Brian Holland


As I sit here with all the modern trappings for carp fishing, costing hundreds of pounds. Nothing is sentimental and can be replaced at a click of a button. Even if you think you cherish it you don’t unless you have had it handed down and it belonged to someone who had sadly passed away, such is the case when my father gave me his business partners MK IV cane. I do not know how my father had it as Chris was still alive when he gave it to me. It was worn, tatty with damaged eyes and cracking all along the cork handle. I am lucky enough to work with a gentleman called Ian Jillings who in the past was a rod builder, I asked him if he would kindly refurbish the rod, he agreed and I hand it over to go to the rod hospital.

Unfortunately, in life we hear of illnesses to people we care for this was the case with the original owner Chris who I was informed had cancer and was in hospital. The urgency was on to finish the rod so I could take photos to send to Chris of his old MK IV. With regret this was not to happen as Chris sadly passed away two days prior to me receiving the rod back.

The craftsmanship of Ian was exceptional, all the eyes had been removed and the cane had been re lacquered, the cork handle filled and reworked backed, all the eyes had been replaced with matching original ones with the original coloured whipping. This was a beautiful rod and just a shame I could not have shared this with Chris.

Now I required a reel to suit the rod as a modern one just did not suit it, I tried a centre pin but again it was not quite right. So on to eBay looking for old reels, this is where I came across a 1967 Mitchell 300. A bargain at a tenner and it needed refurbishing as well. So, a quick click of a button it was purchased. When it arrived the first thing was to do a total strip down cleaning all the parts, the body and the spool was handed over to the paint shop of the firm I work for. Whilst I repaired any damaged parts. The body was repainted black and they also re infilled in white all the decals. It was now ready for re assembly. Again, the work carried out by Andy, Wayne & Cath was exceptional and it looked new.

As it was a carp rod, I filled the spool with 15lb line. The reel was now ready to be paired with the rod. I believe they were meant to be together as it suited it down to the ground.

I use it occasionally mostly for surface fishing, the action is completely different to what you get used to using with a modern rod and with this set up you learn to play a fish but it is totally enjoyment.

This is now cherished, and I hope Chris would be happy with accomplishment of so many people to bring it back to life, those involved in the refurbishment many thanks.


Brian Holland

Including the Kitchen Sink

It was simpler back then and now if you have not got the kitchen sink you are not fishing.

My fish recalled fishing trip was on a fjord in Norway with my granddad and my father in 1974 at the ripe old age of six, couldn’t tell you want was caught but I know a small fire was lit. Then I remember a couple of years later getting a six-foot black rod and reel with a few floats and fish the river at Flatford mill catching roach. I had a few school friends that fished so probably for Christmas or birthday I got the Shakespeare blue box seat and a cantilever box to put my fishing tackle in. Like many youngsters being dropped off by our parents’ arm with your tackle box, net, keep net, a flask and sandwiches we went for a day’s fishing at various local ponds catch the smaller inhabitants.

I then drifted away from fishing as other outside interests took over and a marriage, nothing stopped me going just I did not. It was during a five a side football match I broke my wrist and a gentleman at work invited me to carp fish with him at a local lake, so I said I had some fishing gear which basically all went in the bin, being from the early 80’s was not at all useable. He let me the equipment I needed, and I caught my first carp, being photographed with a plastic bag over the plaster on my wrist. Fire relit.

I now had to purchase rods, reels, alarms, and all the essentials. We live in a consumer world now where magazines, YouTube and even tv is awash with telling you that this is required to help you catch fish or make you comfortable whilst catching fish and we buy, buy, buy it all making carp fishing the most profitable if all the styles of our sport even to the point you need a van to transport it all.

Now we have all become comfortable with this try scaling down back to basics, its nigh on impossible because you have the just in case I need it syndrome, so we pack everything into our vehicles and off we trundle and when we get to the lake we put it mountain high on to trolley then push it around the lakes to our chosen swim where we sit for an hour trying to get energy to actually set up.

