Navionics should be an important part to every anglers tackle box. It works best when you have a large water you need to cover like lakes, reseviours, and the sea. Most of the time fish will be stuck to structure this could be anything. For example depth changes will hold fish. Navionics has a setting called sonar chart this will show you the depth changes and the shapes of the bottom. This can show you where the predators will be holding up out of the current waiting for baifish behind underwater mountains, sat in crevaces etc etc.
accompanied to this they have the relief shading setting. this really benefits sea anglers as it shows rocks, sandbanks and drops. In the photo below you can see the structure. This can make finding marks an absolute breeze and should be one of the first things you reach for when searching for marks.
Hopefully you can see the importance of navionics for finding marks and actively searching for fish. Paired up with a fish finder, sidescan or livescope system and you are on for a winner! crucial on the reservoirs
hope you enjoyed this read and its showed how important and how much of a bargain you can get by using navionics.
I saw the pressure and it just screamed perch! i grabbed my rod and went off to do a test that ive wanted to do for a long time, is the Ned rig really worth it!? is it as good as people say it is? So with the pressure low, spirits high, overcast weather and mild i got the z-mans hooked up and went to visit my favourite mark. Upon arrival i went to a boat which always has a steady shoal of perch below i, nothing big but to get the blank off the table was a brill thing. The pike were EVERYWHERE and didn’t show any signs of wanting to do pike things, so i lost about 4 lures to pike and throughout the day about 7 to snags. When the bite dried off on the z-mans i decided to change to a slick shad in young perch colour this was because id seen perch hitting bait on the surface and the bite rapidly increased, even tho the river was low the fish were on the feed hard! The day slowly got more and more annoying as kept getting bitten of and snagged but the ned rig was killing it as soon as i found the shoal id just wipe up taking what felt like the whole shoal one by one. I stuck to margins and slacks all day really as its very tidal and i cant get 7g to stick on the bottom however one mistake cast ended up seeing the z-man bugz getting crushed in the middle of the chanel by what felt like a solid fish, unfortunately there wasn’t much fight as the tide was pulling too hard when i got it into the net i saw its shoulders and realised this was a big girls child, hopefully shes out there, besides that this fish was already a pb! i don’t do too well on the perch aspect i cant get big ones to save my life but i managed to pull this one out and she was the end of the day on a lovely PB fish!
So if you read my last blog know that been fishing with a close mate of mine who runs a charter boat, well today we left the rivers and went back to his prime, the sea! Whilst waiting for the punters to arrive we were talking and both know what to expect due to it being October we had the chance at literally anything! my expectations for this trip was NOT what it turned out to be. Upon arrival of the mark we dropped down baits, squid for me uptiding hoping for a late bass or hound, and ever so quickly i was blessed with a slack line bite i knew it was something proper, the tide was ripping and my mind was racing, big bass? hound? ray? blue shark?! When i finally managed to bully the big girl up in the water column Dan did a sterling job of netting her, hook was out in seconds and returned to live another day.
As expected whilst waiting for the tide to sort itself out it went pretty quiet, apart from a super interesting bite on a clients rod, no big head shakes, no line taken but a very interesting bite indeed. As he picked the rod up, an guided him and helped him with the best way to play the fish, the big net was put in hand and we were all on the edges of our seats. When it came up everyone was shocked, this was the first time id ever seen one of these, never mind hold it. It was a Dover sole! in ramsgate! Dans only had one of these on the boat before and a super rare catch for this area. Holding one was something to experience slimy like a snake and moves like one an interesting fish, a very interesting fish.
A little bit later on the boat and i got another very heave bite, big rod tip movement, i kept watching it for 5 mins, id seen this bite before i knew what it was so i didn’t want to rush it, but as it just kept bobbing away instead of going solid i thought id just pick it up, as i struck into the fish and caught up with all the slack line i felt it… rod bent in double heavy shakes and a cruising fish, i knew this was a ray so instead of wearing myself out i just applied pressure and waited for it to glide up in the tide, finally netted and landed my first spiky rat since around march nice to get back on track just in time for winter. If you haven’t tried rays on light tackle i suggest it its super fun! i posted a video a couple months ago on it.
