Posts Tagged ‘fishing tackle’
Finally the weather has turned and spring has arrived, the fish have come out of winter mode and are now on the move. For a few weeks I’ve been looking for a venue (not too far away) that holds some big, good looking carp. After searching the web a friend put me on to Bears Lake in Burton upon Trent. Before any successful fishing trip you must research a water, going blind into something you don’t know usually means you’ll fall flat on your face so I and a friend went up to Bears for a recce and managed to get a few works in with the local bailiff who was more than helpful.
A week later we decided to take the carp fishing rods and venture back to Burton Upon Trent to try our hand at the Bears carp. Despite our efforts throughout the day we both drew a blank. I took the opportunity of our dire performance to walk around the lake, searching for any feeding activity and talking to the local anglers who seemed to be netting a few fish. After a few laps of the lake I was certain I’d found a few feeding fish and was confident that with the right tackle and approach I could get them.
A fortnight passed and I managed get some time to get out on the bank. On the Thursday morning the weather was relatively similar to that of the day we fished previously, so I took the 40 mile round trip to have another look around the lake and check on the fish I found previous, pre baiting some of the spots in mind.
As Bears Lakes is a day ticket and members waters, baiting one swim a couple of days previous could lead to disaster, so managed to pre bait three spots as I couldn’t be certain of the peg I wanted. When I arrived at the lake the sun was beaming down and the carp where all over the surface, I walked around to the first peg I fancied and a mid-teen swam straight in front of me and into the tree that overhangs that peg. I scattered around half a kilo of cell boilies hoping that they would feed and hold up under the tree. After waiting and watching the pre baited peg, I made my way around the lake and places some free offerings into another two spots. These other two spots held some fish, but nothing could keep my mind from that first peg.
After work that Friday evening I arrived back at the lake and was greeted with an almost free lake, other than the two bailiffs that were fishing. Fortunately the peg I wanted was free. Jordan (one of the bailiffs) informed me there had been fish all around that peg all day. After a quick look at the peg I couldn’t see any sign of the fish he’d mentioned, so I wandered around to the next peg and was astonished to see twenty or more carp in and around the tree!
To say I was excited is an understatement, I chose to set up on the peg, fortunutaly it was one I’d pre baited, and keep an eye on any feeding activity. Tactics wise my aim was to sporadically draw the fish from the far side of the tree rather than fishing over them and risk spooking the lot. After putting a some more boilies into the swim I set up both of my TF Gear Delta 3.25lb carp rods. On one rod I used my faithful fluorocarbon rig on a TF Gear weedy green lok down leader and a cell boilie on a hair rig. I positioned this right next to the tree, ahead of where the fish were mooching and heading towards. The second carp rod was set up with a solid bag which incorporated another weedy green lok down leader a size 8 wide gape hook and a Fluoro cell pop up, all of which I intended to throw out into open water, in case of any stragglers.
At 7pm, just an hour or so after pitching the rods and bait, the bobbin shot up and the bite alarm sounded. A beautiful Tench of around 4lb picked up the fluorocarbon rig next to the tree. After a quick snap I re-positioned my rod in that exact area, hoping to locate something bigger and carpier!
As the night grew on there were no other indications of bites, the fish I saw earlier seemed to be dormant, and so I climbed into my Force 8 sleeping bag hoping to get some shut eye. After the tench I doubted my chances of catching off the tree again as I thought any fish under there would have been spooked. At 11pm id dropped off for an hour so only to be woken by one of my alarms. I ran and picked up my right hand rod which was the same one that done the damage earlier on that evening and there was no movement; my first thought is that it had done me in the snags. I give the rod a few pulls and then I felt a fish pull back hard, it tried to pull me back into the tree but luckily my Delta XS out powered it and the fish slowly but surly come unstuck. The fish started to pull out into the deep margins and kept down, I was not scared of a hook pull as the nice progressive action of the rod cushioned all over the lunges.
A few minutes later I managed to tempt a gorgeous mirror over the landing net. I threw a clenched fist into the air with joy and Paul, the resident bailiff come with a helping hand. We pictured the 17lb 7oz fish then let it go, a beautiful fish to start my frequent carp fishing spell at Bears.
