5 Top Tips For Keeping Your Bivvy Warm In Winter

With winter at it’s worst keeping warm in your bivvy whilst waiting for that illusive run is key. Our tips explain how you can keep yourself comfortable in even the harshest conditions!

Tip 1. Insulate your floor – the ground is your worst enemy in winter. Moisture, cold and damp rises from the floor up. Always use a groundsheet, and if you can layer the floor of your bivvy with an insulator such as an old piece of carpet or a thermal blanket. You can also strategically place items of luggage around key areas of your bivvy to keep drafts down.

All set up for winter angling!

All set up for winter angling!

Tip 2. Keep dirt and moisture out – Ensure you keep your muddy and wet boots outside your bivvy. A bivvy mat really comes in handy for footwear storage and to help rid any excess dirt or mud.

Bivvy mat

Bivvy mat – a winter carpers best friend

Tip 3. Heating – Many anglers are using bivvy heaters in order to stay warm in winter. When using heaters, safety is a major concern as carbon monoxide poisoning is a real threat. Some of these, like the candle powered Nash bank Life heater are perfectly safe and easy to use. A hot water bottle is another essential, again with no safety risk.

Nash bank life bivvy heater

Nash bank life bivvy heater

Tip 4.  Select your swim with care – Swim choice and the positioning of your bivvy within it are a major consideration. Unless it is the lake ‘hot spot’ a very exposed swim with the wind howling onto it may not be the best choice. A sheltered swim may also be a good spot to find carp holding in a thermal refuge. Make note of where the wind is blowing and angle the front of your bivvy away from any prevailing cold winds. Also make use of any trees and vegetation in your swim that could give you a wind break or potential shelter from rain.

Tip 5. Clothing and sleeping bags – Your own body heat goes a long way so ensure you have the correct thermal gear for the job. 4 and 5 season rated sleeping bags are a must. A good bedchair cover is another addition that you should not be without. Thermal underwear, hoodies and a waterproof jacket are also ‘must haves’. A great bit of winter kit for sleeping in is the extremely warm TF Gear onesie.


The TF Gear Chillout hoody – perfect for cold weather carping!

For more warm clothing tips, including layering, check out our blog post here.

Top Baiting Methods & Fishing Gadgets to Feed Your Swim


Image courtesy of Dom Garnett

There are lots of methods to feed your swim when fishing, but which is the best for your next session? From the good old catapult to the revolutionary new TF Gear Air Bomb, Dom Garnett takes a look at some of the best devices to buy and most innovative ways to bait up.

Being able to feed your chosen fishing spot accurately can make a huge difference to success. Do it right and you’ll stack the odds in your favour. Do it poorly and it’s not just bait you’ll scatter everywhere; the fish might also end up miles from your hook.

At shorter range, or for small helpings of bait, the angler can obviously throw it in or use a swimfeeder or PVA bag. But when it comes to putting a pocket of bait on a gravel bar at 70 yards, or getting free boilies close to snags, what’s the best way to feed? Here are some of the best solutions, complete with the pros and cons of each.

Feeding your swim with a catapult


Models such as the Korda Katapult (£14.99), above, are a quick, hassle-free way of baiting up.

Catapults come in various shapes and sizes and are excellent for projecting freebies beyond throwing range. Some are ideal for small baits and accuracy; others have special pouches and thicker elastic to launch a ball of groundbait or cluster of particles quite a long way.

Pros: Catapults are cheap and with a bit of practise you can be very accurate. Perfect for short to mid range.
Cons: At longer range, catapults get less practical. Accuracy goes down and you might fall short or rap your knuckles.

TIP: For maximum catapult precision, try “locking” your arm straight and holding the catapult on its side. Softer pouches can be gently squeezed for tighter bait placing.

Feeding your swim with a throwing stick


Old school they might be, but the TFG Firestick (£9.99), above, project boilies a heck of a long way with impressive accuracy. Do pick the right model to match your typical boilies sizes.

A favourite old school carp fishing device, the throwing stick turns you from noddy into baiting ninja… well, with a bit of practice. Various models are available and they do a grand job of peppering freebies around your baited rig. And it’s undeniably good fun too.

Pros: The baiting stick allows you to launch boilies further and more accurately than you could ever throw them by hand.
Cons: Limited to boilies and similarly aerodynamically shaped baits. Only introduces baits one at a time, so not ideal for heavier baiting up (you could be there a long time!)

Feeding your swim with a spod


Korda’s Skyraider Spod (£7.50) is ideal for heavy baiting at distance.

The spod is a castable bait funnel that’s rigged up to a heavy carp rod (or indeed a dedicated “spod rod”). They have a fair capacity and are popular with carp and specialist anglers who like to introduce a substantial bed of bait. Although not the most subtle way to feed, the spod gets a lot of fish food out there fast.

