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!

Sunday, 21 December 2014

How to attach Hard Pellets

Over the last 2 years there is one thing that has hugely increased in number in my shed and holdall, and that is pellets. Pellets aren’t a particularly new idea and I remember them really starting to take venues apart in the late 90's early 00's when they starting to spike in popularity and it was all still a bit of a novelty. Since then pellets have come a long way, in various different sizes, styles, shapes and flavours. They have gone from strength to strength and consistently form the main stay of many match anglers "go to" bait. In all honesty I steered clear of pellets for as long as possible, believing that more natural baits would produce as well as any pellet, but the more venues I visited and the more lakes I fished, it was clear to see that although natural baits were effective, they just didn't consistently compete with pellets. Wanting to have as successful a day as possible on venues where matches are fished I switched over to pellets and to be honest, I haven't looked back. There has been a bit of trial and error, and when asked recently how I was hooking the hard pellets (on this occasion I using a hair rig) I had a look at my topkits and explained that I had few rigs set up to cover my options.

Monday, 15 December 2014

Fishing Basics - Loop Tying - Preston Loop Tyer

I’ve recently encountered some trouble with my Seymo Loop Tyer, and although the knots have never failed me, they seem to be getting bigger than I require. So I decided to give the Preston Innovations Loop Tyer a whirl. It was a bit of a school boy error, but I managed to pick on up without instructions! So I had to spend a little while working out how to use this little fella, but once I did I was very pleased with the consistent and small loops I was creating. This little tool will be in my tackle box from now on.

If you have one, but are not sure how to use it, here’s how.

Friday, 12 December 2014

BBC2 - Big Fish

Have you ever watched Fishing Guru's, Go Fishing, River Monsters... or even Robson Green's Extreme Fishing and thought "I could definitely do that"...

Here is your chance! 

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Fishing Basics - Knot Tying - How to tie a Lasso knot

This is just a quick post in response to a question I was asked a few weeks ago when out fishing using Pellets. I was alternating between a few rigs which had various hook set up's (using the pole), these were;
  • A haired 8mm pellet,
  • A banded 6mm pellet, and
  • A lassoed 6mm pellet. 
I was then asked how I tied a lasso knot, as the angler asking didn't have any pellet bands with him. I admitted of the three methods I like the lasso least as I think the presentation of the pellet is not as good, when compared with either the haired or banded approaches. However, I proceeded to show him how I was taught to tie the lasso knot, and for those wondering, here's how you can too!

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Trip #68 - Higher Kingscombe - Lodge Lake - Fits and Starts and Starts and Fits.

I was at a bit on a quandary this week, after my last session at Todber I was looking for another busy session. That being said, I was feeling decidedly lazy this morning, and my choice rested on a coin toss between Revels and Higher Kingscombe. After my last action packed trip, I tossed the coin (heads) and packed the car, and made my way to Higher Kingscombe Fishery - Lodge Lake. This is a great fishery, and I really should try some of the other lakes as there are about 7 to choose from. The fact that the lake has official BDAA pegs meant choosing where to fish was an easy affair, and I hopped onto the peg I fished last time. After all, if it isn't broke, why fix it? Parking up and having a quick chat to 2 Dorchester members we were astounded at the colour on the water. Despite recent days and nights of heavy rain it was gin clear. Not what I had anticipated. It was also very weedy!

Gin clear was an under statement

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Trip #67 - Todber Manor - Whiteposts.

I've never been in a situation (aside from river fishing) where I needed to drive a mile to the lake from the venue reception, but that is the case in Todber Manor Whiteposts lakes. On leaving the tackle store I was given a handy print out with idiot proof instructions on how to find the lakes, and was told "It is exactly 1 mile away". Okie doke! The Todber Manor complex has several lakes, all boasting a range of fishing types. There are several specimen carp lakes another lake which Golden Catfish (judging from the website photos) a designated match lake and 2 general coarse lakes (one of which I intended to fish). I had rung in advance to ask what lakes would be available to fish, in the off chance of a match being on. Good job I did as there were matches on both Park lake and one of the White Posts lakes. I did wonder if this was part of the mini league I have read about in other anglers blogs, but never managed to get around to asking the match guys as they were well underway by the time I arrived.

I originally intended on arriving at the lake for half 8 - 9, but for one reason or another I didn't actually arrive until 10:30 and once I had set up and gone through a very untidy carryall I was set up and ready to fish from quarter past 11(ish)...

