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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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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 20:53

Contour Map Fishing

What does your swim look like underwater?

Find out with M & B Contour Map Fishing

M & B Contour Mapping specializes in producing accurate coloured contour depth maps of lakes and Fisheries. The maps show any variations in depth, the position of ledges, holes, sunken islands or any other features. The pegs or swims are shown precisely in the correct position so the fishermen can see exactly what the water depths are like all around his swim.

Wednesday, 09 August 2006 00:00

Junior Carp Championships

Preparing for the Junior Carp Championships 2006 [Part 1]: - By Crazycarper

Seventeen minutes past eleven, Thursday 3rd of August, I'm worrying about the competition in less than two weeks time. After filtering the internet for every bit of information and tips about Linear fishery's Brasenose 1, it is looking more and more like RMC's Thorpe Lea. An action water, and a big one at that.

The competition layout is 50 competetors in each qualifier, with random swims, total weight of all fish caught and top 10 go through. So now I have to make a game plan, what am I going to do which will make me stand out from the crowd ?

Brasenose 1 is 32 acres in size with just over 3,000 carp, mostly mirrors, resident there. The articles and reports I have read present stories of mega hauls of carp in single day sessions, one of which reporting 514lbs of carp in 36 hours. Most of these mega hauls were taken by some sort of boilie with an accompanying PVA bag or mesh full of pellet.

So with only 2 rods allowed, I have my first rod sorted. For the second rod, I have decided a different approach will hopefully produce the goods, so there are a couple of options in mind.

- The first is a zig rig, or for those of you who don't know, an extended hair rig (usually about 3-6 feet in length), with a pop-up high-vis boilie cast into the same area as my other rod. With this I would be covering mutiple depths and catch the fish at whatever level they are cruising around. This was also reccomended by someone who knows the lake very well (no names lol).
- The second option is a piece of fake bouyant corn counter-balanced by a piece of fake sinking maize on the hair, and a PVA mesh bag filled with groundbait mix including, mainline fusion chopped boilie, sweetcorn, mainline fusion 2mm pellets, bird seed (tried and tested !) and heathrow baits nutty groundbait.
- And of course the other option is to use the boilie and pellet filled PVA bag the same as the first rod.

So now with the baits planned I can move on to a game-plan. Because I have never fished the water, and it is similar to Thorpe Lea, I am going to take exactly the same approach as I would at Thorpe Lea. This means getting myself into a rhythm and having everything organised so my fishing flows properly and without any distractions or complications. Using my invaluable marker rod to search for those ever important gravel bars and getting some feed and my rigs on it accuratly. After finding the gravel bar and placing the marker there, I plan to throw some balls of the groundbait mix around the marker to get that first carpet of bait down (I usually put balls of groundbait out first as it gives a cloud effect to the water which draws fish in so much quicker than just boilies or pellets, Danny Fairbrass inspired me with this). Then introduce pellets and boilies, and then finally the hook-baits.

So I have 9 hours and 49 other people to compete with, I think with a organised and strong game-plan I can qualify into the finals, or at least give everyone else a run for their money ! Thanks for reading everyone and will let you all know how it went !

Luke Thomas
Crazy_Carper

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Published in Carp Fishing Articles
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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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.

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CARP, BARBEL AND PAELLA

A Guide to Fishing in Andalucia - By James Clear

Description:
A chance day trip to a reservoir near Ronda in the province of Cadiz, revolutionised James's views on fishing in the Spanish region of Andalucia. Despite spending many holidays in southern Spain, he had never considered the untapped potential for fishing in this stunning part of the world. This day trip got him thinking and having decided to research the subject, it soon became apparent that there was a serious lack of information available regarding angling in Andalucia, a fact that partly helps explain why fishing in this region remains largely undiscovered ....

.... and so, Carp, Barbel and Paella - A Guide to fishing in Andalucia was born !!

Review:
Let me say that from the outset, this is a quality piece of work and provides an indispensable guide to fishing in the region for those new to the area and also to those who have fished the region before. If you are thinking of taking a fishing holiday in Andalucia, you must buy this book - you won't regret it.

A Guide to Fishing in Andalucia is a comprehensive guide to fishing in the Andalucian region of Spain. It is well structured and set out in a number of sections which include:

  1. species and methods
  2. rules and regulations
  3. the provinces of Andalucia
  4. travel tips and what to bring
  5. useful phrases
  6. tackle and bait shops
  7. festivals

Chapter 1 - species and methods:
This is an excellent section which will appeal to all anglers whether you are visiting Andalucia of not. It details what you can expect to catch when fishing in Andalucia. Did you know for example that there are 7 species of barbel that can be caught there and one of best summer baits to catch them is .... crickets !!! This section also contains some excellent advice on baits and tactics that work well for barbel, carp, pike, trout, bass and eels as well as the more unusual species to be found in Spanish waters such as Allis Shad, Cacho, Saboga, Colmilleja and Pardilla amongst others.

Chapter 2 - rules and regulations:
Travelling abroad can often be confusing when it comes to local laws and regulations which is why this section is a great help in shedding light on the legal aspects of fishing in Andalucia, particularly in regard to what licences are required, how much they cost, where to obtain them along with useful contact numbers and adresses. Did you know, you need a licence to sea fish in Spain?

Chapter 3 - the provinces of Andalucia:
The bulk of this excellent guide concentrates on the various provinces within Andalucia, starting with a brief description of each province. Each is then split into individual fishing venues, detailing what you can expect to catch there and the best bait and tactics to employ. Each venue also includes a useful map of the location as well as details of how to get there. This is a really in depth section and contains loads of really useful information.

