Category Archives: Coarse Fishing

Anglers have fished for coarse fish in the UK for centuries, evolving and adapting to fishing situations by altering their fishing tackle and approach. Even the most experienced anglers sometimes need a helping hand from time to time, read more below for useful hints & tips, fishing articles and coarse fishing tackle updates.

The TF Gear 60” Brolly

I have written of the TF Gear Poncho, explaining the total-protection nature of its material and design. Now I feel compelled to shout about the TF Gear 60” Brolly having sheltered under my own for more than a few nights this year.

Our weather has, generally, been good for some time – although August was like a mini-winter! Up until that month, and certainly since, the climate has been kind to those of us who willingly shun our beds in favour of a sleeping bag by the river. Fortunately, I have had no need to employ the over-wrap: my nights under the stars have merely been long and damp. I cannot then, in all honesty, sing the praises of the 60” Brolly’s stability or rain-repulsion qualities, though it is clear to anyone who has erected and used this superb refuge that those criteria would be well served.

For me, the TF Gear 60” Brolly provided a roomy yet cosy sanctuary from the damp and the night generally; there was sufficient room for the largest bed-chair (though I chose to sleep on the ground-sheet) and loads of space for one man’s gear, (personally, I prefer to use a brolly over a fishing bivvy because they are easier to transport) but even with active cooking-gear, this brolly would have accommodated and shielded a stove from all but the most awkward, ‘straight-in’ winds – largely thanks to the amply-proportioned wings at either side of the brolly entrance. With the wings (or side-flaps if you prefer!) level to the ground I initially perceived the entrance to be too low, but this was an illusion brought about, I believe, by a lifetime with brollies of standard size.

On entering my ‘cave’ I found little need to bend more than was necessary to effect a stoop – loadsa room! And as for stability, the six good quality pegs and two storm-rods made it patently clear that the TF Gear 60” Brolly would be going nowhere if a gale blew up – it hugged the ground like a limpet! With no centre-pole and an abbreviated rib-boss my 60” Brolly experience was a good one, and I can easily imagine the sheer luxury within once the weather really turns and forces me to use the over-wrap – bring it on!!

TF Gear DVD Big Carp Tactics with Dave Lane

Join Dave Lane on the banks of one of the most famous carp lakes in history, the prestigious Yateley Pads lake. Dave attempts to lure the elusive Pad lakes monsters, learn how to successfully target the largest carp in the lake on methods which are no so widely used. Joined by Total Carp editor Marc Coulson who gives a master class in chod rig fishing and shows you everything you need to know about this devastating presentation.

Get an exclusive first look at the exciting new carp fishing tackle Dave has been developing for TF Gear over the past 12 months. Highlights include Laney’s new long distance carp rods and watch in amazement as he erects his new Force 8 Shelter, the fastest shelter in the world, in under 10 seconds.

He reveals the new Hardcore Brolly System with its unrivalled luxury, versatility and stability – this is surely the ultimate all season brolly system. Including many other TF Gear products which are all available from Fishtec.

Look out for part two, three and four over the next week.

 

TF Gear Chill Out Onesie

The TF Gear Onesie is a hooded, one-piece, fleece suit that will truly keep the keenest deep winter carp specialist wrapped in a thermal second skin all day and all night.

You may ask yourself is it OK to wear a onesie? But for those anglers who spend nights on end in a cold fishing bivvy waiting for that one bite, you may want to think again and get one for yourself.

tfg chillout onesie TF Gear Chill Out Onesie

Field testing of the TF Gear Chill Out Onesie illustrated its outstanding insulating properties and incredible comfort, our testers have endured the coldest weather with ease. With no belts, buckles, gaps or joins the wearer enjoys complete freedom of movement and draft-free, whole body warmth. The TF Gear Onesie is an utterly superb sleep-suit, the perfect mid layer and a rather trendy outer garment.

Don’t deprive yourself of the best piece of winterwear you could wish for – invest in a TF Gear Onesie.

Available in sizes Medium through to XXL 

 

Dave Lane New Years Carp Fishing Video Diary

What could be better than fishing your way into the new year? Follow Dave Lane in his first carp fishing video diary of 2014! In the two part diary, Dave describes (again) the advantages of moving pegs when things aren’t really going your way.