Bears Lake is noted for being a tough lake to fish and I was proud to net this magnificent fish. I continued to fish until 5pm on the Saturday with no more success but I managed to wander the lake to find a couple of areas where the fish were laying up, until next time, tight Lines!
Why not try your luck in one of our Facebook competitions? You could just net yourself something decent!
We’ve decided to offer our Facebook fans a great opportunity to WIN over £1000 worth of fishing tackle! All you need to do to be in with a chance of winning is:
Sign into Facebook > Go to one of the following Facebook pages > Like the Page > Share our competition!
To enter click here: Fishtec Coarse Fishing Facebook Page
For the Coarse and Carp anglers, we’re offering 3 sets of 3 TF Gear Project X carp rods, a new product we have recently launched and introduced to our range.
What’s so good about the Project X carp rods?
Each model combines raw power with subtle playing actions. Not only will you enjoy extra casting distance, you will benefit from the highest quality carbon construction, unrivalled balance and incredible sensitivity.
Delivering all the qualities and specification demanded from a top of the range carp rod, the Project X offers you the opportunity to experience superior accuracy, unmatched fish control and the versatility of a truly special rod.
To enter click here: Fishtec Fly Fishing Facebook Page
There’s been much speculation to how good the new Airflo Super-Dri Fly Line are, so we’ve offered 10 super-dri lines to ten of our lucky Facebook followers! If you like Fishtec Fly on Facebook, share the competition image to be entered into the draw!
About the Super-Dri Fly Line
The SuperDri technology has been developed for the serious floating line angler, featuring a friction reducing coating which lets the line glide through the rod rod rings and adds yards to your cast. The SuperDri’s coating gives you unparalleled floatation with the ability to repel water, dirt and surface scum better than any material in the history of fly lines.
To enter click here: Fishtec Sea Fishing Facebook Page
With plenty of fishing coming back into the shorelines and some monster Cod out in the deeps, what’s better than being able to catch these fish on a brand new multiplier reel? We’re offering 3 TF Gear Force 8 reels to three lucky Facebook fans!
About the Force 8 Reel
The TF Gear Force8 reels are designed and manufactured utilising the very latest CNC engineering and highest grade materials to create what we believe are without question the finest sea fishing reels available today. Tested and developed by top sea angler, Alan Yates, we can say these reels have been tested in some of the harshest conditions, and will confidently reel in almost anything you can stick a hook in!
Having now spent an entire season using this rod on my local Welsh rivers and somehow managing to land a fair few trout and grayling on it, I now feel qualified enough to give a proper review on this rod… not one based on a five minute session using the casting pool out in front of the office!
This particular model has been designed for modern nymphing techniques, primarily with a French leader, an indicator or a heavy bugging set up. The action is perfect… parabolic enough to flick a French leader with microscopic nymphs right across the river, but still able to pitch out a team of heavy 4mm tungsten beaded jigs or czech nymphs at short range into a heavy flow.
It also excels at playing fish as it flexes from tip to butt under load, so you have no worries about hook pulls in fast water or breaking off on light tippets. It’s a really fun fishing rod to use, you do get a great fight off almost anything half decent due to the soft playing action. However the power is there when you really need it , I managed to land a cracking wild brownie of 3.5 lb in a really heavy flow without breaking into too much of a sweat!
Although it’s a nymphing rod I’ve also used it with a 3 weight line casting dries at long range on big flats. It’s a very accurate caster for a 10’ footer and capable of producing some really sweet tight loops. When you are up to your armpits in the drink that extra length does really help, allowing me to keep the back cast high off the water and above the surrounding nettles.
What amazes me is the performance for the price. The ultimate river rod in my opinion was always the Sage SLT, a crisp, accurate casting rod which is light in the hand and performs with excellence. The Streamtec doesn’t have the hefty price tag of the SLT, but upon comparison in fishing situations there is hardly a difference other than it’s weight! The finish is great and well thought out, the matte non-flash blank and understated wood effect reel seat giving it a classy feel. The cork handle is also top notch for a rod in this price bracket… its only £109.99 !
