All posts by Brian Coakley

I have fished since the tender age of 8, brought up on local waters such as The Bridgewater canal, Town park lake and Weston angling waters. As time progessed I started fishing further into the North West, and lapped up the abundant opportunities the region has to offer. A match fisherman at heart, I will always set up pole, feeder and waggler, and so long as it's a fish on the other end, I'm a happy man. 'Im very approachable and usually have a spare cup and some coffee if anyone fancies a chat on the bank' so if you see him out and about, take him up on the offer and have a natter!

The “Makins” of a great weekend

With 18 well stocked and carefully managed lakes on this scenic site, Makins are confident they can supply every angler visiting with a day’s fishing they will never forget.  Whether you are specimen carp angler looking to smash a personal best, a match angler looking for a bumper haul, or a pleasure rod who merely enjoys a relaxed days fishing.

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So first thing was to get some preparation and bait sorted. Off I popped to Warrington Angling Centre knowing which fisheries pellets to use I grabbed a few bags of 6 and 8mm pellets for on the band and some rig essentials to cover deep,margin and shalla pole work

A two-hour drive down the M6 and after setting up base camp for the 4 days we were ready to fish,on advice from the bailiff we chose lake four to fish from 5-15pm to about 8pm.

A very strong head wind made it hard to fire out pellets for the waggler to start with but the fish were turning on them so starting just off the island 2ft deep and a 14g guru waggler firing in 2/3 pellets every cast and casting about every 30 seconds we started catching but the way we gradually fed over the next couple of hours,  brought the fish to a distance of about 20m away from us and down to using just a 4g splasher waggler which was making a great plopping noise as it hit the water, this was attracting the carp

The hook that I tied had the pellet hard up against the hook.

It wasn’t long before we were into the carp

we were off to a flyer with a great 3 hours of waggler fishing catching 23 carp between us

Sunday morning and after a short walk we set up on lake 5 ,my peg had open water on the right of me ,the corner of an island in front of me and great looking margins either side of me.

Carp,skimmers and bream were the order of the day fishing 8mm pellets and monster lobster paste , feeding trigonella micros every put in , constantly feeding my 4 swims throughout the day.

Not having much luck on the rods apart from a few skimmers it was the pole that provided all the carp, fishing hard pellets and paste and swapping swims every time I caught or lost a carp.

The 35 carp I caught were of a great stamp not dropping below 5lb and rising up to 14lb 9oz loosing quite a few aswell. Sometimes even Daiwa black hydro just wasn’t able to hold them once they made a dash for the deep open water.
This one below being my biggest on the trip 14lb 9oz all these fish again were caught using fisheries hook pellets or monster lobster paste feeding Trigonella micros from Beechwood baits

15lber

The Monday seen us try the specimen lake out but with not much happening after  few hours so we had some dinner and moved to lake 2b for an action packed afternoon of catching hard fighting carp and bream that thought they could fly.

tackle

Paste and pellet rigs were 3ft deep 8m under a tree to my left and up against a pallet on the right seen me have a slow start for an hour or so then it went crazy. Incredibly I hooked and lost 9 carp on the trot taking me out into the middle of the lake using 13m of pole and elastic stretching out almost to its limit, a few changes in position on my box a bigger hook and I was ready to start getting a few of these crazy carp onto the bank.

The carp were coming in fast now.

A bit of clock watching hoping the time would go slow and the carp would carry on feeding . Ian  2 pegs down from me was doing great aswell, we were both catching carp regular with the best I had being 13lb 9oz backed up with 12lb and 11lbers with plenty of doubles too. Ian knocking up one just under 13lb.

Another brilliant day of fishing catching big hard fighting carp on the pole,once we worked out what they wanted and were they were it was a great afternoon even though we both lost a lot of fish, another visit will see me tinker a bit with rigs and elastic  to try to lose less ( hopefully )

My first visit and definitely not my last £12 per night to camp with electric and £7-50 to fish,throw in that a tackle shop,clean toilets,shower block,a great café and some new luxury lodges and it makes for near perfect fishing.

A guided tour round the complex by the bailiff in his 4×4 gave me a great insight and wanting more from the complex.

With over 600 swims to choose from, they can cater for both pleasure and match anglers alike.If one water is booked up for a scheduled event, they know for a fact that they can put a pleasure angler on to a water where they will have an equally enjoyable day.

