Bailey Payne Coarse

Small Pond Mystery Fishing

There is something about fishing a small local pond, they seem to hold a bit more mystery than other venues, mostly due to a lot of Fish being re-homed in them from people who no longer wish to keep them, this really can give a surprising variation of species in one of these little ponds.

This past Sunday I opted to have a few minute walk down to a little local pond and just spend an hour, mainly only an hour because of the strong winds making it a bit chilly! Opted for a simple setup of just fishing on the tip with a light bomb on the end, 15 inch hook length to a size 12 hook, good enough size for anything really. The approach was to fish bread flake on the hook, and feed the reminder of an old groundbait we had lying around.

The pond I fished is somewhere I have walked by a few times, and always seen a few fish topping, mostly looking like Carp, however before I even started fishing a seemingly golden fish topped in front of me, leaving a few questions to what this was, Goldfish? Golden Rudd? or possibly even a Crucian still lurking around in a small pond? Years ago, probably over 20, the pond was known to have a good population of small Crucians, whether they are pure or not with the Goldfish and Carp which have been added over the years, I won’t know until I see one.

On the first cast, it didn’t take long before a few knocks on my bread, with the warming water I guessed a lot of smaller fish maybe such as Roach or Rudd where on it straight away, however no bites developed, I did try to hit the odd tap, but to no avail. It took a good 30 minutes, before, in all honestly, I fluked a fish! I was about to freshen up my bread flake, after a few knocks I thought it was sucked off again, however on lifting, a Fish decided to take my bait at the same time! Let’s just say it was an incredibly quick strike!

This led to a full of energy small Carp being caught, lovely little Carp, as perfect as you could imagine.

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The next bite after this didn’t take too long, almost seemingly one set them off, this time a much better pull round. No mistaking this for a Fish, and a certinaly more sizeable, giving a great fight on my light 1oz tip, trying to avoid the logs in the pond and other obstacles. But netted again, a pristine common carp, this time maybe just a bit over 3lb, maybe nudging 4lb.

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Ignore my hair, forgot my woolly hat to control it! The wind made it out of control!

A slightly longer wait after this Fish, but another few taps developing into a bite, not pulling the tip right round, more shaking than anything, however I was in again. This time to the surprise of the trip, up popped a lovely little Brown Goldfish Fantail hybrid.

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What a beautiful little fish, all these lovely pond fish where in perfect knick, not a scale out of place. Lovely to see.

While fishing here too, a guy was fishing on the other side, catching another sizeable Carp for the pond, but also, something which looked like a Crucian from distance, of course this could’ve been a small brown goldfish, however on asking, he did confirm it was a Crucian, whether true or not, certainly spikes my interest in a small pond Crucian possibly! And this little pond will have another few more visits, especially being in walking distance. The venues you ignore can often be the most fun, I would recommend to everyone to have a little look around on a map, to see if you have any small ponds you can Fish.

Tight Lines all…

Bailey Payne

Pole Fishing Basics 1: Tackle

This will be the first of a small series talking about the basics of Pole Fishing to hopefully help a few beginners find their way in this discipline and see what it’s all about a bit more. When I started fishing as a kid, from as young as I can remember, I have always pole fished, my dad was the pole/matchmen type fishermen, so that’s just how I got into Fishing, starting on a small whip/top kit section progressing to fishing long 13m poles and eventually doing a few local club matches and framing well. Of course, I’m no expert, however it’s the style of Fishing which I am most familiar with. The idea of this first blog is just to go over the few main pieces of kit to get going, we will continue to go over more setup and technique in future instalments. So lets get started!