Chapter 4 - travel tips and what to bring:
Another useful section on how to make the most of your trip along with some ideas about what tackle and bait to take with you. It also includes some brief detail of things to watch out for ... like the fighting bulls that can turn up anywhere (especially around Cadiz) and the dreaded mosquitos.

Chapter 5 - useful phrases:
For those not fluent in Spanish, the Guide to Fishing in Andalucia also includes a section of useful fishing phrases and words, basically everything anglers will need when visiting tackle shops and venues etc (believe it or not, not everyone speaks English in Spain !!). Phrases like la aguja pesca (baiting needle), la pesca al la inglesa (waggler fishing) and el asticot (maggot) are not phrases you are likely to find in your standard Spanish phrase book.

Chapter 6 - tackle and bait shops:
A useful list of addresses and phone numbers of tackle and bait shops in Andalucia.

Chapter 7 - festivals:
Brief details of the many festivals and fiestas that take place in Andalucia - just in case you get an hour or two off from fishing !!

Price:
A Guide to Fishing in Andalucia is available worldwide at the following prices.

delivery within UK - £14.24 *
delivery in Europe - £15.13 *
delivery to US - £19.13 *
delivery worldwide - £19.19 *

* all prices include postage and packing

Summary:
A quality piece of work. If you are unfamiliar with the Andalucian region of Spain and the fishing it offers, this guide is invaluable if you are thinking of visiting the region. A great deal of thought has gone into producing this book and as it is written by an angler it is much more useful than your standard holiday guides. It basically includes everything you will need to think about when fishing in Andalucia.

The only problem I see with this book is that it could seriously damage your bank balance. With its descriptions of the various fisheries in Andalucia, complemented by well chosen photographs, this book will make you want to head down to the nearest travel agent, dust off your fishing rod and head to Andalucia to experience the delights on offer yourself. You have been warned !!

Paul@ Uk fisherman

Score:
highly recommended !!

Where to buy:
For more information about A Fishing Guide to Andalucia and to purchase the guide, please visit www.go-fishing-spain.com

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

Alternatively if you would to submit a sale item of your own, please visit the CONTACT page.
Published in Fishing Book Reviews
Sunday, 21 September 2008 15:17

Masterline Signature Super Specialist Rods

Masterline Signature Super Specialist Rods 2.5TC

When Dave Havers of Tacklebargains.co.uk called me to say he’d got a batch of carp rods in for reduced clearance, I must say, I was over to see him in a shot. Don’t get me wrong, I’m more than happy with the Sportex rods I had built around four years ago, but just lately there have been just one or two occasions where I have felt the need for something a touch bigger.

In a word, my 2.25TC Sportex rods are fantastic. However, they were built to fulfil two main requirements at the time; as the vast majority of my carp angling is done on old estate lakes and I’m rarely chucking more than 50 yards I wanted a low test curve. Secondly, as I like to feel the fish I’m playing, I also wanted a proper ‘all-through’ action. 

Built as such, I’ve had some fantastic tussles using the rods and won’t have a word said against them, but over the last year when fishing the Top Pool or whilst on Birch Grove, there have been occasions where they have been slightly outdone in the heat of battle.

In the main the problems are down to big fish weeding me in the Top Pool where I could do with just a little bit more power to try and get them up and moving again. On Birch Grove the problem is that you can be fishing at big distances close up to snags and you really need a little more ‘beef’ to get the upper hand quickly at the beginning of the battle, before they reach the snags.

Of course the problem is money, I can’t afford to go out and get another four rods made up, so I’ve not really done anything about it… until now! On seeing the rods Dave had to offer I knew they were just what I was looking for, and at around half the retail price, I was able to jiggle finances in order to get four of them sorted - just in time for my week on Birch Grove next month!

First impressions are impressive. The rods are the new 2003/4 version of the Masterline Super Specialist, and as far as I’m aware, they aren’t even out on the market yet! The rod builders made up the rods with rather large stickers on the blanks, so they are being sold off as cosmetic seconds, amazing really as all you have to do is peel the stickers off!

The blanks have a really nice woven graphite finish, with lined three-legged guides in gunsmoke finish and jet black whippings. The reel seat and but protector are also finished in black. The rods are 2 piece 12ft.

Although I’ve not hooked a biggie with them yet, initial sessions have shown them to be exactly what I was hoping for. I’ve had a play with them up at the little club water I’m involved with, taking a couple of nice doubles with ease - I’m also getting that little extra ‘poke’ I was after for distance work, which of course is also helping on the cast. In fact, my first cast up on the Top Pool resulted in me casting a fully loaded PVA bag right over the water and into the marginal undergrowth on the far side… Doh!

I can’t put across just what a bargain these rods are for the money involved. Let’s just say that I’ve purchased four of them, and since seeing mine, my friends have bought a further ten between them!

As far as I’m aware the rods will retail somewhere between £90.00 - £100.00 each. You can purchase these cosmetic seconds from Tacklebargains.co.uk for just £49.95 each, or a pair for just £89.95! (Editor's note: now just £40 each!)

Julian Grattidge - www.AnglersNet.co.uk

Score:

Where to buy the Masterline Signature Super Specialist Rods:
If you are in the market for some rods, I’d snap up some of these before they disappear for good! Visit Tacklebargains.co.uk to buy 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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