Tag Archives: boilies

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.

Capture

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.

SHOT

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

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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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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

 

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

 

 

 

 

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

Clipped up for Success

Continuing my quest to visit at least 10 new venues in 2017. Today I turned up at Rosemary Wood fisheries to fish Island pool

Today was a day when reading most social media sites most of the talk by anglers was about the weather and how bad it was

Having loaded my car up with all my gear the weather dictated to me that it was going to be a rod day so feeder and waggler

With a strong left to right wind and a decent cast to the islands I decided this was a day to clip up using a 35g feeder casting in front of me and letting the wind draw the feeder into its resting position more like a golf shot

Bait for today ended up being straight forward 6mm trigonella and excelsor pellets from Beechwood Baits and a tuna and krill groundbait with added hemp

After a few casts and finding my range the fish started to show

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The Bream were certainly winning the fight to get to the bait 1st

If I got tighter to the Island then carp won the battle to the feed but this was hard even though clipped up the wind was still causing problems

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The weather was by now terrible and my only option was to stay on the feeder,which to be honest was a no brainer because the bites and the fish were none stop, they were loving the feed being presented to them

A visit from Beechwood Baits promotion manager Barry Smith as well as recording my short video biograpghy for the Beechwood baits web site he  timed it just right to help me out with my keepnet , as it happens it did take two of us to get it out of the water

He couldn’t resist having ago

My second half of the day seen more carp caught

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on the day I also caught 9 Ghost carp

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the weather was bad but the fishing was great,accurate fishing resulted in building up a few nice nets of fish I think this was down to the amount of feed going in one particular area, although clipped up I did move it left and right not leaving it not letting it settle for more than about 1 minute,I cant wait to go back here and get the pole out and give it a proper go on the waggler I’m sure it will be another great days fishing

thanks for reading , if you get chance pop over to the Beechwood Baits web site and have a look round see what the bait is all about, meet the team behind developing the bait, there is all kinds of links to our blogs and you tube channels,good luck and tight lines and until next time its been a pleasure

 

Sunshine on a Rainy Day

A change of plan seen the Sunday crew turn out at Mescar fisheries

Each one of us talking up how we was going to fish it and what baits we was going to use

I chose to start off with with a hemp based feed with micro’s and dead red maggots for my feeder mix with added hemp oil,for hook bait I had 10mm triggonella pink pop ups and original hard hookers,6mm trigonella pellets ,musselberry reds bandums and a new bait I’m trying out which for today was a 8mm monster lobster pellet all in all a nice menu from Beechwood Baits and  Cheshire particle

Bright sunshine and no wind didn’t realy help with my planned approach for today but I suppose I cant complain with all the bad weather we have had the last few sundays

para lake

Casting approx. 30m into open water with the feeder using various hook lengths from 2″ -6″, it took a while for the feed to settle in but the fish came steady until round about 12 o’clock mainly decent bream ( all my bream today were caught on trigonella 10mm hard hookers )

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The particle/pellet mix seemed to be holding the bream in my swim

Whilst waiting for my tip to go round it was a good chance to be pinging some pellets in priming my pellet waggler swim,although no fish turning on the pellets I decided to give it ago when the wind picked up and the sun went back behind the rain clouds lurking,using a small 3g crystal waggler approach as previous weeks brought me a nice chunky carp caught on 6mm trigonella pellets on a band but not much came along after that

The next couple of hours bites came hard to come by for all of us, this could of been down to the quite abrupt change in the weather,the sunshine had gone for good and was replaced with dark clouds and wind then soon the dreaded rain

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A couple of pegs away Stewart Rusling Youth Team Co-ordinator at Beechwood Baits was kick starting the afternoon off in style and along side him Dave was getting some nice carp aswell

By now everyone seemed to be getting into the carp Michael and Callum having a few aswell

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Switching tactics I now opted to start fishing under a large overhanging tree were I had been feeding on and off all day,sticking with the 6mm trigonella pellets as hook bait I started to get into the carp

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It seems like we have maybe turned a corner with the weather we will get bad days but hopefully with the days being longer and warmer it should mean more fish with the right tactics and bait,stay patient and don’t be scared to try something a little different if bites dry up remember you “Get more out of what you put in “, thanks for reading and tight lines until next time its been a pleasure

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Blakemere, 2nd December, By Barry Smith

Baptism of fire- Blakemere 8/10 difficulty

How about my first ever full on carp trip out, let’s make it a rock hard 8/10 rating venue, the mighty Blakemere!  Oh and let’s drop the temperature overnight to -5°C.  I dare you to freeze half the lake overnight just to add to the difficulty.  Nothing like a baptism of fire.

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The good news is it can only get easier from here on in, and that’s exactly how I intend to reflect on this experience.  Do I have a choice?  Not really.

2

The idea for this trip was for myself and Brian Coakley, my partner in crime, to fish for silvers in the day and carp at night.  Pretty simple idea you would think yes?  Wrong!  ……. And hindsight is the most amazing diary reminder you could possess.  This trip is well and truly in my diary reminder and not because our idea was a bad one, on the contrary, but because Blakemere felt like asserting its dominance on us and showed us just how impractical that approach can be on some waters.  With a healthy walk involving steep hills, it made getting both sets of gear to the pegs a complete nightmare ….. that experience is now stored and Blakemere will not fool me again.  Don’t serve two masters on Blakemere or it will bite you!

Ok I am going to cut to the chase here and put it on the table from the get go.  A selection of team members fished Blakemere over the week ending 2nd December and we all struggled, with a few runs had but no fish on the mat.

This trip was not just about the fishing for me and Bri ……… it was our first carp trip so we were like kids in a sweet shop because we had bivvys to put up, a stove to cook on, beds to make, rod pods to set up, alarms to set, measuring sticks to set up, captive back leads to set, rigs to modify, and silvers to fish for (which didn’t show at all over the two days) ……… but we loved it.

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We really enjoyed the experience of these two Fox Royale small footprint brolly systems.

This is what I did with my two carp rods ………opting to fish old school with one rod on a method feeder at 8 wraps and set my timer for each hour to recast and create a bed of bait for the carp to investigate, using a multi rig and an Aurora pop up.  Bloodworm based groundbait with an added binder to ensure this went right to the deck.

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Second rod was 12 wraps with a lead clip system and a 2oz lead, multi rig and 16mm Mussleberry Red with an Adjusta Plug of PNBA to critically balance this bait.

For the record, Adjusta Plugs were something I learned about on our social at Larford and if you want to add more than cork to balance your bait, then why not add a PNBA that is sending out the signals constantly once in the water.  Check out the video here for more on these versatile little baits.

Brian fished two rods with pop ups, left hand rod close in  and second rod at 8 wraps.

 

I owe Blakemere a revisit, but I will be more prepared next time and maybe I will show Blakemere a little more respect on my return and serve one master only.

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It was cold, the fishing was rock hard, the water froze over, the stove froze at times, the walk was a killer, the silvers were on vacation, the carp messed with us but to flip it on its head we learned so much me and Bri ….. we spent time with the lads in the team, we had such a laugh, we ordered a curry which was delivered, we had a lovely breakfast, we practiced loads of casting, I got my head around captive back leads, I did my own PNBA Adjusta Plugs, our bivvys kept us warm in -5°C, and the scenery was absolutely beautiful.

Put this all together and I would definitely call this trip fishing on the edge!  Would you!?

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Blakemere we will meet again……….

Tight Lines all, and stay on the edge!

Barry