This rod was so good I also invested in the 7’6 #3/4 model. This has also been a real peach of a rod. It’s the perfect toy for tiny brooks and mountain streams, being really soft, but still extremely responsive. It’s been fantastic fun tussling with 8 inch browns which do punch well above their weight on this little gem.
There are some competitor’s rods on the market for more than twice the price; in my eyes they are no better both in terms of finish and performance… all I can say is get one (or two!) of these for much less than the same money. They are an essential purchase for the modern river angler, along with the new Super-Dri fly lines!
View the Airflo Streamtec Fly Rod range from Fishtec
I’m just back from a fortnight in Gambia fishing the West African Beach Championships organised by Bernard Westgarth and his wife Barbara. I finished fourth with a last day draw finishing my hopes of winning, although my son, Richard took the Championship’s first place with three zone wins and a third which would have been virtually impossible to beat anyway. Second place went to Nick Westgarth, another youngster with a consistent performance included an end peg on the final day, which he used to perfection. Third was Sheerness pensioner and great friend, Roger Weeks who landed a 9lb butterfish on the last day to also win that days biggest fish prize.
During the trip I landed a number of big fish with a 13lb cassava and a 15lb sand shark amongst my best, not in the matches though, whilst Richard topped the 20lb mark in the match with a 23lb captain fish and then added a near thirty sand shark from a freelance mark close to the border of Senegal. Some say the fishing is not as good in Gambia as it once was, which may be true to an extent, but going on what I saw there are plenty of speedy giants to catch, especial at this time of year (April).
What was particularly pleasing for me was to see Richard catch his best two fish using a 15ft Force Eight beachcaster. He was a fan of the old Fox Matrix I designed way back, but I persuaded him to try the TF Gear version and it was a hit straight away, especially in terms of the distances he achieved with it. Like everywhere around the world long range is the get out of jail card when the going is tough, especially in match fishing conditions with those vital extra yards the bonus that so often win. One of the great things about a hot country like Gambia is that casting distances are dramatically increased by the hot air and the warmer oil in your reels – The skies the limit and there is nothing more pleasing to a shore angler than to see the lead and bait vanish over the distant surf line.
For details of Gambian fishing contact Bernard Westgarth at: www.fishthegambia.com E Mail: Bernard@fishthegambia.com
After from the Gambia the foreign currency is now directed at Portugal where I have the World Club champs at Granola in a matter of days. I am fishing for the Dover Sea Angling team and hopes are high despite two pensioners being in our team. After that there is the small matter of the Magrini Championships in Sardinia – Italians know how to put on an angling event and its hard to really get into the fishing because the organisation, HQ, food, banter and wine is so enjoyable. The three hour weigh in after midnight is a feature most fear if they blank because it’s read out load!
In both events I will use the TFGear Delta All Rounder with fixed spools and light mono line. Species are small with small hooks required and a delicate hook length (5lb), which has to be protected by a softer actioned rod. I also use a very light continental quiver tip because most of the fishing is at medium range. Yes the advert is true the Delta is my favourite sea rod, but I would add that I don’t use just one fishing rod all the time. The Delta is for match and snatching, the Force 8 for long range and doggie hauling and that apart there is spinning, LRF, mullet and boat fishing which all require a different action, length and rating.
Between the two Continental matches I have a DVD to make at my home venues in Kent for Sea Angler Magazine and TF Gear. It’s an instructional video – all you need to know about sea angling from the shore. Something of a challenge in an hour, but I am sure we can manage with the help of Sea Angler, feature writer Paul Fenech.