Lots and lots of options for me on this peg.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Tackle Store Review - Todber Manor Tackle Store

Todber Manor is somewhere that gets a fair bit of press, whether it be from official angling publications or anglings blogs, and having read how good both the venue lakes and the tackle store are, I wanted to get out to Todber and have a look for myself. As the crow flies Todber isn't that far from me, but the winding roads of Somerset and Dorset left my SatNav believing it was going to take me 57 minutes! Nonsense, and without speeding I made it in 39. I pulled into the complex, and parking right outside the store (which is open until 2.30 on a Sunday) I was very pleased with what I saw.

Get ready to empty your wallets!

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Trip #66 - Cefn Mably Bridge Pond

Today was going to be a busy day. It was going to involve several family visits, a family meal and 100 mile return trip to Somerset from South Wales, so my time bank side was going to be limited. I was also travelling very light with 2 reels, 2 feeder rods, a landing net, a handle and a box of rig bit essentials. I was hoping for a very productive session and with a few venues very close to my parent’s house offering this I was spoilt for choice. In the end I went with Cefn Mably on the advice of a mate of mine (Dale). To be honest he echoed what I was already thinking "They all fish the same! Just fish close to the island and don't forget to feed the margins!" so with that advice I decided veer away from my favoured Horseshoe Lake to try out one of Cefn Mably's newer lakes, the Bridge Pond.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Trip #65 - Bendricks Beach

It's been a good few weeks since I've been able to get out and wet a line, and with several trips to and from Wales over the last fortnight I was faced with the prospect of a double header fishing wise. Obviously, when this chance started to come to fruition I jumped at it. My brother is a very keen sea angler and frequently ends up going out and catching Codling, Ray, Smoothound, Whiting... All sorts really. So when he asked if I fancied a few hours out on Saturday afternoon, (and without being remotely competitive) I picked out a few dusty beachcasters and a tripod, jumped in the car and away we went.

The rod and reels I used were;

1.       12’ 9’’ – Daiwa Amorphous Whisker (Blue) Beachcaster – Reel down
2.       12’ 6’’ – Shimano Super Ultegra Beach (Soft Tip) Beachcaster – Reel down
Both coupled with Daiwa SL20SH multiplier reels, using 18lb mainline and a 60lb shockleader. A bit of step up from 6lb Reflo...

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Trip #64 - Potwell Farm Lake

I've driven past this venue several times on the way to and from Bridport, but have never had chance to get down to the water and check it out. With a Sunday going begging I decided to give it a try, especially as this venue is only 12 minutes drive away - Ideal! I must say that the Google Map search beforehand didn't look too promising. The satellite images showed a ditch still being dug, hopefully it would be more inviting when bankside. Arriving at Potwell farm and making my way down the lane to the lake I was surprised at the size of it. To be honest it's a bit of an odd shape, with defined pegs all along the right hand bank but no pegs and limited access to the left hand bank. There was also a small section of the lake which can only be accessed by one peg (not marked), and even then accessing the pegs full potential would be difficult because of the angle of the bank. The lake itself has few features, and can't have been in existence for many years. The position of the venue (on top of a hill) meant the wind was surprisingly strong (as it was today a solid 15-20mph wind in the face). 

The top left hand corner of the lake as you leave the car park
From the opposite end of the lake.

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Blog - New Features

Just a quick one to say that i'm in the process of updating quite a few elements on the blog. Hopefully this will make it more useful to readers. There will be some minor changes taking place over the next few weeks but the two main additions (for now) are shown in this image and can be clicked on the above links.

Why not have a look for yourself?

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Trip #63 - Highlands Dairy Farm

I have been very keen to find a venue in my region (Somerset) which has a few Tench, and after a bit of digging around I had uncovered a place which specifically stated Tench, Rudd, Roach and Carp on the website. Also, as it was a new venue I was quite excited at the prospect of having a Tench venue less than 15 minutes from my doorstep. Finding the venue wasn't that difficult thanks to Google maps, although there was a moment where I found myself driving through a farm without seeing any form of a sign for the 3 lakes. I arrived at the venue just after half 9 (a bit later than anticipated) and after parking up I had a quick walk around to choose where I would be fishing. Of the 3 lakes at the premises, 1 had been booked for 2 days for a competition. I spent half an hour or so speaking to locals and decided I would fish the first lake this time and fish the bottom lake on my next visit. When asking about the Tench in the venue I was quickly told that if they were in the lakes, none had ever been seen or caught...

