Tag Archives: Angling

Dad and lad fishing

6 weeks off school always seemed a great time as a kid to put away the football and go fishing.  My youngest Lucas who is 8, is gradually being eased into fishing with a ‘no pressure’ approach, with the help of a lot of good Beechwood team mates, friends from the #SundayCrew and fisheries owners, he is spending more time on the bank and learning lots of new fishing skills.

The usual early start normally results in a few hours sleep at the side of the lake, he tells me its to stock up his energy to catch more fish!

lucas asleep

When he finally does wake up the usual shout  is “come on Dad you have had your head start now it’s my turn”.

I try to mix it up with Lucas using the rod and pole.

Fish handling is important, but with a decent mat some soft ground and keeping  the fish low to the ground, Lucas seems to be getting the hang of things.

A few small carp and a barbel, not a bad start to the day.

Where possible I try to let Lucas do as much as he can with some coaching from me in the back ground, my advice to anyone introducing their kids to fishing, is as long as it’s not too much of a struggle let them find their own way, which they are comfortable with.

Sometimes you do catch those carp that just won’t keep still, and have to step in to help!

Catapults and mixing bait seem to be some of Lucas’s favourite things when fishing.

Nothing better than a bit of team work with his friends; listening to Lucas while this (below) was happening was priceless, he sounded like a fisherman of 40 years experience telling Kieran what to do)

Each venue offering different challenges which included fish size, depth of water, pegging and weather.

Where possible I just stand back and let things happen, only stepping in when needed.

Such a shame that summer seems a long time away, but looking back at these memories makes me proud that Lucas has enjoyed his summer time on the bank with myself and the lads, who I can’t thank enough for their time and patience which has made it so much easier for me and Lucas to enjoy ourselves!

 

until next time its been a pleasure

 

 

 

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Below the surface By Jonathan Wells

What happens below the surface is pretty much part of the magic of Angling so the tackle we put below can be critical to success . This blog  will share with you my “go to ” rig which has always caught me fish , and no surprise my PB In June this year, as well as my favorite bait from our portfolio.

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I am Jonathan Wells a Beechwood Baits angler and passionate husband and father, If you want to know more about me or the details of this blog you will find me on the Beechwood Baits Facebook pages so hit me up for a chat.

So my go to presentation that gives me confidence and catches me fish is the “Helicopter” rig with a heavy lead.With the top bead either running free or set  to drop off if there is a breakage, this ensures the fish will never be tethered.  In my opinion it is the most versatile set up around and one of the safest for the fish.My chosen rig for the helicopter is a simple D rig with a critically balanced hook bait .My preference being Musselberry red with one of our adjusta plugs.

RIG

My usual go to was a PNBA plug but with my last quest bagging me my new PB at a new very hard weedy water of 25 acres I though about mixing things up a bit.

CARP

With the venue in June  fishing hard it gave me the chance to try all of  the plugs in our portfolio to which my success came from one of our Tangz plugs so I can definitely recommend trying this and can see that being my new go to Adjusta plug .With the helicopter setup I either have a small mesh nugget slid down the rig or a solid bag with the helicopter lead inside of it. My mix includes musselberry stick mix and mixed Trigonella and musselberry chopped boilies. That is personal preference as I am still undecided what is my favorite but i can recommend both to try if you’re considering trying this rig.

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So a short and sweet Blog sharing my favourite rig which worked for me in a hard weedy venue and could work for you too! Tight lines and enjoy your fishing.

Jonathan

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.

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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.

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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.

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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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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.

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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

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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

Still at school but loving the lessons.

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Wow its been a while since I last blogged about my journey into specimen carp fishing, January to be precise. So many things have happened since January so sit back and relax and I will tell you all about it.

Firstly I have moved into the position of “promotions manager” for Beechwood Baits which is an  awesome appointment for me and I am really pleased.  Beechwood Baits attended the NAS held in events city Manchester in April which was simply brilliant , and my fishing journey has really began to gather momentum with trips to Monarch lakes and Larford Lakes on two social events, to me that meant i had a load of carp anglers around me and I am not shy asking questions:)

My plan was always to get a “starter kit” and really begin to understand the kit ,challenge myself and above all take my time and let the journey unfold as organically as I can. So choosing Blakemere as my very first carp venue was that clever? I tell you now i would not change a thing, not a single thing because every single trip i have been on I have come away with so much more understanding and a little bit of practice and experience, and there is no rush right!

