20 October 2011


I have fished with this guy Stephen Tideswell for some eighteen months or so, and he has become a very good friend since ,but having said that if he keeps catching fish of this quality he could very soon become my enemy!
Steve with his "17lbs 8oz fish"

It was Steve's! Birthday last Monday and we had both fished the day before in a local poppy day event Neither one of us won anything. However Steve wanted to go again the following day so he gave me a call later that evening and told me he was thinking of going to Fields farm, in Cheshire in the morning.
Although I was knackered from the day before I suggested I would go with him, so we arranged to meet at around  ten o clock at the fishery.                                                                       

The weather had taken a turn for the worse and where we were deciding to fish wasn't the most comfortable of places to say the least with a cold wind in our faces, and black clouds over our heads I wasn't really excited about the prospects. Never the less there was a calm spot a couple of pegs to my right behind an island and I decided to fish there. Steve had fished there previously and didn't do very well until he moved to deeper water.

However I was optimistic how wrong I was all I caught was Roach and perch while Steve braved the elements on the deeper pegs and was catching quality fish., I had intended to fish on the Island with a method feeder, if I couldn't catch anything decent but I forgot to change my reel over the night before with my heavier line on for Carp, so it was pointless otherwise I would be losing a great deal of tackle and I don't like doing that.

"Never the less not making excuses" but I don't seem to get a great deal of pleasure out of returning fish to the water immediately, having said that I was pleased for Steve because he doesn't have the opportunity to go fishing as often as me. Anyway I chose to pack up early and watch Steve not something I make a habit of doing but on this occasion it was worth it, because he had just switched to the method feeder and caught a carp about six or seven pounds.

Then he suggested to me that he was thinking of making a cast to the island where I had been fishing, so I said go on have a chuck to the island I have packed up! so he did and the end result was three more carp the best of them being the one in the picture, which was also the last fish he caught.

whilst he was packing his gear away he made one last cast into My swim! against the Island and handed me his rod saying I want you to get one so! I held the rod and guess what when It seemed that I wasn't going to catch one I reeled in and low and behold there was no bait on.

He then said with a wry smile have you been fishing with no bait on?

Well next time mate if you chuck your baited rod into my swim again, I shall be ready with the scissors don't you worry Ha! Ha!

Another nice catch by Steve close on 70lbs this particular day I had a similar catch but was camera shy !


  "  Happy Birthday to you too"    


18 October 2011


A fortnight ago I had the privilege to fish with some very good mates from the past! in a team challenge event which was co/ organised by a bunch of anglers from Middlewhich and Crewe Cheshire. "You might recognise some of them in the picture"

The venue was to be Oak Hanger fishery near Crewe this was a local water for me and is on my doorstep, a fishery I new something about having pleasure  fished it on a number of occasions. So you can imagine I was really looking forward to it.

It was a brilliant day out the weather was favourable and I thought that big weights would be on the cards, however this was not to be as top rod only needed 30lbs, never the less I think that considering it is almost the equivalent to a commercial fishery with quite large numbers of carp to be caught.
I personally wouldn't consider it to be a fair team venue but having said that, as it turned out the match was appropriately arranged as a points match with points allocated to section placings etc:It was a very close affair with our side taking the spoils by four points.

Of course the point I am making is that I fished with "the winning side Middlewhich" otherwise I would not be writing this article!!. However I was pleased with my draw and expected to catch more than I did which was 11lbs in total four carp and a skimmer Bream two on pole and three carp on pellet waggler.

Although the Crewe lads had the individual winner in their squad we had second individual in ours, who is second from the left in the picture and I believe the oldest man in the match ,"well done Tim"  it just goes to show that age has no barrier when it comes to experience! "having said that it does in my experience" seriously though, I was pleased with my efforts and  believe it was a reasonable contribution to the team and in my view didn't let them down!! 

All in all it was a friendly pleasant affair with no complaints and a very memorable day out, I will look forward to hopefully! fishing with the Middlewhich lads again in the near future. 

The team from left to right front row.

Derek,  Tim,( captain Yogi ) me , Sam, Neil,
The two hiding in the back row Jeff, and Roy.
Incidentally! I haven't mentioned second names in case I spell their names wrong!
Their was nine Anglers in each side you will probably only be able to count eight but one of our lads was camera shy! and scarpered before we could catch him.

"We are the champions"          tight lines......................................

12 September 2011


Recently I have been visiting this fishery and have experienced some excellent sport! if you have read some of my older posts you will no doubt be aware that I enjoy match fishing. Having said that I am not one of these modern day anglers who seem to think that if they don't catch a ton of carp every time they fish then it's not worth the effort.

