Posts Tagged ‘fishing’
For all you Airflo fanatics we have now set up an Airflo Fishing page on Facebook!
To follow on from our buzzing and inviting Fishtec Fly page on facebook which hosts all out our new products from every supplier we deal with, the Airflo page will only host Airflo related products and information, making it easier and clearer to find what you’re looking for be it fly fishing tackle or blog posts!
What you’ll find on the Airflo Page:
- New products and releases
- Airflo Technologies
- Airflo Blog announcements
- Favourite fishing website
- Airflo First – Did you know Airflo did this?
- Pro Staff stories from around the world
- Facebook Competitions
- And much more!
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It’s been a bit of strange few weeks for me since catching that big leather over at Northants. I suddenly found myself without anywhere to fish, a situation I was neither familiar nor particularly happy with.
It would have been the ideal time to start on a winter water, getting a bait established and learning a bit about the fish movements etc while they were still active but as I had nowhere in mind or no tickets in hand I decided to visit a few of the places I have been meaning to try some carp fishing for ages.
The first one of these was my old mate Alan Taylors place over at Ecton, also in Northants.
The Ecton complex is an extremely pretty chain of lakes comprising of three syndicate and one private lake all of which are well established and have many islands and peninsula splitting them up and making them seem smaller than they actually are. As a result of this my first walk around the complex on the Monday morning ended up taking me five hours, mind you I was looking for signs of fish feeding and somewhere to actually angle so I was taking my time.
Eventually though I spotted a couple of fish rolling on the biggest of the lakes, in a channel between a shallow bar and long island, and I decided to load up the carp barrow and make my around to there.
The swim looked hardly fished, probably due to the fact that it was the opposite side of the lake to the track and the swims on the track side could be fished practically from the car.
The bar in front of the swim almost reached the bank and it ran parallel to the bank, a bit like a road going through the swim, the water on top was very shallow so anything hooked would probably have to be netted by wading out to the drop off.
I set up all three rods with yellow pop-ups and fanned them out over the thirty yard gulley between the end of the bar and the long island that made a backdrop to the swim, scattering a fair spread of boilies over the entire area.
Any fish moving through would come across bait and hopefully stay around long enough to find a hook-bait as well.
I waded the landing net out and propped it up on a long bankstick, just on the drop off where the gully started as I was sure this was where I would end up netting the fish but, just to be sure, I set up a second net on the bank as a fail-safe. I always carry at least two nets with me and quite often three, I think they are such an inexpensive item compared to a lot of the kit we carry and having the option to split your rods up in adjacent swims or either side of some bushes etc, improves your chances of multiple catches no end. I love to have one rod on its own waded along the margins with its own net and fishing far more effectively with a short line between the rod tip and the bait.
Anglers who don’t use bivvys or any kind of shelter, regardless of how short the session could be caught out with this temperamental British weather… Kit and clothing will take the brunt if not kept safe and dry. With everything set and the bivvy erected I sat back to wait but as soon as I did the first rod was away. A lively scarp, a bit of well-planned wading and I was soon waddling back with a common of around eighteen pounds in the net, perfect!
Later that evening I had to repeat the whole affair again, only this time it was a mirror of similar size. I was glad I’d had the little bit of practise in the daylight though because I could have easily come unstuck as I stepped off the bar into the slightly deeper margins close to the bank.
The swim died a death after this second fish but I suppose all the paddling about couldn’t have helped much still, two fish from a new water in a one night session wasn’t a bad result and I drove home a happy man.
I’ve not done much Catfish fishing over the past few years and my PB was only 15Ib 8oz so after an offer from Mike Morrison of Manor Fisheries to fish on the Catfish Lake I couldn’t refuse.
Heading down to the lake I must say I was very excited like a kid at Christmas, the fact is this lake holds catfish to over 50Ib and the thought of a big moggy just got the adrenaline pumping. I was surprised to find that there was nobody fishing any of the lakes which allowed me time to get accustom to my surroundings and a free chose of any swim I fancied. After about 30 minutes, no tell a lie 5 minutes because of excitement I settled on a swim facing the island.
I used my tried and tested coarse fishing tackle with a set of Delta XS rods in a 3lb test curve. The TF Gear V8 reels with a 15Ib mainline, this should be up to the job and little did I know they would be tested, a dumbell rig with lobworms as bait on the surface was my first choice of rigs along with a running ledger with Cotswold Bait Creations 22mm Crab pellets being the second. Both rigs had an eagle eye hook size 2 tied with 70Ib braid.