Pros: Accurate and ideal for long distances and large amounts of bait. Quicker than most other methods when you want to really build up your feed. Works with any kind of bait you can fill it with.
Cons: Tends to require an additional, heavier rod. Creates a lot of disturbance on impact, which could scare off the fish for a while (less of a problem on longer sessions than quick trips).

TIP: Mix up some groundbait and add a little layer on top of each spod full of feed before each cast; this stops your boilies, particles and other bits spraying out on delivery.

Feeding your swim with a spomb


Want to bait accurately at range without the hassle of carrying an additional heavy “spod rod”? The spomb (from just £9.99) is just the thing!

The spod’s baby brother, this bait rocket style device is a similar concept but delivers smaller amounts of bait more tidily. It’s just as accurate and makes child’s play of getting a decent bed of bait out there. With a trigger in the nose that makes this special bait capsule split on impact with the surface, they spill less of your free offerings mid-cast and are easier to retrieve than a spod.

Pros: You can usually cast a spomb on your normal rods, without having to pack a special “spod rod”. Easy to use and very accurate. Less disturbance than a spod.
Cons: A limited load capacity means that the spomb isn’t as quick as the spod when it comes to introducing larger amounts of bait.

Feeding with the TF Gear Air Bomb

The Airbomb from TF Gear

TF Gear’s Air Bomb (£13.99), above, looks to be a real game changer this year. The best solution so far for baiting up at distance.

Carp and specimen anglers are already getting excited about the huge potential of this clever new device. It is cast on a rod and line, much like a spod or spomb, but could well eclipse both. With a rocket-shaped profile, the Air Bomb will reach huge distances. But here’s the interesting part: these gadgets actually open in mid-air when the angler brakes the cast. The result? A lovely spread of bait without as much fish scaring commotion.

It works by stopping short of the mark to “fire” the bait forward, so there is also little risk of losing the Air Bomb. And while your bait will be sprayed a little wider than say a bait boat or PVA bag, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. This is especially true on busy waters where carp grow wary of finding conspicuously neat helpings of food every weekend.

Pros: Easy to use and casts miles. Big payload like a spod, but creates much less disturbance. Better for getting bait into and under cover of trees and bushes, as the angler stops the device short to “shotgun” the bait into position. Little risk of losing it. Brilliant for surface baits, such as chum mixers and bread.
Cons: Not quite as tight baiting as a spomb or baitboat.

The best way to see what all the fuss is about is to read our recent blog post or watch the YouTube video here.

Feeding your swim with a bait boat


For distant or awkward swims, it doesn’t get much more precise than a bait boat, such as the Angling Technics ProCat Mk3 (£475.00), above.

Love or hate them, the bait boat is about as accurate as feeding gets without actually swimming out there yourself and delivering the bait on a tray! Critics may scoff, but anglers use them to introduce bait and position their rigs in the trickiest of swims.

Pros: Incredible accuracy, with the ability to put your rig right in the middle of the feed too. Excellent for awkward and distant spots.
Cons: The most expensive baiting aid on our list by some distance. Banned on some waters.

Further reading…

Need further advice on how to bait for success on your next fishing trip? It’s well worth keeping an eye on the Fishtec blog for expert tips and advice every month, as well as our archives. Previous posts have included our guide to Cracking Carp Baits, Dave Lane’s Guide to Particle Baits and Top 10 Ways to Feed Your Swim More Effectively.

Most wanted fishing gifts this Christmas

Fishing Christmas Gifts

Fishing gifts for Christmas
Image source: Dasytnik

For anglers who want an instant Christmas wish list or for non-anglers looking to buy a gift for a fishing enthusiast – we have the answer.

We asked our fishing community what gifts they most wanted this Christmas and we had over 1,000 responses. The results are below and there’s a gift for a variety of budgets and fishing styles. Here is the definitive Christmas gift list for people who love fishing:

Carp and coarse fishing Christmas gifts

There’s an abundance of carp and coarse fishing gear to choose from but here’s the most wanted this Christmas:


Fly fishing Christmas gifts

Here’s a selection of gadgets, garments and gear our fly fishing fraternity want the most:


Sea fishing Christmas gifts

The most wanted sea fishing gifts are perhaps predictably very practical:

Shopping for something specific? Browse our full range of fishing tackle online or give us a call on 0871 911 7001.

Obscure & Unusual Flies

Box of artificial flies

Have you got any unusual flies in your box?
Image: Shutterstock

When it comes to fly patterns, the possibilities are endless and the choice can be overwhelming.

So it’s no surprise many anglers stick to tried and tested patterns, but are they missing out?