This blog is all about what changes I have made based on my fishing experiences, conversations with team mates, pegging next to experienced anglers ,making mistakes, recognizing the mistakes and lastly catching fish! None less important than the other.

The pictures above are at Monarch Lakes in Lincolnshire and a good place to start. The team was invited to fish Monarch Lakes by the owners and for the first time in my fishing history I was with a bunch of carp anglers and no course buddy to keep me company, just my carp”starter kit” and a load of Trigonella. I felt a little bit alone , and that’s not in any way referring to the lads I was fishing with , or how I was treated by them , on the contrary , this team are an awesome bunch of people who could not do enough for me. What i mean is I was feeling a little out of my depth and not felt like this  in a very long time. Add to that the place was not fishing well and although we all had indications , the fish were not playing ball. It was at this venue that I actually did something that Andy Grover discussed with me at Blakmere , we were sat there at Blakemere  discussing siting a fish and what to do should you sight fish …….. put a bait on it ! Sounds simple right! So this is how it went down……The first day I continually saw a fish crashing in the other lake to where the team were fishing , but did not do anything. Second day this fish kept crashing in the same spot so I had enough of sitting on my hands (Sorry Denis I know you tell me i have to learn to sit on my hands ) and put a rod in the other lake over the crashing fish .10 Minutes later Boooom! and fish on .It was a good fish and unfortunately I didn’t get this fish in.What i did do was stir up the team and create a little excitement and by this time Gav and Andy had come over and sat on the grass while I upped the rig strength and put out another bait right on the same spot. Now call me stupid or risky but I turned to Andy Grover and said “if this rod goes within the next 10 minutes you can play the fish”. Thats right , your spot on ….. it only screamed off and true to my word Andy played the fish in , Gav landed it and Beechwood Baits had a fish on the bank at last!

I was so proud of that fish because I used the knowledge that was passed to me and it actually worked. So on this trip I learned that its ok to feel vulnerable because it keeps you on your toes and makes you work hard. I also learned that I am a “make something happen” angler and if the fishing is hard then I will up the ante and go looking for them. Extremely proud to have had the guts to get off my backside and do something different and it paid off! After all ,I may be changing , but the carp remain the same! A few other things worth a mention is the patience and team support I got from Denis Ryan who took the time to show me the best way to get my bivvy up quick, thanks Denis something so simple like 5 minutes to show me through many years of experience really helped.

Larford was the next social and armed with my “starter kit” I made my way to the venue feeling less vulnerable and a little more confident . I was meeting Denis early and knew before I even got there I was going to peg next to him simply to bombard him with questions , poke my face into his rig box and basically get some 1 on 1 tuition .I mentioned rig box because on this trip my desire to understand my rigs VS. the other lads rigs could only help me to improve and in turn catch more fish. I was feeling confident with the rods and the set up , it was the end tackle I wanted to improve.

Larford was significant for me with my carp fishing for a few reasons:

  1. I made a glaring error but learned a valuable lesson.
  2. I added value to a team members trip with coaching of my own.
  3. I got loads of good tips from Denis on rigs.
  4. I needed to focus more on looking after myslf fo
  5. I really got to look at Anthony Tolleys approach and nicked a load of brilliant things he does and gadgets he uses to make the most from his fishing.

My error was a simple small attention to detail when tying a rig which resulted in a lost fish ….. Denis noticed the mistake and when I rectified the mistake I didn’t lose another fish.

As for coaching ….. I coached Liam Watts on pellet waggler and he literally took to it like a duck to water, and had a ball , bagging on the waggler!

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Anthony Tolley shared how he gets self take pictures using a gadget he found on eBay which I have since ordered and have to say its a great bit of kit to have. If you want to know more about this gadget ask me or Ant.

And what can I say about the enigma that is Denis Ryan, what a team-mate he really is. I learn so much from Denis but its his willingness and enthusiasm to share years of experience that really is the measure of him. So thanks Denis, its greatly appreciated.

