Monday, 13 June 2011

A catch up!!

Sorry for my lack of postings but I have been fishing a few times and manage to fish one of my target venues, High Heyes.

I arrived at 10am and my friend had already set up on lake 2. There is three large lakes here and I liked the set up though there could be a few more lily pads (but I say that about most venues!!). I set up my feeder rod with a method feeder, I was using micro carp pellets with worm attractor mixed in and double red maggot on the hook.
I was targeting this island which was about 15m outs. I had a few knocks within 20mins of being in but nothing solid. But by 10.50am I had my first fish of the day and my first ever Ide. I was giddy at first when I thought I'd landed a monster roach but still a nice fish.
This line went quiet and at around 12.30pm I switched to the pole and fished close in, a line I'd been feeding maggots since I started. First put in got me this massive perch!

Soon after followed a nice perch and I was confident of more, but unfortunately I just had one more Ide back on the feeder late on.

While I enjoyed my day, the fishing wasn't great but I will try again.
I've also discovered a little gem called Stoats Hall. There is three small lakes and it seems to have a nice mix of fish. I've fished it twice both in the evening. The first time I fished paste and worm close in and had 2 tench(my first for the year), 3 small carp and a few chub and roach so I good evenings fishing. Especially pleased with my first tench and first ever fish on paste! I'm converted and will be experimenting with making my own paste very soon!!

The next time I fished Stoats Hall a week later was in a small knock up of 4. I finished with 7lb which after spending about 30mins tangled in weed after trying to fish too close to a snag (twice) I was quite happy with. Our knock up was won with 11lb so another fish or two and I might have won!! Really enjoy fishing here and will certainly be back!

Not sure when I'll be out next but have plenty of venues to try and fish to catch!!

Monday, 25 April 2011

A new venue

Firstly an apology: I forgot to take my camera and notepad so this is a brief update with no pics and not much detail!!
I had hoped to fish at Fairhaven last Wednesday evening but when I got there at 3pm it was full with only one peg left!! My friend was joining me so we had to think of somewhere else to go. After about 10 minutes and about 10 different venues discussed we decided on Martin Hall Farm near Much Hoole. I'd never heard of it but my friend had fished it a lot a few years ago and said there was quite a few barbel and even sturgeon to have a go at!! So I was intrigued with what the day would bring!
There is two lake both are canal style with islands running down the middle the "new" top lake is probably around 13m wide and the old lake around 11m so with me in mind we set up on the old lake. As we walked around there where lots of carp swimming near the top and rustling around the margins.
I set up at 11m with worm on the hook and feed a margin swim. I threw a few floating pellets in to see if any carp fancied eating of the top, they didnt! My friend was quickly into a nice barbel about 3/4lb on paste. I was struggling on my peg and while I had a few small fish wasn't getting anything decent. I tried paste, corn, worm deep, shallow near and far but it wasn't happening for me! A few old chaps started fishing around the corner at 6pm and one started catching decent carp on floating bread so I threw a few pieces in but again just small fish where nibbling at it no big 'uns. We packed up around 9pm my mate finished with 2 carp, 1 barbel a decent skimmer and a few little silvers, I just had a few little roach and rudd.
I was pretty annoyed with myself I hadn't settled into a routine and didn't have a clear plan. I knew how I was going to fish at Fairhaven but just messed around trying all sorts today. I think I need to make a clear plan of attack and stick to it. I was also targeting bigger fish, maybe if I got the small fish feeding first the bigger fish would move in!? Oh well it was a glorious evening and was nice to try somewhere new. I'll certainly be back again this summer and hopefully I'll be a bit more switched on and catch a few more fish!!

Babysitter depending I'm hoping to get out again on Wednesday, fingers crossed for a better session!

The Maggot Dangler.

Monday, 11 April 2011

A new pole......

