My bobbins were set, alarms switched on, and I sat back to absorb the surroundings. I noted a flock of lapwings wheeling together over the far bank, and high above, a buzzard being harassed by crows which sought to protect their nest.
Behind me, a Jay paraded on the high wall, cackling, and I watched rabbits disturb the mist as they warmed up in the weak sunlight. It was one of those perfect mornings, and everywhere I looked, I saw something to delight me… Bleep. A single note grabbed my attention and I watched the white head of the indicator twitch upwards as the rod tip shook. I removed the line from the clip, and as it continued to disappear, wound down and lifted the rod, hoping to connect.
The roach was recast to the same spot, and as I replaced it in the clip, it pinged out of my fingers as the bait was taken again. Once more, I wound down, and failed to engage with the bait stealer.
Retrieving the bait, I inspected it for damage, and again could find none; now I was scratching my head! I discarded the roach, and threaded the hook into the tail of a new one, ensuring that the hook point was free of any scales, and was still sharp.
It went back out into the same area, I felt it hit the lake bed, tightened up, and returned to my enjoyment of the morning. As I poured a mug of tea, another bleep preceded the red light of the alarm, and this time the indicator fell away as the fish moved off. Closing the bale arm, I let the fish run against the tension, then wound down to set the hook; fish on! The crushed barb had gone through, so rather than try to reverse the hook hold, it was simply exposed, then snipped off with sidecutters so that the hook fell out.
Unhooked without getting my fingers anywhere near those teeth or gill rakers, and without causing any harm to the fish; easy! I missed the next couple of takes, then hit two more, leaving me with four missed, three hit which might not be seen by some as a good return. The circle HAVE made things much simpler, and in future, it will be only single hook rigs for me from now on. So, there you have it. My investigations thus far lead me to believe circle hooks are effective, are far easier to remove, and have less potential to cause harm to either me or the predators.
If you have never tried pike angling because of a healthy disdain for trebles, then why not check out the Pike Anglers Club handling guidelines, find an experienced angler with whom to go, and try my single hook rig?
You may be pleasantly surprised! Clint Walker - Looking for dace on the River Trent. On my way back from a session elsewhere, I recently checked out a free stretch of the River Trent, hoping to be able to find some areas in which to cast a line, and absorb a little bit of information from any anglers who were there.
A few days later, I returned, and was delighted to find that the peg I really fancied was vacant… in fact there were no other anglers to be seen anywhere, so I spent a good few minutes watching the water, spotting the flash of dace over the gravel, and the dark shadows of chub in the deeper water beneath an overhanging willow. I was itching to get started, having heard tales of gudgeon to 1lb 2oz I know and roach to 3lb 15oz!
The reality I surmised would be somewhat different, but as I love small river fishing, I quickly got the float rod out and started to tackle up. As I threaded the line through the guides of my rod, I glanced down at my bag to see an empty space. A size 16 hook held a couple of maggots, and with the addition of a small bomb, it was gently lobbed out and left to settle. The tip curved around as the flow created resistance, then it pinged back as the lead moved… and moved again… and again.
Eventually, I got into the swing of it, and managed to hit perhaps two thirds of the dace, with a steady stream of nicely conditioned fish soon on the bank. I continued to bait the swim every few minutes with a nugget of groundbait, and a pinch of maggots, and whilst expecting yet another dace, was surprised by the ferocity of a take which almost had the rod off the rest! Connecting with something much heavier, the rod hooped over as I tried to steer the fish away from a mid-stream snag.
The tail of a worm was added, and it was cast back out into the darkness beneath the tree. I had to wait almost fifteen minutes for the next bite, another lurching wrap around take, and was pleased with a perch in absolutely pristine condition.
A few more followed, although sadly no chub which appeared to have been spooked downstream by my loss, and as I contemplated packing up, a flicker of the tip caught my eye, and I watched as it gently trembled… I lifted the rod and winched in a slender sliver of purple and gold… a gudgeon! After a disastrous pollution incident in recent years, the humble gudgeon was a wonderful indicator of a river on the up, of clean water and good times to come.
