. Add a ‘crunch factor’ to your bait - many fish have food detectors inside their gills, and allowing fish to experience eating your bait like it was natural food, eg, like shrimps or snails or mussels, is a great way to ‘turn them on’ and get more confident feeding and more bites!

16. If you use ‘boilies for carp catfish, etc there is a simple method of improving them: If you buy your baits frozen in a bag, then open them up and let them defrost and ‘warm up for 3-4 days in advance of fishing. This gives bacterial enzymes the time to start breaking down your baits and releasing very attractive alcohols, sugars and amino acids for example. It really works well for better catches and can even promote quicker bites!

Making and adapting your own and readymade shop - bought baits to make them different to the rest, and far more effective than normal is a science, and a very satisfying 'art'. When you have armed yourself with a range of great baits, the confidence you feel is awesome, and especially satisfying when you’ve ‘designed them and make them yourself!

I could show you many real life examples of how using edges like these and others, have resulted in fantastic big fish catches.

I love researching and writing about fishing bait because it is one of the fastest short-cuts to success! I am into bait in a big way, having even researched the subject with a PhD biochemist to reveal the reasons why and how baits really work to catch fish. I’ve found that a little bait knowledge can catch you more fish, but the more you know - the more consistent your catches can become - and the more big fish you catch!

The truly amazing thing is, ANY angler can achieve truly amazing catches with just enough of the right bait knowledge!.. Then other anglers will wonder what his ‘secret to success’ is...

Want to learn more about the "secrets" of caching big fish,
check out Tim's website at:
www.baitbigfish.com

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To do so, please visit the CONTACT page.

Published in Carp Fishing Articles
Wednesday, 26 September 2007 00:00

Fishing Bait Ingredients

EASY FISHING BAIT INGREDIENTS - By Tim Richardson

Using Brilliant ‘Natural’ Extracts!

There are many ways to make very successful fishing baits without using flavours; why not try using very powerful ‘natural ingredients and extracts!

Freshwater flies, bloodworm, insect larvae, water snails, and all kinds of sea and freshwater shellfish like mussels etc, can all be incorporated into your fishing baits, giving a natural taste and crunch factor, and are available from many pet and fishing bait companies.

It is important, to make your bait as different as possible from the ‘normal’ for your water, to give you a competitive advantage.

As an example, I used a bait which was purely based on proprietary ‘coldwater goldfish food’ which instead of being the usual pellets form, was based on natural nutritional extracts like spirulina, impregnated into rice flakes.

I was using this bait as a test bait to find a successful alternative protein based bait. It incorporated daphnia (water fleas,) and spirulina (algae,) together; forming a truly ‘unique’ natural, alternative boilie.

I mixed the flakes with a small amount of semolina, as I did not know how much the flakes (based on ground rice,) would bind. After taking what seemed like literally hours to mould each individual bait by thumb and fore fingers, I convinced myself it would all be worth the effort!

I did not wish to ‘contaminate’ the bait with extra semolina binder and reduce its effectiveness. I prepared ‘hair rigs’ in advance of fishing and carefully dried the paste hook baits until they went hard and tough enough to stay on the rig.

At the lake, as it turned out, within half an hour of casting out, I hooked the lake record fish at that time weighing around 35 pounds in weight.

It was a valuable lesson in the attraction of alternative protein based baits, and the benefits of their use! This was on a fishery where extremely good quality milk protein and fish meal baits had dominated catches at that time!

The author has many more fishing and bait ‘edges’ up his sleeve. Every single one can have a huge impact on catches.

By Tim Richardson. ‘The thinking angler’s fishing author and expert bait making guru.’


For more expert bait making information and ‘cutting edge’ techniques see the expert acclaimed new ebook:

BIG CARP BAIT SECRETS!

www.baitbigfish.com

Tim Richardson is an internationally acclaimed carp and catfish bait-making expert, and a highly successful big fish angler. His best selling bait making and bait enhancing books / ebooks help beginners and experienced anglers alike, to improve and enhance their baits achieving far greater catches of big fish.