Since I got back into fishing last year I have been using my Dad's old DAM 9m pole which was fit for purpose but I always wanted something longer (who doesn't hey fellas!!). The other week the DAM broke, it was is still fishable but I had to telescope the 2nd section and was worried that if I ever hooked into a decent fish the pole would just explode!!! I'd been keeping my eyes open for a bargain on ebay or on maggotdrowners classified for a while but nothing grabbed me. I didn't want to spend a fortune but wanted something at least 11m. I heard about Dragon Carp in the past, but a lot of people seem to slag them off. But I'm not sure if the people who do this have ever actually used their products? The people that had used their rods all seemed to be pleased and I knew they did a few 11m poles around the £50 mark so I head off to Manchester's Fishing Republic and the Dragon Carp tackle tour on the 2nd April, with £100 in my pocket and the idea of getting an 11m pole and some other bargains!!When I arrived at 9.30am it was quite busy as you can see from the picture the Dragon Carp table was set up at the back with the "man on the mike" knocking out deals left right and centre!!! Well to be honest most of the stuff was at website price so no massive savings, I had hoped to get a seatbox on the cheap but these were website price so I passed on these.

I waited patiently for a pole to come up, but it was all rods and reels etc. So I pushed my way to the front and asked if they had any poles with them. They had two 11m poles the RDX with 2 tops at £50 and the Pantera 11m at £30.

I went for the RDX as it had the two tops and from my little research seemed a much better pole than the Pantera. I'm not sure if it is carbon but I know for sure the Pantera isn't!!

I also picked up this 6 tube holdall for £10 which retails at £25 on their website as my old rod holdall wouldn't be big enough for the pole and tops plus the strap broke a few weeks back.

So I was happy with my purchases all I needed to do now was figure out how to elasticate the pole and then go fishing!!

I visited Gone Fishing NW at the top of Bamber Bridge on the Tuesday and bought all my elastics and bungs for just under £20.

After reading numerous "how to" articles and watching video's on youtube, I fitted all the tops with Middy Pulla bungs and used solid Middy Hi-viz elastic in ratings 6-8 for match/winter fishing, 10-12 for normal commercial fishing and 16-18 for margin/paste fishing. The first one took me some time but after the fear of cutting my new pole to bits subsided I rather enjoyed the process, and will definitely get some extra satisfaction when I land a big 'un knowing that I fitted the elastic and pulla bung myself!!

So my pole was elasticated and my new holdall loaded and I was ready to head out. I decided to fish Turbary Garden Centre, which I'd been told was fishing well but I hadn't fished for a very long time so wasn't sure what to expect.

It was a glorious day and the sun was shining when I arrived at 9.30am. The lake is only small and had no features to fish to and as you can see from the picture below the water level seemed very low.

I did a quick loop of the lake but saw nothing that inspired me so decided to fish in the corner with the sun on my face, thinking that this area of the lake would get warm quickest. I'd brought red maggots, meat, corn and prawns for the hook and was using green soft feed pellets to feed. I set my pole up with all but the last section on and shipped out to around 10m. The pole felt good and was pretty sturdy. The wind was pretty blustery and when it blew the pole did bend round a fair amount but I had my match kit on so expected that. All I needed to do now was catch something to test the elastic!

It was a very slow start with maggot on the hook I was feeding quite regularly with maggot and pellet at 10m and heavily in the margin for later in the day. But it was only when I switched to corn on the hook I started getting bites. The first came at 11.30am at about 6m a line I hadn't feed.

I was alternating between my 10m and 6m swim but getting more positive bites from my 6m line. At 12.50pm I caught this skimmer that did it's best to get away by leaping out of the water as I was bringing it in! This was the best fish of the day.

As the day went on more fish where showing on the top so at around 2.30pm I spent an hour catching small roach with the odd bonus roach off the top. But there was no sign off a big fish coming along to test my elastic! As the day went on more carp started to roll and taunt me but none wanted to eat any of my bait so I packed up just after 4pm finishing the day with my first ever fish on prawn!

I used my pole again on Friday at Fairhaven but again I failed to hook into anything of any size to test it. But in my two trips I've been pleasantly surprised with the Avanti RDX, I've found it pretty stiff and easy to use at 10m. Fingers crossed that next time out I can hook into something that will put up a bit of a fight and test my elastic fitting skills as well as the quality of the pole.

Tight lines,

The Maggot Dangler

Monday, 21 March 2011

Byers Farm 19/03/11

I managed to negotiate a few hours fishing on Saturday and decided to go Byers Farm for a session. I'd wanted to try somewhere new but couldn't make my mind up where to try and was mindful of the fact I had to be home by 3pm.