This made a really fun video, apologies about the wind noise but if you’d like to know how to use your time wisely at this time of the year then give the video a watch there might be something for you to learn in there!
So on this trip me and a mate decided to visit a small dyke very well known for its large perch and pike, well between me and a few mates its well known. I went with Dan Taylor a charter captain who fishes from Better Days in ramsgate marina. Hes recently got into the freshwater stuff which i think is brilliant, its always good to expand your knowledge and keep learning! Dans had some fantastic perch recently but you can tell hes fallen in love with pike more, and i cant blame him! i decided to take some dead baits so i could make a dead bait vs Lures video and its very easy to tell which was the better choice for this time of year! About 10 mins after setting my bait down i started to get takes unfortunately due to the clarity they were being a bit off and i forgot to add a weight!! so fair to say i deserved to miss that fish. about 20 yards down the river Dan had hooked up onto his first pike ever and on a lure! no better way! after wrestling with hooks, teeth and stinging nettles we finally managed to bank the slender pike, she was hungry!
After that fish it went quiet until we got to the area where Dan had his first, BANG fish on! weather this was the same fish or not who knows but this one was smart and managed to t-bar himself on the weeds and get off the hook, grr! As we sat patiently waiting for the next bite, Dan & I decided to take the lure rods give up on the bait and see if anything wanted to play, Dan cast a little paddle tail out and this pike came from under the weeds and smashed it, second fish, smaller but its another fish so who cares!
I blanked and today baits were 110% outfished by lures, was it luck or skill? lets call it luck 😉
So big perch was the aim. But i didn’t only catch perch. i set up my brand new sonik vader x RS and wychwood 65S with a good ol’ korda df hair rig with the chosen bait being king prawns!
i picked the most perch spot i could think of however it didn’t produce in 1 hour so i switched and put it on the other margin almost instantly i hooked into a gorgeous little carp unfortuatly because the bait was so close to the margin it picked it up and ran straight into the weeds! grr after a couple mins of pushing and pulling he came free and hit the net, for a little common he sure was pretty and gave up an awesome fight! once landed i removed the hook let him rest then got a photo for the camera it was small, but it was a start!
A move away from someone casting into my swim resulted in a good result in the form of two more fish one almost ripped the rod into the water and screamed of what a take! the fish never gave up ripping line and always digging for the bottom when it hit the net it looked as if it could be a pb was one of the most stunning carp i have ever caught lovely scale pattern, somehow it only went 11lb but a lovely fish no matter.
It was getting close to home time however i continued trying to work hard and find a perch and eventually we found one a really lovely fat fish not the size i wanted but it was target species and im happy with that!
On the day before this i planned to meet up with a mate and go to a super well known mark that is crazy good for things like wrasse. I’ve always wanted to fish this spot as its the best wrasse spot near me unfortunately there is about a 20ft drop so you have to headline or get a dropnet… which i don’t own… that was the scariest part of this session!
Whilst my mate was tying up rigs and baiting up i had already started fishing i had to use a 3oz lead on a 5-20g lure rod just to reach the water because the wind was that strong! after perfecting the rig i smashed a white curly tail on and started jigging. it was a lovely day with a large swell and brilliant water clarity. Within 10 minutes i was in!
With screaming runs and powerful head shakes i knew this fish was a good one! I lowered off on the drag and let the fish run, i was super scared of it getting into a snag, thankfully it didn’t and when it emerged from the bottom i saw it, the colour, size, and aggression was awesome i was shaking s i hand lined the fish up with braid cutting through my hands at every grab but i wasn’t bothered i was too focused on getting the fish in my paws.
She was up and in my hands we poured water over a piece of plastic to keep her off the hard concrete and got the hook out, i was astonished, it was my dream fish and i had it in my hand! i was ecstatic
Throughout the rest of the day we didn’t have anything apart from another small wrasse and a pouting aka conger live bait!