His books are even used by members of the ‘world elite’ “British Carp Study Group” for expert reference. Your catches could gain from more understanding, expert bait making experience, powerful insights and cutting edge fishing information and techniques; take a look at Tim’s dedicated fishing bait making website.

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Published in Carp Fishing Articles
Tuesday, 23 September 2008 19:46

The Wels Catfish

The Wels Catfish

Description
The Wels CatfishThe Wels Catfish has a long, scaleless body like an eel, with a large head and mouth. The inside of the mouth has rows of 100s of tiny little velcro like teeth on the top and bottom of its jaw, these are used to hold its prey before passing it to the two sets of crushing pads at the back of the throat. It has six barbules, two long ones on the upper jaw for detecting its prey and four shorter ones on the lower jaw. It has a small almost pointless looking dorsal fin whilst the anal fin stretches backwards until it almost reaches the tail.

The colouration of the Wels can vary from fish to fish but normally they have dark eyes with a dark greeny black body with creamy yellowish sides creating a mottled effect. Albino looking catfish are sometimes found but are very rare, these have red eyes and a yellow/creamy colouration to its body.

How to catch a Wels Catfish
There are various methods to tempt the Catfish, one is to ledger deadbaits consisting of Roach, Rudd, Carp, Tench or eels. From the information i have found it is best to look for any likely feature that the Catfish would patrol like marginal shelves, deep holes, old stream beds and snaggy areas and place your bait here and wait.

Livebaits are another top favourite, fishing with the above fish baits but alive! The bait can be presented just below the surface using a dumbbell rig or if possible a weak link tied to the opposite bank. I have been told this method produces very violent takes, so make sure you are by the rods at all time!

Worms are a very underated bait and can be devastating if fished just off the bottom, only to be used at night though as every other fish in the lake will want to eat them during the day.

The most common bait to be used on most commercial fisheries at the moment is the Halibut pellet. The pellets come in various sizes and are best fished with a few large pellets on a hair rig over a bed of smaller pellets.

Location
Catfish like to hide away in dark quiet places until they are ready to feed, which is not very often. Look out for overhanging trees, weed beds, lilies and hollows under the bank, a bait placed near any of these areas is a good bet. Anglers do say that when a catfish is on the feed it will come to you and will not be a fussy eater either.

Wels Catfish uk record
62lb (28.123 kilo’s) 1997: R Garner from Withy Pool, Henlow, Bedfordshire.

Recommended Catfish Venue
Carpenwater, Clacton-On-Sea, Essex, England
Contact Phil on 01255 479918 or email to Carpenwater@btinternet.com

Source: www.welscatfish.co.uk

Many thanks to Phil at welscatfish.co.uk for kindly allowing UK Fisherman to use this article.

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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
Monday, 22 September 2008 19:58

Barbel fishing on the River Severn

WHAT CHANCE A SEVERN MONSTER? - By Stuart Watkins

Source: Barbel Catchers Club

It’s now almost a decade since Howard caught his former British record fish from the lower reaches of the Severn. I recently read an article by Steve Stayner in one of the angling monthlies where he briefly mentions the capture of this memorable fish. He then goes on to talk about the many people who have since tried to catch it, or a different fish of a similar size, from the lower river. In my experience these people that Steve talks about, don’t exist. The river never did see the influx of anglers that many of Britain’s smaller rivers see when a huge fish is caught. In short the Severn’s most popular period was at the very beginning of the barbel boom in the mid to late eighties. In my opinion this will always remain the case, because other rivers produce fish of an equal size, or in many cases bigger, that are in the majority of cases far easier to locate and catch. We often hear the term anyone can catch from the lower Severn, and while this is certainly true, fish of say 12.08 plus are not common, and fish of 14 plus are rare creatures indeed.

