Monday, April 25, 2016

Summerhayes - Open - 24th April 2016

After six matches on Longs, I knew Pete was putting us back on Sellicks for today and the silvers weights haven't been great with Ray Wickham only needing two crucians for 4lb 11oz to win a few weeks back. When I pulled into the car park, one of the first people I met was Glynn who said the match was going to be spread over Sellicks and Lily and regular readers will know I just can't seem to do any good on Lily and apart from the first time I fished it, I've never won a bean on there since! To be fair, Lily does produce some good silvers weights and there's loads of small carp in there but like I said, it just seems to be my bogey lake!

As I was getting some nets, Roy Hughes made me feel a little more optimistic about Sellicks when he said he'd pleasure fished it in the week and had around 7-8lb of skimmers and crucians from peg 8. Just before the draw Pete got Daren Kempson to pick out the golden peg and he pulled out peg 20 on Sellicks which you would have run to a while back for silvers but I didn't think it would compete with Lily today. I do like the way Pete runs the golden peg, it's capped at £150 and when that limit is reached another is started, if you win off it you obviously take the pot but if you win the silvers from a golden peg you get half the money which I think is a great idea as a lot of anglers like to fish for silvers rather than the carp. I went into the draw bucket late and there were just two balls left, I grabbed one and when I looked, it was peg 20, that was safe then!
Peg 20 looking up the pond
I took my kit to the peg and I had Daren on my right on peg 18 and Adam B was on 22 on my left and he said he'd won the silvers on Wednesday with 7lb 10oz so maybe it wouldn't be as bad as I first thought. Pete walked round and said he was paying the top four overall plus the top silvers on each lake, he also said to not forget that hand sized carp count as silvers (which I have to say I don't agree with, to me a carp is a carp, well, unless it's a crucian!!!!, confusing isn't it?).

I set up a 0.4 gram Malman Pencil with a spread bulk and a size 16 Tubertini 808 to 0.10mm and also a Drennan 0.6 gram G-Tip with the same hook etc but as I never picked it up all day I won't mention it again. On my side tray I just had some 4mm Bait-Tech Xpands which I pumped with water that had been 'Juiced' up and I also used it to soften up my micros. I decided not to bother with a groundbait line this week as I haven't really caught over it in recent matches. It was a nice bright, sunny day although there was a swirly wind that couldn't make its mind up which way to blow!

Adie signalled the start and I cupped in half a pot of micros on two lines at ten metres, angled left and right and the same amount on the five metre line. I went out over the left hand line and after about ten minutes, I missed a cracking bite (nothing new there then!), next chuck the float sailed away again but this time I hit it and was soon slipping the net under a little 4oz carp to open my account. I hit the next bite too and this felt like a better fish and it also didn't feel like a carp and I was delighted when a 1.5lb crucian popped up, what a great start and it didn't end there when I had a decent skimmer on the next put in, followed by a 4oz skimbob and the last action of the hour was a 4lb carp and as much as I would have liked to say it was hand sized, I think a few eyebrows might have been raised!

So with around 2.5lb of silvers after an hour plus that carp, I was doing well, Adam had caught a couple of carp and I'd seen both Daren and Nigel Wickham up on peg 16 land a couple of fish too. The second hour also went really well and swapping between the two longer lines I had another decent skimmer, a couple of blades, small carp and then another lovely little crucian to put me on around 4-5lb and if I could carry on like this, maybe winning the golden ball might be possible. I should have known better as it all went a bit pear shaped in hour three, I had a few small skimbobs but lost a decent skimmer shipping back and then foul hooked two carp both of which came off and probably only added a pound or so to my silvers net during a frustrating sixty minutes.

Adam was now catching carp quite well and when I had one from the left hand line I felt it was time to try my shorter line which I'd been feeding from the start via a toss pot but apart from a couple of knocks, nothing much was happening so I went back out and had another decent skimmer plus a few smaller fish including a 3oz rudd and my catch rate was still ticking along nicely. Mark Leahy was having fun up on peg 14 with the carp and the lilies and at one point there was that sickening crack that no angler likes to hear when a top kit snaps under pressure.

I was still getting regular indications and had another decent skimmer around the pound mark, plus some smaller ones, another little carp, a 4oz roach and I was really enjoying myself. A couple more carp disrupted things a bit, especially one hooked in the bum that I had to reverse into the net after a lengthy battle. A fifth decent skimmer put me on around 7lb, maybe a little more and I was hoping it would be enough to win the silvers on our lake. With around half an hour left I had another go on the five metre line but all I could muster was one tiny blade. Glynn Wickham arrived and he'd struggled on Lily with the wind in his face all day, he also said nobody had really bagged up on silvers or carp.