We asked some of the best fly aficionados to send us their favourite unusual fly patterns. Take a look at these unsung heroes and find a new secret weapon for your fly box.

Crab fly

From Chris Ogborne

artificial crab fly pattern

Mud Crab pattern
Image: Chris Ogborne

“Saltwater fly fishing isn’t all about sand eels and bait fish. At certain times of the year my local estuary has an influx of little shore crabs and whilst many are alive the majority die and come floating in on the tide.

The bass love them and will mop them up in great numbers, so a floating or suspended artificial can do the trick. It’s hardly mainstream fly fishing, but for a short time it can be spectacular sport in the brackish water of the salt marshes.”

Chris Ogborne has represented and captained his country on the international fly fishing stage for over twenty years.

He offers guided saltwater fly fishing and game fishing across Devon and Cornwall. Take a look at what you can expect…

The Clifton

from Nick Hart

clifton artificial fly pattern

The Clifton pattern
Image: Nick Hart

“According to legend, it was tied and used on a day when the fishing was so tough that the Bristol anglers in question were close to throwing themselves off the Clifton suspension bridge!”

“The Clifton can be found somewhere in the depths of my fly boxes and whenever it goes on the leader I am instantly confident. It’s got a bit of everything including the old Stick Fly, a little bit of Viva and the more modern day Cormorant, plus I love that trigger point red/orange head with so much movement. It’s also a top early season pattern and open to all kinds of variation, including adding a little flash to the wing or using a modern synthetic as a substitute for the seals fur head.”

Based in Somerset, Nick has been a fly fishing instructor for over 10 years. In addition to his tuition and advice, Nick offers complete fly fishing packages such as his “River 2 Rock” three day fishing holiday.

Visit Nick Hart Fly Fishing to find out more about Nick’s trips.

CDC Caddis

from Stuart Minnikin

CDC caddies artificial fly pattern

CDC Caddis pattern
Image: Stuart Minnikin

“My favourite obscure fly would have to be my CDC Caddis. It’s a fly tied with a dubbed brown body and two bunches of CDC for the wing, one tied half way along the body and the other just behind the head.

I complete the fly with a few turns of thread dubbed with CDC fibres to give a leggy appearance. I use the fly as a search pattern from early summer through to October and fish go mad for it, however, it must float very high to be effective.

If it starts to get damp and sit down it loses it’s effectiveness and should be dried or changed. It is of course good in a Caddis hatch too.”

Stuart is a fully qualified fly fishing instructor offering guided fishing trips for trout and grayling on lakes and rivers in North Yorkshire. Take a look at Stuart’s full profile here, or visit his website Yorkshire Dales Flyfishing for more information.

Gorgeous George

from James Harrold

Gorgeous George artificial fly pattern

Gorgeous George pattern
Image: James Harrold

“The Gorgeous George is a great Scottish loch pattern fished either as an out and out dry, or a pulled wet just sub surface. It also works well in this part of the world (Norfolk) and can be very effective for Stillwater Rainbows down South.

I like to tie a few slight variations, by either changing the tail colour or dressing it up with an extra hackle or two depending on the level of buoyancy required!

A very versatile and effective fly and one that is always in my box.”

James owns and runs Rocklands Mere Fishery with his wife, Katie. The fishery offers both coarse and trout fishing in Norfolk. James is a GAIA qualified instructor and offers tuition to anglers of all levels, both in the fishery and further afield. See James’ full profile here.

Visit Rocklands Mere Fishery and take a look at the stunning species available in their idyllic Norfolk landscape.

(Rogan’s) Gadget

from Paul Kenyon

rogans gadget artificial fly pattern

Rogan’s Gadget pattern
Image: Norm Frechette

“The gadget was developed by the fly-tying legend Michael Rogan in the 1960’s. Originally used as a seatrout attractor pattern, it’s widely regarded as the first ever purpose designed saltwater pattern.

Over the years, anglers have caught on to the it’s versatility as a pattern. As an alternative to the original sea trout design, the gadget can be tied much smaller as a fry pattern – very effective in deep pockets of stillwater for fry-feeding trout.”

Paul Kenyon and his fly-fishing partner, Geoff Stephens, run Fly Fishing Devon. As registered fishing guides, Paul and Geoff help beginners and experienced anglers alike to make the most of fly fishing on Dartmoor and South Devon rivers.

The Polyfitus Olive

from Phil Ratcliffe

polyfitus olive artificial fly pattern

The Polyfitus Olive pattern
Image: Phil Ratcliffe

“This Polyfitus Olive has accounted for many a Grayling and the odd trout I must say. Ideal as a point or dropper fly when fishing deep faster sections of river as the heavy tungsten bead will get you down to target the fish.”