Live baiting can be a spectacular way to weed out the smaller fish and catch the nice size fish as well as dead baiting.
Live baiting can sometimes be an essential way to find bigger fish and beat your PB. The best live baits for pike and perch are roach in varied sizes, the roach is decently easy to catch with floats but I prefer to use a single small hook and a little bit of bread, especially in clear water watching the fish come up and take nibbles out of the bread then finally getting bit awesome fun!
I used a fly rd for this session because I don’t have a rod that can cast a free lined hook but this can be done with any sort of rod, fly is the best tho LOL.
the way I like to keep my live baits are in a large carp net or a keep net then I rig them with a float and a single treble through the nose or dorsal, if your ok with live baiting it is definitely something to try as you can find some good fish and see where the pike like to hold up. it can be a good idea to use it in the autumn when searching for pike winter holding spots.
So, its October, predator season is upon us! however still to early to fish dead baits, could try lures but only if your happy doing 20k steps! so what the next best thing? LIVEBAITS! Livebaits work so well because once you start catching them you can be sure that there will be pike in the area as pike will follow baitfish for obvious reasons. And there is nothing more irresistible to a pike than a dying injured roach! So in this blog ill show you how i go around catching my own livebaits
Most rivers, dykes and streams i fish are clear the water is slow and the margins are stacked this makes finding the baitfish easy because they will be obsessed with hiding in cover away from any predators for this reason the swims first 5 yards of water and margins to either side are a spectacular place to try. On this session i was using a fly rod but this raw method can be done with a normal float rod. I took 2 loafs of bread and squeezed them around a tiny size 18 hook. It was really cool as i got to watch the roach slamming the bread as soon as it hit the water, i got robbed a few times and could see the bread being smashed around like a volleyball!
I took a carp net with me to store the catch and ended up catching about 5 or 6 from one swim perfect live bait size. I don’t know if t was the fly rod that made the fight fun but these little fish gave a hell of a scrap for their size.
And thats all really simple raw method for clear water, hook and bread love it!
Whilst I am waiting for my new kayak to turn up I decided to have a trip with my mate on his sib and we ended up having a brilliant day! with loads and loads of fish showing!
As we hauled the engine and equipment up the beach and pumped up the boat we were gagging to get it and the weather looked absolutely perfect with no swell at all, like a millpond, flatter than a lake! until we found the underwater rocks! As we motored away from the populated beach spirits were high, conditions were perfect and it was all set in stone. As we reached our first spot is was very very shallow but we still managed 1 small schoolie bass before deciding to move a bit further out into deeper water. In the deeper water, it didn’t take long to bag the first Smoothounds on spider peeler crab and a few more bass on fresh dug local lugworm.
The day was going well we found shoals of bass and a good amount of hounds sat off on the rocks. After about a couple of bass in the first morning, my mate was into a good bite with a hard fight we were sure it was a bass due to the head shaking and when it showed it was a lovely legal bass.
So today was a day off from work and I decided to go out, ride to a local river and see what is lurking in the brackish water conditions, id heard story of nice big fish being carp, tench and pike but I wanted to see what the baitfish life was like first, not only will this tell me where the pike will like to hold up but it will also show e where the food is and that is where the trench and carp want to be, I found a couple of deep holes too which will hold nice size fish come winter. I was armed with a size 12 spectra shrimp and my 4WT Wychwood game set up which made these fish brilliant fun! I began the day looking for any sorts of rises and luckily id locked my bike up on a piece of structure teeming with life, fish surfacing, wakes of fish shoals of fish, bubbles everything it looked brilliant! Unfortunately, the spot quietened down due to me trying to find what the fish were after, id only started getting interested when I changed over to the spectra shrimp which got crushed the second I started using it from a lovely rudd unfortunately it wasn’t very well hooked as I didn’t know it was even there! however, I tried to land it and it popped off at the bank maybe due to barbless hooks or bad luck I saw it so happy days! the next couple came to a while after finding the hotspot and they were decent size roach, in my opinion, was very happy one took the lure soo deep I couldn’t even see them!