Littlemans first match

A few of you will know that my 5 year old son Leon aka littleman has been on the bank with me for a few years now. And that it wasn’t that long ago that he pinched my new pole and set about bagging up on a local water.

A few trips up to Springwood fishery and he’s starting to get the hang of pole fishing, catching carp Ide Rudd and Roach. One afternoon a rough tally up would of seen him putting 20 odd pound in the net (no keepnets unless in a match) which ain’t bad for a 5 year old.

One Sunday I was booked in on a match up at Springwood with a few of my team mates from Colmic. After a chat with the lads we thought if he wanted to Leon could fish the match instead of me.

Thankfully we managed to get him off to bed early with an early start and long day ahead.

Up early we loaded up and headed off to Springwood for breakfast, paid our pools, peg fees and Leon drew his first peg.

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While I set his kit up he pottered round to give the competition a few words that he was going to beat them especially Charlie. I have to say it’s great to see others talking to him, helping him on.

Time was called and it wasn’t long before Leon was in to his first fish of the day with a nice Carp gracing the rim of the landing net. A few Ide followed which he correctly placed in the silvers net. The day went on with Carp Ide and Roach before it went quite for a while.

A try in the margin with meat saw a nice Carp which but up a great scrap, a few missed bites followed and Leon was starting to get tired after all the excitement.

“Dad and going to have a sit down with a cup of Tea, you can have ago now”.

At the final whistle Leon weighed in a fantastic 17lb even after a few lost fish.

I have to say a massive thank you to Iain and Jen up at Springwood fisheries for making us so welcome on Leon’s first ever match.

Want to know more about getting your kids in to fishing, please just ask, i’m in the shop most days of the week for a chat. Or have a look at www.getfishing.org.uk 

Enjoy your fishing

Scott & Leon

 

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The art of the river angler

But the rivers are dead now or are they? or is it more we just don’t know how to fish them in these modern times.

We may never see the glory day’s of anglers lining the banks of the river’s up and the country in 100 + peg matches week in week out. World championships held on the Trent embankment in Nottingham, drawing huge crowds to watch top anglers at their best. I even recall matches covering both banks on the Trent and river Soar on more than a few weekends.

Trent

But the rivers are dead now or are they? or is it more we just don’t know how to fish them in these modern times.

Anglers are slowly drifting back on to the river banks, but why?. Is it because clubs are trying to make access better, I’ve come across some parts of the Trent that has better access than some commercials with pegs that you can now park behind. Or is it the weights that are coming out, the 2016 Soar Valley winter league you had to be well in to double figures to get anywhere. Not to mention the treble figure weights yes that’s right well over 100lb, but the rivers are dead aren’t they!

So where do I start, what tickets do I need?

If your relatively new to river fishing then i’d suggest starting on the river Soar rather than the Trent. Access is pretty good in a number of areas and there is a good variation of sections from slow deep runs to fast shallow runs that will test your skills.

Much of the Soar is club controlled, as a rough guide starting from the Trent area Ratcliffe on Soar through to Kegworth is controlled by Long Eaton Federation, Kegworth to Kegworth Deep locks is controlled by Long Eaton Victoria. Kegworth Deep locks to Sutton Bonington playing fields is controlled by Loughborough Soar AS. Zouch canal (tow path) to Barrow upon Soar Osier beds is mostly controlled by Loughborough Soar AS. Barrow through to Birstall on the outskirts of Leicester is mostly controlled by Leic’s & District Amalgamation. Find out more

Can I get away with using my commercial match gear? of course you can. Your pole floats and set ups will be different and you’ll more than likely need to size down your elastics to a solid 4-6. A lot of commercial rods tend to be between 9 and 10ft which are a little to short for river fishing but that doesn’t mean they are completely useless.

By far the quickest and easiest way in to river fishing from commercials is with the pole. As mentioned above scaling down your elastics and a few running water pole rigs, don’t forget the pole feeder and your sorted.