Phil operates out of the Cheshire area, as a fully qualified APGAI fly casting instructor & fly fishing rivers guide. When he’s not out instructing, Phil’s sharing his experiences and top tips on his fishing diary blog.

Take a look at Phil’s instructor profile, or visit his website to learn more about his casting lessons and guided trips.

The International Secret

from Andrew Cartwright

international secret artificial fly

The International Secret pattern
Image: Andrew Cartwright

“A fly that works well in all sizes and water conditions, it really does seem to glow in a river that the colour is dropping out, caught some very big grayling on it.”

Situated in the Upper Severn Valley at Caersws, Andrew has been fly fishing for more than 30 years. In addition to teaching children and adults in all types of fly casting, Andrew is also available for corporate sessions.

Visit acgameangling.com to book a session, or take a look at Andrew’s blog for the latest news from his fly fishing trips in Wales.

Wobbler Tube

from Rob Waddington

wobbler tube artificial fly

Wobbler Tube pattern
Image: Rob Waddington

“Rutland warden Paul Friend developed his own Tube Fly designed for rudder fishing. The foam body helps the fly rise and fall through the water levels so covering depth. When pulled, the fly stays on the same level as the sinking line, but when left static the pattern rises up.

This up-and-down motion attracts plenty of fish. According to Paul, the foam also makes the fly wobble slightly through the water. Its success rate is tremendous with Paul catching and returning a brown trout estimated between 12 and 14lb from Pitsford in Northamptonshire.

Many of his fishing pals, including Rutland’s Senior Warden John Seaton, have also taken big fish with Paul’s pattern.”

Founder of Rutland Water Fly Fishing, Rob boasts the Silver Award for best visitor experience in the East Midlands. Find all you need to know about Rob Waddington here.

(Harold’s) Grouse & Claret

from Stan Headley

Grouse and claret artificial fly

Grouse & Claret fly pattern
Image: Stan Headley

“This was a very popular fly in Western Isles back in the ‘80s, devised by Englishman Harold Howorth. It’s very effective for sea trout and salmon.”

Stan is a Scottish National Fly Fishing Champion, and has been a professional angler and guide since 1980.

Learn more about Stan Headley here, or you can buy some of his expertly tied trout patterns from Stan’s blog.

Take the Fishtec Fly Quiz

Test your knowledge of fly tying and take the Fishtec Fly Quiz. You’ll need to know more than the basics to score high with these flies.

How to Make a Living out of Fishing

dominic garnett, professional angler

Could you cut it as a pro angler?

Ever considered turning your favourite pastime into a job? Fishing author and guide Dom Garnett presents a realistic rough guide to making your living from angling.

The good news is, there have never been more opportunities to make money from fishing, just don’t expect it to be easy because the sector has never been more competitive.

Here’s some advice to get you started.

What can you offer?

dominic garnett with big fish

You will need to be a passionate, competent angler to earn. Eye-opening catches can help, but the “professional big fish angler” is a complete myth!

Forget the myth of the “sponsored angler”, the guy who gets paid just to go fishing. If only it was that simple. You’re only going to make money from fishing by providing something that others want.

Professional angling isn’t just about catching big fish. A much better starting point is to ask: “What can I give to angling as a sport?”

Perhaps you take a great picture or can tell a great story. Do you have design or creative skills? Are you a dab hand with social media or digital marketing? Or maybe you have a deep understanding of the environment.

Guiding & Coaching

dominic garnett, fishing guide, with an angler

Guiding and coaching are the most realistic ways to earn from angling.

The most realistic and achievable way of making an income from angling is to take others fishing, by which I mean becoming a guide, gillie, skipper or coach.

Folks who teach others to cast a fly, who can charter a boat or who can provide some other direct service can all generate an income of some kind. But remember, guiding is not about going fishing yourself, but putting others first.

Get qualified. Schemes run by bodies like the Angling Trust are excellent, and fishing clubs also offer events and pathways to training. Gaining a recognised qualification puts you above board with first aid and insurance, and learning to be a better teacher means you’ll be able to give your guests a great experience.

Most guides specialise. Perhaps you live near some top class barbel fishing, or live in an area with lots of fly fishing. Or maybe you have a specialist skill and can share it with others. Many professionals attach themselves to a venue like a fishery or hotel, while others, from pike specialists to sea fishing experts, are more mobile. Work out what your strengths are and play to them.

I also know a few angling pros who make their living from coaching kids, a task that takes patience and paperwork, but what a wonderful calling.


angling magazines

Various magazines will take articles, but you need quality and determination.

Articles and books have been my mainstay for ten years. Writing about fishing is not brilliantly paid, but there remains a decent market for it. The magazines and weeklies thrive on content provided by anglers like you.