The Seat Box

Where it all begins for this style of fishing is the seat box. Having a seatbox setup to make sure you can have everything easily to hand, from your bait to your rigs is vital as it keeps you as efficient as possible. Also a comfortable sitting position while pole fishing is even more important, otherwise you may cause yourself back problems. A lot of the time you will be sitting on this box for 6 hours, so being comfy, sitting correctly is incredibly important. There is plenty of seat boxes on the market at the moment from a varied price range. You want to make sure you have a big enough tray to store your pole float rigs and other small pieces of tackle like a disgorger, shots or stotz and a plummet. Personally, I use the Maver Signature Venue seat box, It was a fairly nice budget option, packs down into a bag so for me, someone who doesn’t have a lot of space (and drives a mini!), it is ideal, enough room on my tray, comes with a small bag on the back to store bigger pits and pieces such as pole cups and other seat box extensions like a keep net bar. Also a big side table with plenty of room to have my selection of bait, and a few snacks for myself! However, try and find the right box for yourself, a lot of tackle shops will let you look around their boxes and try a few, so be sure to ask questions and find what works for you!

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The Pole

Of course, while pole fishing, you will need to have a Pole! Pole’s are fairly expensive compared to rods, so be prepared for a slight shock while looking around. However, there is some better budget solutions, middy, map, preston and browning provide some great budget poles. A lot of companies will do days/events at places, so keep an eye out, as you can get a little trial of a Pole, and see what you like and feels nice! It’s important to get something nice and light for long range fishing, but also stiff so you can react and strike to bites on time! The Pole is a great tool for catching fish in an efficient manner, set a mark on the opposite bank, and you can fish accurately all day! Feeding in an exact location, this is why the pole is used so much in match fishing, it can keep the fish in a tighter area. You want a pole which can get you to about 13m, fishing 7-10m is a nice beginner length, however you don’t have to fish as far as you can, fish may be held to a feature closer, in a future blog, I will talk about finding holes fish may be in and approaching a new swim. Using a pole also gives you great control over your float, holding it in the flow and tow on a lake or river can be key to getting bites. It is nice to get a few extras with the Pole, a lot of Pole’s will come with these, however a cupping kit (To feed balls of groundbait etc) and a selection of top kits. With a selection of a few top kits, you can fit different strength elastic to your pole. Now, what’s elastic? This is what will fight and tire the fish, in a rod, its the bend of the tip which does all the work, however on a pole, you don’t have that bend, you have the elastic, having a variety of elastic for different types of fishing and different lakes is important, you don’t want to be fishing light elastic on a lake with a load of carp, or really heavy elastic on a lake with small roach and bream, otherwise you will bump all your fish off! Setting up a pulley kit on your top kit of your pole is also a good call, if you are on light elastic and hook a bigger fish, you can use the pulley kit to pull elastic out from your end of the pole, this tightens the elastic in your pole so makes it harder for the fish to pull back so can be really helpful to control the bigger fish, I have many of good size fish which would’ve been lost if it wasn’t for the pulley kit!

Other Bits & Bobs

The above will be the big main two things you need, however here is a list of smaller and other important pieces of tackle you will need to kick start your pole fishing adventure!

  • Pole Roller – This is something for you to ship your pole back onto, so it doesn’t rub against the ground, keep it up, off the ground and easy to reach from your box. While fishing long pole, you may need two pole rollers, you can pick these from any brand or tackle shop for fairly cheap!
  • Bait/Tackle Bag – This is store your bags of groundbait, other bait, bait pots and other bits and pieces you may want in it! It’s nice to have a big bag to make sure you have everything you would need in a session!
  • Trolley – With all this big heavy gear! You may need a trolley to help lug it all around, there are some great barrow trolleys and golf club like trolleys around to chose from!
  • Disgorger – Speaks for itself, helps to get a hook out when it’s a bit out of reach, always buy plenty, and never go without one!
  • Plummet – This will help you find the depth of where you are fishing, and find the depth of the area around, so you can set your rig to be exact, a tad under depth or a tad over, whatever is working on the day!
  • Shots/Stotz – To weight your float and set it properly!
  • Umbrella Box attachment – Speaks for itself again, keep yourself dry!
  • Keep net box attachment – So you can attach your keep net to your box setup.
  • Landing Net/Keep Net – Again, you should always have a landing net, however check the rules of the water you are fishing in regards to a keep net, and if you do catch a load of fish, make sure you don’t over pack it!
  • Plastic Net Bag – A nice bag to keep your landing and keep nets in, saves a smelly car!