I managed one more small fish before Adie blew for the all out, my final tally was twenty eight silvers which included two crucians, five decent skimmers, five hand sized carp plus some blades, roach and rudd and I hoped I had around 7-8lb. I also had five carp but I knew I wouldn't be troubling the overall frame today. Glynn walked up to see how Nigel had got on and when he came back, he said Rob Birch up on peg 12 thought he had around double figures of silvers - bugger! I was pretty sure I didn't have that and felt pretty deflated as I thought I'd fished a pretty good match.

The scales arrived at Adam to begin the weigh in and he set the pace with 54lb 4oz, then my five carp went 19lb 1oz and when I pulled my silvers net out, Adie called 11lb 7oz which was better than I thought but I didn't think it would be enough to win the lake. Daren had 13lb 6oz and then Nigel had 53lb 1oz to go into second place. I took my kit back to the car and passed Martin Addicot who'd been on peg 2 and said he'd had a big crucian, a couple of tench, two decent skimmers and some small carp and was admitting to 8lb, so he wouldn't be far away either.

I loaded my kit into the car and just as I shut the boot, Rob arrived and said he'd weighed 9lb 14oz of silvers so I was still leading the lake. I walked up to watch the rest of the weigh in just as the scales had finished on Lily, Steve Jackson had the best silvers weight there with 8lb 12oz from peg 12 and I was still the top silvers weight with only three anglers left to weigh! Bill Hopping had 55lb 15oz from peg 6 to go into the overall lead, Roy Hughes didn't weigh on peg 4 and that just left Martin, was he going to spoil it for me? When he pulled his net out, I still thought it was going to be close but he proved to be a far better estimator than me as Adie called out 8lb exactly and I'd done it!!!!

Back at the results and Bill was announced the winner and it had been a really tight frame with one fish separating the top four weights, Jacko won the lake on Lily for silvers and then I picked up £32 for the lake silvers win and £75 from the golden ball, what a lovely day with the only downside being that I didn't have a side bet with Glynn.
Today's board
1 - Bill Hopping (Summerhayes) - 55lb 15oz
2 - Adam B (Summerhayes) - 54lb 4oz
3 - Nigel Wickham (Summerhayes) - 53lb 1oz
4 - Rob Birch (Summerhayes) - 51lb 14oz

Sellicks - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish) - 11lb 7oz
Lily - Steve Jackson (Garbolino) - 8lb 12oz
A double envelope this week!
Double header next week as it's a Bank Holiday, it's Sellicks/Lily on the Sunday and Longs on the Monday.

Next up - Summerhayes double header

Coming soon - My next review

Check Out - My review of 'The Juice'

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Bait-Tech 'The Juice' Review

I always get quite excited when Bait-Tech launches a new product but for 2016 one product in particular was creating a buzz and, if you'll excuse the pun, really getting my juices flowing! I first became aware of this rather secretive new liquid through Andy Neal's excellent match reports and write ups on the Bait-Tech website. He was using it all over the place, on his maggots, bread, corn, putting it in the water to pump his expanders, soaking his micros and probably even dabbing it behind his ears before a big night out!

Now obviously Andy is heavily involved with Bait-Tech and you would expect him to be promoting and pushing this new product but they already have a fantastic selection of liquids in their portfolio, including the brilliant Predator Plus and Krill and Tuna, so what's so special about this one? The early pictures in Andy's reports of a simple white bottle with 'The Juice' written on it in black marker pen just added to the intrigue.

After what seemed like an age, Bait-Tech finally announced it's release and even the finalised packaging was very different to all their previous products. This is what Andy says about it "I’ve used The Juice exclusively all winter! I’ve soaked pellets in it, pumped Xpands, covered bread, dowsed maggots and glugged every other bait I’ve used. I had the best winters fishing I can remember, I seem to catch everywhere I went. I’ve tried to overdo it…..put too much on, I couldn’t, one thing is certain, it doesn’t put them off! This now goes everywhere with me!"

Even the description of 'The Juice' on the website (below), is rather minimalistic and the air of mystery continues, I had to get hold of some!

This Sweet Glug can be used anywhere and on anything.