Naturally I have fished a number of matches on this complex and found it to be a very balanced fishery in terms of the fish you catch. For instance I have personally witnessed matches on average being won with 30lbs of cruceons, 27lbs of roach, 30lbs of skimmer bream, and 40 to 50lbs of carp, I believe the fishery record stands at 52lbs there are also plenty of gold fish hybrids in amongst a lot of catches which makes it more appealing because you never really know what your going to catch!.

There are to my knowledge four pools on the complex all pools which have approximatly the same depth and are slightly deeper than the average commercial for instance six to seven feet deep. I believe this has proved to be beneficial to fish survival over the course of the severe winters we have experienced most recently! when some commercial fisheries lost allot of fish. "As a result of this the fish are clearly very healthy and fight like tigers"

A number of plus factors is that the pools are well established, you can use all methods access to your chosen spot is mostly done by car with few walks involved! they don't have an endless list of bait bans like some commercials do, and you can take and use your own bait.

When some commercials insist that you must buy their bait, which means "you pay them to fish and also pay them to feed their fish".

This is a sore point with me if their argument is this is to protect their fish, my argument is surely bait manufacturers don't produce bait that would be harmfull to the fish! and surely anglers are not going to poison the fish after all they want to catch them!! By all means stipulate the quantity of bait that can be used and keep on selling bait but don't insist that you buy it from them to my mind this is wrong.

However if you are interested in paying a visit to this fishery here are some things you may want to know the fishery is is situated within the idillic Cheshire countryside just of the the Congelton road M6 Motorway junction 17 heading towards Sandbach post code CWII4TE.

They are open 7days a week 7am to 9pm .

Adult -Day Tickets are £6
Adult - Evening Tickets £3 (from 4pm onwards)
OAP/junior Day Ticket £4
OAP/Junior - evening Ticket £3

I believe these prices to be very reasonable by today's standards as it costs enough on bait these days let alone !!

The fishery is owned and well managed by a very pleasant chap called Chris Thornhill, Who is an angler himself, who I hope he will forgive me for saying this but has a habit of saying yes! what more do you want why not give it a go?or take a look at the web site before you go I feel sure you will be pleasantly supprised. Now I am retired I am going there again this week pleasure fishing for those cruceons.

Tight Lines !!

20 February 2011

On a commercial venue on the pole ?

In my opinion there are a number of things to take into consideration , it is not just a simple matter of putting any one on and hoping to catch everything that swims. “As one would hope to be the case” there is slightly more to it than that!

Firstly the pole is the ideal weapon of presenting very light tackle and can eliminate surface drift and the effect the prevailing wind has on the line, as opposed to fishing with a rod and line. Therefore enabling you fish with the lightest of floats. and quite easily present your chosen bait differently, e, g still on the bottom, moving, or if you like twitching it . How you present your bait largely depends on what bait you have chosen to fish and how we assume that bait reacts in the water now we all know there are hundreds of baits and floats to choose from so where does one start ?

Ok! lets choose paste for example a very heavy bait in it’s own right, and if rolled into a nice neat ball it is common sense that if thrown in by hand it would travel to the bottom fairly quickly, and lie there still until a fish decides to pick it up. Or it dissolves slowly into a mound on the bottom which is more often the case in my experience!!

It follows therefore that we should endeavour to make this are objective in presenting this particular bait, paste if mixed soft will come off the hook quite easily leaving a lump on the bottom. If this happens then it leaves free offerings for the fish to eat!
I used to do a lot of bread punch fishing and we all know that bread has a habit of coming off the hook when you don't want it to, but I used to think that this was a good thing because it gave the fish a free sample of what is on the hook and could encourage them to feed better!

I feel this theory could also apply to when paste fishing.

With the target species being Carp “or more commonly referred to as lumps” if the paste was presented to them in a still fashion, then this would appear normal to the fish. It would then be more likely for them to accept it as part of their normal diet and become less weary of eating it.

Now what float would I use for paste ? If you appreciate the logic that if thrown in as a loose offering it lies still on the bottom of the lake , all you need is some sort of sight indicator and the float is perfect for this .

How big a float does one need to use? in this respect this largely depends on where you intend to fish the bait e, g in shallow water, or deep water.

In shallow water with depths of eighteen inches to three feet it would be pointless putting a large float on with loads of shot because it is unnecessary, the bait will reach the bottom on it’s own ! in fact in this depth of water I have found that it can be far better to use a float with no shot down at all a small dibber float is my first choice.