Clint Walker - Looking for Zander. I set out fairly early, keen to miss the morning rush hour to head for a spot which needed a drive of at least an hour. Frankly, I, and many other anglers I know, are constantly appalled by the indiscriminate culling and removal of these fine fish from waterways by the so-called custodians of our sport, and I was even more astonished to find that if they cannot be rehomed, then they are sold for food to top restaurants; not much incentive to look very hard for a new home then is it?
Not if there is money involved? What upsets me even more is the fact that these same authoritive bodies make little effort to rid our waters of a true parasite, the Signal Red Crayfish, amongst others and refuse to allow others to make inroads on their behalf to dispose of or make use of these voracious predators, but will willingly destroy a true asset to the angling scene…shocking!
Anyway, I digress… I arrived at the waterside, had a quick cup of tea in the back of the van whilst I got my thoughts together, then broke out the tackle. An hour of wandering the banks bought nothing from pike, so I returned to my starting point, and tackled up in the hope of a zander. My Sonik Magna rod, twinned with matching reel loaded with 8lb braid, was quickly pieced together, and I tied up a fluorocarbon trace, terminating in a 3g jig head.
My contact, who had kindly given me details of the venue it pays to keep things quiet sometimes, a bit of integrity can unlock some fine spots indeed!
Time to change. One of the joys of lure fishing is the ability to travel light and cover a fair bit of distance. I locked up the van, and went back to work… The 3g jig head was easily heavy enough to reach about 35 yards, so I made a start in covering the water with a series of casts in a fan shape to try and hunt over as much as possible. Working the lure close in certainly gave a result when a fish slammed into it within a few feet of the bank, and after gently guiding it to the net, I was delighted to find a zander of a couple of pounds safely nestled within!
I took a few seconds to admire this beautiful creature, the large eye staring balefully back at me, greens and greys shimmering in the sun; how can you not appreciate the zander? After a quick photograph, I moved to a different area and began the pattern again. As I returned this fish however, I was shouted at by a gentleman who ponderously jogged towards me.
It took me a second or two to register what I was hearing. I had to ask him to repeat his remarks. The fish instantly splashed back into the water… He appeared incredulous. He then launched into a tirade about them being an invasive species not true if considered established, which they are here and I was wrong to return it, before describing me in less than complimentary terms.
Hearing this from an Englishman of mature years, indeed a pensioner, I was sometime taken aback, so returned some compliments with equal friendliness as I attempted to advise him of his folly.
Again, the pink Paramax splashed into the margins, and once again a resounding whack saw me engaged in another fish. This one took a little longer to subdue, but eventually, a fine fish of around 4lbs was floundering on the surface ready for the net. Unhooked, it was gently paraded for the camera, admired, then rested until strong enough to slink back into the depths.
I believe that the zander offers real hope to waterways neglected by the authorities, encouraging lure anglers to join clubs in the hope of capturing these handsome fish. Indeed, I joined a club with the promise of such fish, only to find that within a month or two, the waterways had been electro-fished, and the zander removed. They were not rehomed, just left to suffocate in a bucket… do you remember when we used to do that with pike?
Because they ate all the roach? Before we realised what an asset they were to keeping a healthy, clean, disease free fishery? Hopefully, attitudes will change, and the zander will be better thought of in years to come… after all they are here to stay!
Clint Walker - Change of plans and somewhere new. Then it was cancelled. The day before. I know a sea fishing trip is always at the mercy of the weather, but I was especially disappointed to miss out on this one, so disappointed in fact, I went fishing to get over it!
In truth, the bad news arrived just as I pulled up at the lake in search of a few carp. Still feeling fed up, I set the camera on its tripod, then watched as the bobbin flew up, the alarm squealed, and the first carp of the day was hooked.