This is where being carpy is madness, you look to your left and seen a person next to you with a seat box his rods out and you scoff at the presentation thinking he doesn’t know what he’s doing. The thought is who is the idiot as the fish do not care.

Brian Holland

Don’t forget the Margin

Arriving on dusk Friday, I took a walk around the lake to see any signs of carp, even though it was a flat calm lake nothing showed. The swims to the main bowl was taken so I set up on the corner of a reed bed with the intention of putting a line down the side and one into open water. It was dark by the time everything was set up so I flicked one yellow pop up down the side of the reed bed and the other into open water for the night, except an odd bleep of the alarm nothing throughout the night.

I woke up Saturday morning pulled the rods in and watched the water whilst having a coffee. Nothing was showing which is not surprising being the beginning of November. Opposite me was a bank of overgrown bushes and trees which was accessible with a small cast but to the left is a bridge that goes over the water to the bank the other side. The trees in the water was the furthest away from the bridge which if I was to get a run I would have a chance of getting to the rod as I could not let the fish get under the bridge.

Baiting up with a handful of boilies from the bridge, I then proceeded to wrap up to make sure I hit the mark all the time.

I will admit that like most anglers we cannot afford to have different sets of rods for different situations, unfortunately I can short range on three acres to long range on seventy acres so mine are over the top for casting short range so clipping up is a must to stop the overcast, with the first rod set I now could look for a spot for the second rod.

Now even though videos on YouTube by Nash, Korda etc harp on about margins how many people do it, I do but do you. The amount of times I see fishermen punching out the rods to the middle of the lake or further when within a foot the fish happily swim through. Look at it this way if you fish a lake that have multi species in it and is fished by non-carp anglers the chances are the will be fishing close in and will at the end of the day throw in their left over bait.

Now back to the second rod, with the above in mind, I had to my left lilies where between them and the bank was about two foot, It looked a good pathway for the fish to swim around the lilies, So I baited with a handful of whole and crushed boilies and placed the ever trusted yellow pop up on top. It was not long, and the rod was away, it was a short little fight as the fish darted into what was left of the lilies and then popped out again into the waiting net. A nice dumpy common of about twelve pounds. With him safely back in the water the rod was reset, and some bacon put on for a nice little breakfast then I remembered should have photographed it (duh!).

The rest of the day went quiet, changing the pop up to a boilie on the margin rod to see if I could entice another bite, not a bleep. At four o’clock I decided to take the yellow pop up off and change to a 14mm pink fluoro and put it on the spot at 8 o’clock this was to pay off with a small common, rebaited and wrapped up I placed the rod back to be woken at 2 o’clock with another small common, at least that spot paid off.

Sunday morning waking up on daybreak I pulled in both rods and changed hooks and put both out in the same positions and waited with anticipation.

After a couple of hours of nothing happening I put on the sun glasses and stood there studying the water, whilst other anglers stay bivvied up watching the water will hopefully give you the edge for that one extra fish. Seeing a couple of bubbles in an alcove between the dyeing lilies, I pulled in the margin rod and being only a rod length out carefully placed the pop up over some crushed boilies.

It was all quiet so deciding to reel in both rods and go for a stroll around the lake to see if I Could spot anything, down to the left is a large lily area and as I watch small signs of movement could be seen, collecting one rod , Landing net and a handful of boilies I headed down. Placing the rig in a pocket then putting crushed boilies on top, resting the rod on the landing stage, and placing a copper queens head on the spool I sat back and waited. I gave this an hour before heading back to my swim with nothing to show.

Putting both rods out again, one on the snags and the other I placed into mid water and baited whole boilies over the top.

Even though nothing else came of the day I was happy with the three I caught. Roll on next weekend.


Brian Holland

Wetting a line at Asheldham

With a weather change over the weekend to a southernly wind and rain coming in this was ideal for Carp. Even though the pressure had not dropped below 1000, I was confident that they would feed.

Not going to my usual club lake Bicknacre, I opted for another smaller lake which the club owned Asheldham. On arrival at lunch time Saturday as I had been on the Chelmer in pursuit of perch in the morning to find it was empty. The car park here is higher than the banks so gives good cover to the main part of the lake, so gave protection from most of the wind as it whistled over the top of the bivvy. Asheldham is a quite picturesque lake, covered in lilies and snag areas. 