I strategically placed the pellet rod in the middle, between the island and the margin, hopefully to intercept any fish coming from depth. The surface worm rod was placed under a tree next to the island to target fish coming around the island following the flow. I sat down for a cup of tea and by the time the water had boiled the worm rod was away, left right forwards backwards it was a crazy fight but it wasn’t long before it came in. On the scale it read new PB, 15Ib 8oz so before I had even started my PB was broken.
My confidence was high but the night only produced a few aborted takes so come dawn disappointment had set in, that was until the alarm screamed in to life, a battle of the giants had commenced. With every yard of line gained the fish would take five and it was ten minutes in to the fight that my arm started to ache but I knew it was a big fish so I couldn’t let up the slightest. The head came to the surface and I wasn’t sure on the size, that was until I lifted the net only to see that the fish was half in half out, it did go in eventually and looking down at the fish I had to sit down and compose myself before dealing with it. On the unhooking mat the size was amazing I’d never seen a fish so big, (only on tv) but there it was and I was the one who had caught it, the scales read 38Ib 4oz so it was a new PB for the second time, Fantastic.
The day was extremely hot at around 27 degrees C and you would have thought the Catfish would have fed but I didn’t get a bite all day until dusk which to be honest I wasn’t really bothered about as I was still buzzing about my new PB. I wasn’t expecting much on the last night but I didn’t get any sleep as run after run came my way with a multitude of double figure Catfish hitting the bank. The last one was slipped back at dawn and I really needed some sleep but didn’t want to reel the rods in so I left them out just in case. On my bedchair and in the sleeping bag I was nice and snug and ready for some shut eye when the alarm sounded… bleep… bleep… Blurry eyed I stumbled to the rod and bent in to the fish only the be greeted by heavy resistance and a fish trying to go around the island. I must say the Delta XS rods really surpassed all my expectations and handled this and all the other Cats with ease but this Cat wasn’t giving up and half an hour into the fight it was still going strong but with time and patience it was in the net, just. Now I thought that the 38 was big but this was bigger and my scales bottomed out at 40Ib’s so with nerves shacking I borrowed some scales from another angler and they read 42Ib 8oz. I couldn’t believe it I had broken my Catfish PB for the third time in one session.
A real red letter day and it really has given me the bug for Catfishing so I’ll be trying to go a lot more but I have a long way to go to beat my new PB.
Till the next time tight lines and best fishes…
Whilst out on the water your safety is always the highest point on your priority list, other than catching fish, right? But when accidents occur your waders may only be your only chance of surviving! Keeping safe and catching fish, right?
There is much speculation over the safety of chest waders, fishermen have many different theories to what happens to them when they fall in the water whilst wearing them. I for one think waders are your best friend when out on the bank or after an accidental slip!
One important thing to know is that if you fall unexpectedly into a river or lake, your waders will fill with water but will not drag you down. Your weight in waders, even when full of water will be the same of the water around you. Water isn’t heavier than water. The only thing that may add to your weight is wearing several layers of clothing.
Your goal is to get out of the water safely without any injury. If falling into running water is your main worry, just lay on your back and assume the armchair position with your feet facing downstream, this will prevent any injury from rocks or trees and keep the air inside your waders. This way you can also see where your heading and if there’s any slacks or exit points ahead.
Still-water would seem easier to negotiate if the dreaded happens, swimming is easier as there is no flow to compete against and the shore or boat won’t be too far away. Hopefully other anglers will come to your assistance, but keep your cool and gently make your way back to your the pontoon.
Secondly, anglers think if you were to unexpectedly fall into a lake, your waders will fill up with air instead of water and flip you upside down, legs in the air and head down. Kind of like a swan searching for food! This, however, has been tested in pools from jumping head first off a platform and even though waders do fill up with air, the person is quickly righted and lies flat on the water. Again, keep your legs up and lay on your back and the excess air will push out relieving itself.
One great addition to your waders would be a wading belt, not only does it make you look a lot better but prevents water from rushing down your legs if you fall in. It also traps air to help float. A Wading staff is also a great help when crossing a fast or deep pool, coloured water can impair an anglers vision and that one rock may cause a slip! That may swing you next time you visit your local fishing tackle shop.