With the exception of a couple of bream, I landed nothing but double figure carp. It may be a little presumptuous to say so, but my life… it was boring fishing! I definitely felt as though I had returned to my recent rut, so the following day, I decided to try a completely new club lake. Black Lake is a small secluded pool set amongst farmland.
I had little idea what may reside within, however I had noted a few bream pictured on social media, so set up a cage feeder, slipped on a pre-tied hooklink with a size 16 hook, and added a couple of maggots. My groundbait was Spotted Fin Carp Super Blend, a general purpose mix which is easy to get right, and to which I added a handful of Catalyst pellets bream love pellets!
A few quick casts got some bait in, and I dropped a baited rig on the spot to see what would find it and sat back to enjoy a brew. After an hour, a barely perceptible quiver of my sensitive carbon tip alerted me to my first bite, which proved to be a roach of an ounce or so, not big, but at least it was progress. The weather soon turned from bright and sunny to much colder with a brisk wind rippling the lake, and after overnight rain, I wondered if I was going to catch much else.
A second bite saw a perch of matching proportions to the roach, so that was two fish for two ounces… match winner! I kept plugging away, casting every ten minutes to keep the bait going in, and eventually I got a much better bite; the slow pull of a bream, and a fish of around two pounds came to the net. The next cast bought the same result, as did the next half a dozen, as bream after bream tripped up over the hook bait.
Kicking my tea everywhere, I grabbed the rod, and felt a much better fish. My light 3lb hook link was going to be well stretched during this fight, but luckily, my clutch was set to slip early…just in case! I gently played the carp to the net, and was delighted to find a beautifully dark, plump fish of around six pounds on the mat which had fought far harder than its modest weight might suggest!
I sat for about four hours, slowly getting colder as the autumn weather blew wind and rain at me, before a phone call suggested a visit to McDonalds with my grandsons; an infinitely more attractive proposition… I loaded the van, happy with a few nice fish from an unknown water, especially after witnessing another angler turn up, fish for less than an hour without a bite and pack up again, so I gathered I must have been doing something right.
One other angler on the lake, and he was sitting where I wanted to be; typical! I tightened up, and pulled to release the lead, before winding in to try again. Again, I fell way short, but this time the lead seemed to settle on good ground, so I left it in situ as I realised I was never going to get near the intended spot. Baited with a Spotted Fin Smokey Jack bottom bait, and tipped with a small yellow wafter, I was confident that if carp were hungry, they would find it.
A few freebies were sticked out over the top, and I went about my second rod. I know The Method works extremely well here, so the usual tri-lobe feeder was slid up the line, wrapped in Spotted Fin Classic Corn groundbait, studded with 2mm pellets, and an 8mm wafter banded onto the hook. This went out into open water near a submerged bar, and I sat back to wait. Earlier activity had quietened down, with fish no longer to be seen rolling on the surface, and it appeared that they had indeed followed the wind.
Eventually, a bleep and a typically stuttering run saw a bream of around 4lb banked, then another, and then I lost a slightly bigger fish, and that was it; nothing further all day, still no carp, and it was soon time to pack up.
I returned a couple of days later, determined to fish better and catch more. Both rods were set up with a method feeder, but this time crammed with Spotted Fin Super Sweet Blend groundbait, one with a tiny wafter hook bait, the other with two grains of corn on the hair.
Both were lobbed out quickly and left to settle. After a quiet first hour, in which I identified another bar to the right hand side of the swim, I moved the rods slightly left, and started to get interest straight away in an area devoid of silt or leaf debris. My first fish tripped up over the corn, as did my second, then the third picked up the wafter to give me a total of 3 big bream on the bank.
A fourth fish fell to the corn, so I swapped the other rod over to yellow grains, and from then on rarely had them out together for more than 20 minutes!