Here at home it looks like the winter has finally ending with some blossom on the cherries and the first peeler crabs likely to appear as I write. Spring codling, thornback rays and plaice are amongst the species turning up on the Kent shores, although most anglers will now be looking towards the smoothhounds arriving. Their presence on a host of summer venues really do make the summer the best time to fish for big fish nowadays. Forget about winter cod that are almost impossible to catch from the shore and head for a smoothhound venue in June. They are now all around the British Isles. Here are a few to try. The Lincs. Coast is a smoothhound boom area with Chapel St Leonards and Ingoldmells amongst the many hot spots. Into Suffolk and Orford Ness is the venue to head for there, whilst on the Kent coast there is Sheppey, Reculver, Sandown and the Dover piers. In Hants the Solent is smoothhound central with Selsey, Pagham, Bracklesham red hot. Into Dorset there is Chesil beach, whilst the Bristol Channel on both the England and Welsh side boasts a host of venue from Minehead to Barry. Over the Irish Sea check out Rosslare Point and Courtown in Wexford. Next on the Welsh side is Anglesey, whilst the species are now commonly found in Lancs (Gynn Wall). and Cumbria and they are staring to show north of the Solway too. Good luck and remember not to leave your rod unattended and to loosen the drag!
You can catch me on Facebook from time to time – I am afraid I am a bit of a wind up merchant and like to see if I can get a “bite” with my posts. Indeed if you need to contact me for a question or something important its best to e mail me direct on: firstname.lastname@example.org rather than use Facebook because I only check it when the mood takes me, whilst I work all the time on the computer.
Switch Rods have been growing more and more in popularity over the last few years, but why? Anglers are always looking for ways to make their limited days on the water easier and more enjoyable, this is where switch rods come in handy. Versatility and ease of use are the key features when it comes to switch rods, whether single hand overhead casting or double handed spey is the order of the day these fishing rods effortlessly hit the mark.
The extra length provide superior control over the fly line whilst also offering a buffer when using lighter lines. Employing the existing pedigree of the Airtec rods, Airflo’s range of 11′ 3″ Switch rods are lightweight, offer great performance and allow you to try out this great new technique without breaking the bank.
Some of you may think using a switch rod for anything other than light salmon or sea trout fishing may be obsered, but if you’re effortlessly throwing 30 yards of fly line with just one false cast, you may think twice! It’s for this very reason that switch fly rods are becoming more and more popular with anglers teaming their lightweight switch rods up with Airflo 40+ fly lines whilst fishing at their local small-water or reservoir.
Ideally used from the bank, a switch rod and shooting head combination can extremely rewarding in the sense of gaining distance. The low line weights and sensitive tips give brilliant control over your line when casting and retrieving, and also when playing fish.
The extended butt section and lengthened rod handle gives a well positioned casting style whether you’re looking to do some traditional spey casting, simple roll casts or overhead casting.
The Airflo Airtec Switch Rods are 11 foot 3 inch long with three different line weights, 6,7 and 8#. Ideal trout, sea trout and light salmon outfits. To get started, Airflo are also offering a FREE Forty Plus Fly Line with every Switch Rod! Price: £159.99 – See more here
Who knew that just having a brew could tell you all you need to know about the forthcoming weather? Did you ever think a warm milky coffee could have saved you a soaking on the bank or a day stuck on a boat in the middle of a flat calm lake?
Whether you’re looking for that perfect opportunity to break out your fishing tackle or any old excuse to get on the bank, try this nifty little tip to predict the weather for your next fishing trip.
Make a cup of coffee or tea, mixing it with cream or milk seems to make picking out the bubbles easier but a black coffee, tea or hot chocolate will also work fine.
Pour your coffee or tea into the cup and watch which way the bubbles head, if they move to the edge of the cup rather quickly make sure to take your sun tan lotion, peaked caps and cool bags! The theory behind this method is that high pressure will push the bubbles to the edge of the cup, which indicates a period of calm weather and clear skies.
On the opposite end of the scales, if the bubbles cling to the centre of the cup, low pressure is expected which typically brings unsettled weather, the type where you need to don your wet weather gear and hide in the bivvy!
You know, I could have retired a wealthy man long ago had I acted upon my initiatives as a council estate teenager and bonkers angler. Readers here will be unaware and equally unconcerned that it was I who invented the bivvy – among other standard items of fishing tackle which we all take for granted today.
Actually, there were thousands of us around the country, I’m sure, all inventing odds n sods and making innovations at that time of commercial innocence.
