Sunday, 30 January 2011

Targets for 2011

Annoyingly I've not managed to get out this week so I've been thinking about what I'd like to achieve in 2011. As I've said previously I fished for years but never really taken it serious and would maybe get out once or twice a year but at the end of last year started get back into it and I'm really looking forward to getting out a lot more this year and catching a lot more fish! I've decided to set myself a few targets for this year to give me something to aim for and give some structure to my fishing.
My first target for this year is to improve my basics I need to learn some new knots and start making my own pole rigs. This will save me some money and I will be able to make rigs up to fit the venue. I'm sure catching a nice fish on a rig I have made myself will only add to the enjoyment.
I really want to become comfortable fishing knowing how to use all my equipment, different techniques and methods to catch fish. All this will help me in my next target to compete in a match. I've never match fished before but my competitive side thinks that this will be fun and a good way to meet other people that fish.
I'm a big fan of a list and as its 2011 I thought it would be good to target 11 different species of fish, so here are the 11 fish I'd like to catch this year:
1: Chub
2: Roach
3: Skimmer
4: Ghost Carp
5: Barbel
6: Common Carp
7: Tench
8: Perch
9: Crucian Carp
10: Bream
11: Mirror Carp

My final target for 2011 is to fish at 11 different venues, so here's my list of places I'd like to visit this year:
1: Whitmoor Fisheries - Kirkham
2: Cunneries - Eccleston
3: German Lane - Eccleston
4: Birkache Garden Centre - Chorley
5: Vernons Lodge - Penwortham
6: Barrat & Jays - Leyland
7: Orcheton House Farm - Eccleston
8: High Heys Farm - Eccleston
9: Heskin Old Farm - Heskin
10: Lindholme - Doncaster
11: Cudmore - Stafford

So that's my targets for this year and you can follow all my progress on here. If you've been to any of these places, or know somewhere that I might catch one of my target fish or maybe you can give me some advice on match fishing then feel free to leave a comment.

The Maggot Dangler

Monday, 24 January 2011

How times have changed!

When I first started getting back into fishing I was using it almost as therapy the time on the bank was time away from money, work & woman worries. I could go to a local lake and completely let my mind go blank and just enjoy a few hours away from everyone and everything and if I caught a few fish then even better!
But then my competitive streak comes out and I don't just want to sit on the bank carefree I want to catch more fish and bigger fish! I started reading fishing forums to find out about new techniques, baits and venues. And before you know it I'm thinking about personal bests and entering matches! Instead of relaxing and being blank while fishing now I'm thinking about what bait to try next, should I try fishing shallower, maybe I should try the method feeder, its a full moon and the temperture is just right, should I fish into the wind etc etc etc etc the list could be endless!!!
When I first started back fishing I had my 6m whip, a disgorger, a couple pole rigs, slice of bread and some maggots. It all fit easily in the boot of my car along with a fold out chair, I could be fishing within 5mins of being at a venue. Now I have match rod, feeder rod, 9m pole and 2 whips in my rod bag. I have a big old heavy box that has 3 reels, over 25 pole rigs, feeder pellets, big drilled pellets, hooker pellets, paste, groundbait etc and weighs a ton. The last time I fished it took me about 30mins to get set up!!
How times have changed, but for the good I think. I was told on one of the fishing forums:
"Laziness doesnt catch fish, preparation and effort do" I think it adds to the day to do some research before hand, what pegs have fished well, what baits work I think in fishing you are always learning and trust me I have a lot to learn. But hopefully 2011 will be a big year for me I'm going to set some targets in my next blog, nothing to stretching but something to aim for. My main aim is to keep fishing as a pleasure but like any sport you don't want to turn up and get beat so its me verses the fish! Bring it on!!!

Thanks for reading,
The Maggot Dangler

Saturday, 22 January 2011

First full session of 2011

Tuesday 18th January was my first chance this year to get out and have a full days fishing. So after a little lie in I set off to the tackle shop in Bamber Bridge at 9.30am for some pinkies and advice on where to go. I was considering Fairhaven in Leyland but had been told it didnt fish well in winter. Cunneries near Eccleston but I was told one lake was shut and not heard anything about it recently and finally German Lane which like Cunneries would be a new venue for me and was told its fishing ok for silvers. So decisions decisions but after a chat with the very friendly owner of the bait shop in Brig I decided on Byers Farm in Gregson Lane!! He said a few people had been and done ok and I had a score to settle after the last time I fished it a nice sized carp snapped the top section of my pole!

