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!

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Tackle Store Review – West Bay Angling Centre

My recent relocation to South West England has meant I’ve had to discover new fishing haunts and stores to buy from. Unfortunately, I think I may have been spoilt for choice at my last 2 addresses. Both West Yorkshire and South Wales are littered with tackle stores and after a short drive you will generally find what you are looking for. So when I was recently visiting West Bay, near Bridport, and I saw the huge Angling Centre sign I wasn’t going to pass up this opportunity to see what was on offer…

A big store with on site parking.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Trip #48 – School Pond – Revisited

My last visit to this venue was a disjointed one. Guy and I fished Woodstock initially with very little success, and then we moved over to the School Pond where we proceeded to catch a number of F1 carp in the space of a few hours. I wanted to return to the venue and complete a session on the one lake. Not being a member of Newport Angling Association meant I didn’t have a key for the secondary car park, so was in for a hefty walk to get to the School pond, which is behind Woodstock lake. This walk was made longer by the fact that there were at least 10 anglers all fishing in a row along the bank I had intended to fish! No matter, I trudged on and arrived at my newly chosen peg on the far bank, and would be the only angler on this bank for the day!

Once the bank to my left hand cleared up I could cast to the lilies.

Monday, 25 November 2013

Trip #47 – Last of the Autumn Carp.

Recent weeks have brought the onset of winter. It won’t be long before I start dusting off the wire traces and treble hooks for a few wary winter Pike. Still, as the sun was shining (at least for the moment anyway) and the air temperature didn't feel that cold, I asked my brother if he fancied catching a few carp from our local fishery, Riverside. This would be a form of redemption for Mathew, who also blanked on our last outing together to Acorn fishery near Clevedon. Today we would be fishing light, searching out the last few feeding summer carp on good old dog biscuits. A bait which is hugely underrated and amazingly cheap!

Monday, 18 November 2013

Trip #46 - Predatory Perch! (And friends)

This fishing trip was not planned a long time in advance. Also, after being lied to by the BBC weather lady (thanks Carol), the rain that was forecast never arrived, and instead it was ruddy freezing! After a bit of indecision, some goading from friends and last minute packing I resolved to go fishing and try my hand at catching some specimen Perch from Cefn Mably’s Horseshoe Lake. I would be taking some frozen prawns and luncheon meat, but would need some maggots to draw the small fish in. Fortunately I could buy them from the excellent tackle store on site.

Hungry carp were on the feed despite it being only 7 degrees!

Friday, 15 November 2013

How to connect and disconnect your line to a Dacron Connector. Double loop method.

In keeping with my most recent post about which connector is better, a standard Elastic connector or Dacron connector, I hit another snag when finding out how best to attach your rig to the Dacron! A crucial point where catching fish is concerned... Unlike a standard connector where you physically clip the loop of the rig into the connector, line can be attached to a Dacron connector in a number of different ways.

This is what I ended up with! A solid efficient and reliable connection.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

How to connect a Dacron Connector to Elastic.

After recently reading both online and in the angling press about the types of connectors people prefer to use when fishing the pole, I decided to conduct an experiment to see for myself which one was better. The 2 most recognisable connectors are the standard Elastic Connector (sometimes called the Stonflo Connector) and the Dacron connector.

The finished article!

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Trip #45 - Return of the Lamby

It had been a while since my father-in-law had been fishing, so when he asked me mid week “Where shall we go fishing this weekend?” I jumped at the chance. Having slowly but surely fished my way around quite a few of the public fisheries in South Wales I knew of a few good venues to chose from. Jeff wanted to fish a lake rather than a pond and intended on spending a lot of time on the waggler. I knew just the place, and that place would be Lamby Lake. After a successful session previously with one of my friends I thought it would be a great location to target some of the specimen Roach and Perch which I know the lake held.

A bit of a walk, but I found a great looking peg!

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Trip #44 - Tri-Nant (Mixed Lake) – Fortune favours the bold!

This week’s episode of Fishing with Guy would leave me at a bit of a quandary. We had already visited Mathern Mill in the search of a “lump”, but I think Guy left that fishery slightly disappointed. After speaking with my father-in-law I decided on fishing Tri-Nant fishery near Llantrisant. I’ve been told that there is a good head of fish in the lakes and although there is a carp only lake, the mixed lakes also offer various other species which could prove to be good sport.