A friend had fished the bottom lake a few weeks ago and had caught a few decent carp along with a bag full of roach so I set my alarm for 7.30am with the hope that I would be fishing by 8.30am at the latest. Unfortunately I slept through my alarm and its reminders and only got to the lake at 10am! I'd been told meat had worked well for my friend and in the past maggots had worked well for me. In my rush to get to the lake I didn't check my box and just presumed I had a tin of meat and decided I didn't have time for maggots.
I got to the lake at 10am and discovered that I had no meat(!) never mind I thought I had corn, soft 4mm green fishmeal pellets, bread and that bag of halibut pellets that I used at Fairhaven. Went to pay with the £10 I thought I had but in fact it was only £5! So I could only fish one rod, I had hoped to use the pole and have a sleeper rod with a bigger bait on, today wasn't going well!!! But the sun was out and my favourite peg was free.
I started by throwing two large handfuls of the green 4mm feeder pellet in by the dead tree along with a handful of corn. I set up a pre-made "margin float" rig with a size 12 hook, which I thought was a little large but as I was using corn(and I'd hoped meat) and aiming for the carp I thought it would be ok. Last year I had been snapped numerous times when I first fished here so didn't want to set up too light.
I was getting bites and nibbles on corn almost immediatly and within 15mins had my first fish.

A small roach.

The bites/pestering of my bait continued throughout the day and although I fed quite heavily about 10-20 pellets most put ins with the odd bit of corn I was struggling to get into anything big. I tried double corn, paste, worm and even a large piece of my pork pie but only small fry! I was also struggling with the small fish actually taking the bait. So switched the size 12 hook for a 16. This seemed to help make the bites more positive and resulted in a nice skimmer.

The sun had been obstructed by large grey clouds for the majority of the afternoon and with 3pm looming I was thinking that I was going to end the day cold and without a carp when the float went under and after a little resisitance this nice sized crucian came to the net.

I unhooked the crucian put another piece of corn on the hook and threw it out under my feet while I put the disgorger back. I picked up my top 2 section to begin shipping out when my line went tight! I had hooked into this small carp.

It gave a nice little fight and finished the day off well. I finished with about 15 small roach, 2 skimmers the crucian and the small common. Not bad but I had hoped for better. The guy on the peg behind me had started to catch nice sized carp at around 2pm. When I left at 3.15pm he had 5 between 1-5lb all caught on prawn about a meter out next to some reeds. The pond has an island that you can fish from and I think they patrol this island, and appear to have a taste for prawn! Also at this time of the year I have noticed that the bigger fish seem to wake up around 2/3pm they did at German Lane and again today my biggest fish came near the end of my day. Lessons learnt include:

1. Decide where you are going in advance so you can plan your baits and methods needed.
2. Actually check your box for said baits, dont assume they are there!!
3. Take enough money so you can fish with 2 rods or buy meat/prawns off other anglers!!
4. Have a big lie in and go fishing in the afternoon once the bigger fish have also woke up.

Fingers crossed I can get out on Wednesday this week and put right some of Saturdays misakes?
Until then, tight lines.
The Maggot Dangler

Thursday, 3 March 2011

A Day of Firsts

I was off work on Wednesday so after doing my jobs round the house (hoovering, ironing and tidy the yard!) I could go fishing with a clear conscious!
I've wanted to go back to Fairhaven in Leyland for a while but have never got around to it. The first time I went was in September last year and I blanked! But for some reason I keep getting draw back to the place, I know there's a lot of carp in and have heard good reports about the place in the summer months. So off I went with a bag full of pellets, corn, half a pint of red maggots and some worms. I arrived about 11am it was a chilly morning but dry and the sun was starting to wake up. I went for a wander around the lake there was two other fellas fishing one was carp fishing and hadn't caught anything and the other was on his pole he'd had a few roach. I didn't see any signs of fish so decided to fish in between two islands.

