The bit you should read.

I’ve always been an angler and after around the country moving I wanted to discover and document the best places to fish (where ever I might be) in the way of rivers, lakes, canals and ponds. When previously fishing in South Wales I often fished in club and winter league matches, however living up north presented me with new challenges, venues and angling clubs that I acquainted myself with. Now down in the South West I plan to do the same.

This fishing blog details my angling adventures around the UK (although depending where I am in the country I also sea fish from both Boat and Shore, Carp, Pike and Fly fish). I will be giving a summary of 3 values considered by most anglers as well as the additional Disabled Access rating. Since being diagnosed with CIDP and regaining my motor function Disabled angling and Disabled access is now something I always consider when visiting venues. They will all be rated on a scale of 1* to 5*;

1. Fishability *****

2. Accessability *****

3. Value for Money *****

4. Disabled Access *****

I think these 4 points are the key issues which are readily identifiable with all anglers. Feel free to take a look and add your own comments along the way!

Monday, 25 May 2015

Trip #82 - Higher Kingcombe Floaters

Just a snippet of a post from me this week, as there was extraordinary amounts of cleaning and shopping to be done. Also, by the time I had worked out I had time to go fishing I was only going to have a couple of hours spare. Fortunately I had renewed (and bought new) local club licenses so I can now report I am a member of Yeovil and Sherbourne Angling (though I did not pay the extra £50 for access to Sherbourne Castle). I cannot wait for the river season to start up again, especially with all the drains I now have access too. Anyway, with my new license in mind (and S.L.A.C), coupled with a distant memory that Higher Kingcombe Lodge Lake held some big carp, I blindly grabbed a rod and reel from the shed, a bag of bits and I was away.

Lodge is the Top Lake

Monday, 18 May 2015

Trip #81 – Mangerton Mill

I’ve slowly but surely been working my way through the very extensive list of fisheries in Somerset, and although I’ve still got a good chunk left to sample, the fisheries closest to my house have been visited on more than one occasion. Wanting to fish somewhere new I decided to travel down the a3066 and visit Mangerton Lake. I’ll be honest, looking at the website I didn’t hold out a great deal of hope, aside from the fact that I knew I’d be in a picturesque location. A quick phone call the night before to make sure I was going to the right place, and I was set. I arrived at the farm house (where you pay into an honesty box) picked up my ticket and made my way back down the track towards the fishing lake. It was a nice lake and bigger than I expected, and after a quick walk around I picked a peg which looked to have a huge margin swim. In the time it took me to set my gear up the wind really picked up, and was now blowing firmly into my face. I reassessed my position before setting any more equipment up and deciding on moving around to my right, so the wind would be off my back, making holding a pole a lot easier.

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Trip #80 - Viaduct Match Lake

A visit from the in-laws meant that this weekend I would be fishing with my father-in-law Jeff. I wanted to go somewhere which offered a bit of sport, with the potential of a few bigger bonus fish and within half an hour’s drive. There was only one option - The Viaduct. I was very keen to give Viaduct’s Cary Lake a whirl, but after asking a few questions on Maggotdrowners, I settled on re-visiting Match lake (There was a match on Cary, and Lodge was very busy). Jeff and I arrived at the Viaduct around 9am, and walked through the car park mid peg draw. I have never seen so many fishing barrows. Most of these match anglers had more gear than some small shops! Not that I was jealous… I loaded up my trolley and heaved my gear over to Match Lake. I was desperately hoping for a better result than my last visit, although the weather was a lot warmer. I positioned Jeff on peg 48 and I took up residence on the peg diagonally opposite (49). 

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Trip #79 - Broadleaze (Baker's Mill) Fishery

I've been desperate to find local venues (within 15 - 20 minutes) as they enable me catch a sneaky hour or 2 while walking the dog in the summer evenings. I've never bagged a lump (15lb+), so when I found a fishery which only takes 8 minutes to drive too I was very excited. Finding it seemed easy enough, even if the verbal instructions on how to get there seemed incredibly vague. With my smart phone set to the location I left, I planned to give the water a good once over on pole tactics before trialing it later on in the year for something bigger.