How many of us, years ago, sat fishing in a freezing winter side-wind and hit upon the idea of tucking a ground-sheet into the brolly ribs? Many, I bet, and some of us would have recognised the commercial implications but were just too young to do anything about it. I developed the brolli-camp idea for myself by purloining a huge area of green-camouflaged sacking from the back of a carnival float; next trip out, I used it to form a truly cavernous tent with my umbrella as the supportive centre-piece, but that night it rained stair-rods – and it hadn’t occurred to me that the camo might only be powder-paint! Next morning I found myself in what the Beatles called The Sea of Green… green sandwich box, green flask, green bait, green everything! A young Martin Gay turned up that morning and couldn’t stop laughing at what he’d found; decades later he still got enormous pleasure at reminding me of my blunder!
The monkey-climber, of course, started life – literally – as a stick-in-the-mud; the Fox-type wind-beating bobbin system grew out of an aluminium rod and Terry-Clip affair (you clipped it to the rod and the hinged 9” ‘swinger’ weighed down your line) and the run-clip was born as an elastic band and matchstick (It was equally effective!)
I used to make my own: ‘Vic Bellars’ tandem pike-hooks – one small and one large black-japanned eel hook whipped shank to shank; cigar tube pike floats, including leaded self-cockers; high protein bait – Whiskas and PYM, and loads of other stuff I can’t remember right now. So help me, please… what fishing tackle did you concoct in the garden shed?
Do you really know what’s out there? Did you really see that fish rise or was it a freak wave? Glare is a killer when it comes to fishing, wherever you are in the world. So cut it out and actually see what your missing!
Costa Del Mar Sunglasses are the most stylish and versatile fishing specks on the market, offering clear vision, reduced glare and comfort to any person who possess a fishing rod. With today’s technology and equipment Costa have been able to design a range of fishing glasses which not only look good, but perform to the highest level in every light condition or fishing scenario you will ever come across.
Featuring an impressive range of six lens colours and three lens types, we’re positive you will find a pair of Costa sunglasses to suit your fishing situation and will be a permanent addition to your fishing tackle.
Lens Colour Specification
Costa’s amber lenses offer excellent all-round protection from harmful UV rays and delivers the brightest field of vision which is developed specifically for sight fishing, driving and everyday activities where high contrast is needed.
The Sunrise are a specially developed lenses for high contrast, allowing maximum light transmission and enhanced depth perception to cut glare. Perfect for low light, to see more clearly during early morning or late afternoon prime, fishing hours!
Costa’s copper lenses simply cut glare and enhances contrast and colour providing eye comfort in any conditions. Developed for sight fishing, driving and everyday activities, you’ll be hard pushed to find a lens more versatile than these.
The Costa Green Mirror lenses are fronts on copper and amber base lenses with an encapsulation mirror front which offers enhanced visual acuity. Perfect for fishing inshore, along the flats or freshwater rivers and streams. Great visibility under trees.
Blue Encapsulated mirrors deliver superior contrast and colour in full sun while eliminating glare. Perfect for activities on open water, for the likes of Marlin, Sailfish or even large reservoirs whilst protecting your eyes from harmful UV rays.
Silver mirror lenses optimize light transmissions and enhance colours. Perfect for freshwater sight fishing or any outdoor activities with variable light throughout the day. Based on a Grey lens which is perfect for all round fishing situations.
Lens Type Specification
Choosing the correct lens type means you need to know where you’re going to do most of your fishing. Picking the correct lens that will perform in your intended environment is key to getting the highest performance out of your glasses.
580G: The clearest lenses in the industry, designed to block all yellow light, patented Costa technology.
400G: Constructed from LightWAVE glass which offers amazing clarity and durability. 20% thinner and 22% lighter than the 580G.
580P: The BEST plastic lenses available which repel oil and water and block the worst yellow light.
400P: Impact and scratch resistant featuring all the same technology and properties as the 400G.
Here at Fishtec we have just received our order of Costa Sunglasses, a range which we have chosen and said to be the ULTIMATE fishing glasses for the UK weather. Featuring their most popular glasses with a range of their best performing lenses. To view our range see here: Costa sunglasses from Fishtec
I am back home from the Irish Winter Beach Championships fished from the Wexford shoreline after a dismal weeks results and weather. Team mate Chris Clark won his section every day to win by a large margin – well done Chris, you should spend the money on some decent waterproof gear! Second was Scotsman, Kevin Lewis who piped Dublin’s Dave Roe on count back so it was the story of the Englishman, Scotsman and Irishman with Chris Clark taking home the 1000 Euros!