Of course, in pole fishing, there is a lot more tackle than this, however to get started, these are the bits and pieces which are maybe most important, and before you know it you will able to catch bags full of fish! Hope this has helped a few people on maybe the basic bits of tackle you need! Now you get to be like a kid in a sweet shop and chose what suits you best!

Tight Lines all!

Bailey Payne

Weird Fishing Facts

The sport/hobby/passion that we all share and love, is full of different weird and wonderful bits of information! Some of them may surprise you, however it’s no doubt that with so many different types of Fishing to take up in the country it leaves a few weird facts to find!

  • It’s estimated there is 2.9 million anglers in the UK! With almost 2 and a quarter anglers opting to coarse Fish, 834,000 game fishermen and just over a 1 million sea anglers. From this data you can see there is a number of multi discipline anglers!
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  • With all those Anglers, the EA make a hefty amount of money from Rod licences! The EA have their own fish farm at Calverton, which produced 12.3 tonnes of Fish in 2019 which have been stocked in Rivers and Lakes across the Country! They also built over 100 “Fish Passes” helping fish move up rivers more freely!
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  • Only one freshwater fish in the UK can swim backwards, any ideas?
    The Eel! What a weird and wonderful Fish!
  • How about a sea fishing fact? Porbeagle, Thresher, Shortfin Mako and Blue Sharks can all be found in UK waters! Slightly scary!
  • Like seaweeed? Well, selling this in the UK without a licence is illegal.
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  • In the UK we have 38 species of native freshwater fish, and at least 12 introduced species! From Minnows and Sticklebacks to Pike and Carp!
  • In the UK we have over 1500 discrete river systems with over 200,000km of watercourses! That’s a lot of River to walk!
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  • There are between 2,000 and 2,500 fishing tackle shops in the UK!
  • The humble stickleback is the most common freshwater fish in the UK, however rarely targetted by Anglers!

Hope you enjoyed this slightly different read, I enjoyed putting it together, some very weird and interesting facts!

Tight Lines all!

Bailey Payne

Farewell Rivers, for now

Well, the end of the River season is now upon us, and for me, it’s been my first full season Fishing Rivers. And I think I have learnt a lot through this, and developed further as an Angler. With the help of people reading and sending advice I am incredibly confident for next season.

Looking back at this season, I started off Fishing a local stretch of the Wid which I scouted in close, catching small Chublets. Using a light link ledger and typically bread, which has really developed into one of my most reliable baits on Rivers for a range of species. I also went to my club stretch of the Roding, and caught a few slightly better using the same tactics.

However, from here, I got my first pin, and had a few sessions trotting with it, catching small roach, perch and even a lovely Rudd! The pin is a great method to use, and since invested in an old school speedia pin I plan on using when the Rivers open again for a few more fish!

I also had great success fishing for Perch using lob and dendras in a lot of places along the Chelmer, something I will be doing again, such brilliant bites while Fishing for these Perch!

Then, I started getting into the Roach on the Chelmer, possibly the the thing I have enjoyed most is learning these Roach, and figuring out how to catch them. And amongst the way, I have had some great captures, including my 2lber! Which I aim to try and beat in the coming season.

And then of course, the first Pike I got with fellow blogger Tom, a fish I treasure, and really made me love fishing for Pike, although sadly I haven’t had one since so far!

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First Pike

Sadly the Covid restrictions have really stopped my end of season Fishing on the Rivers, with the highlight been a nice Chub caught my small local very polluted River!

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Lovely Chubly

Overall, some nice catches through the season along with the still waters I have fished too, although this is a River blog! Certainly leaves me aware of what my aims for next season are.

  • Another 2lb+ Roach from the Chelmer (3lb If I can!)
  • Consistently catch more Chub to a better size. 3lb Chub.
  • First River Barbel (Covid permitting, myself and Tom may have a trip to Kings Weir Fishery)
  • First River Tench
  • First Wild Brown Trout
  • 2lb River Perch
  • 10lb River Pike

I think all of these are achievable goals for the next season, and I hope to continue to learn from Fishing and from comments I get from readers. Hopefully at the end of the next season I can look back and tick a lot of these off, however this is my aim. Hope you enjoyed looking back at this season with me, and hopefully you look forward to my future River blogs.