A very fishy looking peg!

Friday, 25 October 2013

Trip #43 – Mathern Mill

After my disaster of a fishing trip to Acorn fishery in Clevedon, my next trip had to be filled with fish to compensate. After a Google search and speaking to some friends I decided to try Mathern Mill. This hugely successful match fishery frequently produces 200lb bags of carp, and as I would be accompanied by one of my friends who was after a “lump” I thought this would be the perfect place to catch some good quality fish. Speaking to my local tackle dealer, he warned me that the main carp lake usually has matches on both weekend days (Saturday and Sunday) and fishing the same lake on Monday might prove tough. There was only one way to find out...

After a slow start this was the third double of the day!

Trip #42 – Acorn Fishery, Clevedon

Having never done much serious carp fishing, and with the recent spell of warm weather, my brother and I decided on an overnight session to a fishery which came heavily recommended by other anglers. Acorn fishery has several lakes, split between match and specimen venues, this time we would be targeting the specimens. After some research into the venue, I found out that huge match weights are possible (this summer Des Shipp managed 300lb+ in one match), which could only mean good things for us chasing the bigger fish.

Looks fishy!

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Trip #41 - Woodstock and Morgans Pond – A Tale of 2 halves.

With the weather on the change, I decided that this week’s fishing adventure - again re-introducing Guy to angling, should be spent targeting F1’s and the other species that we had caught previously on Lamby Lake. After a bit of research and a few phone calls, I decided to fish Woodstock, one of Newport Angling Associations’ waters just off Bettws Lane. The lake was heavily stocked with “everything that swims” and seemed to offer a good all round mix of fish without it becoming a glorified stock pond.

All the pegs around Woodstock looked fishy!

Friday, 11 October 2013

Trip #40 – Peterstone Lakes

After reading recently that Peterstone Lakes was fishing well for good mixed bags, I thought it was time that I paid the fishery a visit. The drive to the venue goes very close to the coast, and is surrounded by small waterways which got me thinking about fishing them. A trip involving jungle warfare for another day perhaps. Today I would be fishing with my grandfather (Colin), and together we had decided to fish the pole on one of the smaller match lakes to try to entice out some fish that these lakes held. The Biggest lake on the complex is now part of the Birch Syndicate and although it has previously been a match fishery, it is holds some big carp, and some equally large Pike.

I stayed firmly on the bank after seeing these platforms.

Monday, 7 October 2013

Trip #39 – Hazel Court Ponds

Hazel Court Ponds is a 5 lake complex near Cowbridge, which is absolutely stuffed with fish. It is also one of the very few fishing venues in South Wales which can honestly boast that it legally has Catfish, up to the 30lb mark! I have fished there previously with the children’s charity Ty Gwyn; catching small Roach, Rudd and Koi Carp, but that was a few years ago. It was time to pay the venue a visit and see if any of the fish had put on a few pounds (like I have!).

Lots of features

Friday, 4 October 2013

Trip #38 – Lamby Lake (Tredelerch Park)

One of my friends recently asked me to take him fishing after a break away from the water side for more than 10 years. I was under strict instructions that he wanted to go somewhere with “a bit of nature”, a variety of species but preferably Roach, Rudd and Perch and most importantly “not a featureless carp puddle”. Thanks for making it easy for me Guy. After a quick search I had a shortlist ready, and after a brief discussion we chose Tredelerch Park or Lamby Lake. The lake is known for being a tough big carp water with 9 fish over 30lb and numerous 20’s, but after speaking to a relative who had fished it recently, the place was full of quality silver fish. Perfect, as this is what we would be targeting! Arriving at the lake and unpacking the car there was a hilarious moment when something fell out of his old rucksack that neither of us expected.

It wasn't one of "those" fishing trips.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Tackle Store Review – Cwmbran Angling

Finding bait on a Wednesday can be difficult living in South Wales. Mid week match day, as it is sometimes referred too, means that my nearest store is closed as it is run by a keen match angler. I only remember this after I pulled up and parked at the rear of the shop. This left me in the tricky situation of having arranged to go fishing, but potentially not having any bait. (School boy error!) A quick re-think involving Google and a few phone calls and I was on a rather impromptu trip to Cwmbran Angling to pick up the bait and see what else they had on offer.