Available in 250ml bottles.
    • Sweet success is waiting for you
    • Versatile use – use on everything
    • Glug pellets & boilies
The chance to get my hands on the 'The Juice' arrived when I went to The Big One with Steve Hurford and we headed to the very impressive Bait-Tech stand where the lovely MD of Bait-Tech, Hayley, showed me all the new products on display, they all looked and smelt great but if I'm honest I couldn't really remember too much about them, as all I could focus on were the white bottles I could see further along the stand where Andy Neal stood behind them like a modern day guardian of the Holy Grail (in pink!).
Andy Neal, guardian of  'The Juice'
Finally we reached them and Hayley took the top off a bottle for me to smell and it has a heavenly sweet smell, I can't really be more descriptive than that, it doesn't smell like anything I can readily describe, it's just very sweet! It's also colourless and has very thick, syrupy consistency, ideal for coating hookbaits and using as a glug.

Now I just had to try it out......

For my next match, I prepared some 4mm Xpands by adding some of 'The Juice' to the water for pumping the pellets. On a rather tough day I managed third place in the silvers with 9lb 3oz of skimmers, roach and tench. You can read the full report here - The Juice's first outing for me.

Now I would like to report that ever since it's virgin outing, I've been catching loads of fish using 'The Juice' and winning money hand over fist but that's not been the case. I have always strived to be honest and give as fair a review as I can but a succession of bad draws hasn't helped which just goes to prove that old adage that there's no such thing as a wonder additive and you won't catch fish that ain't there! I have, however, beaten the pegs either side of me in the last three matches and that in itself gives you a confidence boost.

I will update this review as and when I've tried some different applications for this very versatile additive. I also came across this great little tip from Bait-Tech's Dean Barlow which I'll be trying out in the near future.

'The Juice is playing a big part in my fishing and I needed an easier way to get it on my bait quicker. Whilst in match conditions it's difficult to leave baits "glugging" while you fish, so I got hold of some mini atomizer sprays to which I add 80% juice and 20% water. 
A great idea from Dean Barlow
This enables me to spray my hook baits quickly before each cast instead of having countless pots with hook baits soaking. One tip I use, especially when method feeder fishing, is once it is loaded spray the feeder, this gives it an instant attraction to your bait without compromising the stickiness of you mix which holds on to the method. You can also do this on a normal cage or open end feeder!!'

A great idea and one I reckon would be a hit if Bait-Tech made it available in the shops!

*Bait-Tech sent me this product for free in exchange for an honest review. All opinions contained in this post are my own.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Summerhayes - Open - 17th April 2016

After some decent results on my first three visits of the year, things have gone down the pan somewhat in the last two matches when I drew pegs 10 and 3. I was hoping I might get near a decent silvers area today but that was always going to be difficult with draw bag experts, Ray and Glynn Wickham fishing! After Pete announced the draw, there was the usual scrum to get in the bucket, I went in quite late and when I pulled a ping pong ball out, it had the number 8 on it, not a great silvers peg and I just can't seem to get away from that area. No such worries for Glynn who was on peg 12 where Ray won the silvers last week and Ray was on 32 which is a great peg for skimmers!

Pegs 1-5 had been left out which is an indication of their recent form and Roger Russell was on peg 6 and seems to be suffering a bad run at the draw bag too! Rob Birch was my left hand neighbour on peg 11 which can be very good for silvers but it's a decent carp peg too and it looked like he was setting his stall out for them as he was plumbing up across by the far bank. The usual rigs were assembled, a 10 x 11 MW F1 Slim for the ten metre lines and a 0.3 gram NG XT Mini Gimp for the five metre line. My side tray contained the usual micros, 4mm Bait-Tech Xpands plus I mixed up a little groundbait.
Peg 8, on the plus side it was a gorgeous day!
On the whistle I fed half a pot of micros straight out in front and I used my motor in the car park as a marker for accuracy (well at least I knew it wasn't going to move!) before putting a single ball of groundbait on the other ten metre line, angled to my right and lastly some micros on the shorter line. I started over the longer micros line and sport certainly wasn't fast and furious and it took a while to get an indication, I had a couple of small blades before trying the groundbait line although my first fish from there was a tiny roach which wasn't too encouraging. Roger was in a similar boat and I hadn't seen Rob catching much either.