Tight Lines…

Bailey Payne

River Cat-Fishing

Today’s blog is split into a two parts, last weekend and this weekend of Fishing my little spot on my local River. With the milder weather here and spring now fully on the horizon, I was hopeful for a few Fish!

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Swim, with an un-friendly cat crossing!

I had been upstream ledgering this spot previously, however, due to missed bites I decided to sit right tight next to the fence and tree in hope for some better bites and a better chance at connecting to the Chub lying in wait under the tree. Using a light 4g weight and Cheese Paste on a size 10 hook. Hoping a nice smelly bait would get the Fish to turn around. There was some worry due to Fishing so close to the feature with the sun behind me it may spook or put any Fish off, so I tried to sit as far back as possible. It was tough going at first with no sign of a tap for a while, so I decided to take a walk to another likely looking swim while letting this swim rest, with the plan of coming back and upstream ledgering.

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Again sticking with the Cheese Paste in this swim I soon noticed a few small taps Fishing close to the fallen tree here, on previous days, a cast to this spot Fishing tight always seems to end up with myself squirrel fishing and up a tree! However luckily a nice smooth swing and it was perfectly in place, and clearly had something having a sniff. The tap’s developed into a quick bite, and a quick miss, looking back, quite possibly just a line bite. I tried again but to no more touches, the Fish must have been spooked!

I headed back to the original spot, swapping for a 10g weight to be able to tighten too and upstream ledger, carefully placing my bait in my spot and letting line off as I walked back to my spot to sit out the way. I opted to change and stick a lob tail on, I find in milder conditions lob worm can be even more deadly. Almost instantly the tip was waggling around, clearly something had grabbed the worm quickly, I struck quickly, feeling a Fish on the end, the Fish quickly darted towards the snag and under the tree, however in my attempts to steer him clear, he spat the hook!

A Blank!

Moving onto this weekends session and back on the River, an incredibly bright and sunny day, with the River still flowing through cold as ice, I wasn’t too confident, I opted to upstream ledger from the start, mixing from Cheese Paste and Lob worm, in hope being away would give me the best chance for a bite. However the River is now quite low compared to previous sessions. Still with some depth under the tree, I held hope in there surely was still some Chub under there! However this soon came to be, if the Chub were still under this tree, they were not interested in what I was offering for them! Not even a tap! All I had for company was a friendlier cat than before!

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Despite the blanks, still lovely to get out, and watch the world go by, the Wrens hustling around the remaining growth and twigs in the side of the banks, the busy robins going about their business. And of course, the several cats stalking the other side of the River, hunting those birds.

It can be quite entertaining to watch the cats cross over the fallen tree to the other side, waiting for the day one falls in, and I will properly be…cat fishing!

Tight Lines all…

My Quiver Rod: Darent Valley 8ft Specialist

Bailey Payne Tackle Reviews

Advanta Discovery RVS Rod River Ambush 5.5ft – Review

After attempting to fish today in the -3c weather, with my rod tip freezing, made placing a bait very difficult, along with the freezing wind chill, I didn’t last very long. So today, I decided to have a look at the Advanta River Ambush rod, at 5.5ft its a tiny rod capable of getting in those overgrown swims in the summer, and it’s a rod I have had since the start of the River season, so I have had some use out of it, and the big question is, is it any good?

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The first thing to note, this is an Angling Direct own product, and is priced at £24.99, making it a cheap option. For those just wanting a small rod to use occasionally for those specific swims and venues. It has a 1.5lb test curve, which for most of my Fishing, is stronger than I would usually use and is a two piece rod.

The first thing adapting to with this rod, is casting with such a small rod, and it really does change casting, however a few chucks and you are quickly adapted to it. I found this rod great in the summer, with the overgrowth, getting into tight swims, and catching small Chub of up to 1lb. It had more than enough power to bully them out, and the Fish weren’t bite sensitive at all, so kept trying to drag the rod in. It was great fun to use it catching these Fish.

