Mag and Waging the margins

I’ve recently rediscovered the joy of fishing a little rod with a little float in the margins, its a very different cup of tea to launching out a pva bag with a big old broomstick of a rod. Watching a float bob under is perhaps one of fishing’s biggest clichés but it really is jolly good fun.

I recently fished a session at Trinant Fishery which is usually quiet and the fishing is usually excellent, the tactics were simple mag and wag and I enjoyed a really nice mixed bag throughout the day. The bites were instant throughout the morning with a few good roach bagged. I slowly upped the baitsize and with it the stamp of fish increased. See results below: as usual a top day fishing at Trinant.

Roach Rumbo Jumbo

As the name implies, errr kind of implies, this post is a report of my recent attempts trying to catch some roach, a pursuit in which I have always enjoyed very limited success. With this in mind I set my sights on a real “bagging up” water, Tri-nant Fishery’s mixed lake really fitted the bill. Fishing at Tri-nant Fishery in Llantrisant is always a real pleasure, last time me and Ben enjoyed a good short session on the carp lake. The lakes are situated amongst some lovely fields and best of all its right next door to a pub!

So onto my session, i really fancied fishing a float, it is so soooo much more intriguing watching a float drift and bob on the waves instead of waiting for a feeder tip to pull round or even worse waiting for a ghastly electronic bite alarm to beep beep beep. Many fisherman have said it before me and many will say it after but there is something magical about a float dipping below the surface.

Of course, floats do have their downsides, you have to use abit more watercraft, plumbing the depth is essential and a stiff breeze can cause some serious presentation issues. You could probably write a book on shotting patterns but this is something i am sure would make tiresome reading (even more than usual), as I consider myself far from an authority on the subject I suggest finding aforementioned book and reading it cover to cover.

So finally onto my session, I initially fished the island margins at about 15 foot range but I really struggled, the wind was blowing back towards me and pulling the float out of position. Casting closer to the island resulted in a lost float and getting snapped off in a few submerged snags. I did eventually hook into a fish or two but all these takes resulted in me getting smashed up trying to bully fish away from the snags.

I eventually wised up and moved to the margin to my right; fishing under the rod tip. I had been trickling in freebies to my back up area whilst fishing the island, and it seems fish had been attracted to these offerings as i was instanlty having a few enquiries relayed to me by a wibbly wobbly float after a minute or so the float tanked under and i had a fish on. After playing the fish for a minutes or so I was convinced it was an eel. mainlybecause of the unusual fight of the fish, on my light 4lb gear it was a proper battle, and I didnt see the fish until about 10 minutes into the fight. After about 20 minutes a beautiful mirror was sliding over the rim of my net. A cracking fish on the light stuff!

I was interchanging between some krill soft hookers and single sweetcorn on the hook fished over a bed of mixed pellet and some sonubaits groundbait. I did change hook size a few times to match different baits but I eventually settled on a size 14 guru waggler hook. Combined with my little Drennan reel on my avon style quiver I eventually homed in a decent set up, and I started to connect with some good fish. The trouble was they were all carp full of spawn and the biggest was easily into double figures. Unfortunately, The closest I got to a roach, was a beautiful little rudd which was a new pb, as I can’t recall ever catching one.

It seems this trip, will fall amongst my pile of failed roach trips but I must say it has definitely been one of my  one of the finest failed trips I’ve ever been on.

Totally Awesome Fishing in Ringwood

Here’s a quick link to a new video from the boys at TAF fishing. Thought I’d say this as its about 100m upstream from where I first wet a line, on the mighty River Avon. Another brilliant video from Totally Awesome Fishing.


 

Cold Weather Coarse Fishing

These days if I’m lucky enough to get a fishing session authorised by the other half, I really want to have the best chance of catching. This means I need to find somewhere that is fishable and I have confidence tht at least some kind of fish are present. This normally means a few hours of scouring through forums and the Enviroment Agencys website checking river levels, which are inevitably unfishable every time I have a session planned. If anybody out there is a domesticated father, like myself, with responsibilities limiting your fishing time follow this strategy.

With flashbacks of nearly drowning fresh in my mind during my recent outings on the River Taff. The descision to avoid running water was easily made because of reports of high water levels at all my local fishing spots. The low water temperatures also crossed a lot of still waters off the list of proposed hunting grounds. Eventually, me and my fishing companion for the day Jack, decided to fish Cefn Mably Lakes close to Cardiff. I have fished the complex once before on Horsehoe Pond and somewhat uncharacteristically I really bagged up as well.

I really wanted to fish the float during this trip, I was even armed with a couple of pints of maggots, but the wind and low temperature lead to a really so start so I copped out a set up a simple method rig, as modelled by Jack below. As usual the key is to hit the same spot time and time again, although when it is cold you do not need to recast any near as frequently as a warm summers day. On the day though, I was chucking bombs all over the place, it seems that the media stereotype is true and now that I have a child, I have become the spasticated dad that can’t complete menial tasks like casting a method bomb at least within a few feet of where it has just been retreived from. Despite my casting inaccuracies I did manage to bag up a few nice bream but all the carp where had by Jack who had built his swim much more effectively throughout the day and really cashed in as the sun set.