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Speed fishing

Day one at Westwood Lakes while waiting for our lodge to be ready saw us have a 4 hour stint on Osprey, which is a newish match lake where all pegs are identical looking and ideal for a bit of speed fishing on light tackle.  I set out using Drennan Aqua F1 elastic and Daiwa white hydro in my top kits, shalla rigs with size 16 and 18 guru qm1 hooks with my bands tight up against the hook.

“Osprey lake is a 25 peg strip lake ideal for club matches. It is 13 meters across and 250 meters long. There is a shallow 2ft deep shelf either side and down the track is 3.5 – 5ft”

Bait was an easy choice glugged in Trigonella 6 and 8 mm pellets and feeding micros, this soon changed to just feeding 6mm pellets every put in.

bait

The fishing was frantic, once the feed started to go in, getting bites every put in but also

lots of line bites and loosing fish.

After about an hour I wasn’t putting in as much feed, just loose feeding 6mm pellets.

peg

Fishing up against the reeds on the far side brought some barbel and carp upto 3lb

( taking care to give every fish especially the barbel time to recover in the heat )

The fish were of a small standard with being a new lake but was great fun on light tackle.

Ian and Stu were enjoying the fun aswell.

a well-earned break with temperatures upto 30 degrees and Ian supplied some welcome refreshments.

snacks

Back to it and it was pretty much the same but by now we were fishing right in up against the bank getting a slightly better stamp of carp and barbel, as you can see in the picture it was quite ” Extreme margin fishing” )

extreme margin fishing

Not a water I would want to fish all day but a match situation or a few hours of fun then yeah great, in a few years when these fish have matured there will be some great weights coming out for all anglers!

Osprey on my you tube

Tight lines and keep an eye out for the rest of my blogs from my brilliant week at Westwoodlakes

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Summer magic at Lloyds Meadows

 

A brief account of my time spent with a few friends at Lloyds Meadows throughout the summer months and the great  success  I have had trying out Monster Lobster paste feeding micro pellets and plenty of them.

bait

It started off on a sweltering Sunday afternoon with fellow blogger Danny Bellfield and a short walk up to Heron, plenty of silvers in the morning then an afternoon of carp on the new Monster Lobster paste I’m testing.

My next trip out to Lloyds Meadows was with fellow match team angler Dave Williams from Warrington Angling Centre and we decided to fish Kingfisher a short session but some quality fish.

With the school holidays in full flow myself and Stu had a special treat for Lucas and Kieran…..a spot of night fishing was on the menu and WOW did we catch lots of fish spread over the two days added into the fun and none stop smiles from the kids we couldn’t have asked for anything better!

Kingfisher today presented another chance for me to get back on the paste and try to get some of the big carp hiding away but for most of the day they were basking around up in the water and not feeding, lucky enough for us we was feasting on breakfast barms off Sarah and a brilliant birthday cake for me off Stu!

We still managed to get a few fish on a day were the conditions just didn’t suit fishing.

Myself and Lucas decided to fish Kingfisher again but this time we didn’t arrive until 3pm the sun was still up but the fishing into the cooler evening was great fun and none stop action, and with Danny and his daughter fishing next to us there was a bit of banter as well, the paste and pellets approach was devastating.

Not one to miss a opportunity we decided to fish Badger lake on the bank holiday Monday  which the previous day had produced good close match weights.

Trolley loaded up and we headed off to the far side of the lake which I had not fished before, such a great day fishing again on pellets and paste feeding micros and 4mm pellets, what stood out for me today was a superb match lake which made you work for your fish swapping swims around and tinkering with float patterns keeping you busy if you wanted the rewards.

I suppose those of you who are regular visitors to Lloyds Meadows can all understand its takes a few visits because these fish dont just jump on your hook but when you get it right there is not many places that can rival it for quality fishing………im realy looking forward to the winter fishing here and hopefully get some great bags of Ide, Chub, Roach and Bream aswell as the massive Perch that are in Heron lake.

as always its been a pleasure Brian

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Fishing fun with the kids

Given that you have a lot of patience, fishing can be great fun and also rewarding when you take the kids.  Add to that, night fishing, then it becomes that little more testing, especially when one little boy is 5yrs old and has not done this before.

kids

So we needed a safe venue not to far from home which wasn’t just about the fishing, we wanted it to feel like an adventure for the kids so were better than Lloyds Meadow, only problem there is no night fishing allowed.  A little conversation with Danny  and he said we was welcome just name the date.

The kids were buzzing with excitement and armed themselves with head torch’s, wildlife apps and walkie talkies for searching out the abundance of different wildlife that can be found  at Lloyds Meadows and surrounding areas during the day and especially at night-time.