However, I did also take this rod with me to a weir pool, catching Perch of around half a pound and other small Roach too, later in the season, and I found the rod was just to heavy, I think the strength of the tip made a lot of the Perch spit the hook and worm out.

I have also took this rod to my club lakes to give it a power test, dealing with Carp of up to 6/7lb, and they have some Barbel tight in the margins to see if the Rod was up to the challenge of bullying them out.

The rod dealt with this quite well, and did manage to land one of the Barbel (I know Barbel shouldn’t be in lakes too). Even had a nice bonus Tench.

Overall, the rod has got the power behind it, which I think can hinder it in certain situations, especially going after the smaller species when they aren’t just properly having it. It would be a great rod for a lump of cheese paste or meat, waiting in a swim you know will provide a good fish, the rod will be able to deal with handling them. I would also say this would be a nice rod for a kid looking to get into River Fishing, a nice small size, doesn’t break the bank and will definitely have a few Fish caught on it, but has the power to deal with bigger Fish too. It would be a nice addition and at the price not too noticeable, however I would not solely rely on this Rod on Rivers.

Link to the Rod:

Bailey Payne

River Cheese Paste Fishing

Luckily, the rain held off enough for my local beat of the Crouch to be fishable this weekend! My Partner decided to come with me, and spent the time sitting in the car behind me reading a book, so I had a keen audience watching! I decided just to fish the one spot for a few hours in the morning. Just to stay in sight of her and a bit of laziness as well!

The swim as above, is a lovely fallen tree, which does seem to hold a good number of Chub under. The only issue with the swim, is the flow going from left to right, so ideally I’d be the other side of the tree fishing towards, however, I carefully drop my rig in as close to the tree trunk as I can get. I was using a 4g weight, as it’s a lovely slack spot guarded by the tree, I was using a short 6′ hook lenth (So I can stay close to the tree and weight, in hope of a better bite indication) and a size 16 (I know, I need bigger hooks for cheese paste! Have some on order!). The bite I was expecting fishing this way, is the tip to pull round and then go slack as the weight comes back, of course this depends on how the Fish will swim, but I expect drop bites to be the main bite.

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I had a few lobs with me, but this time I also brought some cheese paste, it’s only one of a few times I have fished with cheese paste, however, my family weirdly aren’t too fond of cooking and making cheese paste, so I looked online, and found the Hook Bait Company, who make a range of river fishing baits that look really good, decided to get a pot of the original cheesy ready made cheese paste pot, not a bank breaker and definitely has the smell factor! Worth a look! The Cheese paste was nice and soft and was easily moulded onto the hook.

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The first chuck looked promising, with instant little hits and taps on the tip, with then a ring of the phone, my partner calling from the car, as I turn to look, of course the tip goes round and then slack, being on the phone, I catch this late and miss the bite! Frustration instantly! However was nice to see a bite come that quickly, and filled me with some hope of catching a fish today. However, the frustration continued with another missed bite after this, with the tip going round, and the lift into nothing, possibly an issue with how I hooked the cheese paste, and not having a big enough hook!

I wasn’t going to miss another bite, as I hooked into a fish finally! And managed to navigate the fish away from the tree trunk into safety, or what I thought, as the Fish came off! Gutting, have I fluffed my chance?

After this commotion in the swim, I fed a few small balls of the cheese paste and just left it a bit to rest, I eventually went back in, again with a lump of paste on the hook, this time a bit smaller and made sure the hook point was showing. It wasn’t long before I had a few taps on the tip, and then a big drop of the tip, I instantly struck and had a Fish on again! This one needed less convincing to come out away from the tree, and I was able to play it in the open water, getting his head up quickly, soon saw it was a Chub. Nothing huge, but a nice Fish nevertheless, a chunky Chub, definetly been filling up, probably on all the cheese paste it stole from me today! The net was soon under it, and the Fish on the bank.