The left island was about 13m out this was to be my first line of attack with the feeder rod and I decided to fish about 5 m away from the right hand island in case the fish were swimming between the two islands.
I set up an open ended 20g feeder with a 8" hook length and size 16 hook. In the feeder I had mixed up some black breadcrumb with a new worm liquid stimulator to plug the top and bottom and used some new white crab flavoured feeder pellets (from in between. On the hook I used double red maggot. First cast and its a cracker right up against the island but due to trees either side of me I was having to cast overhead and it made a fair old splash on entry. I was worried that it may have spooked any fish in the swim but hoped the smell of both the pellets and liquid attractor might draw them back in! It didn't!!
After a few more casts and no signs of a bite I tried my second line of attack towards the other island this time I had worm on the hook. I'd been fishing for over an hour now with no interest from either swim and trying corn, maggot & worm. But the fish were starting to wake up and there was a few splashes and definite signs of fish movement as the sun started to come out around 12pm.
I had been feeding a pole line as well about 5 meter out on this line I was feeding maggots and soft green fishmeal pellets. I've been told that green paste works well on here in the summer so was hopeful these green soft pellets might work. I brought the feeder line in and put my pole out along with a small ball of breadcrumb and maggot on the hook. Within a minute the first fish of the day was caught.

Not a record breaker but my FIRST fish from Fairhaven, hurray!
Bites on this line continued throughout the day and I probably ended the day with about 15 in total I gave corn ago as well as hooking a green pellet but only maggot caught all day. I changed depth as the sun heated the lake hoping a bigger fish maybe near the top basking in the sun but to no avail. Though I did get about 5 decent sized roach throughout the day.

I switched the feeder to a small maggot feeder and took the bottom of so I could still use my breadcrumb/pellet mix. This was a lot better and didn't hit the water with such force! But I was still not getting any bites so out of desperation I switched to a hair rig I've never caught using a hair rig and I'm pretty dubious about it, I just don't get how they work?! I started with double corn but this wasn't working so again in desperation I turned to some 12mm halibut pellets I had bought a few months previously for barbel fishing on the river again never caught using pellet so wasn't too confident when I cast towards the left hand island, after about 15 mins the line starts to rise out of the water, I strike but out of excitement I think I strike too early and probably pull the pellet out of the fishes mouth before it can get on the hook!
It was 2.45pm and even the roach had gone quite I cast the feeder rod out to the right lake and start packing up the pole rig, at 3pm the rod goes, fish on!! After a spirited fight with a few runs once it was close in and with some major fannying around with the front drag easing the tension and tighten up I landed this pretty little thing.

The last fish of the day but my FIRST ever fish caught on pellet, and my FIRST ever fish caught using a hair rig set up. I was proper chuffed and another first the FIRST time I used my new scales to weigh this little mirror in at 3lb!
This carp made a pretty average days fishing pretty special and while I wasn't blown away with Fairhaven, it's certainly somewhere I will visit again and hopefully catch a few more of these elusive carp!
Tight lines,
The Maggot Dangler

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

German Lane 22/02/11

Today I visited one of the lakes on my 11 venues for 2011! German Lane is situated just through Euxton and has two lakes one a match lake canal style and the other a medium sized lake with two islands in it. I heard a lot about this place through and was looking forward to my day.
I arrived at 11am and decided to fish the main lake I'd heard this had lots of carp in and was a good all round lake, plus I knew the match lake was going to fill up later because there is a match on Sunday and a few Brig lads were coming down to practice.

I decided to start with the feeder rod and set up a medium sized method feeder with a really short hooklength of about 3 inch. I was using black breadcrumb and 2mm carp pellets on the feeder and I had maggots and corn for the hook.

First cast to the island/jettee and I was getting knocks and twitches on the rod straight away but no solid bite to strike at. When I brought it in the red maggots had been sucked to death! This persisted for the first 30mins I then tried corn but to no avail.
While I had the feeder rod out I was also feeding a close in line for my pole. I set my pole up at 11.45am the rig I chose was too short to fish on the bottom I was about 6inches off the bottom but too lazy to change it. I was into a small roach first put in on maggot. I caught about 5 small roach in the next 15 mins and decided to give it a rest but continue to feed.
The feeder line had gone very quiet so with a bit of deep thinking I decided to try a longer hooklength thinking the weight of the feeder might be putting them off. I was right! I put a hooklength on that was about 8 inches long first cast with corn on and I was in to this bigger roach.

Next cast same again. But then it went quiet. So back to the pole and I was getting a bite every put in but they seemed to be sucking the maggot and when I struck letting go but I still managed to catch steadily. I decided to come shallower to see if the bigger fish where up in the water and also started to throw in about 5-10 maggots with each put in. This seemed to work as the roach started taking the maggot rather than just sucking it and the size started to get better as you can see from these pics.