Arrived about 10.30am and the sun was peeking out from behind the clouds and the mist was lifting of the lake, as you can see from the picture it was looking good!!

As I said in my earlier post I have recently purchased a new feeder rod and reel and was excited to try them out. So I set the rod up with 6lb main line and elasticated method feeder and a pre-tied 5lb hair rig hook length of about 6 inch size 14. I decided to flick the feeder into the corner of the lake (so not really a great trial for casting distances etc!) the wind was blowing into the corner and I though any loose feed put in over the weekend may have ended up in this corner plus there is a few overhanging trees to keep the fish interested!

I pulled out all the baits I had just incase (!) but my main attack was to be soaked feeder pellets on the method feeder and corn on the hook as corn worked well the last time I fished here though I was on the bottom lake, this was my first time on the top lake. I also had pinkies to feed and put on the hook, some large marine pellets, some catfood hooker pellets which I think have passed there sell by date as they never seem to stay on the hook nor did they stay on the hair rig!!

I was fishing by 11am and it was very quiet! I had a knock on the rod when I had pinkies on while I was soaking the pellets but not a full on bite. I have only recently started using the hair rig set-up and at the moment I don't trust it!! I'm just not confident I will catch using it, I'm sure as soon as I catch my first fish using the hair rig hooks I'll be fine but at the moment I just don't trust it! So at 12.30pm with no bites I cut the hair of my hook on just put the corn on the hook. I was despearate to set my pole up and try that, but had told myself I was there to use my feeder rod and nothing else! At 12.40pm my feeder rod was cast to the middle of the lake and my pole rig was lowered into the corner of the lake!! And instant success, I lost the first fish as I was bringing it in but caught instantly on putting the pinkie back in and at 12.45pm I had my first fish of the day.

A small but perfectly formed little roach. I could now relax, I hadn't blanked!

It was while I was unhooking this fish and taking its picture that the tip of my feeder rod started to slowly go round!!! (Like buses hey!)

So roach returned and I pick my rod up and strike, fish on! And its a decent one. I start to reel but there's a problem it's stuck? I look down and a massive knot has developed around the arm of the reel, I can't reel in!!!! OH MY GOD, panic, deep breath, pull the rod back again to check the fish is still there, it is. Ok think, can I pull the line in somehow urrm no (idiot!) pull the rod back again its still there, luckily its not doing a lot but is definately there. I tried undoing the knot but there was no chance, I had to cut the line above and below the knot and tie the two ends together!! That done I start to reel in eventually but its not moving, oh know its snagged me up I think? It was hard to tell where the line was but it could have been wrapped around one of the platform legs I thought, gutted so I start pulling on the rod thinking I was snagged expecting to snap my hook length and start again. But then all of a sudden it gets loose and the fish is still on!! It didn't give a big fight just seemed to sit there but about 20 minutes after the bite I finally land my first fish on my new feeder rod and reel.

A beautiful ghost carp of about 5lb. Mavellous! My biggest ever fish!

The warmth and sun from earlier in the day had gone and the clouds and wind had arrived, it was bloody freezing! The feeder rod was very quiet but I was getting roach of a similar size to the one above quite regularly on the pole I tried corn, paste and meat on the pole rig but only pinkies were getting bites. I also tried pinkies on the feeder rod and landed this small skimmer.

I decided to pack up at 3.45pm as I was bloody freezing and had jobs to do around the house before my better half got home from work!! I was happy with my haul of 15 small roach on the pole, with one skimmer and a good carp on the rod but then as I was putting the pole into my holdall the feeder rod started to bend again! I quickly jump over the piles baits and equipment I was packing up and pick the rod up, strike to my left and fish on! A good one as well about at least the same weight as the one I had caught previously. I tried reeling in but it wasn't moving again it n'tfighting just sort of refusing to move, I slackened the drag on my reel to let it go on a run if it wanted and pulled back again but it wasn't moving! I pulled back again and snap!! Absolutely gutted my hooklength had snapped. I think I was being too keen with it. I need to learn to not get so excited and let the fish come in when its ready especially on the lighter gear that I use. I also missed a bite earlier when I struck too early so I need to learn from the fish I landed not to strike to early and give the fish time but without having a heart attack because I've got a massive knot just out of choice!!