Not breaking any records with it, but happy to have caught today after missing a few chances, which hopefully with a bigger hook would maybe not have happened! One of those days I could’ve ended up with maybe 5 Chub if I hit all the bites, however its how those things go, after this fish, I thought it was a good time to end it, and headed home.

Thanks for reading & Tight lines!

Bailey Payne

Roving the local River

As a lot of my regular readers will know, the Rivers I fish most often are the Wid, Chelmer and Roding. However with the new government guidelines on Angling and fishing local within your district it sadly means I can’t fish any of these venues. Staying within my district only allows me one River, the Crouch. This is a river which has sadly been plagued with issues having multiple spurts of pollution damage and kill a lot of Fish. Here are just a few stories of the issues with Pollution in the River.

The fire being bad was only in 2020, however being my local River, I do try and keep an eye on it, and want to see it producing Fish, and mainly want to know where it produces Fish. A few weekends ago at the start of the new lockdown I took a walk along a stretch of this River, most of the river is quick and shallow, however I did manage to find a few deep holes, and bump into a guy with his son who regularly fish this stretch of the river and to good value too, catching plenty of Chub, Perch and Roach from it, lovely to see young anglers coming in with the joy of catching fish from these small rivers we have.

Onto today, I managed to convince my Dad to tag along too, during a cold frosty morning, although he wasn’t too happy about it, and we were both sceptical of catching. We had similar setups opting to use a light link ledger with 3g bombs, however while my Dad went for a bread flake approach, I opted to use worms, I had a mix of Lobs and Dendras. We only had a quick 4 hour session, and there wasn’t too many swims to Fish so we gave each swim a good chance to produce.

The first swim looked great, a nice over hanging tree and small raft, however nothing was tempted by a bit of dendra, while moving to the next swim, I opted to switch up for a lob tail, this swim looked even better, and in my previous walk, this was where I was more confident of possibly catching from.

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The second spot, a lovely over hang and raft

In this swim after a small wait, it wasn’t long before I had a knock, which eventually developed into a quick pull round and bite, the feeling of striking into a bite is one every angler loves, however feeling nothing on the end gives instant disappointment, and can leave you wondering, was I too slow, too quick? I find you often remember the bites you miss a lot more than those you hit.

The morning kept going and it looked as if we both may blank, we had two spots left to look at, under low and wide concrete bridge, looking as if it had some depth under, and in-fact, I had spotted a Roach under this bridge in the summer and the last swim, a fallen tree at the end of the stretch cut off by a fence, if only the fence was a bit further down as the raft before the tree looks incredible and you’d bet for Chub to be there. The bridge provided no further luck, despite my Dad missing a bite there earlier on.

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The Final swim, you can spot the Raft just before the fallen tree, if only for the fence!

On this swim, I went for a nice fresh piece of lob tail, and dropped it within millimetres of the fallen tree trunk. Hoping a Chub or anything would maybe be hiding. The tip stayed still for a good 10 minutes, until a small tap, went to an instant pull round, and quickly lifting in, I was hooked into a Fish. It felt a good Fish and went straight for the snags in the undercut bank, however I managed to power it out, and soon saw it was a good Chub, bullying it up, my Dad swiftly netted it. The River I had overlooked for so long, and with a few failed attempts on different stretches finally paid dividends with a lovely Chub of just over a 1lb.

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A bit of the skinny side for a Chub of its length, it was still a lovely Fish, and a first from this very troubled River for me, and maybe there will be more to come, it just goes to show, those little Rivers you may think nothing off, can hold some good Fish. And maybe a few bigger than this Chub hide under the same tree?

Until next time, tight lines!

Bailey Payne

History of Bait – Sweetcorn

Hopefully starting a little mini series talking about the history of some Fishing baits, with positive responses I will continue the idea and do some other baits, of course if you are interested in a bait, let me know and I will research it for you. But today, we look at Sweetcorn, a bait to catch most coarse species, from Carp to Roach, Bream and Tench! It truly is a great allround bait, which stands out on the bottom of a Lake or River! It’s a top bait most anglers today are aware of and probably use, and getting hold of it today is easy, whether its your local tackle shop or a supermarket, getting a tin of sweetcorn couldn’t be easier.