Friday, 27 September 2013

Trip #37 - Why the Wye

Recently a few friends of mine have been venturing further afield in search of specimens or bountiful river sessions. But as yet I have been unable to join them. So when I had a phone call from one of my angling friends recently, to see if I wanted to join him for a few hours in the evening on a day ticketed stretch of the great river Wye I positively jumped at the chance - Especially after he had confirmed that the stretch we would be fishing contains an enormous amount of Barbel (a species which I have yet to catch from a river). My friend being an avid (and secretive) river angler was quite wary about my writing up this report, so adhering to his rules I can’t mention the exact peg we fished. But the day tickets for the stretch can be bought from the local tourism office (and online).

A sign of things to come! Although he didn't let me land the first fish!

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

River Sirhowy Site Visit

After recently meeting with and receiving an invite from Project Officer Hywel Abbott from the charity Groundwork Caerphilly, I was keen to get to the site along the Sirhowy river to see the work that was being carried out. The site visited was Fairoaks Farm in Argoed, and this virgin unfished section of River had me intrigued. The Groundwork team, along with the landowner were in the process of removing an enormous concrete wall that had previously been constructed along the riverbank and was originally intended to protect the nearby football field.

Friday, 20 September 2013

Trip #36 – Tinca Time

2013 has been an up and down year for me (so far), but fishing more regularly meant that I was rattling through the fresh water species list. But one species that had evaded me so far was the Tench! I had thought that, given the current weather conditions and time of year, maybe my chances of catching one were coming close to an end. I knew of a venue which had produced well for me in the past and decided to give it a whirl (especially because if it produced it would be a venue I could take my father in law who has never caught a Tench), and the venue I had chosen to fish was the Reservoir Lake of Duffryn Springs.

The Reservoir Lake is on the bottom left, and I would be fishing the southern corner.

Monday, 16 September 2013

Tackle Store Review – Green’s Tackle, Pontllanfraith

With an upcoming fishing trip planned after a week away from the bank, it was time for me to replenish my pellet supplies as well as getting some fresh bait to ensure I caught something on my next outing. Green’s fishing tackle (owned and run by match angler Howard Green) is one of my nearest tackle shops and generally has a good level of quality coarse fishing equipment, even if you have to search around a bit to find it.

Sunday, 15 September 2013

River Sirhowy Rejuvenation and Groundwork Caerphilly.

As anglers, we’re always keen to hear about projects promoting our local waterways and working towards improving the health of these environments and the fish that live in them. After viewing some recent press coverage on the Healthy Rivers programme and visiting the following website (, I have become increasingly interested in the work that the National Charity Groundwork is currently undertaking along the Sirhowy River. Local to the area, I decided to contact them to see if there was anything in the way of voluntary work I could do to help. I was invited to the local Groundwork’s offices in Blackwood to discuss the Healthy Rivers Campaign with project officer Hywel Abbott and also to talk about the on-going river clean up plans for the river Sirhowy.

Friday, 13 September 2013

Product Review – Chub Twin Tip Barbel Rod

After a few sessions of surface carp bashing, I was becoming increasingly aware that my tackle was aimed at the lighter end of the fishing spectrum, and if (or when) I was lucky enough to catch that “lump”, my tackle might let me down. It was time for me to start looking for a better quality rod, one with enough stopping power to deal with double figure carp, but flexible and adaptable enough to use on a river/commercial venue. Time to scour eBay for a bargain, and a bargain is what I found. I bought myself a Chub Outkast twin tip Barbel rod.

Monday, 9 September 2013

Trip #35 - Lucky Horseshoe

After being incredibly impressed by the quantity and quality of the products sold at Cefn Mably tackle shop, the lakes now had a lot to live up to. I have fished Cefn Mably numerous times in the past, I knew roughly what to expect, but this was my first trip back to the venue after several years of living up North. Not only have substantial changes been made to the tackle shop but also the lakes. Since my last visit, the complex has seen the addition of a few new ponds, and the entire complex is now entirely Coarse fishing where as previously it was Coarse and Trout. I aimed to fish one of the original ponds known as the Horseshoe (using meat and pellets), as I wanted to avoid the suicidal F1 and Koi Carp. I was also hoping that my old favourite peg would be free, although this seemed unlikely as I arrived at the venue at quarter to 11 after a busy morning of wedding planning.

Cefn Mably is stuffed full of skimmers this size or bigger!