Waders, however, should never be even contemplated as a replacement for a lifevest or inflatable jacket.
With the Airflo World Bank Masters Individual Competition off to a flyer, the number of qualifiers for the final is rising by the day. Following the previous 23 people, a further 24 have qualified in the past month, to secure place within the Final which is to be held at Elinor, 20th May. Well done to all and good luck in the final!
Aldin Grange – 18/03/12
This heat was fished with clear skies and crystal clear water. Lures took the early fish with small buzzers and even dries fished on fine tippet material taking fish in the later sessions. Former England International Andrew Scott took 1st place to qualify for the final with 9 fish
Woodford – 18/03/12
Darren Haggan romped away with the Woodford heat with 17 fish. Lures working well early on then a more imitative approach later saw Darren win by 11 clear fish. Harry McAteer (snr) came 2nd with 6 fish.
Selmuir Fishery – 18/03/12
Alec Bowler and Andy Dunn both caught 10 fish at Selmuir to qualify for the final with Alec pipping Andy on the points system. Slow deep lures was the approach here as fished stayed deep in the cold conditions. Several double figure fish were caught and safely returned.
Elinor – 25/03/12
46 people fished this heat making it the biggest in the competition. Bright sun and calm winds made it a difficult day as the fish moved to the deeper water. Elinor is prolific for buzzers and damsels and this proved the case on the day.
Harvey Mobbs in his first ever competition won it with 7 fish, taking most on buzzers fished static. His fishing partner, Adam West coming 2nd with 6 fish, also his first ever competition. My dad made an appearance and came in 5th ensuring a ‘Barr’ will be fishing the final, again buzzers and damsels taking his 6 fish haul. Top 9 qualifiers were
Harvey Mobbs, Adam West, Brad Gifford, Roy Swinfield, Bob Barr, Ian Pow, Tim Joyce, Matthew Tuck, Geoff Makin
Glen of Rothes – 01/04/12
Stuart Montgomery won this heat with 11 fish despite Paul Sharp also qualifying in 2nd with 12 fish. The fair scoring system ensured Stuart came out on top for a slightly better consistent catch rate across the pegs.
Markle Fishery -
This was fished in bright and very cold conditions. Neil Barrett coming out on top with 5 fish and reaching the final.
Treetops – 15/04/12
Rob Allen, Chester had 3 fish all caught on cats whisker one from Loch pool and two from Badgers Sett pool.
Godfrey Hulse, Frodsham killed 3 fish totalling 7lbs 11ozs and returned 3 fish, his best 3lbs 9ozs caught on a damsel from twin islands pool.
Eric Croft, Bromborough, killed 3 fish weighing 7lbs 3ozs caught on cats whisker from the loch pool
David Hoppe, Walsall killed 3 fish weighing 6lbs 14ozs and returned 2 fish
David Chamberlain, Holywell killed 3 fish the best weighing 2lbs 4 ozs from twin islands pool on a damsel and returned 2 fish
All others caught fish, the eighth Phil Jones, Caergwrle, caught one fish and returned it.
Fishing on Garnfrwdd seemed to pick up throughout the day, with anglers who were struggling taking fish late on as the weather broke. Garry Cullen took 13 fish to land first place closely followed by Chris Jones, also taking 13 fish to net second. Most fish were caught using fast intermediate fly lines and lures. Trevor Davies took the best fish of the day, which was said to be over 6lb.
It’s been 30 years since Benson & Hedges first held this prestigious International six-man team event and to celebrate this impressive milestone, for this year only there will be a separate ’wildcard’ final held at Grafham water.
This year a two-day wildcard Final at Grafham Water held on the 18&19th September will see 17 teams who have not qualified for the regional finals will be drawn and invited to take part. A couple of day of chasing Meesy’s shrimpers, what could be better?
Sponsors of the past 4 years, Airflo, have kindly agreed to sponsor both events with some of their top quality fly fishing tackle.
Last weekend saw the first few regional heats take place, Friday 13th at Llandgfedd reservoir (Welsh Heat) and Saturday 14th at Chew Valley (Southern Heat).
Llandegfedd Heat 13th April
Llandgfedd reservoir in south Wales held the first Welsh regional heat. Most of the 36 anglers on the lake managed to reach the target of 4 fish and got onto catch and release. In total 36 anglers took 280 fish giving a rod average of 7.78.
