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

 

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.

Loading that spool

Ever loaded a reel with line by sticking a pencil through the middle.

Loading a reel spool couldn’t be easier or could it!.

I needed to spool some nice new line on to one of my float fishing reels. My line of choice is Colmic Allround. Coupled with great strength to diameter this line sits beautifully on the water’s surface prefect for stick float fishing.

So where do I start? My spool is my first port of call for help. Printed on the side is an approximate line capacity denoted by the line diameter to meters.

On your spool you may find the above denoted in lbs and yards or kg and meters. This is still useful information on how much line we’re going to need to fill said spool correctly. I now know that I will need approx 150 mtr of .12mm dia line or 90 mtr of .20mm to correctly fill the spool. The line I have chosen is as near as dam it .19mm on a 300 mtr spool so I’ll have plenty to fill at least two spools correctly.

Items needed to do the job.

  • Small bucket, tub or bowl that a spool of line will fit in.
  • Scissors or line clips
  • Marker pen
  • Bottom rod section
  • Reel and new spool of line.
  • Cuppa tea or Coffee

What next then? This is the important bit really that is so easy but even easier to get wrong. Ever loaded a reel with line by sticking a pencil through the middle and getting someone to hold the pencil while you whiz the reel handle round so fast it’s as if your trying to beat some world reel spinning record. Or better still done much the same with the line spool on the floor watching it shoot round the lounge like a mad puppy?. Ever wondered why you always get the line springing off your reel in a big birds nest. The above could be part of the problem.

Your fixed spool reel will rotate anti clockwise to wind line on, looking at you nice new spool of line with the label up a most. Picking up the loose end of the line you will notice it will either come off the spool in a clockwise or anti clockwise motion.

As our reel rotates anti clockwise we must have the new line coming off the spool in the same direction. Part of the problem comes if you have the reel is going anti clockwise and the new line is coming off clockwise, this creates line twist.

Having looked at my new spool you can see that the line comes off the spool anti clockwise with the label up a most.

Using the bottom section of your rod fix your reel to the reel seat then pass the end of you new line through the rings. I like to remove the spool from my reel to tie the line on as it makes things that bit easier. There are special knots for doing this but rightly or wrongly I just use a basic granny knot, I also like to pull the line in to one of the groves (if your spool has them) cut the tag end off. 

Lifting the bail arm you’ll be able to put the reel spool back on the reel.

Using a small bucket or even a bowl that the new spool of line will fit in. Add a small amount of water then place the spool of line in the bucket / bowl making sure it is the right way up for the line to come off anti clockwise. Water ideally wants to come 1/4 of the way up the spool.

Trapping the butt of the rod under your arm use your left hand to gently trap the line between you finger and the rod blank, this will add a slight tension to the line. Slowly at a constant speed start to wind the reel handle to reel line on to the spool. It is quite important to use a slow constant wind. A fast wind will only end up in a jerky wind, causing the line to snatch back and forth. The water is there to help stop friction caused by trapping the line with your fingers.

You are looking to fill the line just below the top lip of the spool.

When you’ve got your spool filled you can use the line clip on the spool (if fitted) to trap the line when not in use. Cut the line just above the clip.

I always make a note of the line size that I’ve just added to the inside of the spool rim.

Sorted.

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

Middy Compacta moulds

These new Compacta method moulds from Middy Tackle are a cracking idea.

Simply load with your chosen method mix press in your flat method feeder press the button on the top and its done.

I hear some of you moaning yet another gimmick to catch the angler!

But I have to disagree with you.

Loads of us struggle to use tradition style moulds and to be honest they are not great to use at the best of times.
This little tool is spot on almost making loading a method feeder a one handed operation, and for those of you that struggle with your hands you’ll love this tool.

They come in two sizes small and large and you’ll get a free feeder to get you started.

Most makes of flat bottom method feeders will fit.

Awesome you got to get yourself one.

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Soar Tackle Kegoworth
The new Compacta moulds from Middy Tackle