Want to know more? why not pop in to our Kegworth shop for a brew and a chat or you could throw your self in at the deep end and join us on some of our river Soar open matches.

5 years old and bagging

Was school holidays and little man had been pestering me for sometime to going fishing, after all he’d been out pegging match sections and seen me off entering verious competitions all winter.

The weather wasn’t great but a careful watch of the forecast showed a window of two days at the end of the week when it wouldn’t be to cold and windy for him.

He wanted to fish the river but it would of been so hard going just to try and catch tiny roach that I knew we had to go somewhere with at least half a chance. So off to the Moat at Weston we went with the view to let him fish the whip in the margins.

How wrong was I

I adjusted my seat box so the footplate was as high as I could get it moved everything in and set about priming two swims to fish. I’d got the near swim started with a few telling knocks on the float it was over to Leon. I want to use your pole dad

err…!

Well ok after some thrashing about helping him get settled we’d pushed the fish further out than we wanted, to about 9mtr but Leon was getting the hang of holding the pole across his legs.img_3344

Swinging on 9mtr of pole at 5 years old he had his first fish on which turned out to be a dam good sized Perch. Once broken down he handled the pole prefectly guiding the fish in to the net.

Back out and it wasn’t long before he was in to some good skimmers, getting a little to confident he was trying to hold the pole and reaching for the landing net!

The wind started to get up and really gust making it really difficult to control the pole so we had call it a day.

Can we come back tomorrow dad?

We’ll see what the weather is like in the morning.

Day two

Same peg and the weather was almost a spring day bright and sunny not good for fishing really. I’d packed a block of wood for him to place on the foot plate to raise his legs a bit more in line for the pole.

We basically fished the same way all though we tried a small amount of groundbait with the hope of forcing things on a little faster.img_3343

As with the first day Perch was the order of the day followed by skimmers. The light was all wrong causing the pole to cast a shadow across the water like a sun dial. There were fish in the area then a few missed bites saw us breaking for something to eat. A hour gone by and the sun had moved causing the near by trees to cast shadows over the same area we where fishing, the prefect time to get back out on the pole.

A few pots of micros and I past the pole over to Leon which saw the float bury in to a nice carp. After a good scrap Leon managed to guide it in for me to net, good few pounds that fish. Shipping back out we managed another two good carp before the strain of the fish and swing about on the pole beat him and it was time to pack up for home.

A day pegging out

Pegging out and one muddy little helper

Sundays are my day off from the shop, So with our fourth coming matches on the Soar I thought id better get out on the bank and peg the sections out.

A cold crisp morning, well by time id got little man motivated it was mid day! peg posts cut and numbers painted on we set off to kegworth to walk and peg out the first two sections.

Earlier in the morning id had a call from one of our Colmic team member (Charlie) to say that he had just arrived at the horseshoe in Kegworth for a practice session. A short walk up from the road bridge we found Charlie on peg 5 in the boat yard. The river looked just perfect thinning down nicely from recent rain there was some colour but not chocolate like it was a few days ago. Peg 5 is just at the end of a bend with the way the boats funnel the river round it creates a nice crease in the flow just past the crease there’s a nice slack area.

Charlie was steadily catching a nice mixed bag of silvers with a few quality Roach and the odd Skimmer on the pole line.

Leaving him to it we walked round on to the next section that runs up to Kegworth deep locks. I don’t think this section has been match fished for years but I know it produces some great results to pleasure anglers.

I’ve limited the amount of pegs per section to 5 giving each angler loads of room to play with. This section at Kegworth looks great for running the stick float through the wide spaced pegs giving nice long glides to fish. So here’s hoping that a few people will put the pole to one side and reach for the rod and line for a change.Watch a live view taken from peg 5

Little man was enjoying passing me the peg posts but seemed to be getting muddier and muddier. By the time we’d walk up to put the last peg in he was proper caked in it! The last peg looking so good I just wish id could be fishing today. I know this is a noted Bream peg and it looks bob on for the feeder on the far bank.