But a great day all in all fish caught and really enjoyed using my new equipment. I can't wait to get out again!!

Tight lines,

The Maggot Dangler.

Saturday, 15 January 2011

The quest for a new rod & reel.

I've fished for many years and up until recently I was all about the rod and float. You can't beat watching a bite develop with a knock and a nudge and slight dip willing the float to disappear its what makes fishing so special. I've had a 6m whip for many years and enjoyed that as well, but when I started get back into fishing last year I dug out my Dads old D.A.M 9m pole and I love it, I never use my match rod now! I will hopefully be up-grading this year but may need to win the lottery first!!
Fishing techniques and styles have changed so much since I was a lad and I had heard a lot about the method feeder, so invested in one last year. I only used it once or twice last year and had to use my match rod as when I found my quiver rod in my Dads shed it was broken! I'm still not convinced that watching the end of a rod is REAL fishing but it does seem to be a popular why to fish and an important tool in match fishing.
So I decided to treat myself at Christmas to a new feeder rod and reel. One website I really enjoy reading and always use for advice from fellow anglers is
I found it a really tough decision to make I had set myself a budget of £40 maximum which isn't a great deal but also you can get really good quality tackle at a good price these days. Ebay is also a great place to look for good quality second hand equipment and clearance prices on new things.
I was stuck between the Maver Abyss and the Garbolino pickers both had great reviews on maggotdrowing. I was leaning more towards the Garbolino carp feeder as this could take line upto 8lb and I thought I might need this on a snaggy river like the Ribble and when fishing commercials, but on the day I went to Ted Carters they had sold out! So on my return put a bid on Ebay of £20 on a Maver Abyss 12ft feeder rod with 3 tips which is a lighter rod only taking upto 6lb line but at £25 including delivery was abit of a bargin!
So rod purchased now for a reel!!
Again the choice is endless(front drag, rear drag, bait runner etc etc) but to stick in my budget I only had £15! Go Outdoors had a great offer on where they had 50% off all fishing equipment, I popped into the Stockport branch on the way to collecting my son from his Nanna's but really didnt like the feel of the Shakespeare and Abu reels they had, I was stuck! Nothing on Ebay was catching my eye, Lostock Tackle Box was shut when I went to have a look. And then Mark from got intouch through maggotdrowning offering a few ideas that were for sale on Ebay and some he had on his website. While on his website I noticed he had the Shimano ST2500 FA Baby Baitrunner for sale in the used section though the reel had never been used. It looked like a great reel had brilliant reviews wherever I looked and so with a little negotiation blew my budget and bought it for £30.

I spent £55 in total but I'm confident that I have a great rod and reel that will last me some time. Now I just need to get out and use them!!!
Thanks for reading,
The Maggot Dangler.

Friday, 14 January 2011

So today was my first day back on the bank in 2011! I had a spare hour before I had to pick my lad up from nursery so headed to the small river I had success with at the end of last year.
It was a relatively mild day (I only had 3 layers on!!) and was quite sunny but cloudy.

As you can see from the picture above the "river" is only about 6 meter wide and is about 3/4 foot deep. Today is the deepest its been in the couple of times I've been and was pretty clear. I was fishing at the far bank beneth the tree branches. The flow was pretty quick and was swirling around a lot which made it pretty difficult.

I got there around 2pm and as the river is so narrow you can only really fish with a whip. So I pulled out my 15 year old Silstar red 6m whip. I didn't see much point in buying maggots to fish for an hour so nicked a slice of bread from home and a bit of corn to feed.
It was very quiet with no sign off bites in the first 30mins, I kept changing my depths and alternating between corn and bread on the hook but it wasn't looking good and I was starting to regret not get some maggots!
But then at 2.46pm the float went under and not because of the current this time! After a little fight this beauty came to the net, caught on breadflake.