Usually, the wafters out perform any other bait on this particular lake, but just for once, after ringing the changes, I opted to fish the humble grain and it paid off. Get on the Fin! Fishing Sim World - 4 years ago. Net yourself a deal in the Dovetail Games Publisher Weekend. I love to watch the bites develop on the method as fish demolish the bait ball before finding the target bait within, and so the session started; a minute of gentle pulls as the fish moved in, then WHAM! The tip shot around as my first carp of the day was hooked!
The carp moved out into open water where I was happy to let the rod do all of the work as the fish charged around trying to shed the hook. The reel is supplied with both deep and shallow aluminium spools, and I was happy to note great line lay without having to mess about with washers or similar; for the money, both products offer great value! Throughout the day, I landed a total of thirteen carp to about 14lb, and twenty one bream, all around lb, then added a dozen small barbel, with the new SKSC kit taming them all with ease.
Check out the full range at www. Clint Walker - Carp in the Park. A blistering weekend of sunshine blessed the crowds at the annual Carp in the Park show at Billing Aquadrome in Northamptonshire, and I was lucky enough to enjoy the whole weekend working on the RAD Angling stand!
How can it not be enjoyable? I drove down on Saturday morning, bright and early, to find the stand a purpose built trailer ready to go, the kettle on, and the bacon grilling, as the team started to get ready for the forthcoming day. By 10am, the sun was already high in the sky, and as the gates opened, the paying public started the quick first loop of the assembled trade stands before deciding where to spend their hard-earned cash.
I love it! There was huge a beer tent, casting instruction, rig and bait demos, and all sorts of other things which kept the crowds entertained. The first day went well, lots of carbon fibre bankware went home with happy customers, and when it was time to shut down for the day, we simply dropped the trailer door; brilliant! The evening was spent listening to the live band, sharing a few cold beers, and eating platefuls of steak, sausages, chicken and burgers as the sun went down…perfect!
I slipped back under the duvet and awoke 8 hours later as the sun rose over the trees, my Minions duvet cover adorned with a thin sheen of early morning dew, before going for a freezing cold shower ready to start day two. Sunday followed in much the same way as the previous day, a plateful of bacon sandwiches getting things off to a super start, before mugs of tea washed it all down and the trailer was opened up.
Again, enthusiastic punters lined up ready to buy new carbon, and before long, we were forced to take orders as so much stock had been sold! Carp in the Park turned out to be a fantastic way for the angling trade to engage directly with customers, answer queries, and sell product. More importantly, the whole event was fun, with something for all, and I noted far fewer bored looking partners as the angler in their life browsed the kit on offer…not like many of the other shows where it ALL about fishing!
The Steam Halloween Sale has now started. I've returned from Australia, and for the first time in a month, I'm currently sitting on the bank back home in the UK. This time of year is also one of my favourite periods to target tench, so with that in mind, I packed my van, set the alarm, and groggily got up at 3. Rode Pool, on the Stoke-on-Trent Angling Society card is a simply gorgeous estate lake, shallow, silty, and with some superb tench to target.
I parked up to find that I was the first angler of the day to arrive, and quickly barrowed my kit through the gate, pushed through the undergrowth, and settled down to watch the water for a while. I walked the banks hoping to spot fish, and finally, just off the peg I like, I saw a dark back roll; it looked like a tench, and was all the encouragement I needed to drop my kit, mix my groundbait, and start to set up.
I love to fish The Method here, so a sticky mix of Spotted Fin Betafin pellets and Super Sweet groundbait was wetted with lake water and left to stew.
On the hook, a Catalyst 8mm dumbbell from the same company was banded on and pushed into the method ball Both feeders splashed down about 25 yards apart, a rod length off the inaccessible far bank and I sank both lines before adding a backlead. Bobbins set, it was time to relax and absorb the English countryside.