I decided to pack up around 4.30pm I probably caught over 30 roach but didnt need the landing net all day (a few of the bigger roach may have justifed using the net but I was saving it for a bigger fish!). I could have caught more if I concentrated on the pole but thought the feeder to the island would definately have produced a carp or two? I'm told that in the summer off the same peg I was on today fishing about 9m out using pellet and paste you get loads of carp so maybe they were just sleeping today??
I enjoyed my day and will definately give it another go in the summer but was a little underwhelmed just one carp or bream would have made it a great day but again at this time of year a decent days fishing I suppose.
The Maggot Dangler.

Saturday, 19 February 2011

A new venue visited

After last Sundays disaster on the canal and discovering the last match fished on that stretch of the L&L canal was won with 7lb, I bottled it and decided not to enter the match. I feel I need to get some more experience and maybe go watch a match before entering one.
I recently got back in touch via Facebook with an old friend that I used to go fishing with when I was around 13. He still fishes quite a lot and and is a member of a private lake in Wymott so we decided to meet up for the first time in many years and spend the morning fishing.
Wymott is a small lake and the water levels where apparently quite high because last summer there was a few lily pads in the margins and running through the middle but today I couldn't see any. The only features to fish to were some over hanging trees so we set up either side of the tree below.

I set up a dibber float and was going to fish under the tree about 2/3 metres out. The wind was blowing pretty hard at times and made it quite tough, I should have been using a float with a tip so I could see bites a bit better, but I still did ok.
I started off by feeding a couple handfuls of 2mm carp feeder pellets and was feeding maggots little and often. I had red and bronze maggots and within a minute I had my first fish.

A tiny roach, I was catching pretty regularly for the next hour and half and by 10.00am I had about 12 fish all small but some nice mirror and common carp that in a few years will be very nice fish.

A few skimmers of a better stamp to the carp had started to come out but by 10.30am the bites had dried up so I tried corn on the hook hoping for a bigger carp or bream maybe? But to no avail so I went back on the maggot and the bites started again, a better skimmer and a few more carp.

We packed up around 12.30pm we both had around 25 fish each with the biggest being this barbel that my friend caught, about 10minutes after telling me there was some barbel in the lake and me explaining how I'd love to catch one as I've never caught a barbel! The lucky bugger!

So a good days winter fishing with plenty caught shame we couldn't get anything bigger out but I'm told there is some bigger fish in but only tend to come out to play in the summer, so roll on summer when there might be some lily pads and bigger fish to see!

The Maggot Dangler

Sunday, 6 February 2011

What a 'orrible day!!

Managed to get out for a few hours this morning. Kind of wish I didn't! I went to the Leeds & Liverpool canal at Cowling Brow, Chorley. I'm thinking of entering a match on here next Sunday so thought I'd get some practice in.
I arrived around 10am and it was windy VERY windy! I set up my feeder rod with a open end cage feeder with black breadcrumb and casters in. On the size 16 hook I was to alternate between worm and caster. I decided to fish to the far bank as there was a few features that I thought my hold some fish. As you can see from the picture below.

It was very quite and at 11am I set my pole up. I decided to fish straight out in front of me at about 8 metres. I was fishing on the bottom with punched white bread on the hook and white liquidised bread to feed. The wind made fishing very hard the tow on the water was silly at times and I was fighting against the wind just to hold my pole straight at times! As you can see it was almost tidal!!

As I was shipping out the line went heavy, I thought it was more drift wood as there was plenty! But no it was a nice sized skimmer and it came to the net around 11.45am.

I decided to fish closer in and shallow up to try and catch more skimmers but to no avail. I was struggling to keep the punch on the hook, I think maybe the hook was too big far the size of punch? Either way with the strong wind, no action on the feeder line and my punch not staying on the hook I was getting very fed up. So at 1.30pm I packed up wet, cold and fed up but at least I didn't blank! So as a trial for next Sunday's match it wasn't the best but you never know the skimmer was a nice size and with this cold weather and low weights coming out I might get lucky!!

I hope you managed to get out this weekend and did better than me!!

Tight lines,

The Maggot Dangler.