Choosing the to fish through the gap in the lilies to a tree the protrudes from the water with the left-hand rod and at the point where the lilies going into open water the right-hand rod.  To about a foot of the tree I place a 15mm hair rigged boilie and to the corner of the lilies a 15mm yellow pop-up.

As the rain was battering down, I had little choice but to zip up the bivvy and sit back waiting for the receiver to sound. At about 5 o’clock the left-hand rod started slowly beeping, Even though I was fishing semi locked up I made a quick dash to the rod as I could not afford to let the fish go around the tree.

It had not, it had gone left and was heading for overhanging snags, unfortunately I failed, and the fish went through the snags before I got there. Now even though you can fish micro-barbed, I generally fish barbless hooks when fishing to snag areas as if like the case here they get in the fish can still discard the hook. As expected, the fish had discarded the hook leaving me in the snags. By some luck I managed to retrieve all the line and hook link as the snag gave way first. I do not like pulling for breaks and would rather get a boat out to retrieve where possible.

I rebaited and place the rod back out on the original spot.  I did not have to wait long as at 6 o’clock the same rod started slowly beeping again, This time though the fish had gone right into open water and was heading for the lilies, locking up the spool had had full control had just managed to stop said fish reaching the lilies, I released the tension and slowly played the fish to the net letting it run when it had to.  This was my first fish from these lakes and a nice 14lb common was the result. After some dark photo’s, the fish was sent back to its home and the rod recast.

I now settled back again had some dinner and organising the bivvy internals for the night.

At 8.30 the right hand rod went into melt down, I was a bit slower this time getting out the bivvy, the rod had been torn out of the back bank stick as the reel was now balancing against the alarm, the rod tip being buffered by the waves of the lake. Grabbing the rod and tightening up the clutch the fish was in the lilies. I had control but the getting the fish safely through the lilies without loosing it was a very wet and careful procedure. It was no great fight but painstakingly slow. Going over the net cord was another common. It was bigger than the first, so it weighed in at 16lb.  Again, dark photos take the fish was sent back home. I now recast the rod to the same spot just of the corner of the lilies and returned to the bivvy to dry off again. Settling in for the night.

Now why is it that the smallest fish always cause the most trouble, this was now the case at 7 am when the right hand rod ripped off again into the lilies, I managed to play the fish through the lilies when trouble started. I had little control over the bloody thing as it fought to the left and then shot to the right. The rod tip was in the water trying not to let the fish go through the left-hand line, and what an epic failure that was. Knowing it had gone through the line once I released the bail arm of the left-rod and continued playing the fish again it went through the line, and again. This was ridiculous. After about 5 minutes which seemed like ten, I was in control as it had worn itself out and was slipped over the next cord.  Both rods were slackened off a placed at the ground behind the cradle so I could lift the fish safely. It looked at a guess around the 12lb mark. I unhooked it and sent it on its way as then proceeded to untangle the mess I was left with, especially as technically the left-hand rod was still fishing.  Untangled and retrieved, I set about rebaiting both rods. Well at least it had stopped raining.

The rest of the morning was quiet, so as the time changed into the afternoon I decided to slowly pack up. As with everything in life there is always a curve ball. In fishing once everything is dry and ready to be packed away you hook up again. the right-hand rod was off again.

 Another battle through the lilies ensured, this time I moved the left-hand rod out of the way to ensure that there was to be no tangles. With the fish battling left and right through the lilies it was a slow fight to the net.  Guessing that it looked like another 14lb, I unhooked it in the net taking a couple of in net photos then released it back into the lake. I pulled in both rods and carried on packing away.

So, four fish in a twenty-four-hour session I was happy. Instagram:  #the_bridge_troll

Brian Holland

Nothing Stops Me Fishing

Well it did not start as well as it should have, I usually go straight to the lake from work, this week I had to a couple of jobs for the Mrs prior to going. Now I have a wonderful wife who does not mind my obsession of fishing every weekend. Anyway jobs done, car pack I was on my way, even though night had set up for the next twelve hours, I had an idea where I was to set up and distances for cast to even in the dark.