In the past!! I have actually won matches in this fashion by using quite large pieces of meat which again is a fairly heavy bait. I was talking to a friend of mine only the other day a very good angler whom I have fished with in team events such as National championships and we happen to discuss paste fishing he suggested that for shallow water he uses blob floats because the carp hook themselves anyway!

In my experience he is right!! this confirmed to me that in my choice of a dibber in shallow water. “usually in the margins” is not far wrong, so in thinking about this is it necessary to use weighted floats at all in fact free lined paste could be worth a try for that matter, and could prove to be even better.

When we have depths greater than this then float choice is completely different, simply because we would almost inevitably be fishing at distance.

Then it is highly likely that the elements will take over such as the wind etc: “an anglers nightmare” normally in this instance, it is far better to use a long fairly slim inserted float which is not effected by the wind as much as a thick topped float, you can also have more of the floats insert above the surface giving you a better sighted bite indicator. and far less likely to drag the float and the bait from where you want it to be, creating an unnatural presentation!!

Because of the depth we would be fishing in, and fishing paste in this situation there is naturally more line from float to the bait, it is usually fished using either shot or styles in a small bulk split evenly within the space of a few inches. Approximately 18inches from the hook, It does not really matter what you use the question of do I use shot or styles is a matter of personnel choice. In my experience they both work equally well.

What is important is that you don’t want an underwater bow in the line as this could lead to missed bites or even fowl hooked fish! and in order to combat this it is normally better to fish the bait either just touching bottom or a few inches over depth the use of shot etc: enables you to keep the line beneath straight and therefore stabilises presentation in theory.

So the answer to what size of float to use in deep water would be perhaps six seven even eight inches long and reasonably slim line in shape to avoid line bedding into the body, I have found there is little need to use anything heavy that takes a lot of shot 4x12 - 4x14 is adequate in most depths given the conditions.

Having said that it may surprise you that some times by moving the paste this can induce a take from a hungry fish, you would be right in thinking this is contrary to what I have been saying! in the fact that paste should be kept still on the bottom as this would appear to be logic and in it’s natural state.

But! I have experimented in doing this and it can work, if you raise it off the bottom and lower it back in after it has been there for a period of time I have noticed it starts to break down, and in doing so creates a cloud which releases various nutrients , and I believe this is the reason it sometimes works.

What is also quite common whilst fishing with paste is that with a slim inserted float, line bites can become a problem, resulting in the float going under and coming back to the surface quite suddenly without connecting with the fish! even more frustrating you tend to lift into the bite and your bait is left on the bottom." a freebie to a fish". This can be perceived as a good thing or the opposite that's up to you to decide on that one. Now day;s in my opinion it is far better that the bait is in a fishes mouth.

Most anglers avoid this by fishing with a short line from the pole to the float, but in doing this with carp you need a lot of control over your reactions. Especially at distance with a pole.

This problem with line bites is not as problematic with the use of a dibber float for a number of reasons, one simply because it is not as sensitive as one with an insert, and is therefore likely to remain on the surface rather than be pulled under at the slightest touch.
You can also lay a foot or so of line on the bottom in the margins with a dibber which I personally believe can result in fewer line bites, simply because the fish doesn't swim into a vertically suspended line.

Anyway in order to summarise what I have written a great deal depends on what bait you use and also where you choose to fish with it. But you must always take into account if the weather is suitable for float fishing anyway. These day's with my eyesight deteriorating I have found very little need for a float!! …..

Tight lines!

"Thoughts on Floats"

31 January 2010

"Wind up"

Today my mate and I planned to go fishing ! but unfortunately it's weekend and we all know what happens at weekends don't we! Anyway I have just rang him and asked him if he was ready he replied by saying "he has been ready since six o clock". I then asked him what time shall I pick you up then? he said you can come right away cause I am on the floor now Ha! Ha!

Joking apart It seems as though we are experiencing one of the worst winters for some time. However in my younger day nothing would have stopped me, I have broken the ice on many occasion in order to catch a few fish. But I never seem to get much out of pleasure fishing, besides without having one of my favorite bait's for winter fishing for example "Boodworm
" It could well end up to be a pointless exercise.

Of course there are still the rivers but these days I am not geared up for them, so I am afraid it's a trip to the tackle shop today.

Thinking about tackle, you will appreciate it is important to keep your tackle in tip top condition and as organized as possible if you intend to compete in any sort of competition.