The key to success as a writer is to compose good quality articles and get them to the right people. Print titles tend to be the way to go to get paid. Many websites don’t pay at all or offer a pittance, although they can still be very useful for getting your work out there.

You must always think of your target audience, remembering to adapt and tailor your work to different styles and formats. Editors want to hear from you, but they’ll be off-put by dodgy English or material that’s a headache to work with.

If you’re new to the game, be prepared to be rejected. The vast majority of us have the ability to write, but it’s a craft that must be honed. Organise your articles so that each is clear, logical and free of glaring errors. Come up with a strong title and a punchy opening sentence, pay attention to word count and always check your work.

Getting friends to read and critique your output is always helpful. Choose those who’ll highlight your mistakes and provide honest feedback. Give your work a fair chance by taking pride in it, or an editor might simply reject it without saying why.

Finally, do also pay close attention to your photography. Even the best-written piece won’t be accepted if it doesn’t have decent pictures. A really arresting main image can sell your work every bit as well as a great headline.


fishing and blogging

If you love to fish and love to write, blogging could be a good start

Blogging is huge and though it’s difficult to make money directly from blog posts, I can’t stress how important this skill is. Tweets and Facebook posts become ancient history incredibly quickly, whereas popular blog posts can remain popular for years and show up on search results far better than do social media pages.

In today’s digital world, we’re invisible without an online presence. A blog puts you out there and gives you the freedom to talk about whatever you like, enabling you to build a relationship with readers and customers. Whether you’re a guide, a writer, a bait company or a photographer, your blog tells your story and engages with the people who use your services.

And don’t forget professional blogging. There are a huge number of companies and organisations now hiring bloggers, and the fishing world is quickly following suit. Well, you’re reading this aren’t you?

Fishing Books & E-Books

crooked lines by dominic garnett

Crooked Lines is my fifth book; but it has taken many years to develop my craft and build up a readership.

If words are truly your thing, the biggest single chunk of income you can make from writing about fishing is to produce a book; a daunting task and a subject in its own right. Suffice to say, you need a strong idea and a lot of willpower to make this happen.

I strongly believe the old saying that we all have a book in us. But the key to the success of any fishing book is how many readers it will appeal to. Whether it’s a great page-turning read or an insight into a special area of expertise, you need a solid theme and something compelling to capture the reader’s attention.

The most obvious route for the would-be-author is to try and get a publisher interested. Afterall, writing the text is only half the battle with any book. Design, layout, proofreading and marketing are just some of the other tasks you would otherwise have to take care of yourself.

Self-publishing is another option, but a major book project can be a nightmare without specialist knowledge and support. That said, if you do have an audience, along with the right skills and connections, you then have the advantage that you retain editorial control and keep more of the profits.

Last but by no means least, I should also mention ebooks. Kindle edition fishing books are still not vast in range, but times are changing and they do sell. You won’t get as many illustrations in a download and the writing has to really stand up to scrutiny, but ebooks can be great little earners. Once you’ve uploaded your book there are no printing costs, storage or overheads to consider either.

Both of my own ebooks, Crooked Lines and Tangles with Pike sell at a nice steady trickle all year round and interestingly, those who enjoy the Kindle edition quite often buy the “real” hard copy after reading the digital version. Above all though, ebooks are an exciting and underexploited area. Why not be one of the pioneers and give it a try?

Sponsorships and Angling Companies

dominic garnett's flies

Ever had an idea for a new product? I had many ideas rejected, before Turrall began producing my various flies for coarse species.

Many anglers seem to believe that being sponsored is the easiest route to a career in fishing. Sadly, this is seldom true. There are, admittedly, a heck of a lot of sponsored anglers out there, but most get free kit and bait rather than a salary. But seeing as most landlords don’t accept boilies or lures in lieu of rent, how might you go about getting a proper paid role?

If you have specialist knowledge or business skills, a job with a tackle company is the obvious route to take. Do bear in mind though that these days, companies are looking for all-rounders and not just those who can catch big fish or make a sale.

There is also the possibility to endorse or design products for a commission. Again, not easy but possible if you have an idea with sales potential and a company willing to listen.

Digital marketing is hugely important now, and lots of companies are looking for people who can provide films, blogs and other digital media. The trick, as always, is to identify a need, then tailor your products and services to meet it. Be warned though, the tackle world can bite, so be careful, pick wisely, and if you have useful skills don’t give them away for nothing.

Film, TV Work & Talks

filming with NatGeo

My “lucky” break with National Geographic came after many rejected efforts.

Television is a very tough world to break into, but it never hurts to make contacts and ask questions. From the outside looking in, professional TV anglers appear lucky but most faced years of trial, error and rejection before getting any kind of break.