I had my first decent skimmer on the half hour mark and a few more small fish followed to put me on about a pound after the first sixty minutes. The second hour was a real struggle and I only added a couple of small skimbobs, the groundbait line was a waste of time yet again and I was just starting to wonder where the next bite was going to come from when the float disappeared and the strike resulted in blue hydro jagging from the pole tip. From the fight I suspected it was a crucian and I wasn't disappointed when a lovely 8oz bar of gold popped up. Things got even better when I had a decent skimmer next put in to finish hour two on a high.

Roger and Rob both had decent skimmers although I couldn't really see how Glynn was doing on peg 12. Every time I shipped out I was dripping some micros on the five metre line but as always I wanted to leave it as long as possible before trying it. I was still getting the odd blade from the ten metre micros line and then I've hooked a good fish and again it didn't feel like a carp, it was another crucian but this time one of 2lb+ and not long after I had a pound skimmer to put me on around 5lb of silvers and we hadn't reached the half way point yet!

The next decent fish I hooked was a flying skimmer which was still on after it landed but then the hook pulled out as I was shipping back - bugger! Typically I then couldn't buy a bite and from being in a pretty good position, I was now really struggling. Rob had now switched to fishing for skimmers and was catching quite well, I'd seen Glynn net a couple of decent skimmers and Rog had resorted to catching small roach down the edge. Tiny roach were starting to become a bit of a problem as they knocked the expanders about so I tried a 6mm red Marukyu JPz pellet which are a little more resilient, it seemed to solve the roach problem but I then had to wait ages for a bite. I managed a couple more blades and then had my third crucian but it was slow going. With just under two hours left, it was time to try the five metre line where hopefully the skimmers would be lined up!

I was getting plenty of bites on the shorter line but it was the same story with tiny roach and the odd 2oz skimmer, I tried a JPz pellet and missed a couple of bites before catching four carp in quick succession and soon got fed up of that. Rob looked like he was bagging now as he netted several decent skimmers. With time running out I went back out on the longer line with a JPz pellet and hooked a decent fish which didn't feel like a carp but turned out to be one! I did have time to catch another crucian before Adie shouted the all out. I thought I might have 6lb or so of silvers which was a little disappointing when I had most of that after two and a half hours. Glynn was admitting to 5-7lb of silvers so it could close for the pound if he was telling the truth (unlikely!).

Alan Jenkins was first to weigh and had struggled for a pound of silvers and then Roger had one decent skimmer and a load of small fish for 4lb 14oz, my five carp went 14lb 9oz before my silvers weighed 8lb 14oz and Glynn said I'd definitely won the pound today (yeah right!). Rob had 8lb 12oz of skimmers and I thought he'd had more than that although he was left cursing not fishing for silvers from the start. Glynn then plonked 13lb 9oz of skimmers in the weigh sling which confirms once again anglers can't lie straight in bed!

Jeff Sparks was on peg 15 which was also the golden peg and the bankside grapevine was saying he'd done well on silvers which would see him get half the £150 pot if he had the top silvers weight on the day. When he pulled his net out it looked like it was going to be close and it was very close with Adie calling it at 13lb 1oz, just one more skimmer required, unlucky Jeff. Mark Leahy went into the overall lead with 55lb 3oz from peg 17 and then Bill Hopping had 5lb 9oz of skimmers from peg 19. I didn't see the rest of the weigh in as I took my kit back to the car but at the results, Steve Kedge proved once again what a class act he is with yet another win, this time with 66lb 11oz from peg 23 and Gareth Lennox filled the remaining frame place with 48lb from peg 34.
Todays board
1 - Steve Kedge (Somerset Angling) - 66lb 11oz
2 - Mark Leahy (Summerhayes) - 55lb 3oz
3 - Gareth Lennox (Summerhayes) - 48lb

1 - Glynn Wickham (Summerhayes) - 13lb 9oz
2 - Jeff Sparks (Summerhayes) - 13lb 1oz

So my poor run continues but the pegs certainly haven't helped! Next week it's on Sellicks which has been rock hard for silvers so be sure to come back for my latest tale of woe! I also have to say I'm loving all the angling on the tv at the moment, River Monsters on ITV on Tuesdays at 7:30 and The Big Fish Off on Thursdays on ITV4 at 8:00, both very different shows but well worth watching.