I was half way to the lake when the car decided to break the driveshaft right on a roundabout, A phone call to the AA, I had an hour wait, as the car was full of gear which I did not want to leave in the car, I used my phone a friend option, So a big thanks to Andy who turned up, loaded the fishing gear in his van and took me home whilst the AA took the car to the garage.

Now I needed a car so I still could go fishing, A phone call to my parents and I then had possession of my mum’s car. My wife dropped me of and after a cuppa I was on my way home to load the car and continue my drive to the lake albeit 14 hours later.

I arrived walked around and saw fish over the back of the lake, walking back on myself I went back to the furthest point swim. They could be seen in the heavy weed and every now and then launching themselves out. Now this swim is not assessable with a barrow and everything must be carried by hand up and down the tight footpath. But there is no point fishing where the fish are not so after seven trips everything was in the swim.

Even the swim is tight for a double bivvy but with a bit of jiggery pokery it fitted leaving just enough space for the rods, mat and landing a fish.

The weed is here is too thick to directly fish it so a bit of leading around the edge of the bed was found and a few catapults of boilies introduced whilst I set up the rest of the gear.

After setting up it was time for the rods to be cast. Both were set with a pop up multi rig, one with a natural looking pop up to match the hatch and the second with a snowman consisting of pink 14mm and a 8mm white on top, hook choice was a size 5 claw.

First cast to the edge of the weed bed where the bait was introduced and the other a rod length to the left into open water. Now the wait was on as the heavens opened.

The night was quiet except one beep at two in the morning then quiet again. I reeled in at six to rebait and position the rods again. One of the weed bed and the other I moved to in front of some snags, which I have locked up tight and placed two U pegs over the rear of the handle to aid any jolt on the rod before I get there.

The sun came out in between light drizzle as I waited for some action. Nine o’clock in the heaviest of the showers the weed bed rod sparked into life as the fish headed straight into the weed, I was on the rod in a flash as the weed locked up the fish, locking up the drag and raising the rod and applying gentle pressure I stood there in the rain pitting man against weed. As i had no higher ground all I could do is stand there trying to get different angles, A slight bit of fortune as I lent back to get the net in place the pressure relaxed and the fish moved enough to gain control and bring him through the weed, enough five minutes and the fish was ready to next.

Turn out to be only a small one around the twelve pound mark but it was a fish on what has been a hard water of late and the effort to get into the swim. With the fish safely back the rod positioned back on the spot. I wait again.

Brian Holland

When a river flows

As I sit here on my club lake with still bobbing’s watching donut rings appearing over my spots, I am ever confident of sneaking one out before moving on to the river Chelmer tomorrow for a pike and perch session.

Last weekend was a bit of a washout in more ways than one, an urgent job at work stopped the normal Friday night session and was left with a Saturday 18 hours for carp before heading off for the normal perch session. I have deliberately made Sunday’s river day so that I get some exercise, parking at Beeleigh lock and walking to Hoe Mill, As the carp fishing amounted to nothing, I packed up and drove to Maldon, parked, sorted out my gear. I travel light, a 6ft 0.5 to 6-gram iron claw rod, Spro urban 1000 reel loaded with 8lb braid, I tie a 2 to 3ft 4lb fluorocarbon lead and a 1-gram Texas rig. The starting lure is a 2″ fluke made by FFS lures, a ruck sack with a few odds and ends, a net and small mat. There had been a lot of rain in the past week so the Chelmer was high and had a fast flow but was still clear, I always start under the bridge at Beeleigh as the lock is closed and slowly retrieve the lure through the water raising it off the bottom and then lettings it sink until the line goes slack holding for a couple of seconds before flicking it again. unfortunately the lock was open so change of plan I dropped to the other side of the lock casting to a slack water, as I slowly retrieved and I felt a knock, I held the line and then it tighten up and I was into my first wasp, the same for the next three casts, brilliant four casts four wasps this was going to be a good day, although it did turn into a good day, it was bloody hard work. As I walked up trying the normal spots nothing was either there or taking due to the flow. It took me a while to work out that if the cast was more into the flow I could then jig the lure round to place it underneath overhanging trees and bushes where I found them sitting in anticipation of my lure drifting towards them, by the end of the session I had bagged 15.