Monday, 2 September 2013

Tackle Store Review - Cardiff Angling Centre (Cefn Mably)

After being repeatedly told about the massive improvements in the shop at Cefn Mably Lakes, I thought it best to stop by before a recent fishing session on their horseshoe lake and have a look for myself. It has been several years since I’ve last visited this shop so had no idea what to expect. The outside, unlike almost every fishing store, doesn’t have huge windows displays, so first impressions would have to be made on entry.

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Tackle Store Review – Tony’s Tackle

After a flurry of recent fishing trips I found that I was running quite low on two of my favourite types of hooks. So with a trip to Caerphilly planned, I thought I would nip into Tony’s Tackle to replenish my diminished hook supply as well as top up a few other essentials which I would undoubtedly convince myself I needed before leaving the store.

Monday, 19 August 2013

Trip #34 – Berserk for Biscuits.

After my fantastic days fishing at Riverside recently, when I had a few hours to spare on the coming weekend I thought it would be rude not to nip 15 minutes down the road to wet a line, and try and add to the Carp tally. Unlike my normal fishing outings, where I am prepared for all outcomes (whether it be float fishing, ledger fishing, pole fishing etc), today I would be taking 1 rod, 1 reel and 1 bag of bait. This is slightly alien to me, but it does allow for more mobility on the bank (not that I am particularly mobile at present). Fortunately my Dad was with me and he would be acting as my trusty fish spotter while I targeted the little bleeders from the water’s edge.

Plenty of space to fish!

Friday, 16 August 2013

Trip #33 - Riverside – Shooting fish in a Barrel.

  It’s amazing how catching a few fish after a long break gives you the bug again and after the catching bream from Hendre and the improvements I was showing whilst taking my medicinal cocktail, it was time the get the Pole out of hibernation. This would be a test, but I would finally know if my grip, strength and dexterity were up to challenge of a few hours shipping in and out on this action packed little fishery.

Plenty of room and plenty of fish about at Riverside

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Now featuring on the Fish Here App!

Just a quick post to announce I will now be featuring my posts on the Fish Here App!

I will begin to post my back catalog of venue reports, before coming up to date with my most recent posts. My posts will be published on both my blog and this fantastic app. It is a great app which is getting a lot of activity from anglers up and down the country. It has a number of great features as well as an extensive list of fisheries (which I will be fortunate enough to add too!) that provide anglers with useful information on their selected venue.

Monday, 12 August 2013

Tackle Store Review – Tacklesmart, Ebbw Vale

After the excitement of fishing Hendre Park Lake on the previous weekend I was very keen to get out there and use my pole for the first time in over a year. Improved grip, strength and dexterity meant that I could now try out a method of fishing I really enjoyed. On inspecting my spare top sections however I found that a year or more of abuse (or rather neglect) meant that some of my finer elastics had perished. This did however present a perfect opportunity to visit another local tackle shop, and as it was in the middle of Ebbw Vale Festival Retail Park I had no idea what to expect from Tacklesmart.

A welcome sight among the various clothing shops Festival Park has to offer!

Friday, 9 August 2013

Fishing Basics – Plumb the depth - Using a plummet.

Speaking with my father-in-law recently we started discussing fishing basics which are now often overlooked. He remarked that once when fishing White Springs (near Swansea), he was asked how to use a plummet without losing it on the retrieve. I also asked one of my other angling friends how he would plumb the depth of a swim and his answer was “guess the depth until I catch fish”. That’s one way of trying I suppose. He also didn’t know how to use a clip on plummet. The next blog will show how to use a plummet and clip on plummet effectively on both pole and waggler set ups.

Types of plummet, cork and rubber bottomed and clip on.

Monday, 5 August 2013

Trip #32 – Hendre Lake Trip 2 - Bream Bash(ish)

After last Monday’s trip down to Hendre lake (and my first fishing trip in well over a year) I was very enthusiastic about getting back out there and catching some more fish! Hendre Lake provided me with a great platform to re-master the forgotten basics of waggler and feeder fishing. A quick trip to Garry Evans earlier in the week to gather some intel on the best methods, meant that I left slightly more clued up on the best baits, locations and tactics to use on the lake. Jeff and I decided to get down to the lake for early morning to see if we could target some of the bigger slabs before the sun came out and killed off our chances, and we would also be joined by my Brother (also fishing) and Father (taking the photos).

Plenty of room for the 3 of us fish next to each other on the bank at Hendre Lake.