I must have upset the draw gods judging from my dismal finish in the pack of the pack, although I did win the second biggest round fish on day one, but that probably sums up my event, it was a 21cm whiting! Yes the Irish fishing on the Wexford to Wicklow shoreline has become tiddlers only and I blame catch and release with tiny hooks for doing the damage, plus of course lots of commercial fishermen.
Well done the organisers for keeping the event going, because the weather was atrocious with venues having to be selected for comfort more than the fishing. It rained all day on the second day and when I say rain, I mean stair rods continuously for five hours so when I drew a peg next to a stream that turned into a river on the third day I knew exactly what was in store. My advice to shore anglers in winter has always been to avoid areas where snow melt and rain enter the sea and avoid shallow beaches where the frosts has got at the sand. Well I didn’t want to fish where I drew, but such is pegged match fishing! The plus was that I wore a pair of Hardwear chest waders and a Delta Marine smock and stayed dry unlike many who ended the day like drowned rats.
Back home it is the season to be scratching with the shore fishing notoriously hard in February. The major species for many anglers are rockling, dabs, pin whiting and flounders – Not exactly awe inspiring and I can’t blame lots of anglers for shelving their rods until the daylight and sunshine returns. Time to top up the fishing tackle box etc and a trip to the tackle dealer or a web site, both will reveal lots of new tackle around. Check out some of my gear on: www.tfgear.co.uk or www.fishtec.co.uk
If you do carry on fishing and lots of freelance, club and match anglers do, then there are a few things you can do to improve your chances of catching something. First pay extra attention to your bait. A few white ragworm or maddies added to the hook can increase your bite ratio, whilst stale lugworm and sometimes shellfish, really comes into its own in and after stormy weather.
Perhaps the biggest tip I can give anglers at this time is not to cast too far. Most of the species around just love hugging the breakers and that lip or gully created by the low tide waves. A lob of 30 to 70 yards can often be all you need to reach those rockling, dabs, flounders, etc, although you also need to be aware that spring will kick start the fishing again as the light evenings extend and a ray, a spring codling or a bonus match winning dogfish could be the result of a longer cast.
February competitions include a few flounder events where a couple of fish can win some big money prizes. Events worth a look include:
3: Aberdeen thistle SAC open. Boundaries: Aberdeen south breakwater to Stonehaven harbour excluding piers. Fishing 9am until 3pm. Penn event. Registration Nigg car park from 8.30am. £10 entry 100% payout, 50% for heaviest fish, then 1st, 2nd and 3rd heaviest bag .after heaviest fish removed. Bob Blocksidge 07836646678 / 01358723198 or visit email@example.com
3: Pleasure Anglers and Kayakers Association Open Cod competition. Swansea breakwater. Fishing 9am until 1pm. Penn event. Meeting at Macdonalds, Fabian way 6.30am. 0792389088 also check web site firstname.lastname@example.org
10: Double Dragon RNLI Open. Amroth. Fishing 10am until 2pm. Penn event. 1st Prize £250. Book in from 8am Amroth Arms. Roger Harris, Amroth Arms 01834 812480
17: The Fountain Open. Seabrook and Hythe. Fishing 1pm until 6pm. £1000 1st. 200 peg limit. Penn event. Booking in from 9am at the Fountain Seabrook. Brian Barnes on 01303 260875
24: Hornsea SAC Mark Loudon Memorial Open. Penn event. Mark 07768342169 or John 01964 534245
Canterbury angler, Leigh Chapman with a coalfish from Courtown beach, Wicklow during practice for the Irish Winter beach festival.
10 year old Ryan Rogers from Whitfield in Kent with a 4lb 3oz codling he landed from the Admiralty pier at Dover his first and biggest!
The New Year is a great time to start match fishing, not only because most angling clubs restart their evening club match series, but because lots of anglers try their hand at the opens and entry numbers soar for the first couple of months of the year. OK, if you are not interested in competitive fishing and prefer to concentrate your efforts on catching bigger fish, then move down the page, if you are then here is some advice for those starting out.