I shudder to think how many of my ideas and emails were ignored or rejected, but eventually I made progress. Not to stardom, but to appearances on Sky Sports and National Geographic, experiences that were lots of fun, paid money and helped my career.

Just like selling features and articles, you need something fresh to offer film and TV people. You also need to be able to handle rejection and keep going. Any practise you can get will serve you well, like making your own videos or giving talks and presentations. And if your videos get stacks of views on YouTube you might even make a small amount of advertising revenue.

Fisheries, Fishing Shops and the “Front Line”

There are a heck of a lot of jobs in the wider world that might not be “living the dream” but do mean getting closer to it! Those who run fisheries and tackle shops or who work in conservation or protecting the environment are all linked to the angling sector.

Realistically, the “superstar” angling celebrity is one in a hundred thousand, and the guy simply paid to go fishing is a myth. However, if you have passion and are prepared to work hard and give something to the sport there are many roles that might work out. I wish you the very best of luck.

Some Further Tips:

dominic garnett angling tips

It’s always good to have a niche; blurring the lines between fly and coarse fishing has definitely helped me to offer something different and enjoyable.

  • Identify your strengths. Ask yourself what you can contribute into the sport.
  • Get qualified.
  • Get insured.
  • Be licensed and above board at all times.
  • Never work for nothing. If you have a skill, don’t give it away for free.
  • Specialise. If you go down the big fish and PB route, you’ll be one of many. Do something original.
  • Be versatile. For most of us, the only way to make a reliable income is to juggle different roles and jobs.
  • Stay positive. Help others, serve the sport well and you will be helped in return.

Further Info:

You can read more on the highs and lows of a professional angler in Dom Garnett’s books and regular blog at www.dgfishing.co.uk

All images © Dominic Garnett.

Extreme Angling: The fight of your life for the catch of the day

Man walking on jagged rocks

Image source: GrindTV
How far would you go for a fish?

How far would you go to get the perfect catch? Will you face dangerous beasts, high wires, bossy bailiffs, starvation and loneliness?

Here’s a look at some fishermen who’ve done all that, and more. Check out our collection of dedicated anglers who’ll stop at nothing to reel in the best catch they can.

1. Catching an 111 llb tuna from a kayak

Image source: Shutterstock Battling tuna off Hawaii’s fabled Kona Coast

Image source: Shutterstock
Battling tuna off Hawaii’s fabled Kona Coast

Jon Schwartz, a professional fishing / travel writer and photographer was looking for a fight to the death when he set out to catch the biggest tuna he could possibly find… from a kayak. Ultimately, it took him three days to find a worthy opponent – an 111 llb tuna!

Once the mammoth creature had taken the bait, reeling it in was no simple matter. Unfortunately, Jon quickly realised that his line had tangled up – and the fish had yet to surface. Just as he was about to give up hope, the tuna popped up just 7ft away. Grabbing a spear, Jon stabbed it in the head, anticipating his victory… but to no avail.

Desperately trying to think of a better way to beat the beast, he reached for a gaff and plunged it into its flesh. Despite two large wounds, the tuna fought on aggressively, dragging the kayak quite a distance before finally giving up. The entire battle lasted an epic ten minutes but, according to Jon, was completely worth it!

2. Facing nature’s most terrifying monsters

Crocodile on mud bank

Image source: Shutterstock
Keep an eye out for the crocs in Costa Rica

On a fishing expedition in Costa Rica, a young man, his dad, his brother and a fearless tour guide went searching for some monster snook. The only problem was that in order to find the elusive fish, the group had to trek through pastures slithering with snakes and cross wading pools filled with crocodiles. The crocs were so close that they literally looked the men in the eye as they passed.

No word as to whether or not they eventually managed to get their hands on that perfect catch, but we’re sure that the excursion was an adventure to remember!

3. Risking your life to get to your favourite fishing spot

Most of these stories are about fishermen risking everything out of pure ambition and an undying love for the sport. However, there are indeed many anglers out there who risk their lives to fish for survival.

Laos fisherman, Sam Niang, for example, takes his life into his hands every day during flood season to get to the best possible fishing spot. He crosses a high wire made out of cable and wire that he installed himself. The wire runs above sharp rocks and tumultuous seas, so one wrong move would mean certain death for Sam.

4. The strange rules of Northern Stillwater

Man holding carp rod

Image source: Shutterstock
Careful how you go at some British fishing spots

It’s said that there are a few selfish fishermen who have settled in at Northern Stillwater. They’re apparently doing everything in their power to keep other fishermen from infiltrating ‘their spot’, with untruths about catches and quirky rules.