Next up - Summerhayes

Coming soon - Some more great reviews

Check Out - My last match (below)


Monday, April 11, 2016

Summerhayes - Open - 10th April 2016

With Pete deciding to give Sellicks a rest for a while, it was back on Longs today, I picked Janders up on my way and we were soon pulling into the car park which was already filling up as there were 24 booked in for today. It was already windy with the forecast for it to get worse in the afternoon - great! It was soon time to draw and I should have known better than to have taken the micky out of Martin Addicott on peg 3 last week as I only went and bloody drew it! Janders pulled out 28 on the track side which can be a decent area although I think the wind would have a big influence on some pegs today and holding the pole at even short distances might be tricky.

When I got to my peg, I did at least have some space with an empty peg between me and Jamie Parkhouse on peg 1 and two vacant platforms before Bill 'The Paste' Hopping was on peg 6. Along with my usual side bets, Janders and Glynn, Jamie wanted a pound and I was a little surprised when he agreed to have it on silvers as I knew he'd be mainly fishing for carp today!
Peg 3 looking up towards the car park
I set up a 14 x 11 MW F1 Slim to fish two lines at ten metres, one with micros and the other with groundbait, rig number two was a 0.3 gram NG XT Mini Gimp for five metres where I would feed micros and leave it for as long as possible before fishing it, unless the wind forced my hand. On the all in I fed all three lines before starting over the longer micros line with a 4mm expander on the hook (no surprise there then!). I had to wait quite a while for my first indication and then missed three on the trot! I finally connected with the fourth one which I thought was a good skimmer until it woke up and turned into a 2lb carp!

I switched to the groundbait line and had a 4oz skimbob before catching carp number two, a few more blades followed and although I wasn't bagging, I hadn't seen much caught at this early stage. The bites soon tailed off going into the second hour and all I added to the net was a few bits and bobs, Jamie P had landed a couple of carp and John Page on peg 38 was catching quite well but other than that it looked to be hard going for most of the anglers I could see. Just as the third hour started I had my first decent skimmer from the ten metre line over the micros but it was a false dawn and with two and a half hours left, I was trying the five metre a little earlier than I would have liked.

I was getting plenty of indications on the shorter line but it was from little roach hitting the expanders and the day was getting even more frustrating, I did manage a 4oz skimbob and then out of the blue I had my second decent skimmer before it was back to missing loads of bites. I put on a banded hard 6mm pellet and this solved the roach problem but it wasn't really the answer as I only added one more small skimmer and four more nuisance carp! Along with the wind picking up, it had got pretty chilly and I wasn't too upset to hear the all out. I knew my meagre catch wouldn't be winning any prizes today but there was still the small matter of the three side bets.

Just as we finished packing up and the weigh in was about to start, the rain arrived - lovely! First stop with the scales was Simon R on peg 37, he had 19lb 12oz before John Page next door went into the lead with 46lb 8oz, Jamie P had 34lb 9oz but crucially his 2oz of silvers meant I was 1-0 up on the side bets as my silvers weighed 3lb 11oz and my six carp went 15lb 13oz. Bill Hopping did really well on peg 6 to weigh 56lb 9oz, he caught well in the latter part of the match fishing in the margins towards peg 7. I took my kit back to the car before it got too soaked and checking the weigh board back at the results, there had been some pretty good weights considering the conditions. My other side bets didn't fare so well with Glynn taking another nugget off me as he weighed 8lb 9oz and Janders gave me a spanking with 3lb 15oz, so I finished up 2-1 down.

Steve Kedge secured a comfortable victory with 75lb 1oz from peg 35, Steve caught short or down the edge on meat. Bill was second and Nigel Wickham was third with 52lb 4oz, John Page was fourth and Jamie P sneaked into the last money place. On the silvers front, Ray Wickham had a nice day weighing 15lb 4oz with Dom Sullivan taking second spot with 11lb 3oz from peg 16.
Todays board
1 - Steve Kedge (Somerset Angling) - 75lb 1oz
2 - Bill Hopping (Summerhayes) - 56lb 9oz
3 - Nigel Wickham (Summerhayes) - 52lb 4oz
4 - John Page (Thyers Tackle) - 46lb 8oz
5 - Jamie Parkhouse (Exeter) - 34lb 9oz

1 - Ray Wickham (Summerhayes) - 15lb 4oz
2 - Dom Sullivan (Maver) - 11lb 3oz
3 - Alvin Jones (County Gardening) - 9lb

It's on Longs again next week so make sure you come back to see if the weather's any better? if I can actually catch some fish? and if I can take a £1 off of Glynn?