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Trip #31 – Hendre Park Lake

After not wetting a line in over a year, the idea of going fishing to a new venue was an exciting one, but one which also made me feel a bit nervous. The dexterity and sensation of my hands is slowly returning, but nowhere near 100% so this ruled out Pole fishing (my favourite method). After ringing a local tackle store I was told Hendre Lake was fishing really well despite the heat, that it is very accessible and producing good bags of bream on the feeder. I can tie hooks and wind in, feeder fishing would have to do, and it may be a good way to break me back into fishing after a pro-longed dry spell.

Plenty of features to fish too.

Monday, 29 July 2013

Thanks to my readers.

Just a very quick one to say thank you all for reading this blog.

Hit over 50000 views today! So thanks for reading, I will keep up the frequency of my posts and hope to keep them entertaining, factual and relevant.

Thanks again!


Sunday, 28 July 2013

Product Review - Mosquito Angling - Speedy Feeder

I was recently asked to field test a new style of inline method feeder made by Yorkshire based Mosquito Angling called the Speedy Feeder. Having a look at them on their website, the design and concept was quite interesting and a new idea on me. I was naturally very interested in trying out this new style feeder. So when a package of them recently arrived I couldn’t wait to get out there and put them through their paces.

Monday, 22 July 2013

Tackle Store Review – Cliff Harvey Angling

Moving back to Wales recently has meant I’ve had to reacquaint myself with the numerous fisheries that South Wales boasts, as well as the number of local Tackle shops. When previously living in South Wales I was a regular at Garry Evans, but with the first fishing trips in over a year on the horizon I need to have a quick re-supply of some essential bits and buy some bait. We decided to pick out what we needed on route to the venue (Hendre Park Lake) and stop off at Cliff Harvey’s Angling near Cilfynydd.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Fishing Basics – Knot tying - How to tie a knotless knot.

This post is designed to try and demonstrate how to tie a very sturdy and reliable knot which can be used when targeting bigger fish using techniques such as the method feeder or hair rigged baits. I have tried and tested this particular knot and can guarantee, if tied correctly will hold a lump of a fish.

The knot held this fish with ease.
The knotless knot is an essential knot which is used up and down the country by a variety of anglers who have made the jump from standard hook knots such as the grinner or half blood to the more technical elements of tying our own hair rigs. For the purpose of this post I have used a straight shanked eyed hook, rather than the conventional off-set eyed hook, which is more commonly used.

Monday, 8 July 2013

Trip #30 - Carp on the Fly

This was a trip that I went on whilst home in South Wales in the autumn of 2012.

I have been talking to my brother recently about his most recent fishing trips and he has done his best to gloat about his extraordinary catch rate using this particular method. On a recent trip back to the Welsh valleys I thought, what better an opportunity to try it out. So my father, brother and I made our plans and I looked forward to trying out this method for carp. Our venue was a small two lake fishery, which I have fished numerous times in the past, called Riverside. Normally when I go fishing, even if it’s a short trip, the car is full of everything fishing, from waterproofs, to carryalls, and rod bags to bait buckets. So when we got to the lake with just a bag of chum mixer biscuits, 3 fly rods and a landing net I was sceptical about what we were in for. 

Plenty of fish this size or better at Riverside 

Friday, 5 July 2013

Trip #29 - Highbury Pond - Re-visited

I fished this venue back in June 2012 after a difficult and cold first attempt the previous winter. It was time for a rematch!

My last visit to this venue left me cold and frustrated by the lack of fish, so now that there was no possibility of it icing over I decided to pay the lake another visit with the hope of getting more than a few small roach. Arriving at the lake and given the time on a weekend (9:30am) I was surprised to find myself the lakes only occupant. Watching some fish moving on the surface I took my pick of the pegs and set up, with a feeling that this trip was going to be better than the last one!

Plenty of features here.

Thursday, 4 July 2013

It's time for a catch up...

Where to begin... It’s been a very busy time since my last post, which has involved a job change, 2 house moves, acquiring a kitten and receiving a “significant diagnosis” (Sounds like a hair dye advert). It has been incredibly hectic, often stressful and generally tiring, but when my partner and I moved house (the first time) I had every intention of getting down to the nearest brook (near Fulneck) and carrying out some jungle warfare style fishing, chasing some elusive wild brown trout...

A bit of a walk, but this stream held fish!