An early start seen Stu and I load up the cars to the max and go and set up base camp on Heron lake which consisted of bivys,cooking stove and every bit of fishing gear we could manage.

With the kids not getting dropped off until around dinner time it was only manners that we had a few hours fishing ourselves!

A few early morning munters caught on the Monster Lobster paste feeding pellets.

Kieran was the first to arrive full of smiles and a little nervous about staying out for the night, but he soon was in the thick of the action sat on his Grandad Stu’s box catching carp, this was priceless watching such a young child taking in everything that was getting said to him.

stu

Our next visitor was an unexpected but welcome one.  Friend of ours Dave turned up with his daughter Frankie who given the chance would have loved to have stayed the night with us, while she was there she helped us out with a net fish.

frankie

Soon after Lucas turned up and this ramped up the children’s conversation no end; what they were going to see in the night-time and how late they were staying up and the serious matter of catching more fish than me and Stu!

The instant bonding these two show made me think these are going to be fishing buddies for many a year.

Not wanting to stop for tea the lads fished away doing most things between them  always asking questions and showing willing and patience to get better every time they put in.

The pictures below showed the great effort and team work they showed ( which was difficult at times with the fish fighting hard and using my fishing set up ).

The fishing was frantic whether it was a small roach or a hard fighting carp each was welcome like a gold medal at the Olympics!

As the day time was coming to an end it was time to make all the tackle safe from the foxes and badgers that come out at night and the pesky ducks all looking for a bite to eat, it was also time for us to have some hots dogs which the kids helped to warm up on the stove.

Now came the exciting bit head torches on it was time for us to go for a walk round the lakes just before total darkness set in, such a beautiful setting as the fish were crashing around and the buzzards were still out trying to get some supper but what we wanted to see was the friendly fox so not making too much noise we headed off to badger lake and there he was not spooked by us he just got on with his business then went back into the bushes.

fox

Time now for the lads to settle down very reluctantly in the bivys but they carried on chatting with their walkie talkies.

A quick brew and we couldn’t resist the chance of some fishing in the dark,this brought back so many memories fishing on the canal under the stars with starlight on your float.

Myself and Stu caught and lost a few for a couple of hours in the dark fishing pellets in the margins.

By now the lads were fast asleep but the amount of noise coming from all different kinds of wildlife creatures, birds and monsters ( so I was told ) was amazing, as the ducks carried on their own party on the lake it was time to turn in ready for fishing in the morning.

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A fresh start to the morning kicked off with plenty of fish for me while everyone else was sleeping.

Kieran being so popular as he is had to go home after breakfast for other commitments but this didn’t put Lucas off as he carried on where he left off from yesterday.

Every few hours emptying our nets.

Jumping from box to box Lucas even had time to pinch a few from Stu’s swim.

lucas and stu

We caught a lot of quality fish but it was a team effort from the four of us.

The kids will not forget their time spent at Lloyds Meadows for a lot of reasons but for me and Stu what stood out was there eagerness to watch and learn asking questions and really enjoying themselves.

I know we visit Lloyds regular throughout the year but this place came alive like I have never seen it before and for that we couldn’t thank Danny enough for letting us spend the night at such a wonderful place.

Unit next time, it’s been a pleasure!

Rosemary Wood ….Carp in the dark

Well here we go , a new challenge for me

night peg1

Tonight was my chance to do something I have not done in my 35 years of fishing and that was get my self a carp in the dark and this was all down to Barry who shown me through the rigs and which was the best way to approach the swim

After watching Barry land a few in the day time ( he made it look so easy ) but to me the transition to bigger and heavier set ups wasn’t as easy as it looked

Fishing 14 wraps out over a pellet/boilie spod mix casting into the dark aiming at the tree markers in the sky line using a musselberry red 14mm hard hooker and the trap was set

We waited,the wind was picking up and the line bites were getting us excited each time I was thinking this could be the one

Then it happened the alarm went off and to be honest I just sat there forgetting this was mine , it wasn’t instinctive for me to go and strike,but the shouts from Barry soon made me go and give it ago,after a bit of a battle mainly down to me and not the size of the carp I netted it,taking it over to the cradle I couldn’t hide my delight bagging my first carp in the dark

Not the biggest of carp but to me it was a beauty and one I will remember

thanks for reading and until next time its been a pleasure

 