Stuart Watkins with a 13-0 from the Lower SevernSo what chances a Severn monster? Obviously location is the key factor here or is it? Most of the better fish I have caught came from swims which only produced the one fish on the day. A lack of smaller fish may indicate the opportunity for a better fish to move in on any feed present. Note I said on the day, because I feel these larger fish could turn up in any swim on any stretch between Worcester’s Diglis weir and Tewkesbury weir. I feel swim type has very little bearing on whether large barbel will or will not feed in them. The most important factor being a lack of run of the mill fish, again on the day. Could it be that these larger specimens perhaps only move around as solitary fish, or at most in groups of two or three fish of a similar size, and may prefer not to compete with other smaller barbel for any food in a given area. Another thing about these larger Severn fish is that they can turn up at any time of the day. Whilst most Severn regulars prefer to fish in the hours of darkness, myself included, my two thirteens from the river both came in daylight, and one of these in mid-July with an air temperature of 27°c under a blazing hot sun in water as low and clear as it gets on the lower river.

So how would I go about catching one of these truly large Severn fish? As I said earlier, I feel swim type is not that important. But having said that I always feel more confident in a swim that has less of a slope on it from the margins out towards the middle of the river, say fourteen foot deep one and a half rod lengths out, to around eighteen to nineteen foot in the middle, as opposed to say only ten foot deep one and a half rod lengths out. In shallower areas of the river, say around Diglis, the same applies, the only thing that changes is the overall depth, which may only be eleven foot in the middle so eight foot of water one and a half rod lengths would be ideal. I would be looking to place my bait around two rod lengths.

One of the most useful pieces of kit that I have used over the last two seasons has been the ‘Smartcast’, Now some people may cringe at the use of this, saying that it is unfair, but believe me if like myself the lower Severn is your usual venue, you will find it invaluable. Since first using it I have discovered that in most areas the river has no shelves apart from the marginal one which may be only a few inches deep when the river is at it’s lowest. It will also find snags and you will get used to spotting these after using the unit for a period of time and getting used to it. One other thing about the ‘Smartcast’ is don’t buy one if you are expecting it to find your fish for you, in reality it’s a pretty crude piece of kit. Believe me, having worked in the marine industry for the past eighteen years, it is only really useful as a guide.

As far as baits and baiting the swim are concerned, boilies would be my first choice in daylight, with a sausage meat concoction, donkey choker size, courtesy of ‘The Cullen Guide To Anti-social Barbel Baits’, Millennium editon, as an after dark option. Feeding the swim would be done using no more than twelve to fifteen boilies, fishing only two rod lengths out makes it easy to place loose feed by hand. I would be looking to feed an area say 20’ x 10’, putting in large amounts of loose feed in my opinion, and especially after dark, only encourages smaller barbel in numbers, or bream, and believe me once they move in forget your barbel. Once you start fishing below Upton they are definitely the river’s most predominant fish, and fish approaching double figures can reasonably be expected.

Once the swim has been fed I don’t wait to put a bait in, I can’t see the point, life’s too short and past experience tells me the biggest fish invariably comes out first, especially if you have had no action in the first half hour. Always a good sign that smaller fish and the dreaded bream are not present. My theory is that if your hook bait is untouched or you have had no rod top indications your loose feed will also be uneaten and intact.

Rigs used are simple and uncomplicated. Hooklengths are braid, either or ‘Silkworm’ or ‘ESP Sinklink’, around sixteen inches long for boilies and around thirty inches for meat. I never fish with bolt rigs in the true sense of the term, although a two to three ounce running lead will, I believe, to some extent have the same effect. I don’t see the need for fancy rigs and any modifications I make are usually to make life easier for me. For example incorporating a Fox Safe-lok with a one inch long piece of rig tube placed over it for security will make it easy to change hooklengths after dark. My views on Fluro-carbon lines are that the disadvantages far outweigh the advantages. So I will not use them, even in a gin clear river. Having said that Fox Illusion seems to be getting some excellent reviews at the moment, so I will see how Martin gets on with it over this winter with a view to using it as a hooklength next season. When fishing the large meat baits everything Martin has talked about in his articles applies. To give an idea of the bait size I use, all the ingredients weigh around 1.3 kilos. This makes around fifteen baits!