Upgrades

From the outset with my carp starter kit, apart from the obvious thicker rods, bigger reels, the single biggest difference from my course tackle to carp tackle was the reels. with my course gear I use Diawa Matchwinner reels so i have been used to quality reels that do a great job.My carp reels were making it difficult so i decided on upgrades but it was not only the reels that made me consider upgrades to be fair.I looked back on my last two years and realized that 99% of my fishing was with rod and reel and I had been busting my guts carting really heavy course gear  to every venue to basically sit on and catch carp, along with a pole I hardly used ,so time for a change. The change i am making will take time but its work in progress. For now the upgrades I have chosen will take away heavy gear, focus on making my carp angling a little more updated but still give me the option to fish pellet waggler and bomb so I get the best of both worlds. So I upgraded with new reels that felt closer to what I was used to, new alarms that had enough about them to give me options in any peg I may find myself on and a receiver because apparently I slept through a run at Larford and Ant Tolley couldn’t wake me , and the all important ridgemonkey pan that is simply a brilliant piece of kit and so versatile.

 

I am still after the water shot but something about this goal has changed and it’s not my desire to achieve it , I am simply not in a rush to get it. I would rather keep learning and gaining experience and when it happens it happens. What I am craving next is two-fold:

  1. 48 hr on a proper carp water hopefully “The Quarry”
  2. 24 hours on my own and savor every moment.

Until next time , tight lines to you all and may the carp gods shine down on you when you need it the most.

Barry

 

 

 

 

Overcoming Snags on the way to Success!

Arrived at the lake, Etang Cache, late Tuesday afternoon as my flight had been delayed.  I was feeling ready to unwind and get the rods out.  I didn’t think I was going to be able to fish the snags as there were some lads on them before me, but they chose to move as they had done two nights and had no fish.  I set up and got talking to one of the owners and was told that there hasn’t been a fish out of the swim for 3 days but over 75kg of bait had been put in that week.  So, I opted to fish little bags of crushed Musselberry and just flick a few boilies over the top of each rod, just a hand full on each.

The night went by with no bites and I woke to rain and wind.  Great!  So, I thought I would leave my rods in as I knew they were on the spots, and the bailiff came and had a chat with me before breakfast.  The lads also come over from their peg to have a chat.  I am now getting to know them pretty well, and as we are all talking, the middle rod lets out a few beeps…..

I’m fishing locked up fishing tight to the snags, I run down heart in my mouth, hit the rod and try to turn the fish.  I managed to turn the fish and 5/10 minutes of a mental fight ensued with the fish going in and out of the snags.  It was intense!  I eventually managed to wrestle it away from the snags and land the fish.  A few minutes after thinking to myself that was an epic battle.  Little did I know that every battle after that was to get more, and more insane.  The fish went 28lbs so I was made up as it was bigger than my UK PB and was off the mark.

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A few hours after the first fish I decide to go around to the stalking swim.  I fished the same rig and bait but instead of casting out then bait up I choose to put 10 boilies out about 5 minutes before I cast out so I could spook the fish with food not a rig.  I get the rig sorted and drop it on the spot first time, only a 20yrd cast but tricky so I was happy.  Within 5 minutes I see a fish roll over the spot.  I turn my camera on and start to record the rod.  A few more minutes go by with no signs or shows.  I roll myself a cigarette and just about to light it and the siren lets out beep beep!  I look and the rod is wrapped round to the left, I hit and again an epic battle unfolds.  I could see the fish in shallow water scraping along the bottom, turning it up.  Shaking its head trying to get the hook out.  I’m using barbless so I’m thinking it’s going to throw the hook but luckily, I manage to get it over and into the net.  I Lifted the net up and saw a chunk in the bottom of the net and see that it is a fish known as ‘Little Lumpy’ (Lump’s little brother) I’m buzzing.  I have the cigarette to calm me down.  I am sure it will go over thirty so I wait for the owner to come around and help with the weighing and the photos.  The fish went 36lbs and was a well know fish that hasn’t been out all year so I’m proper buzzing now.  I give it a few more hours with nothing so decide to go back to my main swim and sort my rigs out for the night.

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I get the rods out just before dinner casting from the bank, not opting for the boat.  Same approach few boilies and a little stick but this time with a little special hook bait which I tried for the first time.  Dinner was a mean chilli cooked by the owner Dave.  After having a mint tea and a great time catching up with the owners, I get settled down for the night.  Just is I’m nodding off the left rod screams. “It’s taking line, I’m locked up, really!?” I thought to myself as I hit it.  It’s like hitting a bloody train.  I don’t think I’m was going to be able to stop it before it hits the snags.  I wound down and gave it some proper stick and just managed to turn it as I start to feel the line rubbing on the roots of the snags.  After a dogged battle for 20 odd minutes it goes into the net.  I look down at the net and it’s another chunk, but this time a common.  Gav did say these hookbaits would pick the commons out!  Its late just after 1am, so no one is up to help with photos. I get the camera on the tripod and get my selfie face on.  Then I get the fish into the sling, then out of the water and on to the mat.  When I weighed it, the fish goes 36lb, epic!  Get the shots down and let the beast go back home.  I went on to catch another two that night with every rod going, only high twenties but I was not complaining.