Not sure if it's a roach or chub, but I think as its so long its a chub? Either way a nice fish to start 2011 off and that was that! I ran the float through the swim a few more times but nothing so packed up and head to the pub for a swift half to celebrate the start of hopefully a good 2011!
Hoping to get out on Tuesday for a full day and to use my new feeder rod and reel (more on that to come).
Thanks for reading and good luck for the weekend if you're planning on wetting a line.
All the best,
The Maggot Dangler.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

2010 Round up.

So as I've said previously I only started getting back into fishing at the end of 2010 and a lot had changed. Line is measured is diameter and not lbs, everyone uses pellets before this year I was strictly a maggot and bread man and hadn't really heard of pellets I still haven't caught with pellet on the hook but have used them for feeding, paste was used to hang your wallpaper not catch carp and the birth of commercials seem more apparant. I'm used to fishing small ponds for free or paying upto £2 to fish a farm lake but now there seems to be an abundance of commercial fisherys charging £5 and stuffing their small lakes full of carp.

Today I thought I'd show you a few pictures from my trips out in 2010 to give you an idea of the places I fish and the fish I've caught.

All these fish came right at the end of the year when most places where frozen over but I managed to find a small river/brook that was still flowing near Bamber Bridge. Its a small river and not very deep at all, I used to fish it when I was a young lad but never remember catching anything as big as these fish. I had to use my old whip as there was no space on the bank for my pole and its not big enough for a rod. I used pinkie and bread trotting along the far bank and was on a fish a chuck in the end.

A bit of game fishing!!

A small chub(I think?)

A nice sized roach.

In the hour or so I was there I must have caught over 10 roach, chub and the random trout!!

Another venue I fished a lot last year was Shruggs Wood in Leyland. This venue has abit of a bad reputation as it is near a rough estate and gets a lot of young kids fishing it. I've never had any problems and as long as you avoid it during summer holidays and leave around 3pm its a smashing little venue and at £2 a day or £12 a year a bargin! The first few times I fished it I used maggot and caught lots of skimmers and perch nothing massive but all a nice size. There was always people set up for carp but I never saw them catch anything!

I'd decided to go fishing in Blackburn after dropping my son off at nursery and despite the fact that it was absolutley throwing it down nothing was stopping me! So I went to Newrads (?) in Darwen I didnt like the look of the venue and after an hour with no bites and strong winds I decided to go to Shruggs Wood as I was certain I'd catch and its surrounded by woods so quite sheltered. I was using corn as well as maggot on this day and as well as the usual haul of skimmers I caught my first ever bream. I didn't have scales with me but would guess it was around 3lbs.

Notice the rain bouncing of the lake!

Another venue I fished a few times last year was Byers Farm in between Gregson Lane and Bamber Bridge. I fished here a couple of times as a child but don't remember catching much! It now has a second pond and is full of carp around the 1-2lb mark as well as bigger carp into double figures there's even a rumour of a catfish in the top lake as well! I hope I never catch it, ugly things!!

On my second visit just before it got all icy and snowy but still bloody cold I used pinkies and corn caught only caught 3 or 4 small carp before one around the 6-8lb mark snapped my pole! I'm currently using my dads old DAM pole which had a few repairs on the top section, I had a decent battle with this fish and was near to landing it when SNAP! my top section snapped in two places! Gutted PB fish lost and a trip to local tackle shop to see what he could do. Anyway here's a few pictures of the fish that didnt snap my pole from my two visits to Byers last year.

A very nice goldfish

A small common carp very pretty though, unlike its ugly sister below a chunky mirror.

So that's a quick round up of my 2010, I hope to get out very soon and start telling you all about the fish I catch in 2011!

The start of a new year.

I've fished all my life, but I've never really taken it seriously or fished more than a few times a year. I used to fish a lot of small free ponds in and around the Hoghton and Bamber Bridge area when I was a kid and always enjoyed it but never caught anything big.
I started going quite regularly at the end of 2010 and seem to have got the bug back!
I want to use this blog to document my return to fishing and hopefully progression from bumbling idiot who can't tie hooks on properly to a decent all around angler cumulating in me entering my first ever match at some point in 2011.
I work long hours during the week and have a 2yr old boy who I love spending time with at weekends as well playing cricket in the summer months so finding time to fish is one of my biggest obstacles. But I hope to get out quite regulary and will discuss the venues, set up, baits and fish caught or not as the case my be(!) on here after each session.
I hope my blog will entertain and inform you, but my biggest wish is to get some interaction from you guys so if I'm doing something wrong, or you've got advice on a venue etc I'd love to hear from you and I will be more than willing to share all my tips and venue info with you.

But for now tight lines,
The Maggot Dangler