Having said that when pole fishing I wonder how many times have you placed the float you were using on the wrong winder when packing up your gear ? and when you come to use that favorite float you are not sure what line or hook is on it. If so then this might be a good tip for you.
It may require a great deal of time and patience but it can also be a fool proof way of keeping things more organized.

Why not colour code your system with the use of coloured silicone tubing for example.

Brown = 10lbs
Black = 8lbs
Blue = 7lbs
Green = 6lbs etc.

By doing this you would be able to look at the rig and tell at a glance what main line is on the rig. If you are like me and prefer to fish direct to the hook for carp on commercials, then this could be of use to you. Although It is a simple matter to add hook lengths if necessary or change a hook!

However just as with most systems there are certain obstacles, and In using this method myself I have found it somewhat difficult to obtain a substantial amount of the right diameter and also colour of silicone tubing.

The problem I have encountered is that some times I prefer to fish with a wire stem as opposed to the more common carbon stem, especially in deeper water and windy conditions as they are more stable. To my knowledge the most common diameter for pole floats stems is 0.5m although some pole floats on the market recently are being produced with far thicker stems. However you can purchase 0.5m quite easily! and this will fit wire stems as well as carbon. But try and find a suitable length of this in various colours I believe you may find it difficult.

It was in fact whilst I was in the tackle shop that "Jeff Moors,a brilliant angler" who was all way's looking for an edge put me on to this system, what else do I have to say if it is good enough for him then it is good enough for me! I have since thought of using hollow pole float elastic as you can purchase this in the right diameter but being dual core the wall thickness is too great. this would also be far too expensive and too brightly coloured for my liking.

There is of course some manufactures who do a range of colours and diameters and I do happen to know one, but what I have found is that there is insufficient in the packet or they are already cut to size.

I don't know about you but personally I like to use three rubbers on my floats and cut my own , using a longer piece at least 1/2 an inch for the bottom rubber, a small piece for the intermediate one. The third and final one under the body of the float slightly longer than the middle one about 1/4 of an inch.

At the end of the day you might however think all this is taking things to the extreme,and is a bit of a wind up,"excuse the pun". But you could if you wish go even further by having two different colours of tubing on your float rig, also denoting the hook line strength being used. Anyway enough of this nonsense we don't live in a perfect world do we!!

Roll on summer tight lines.

22 November 2009

"Fund Raiser"

Last week I took part in a fund raising match at Border Fisheries Cheshire, a match which was organized by Dave Smith and the Bay Malton AC: In honour of Jeff Moors, "a truly exceptional angler" who has been given six to twelve months to live following a battle with cancer.

Congratulations and a big thank you must go to them for their efforts. It was not surprisingly attended by one hundred and thirty nine Anglers "a complete sell out field with a substantial waiting list". Many of the countries top Anglers took part and it was a complete success with many tackle dealers contributing endless prizes in a raffle in order to raise funds, I believe in excess of five grand was raised which is a measure of Jeff's quality and popularity.

I don't take part in serious competition these day's but I have known Jeff for the past twenty years and have always admired his unquestionable talent for Angling. His dedication to the sport and his willingness to drop you tips! and discuss tackle in order to help you do better next time Is unrivalled. He also did a great deal to help up and coming youngsters which is also a credit to him!, he is to say the least one of the most admired and likable people on the match circuit.

After the match I spoke briefly to previous world champ Tommy Pickering and asked him how he had got on as I new he had drawn bad. He said he had a couple of carp and they would have gone ten pounds but it did not matter "that's not what it was all about" Immediately I thought what a nice thing to say but he was so right.

A considerable numbers of Anglers went back to the pub for a drink and a chat after the match,where I also had the opportunity to have a brief word with Neil Machin a man whom has achieved so much in the world of match Angling. Knowing Jeff had guided him in his early days Naturally I wanted to learn what he had to say, to his credit he immediately appraised Jeff as being a class act.

One thing worthy of note and pleasing to see after the match, was that Andy his son won his section , he was in my section only two pegs away and it goes without saying must have fished his heart out! with himself achieving a great deal of success on the open circuit It Is beyond doubt he Is destined to follow in his fathers footsteps.

The other thing that comes to mind is that I once witnessed Jeff catch in excess of seventy pounds of carp to win an open match on conventional waggler tactics, which was way before commercial fisheries where established and before pellets where introduced.

Jeff approached me in the pub and told me that he was overwhelmed by the support and response to it all. he then paid tribute to all his mates in a brief speech.

I am one of many who have been saddened and devastated to learn of Jeff's demise, but am also one hundred percent certain, he will remain in my memory, and in the memory of a great many others in the times ahead.

Thanks mate!!