What about those brave anglers who still opt to try their luck? There’s a club book with over fifty rules to observe, so they need to be careful… Pretty hardcore!

5. Fishing for survival: Ceri’s story

snowy lake

Image source: Shutterstock
A snowy Sparks Lake

After carefully planning an exciting fishing trip to Oregon, everything went wrong for Fishtec’s own Ceri Thomas and his fishing pal, Adam Lloyd.

The first set-back was the unexpected heavy September snowfall shortly after they arrived. Neither angler had planned for a change in weather such as this, so were rather ill-prepared to deal with the freezing temperatures. Forced to wear every single item of extra clothing they brought to try to keep warm, they even slept in their waders.

Despite the bad start, they made the trek to Sparks Lake in the morning with a positive attitude and plenty of ambition – only to find that the lake was totally dry. In an effort to salvage their trip, our intrepid anglers decided to venture further in the blistering cold to try to find another place to fish.

Walking for miles to fish the Green Lakes at 9,000 feet, and burning calories fast, their supplies ran out. The only available food they had to survive on was the brook trout that Ceri caught, dispatched, and passed to Adam, who had a pot of boiling water ready.

Thankfully, after a few days the group managed to hitch a ride back into town with some hunters… and made a beeline for the nearest Applebee’s restaurant!

6. Six hours fishing on an uninhabited lake

newspaper clipping

Image source: Angling Times Facebook
What’s your excuse for blanking?

If the rumour is to be believed, an ambitious fisherman spent six hours fishing on a new lake in Ivybridge, Devon. After all that time, he was disheartened and confused as to why his unwavering dedication had drawn a blank. That is, until he was told that the lake was only due to be stocked with fish the following month.

An angler’s dedication is always better placed when there’s a chance of a catch.

7. Who nose why?

Man with lure stuck in nose

Image source: Fishtec Facebook
Something smells fishy

This young fisherman landed up in the emergency room after a fishing hook and a (rather unattractive) lure pierced through his nose. Nobody knows exactly what happened, but we’re willing to bet that anyone who winds up looking like this was giving it their all!

Whether you’re a fly, coarse or sea angler, nothing quite beats that feeling of reeling in an impressive fish. How far have you gone for that perfect catch? Tell us on our Facebook page.

Help Save Welsh Rivers From Farm Pollution!!

Many of the rivers in Wales are seriously affected by farm pollution. Intensive dairying and cattle rearing causes the main problems as a result of slurry inputs from overloaded lagoons and the huge amounts of slurry that are applied to farmland.

You can help stop pollution like this!

You can help stop pollution like this!

The Welsh Government is currently consulting on extending Nitrate Vulnerable Zones in Wales https://consultations.gov.wales/consultations/nitrate-vulnerable-zones-wales .

Farms in NVZs (Nitrate Vulnerable Zones) would have to achieve defined waste storage capacity and also the amount of slurry and other fertiliser applied to farm land would be strictly controlled. The consultation proposes two options:

Option 1 only extends the existing 5% of Wales covered by NVZs to 8% which would do very little to address the problem but Option 2 would cover the whole of Wales.

This option if properly enforced could make a huge difference and contribute to a major improvement in the quality of our rivers and the fisheries that they support.

A stream suffering from chronic pollution caused by farming runoff - a very poor habitat for fish and insect life.

A stream suffering from chronic pollution caused by farming runoff – a very poor habitat for fish and insect life.

You can play a part in helping this come about by sending a response to the Welsh Government either as an individual or on behalf of an organisation.

A response to this document has already been prepared (based on a response by the Carmarthen Fishermen’s Federation) You can download it here.

If you are supportive of what is said and want to help stop river pollution in Wales then all you need to do is:

  1. Use the word document as a basis of your response or simply use it as it stands adding your details name address etc at the start of the document.
  1. Attach the document to an email and send to mailto:water@wales.gsi.gov.uk

Responses have to be sent by Dec 23rd. Thank you for your support.

The extent of Welsh agricultural incidents in recent years

The extent of Welsh agricultural pollution incidents in recent years.

Fishtec now offer FREE delivery!!!

We now offer FREE mainland UK delivery, as long as your order is over £50 in value!!! Simply add your fishing tackle and equipment to the basket to qualify for free postage.

Fishtec free postage

Fishtec free postage!

Great reasons to order your fishing tackle from Fishtec:

  • Extremely competitive prices and rock bottom prices in our fishing tackle sale.
  • Ultra rapid delivery – with next day delivery available.
  • Loyalty rewards – Earn points whenever you spend, share, refer or review. Redeem your points at the checkout and save £££’s.
  • Interest free finance available – on all orders over £350!! Pay for your dream tackle in installments.
  • Free expert advice available from our team of professional anglers.
  • Great online community – visit the Fishtec blog, Fishtec TV, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and more…
  • Subscribe to our email list for exclusive special discounts, free gifts and deals.
  • All the leading fishing tackle brands, with a huge selection for game, coarse, carp, match, predator and sea anglers.