A last drop in on Charlie to see how he was getting on, now trying the feeder up against the boats he’d still be catching steadily for around 6lb of fish by the time he packed up.

Back home it was time to hose little man down before letting him anywhere near the house!

A most enjoyable few hours walking the river with one other section to peg out at Normanton. The river looks spot on and seeing what Charlie was catching I’m optimistic for some fish to be caught on the Kings winter matches.

Well feet up with fave read and a brew me thinks.

Fancy fishing the Kings winter open matches find out more.

Colmics new F66 Airon

A sneaky peek at Colmics new F66 Airon Pole

It’s always great to see new products, but when Shaun from Colmic UK came in to the shop the other day to talk about our team I thought all my Christmas’s had come at once when he stood a new F66 Airon pole against the shop counter.

Now I’m no pole angler but wow this thing is not only in a different league to my Middy XM10 it’s on a different plant!

With all the usual features you’d expect from a pole of this quality like Joint line markers reinforced butts and much more. The F66 is classed as an all round pole being aimed at the Silvers angler that needs the extra confidence in their pole if that bonus Barbel or Carp should come along.

At 16 mtr it’s surprisingly well balanced and near arrow straight, But to me at 14.5 and 13 mtr is it’s sweet spot. Being able to hold the pole comfortably in one hand makes feeding an easy thing to do. With next to no bounce but when it does the tip recovers incredibly quick, so taping a few pellets doesn’t mean dumping the whole pot or worse still firing them out all over the place on the rebound.

Colmic have put together two packages one being the pole on it’s own or the full package which comes with 9 top kits a cupping kit and more. Top kits are 2.75 mtr.

An up grade on the F44 and F33 Airon poles the F66 is worth a look at if your after a match pole that is not a carp pole trying to be a match pole.

Available in early 2017, Expect prices to be around £2999 for the full package.

colmic-f66-airon-pole

Winter League (part 1)

A new team throws its self in to the Soar Valley Winter League

Oddly, I’ve actually not fished a full blown match since the early 2000’s when I used to fish regular club matches and opens.

With a gap of some 10 years or so all was about to change after fishing with a local club The Kings Head AC.  Sat in the pub one evening a few of us got talking about getting involved with some of the bigger matches in the area. The first of which being the Soar Valley Winter League.

This would be throwing things right in at the deep end fishing against some the best teams in the Midlands – Matrix Trentman, Kamasan Startlets to name but two. Starlets fielding England international and World Champion anglers.

I might of done quite well in the past picking up the odd trophy, but knowing who I would be fishing against things were about to be taken on to another level.

With 5 rounds and a final the league would start in October and finish late in November, the weather would either be kind to us or near unbearable.

Weeks of preparation was needed, but finding the time to get out and practice was proving hard to come by.  Making the best of the kit I’d got was going to have to do, digging out old river pole rigs and retying them.  Making hook lengths up to what I thought was right was soon to be proved just not enough.

The day’s running up to the first round saw heavy rain and a rising river with the competition being held on sections of the river Soar that I’d either never fished, or hadn’t fished for a very long time. The pressure and nerves where starting to build by the Saturday, all I could do was just go and fish the first round and learn from there.

Meeting the rest of the our team early Sunday morning for breakfast with the rest of the teams, it was soon time to draw our pegs and try our best . I drew Proctors, a place Id never been let alone fished, but with two hours to get to my peg and set up before the whistle at 11:00 am, I’d got time to settle myself and think about what I was doing.

With the river up, my peg was a messy mud bog – great! Fishing the pole wasn’t really going to be an option for me.  As the river was pushing  through I opted for my 16 ft stick rod and a small feeder fished on the tip.  I caught steadily throughout the day.   I soon learned I had to pick my pace up even though I was only 1/2 a kilo off the next peg, if I was going to compete I had to be pushing a pound an hour or be looking for a bonus fish.