Next up - Summerhayes

Coming soon - Some more great reviews

Check Out - My last match (below)

Monday, April 04, 2016

Summerhayes - Open - 3rd April 2016

With a much more favourable weather forecast for today I was looking forward to todays match on Longs and as I pulled into the car park it looked like there was another good turnout. One of the first people I bumped into was Ads Palmer who was back from Scotland and itching to get going as he hadn't fished a match for ages. Pete announced the draw and there was the usual scrum as people delved into the bucket hoping for a flier, I pulled out a ping pong ball with the number 10 on it, not the best silvers peg on the lake but it can be okay and I have done alright off it in the past.
Peg 10 on Longs
I got to my peg and I had John Dursley on my left on peg 11 which won the silvers in the last match with 15lb and Richard S was my right hand neighbour on peg 8. I set up the same two rigs as last time, a 10 x 11 MW F1 Slim for the ten metre lines and a 0.3 gram NG XT Mini Gimp for five metres, both had size 16 Tubertini 808's to 0.10mm. I had the usual Bait-Tech 4mm Xpands for the hook and Sticky Method Pellets for feed, I also mixed up a little groundbait.

On the whistle I fed micros at ten metres to my left and straight out before cupping in a single ball of groundbait at the same distance, angled to the right and last but not least, some micros went in on the short line. I started on the middle line and was hoping for a nice early fish like last week but after ten minutes I was still waiting for my first bite! I had a look on the other two longer lines and missed a couple of bites before catching a tiny roach and this wasn't going to plan. I wasn't alone though as John and Richard hadn't caught yet either and by the looks of it, Mark Leahy on peg 5 and Martin Addicott on peg 3 were really struggling as well. Martin wasn't impressed when he drew his peg in the morning and was in two minds whether to fish or not (remember that for later!).

After an hour, all I had to show for my efforts was a couple of small fish and it was fishing rock hard, Mark had resorted to fishing the whip for bits and hooked and landed a bonus tench of around a pound. I'd been dripping some micros in on the short line via a toss pot every time I shipped out but wanted to leave it for as long as possible before going over it. John had tried his short line a few times without success so I didn't think it was worth me trying it yet. Mind you it wasn't happening on the longer lines either. Three hours into the match I had a handful of small skimmers and roach for about a pound and I just didn't know what to do next.

Ads started getting the odd carp over on peg 34 and even Martin on his rubbish peg was getting a few as well! I lost what felt like a better skimmer and then next put in, struck at a little lift bite, only to foulhook a good skimmer that came off as I shipped back - great! With two hours left, I came in on the five metre line for the first time and had a small blade before catching three slightly better skimmers. I would like to report I bagged up on silvers for the rest of the match but the next two bites resulted in two lost carp and then I landed my first carp. I went back on the longer lines but just added a couple more small fish.

John had started to get a few carp from his inside lines, Ads was still catching quite well and even Martin on his duff peg was putting a few fish together! I came back in on my shorter line for the remainder of the match and landed a couple more skimmers and two carp but it had been a real struggle.

The scales started with Jason King on peg 38 and he'd done really well to catch 9lb 4oz of silvers, then Roger had a tench and a few bits for 2lb 1oz from peg 1 before Martin plonked 39lb 4oz on the scales from his 'no-hoper' peg, although to be fair he had done well from an area not many fancied this morning. Mark Leahy had 2lb 7oz of silvers and 11lb 5oz of carp from peg 5 and Rich had a few carp from peg 8 but didn't bother weighing. Then it was my turn and my three accidental carp went 7lb 9oz and my silvers weighed a little more than I thought when Pete called 4lb 15oz, although I knew it wouldn't be enough for an envelope today.

John had 20lb 10oz, Alan Jenkins didn't weigh and Nigel Wickham went into second place with 27lb 11oz from peg 15. I took my kit back to the car before catching up with the scales as Pete weighed the pegs along the track, a quick look at the weigh board revealed Gareth Lennox had done well from peg 19 to go into second place with 38lb 6oz. Glynn Wickham had 7lb 13oz of silvers from peg 24, it wasn't enough to take half of the golden peg fund but he did have a pound off me and judging by the smile on his face, that was almost as good. Adie Bishop had 10lb 7oz of silvers from peg 26 to go into the lead and I reckon he must have sold his carp rigs!