Match fishing has become more and more competitive over the years, especially at open match level. Fishing Tackle, techniques and anglers have improved enormously and just as in most sports, winning is not quite as easy as in years past. This means that the novice or beginner starting out in competitions should really avoid the open events, especially the smaller open matches organised by matchmen for matchmen. If you want to fish opens then try the giant biggest fish contests where a greater element of luck is involved. For the beginner it is far better to start out at club level because with the thousands of angling clubs around the British Isles there is a lot of choice and many of the smaller clubs offer entry level angling. By that I mean competitions that contain anglers of an equal ability. Club fishing is more of a social occasions at many local angling clubs, competitive yes, but anglers are more likely to share knowledge or their fishing spot, a great place to learn the ropes.
Perhaps most important of all the skills required to be successful in competitions is knowing the venue and really only experience can teach you what is around at a given tide, time of year etc. Joining a club and concentrating your efforts on one venue will open your eyes to what is involved in solving the problems of fishing just one venue, let alone different ones. Undoubtedly learning to be successful will cost you money and its wiser to spend the smaller entry fees to club events to learn that spending a fortune on the more expensive opens. There will come a time when you think you are ready to compete in an open, especially one on a venue you have fished regularly.
FAVOURITE TERMINAL RIG
Staying with competition fishing this month’s favourite terminal rig has to be scratching booms. I am a big fan of the very fine wire Continental style booms that allow the angler to use light line snoods and small baits without them tangling. It’s a case of horses for courses and fishing for what’s around rather than a whole Calamari on a 4/0 Pennel rig. Booms allow the delicate presentation of small baits for small-mouthed species and that’s the key. Flatties and the many of the other species have a greater liking for small wriggly worms etc and these can be fished more efficiently on a small hook and light line so they appear as natural as possible to entice the smaller fish. Of course the element of strength has to be retained in rigs and gear so that should a bigger fish come along you can land it, but overall finesse is a vital tactic to catch the smaller fish at this time of year.
For those that soldier on regardless of season in the hunt for the bigger, better quality fish and don’t want to turn to match fishing then the alternative is to travel. Access to better fishing is far easier nowadays and it really is possible if you are willing to travel to find better fishing, even around the UK.
Most years one or two regions will offer bigger codling for the first few months of the year. These are where the year class of the codling is second, third or fourth year fish. This year Cumbria has a good head of bigger codling at the time of writing and that may be the place to head. Last year it was South Wales and the Bristol Channel, although there the codling have reached breeding size and moved away completely. Alternatively take to the boats because some of the far off wrecks around the UK will produce some giant fish in late winter, through February – My tip for a real lunker are the wrecks in the English Channel with the charter boats out of Eastbourne, Brighton and Newhaven the ports to head for.
A TIP FOR WOULD BE COD CATCHERS: The fast track to catching a giant cod is to take a trip to Norway this spring or summer to catch that lunker. North Norway offers the chance of a 40lb plus cod, plus giant coalfish, haddock and more to even the greenest novice, simply because they are there to catch. Contact Ian Peacock who organises fishing in Norway with Dintur
E Mail: Ianpeaock@dintur.co.uk
Tel: 0191 4472363
My annual trip to Gambia is looming. I am fishing the Gambian Beach Championships on the 11th to 14th April 2013. Unfortunately if you have not already booked a place you may be unlucky. Contact Bernard Westgarth on Tel 01325 720113 or E Mail: Bernard@fishthegambia.com
The event and the days fishing around it are my chance of a catching a bigger fish with captain fish and cassava the two species that are most likely to show. But my chances are not done after that because I have some big English and French carp to fish for later in the year and if that fails there is always a large lake rainbow or a bass later in the summer.
Yes I hedge my bets with the bigger fish during the year and don’t pin my hopes on cod alone. If you are struggling to land a biggy you should try it!
Wishing you all a Happy New Year.
Alan with a 3lb codling, typical New Year size. He caught it to win the Folkestone SAA pier Christmas competition.