As a team we did very well, and we were all buzzing having realised we could actually compete against the fore mentioned anglers. Lifting the spirits we were ready for the next rounds but could we still hold our own?

More to follow soon

Part 2 coming soon

A few hours at Springwood Fisheries

A few hours fishing at Springwood Fisheries in Derbyshire

Some time back I took a wander up to Springwood Fisheries just outside Melbourne, Derbyshire.

Now I had been to Springwood before all be it quite sometime ago and wow had it changed, what a cracking place it is now.  After a good chat with owners Jeff and Linda, I had to come back to wet a line.

So it wasn’t long before I managed to get a few hours one afternoon on the bank of Springwoods bottom lake.

With easy access straight from the car park it was nice to find quality pegs that are not too close together, and with features! So many fisheries these days just seem to be barren holes in the ground.

Other pluses for me were toilets and a cafe, toilets being spotless, I’d be more than happy to bring the wife along in the future.

Jeff, the man behind Springwood, came over for a chat and after talking to him it was more than clear he was a mad keen angler. I like this as I come across too many fishery owners that actually haven’t got a clue about fishing.  Jeff informed me there was a good head of mixed fish Ide, Carp and Tench, plus a few others just to mix it up a bit.  He also told me that the peg I had picked was a match winner the other day with 70 plus on the scales! Cool I’m really looking forward to this.

It was actually pretty hot that afternoon and with the sun beating down I had to use my brolley for a bit to keep the sun off.

Now I’m no commercial angler but I’m enjoying learning these style waters at the minute.  Not that you can really call Springwood a commercial as it’s a laid back, well presented place.

Anyway, I soon found out I was not quite set up for what was to come!  First off my rigs were too long, float size and line length.  A slight degree of improvisation was in order after plumbing up at around 8 mtr, I found 3ft with about a ft in the margins.  This rendered margin fishing out of the question as I’d just not got the right floats / rigs for this.

So two line’s of approach at 8mtrs out.  Baits armed with a bag of fishery own mircos a few red maggots and Marukyu JPZ toughs,  I’d also knocked up a very small amount of Marukyu EFG 131 (love this stuff,) and my little secret weapon home spiced meat (proper hot chilli).

First off I potted a hand full of micros out along with a golf ball size ball of EFG 131 with double maggot on a size 16 T83-13.  I’d planned to use a toss pot to keep adding a pinch of micros and maggots every put in.

To say it wasn’t long before to swim was bubbling away like a ‘good un’ is a bit of an understatement.  With my float being knocked about all over the place I was hoping I wasn’t going to foul hook anything!  Soon the float buried and I was soon slipping the net under a cracking Ide.  A few more Ide fell to double maggot when I thought I’d give the JPzs a go.  For this I changed over to my second rig, which had a Middy meat screw hook link.  Meat screw for pellets? Yes they’re great for all manner of soft baits like JPzs, meat, cheese and even soft hook pellets.  Well, the resident Tench seemed to love these black JPzs with a few gracing the landing net, plus a couple of small carp.

This is great fun, let’s have a go with meat.  This was sort of a good idea, but I didn’t expect what was going to come. It would seem the lakes bigger residents loved the taste of hot spicy meat and would punish me for hooking in to them!

The battle was on, so much so that Jeff and my fishing friend Dave came over to A) see what the hell was towing me all over the lake, and B) to completely have a laugh at my expense.  After a battle on far too light an elastic, yet it proved that Middy’s Hi-Viz hollow ain’t half got some stretch!  Landing net out I was struggling with out a puller, there was just so much stretch.  A lunge at it with the landing net saw the hook link finally go! And a roar of banter came from Jeff and Dave!

A quick change of hook length to a Middy meat screw on my first rig saw me back out with a cube of meat in ever-increasing bubbles.  Seemed like seconds after the float settled that it was under and my elastic was out looking like a laser pen pointing at the Carp I’d just hooked.  A good battle later finally saw a cracking Carp grace the rim of the net. Got ya!

Well worth a visit to Springwood fisheries go and give it a go