Cefn Mably Method Feeder Madness

Cefn Mably is perhaps one of the most established fisheries in South Wales, a complex consisting of 8 lakes with the needs of the specimen hunter and the humble tiddler basher a like; it should also be noted that the on site tackle shop is simply to die for. Situated just off the M4 between Cardiff and Newport, location ain’t too bad either.

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On the day I fancied a mix bag and I had been drooling ovler the Horseshoe lake online for the week leading up to my little excursion. Home to some enormous perch, carp to just under 10lb, the odd barbel and match man’s favourite the slab. The lake itself is very nice indeed as I strolled along it’s banks I pondered which tactic I should employ. There was plenty of marginal activity and I am sure classic float fishing tactics would coax more than a few of our finned friends bank side. Whilst unpacking my trusty old Wilson barbel rod I couldn’t help but notice the gentle stirring of water around the lilies in the centre of the lakes. At around 5 metres range, with a bit of a breeze blowing across the water, I decided that some classic method feeder tactics might be more appropriate.

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One thing that has really improved my catch rate in the last few months when fishing these packed commercials is my rediscovery of the line clip. To really maximise your catch I really would suggest giving it a go. One thing to consider before deciding whether to clip up or not is that it can be slightly risky when not fishing tight to an island. If you are fishing open water there is every chance that the fish will pick your bait up then try to get away in the exact opposite direction of you. In this situation you have no shock absorbency from the rod, if you are a sporting gentleman then your suitably light line, matched to your quarry will be no match for an angry lump of a carp. In the perfect situation, an island will provide the perfect barrier to force the fish to scamper in a direction which will not overload the line directly.

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So the clipping up process, stage 1 is to have a “lead about” with an unarmed i.e. hook-less rig which could be just your feeder held on by swivel but without your hook link attached. Once you have found your range and a good spot which you have ascertained to be the underwater equivalent of a carp dining table, introduce a few feeders worth of bait to the swim, then lock and load a baited hook and recast and you have my virtual word that your bait will be all wrapped up in a neat little package sat atop a pile of freebies. Just be careful when a powerful fish takes they can give your rod a really good tug hehe.

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Bait wise you can’t go far wrong with any of the usual suspects, on these venues I personally think that the humble Robin Red pellet takes some beating. For my feeder mix I tend to go for a mix of Dynamite Bait 2mm Halibut Pellets, some cooorrrn, the cooooorrrrn juice and of course ol’ faithful Marine Halibut ground bait. Season to touch with some lake water. You want a mix which squeezes together into a nice ball but doesn’t sludge up and will easily crumble if rolled in your hand. I try to go as dry as possible, the best indicator that you need more water is when upon the cast the feeder flies for miles and launches a cloud of ground bait high into the air which will then gently patter back down on you and your friends head. Or in my case just my head. Solo.

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Anyway to prove that sometimes I kind of know what I am doing here’s the fish in a handy little gallery. Click through for some surprisingly feisty carp, a great fight on 4lb line. Tidy!

 

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Orchard Lakes – Match Fishing Showdown

On Sunday the stakes were high, two fishers reputation were on the line. Orchard lakes, New Milton, was the venue. We fished the match lake for a few hours on a warm afternoon. The lake holds a mixed bag of species including carp, roach, tench and my old nemesis the barbel. The rules of the match were simple, most fish caught wins the match and can sleep peacefully knowing they are the superior angler and an all round better human being than the loser.

I set up to fish match style on the method feeder, using Dynamite Baits Robin Reb pellet on the hook, topped with a small piece of plastic corn. I rustled up my usual method mix of Silver X method mix, sweetcorn and some mixed pellet. The lake is a snake style lake with margins slightly shallower than the main channel through the middle. I decided to fish the island rather than the margins as the trees on the far bank made a really nice little shaded feature that I was sure fish would feed confidently under. General Ben decided to roll the big guns out and fish with a boilie and bag approach, to try and target the bigger fish.

As is the norm with these packed out commercial style match lakes the bites came thick and fast from the start. I opened my account with a small carp and Ben then followed suit with a much larger common. After releasing both fish, we recast and I was straight away into another fish. The fish fought like a ‘roider down Wind Street on a Saturday night but she eventually succumbed to my tiny tackle. As the bronze flanks followed the angular head into my landing net I immediately knew that I had caught my first barbel, a fish which has firmly resisted my advances for over a year (more angling and barbel-less shenanigans here). The next few bites were also mine and soon they were coming steadily enough to encourage Ben to change onto the method. This increased his catch rate dramatically and the competition was soon close again. I soon showed my class and humility, by crushing Ben into the ground like a piece of shit on my shoe, with a grand total of 14 fish to 9.

I was over the moon with the day’s bag; despite catching a still water barbel which plays second fiddle to his running water cousin. Ben’s bag also included his first ever barbel and another barbel for me which was a unsurprisingly a new PB. Finally I added a tiny tench to my account which was another PB, a disgraceful PB I know but since I reset my PB’s for this blog I haven’t crossed paths with any of these slimy little buggers. After the match we headed back to Ben’s for a bloody good game of monopoly (which I also dominated), but I will save that story for my upcoming blog which will document, in great detail, every game of monopoly I have ever played throughout my entire life. At least then, this will not quite the most boring piece of writing in the entire world.

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