Top angler on the day was Spence Williams of the Welsh Crunchers who caught 16 fish for a total weight of 18lb 1Ooz.
Best Fish went to Rob Honour of Margam Fly Fishers which weighed 2lb 4 3/8oz.
Chew Valley 14th April
Chew Valley reservoir also fished exceptionally well with a high percentage of anglers ‘bagging up’, reaching their 8 fish limit. In total 42 anglers took 323 fish giving a rod average of 7.69.
Top angler on the day was Andy Cotton of Team Snowbee who caught 18 fish for a total weight of 25lb 9oz.
Best Fish went to Ali Munn of BRFFA Emergers which weighed 4lb 14oz.
Congratulations to all teams which managed to successfully qualify this weekend to the next round, and good luck to those who are yet to fish. Keep an eye here for more results over the coming weeks.
Chris Griffiths had a fantastic opening week at Laroussi banking a stunning 72lb mirror plus back-up fish of 47, 38, 48, 45, 40, 25 plus a common of 25lb. Chris’s comments;
“A 72lb mirror – wow! I still can’t believe it! We arrived at the lake to be greeted by owner, Mehdi, who took us round the lake, gave us some good tips, then left us to it. We had a fantastic week and we will definitely be back every year… we can’t thank you enough for such a great week. I baited up little and often & bright coloured pop-ups worked well. Like Mehdi says this isn’t an easy lake to fish but work hard and you’ll get good results.“
Carp Fishing in France at Laroussi
Since my last Fishtec blog in autumn, my fishing became very disjointed from October onwards and only really came back to normal in February. The main reason was a succession of health issues within the family, which saw me missing a lot of fishing and only going locally for a few hours when I could get out. Consequently, I was never able to get a proper campaign underway and the results suffered as a result.
The main target of my river fishing was the upper Warks Avon near my home, principally because it is so close and I could be home quickly if need be. Unlike the middle to lower stretches, the chub and barbel of the upper river are fairly modestly sized, 5lb chub and 10lb barbel not being that common, this looked to be the perfect place for a few short coarse fishing sessions. So I made those two weights my initial targets and would go from there. My first few trips produced a few barbel to just over 7lbs and chub to about 4lbs, but the fishing was very slow at times. Blanks were common. Then, in late November, I had my biggest Avon barbel of just over 9lbs plus a chub of 5lb 4ozs ten minutes later. Obviously, these are quite modest fish by Ouse standards but I did feel that I was getting somewhere. Over the next couple of weeks I had another two small barbel, but struck a purple patch with the chub, taking three more five pounders on the bounce. That made four 5lb plus fish in a few weeks and, according to regulars who have fished the stretch for years that is very unusual.
Just after Christmas, I was fishing the lovely crease swim where I had taken my most recent 5lb chub. A large near bank rush bed projects five yards out from the bank, throwing the main flow across to the far bank and creating a really pronounced midriver angled crease. At a steady 5ft depth and smooth gravel bed it is a perfect set up for chub and barbel. I was fishing an 18mm boilie, with a PVA bag of broken boilie pieces impaled on the hook on each cast. My first cast was made around midday but it wasn’t until nearly dark that I had my first serious indication. I don’t count a kamikaze 12oz chub that nearly choked itself on the boilie in mid afternoon! A vicious pull had me on my feet and I soon realised that this was another chub, but what a beauty. It weighed 5lb 7ozs, another very big fish for the Upper Avon. It was my biggest Avon chub by a couple of ounces.
Ten minutes after the recast, I was in again and this time it was obvious that I was connected to a big barbel. That fish gave me a memorable scrap, making the clutch scream more than once, and I was soon netting my first Avon double figure barbel. It weighed 11lb 5ozs and I was absolutely over the moon with it.
After those fish, with all family worries now behind me, I was able to resume my love affair with the Great Ouse. Like waters everywhere, it was painfully low at the back end of the season, and four trips to a stretch where bites are always few and far between, but the fish are big, saw me averaging but one bite a day. And a day means fishing from about mid morning until well after midnight. The previous season I had taken my 7lb 13oz personal best chub from the same stretch, and I was never able to come close to that this time. In all, I landed eight chub, which comprised a baby of 4-12, four more five pounders to 5-15 and a top three of 6-1, 6-2 (featured below) and a 6-6.