A few options near the island

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Tackle Store Review - The Tackle Box

I was walking along the Cobb at Lyme Regis with the wife recently and I was pleasantly surprised to see a lot of people fishing. There were a few guys spinning and even more people using standard bait fishing tactics. Although I didn't see any fish coming out, the beach definitely looked inviting to any potential sea anglers. On the walk back to the car with a wet and muddy dog, I noticed a chap walking past with the Tackle Box logo on the back of his hoodie. With a quick Google I found that the shop was only a few meters away! With that in mind, it would be rude not to call in and have a look around. I will say, not being local to Lyme Regis, I did rely quite heavily on Google and for the first time it let me down! The location wasn't where I was expecting, but after a quick ask around, I found out it was only a further 100 or so meters down the road. So we grabbed the dog and headed down the alleyway to the shop to see what they had on offer. 

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Trip #62 - Water Meadow Revisited

This was going to be my first fishing session as a married man, and I was accompanied by my father in law, Jeff. I had deliberated quite a lot about which venue to try. I was also a bit nervous as I hadn't looked at any of my fishing gear in over 2 months. It's always surprising how quickly spiders claim your equipment as residence. So I spent 10 minutes wiping everything down and ridding my rod bag of creepy crawlies. I was also a bit miffed to find that all my worms had disintegrated into mush. The soil from the compost heap is obviously to acidic, and the little buggers just seemed to melt. So it's back to some spare compost from the shed for the new batch, with some butternut squash peel to tide them over! After a few emails, numerous Google searches and much deliberation I decided we would visit my nearest fishery Water Meadow Lakes (the forecast wasn't set to be fantastic, so an early exit may been on the cards). It produced well on my last visit with a bumper bag of Roach even on a cold Sunday in February, so I was quite keen to see how much the place had changed since the winter.

Lots of options on my peg!

Monday, 1 September 2014

Trip #61 - Dillington Pond - Take 3!

After my last trip to Dillington I left knowing that the lake had a lot more to offer, and perhaps a different tactic was required to catch a few Bream and Chub. One thing is for certain, the pump house peg has been producing some very sizable silver fish bags, and ever since Jamie Rich’s match win there has been a queue of anglers ready to fish the peg. On this occasion I arrived at the lake at 6am, only to see another angler already unpacked and lugging his equipment over to the peg! Good job I was heading to adjacent corner where I could have a bash using the feeder. I got to my chosen peg set up my box and trialled the above tree height for casting clearance. I would be fishing for Bream using (an allegedly proven Bream mix of) Sensas Bream and Brown crumb groundbait, with corn and casters, and alternating between chopped worm and caster on the hook.

I would be aiming to cast underneath the willow

Monday, 25 August 2014

Trip #60 - A spot of dinner!

Arriving at Abbotsbury at 7 in the morning to walk the dog and find it absolutely packed meant one thing, the fish were in and the fish were mackerel. I didn't have any rods with me at the time, but after a quick visit to Tackle UK later that day for shockleader, leads and feathers I was ready for a Mackerel bash. I haven't fished for mackerel for a long time and was excited at the prospect of catching fish for the table.

I had some company fishing for dinner!

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Trip #59 - Jungle Warfare at Dillington

The recent bank holiday meant I had was able to get out and wet a line and with some solid bags of silver fish coming out, along with big Chub and Bream I decided to head up to my local club water of Dillington Pond, targeting the latter. After reading Jamie Rich's blog I knew the bigger fish were on the feed and I just hoped they wouldn't be to pre-occupied spawning so that I could catch a few. I had planned on getting up to the lake early, to avoid missing out on my desired peg, but the local scrumpy I had drunk the night before prevented me from getting out much before 10. I had a quick walk around and found that the peg I wanted was taken by a chap called Scott. He was absolutely bagging up on silver fish, fishing mid-water on caster. I asked his advice and decided to fish peg 16, a great but challenging looking peg, one of only a few with a feature in the shape of a big willow tree.

My peg and where I would aim to fish

Monday, 9 June 2014

Trip #58 - Duffryn Springs Res Lake

Spring (or is it summer?) seems to have finally arrived and with the promise of Spring, usually brings the promise of Tench. I had already caught a couple on a recent trip to the Viaduct, so I knew they were feeding, but it was now time for me to try and help my father in law Jeff catch his first ever Tench. Duffryn Springs Reservoir lake in South Wales is where we would be heading. This venue had produced plenty of Tench for me, so here's hoping it would stand up to my assurances and do the same for Jeff. I had a very specific peg in mind, and because I knew it as a "flyer", we set off early to make sure we got to the peg first.