On to Wednesday where I decided to have a half day off work and go to the Chelmer for another session, it had been raining so I was expecting it to be hard. I parked at church road with the intention of walking to Stoneham lock. as I got to bridge the flow was rapid and the water was mud brown, so off I trotted trying to find some slack to no avail. Using the same casting and retrieve technique of trying to place the lure under branches and snags I found nothing to accept the bait. Little Baddow lock was like a rampaging torrent and was lapping over the low-lying part of the lock, so I continued to Stoneham having a flick or two on the way. At Stoneham, the lock and below the lock were slack due to the weir dragging the river down around the lock, happy days, but except for one knock nothing, trying different lures of shapes and colours it was dire. So back I trudged to church road. Getting there I crossed over to the little blue bridge where a small inlet through a caravan park flows into the Chelmer again this was flowing fast with no slack area. So back to the car with a blank I headed. Before getting there, I thought I would try one last cast in the opposite bank between a couple of bushes, more like drop shotting than retrieving, and hey presto a little wasp hit the lure saving my blank. even only catching one in conditions than are not suited to fishing made the afternoon

So on to Sunday where I met a friend at hoe mill for perch and pike walking to Paperlock Mill, arriving at dawn I set up my Nash h-gun for pike, even though it being designed specifically for carp, I find the 6ft 2lb test curve ideal for lure on the Chelmer, with a Daiwa ninja 2500 reel loaded with 20lb braid and a 12″ 0.45 trace, I chose to use a fulling mill UV flashtail whistler lure with a 7 gram jig head.

With the weather being over cast we set off full of expectations, just out of the moorings I miss cast into the centre of the Chemer instead of close to the opposite bank on the retrieve a jack struck and took the lure perfectly and I reeled him in with little fight. From this point it turned into a hard session with only a wasp taken on a fluke, on the way back I crossed at Rushes lock to cast into the back weir pool. Due to overhanging trees side casting was the only way to get the lure into the weir, now I still do not know if it was tiredness of the continuing casting or that my hands were wet but the rod got released out of my hand on the cast. I know what you are thinking is that it shot into the weir, no it shot sideways like a dart straight into a tree snapping the tip, end of the h-gun. I carried on casting all the way back to Hoe Mill without a sniff.

Hopefully, next weekend the perch will be in full force.

instagram: #the.bridge.troll

Brian Holland

A Summer Tale

It had been a good summer and I had been catching regularly so a new water was on the cards, I had heard of but never fished Chigboro and after a few chats with fellow anglers at work over the lakes there, mainly over the about of weed I was convinced by a colleague Ryan who was on the syndicate next to it, to fish there and have an evening barbeque with him and his girlfriend Cat who were fishing the weekend.

So choosing the nearest lake to them, that being Scraley mere, now there is weed and there is Scraley weed, from top to bottom and covering the whole lake, I walked around but chose the bottom end where I had seen fish moving in and out the snags, I Have fished weed but this was going to be a challenge. Through a tiny single track it open out and you could just fit in two rods, the canopy of trees overhead were at about eleven feet so with twelve foot rods there was no overhead casting, but with fish in the area, you fish where they are.

I managed to somehow fit the bivvy into the footpath with half of it up a slope, with little a little area to get past at a Squeeze.

I put out a couple of handfuls of crushed boilies in a couple of spots in the weed whilst I set up the rods. Putting one close to the snags and the other in a bigger area to be right I sat back for a couple of hours. Ryan came round to tell me that they were firing up the barbeque and we stood talking over the area and looked for better spots where the carp were going through the weed, The were pulled in and joined Ryan and Cat for food and a couple of drinks before going back to my swim to set the rods for the night.