There’s some great tips in both of these carp diaries, including how to  choose the correct carp setup and also how to detect if the fish are high in the water.

Part 1

Part 2

Check out the unbelievable underwater footage from Dave’s new GoPro Hero3+ Black Edition!

Carp Fishing Special from Dave Lane

Dave Lane has produced many carp fishing video diaries over the last couple of weeks and this is our favourite yet! Dave’s a phenomenal angler as many of you will know, catching plenty of carp using some of the best best carp fishing tackle on the market. But even the best make mistakes… Have you ever done this?

Dave Lane’s Carp Fishing Special

Dave Lane Carp Fishing Diary Late November 2013

Well, I reckon I made the right decision when I moved my fishing over to Monks Pit in Cambridgeshire.

Since that first successful trip when I managed to bank one of the three remaining forty pound plus carp in the pit that I hadn’t already caught, things have just got better and better.

The next week I only had a single night at my disposal but the fish fed like crazy and I ended up with an incredible nine carp on the bank, I almost made it to double figures but fish number ten fell off at the net just as I was packing up!

As if catching this amount of big carp wasn’t rewarding enough for thirty hours spent solidly casting, spodding, and playing fish, one of the fish was yet another of the trio I have at the top of my hit list. This time it was a fish known as Moonscale and he weighed in at forty three pounds, a top result and, realistically, that now leaves only the one biggest fish in the lake for the full set.

Moonscale Dave Lane Carp Fishing Diary Late November 2013

Since that trip I have had a further four visits and, although none of these trips has been quite as manic, I haven’t actually blanked yet, which a real bonus.

A couple of times I have taken it right to the wire, catching at the last minute to save a blank but even then, the stamp of fish has made it well worth the wait.

Just the other week I fished for forty eight hours without so much as a sniff and then, in the last two hours of the trip, I took fish of twenty four and thirty six pounds in quick succession.

A cracking looking 34 mirror Dave Lane Carp Fishing Diary Late November 2013

Most of the carp have been falling to the new Mainline Hybrid fished snowman style over plenty of free offerings and a bed of hemp, tigers and corn but I have had a couple on maggot and a couple on zigs.

It’s about this time of year, as the temperatures start to drop sharply, that the zigs start to produce a few fish and it seems as if the colder it gets, the better they work.

Luckily, at Monks, I can use four carp fishing rods throughout the winter and this allows me to try different methods such as zigs and maggots while always keeping at least two rods on my favourite boilie approach. I have had most of my biggest fish from this lake on boilies and I am confident that the biggest one will fall to this method in time, all I have to do is keep on persevering and hope the wheel of fortune spins in my favour before the winter is over and I move on to pastures new.

Check out my video diary here on the Fishtec blog!

TF Gear Thermo-Tex Gilet – Tackle Review

tf gear thermotex gilet TF Gear Thermo Tex Gilet   Tackle Review

I’ve been using the Thermo-Tex Gilet for around 7 months now. It’s remarkably lightweight when you take into account its tremendous thermal abilities. It’s extremely comfortable to wear too and allows plenty of freedom of movement, which to me is a real plus point. There is nothing worse than feeling like you’ve got a straight jacket on, even if you do need one!

On several evenings when I’ve been wearing this gilet from fishtec, I haven’t felt the need to pile on the usual extra layers of clothing. The gilet is superbly warm, which for some reason surprised me. I guess mainly because it feels so lightweight but that definitely belies its impressive thermal abilities. Certainly an item im glad to have in my coarse fishing gear right now.

It’s well made and I like the fleece hand warmer pockets, they keep your hands much warmer when that cold winds blowing. They also allow room for those odd bits and pieces anglers like to tuck away into every nook and cranny. There is also a side pocket next to the zip which is very useful for a mobile phone.

Overall I’m very impressed with this fishing jacket and to coin a phrase, feel that it does exactly what it says on the tin. It will be coming with me on all of my summer and winter sessions in future. It’s ideal on those summer evenings and mornings when you just need something a little extra over a shirt and in the winter it makes an excellent and very important under layer for when it gets really cold.

The TF Gear Thermo-Tex Gilet is available for just £29.99.