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The next day I go stalking and manage to get a small low 20lbs with a little damage to it, as all carp I catch I treat it with a little carp care and sent it back on its way.  Nothing happened after that just like the day before, so I went back to the main swim and started getting set up for the night.  I get all the rods out really quickly 1st time on every rod, a little scatter of bait over the top and I was fishing for the night.  Sitting tying new rigs for the next day and out of nowhere the middle rod is away, and its going.  I run and pick up the rod.  There was no stopping this fish, it just took line and ended up going into the snags.  I was gutted.  I had that sinking feeling in my gut, and just knew I wasn’t getting that fish back.  I wanted to make sure the fish wasn’t snarled, so I jumped in the boat and made my way over to where the line was exiting the water.  I get right next to where the fish is snagged and can see that the fish and managed to go around one branch and then into the snags, and throw the hook.  I manage to get all of my tackle back and then made my way back to my swim.  Sulking!

On getting back to the peg I was met with the owner who was watching my other rods while I was in the boat.  “Never mind” he said, plenty more.  I laughed.  He was right there were more.  Got my head straight and concentrated on getting the rod back out on the spot.  New rig on the rod went out first time.  I’m getting good at this casting thing.  I set the rod on the rest, clip the bobbin on, and sit back watching the rods.  I’m sitting there enjoying the sun for the short time it was out.  I then go back into my bivvy because of a passing storm.

As I’m waiting for the storm to pass, the middle rod screams.  I go to hit the rod.  But as I’m running out of my bivvy the screamer just stopped, like just stopped, I look up at my spot and see a fish crashing.  I lift in to the rod knowing there is going to be nothing on the end.  Again, the sinking feeling.  That’s two fish out of two I’ve lost now.  What is going on?  I reel in and inspect the rig.  All seem to be fine.  Hook still sharp.  Putty hasn’t moved.  Everything was fine.  I had just been done.  I was not happy, I take this time to reel in get my myself sorted mentally.  I head over to the lads for a chat.

We are trying to organise a trip when we are all back in England.  As we we’re talking one of their rods was away.  One of the lads runs and hits the rod.  Rod hoops over and we all look at each other and say this has to be a chunk and a long hard battle commences.  I have the pleasure of netting the fish and manage to get the fish on the first attempt.  The owners are here at this point and as we lift the net to see the prize there was 5 of us, all round this one net.  As we are looking we can see that is a really good fish and it came in at a whopping 44lb.  I am over the moon for the lad as it is his new PB. I get some shots for him and a few with him and the owners.  It felt so good to be a part of that event.  To me that is one of the best things about fishing, all coming together having a laugh and catching carp.  I stay there celebrating with beer, wine and good food.  At this point I’m feeling good and have completely forgotten about the two fish that I had lost only a few hours before.

I head back over the swim feeling really good for a bite or two that night.  I end up taking a long time getting the rods out, I think that beer had a big part in that.  I eventually get them where I want them and sit back and relax watching the sun set, enjoying the last of the wine.  I roll myself a smoke, and enjoy the whole atmosphere of this place, it’s completely different to what I am used to.  I can’t put it in to words.  After watching the sunset, I retreat into the bivvy and just as I’m going to sort my bag out the left rod is sprung into life.  As I hit the rod I can just see that the fish has made it to the snags and I can feel the fish grating against the snags.  I was only in contact for 5 to 6 seconds and it snapped me.  I throw the rod on the floor and walk away holding my head in my hands.  Why can’t I catch a damn fish?  3 fish out of 3 lost.  At this point I don’t even want to be there I want to go home.