Sticking to a plan

A return to Cheshire fisheries on Sunday but this time a new pool for me and I went with a plan and was determined to stick with it even though as the week progressed the weather forecast was giving heavy rain and strong blustery winds which wasn’t ideal to my plan

The plan was fish paste and meat 8 meters out as the shelf drops and try and get some of the better stamp of carp but with these conditions presentation was going to be hard

A quick walk round the pools and I was soon thinking I should of brought my rods but that but that would of been the easy option.So setting up and cupping in plenty of trigonella micros and fishing a decent lump of paste on a size 12 hook and the bites were slow in coming,feeding a pole pot of micros every put in and the bites started to come after half a hour missing most of them which got me thinking it was small fish. After about a hour I got my first lump of the day wow did it fight,for the next hour or so it was a even battle with me catching as many as I lost,this is were I probably need to fine tune my paste fishing as its not a method I use often.

common

Soon the weather started to get the better of me ,unable to present my pole rigs due to the strong driving winds and a little worried about pole damage this was sweeping across the fishery and never in the same direction for to long so I went onto a shallow rig targeting the silvers at 4meters out which was good sport on the light gear feeding maggots as well as on the hook

After a bit of dinner and a brew it was time to give it a couple of hours back out at 8m were I had kept feeding the pellets,the carp had certainly moved in on the feed with instant bites which started to bring hard fighting carp on the paste and a new bait for me glugged mussleberry meat always putting in feed after every missed bite of fish caught

A few for the camera

Not as many fish as I thought I would of caught but I lost a lot some that felt big  and would not stop running when hooked,paste size was a issue for me aswell too small or too big there was always something nibbling on it and not always the carp I was after,the weather certainly played its part a few pegs down from me Dave had double the amount of carp I had using the feeder rod which let him have a better bait presentation in the high winds

A decent sort of day were I stuck to my plan and got more hours on the bank using paste which on its day is a killer method

its been a pleasure Brian

Trigonella available from our online shop Beechwoodbaits.com

Bank Holiday Mixed Bag

 A quick return to Lloyds Meadow Badger lake taking the chance to fish it as usualy its booked up for matches on the Sunday or I’m in work and as it happens we had a special on the Trigonella range for the bank holiday so with a little tweaking I took full advantage of it!

trig special

A warm day with a left to right wind and a clear sky  and not much ripple on the water greeted us as well as plenty of varied wild life loving the immaculate looking lake pruned to perfection giving each peg features close in and across to the island.

My idea today was a relaxed session involving plenty of chat with Stu and Danny and to get a few fish in the net.

Feeding the trigonella micros soon got the small carp in the swim and as previous visits I had noticed how quick these little terrors were putting on weight and giving a great fight on light elastic and taking double maggot!

smll carp net

slopping up the pellets and feeding heavy brought some realy good Bream and quality roach.

A couple of pegs down Stu was bagging up but using the waggler to get some good ide and carp fishing shalla on the waggler as well as getting led a merry dance on his pole line from some hard fighting carp.

stu

As the day drew on I took a break from the pole and got the feeder rod out chucking it across to the island were I had been firing in 8mm trigonella pellets, using trigonella 8mm wafters with micros in the feeder this method was a hit catching me a good stamp of carp!

For the next couple of hours the wind picked up and we had a little rain but the bigger carp came on the feed and the trigonella wafters were doing the business for me.

few from today:

Another top day fishing at my favorite venue comfy pegs , plenty of choice of features on all the pegs , lots of parking and clean toilets all this adds up to relaxing quality fishing in a super safe environment

my advice for Badger is walk around see if the fish are moving if they are get on them pegs, at the moment the fish are not holding up in any particular place.

Pellets and maggots seem to be the go to bait at the moment and  knowing how much to feed.

As usual great hospitality from Danny and Sarah always good to catch up and hear the latest goings on at the fishery.

look at for more great offers from Beechwoodbaits.com

unit next its been a pleasure

Arena Lake at Larford…..SSP

Probably the least fished of the 3 lakes at Larford but wow I think we would all love to have this at the bottom of our garden!  No fixed pegs with a high bank on one side and a bank that enters the water on the other side letting you stay protected from the wind if you choose so.

Today was the day I tried out Feed+SSP.  My SSP had been glugged in Trigonella for near two weeks now and smelt delicious!

on the waggler and bomb rods feeding 8mm trigonella pellets

feedx rig

Not using this bait before it was a bit of a learning curve for me so I started off on 15″ hook lengths on both waggler and bomb and a size 16 hook with a bait band on, the shape of the SSP suits the band perfect, firing in 2/3 pellets every 30 seconds soon got the carp turning on them but it took about 30 minutes to get my first fish.