Meet The Footballers That Fish

Well, the Euro’s are over, and the ball kicking season has yet to begin… So what do footballer’s actually do in their down time? The answer is fish. And when they retire, they just carry on fishing…  In this blog we take a look at some well known footy stars who simply love bending a rod.

David Beckham – This picture surfaced on Beck’s Instagram recently. Already known for dabbling in sea and coarse fishing, It seems Beckham has turned his attention to the noble art of fly fishing – Icelandic Salmon in fact! Sporting a nice pair of Simms G3 Guide waders, clearly the man appreciates quality fishing tackle. Not sure about the gloves though…


Cristiano Ronaldo – Loved by Portugal and Real Madrid fans. Loathed by literally everyone else. It seems Cris’ enjoys his down time on a boat in search of big game, as his tweet reveals! Hailing from Madeira, well known as the sport fish capital of the world, it’s no wonder Ronaldo likes to target hard fighting game species such as marlin, wahoo and giant bluefin tuna when on his home turf. With prices starting from £1000 a day, deep sea sport fishing is very much a rich man’s game; chump change for Ron though…

Image posted on twitter by Cristiano Ronaldo: Love to fish. Have you ever tried it?

Robin Van Persie – Another deep sea rod dangler, Van Persie is known to tangle with sharks on a regular basis, plus sword and sailfish of epic proportions. Looking at these pics, the Dutchman sure knows how to reel them in. A deep sea fishing duel with Ronaldo? We would pay to see that one!

John Terry – Loves to get his hands dirty – by touching carp. The former England captain enjoys fishing so much he built a heavily stocked lake in the grounds of his mansion. The massive lake was carefully custom designed by John to be the perfect back yard fishery – every anglers dream!

David Seaman – He might have flapped at “that” Ronaldinho free kick, but generally, Seaman’s safe hands mean he will probably never drop a fish, no matter how much it wriggles. From fly to coarse fishing Dave has been doing it for years and clearly loves the sport. A legend in the goal mouth and the river mouth. Top angler!

Gazza – World cup and Toon Legend Paul Gascoigne clearly loves his fishing, especially with the fly rod. For Gazza fishing is a way you can heal yourself, and the world. Remember the infamous Raoul Moat stand off? Gazza turned up with a few tinnies, some chicken, a fly fishing rod and a ‘dressing goon’. He still fishes in it today.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic – Swedish super star Ibrahimovic may consider himself the son of God, and refer to himself in the third person – a lot. He might say: ”Zlatan catches bigger fish than anyone, Zlatan will catch fish anywhere, even a puddle” etc. etc.  But looking at this Facebook picture, he actually does! From the looks of it Zlatan has all the gear – and the idea. A decent boat, well organised fishing kit, and the correct ‘grin and grip’ photo technique with this pike. He obviously knows what he is doing on the lake. A move to to Manchester United should be a great chance for him to up his fishing catches – the Lake District Isn’t that far away, and it’s literally teeming with pike.

zlatan Pike

Lee Bowyer – The legendary trouble making ex Leeds, West Ham and Newcastle midfielder has a serious passion for carp angling. So much so, that he now runs his own carp lake in the tranquil French countryside. Best place for him to be fair; should keep him out of trouble with the boys in blue. If you do visit the venue, whatever you do, don’t catch a bigger fish than him!


Vinnnie Jones – On the theme of football hard nuts, none come bigger than ex Wimbledon headcase Vinnie Jones. A lifelong hardcore angler, Vinnie has been as far afield as Outer Mongolia in search of the mighty Taimen. Closer to home, Scottish salmon and coarse fishing on Hampshire’s bucolic chalk streams float his boat. Fishing.. it’s been emotional.

Neil Ruddock – Footie hard-man no.3. (Think we have a pattern emerging here.) Neil ‘The Razor’ Ruddock is an angler to the core. From big carp to sea side ray’s alike, The Razor can catch almost anything with fins. A recent competitor on ‘The Big Fish off’ show with Korda and ITV, this man is a proper fishing machine.

Sergio Aguero – From the Patagonian wilds of Argentina, Aguero reportedly enjoys his fishing, after taking it up during an injury break. His homeland has some of the best sea trout fishing in the world, but while he is on UK soil, a trip to Blackpool beach is apparently enough to satisfy his fishing urges. Unfortunately we could not actually find a picture of him fishing, but the Photoshop job doing the rounds online should give you an idea…