The decision was whether to go for both rods with different pop ups or the same as never fished the lake you will try two different to see if one works more than the other, I went the same two yellow on a multi-rig, being confident in my rigs of late . Placing these was going to be of the most essential as any error would make them redundant, Both were placed with under arm casts, one to the edge of the snags and locking down the rod as I could not afford the fish any chance to run and the second in a small channel about a foot wide in between the weed where it was obviously been used as a route through by the fish. On both set ups I used a three-ounce lead that would drop on any take. Again sprinkling crushed boilies over the top with a handful of whole boilies and sat back for the night with a full belly and a cup of coffee watching the sun drop in the horizon, as all anglers know it is not just the fish it is the surroundings that can be just as pleasant.

The evening and night were quiet and I woke at about five and put the kettle on for coffee as I watch the water to see if there were any signs of fish in the area or had they moved out overnight to a different part of the lake?, As luck would have it the left hand rod that was in the channel leapt into life with the alarm making a short but powerful scream as the fish hooked itself and bolted.

Even though I was literally sitting on the rod in went left straight into the weed locking itself away. This was going to be a stressful battle to get this fish landed if ever I was.

I put the rod back on the rest and reeled in the other rod to create as much area as I could then resumed battle,  I stood there with a fish locked in weed and applying pressure slowly but to no avail I needed help, releasing line back to the bivvy to retrieve the phone and a quick call to Ryan which I believe the words fish, weed stuck and help where only used. Within two minutes Ryan came bounding around the corner, I was on the water edge trying to get some movement on the fish, And out the corner of my eye I saw a net followed by a body go straight into the lake ready to scoop up the prize, still to this day I do not know if was momentum or he actually intended to go in to the lake but he did and stood there looking at me.

Explaining where the fish was locked up, I started to apply pressure again, holding the rod as high as I could which unfortunately was not high due to the tree canopy I walked backwards with Ryan giving directions as he could see from his position what was going on in the lake,

When you have a fish that is weeded up the weight that you are moving makes you sense that either the rod or line will giving way, but I managed to get movement, slowly it was moving, I could feel it and Ryan could see it, I had now walked back as far as I could reaching my bivvy, so now I could do neither lift the rid or walk back, I had to reel in using and hoping the line and hook-link would hold as I slowly moved the weed bed across the ten yards I had left to go to get the fish close to the net, As Ryan as far in the water as he could go and the net at arm’s length, inch by inch the weight that was being hauled in was getting closer to the fish safe haven being the net.

I had now been a full half hour battling this carp and now was praying that for the last few inches that the line held as there is nothing more demoralising than losing it at the net,

At this point due to the amount of weed neither Ryan or myself had seen the fish only that I was bring in a gigantic ball of weed, I knew the fish was still there as it would flick his head every now and then tried to drop the hook to no a avail. 

Then relief as Ryan scooped up the ball of weed and I could feel all the tension come out of the line and rod, it is a feeling hard to describe when you have win the battle and your prize awaits you, Ryan was still in the water with the net removing the massive ball of weed when his face started beaming as he revealed the carp was entwined in.

He did not have to say anything as I could tell by his face this was special, we lifted the net into the cradle and we pulled back the net to reveal a black common, as I have said in a previous blog that I prefer quality over size, but there is nothing like a feeling when you get both.

Not only had I got a black common but on weighing, the scales went 25.12 it was a new pb.

after a photo’s we sent this beautiful carp back home in amongst the weed of Scraley mere.

In writing this account I must thank Ryan as without his help I do not believe this carp would have been landed. You can follow him in Instagram #ryandabbs1989


Brian Holland

The Five Hundred

As I have previously stated the single pop up is my go-to starting point, but things went completely awry.

We all blank its part of fishing especially carp fishing, but it gets to a point where we question the very essence of our abilities. Now when things do not go to plan, we look for outs, Mine was magazines and on- line, this super bait, that super rig, do it like this, do it like that. This is the rabbit hole I went down. The issue was that it took over five hundred hours of blanking and a lot of soul searching to get out the other side.