A few more were netted whilst we still had cloud cover keeping the feed going in which was keeping the fish very competitive in my swim

Swapping over to the bomb casting in over the feed from the waggler kept the fish coming still feeding 2/3 pellets and casting regular

This session was going great I was firmly into my groove my feeding pattern was steady and the cloud cover was dictating my method of fishing

The fish were of a really good size not going below 4lb but fighting like fish twice their weight.

The highlight of the day was a stunning Common carp just over 16lb caught on the pole using the SSP this took me over 20 mins to get in from a swim I had been feeding with several large balls of ground bait and glugged small pieces of meat.

Finding a flavor that suited the venue I was  fishing and then adding it to SSP really worked a treat for me today and as I mentioned before they were all good size carp plenty of them knocking on around 10lb, this product excites me because it seems to have possibly filtered out the smaller carp and the bream and has so many variants whether it be bomb, waggler or even the pole.  Still a bit more tinkering to get the finished product but until then its been a pleasure!

me and ian

 

 

 

Larford Lakes Match Lake

Rain greeted us on our return to Larford lakes for our Beechwood Baits social and after a walk round the match lake my mind was made up it was peg 43 for me giving me 2 margin swims, Lilly pads and an Island to cast to.

Three swims for my pole line included some tricky looking Lilly pads to my left and two margin swims at 5m and  8m to my right up against the bank, my feeder line composed of 34g guru method feeder and a selection of hooks with bands and spikes at various lengths.

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8mm pellets and wafters soaked in trigonella glug and corn were my main hook baits constantly firing a few pellets in every cast of the feeder.

Once I found my range with the feeder it was best to come off the island by about 3ft to avoid branches and leaves the fish started to come steady.  Bream and carp liking what was on offer.

Plenty of fish movement around the lake which for a while I had to myself until the rest of the lads on the match side of the Beechwood Baits social joined me, as the fish seemed to be spawning on the specimen lake and they were soon into the fish.

Plenty of bites still on the feeder but choosing to leave it for a while as it seemed the smaller fish had moved in on the groundbait, this decision now became a pattern for my fishing giving it 30 minutes a time swapping from pole to feeder during the course of the day.

Lots more fish came as the day went on constantly feeding now introducing dead red maggots to my feed and liquidised corn this holding and attracting fish to my chosen swims.

Sitting off and having a chat with the lads it seemed like we was all having a decent days fishing even though we were disappointed not being able to fish the specimen lake, but nature was doing its thing and there will always be another day.

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Time was moving on and the fish had moved into the margins so casting the feeder  into my 8m swim and using the pole at about 6m got me some fish but loosing quite a lot with the fish snatching at the bait and shooting into the open water at a rate of knots.

A great days fishing on a day that started at 3-30am to travel down to Larford lakes seen me catch a lot of Carp and just as many if not more Skimmers and Bream, the fish were definitely in my swim(s) but I think the skill was keeping them there and then getting them in the net on balanced set ups and well presented bait.

A sneaky hour on the specimen lake Saturday morning brought me this 12lb mirror carp on double red maggots this took me over 25 minutes to get in the net as I was only using Daiwa white hydro elastic.

Thanks for reading its been a pleasure Brian

Showing his Dad how it’s done!

My 8 year old son has been asking for weeks “when are we going fishing Dad” followed up with “I always catch more than you Dad” so the weather had warmed up and we headed off to Lloyds Meadow my go to water knowing its safe surroundings and family friendly pegs on Kingfisher and Heron lakes

Simple approach of a feeder rod and shalla pole rigs using corn and dumbbell shaped Mussleberry red boilies

Feeding quite heavy to start with on the pole brought Lucas plenty of small carp

When I got the chance I caught a few myself

Through out the day as well as eating all the packed lunch Lucas caught steady mainly using the feeder rod swapping his hook baits around to keep the fish  interested

Not one moan about the weather , not one shout out “are we going home soon”but the shout out was a proud one as far as I was concerned ” when are we going again Dad “

A really enjoyable day for me watching Lucas catch fish with help from me only to net and un hook,fishing doesn’t have to be expensive for the kids to do in fact when you have got some gear together were else could you go and spend a full day for the price of a day ticket which is between £5-£8 at most places

Thanks for reading and if you want any more information about my blogs , bait and tackle used please contact me

until next time from myself and Lucas its been a pleasure