2014 TF Gear Babes Calendar

babe FB 1 2014 TF Gear Babes Calendar

Struggling to find a fishing related present for your hubby or partner this Christmas? We at Fishtec have the perfect gift. Ideal for hanging in the fishing room, garage, or ‘man space’, the 2014 TF Gear Babes Calendar is packed full of carpy fun and features beautiful women cradling large carp.

This is the second year TF Gear has put together a Babes fishing calendar, with 2013’s being a massive hit all around the country. I mean, what’s better than actually going carp fishing, or buying some carp fishing tackle than beautiful women holding carp?

Price: £7.99 

Order the TF Gear Babes Calendar here

For more previews like the below, join our Facebook Page!

babe FB 2 2014 TF Gear Babes Calendar

Miss February Preview

Do Perch Fight That Hard?

101020perciafluviatalis 288656652 Do Perch Fight That Hard?

Half a century wielding an expensive stick has rewarded me – at one time or another – with most of those delicious sensations a resisting fish can give: with the right rod and fitting line the roach has had me truly worried, 2lb mono cutting fizzy lines through the dross of a chocolate winter flow; tooled-up and less generous of spirit, teeth clenched and knuckles white, I’ve laid into distant carp and felt the awesome bulk move off like a locomotive. Tench, too, have torn me from my chair, their new-found authority still shocking and shaking my expectations of a round or two with a brown sugar bag. Pike? Them too: from the splashiest jack to the un-nerving power of a big fish determined to reach the snags. But perch?? Well, they kick about a bit, don’t they… they put up a ‘spirited tussle’, and even the 2-plussers only thump a few times before they’re in the net.

Last Sunday saw me acting on a telephoned tip-off: a boat-yard somewhere in the County of Norfolk, frequented – in the literal sense – by a notoriously stroppy owner predisposed to saying bugger-off, but I chanced it grabbed the fishing tackle with the prospect of a ‘fat footballer’… a big ‘stripey’ just too tempting to resist. Swinging out a five inch roach under a one inch bob-float, memories of vibrant, bristling scraps with perchlets and the better, livelier bouts with the two-pounders would have occupied my subconscious – experience teaches us what to expect, and in decades as an angler I’d never had a lob provoked by a really plump sergeant; for all his bombast and chutzpah, percia fluviatilis rarely grows big enough to really get the blood pumping…eh?

But today it was live-bait, and within half an hour the float went down, sharply, and with a little splash. Heading for the gloom of a barge’s hull, the float drew to a halt against the tightening line then eased toward the curving rod as the hook took hold. “Pike” said brother, Barry, and I probably thought him right; but on bringing the fish to mid-stream it bashed-out a most unfamiliar tune on my TF Gear Banshee float rods – not quite the theme from ‘Jaws’ but certainly something involving a little light cello and, perhaps, a hint of kettle-drum.

“More like a zander” I eventually replied “It’s certainly not a perch”. My suspicions were confirmed for me after four or five determined lunges brought the tip-eye down to meet the water then compelled the reel to yield a yard or two. On seeing the ripples flatten I just knew a bug-eyed ‘Zed’ was on the cards and I asked Barry to have the forceps handy.

After a long minute and a half, the fish was coaxed to the top of his world, there to reveal his true colours: bars of black on yellow-green, trimmed with scarlet and a crown of thorns!

Three and a half pounds doesn’t put a perch up there in the monster class, I know, and a fair few are caught every week, but this fish of mine ‘did it’ for me! Barry had already landed a couple of ‘twos’ so the morning was, at this precise point, rather ‘sweet’…but then the wholly predictable ‘bitter’ turned-up and read the predictable riot-act: I do wish these people would take a little time to compose something a little more original.

But I couldn’t complain too much: a personal best that had afforded me a brand-new fishing experience – a perch big enough to really fight!

Exclusive! 39lb Chew Pike!

During the summer of 2009 I booked a trip to Cape Cod to wrestle with the renowned Striped Bass. I booked this trip not knowing who I was going to be sharing this week with but upon arrival into Boston Logan Airport I met Russell Cowell from the Isle of Man. Along with Mike Green and Jamie Groom, Russell and I spent a fantastic week fishing all around the Cape Cod peninsular catching these magnificent Striped Bass.