Sweetcorn originates from North America, and people believe it was brought to the UK sometime in the 15th century possibly by Christopher Columbus. With it being in the country for so long, many angling authors in the 20s-50s didn’t mention it in their list of baits, however in the 70’s Fred J Taylor noted how it was good for Tench Fishing. So it more than likely gained popularity after this.

Since then Sweetcorn has very much so been commerialised in angling, from starting off Anglers just buying a humble tin of green giant (other brands are available), to now tackle companies making all sorts of tinned flavours of corn and even fake corn!

I personally normally opt for normal corn from a supermarket, however this is more of my preference as I find it cheaper as well. Corn does provide you with different options on how to present, whether you wish to hair-rig or directly hook the corn.

However, if you don’t fancy buying tins of corn, you can always buy plastic corn?!? This can offer anglers different styles of presentation with slow sinking variants, or pop up variants all created, even in different colours too.

It’s amazing to see how Corn has took the world of fishing, and is a staple no matter what species you target, they all will love Corn, however I believe Corn will always be tied closest to a warm summers day Tench Fishing, the two seem to go hand in hand, I guess if what we believe was right, Tench fishing made sweetcorn a very popular bait today!

Personally, I have caught everything on corn, Including my PB Bream of 7lb, and some good Roach in the past as well. If I’m on a still water, corn is a must have bait for me!

Bailey Payne

River Roving

Well, writing this now since entering lockdown and sadly this stretch of River is out of my district so I have to halt my exploration and learning of this not so new stretch of river to me. I have just re-joined BDAC, having not been a member since I was a kid, and have fond memories of one River in particular, the Wid. It’s where I caught my current PB Chub of 2,5lbs, and it’s a lovely stretch of River with a good amount of Chub when you get it right. In my recent blogs I have fished a different stretch of the Wid, upstream of this stretch and shallower and less prolific. This new stretch, having changed a lot in the landscape, new trees and old trees gone, offers a new challenge in finding the Fish. But has many likely looking spots, including a lovely weir. Today’s session (Before Lockdown), was more exploring, and finding likely areas, and hopefully nabbing one or two fish, but I wanted to try and document swims and take notes on what I could see in hope it helped me learn the River and its secrets quicker.

The method today was simple, fishing light with blitzed bread and just a few slices for hookbait, using a small cage feeder. Although looking back, I wonder if maybe feeding put off the better Fish, however you live and learn! I didn’t spend a huge amount of time fishing, spent a lot more walking the some of the stretch, looking, watching and taking some photos on the very likely looking swims!

The weir looked great, although provided no fish today, I knew the far back in the slack it deepened off, surely a likely holding place of some Chub. This stretch offered some quick runs, maybe good for Dace, and some other fantastic trotting runs which must be good for some Chublets. The aim for my next session was to do some trotting with maggot in some of these swims, however that is sadly cancelled now due to travelling limits. Something to look forward to!

I remember losing a good Fish under the bridge as a kid, as it tore off downstream, so remember it as a place to hold good Chub, however a few soft taps but no developing bite, possible pecking at the feed and not fancying the flake? Maybe just small Roach and minnows and the Chub not up to it today?

Upstream of the bridge offered a few interesting swims too, one of which had a big overhanging tree, holding a good number of Chublets, but something to try next time as I didn’t dip into the swim this time.

I did manage one Fish from this session, from what I thought was the best looking swim, a lovely overhang and a good run, sure to hold some Chub.

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I did miss a bite here, so was sure to drop in on my way back down in hope of another, and I wasn’t disappointed, as soon as I set the Rod on the rest, the tip went round, but surprisingly not to what I expected of a Chub, but to a small Roach. On what seemed a tough day, I was happy to take this from a cold morning on the River, and had learnt maybe a few better spots to try.

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Hopefully future visits will give me more rewards as I continue to learn this new yet old stretch of River to me, and hopefully some nice Chub will come soon too. Overall not a bad way to spend the first Saturday in January. And now with the new lockdown, I look for venues closer to try, in hope of a few Fish!

Tight lines all!