I pick myself up after a few cups of tea.  I questioned the owners if I was doing anything wrong or was it just me.  They reassured me that I wasn’t doing anything wrong and that all this is a part of fishing.  At this point it is dark and I decide to pub chuck the rod, I know it’s only say a 40-50 yard cast to the edge of the snags so clipped myself up at just over 40yards.  It went out like a dream, hit the clip, landed nice and soft on the silt lovely!  After all this I get woken up at an hour I didn’t know existed by the sound of a screaming siren.  Boom I’m in.  I run out of the bivvy still in the sleeping bag and hit the rod.  It’s a beast.  It frights hard for nearly 10 minutes right on the edge of the snag.  I wasn’t losing this fish.  I pulled hard and the fish pulled harder turning me.  My god this is a strong ass fish.  I end up playing it for 40 minutes all in all and I would say 90 percent of time was next to the snags.  In all honesty, I didn’t think I was getting it in.  I eventually netted the hardest fighting carp I have ever had.  I was right, this is a chunk and by far my PB.  But as its 3.30am no one is awake.  So it is up to me again to get my best selfie face on and get the camera set.  I get the fish on the bank and recognise it as the fish that my cousin had the pleasure of naming.

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The fish was ‘Golden Two Tone’ and was an absolute beast.  A stunning common, long and deep, a proper fighting machine.  One of the most impressive fish I have ever caught.  It went 43 and a half and was a new PB by 4 pounds.  I have no words for how I felt.  Only the pictures can show how I was feeling.  An epic fight, an epic carp, from an epic venue.  I am so made up after losing those three fish.  I got the fish back safely, it went away strong drenching me in the process.  I went on to have another three fish that night to 37lbs and it was the most productive night yet.

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I was woken up in the morning with a sausage and egg bap being shoved in my face along with a nice cup of tea.  It was the owner, I told him about the night before and he was made up for me.  I said I think I might have had two-tone.  At this point I still wasn’t too sure but I know by the size of it has to be.  I show him the fish and he confirms it as Golden Two Tone for me, and congratulates me.  He asks what rig I’m fishing so I show him.  It’s a size 4 curve hook with a swivel on the shank no hair, down to a little kicker tied with supple braid as I was fishing on soft silt.  He looks at the rig then looks at me and nods.  It’s just a nod but I knew the liked it just be the way he was looking at it.  I have a drink with him, then head off stalking.  I manage to catch a low 30, 32 I think.  It was a lovely fish, perfect in fact not a mark on her.  She was full of eggs as they were close to spawning so a quick pic and off she went.

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It goes dead after that, just like the days previous so I enjoy the sun with just one rod in the water whilst listening to a bit for music, I just chilled as I was knackered from being up all night with fish, and I ended up falling asleep.  I woke to an alarm but not mine one of the other lads.  It was 6 o’clock.  I was asleep for 5 hours, luckily in the shade.  I decide to pack up and go around and see the fish.  As I get to the back of the lad’s swim one of them is still playing the fish so again I get to do the netting and while other lad is getting the photos.  The fish goes in the net, it’s a low 30lb common, an immaculate fish.  We get the photos and I head back to my swim.

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Tonight, I was going to change tactics a little; I would be keeping the rig the same but I was going to place them with the boat and fish particle over the top.  Just standard pigeon mix with added maze, a few boilies and jobs a gud’un.  I get all three rods out with the help of Dave the owner, I get back to the swim and unload the bait from the boat set the rods up and wait for the bite.  Within around 30 minutes there was bubbles starting to appear over the middle rod, I focused in on them as they started to get more and more aggressive until my whole spot was pretty much fizzing.  I start getting liners, I’m bricking it.  I’m crouched over the rod waiting for it to go, liner arrr liner arrrr liner ARRRR.  I can’t take this.  The rod never goes.  The fizzing stops and I know my chance has gone.  That night all I had was liners.  No fish just liners.  I woke the next day like a zombie, slept through breakfast it was like 11am.  I was trying to come to terms with why I didn’t get a fish.  I put it down to that they were just interested in the particle not the boilie.  As I was fishing boilies on the hair and pop ups they didn’t even give them a second look.  The day went by with no fish, I slept mostly and thought of a new attack for the last two nights.  So the new attack was just fish the pellet that they feed the fish on and boilie.  NO PARTICLE.  The pellet breaks down fast and creates like a fluff on the bottom.  So when the fish come in hungry looking for food they start to eat the pellet, find the boilies as an easier, more satisfying meal and start looking for the boilies.  This worked a treat and had the best two nights of the trip.  Another hand full of fish, and a new PB at 44lb!

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Also another known fish, known as Steve at 39lb.  Right at the last-minute as I’m packing up I caught the last fish of the trip, a beautiful mirror at 34lb that just topped the trip off for me.

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All in all, catching 17 in total I was made up.  This trip was the best trip I had been on and will definitely gong back next year.

Till next time.

Harry

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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

Fishing adventures, hints, tips and of course loads of fish from Team Beechwood and friends

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