So what exactly constitutes a Severn monster? Fifteen plus is probably not an unreasonable target if you fish the river week in week out, three members have all taken fish of this size. One of the most important things to note about most barbel anglers on the lower river is that none of them are from the ‘Catch at all costs’ brigade. I think if you take this misguided approach, you will be in for a very lean time. Personally I go in the hope of catching a personal best, and if I don’t then there is always next weekend. I will probably get some stick for saying this but once you get down below Severn Stoke, don’t forget the chub. They don’t come out very often, but when you do hook one it will probably be well worth catching. In barbel anging terms my biggest ambition is to catch a lower river fifteen. Who knows, one day I may just get lucky and achieve it. Now what about that double figure bream??!!

Many thanks to The Barbel Catchers Club and Stuart Watkins for allowing UK Fisherman to reproduce this article.

Visit their excellent website at: www.barbelcatchersclub.co.uk

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Sunday, 21 September 2008 20:46

Preston Stotz Shot

PRESTON STOTZ SHOT

Description:
preston stotx shot form preston innovations Preston stotz are a hydrid shot designed for use on larger diameter lines (they also work perfectly on fine diameters!). The wide groove makes placing them on the line quick and easy. Another advantage is the increased surface area that grips the line. This prevents damage and also stops them 'pinging' off the line under stress. The flat ends also produce a neat bulk when they are grouped together. They are available in 4 sizes.

Review:
I tried out the Stotz Shot in three sizes....8,9 & 10
I found them much easier to actually pinch onto the line than equivalent sizes in regular shot. They do seem to grip the line better due to the increased surface area in contact with the line and I didn't suffer with shot falling off the line all day. In adidition I wasted far fewer shot than normal as they are much easier to handle having a rectangular rather than spherical shape. When bulked down the line, they seemed to give a much neater and aerodynamic presentation which aided casting.

Score:

Where to buy:
Stotz Shot are available from a wide range of fishing tackle outlets although UK Fisherman recommends you buy yours from Eccleston Angling Centre. Many thanks to Bun and all at Eccleston Angling Centre for supplying the Stotz Shot for review.

Click Here to Purchase

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Sunday, 21 September 2008 20:41

Skinz hookbait pellets

SKINZ HOOKBAIT PELLETS

Description:
Skinz hookbait pellets from Sonu Baits are an advanced, skinned, hookable pellet type bait full of powerful fish attractants. The skin is full of soluble feeding triggers that go to work immediately once immersed in water.

The skin has an elastic type property that grips the hook and prevents the bait from falling off during casting or on the strike.

You can use Skinz Hookbait Pellets straight from the bag for a slow sinking bait. This is very effective when fishing on-the-drop for fish feeding off the bottom. Alternatively, they can be soaked for a few minutes. This produces a soft hookbait that can be hooked directly on the hook or hair rigged.

Review:
Spending most of my time fishing at commercial fisheries these days, I have come to rely quite heavily on pellets. I have also grown increasingly frustrated with my search for a soft hooker pellet that stays on the hook when cast even a short distance.

Well my search is at an end! Skinz hook pellets are far and away the best hook pellets I have ever come across. They can be used straight from the packet or can be pre-soaked for only 10 minutes or so to produce a much softer pellet. I did have some difficulty with the unsoaked pellets as it can be quite difficult to penetrate the hard outer shell. For me though, they really come into their own when soaked.

I tried them out at a commercial fishery and found that keeping the bait on the hook even when casting quite long distances is a doddle. These pellets really do grip the hook exceptionally well and the outer skin transforms when wet into a consistency I can only compare to cheese on a pizza....stringy but tough. The bait doesn't fall off the hook every time you strike at a bite so you don't have to re-bait every cast. I actually caught 4 fish using the same pellet which for a soft hookbait pellet is unheard of. All species of fish seem attracted to the Skinz Pellets. I caught carp to 10lb, roach, rudd, bream, crucians and tench in one day with the Skinz Pellets.

Believe the hype - highly recommended !!

Score:

Where to buy:
Skinz Hookbait Pellets are available from a wide range of fishing tackle outlets although UK Fisherman recommends you buy yours from Eccleston Angling Centre. Many thanks to Bun and all at Eccleston Angling Centre for supplying the Skinz Hookbait Pellets for review.

Click Here to Purchase

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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