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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Useful bits of kit

In these modern times of what seems to be more catch the angler than the fish, here’s a bit of kit well worth investing in.

The times I’ve struggled to collect water for mixing groundbait or even for washing my hands through out the day. Hanging over platforms, dangling over high banks on the river or canal. 

Not the best really! I bet there’s a few that have lent over to fill a maggot tub with water only for their phone to go swimming!

Yes these have been around for a little while but they seem be hard to come by.

Water collecting buckets.

This one from Colmic seems to be very well made with plenty of cord and a good winder/handle.

Why struggle collecting water!

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.

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 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.

2016 draws to a close

With Christmas only days away and 2017 a little over a week away, it seems like 2016 has gone with in a blink of and eye.

We’re starting our wind down towards our annual break and are we looking forward to it I can tell you.

2016 has been an exciting year with things like the Colmic Soar Tackle team plus a few other individuals fishing for us in the Middy lake view tournaments both doing really well. Fishing with and against some of the best anglers in the country has been an amazing experience and what a great bunch.

So what is planned for 2017 well lots really. Why not come and join us with the Kings Head AC and get out on the banks for some light-hearted match fishing. From here we are also looking to bring new anglers through the ranks in to the Colmic team.

With late winter river matchs starting Jan 29th there are a few places left so be sure to get your name down.

June will see the annual Soar Tackle ‘A pint with friends’ road show and your going to love what we’ve got planned for 2017. All ready for the open river season, get your hands on some amazing kit, meet the pro’s ask the questions. In an amazing location see first hand how they actually set up and tackle the river Soar. Not to be missed, Watch out for future information.

We’ve new and exciting ranges coming to the shop and I’ve got to get my building head on to make some major changers in Jan / Feb.

Don’t forget to pop in to the shop on Christmas eve and have a beer and a few mince pies on us until 4pm.

With an exciting New Year a head we will be off on our holidays from the 30th Dec and back open on the 14th Jan.

Wishing you all a very happy Christmas and New Year

Scott & Kath