After paying, driving down to the second car park and heaving our gear down to the lake by 8.30am, we were both surprised to see that we weren't the first people at the lake. Happily enough though, my chosen peg was free, so I showed Jeff where to fish and decided to fish the open water peg to his right. With Jeff on the corner peg, I would be fishing open water. 

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Trip #57 - Higher Kingscombe - Lodge Lake

After last week’s trip to this complex I left and immediately wanted to return. The conditions were pretty horrific and despite catching, I knew these lakes had more to offer. Also after a few emails to Dorchester DAS to find out more on the license swap situation I discovered that as an Ilminster AA member I was also allowed to fish Higher Kingscombe Farm’s Lodge Lake. Not that I was shying away from the previous lake, but I was keen to see what the other lakes had to offer, and the with prospect of some "clonking great big roach" as described by Dorchester match secretary Steve Sudworth I was keen to get back out there and give this lake a whirl.

A very comfortable peg on the lodge lake!

Monday, 26 May 2014

Trip #56 - High Kingscombe Farm Fishery

Easter weekend was upon us, and after a last minute change of plans I was faced with choosing a new venue to take my father-in-law (Jeff) fishing. I debated on whether to go back to the Viaduct, I know the place was absolutely stuffed full of fish, but I was also torn on choosing somewhere new. A few Somerset based anglers had mentioned Higher Kingscombe Farm as an alternative venue and Google mapping the venue showed an entire complex of lakes. Some further investigation on their website explained that there were some truly huge fish (30lbs+) in the bottom ponds. I wouldn't be targeting those, but I did like the choice of the other 5 lakes. So with my confidence still soaring from my previous trips to the Viaduct and Revels, I decided on the new venue and Jeff and I set out for an afternoon of fishing action!

My sodden peg for the day!

Monday, 19 May 2014

Trip #55 - Revels Fishery - Crooked Tree Lake

After my session on the Viaduct the previous day and spending far too long browsing and chatting in the Revels onsite tackle shop I hoped the fishing was going to be live up to my expectations, as my confidence was still high after yesterday's belter of a session. There was a match on one of the lakes at Revels, but the multitude of other lakes open to pleasure anglers. The fishery was set in truly beautiful surroundings and after a quick walk around I decided to fish the Crooked/Broken Tree lake. It looked quite promising with plenty of features, and after speaking to one of the anglers I decided that peg 10 is where I would set up camp.

Plenty of options at my chosen peg at Revels

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Tackle Store Review - Revels Tackle Centre

I had heard that Revels fishery had a fairly extensive shop on site, and after looking them up online I found that they were listed as approved Maver Centre of Excellence and Middy stockists (2 of my favourite brands). So I was really keen to have a good look around before starting fishing for the day. In all honesty my first impressions were uncertain ones, as the store itself looked to be a long, large outbuilding rather than a specific tackle shop. Still, I had heard good things, so a slightly less glamorous exterior was never going to put me off.

There were plenty of goodies on the inside at Revels

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Trip #54 - Viaduct Fishery - Match Lake

Everyone in the South West knows about the Viaduct fishery. It's a well established, heavily stocked match fishery with multiple hundreds of pounds required to place in the matches. It regularly features in the Angling Press and has been a Fish'o'mania qualifier and Maver Match This qualifier venue. Clearly this would be the place to go to learn from the big angling names! I found out that on Saturday (12th) there would be 3 matches on, but chatting to a few angling facebookers the night before persuaded me to give it a whirl. With 6 lakes on the complex I called in advance and was assured there would be plenty of room, with at least 2 other lakes open for pleasure fishing. So I set off, slightly later than planned to see what all this Viaduct fuss is about.

A great set up at the Viaduct

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Trip #53 - Ilminster Canal

After the silver fishing bonanza on Dillington Pond the previous day, I was itching to get out and trial another of the closed season venues the Ilminister Angling Association had to offer. The Ilminster Canal is a 150 yard closed section of the old canal, which contains a myriad of fish. I have read that it contains specimen Roach and Rudd, Tench, Perch, Carp and after talking to a club member 1 rogue Pike! Arriving at the venue the parking was a bit tight, but you could easily park in the surgery and walk around.