Alvin Jones had 30lb 10oz from peg 28 and Jeff Sparks fell just short of the silvers frame from peg 30 with 6lb 13oz and Sean Dutton was just 2oz behind Alvin with 30lb 10oz from peg 31. Jess Jordan didn't weigh on peg 33 which just left Ads on peg 34 who had 39lb 1oz of carp and 5lb 4oz to push Martin into second spot. He caught on 6mm hard pellets and 6mm meat on several different lines with quite a few fish up in the water.

1 - Ads Palmer (Royal Marines) - 44lb 5oz
2 - Martin Addicott (Taunton) - 39lb 4oz
3 - Gareth Lennox (Summerhayes) - 38lb 6oz
4 - Alvin Jones (County Gardening) - 30lb 12oz

1 - Adie Bishop (Summerhayes) - 10lb 7oz
2 - Jason King (Summerhayes) - 9lb 4oz
3 - Glynn Wickham (Summerhayes) - 7lb 13oz

So the weather had been nice but the fishing was hard going for some, it's back on Longs again next week, so come back to see if I can do any better then.

Next up - Summerhayes

Coming soon - My review of Bait-Tech's 'The Juice'

Check Out - My interview with Jamie Harrison (below)

Saturday, April 02, 2016

Jamie Harrison Interview

My latest interview is with Bait-Tech and Matrix backed England Feeder Squad member, Jamie Harrison.

Against Men and Fish - Hi Jamie, it was great to finally meet you at The Big One and thank you so much for agreeing to this interview
After talking to you at the show it quickly became very apparent how driven and dedicated you are, it’s obviously paid off with your inclusion to the England Feeder Squad, can you tell us what plans and goals you have for the future and how you intend getting there?

The ultimate goal would be to achieve a paid consultancy but one where I was paid to be heavily involved in product design and all aspects of building the brand through media exposure and business development. I studied product design at college and university for 6 years and have achieved several business qualifications and I’m currently studying an MBA through distance learning with the Robert Kennedy College in Zurich which I feel would make my skills ‘package’ very attractive to a brand who wants to push their company forward.  As regards angling goals, I would obviously love to represent England in the World Championships but as our side is so strong I’m not sure if I’ll ever get the chance but one thing is for certain, if I can keep pushing hard to achieve World Championship standard then the rest is up to Tommy! There are plenty of titles I want to achieve but as time is precious I’m a strong believer in only entering events which I can commit to 100% but I think it’s fantastic that we now have so many brilliant events to choose from here in the UK. My fishing / coaching days are taking off a bit now as well which is great and they are a great opportunity to pass on information and meet new friends whilst enjoying a day on the bank and to me that’s a win win! Above all however is to have a successful angling career which earns me respect from the top anglers in the country. There’s an old saying, I want to make my idols my rivals…
This might sound like a daft question, given your England call up, but is the feeder your favourite method/style of fishing?

Good question! When I was 18 I fished for the England Youth Team alongside Will Raison and that was where my love for pole and waggler fishing began. Fishing the waggler on slow moving rivers like the river Witham in Lincolnshire was my favourite and I have some great memories of many winters fishing there when the river was at its winter level. When I left school I stayed involved in angling but only very casually at club level until 2010 when I broke the match record at Pine lakes near Thorne with 119lb of Ide on the pole fishing caster shallow. This was the trigger I needed to try the open match circuit and speed fishing shallow became a way in which I picked up some quick results and was a method I still love to this day. The feeder however soon became a double-edged sword as once I got involved with the England trials which Tommy initially ran I soon realised how rubbish I was at it! The feeder will remain my favourite as it’s the method which I have had to work hardest at improving and it’s been the vehicle which has put me in this very privileged position.

And what’s your favourite species of fish?
It may sound odd but before commercials became so popular it had to be tench as it was very rare that we caught them and when we did it was always on light gear as we’d never actually fished for them! These days it has to be river barbel. It’s very rare I get chance to fish for them and maybe that’s why I cherish catching them but when I do, it usually involves snaggy swims, a hectic fight and a fish which is purely streamlined muscle…what’s not to love!

Do you prefer commercials or natural venues?

I love the predictably of some commercials especially when planning a match but my heart is reserved for open-water, wild natural reservoirs!
Can you give the readers a top tip that will improve their feeder fishing? And what are your favourite groundbait mixes for feeder fishing?