Most pleasing was a final session barbel of 13lb 6ozs, my first barbel from the stretch for three years following the attentions of otters.
As well as the chub fishing, I also had two sessions at the perch stretch where my 5lb pound fish was taken in 1999. Sadly, that has also been badly affected by otters and, although there are still big perch to be caught, the numbers have been drastically diminished. Apart from a solitary small perch, all I caught on my lobworms were average chub and a small pike.
I can look back on the season just ended as one of the most difficult I’ve ever experienced, for several reasons, and in some ways I was glad to see the back of it. Now, after two weeks off, I’m planning some tench and bream fishing, commencing next week. The water has produced tench to 11lbs plus and bream to over 16lbs so I’m hoping for some exciting fishing. I’ll let you know how it goes.
Humans have improved bivvy building from low-tech foliage to high-tech tents, but the animal kingdom has its own master masons, carpenters and weavers to rival and exceed our species achievements.
Read on to discover the secrets of the best bivvy builders in nature.
Few animals are as industrious as the beaver. Its lodges often have two rooms; a drying chamber and a family room and entrances are underwater to provide protection from predators.
Before it builds the lodge, the beaver first checks that the water is deep enough; if not, it builds a dam. The animals first divert the stream to lessen its flow and then drive wooden stakes into the river bed. Obtaining timber is no problem for a beaver, its sharp teeth and powerful jaws make chopping trees down, a piece of cake. Once the superstructure is in place, the gaps are filled with anything the beavers can get their paws or teeth into.
Master engineers – in fast flowing waters – beavers build curved dykes that are thicker at the base than the top and angled upstream. Just like us in fact.
Long before humans invented air con, the humble termite had it sussed. Relative to its size, this humble insect builds the biggest and most sophisticated structure of any creature on earth.
Termite mounds are constructed by worker insects in the colony by mixing saliva with mud, masticated wood and faeces. The resultant construction is as hard as concrete. Hot air rising inside the mound draws air through the many subterranean chambers helping to keep the colony cool.
Because termites burrow to considerable depths, in Africa, metallurgists analyse the composition of mounds to determine whether or not there are gold deposits lying beneath the earth.
Wasps buzzing around during early spring are young mated queens that have made it through winter hibernation. Mating will have occurred the previous autumn and the sperm stored in a dormant state, inside the female. Awakened from her slumbers the wasp looks for a suitable nesting site.
Once found, she makes a simple paper nest of hexagonal chambers, about the size of a walnut. Into this, she’ll lay her first batch of eggs. Once enough sterile female workers have been born, the queen is free to concentrate solely on reproduction. As the numbers grow, so the nest is enlarged.
A single queen can produce a population of several thousand. Once her sperm supply begins to dwindle, the queen lays eggs that produce fertile male and females which leave the nest in search of mates. So the cycle of life begins again.
Busy bee bivvies
Honey bees colonise caves, rock crevices and tree hollows. They line the entrance with a resinous substance called propolis and hang their wax combs in parallel rows, suspended from the top and sides of the space. Bees move within the hive via small passageways around the sides of the combs.
Unlike wasps nests which generally last for just one season, bees will occupy the same space for several years. To keep numbers at a manageable level, the colony will split. A swarm of bees including a new queen, separates from the hive and flies off to begin again somewhere else.
Spider silk bivvies
Stronger than steel and with built in elasticity, it’s no wonder that scientists are examining the structure of the silk used by spiders to construct their own webs. The silk is produced by the spider’s spinneret glands and several different types can be produced by the same insect.
There’s safety line for abseiling, sticky silk for catching flies and fine wrapping silk. A single spider may be able to produce up to eight different threads. Spinning a web is nature’s way of cutting down the amount of energy expended by the spider in pursuit of its prey.
A considerable amount of protein is expended during construction of a web, but the spider is the ultimate recycler, eating its own web to recoup the nutrients before building a new one.
Targeting your intended quarry can sometimes be mind numbing as fish often become unresponsive. Many reasons cause fish to not feed throughout the day, fishing pressure or plenty of active food source available underwater can sometimes deter fish from feeding on your ‘patch’ its then your fishing tackle needs to be modified or another species could be on the cards.
It’s all about knowing when to move and where. Scott Cordingley explains his preferred method of targeting Carp, Perch and Roach! Check out his most recent coarse fishing outing.