Top and bottom images are from opposite ends of this canal section

Friday, 25 April 2014

Trip #52- Dillington Estate Pond

Having lived in Somerset for 6 months I’ve come to realise that there are some great fisheries quite close at hand. The difficulty is, the majority of them are all heavily aimed at commercial match/carp anglers, where 100’s of lb’s is considered and average match weight. What I was looking for were waters where silver fish made up the majority and a rogue Carp may show up from time to time. That being said, and after a fair bit of reading and looking around, I decided to join Ilminster Angling Association. They currently control Dillington Estate Lake, what remains of the Ilminister Canal and a 7 mile stretch of the River Isle. They also have a ticket exchange in place with Bathampton A.A., Dorchester and District Angling Society and Langport and District A.A. This means for the joining fee of £25, a membership gets you access to A LOT more venues. So with my 2014 license newly purchased I set out to fish Dillington Pond and to see what it had to offer.
Don't be fooled by the quiet track next to the lake. It's busy!

Monday, 21 April 2014

Tackle Store Review - Reels and Deals, Weymouth

On the back of my last review and following one of my readers comments when my partner and I recently visited Weymouth it seemed rude not to pop in and have a look for a potential bargain in the fishing store. Not sure what to expect from a store so near to the sea front, I headed in to the store treating it like a blank canvas.

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Trip #51 – Old Mill Fishery

February’s weather had meant this fishing had been all but a non starter. So when the forecast said that the weekend may offer a slight reprieve I leapt at the chance to get out there and try to catch a few fish. Randomly coming across this venue (The Old Mill Fishery) after a "Things to do in Yeovil" Google search, it seemed like a promising Carp fishery. Although slightly difficult to find, I finally arrived at the venue and my first impressions were quite good. It was a complex of lakes, with the river flowing behind them. All the lakes looked fishy, but I choose the match one in the hope of catching a few winter roach. 

Starting the day there were 3 of us.

Monday, 3 February 2014

Trip #50 – Water Meadow Lakes, North Perrott

The weather had finally broken, so it was time to dust off the fishing tackle and trial a new fishing venue! I really enjoy fishing new venues; you don’t know what you will catch or how you will catch it. Today I had 2 options and the venue I was going to fish would be decided by a good old fashioned coin toss. Landing on Heads, I would be off to Water Meadows lake in North Perrott. The venue is ideal for me, as it is only 4 minutes car drive away. The venue itself isn’t well advertised so I called in advance to ask if it was OK to fish the lake as a member of the public. Fortunately it was, and it would cost a bargainous £6.

Excuse me in this photo, it was cold and windy, so A LOT of padding was required!

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Advice Required – Of Mice and (Fisher)Men

It had been a long while since I had been coarse fishing, and although I would periodically check that all my fishing gear was still in one place, I hadn’t thoroughly looked through it for a while to make sure everything was as pristine as I had left it. Moving house meant that various items were bagged up and stored away, and for obvious (and smelly) reasons my water proofs and nets were all bagged up and left quietly in the shed. You can see where this is going...

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Tackle Store Review – Tackle UK, Yeovil

With the New Year now come and gone I was determined to find a local tackle shop, so that when the weather finally decides to sort it’s act out, I would have a great store ready to supply my with my fishing fix! After a quick Google search I found that my closest store was a mere 18 minutes away in the form of Tackle UK (formly Yeovil Tackle Centre) and I was very keen to check it out. Driving to the location I noticed that parking for the store may be difficult at times, but on this occasion there was one space very nearby (I later found out that there is a sizeable car park behind the premises). So after a nifty bit of parking (thanks Rach) I arrived at the store not knowing what to expect, thankfully Tackle UK did not disappoint.

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Trip 49 – A break from the norm.

My recent relocation and the fact that Christmas is coming has meant that the frequency of my fishing trips has nose dived. So, when my Dad asked me if I fancied wetting a line on the weekend I jumped at the chance, even if it meant using a beachcaster rather than a match rod. I haven’t sea fished in years, so I was quite excited. Not only would I be fishing a new venue (Seatown, near Chideock), but I would also be using a multiplier reel and some fairly hefty hooks, weight and line. All in all a very big change to what I’m use too!

Seatown was a very nice, quiet beach to visit.

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Tackle Store Review - Weymouth Angling Centre

With the knowledge that my father and I would be fishing Seatown beach the following day, we decided to visit Weymouth Angling Centre to buy some bait, while we were visiting the city. A stone’s throw from the harbour, the store would undoubtedly be a haven for beach and boat anglers alike, but I was curious as to what else this sea side store would offer in the way of other fishing disciplines.