12 May 2008

"The More You Know"

On Saturday my friend and I fished for Carp at Oak Hanger fisheries near Crewe Cheshire these fish were caught on 10 metre pole with pellet and paste.
Notice the guy in the back ground he was in the process of attempting to retrieve the top two sections of his pole which where floating across the lake.

Which brings to mind, a fundamental rule in most clubs and fisheries never to leave you rods or poles baited up in the water unattended, this is bad practice and common sense not to do so!

Personally I don't like to see this, and people who ignore it should not be allowed to fish there again! perhaps they should also consider the probability of the costly consequences before doing so!!

However just for the record total weight of this bag of carp was 52lbs just about as much as you should respectfully keep in one net.

Hopefully this post may be of help to those young Anglers amongst you, who may be reading my blog.

As you will no doubt be aware I have been around for sometime now! and although I have not achieved the success I would have liked, I have learned a great deal from some very good Anglers who were always willing to provide me with information,with regards to methods and the best baits to use!!

Which just reminds me of a simple quote made by former world Angling champion Ian Heaps, whom I have had the pleasure to meet on several occasions, a true gentleman and a real ambassador in the sport "The more you know the more you catch"a quote of which I am regularly being reminded of each time I return home from what I consider to be a good day!!

For example on this particular occasion after previous visits to this water, we had learned that there was an abundance of skimmer bream to be caught almost on every peg.

This time I decided to target the Carp as I had heard that you could not win a match with skimmers. Therefore I decided to keep it as simple and as cheap as possible , instead of the usual casters and chop worms as bait I took micro pellets, some six ml pellets and some paste.

I had soaked both the micro's and the six ml pellets separately, in some special additive mixed with cold water in the fridge over night, the benefit in doing this is three fold it helps the pellets to evenly absorb the additive.

It also helps you to feed them in a small toss pot, as they are better than feeding them dry because they stick to the pot, and don't bounce out as easy, when you ship out with them. They also break down faster on the bottom leaving a nice bed of ground bait, initially I fed two full pots and then continued to feed half a pot full every put in.

Personally I am not a great believer in the use of additives, preferring to keep things as simple as possible, but if it helps to build your confidence up there is no harm in it! However on this occasion it seemed to work a treat and certainly didn't prevent the fish feeding, so there just might be something in experimenting with additives after all !!

But if I was to choose a golden rule in Angling this would be, whatever you feed to feed it on a regular basis all the time! You will often hear Many Anglers describe how you should feed a swim, by the numbers of fish they are catching e g: feed every three or four fish! Although this is a good yard stick.

Another way of looking at how to feed a swim, is by the response you get from the fish in front of you "the number of bites", the logic being the more bites you are getting the more fish in the swim. If these bites result in carp what you must remember is carp will consume a great deal of food, especially on these commercial fisheries where they usually are plenty full.

What you must also consider is the depth you have in front of you, if say you have shallow water in front of you it would be a waste of time piling in plenty of food . This could possibly attract to many fish into the swim at one time, and result in to many fowl hooked fish. And as a consequence you may also lose the shoal eventually!

On the other hand if you are fishing deeper water say five to six feet, there is more water for them to select their food confidently, and if carp are the main fish you are catching then a toss pot full every put in can work well, if bites start to slow up then all you do is gradually reduce this to half a pot full.

A good general guide is to feed every three or four bites. Even if you miss a bite you should consider this a fish.

If bites are slow you have a number of options, you can try either fishing up in the water,
as with constant loose feed entering the swim, the fish may have moved up in the water to intercept your feed, if they are hungry!! Or you can put a large pot full in and rest the swim for 20 minutes or so and fish another line in the hope the fish will feed on the bottom again when you return to fish that line. It's all a matter of judgement!!

Some very good Anglers I know prefer to feed as many as three or four swims and take one or two fish from each swim, mostly on these heavily fished commercial canal type venues, where the water is shallow.

Having said that knowledge of the water your fishing and the fish you are attempting to catch is equally as important, as some waters which contain large shoals of fish can respond to large initial quantities of feed, this is better known as bulk feeding, this method of feeding is usually preferred if Bream are the target and you have depth in front of you! get this right and you will most definitely put more fish in the net.

But if you choose to feed like this you must also remember "what you put in you can't take out".

I hope you have all enjoyed reading this post as I have in creating it, and remember "The more you know the more you catch" Knowledge is the key to success!

By the way I hope the guy in the picture remembers to take a spare top two sections of pole with him next time.

I know I will be taking two nets this weekend so until next time tight lines!!