Thursday, 30 April 2015

Trip #78 - Lyons Gate Fishery

A family visit with a new dog meant it was only the one trip out for me this Easter break, and after some recent contact I was asked about fishing Lyons Gate fishery. Having never fished this venue and not really able to turn up much up to date info on the venue, I thought I should probably head over there and drown a few maggots so I could respond properly. Easter Friday was a bit of a murky affair and driving down the A356 with fogs and full beams seemed a bit of strange contrast to the blue sky and sunshine I had left less than 5 miles ago. Fortunately this started to lift as I passed over the A37 and by the time I got to the venue, it was very clear - albeit overcast. The overnight downpour also hadn't dampened the campers spirits, the site was a hive of activity. There were loads of people walking back and forth and a lot of dogs being walked (but all on leads). It's a fairly small campsite and I soon found the car park, and was walking around the lake surveying the options.

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Trip #77 - Revels - Canal Lake

Today was part 2 of my fishing weekender, and to be honest I got off to a bit or a foggy start. Catching up with the rugby the previous evening while celebrating a glorious Welsh win meant that plans of a very early start were off. I had a few things I needed to get done in the evening so I opted out of fishing Avalon or Sedges and the hour+ drive that that involves, and went for something a bit closer to home. Revels is a venue 30 minutes away and with several lakes to choose from I was curious to see how this venue would fair after the cold spell. Having fishing the "Dead Tree" lake previously I also wanted to see what the other lakes had to offer.

Despite the dead tree, this lake was the Canal Lake

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Trip #76 - Lands End Specimen

A solid weekend of fishing was going to begin on Lands End Specimen Lake. I was up and out the door very early (I had to take my wife to the train station for 6am), and manage to arrive at the venue just after 7. Unsurprisingly I was the only person at the complex at that time, although I was aware that a match would be held on the ones of the other lakes. I had read Tony Rixon's blog back in Feb, so made a beeline for peg 34 and began unloading ... once I'd had a cup of tea. A quick note on the drive to Lands End along Jack's Drove. I have never seen so many herons, massive blue ones and smaller white ones all busy spearing fish from the road side rhynes, I really should have brought a proper camera. 
Peg 34 on Lands End Specimen

Monday, 6 April 2015

How to Guide – The “Twizzled Loop”

Looking forward to this season I need to improve several aspects of my fishing, they include;
  • The long pole – All to often I fish at 9 or 11 meters and when required to fish out at 13m+ I find all skill packs up and leaves and I repeatedly slap the water or spill my feed from my cups, disturbing the fish and missing vital bites.
  • Waggler Fishing – I aim to fish venues which are more than X number of pole sections wide, hopefully it will help improve my cast accuracy too!
  • Feeder and straight lead fishing -  I need to fish the feeder and straight lead more often and practicing it in the summer, when the fish are up and feeding is essential. It can be a deadly method in the winter, but all too often I fall back on the pole for those sure fire winter fish.

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Trip #75 - End of Season Thuggery

It was the last day of the river season and I had been getting more and more excited as the week wore on, thinking about where I was going to go and what I was going to do. Unfortunately the weather had other plans. I checked the EA river levels website before I left and saw the ominous spike, but I still left with my gear and hoped to find somewhere that I could tuck myself away. 

The river was very high all day!

The constant rain from Wednesday onwards meant that when I arrived at the river at Hambridge, I saw straight away that I wasn't going to fulfil my plans of fishing the river. It was as high as I had ever seen it this year (although it has been much higher), and looking over the bridge and down at the bank, the bankings were water logged and were an inch or three under water. Getting back to the car I had a re-think of my plans and decided to give Dillington Pond a bash instead.

It was flying through

Monday, 23 March 2015

Trip #74 - A Thorney venue

I'm always weary of venues which advertise stocking levels, as follows "We have Carp up to 25lb's". What this generally means is there is 1 token big double in the lake along with a few little ones. Still I am not one to shy away from trying new venues, and with winters hold on the seasons slowly giving way to spring, I was quite hopeful that today would be a real confidence booster. I found Thorney lakes on a recent trip back from one of the local rivers, and after some internet searching I saw a lake that looked really promising.

Ignore the dates on this sign.