Easy! Admit and acknowledge when you’re doing it wrong! The first step in improving anything is to know that it’s not right, only then can you decide whether you’re going to change it or not. I can’t emphasise enough how important the basics are in feeder fishing. The absolute basics like casting accurately and hitting your line clip properly can have a massive effect on your results.
Accurate casting will improve your results
For general silver fish fishing especially on natural venues it has to be Bait-Tech’s Pro Natural Dark and my current favourite fishmeal mix for Skimmers and Bream on all venues has to be the new F1 mix which is also from Bait-Tech. 
Jamie loves Bait-Tech's Pro Natural range
And is a big fan of F1 too
You’re backed by Bait-Tech and Matrix, how much do you get involved with new product development and are there any new and exciting products coming out from either company that you can tell us about? I can’t wait to try out ‘The Juice’ from Bait-Tech!

Ha ha yeah to Juice, it's certainly one to try! I get involved more now which is great and all through my design studies it was the development stages which I loved most. Yes Bait-Tech are expanding their range and Matrix have several new products being launched between now and October but I’m sorry to say I’m sworn to secrecy! It’s an absolute privilege to be involved with two brands which are so forward thinking and keen on developing their already extensive portfolios.
The Juice
I really must make a point of saying that I’m in an incredible position with both Bait-Tech and Matrix and there’s not a day that passes that I don't fully realise how fortunate I am to have the level of support I have from both of the brands. Check out the websites Bait-Tech  Matrix

You’ve got a long list of big match wins under your belt but which title would you dearly love to win and have you entered any of the Fish ‘O’ and Match This qualifiers?

I’ve never chased any of the big money titles purely because I haven’t really had the time off work to allow me to do it. I have to choose my time off carefully and my priorities have always been with other events but over the next few years I’m sure I’ll be having a crack at them. I’ve been loving my ‘feeder’ journey over the last couple of years so my time off has been spent fishing on venues abroad which have a different appeal. Having said that, team wise I’d love our team to win the Serbian Feeder Challenge in May and with Steve Ringer as our captain, you can imagine how hard we’ll be pushing to try and top the field! Individually, this year is all about the new Feeder Masters event and qualification to its final would be great and it’s not a secret that I have a bit of a soft spot for the Barston Masters. Thankfully I’ve already qualified for that this year and with qualification to the Maver Classic at Larford Lakes also secured, at least it’s nice knowing there are two finals already to look forward to regardless of what the rest of the year holds in store.
Along with your match fishing and practising, you have a very popular You Tube channel and write some great articles which must take up an awful lot of your time and somehow you fit in a full time job as well, how do you do it? And have you got any tips for an angling blogger?

Oh it can easily get out of control but thankfully now I’m able to manage my time. I work 60+ hours a week and my full time job isn’t anything to do with angling but it’s strictly a Monday to Friday job so it never encroaches on my weekends which is good. To be absolutely honest it’s never actually been easier to be a blogger in my opinion because of the technology which we have at our finger tips. I just find ways of using my phone for photos and my Feeder Fishing Channel is so easy to manage because it’s simply a camera filming me what I do when I’m in a match! The blog bits I do only take a few minutes and when I get home I can simply send them to upload onto YouTube whilst I’m doing other things. From the feedback I’ve had it’s clear what readers want to read, they want honesty and when you admit you got it wrong and made a mess of it they relate to it because we all do it! This keeps them reading and watching future posts.

Jamie with a lovely bag of carp and skimmers
You can find Jamie's You Tube channel here - Feeder Fishing Channel

Before I let you go, here are some quick fire questions for you,
What’s your biggest fish?

A 21lb Common Carp ‘lump’ on the pole at Larford Lakes!

And your biggest match weight?
145lb match win in the first Barston Masters Qualifier of 2016…I don’t tend to fish big weight venues!

Your favourite venue?

Barston Lakes
What’s your favourite drink?

Coffee first thing in the morning!
Favourite meal?

Chinese food…even though I only have it about twice a year!

Favourite film?
Most people’s favourite…Shawshank Redemption!

TV show?
Has to be Only Fools and Horses. The 26 disc set I have of every episode and Christmas Specials is well worn!

Preferred reading?
I love reading about international angling events and how they compete from the logistics of travelling, sourcing and looking after bait and above all, the technical side how the international teams formulate their strategy.

What music do you listen to?
House music.

And finally, what’s your idea of a perfect day?
Winning a match in front of dad in a manner that earns the respect of the other competing anglers.
Another skimmer in the bag

Well thank you Jamie, it’s been an absolute pleasure, from Against Men and Fish