We`ve all kept in touch during the last few years, sharing photos of our recent trips both home and abroad. In February 2013 Russell told me he really wanted to catch a pike on the fly and asked me if I`d be willing to guide him in the UK. I`m really no expert but I did suggest to Russell that a trip to Chew Valley at the end of May could be on the cards. We spent the next 4-6 weeks looking at the potential route from the Isle of Man and how we could arrange the flights to coincide with our journey to pick Russell up from the airport. After a few weeks of trying, Russell decided that as it was TT week on the Island and the flights to get back were going to be full, coupled with a flight into Liverpool and hiring a car he was going to leave it. No sooner had a read that e-mail I got another one saying, “4uck it, I`m coming, I said I will and I`m doing it” I rang him straight away to be sure he was happy to fly to Liverpool, hire a car to drive to Chew (5 hours?) and then do the same to get back. I booked the boats and the accommodation and soon enough I was up at 5am on the 29th May and on my way.

Russell was waiting at the Hotel for 8am and shortly after this Mike and Jamie arrived too. We all ate breakfast together and regaled a few old stories from when we met to set the tone for the next 2 days.

Mike and Russell partnered first and were out into the lake followed by Jamie and myself. The day started off very nicely for the first few hours, warm and sunny with a moderate wind. This disappeared at midday and the wind was howling and the rain made a soft appearance. The fishing was tough too, and between myself and Jamie we had just once fish, expertly boated by Jamie.

Mike and Russell however managed 3 fish. Russell has never been pike fishing before and to catch 3 fish on his first days fishing in poor conditions was a terrific achievement, especially as the fish were all caught on a fly. What Russell wasn’t aware of at this time, was that his first days fly fishing for Pike was about to be eclipsed by a day he will never forget…

We all got back to the boathouse after the first day and Mike Green gestured a “pint swigging” hand movement in my direction which I acknowledged with a bright eyed firm nod! We got back to the hotel and had a feast fit for a king followed by half a dozen pints of Cider!! Well, we were in Somerset, what else were we going to drink.

Russell and I were last to bed, we managed just one more pint before we vowed to go back to Chew with renewed enthusiasm.

The day started dark, windy and miserable but we decided to have a concerted effort on our first drift. I was flagging after the night before and elected to take a break rather than casting what felt like a chicken into a 30mph wind.

We moved around the lake a lot that day and tried some of the small bays for nothing other than a couple of follows and pulls. At around 2pm I said to Russell that if we`re going to catch a big fish it will be from where we first started fishing.

We slowly motored around to the area of the first drift and made a start… within literally a few minutes Russell yelled, ” I`m in, and it feels really heavy”. Every time line was gained the fished plunged deeper. The rod was bent double and despite being on the reel, the fish was taking every bit of line that Russell had previously gained.

We had shown the net to the fish on four occasions without success and we knew it was a good fish. Eventually, after a dogged fight, the fish was netted. I looked down in the net at the fish and said to Russell immediately, “mate, that`s a massive fish”. We both rolled the fish in the net and whilst I knew it was a “thirty” I didn’t want to jinx it so I said ” i reckon that must be about 28,29 pounds” Russell is no stranger to big fish and he estimated it to be 32.

Jamie arrived to weigh the fish after we`d taken a few photos and he said it looked to be around 34. After weighing the wet sling to zero the scales it was the moment of truth. Jamie held the face of the scales towards him and said we were all wrong. I have to mention at this point that the fish had lost some spawn during the photos and whilst being retained in the water, we didn’t feel it was appropriate to take the fish to land for weighing. The needle bounced between 39 and 42 pounds so being a conservative bunch we agreed that at 39lb she was a magnificent capture for an angler who had caught his 4th fish on only his second days pike fly fishing…

The rest of the day was just a formality after that capture. Russell managed to snag his Airflo Sixth Sense Di3 and break his rod into the bargain, do you think he cared?

Big Chew Pike1 Exclusive! 39lb Chew Pike!

Safely in the net!

Big Chew Pike4 Exclusive! 39lb Chew Pike!

39lb Chew Valley Pike

Big Chew Pike3 Exclusive! 39lb Chew Pike!

Back she goes, fit and healthy