Nestled away from the rest of the lake, my first brew was interrupted by a rattling take which saw the first dark green tench of the day safely netted. At about 4lb, it wasn't the biggest in the lake, but just 5 minutes into my session, it was a good start! Quickly returned, it was followed a few minutes later by another of similar proportions on the other rod as the Catalyst bait lived up to its name and started a feeding spell!
After recasting, I pinched the line to hook up the back lead, and was amazed to feel resistance on the other end! The ripples hadn't subsided before I was into another fish!
I lifted into the third fish and started to move it away from the distant cover, before easing it into the waiting net. As it was enveloped in the mesh, astonishingly, my other alarm sounded, and I quickly swept that one aloft too to connect with a fourth tench!
Less than an hour in, and four glistening tincas had seen the bank! My brew was going cold I do know that things usually slow around 10am, and so prepared a carp rig; I still haven't caught a carp here yet, so one rod has now been swapped to pop up boilies whilst on the other, the method feeder continues to pick off fish with frightening regularity every half an hour!
Clint Walker - Fishing in Australia. After a week of champing at the bit, waiting to get out fishing in Australia between family engagements, I finally managed to get my feet wet with a boat trip with my brother-in-law, who fortuitously owns his own boat! In truth, neither Mick nor I had much idea what might lurk beneath us except Great White Sharks obviously and we went with light tackle intending to have some fun.
I took a Sonik Sports Magna 4 piece travel rod, designed to be used with small lures, and Mick tackled up with slightly heavier gear, just in case! My AVX reel was loaded with 30b braid, a 10lb fluorocarbon leader added, and I flung lures for a while whilst my compatriot offered slivers of fish and shrimp hook baits to see what happened. Although designed primarily as a lure rod, needs must, and I swapped the lure for a simple paternoster rig, slipped on a sinker, and baited the hook with a shrimp.
It was easy to drop over the side of the boat, control the braid with my thumb as the lead descended, then carefully feel for any piscine attention. Mick then caught a Spanish Mackerel, bigger than my bream, but equally feisty, providing great sport as it fought from the depths. I could feel huge fronds of kelp wafting across the braid, and as the tip flexed, I quickly settled into a rhythm of spotting the long, slow pulls of kelp, and the much faster yank of an actual bite; great fun!
I caught a Tailor fish, so did Mick, and we matched each other fish for fish as the morning progressed. It was indeed a humpback, on her way to breeding grounds further north, and she offered one more glimpse of her huge back, shining black and barnacle clad, as she slowly moved away from us.
I have to say that as fishing trips go, this was getting better and better! Both Mick and I continued catching a myriad of mostly unidentified species, all of which were safely returned, before I felt a surprising wrench on the rod tip which saw the rod hoop right over as a fish felt the hook. This one stayed deep, straining against my rod as it fought to reach the safety of the kelp below. Water quality on the core game lakes has been updated. Improvements have been made to how fish behave when fighting on the line.
Various minor bug fixes. Joined: Oct 8, Messages: 20 Likes Received: 6. Please tell me you've also fixed the weights of the Foundry Dock boss fish XB1 that have been uncatchable, and renamed "Marley" to "Twinkle Toes".
Great to see you guys maintaining and improving the game! Guess I'd better go check out these changes Bacon Hoarder , Nov 9, Sadly that isn't in this patch Bacon Hoarder as our development team are still investigating why those boss fish are particularly elusive. Joined: Sep 11, Messages: 60 Likes Received: Ah saw the 3. Spankus Munky , Nov 9, Can definitely confirm Digger water is much better, and catch photos are also much improved.
Am I right that the St. John's water is also a shade darker? Nice changes on the UI as well. It would be nice in a future update if we could change clothes for our characters. My guy has got to be really starting to stink at this point.
He's been in countless storms, standing in direct sun, handling fish in the same shirt for over a month. Like x 1. Joined: Jan 19, Messages: Likes Received: Bravo is a joy to fish again as well. I haven't had bad drifting tonight there or any of the other lakes I tried out. WikusMazal , Nov 9, Great to hear Wikus!