 I remember it started in October and lasted until April the next year, so I did cover the coldest months of the year, but you still expect to at least have a sniff. Ok I will admit that some of the waters I fished were not quite runs waters, two 96 hours sessions on horseshoe lake one being over Christmas included, for those who do not know it is only 62 acres. Looking across that amount of water on a freezing day can demoralise anyone when the bobbing’s are not bobbing.

After the first month the I changed bait to a “winter bait” to see if I could increase my chances to no avail so I changed again and again. By April I had 6 different boilies and untold amounts of coloured pop ups in different sizes and flavours just to catch that one allusive fish.

After the second month the rigs got changed as I tried chod, spinner, kd, stiff, and hair rigs. Now each one of these I changed hook sizes and styles and baits. Nothing not a bloody thing worked. Everything seemed to be against me, but I had to keep going and not be beaten.

I was now the biggest in joke at work not only with the fishermen but also those that did not fish, after every weekend head down I would get to work to get the abuse about another fishless session.

But I had to persevere and I did, after a lot of thought, I return to basics, I got rid of everything, I returned to the shop bought the first bait that I had started using and a pot of yellow pop ups, I threw away all the rigs and changed to a hook style that I have previously used but upped the size.

I went to my regular lake, tied a multi rig with a pop up, casting up against an island with a couple of catapults of boilies and sat back, not sure how long I was there but the sound of the alarm screaming was the excitement, relief and astonishment we all wait for, now trying to keep calm fighting a carp and just praying it doesn’t fall off especially at the net for what seemed hours but probably was only five minutes and then going over the cord was an accomplishment that will never be forgotten.

Since this was two years ago I have changed bait but not my rigs, I always use pop ups on a multi rig with a scattering of boilies, over the last few weekends I have blanked but lessons learnt is to bear with what I am are confident in and it will come right in the end, do not chase alternatives.


Brian Holland

Addiction to the Single Pop-Up

One thing that I must impress on the reader is that I will alter my fishing to suit the situation of the lake but first and foremost I will start with a single. To some of my fishing friends this is now a running joke.

The humble beginnings started about three years ago when a friend asked me to join him and his father on an overnight on a lake up north Essex. When we got there on a bit of a rain sodden afternoon, they already knew the swims they were fishing from, so I bivvied up alongside as this was a social. Looking out from the swim they were directly opposite an island about sixty yards, I had the point at the same distance.

Listening to others and removing the wheat from the chaff is something we all must do. So my friend told me prior he puts out a carpet of bait boilie and particle as this could be a hard water and the fish do like a munch, although I will fish this way I tend to avoid this on commercial waters and usually put a few catapults out. Anyway I had come prepared with this information and was ready to spod the area to death when the bailiff came round to collect the money, As I always do is speak to them to glean as much info as possible. After five minutes of talking and my friend and his father are now whizzing spomb’s over the lake towards the island the bailiff just comes out with “Just put a pop up off the point”. Now you know when you have come prepared to fish a certain way you can be stubborn and not really pay heed but for some reason after he walk off my mind chose the words why not can’t do any harm.

Now at this point in my fishing experience even though I had used pop ups I wasn’t confident in them choosing mostly to use bottom baits, So I rifled in the bait box and found some fifteen millimetre yellow pop ups, with no harm in trying going through my mind, I tied a rudimentary rig, tested it the water’s edge it sat up. As I said I very rarely used a pop up so I tied a little PVA bag of pellets to protect the hook point and fired it out towards the point, Put the rod on the alarms and waved my hands in a dismissive that will do gesture and now started to set up for the night. The spombing had stopped next door and they were reading their rigs.

Well I would say at least ten minutes had past when the alarm started screaming and reel was in melt down. Now it wasn’t an epic or hard fight but did result in a mid-double and a friend looking at me like I just conquered Everest and me saying “a single pop up off the point” as if I knew what I was doing.

Now these days I would say ninety percent of my fishing is done with a single pop up, yellow being my first choice and it has done me remarkable well of late, but it is a long road and another tale.