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Brian Holland

Perception of Colour

So, you have rocked up to the lake or river and you find fish and you select your bait, whether its Boilies, Pop-ups, maggots or lures you pick out your favourite colour and begin fishing. Have you ever taken the time to think is the colour I am fishing with is appropriate?

Colour, what is colour? Colour of anything is determined by the wavelength of light that it reflects.

Our eyes can only detect 3 frequencies of colours these being the primary colours Red, Green and Blue and the variation of these being mixed. High frequency (Blue) Medium frequency (Green) and low frequency (Red).

Now when it comes to fishing, we are now casting our perceived colour into water which then absorbs the colour wavelengths of light to different degrees until the colour disappears when it reaches a certain depth.

Red at 15 ft

Orange at 25 ft

Yellow at 40 ft

Green at 70 ft

Blue at 90 ft

At a depth of around 40 – 50 ft most colours will become shades of grey, blue, and black due to light from the surface reaching these depths.

These depths are all very well if you are next to the colour that you have cast out, but now you must take into consideration the distance you are away from them. So, if for example you are fishing a 10 ft deep lake with a red bait and you are 6 ft away the colour will be absorbed and disappear. So, you must think in the vertical and horizontal planes.

Simple, Wrong.

 Now consider the light of the actual day that is penetrating the water, On, sunny days the light penetrates the water deeper than on overcast days reducing the visual colour of the bait at the perceived depths.

We can also bring in the surface conditions of the water as a large chop on the water will reflect the light rays more than a calm day.

The clarity of the water itself, is it clear or does it contain suspended matter such as weed and plankton in the water again reducing the colour wavelength, has there been a runoff from a field pushing mud into the water.

Some fish can see ultraviolet but let us leave that for another time.

So, once you have considered all these various factors you should be good to go with the ultimate colour to catch your fish on that session.

Or I just like this colour so will the fish.

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Brian Holland

Being Complacent

Complacency is the word of this week, As the weather was nice on Saturday, I ventured to the local park lake with my stalking rod for a few hours.

Stalking I travel light.  One 6ft telescopic rod, a mat, and a net.  I have a rucksack which has only one alarm on a bank stick, a pot of pop ups, and a few bits of end tackle for a just in case requirement.

I walked around the half-frozen lake looking for any sign of carp especially in the margins. 

Around the margins are trees in the water making good hiding places for the carp to keep into and small reed beds on the side

At one end is where all the locals come to feed the ducks and other birds that hang out waiting in anticipation for their daily feed, as there were people there feeding them, I position myself as near as I could to them after noticing a few bubbles in the margin.

After putting in a couple of small handfuls of particles on a spot I lower my rig down. I was using a white 14mm pop up on a multi-rig. And then sat back.

After a few hours and the cold beginning to creep in, I decided to pack up. On raised the pop up I found out the I had been sat in clingy weed so was not fishing at all.

My rookie mistake, to rock up and assume that the margins were clear and not having a few casts to see what the bottom was like prior to lowering the rig and start fishing.

Why I did this I never know as I will always check the lake bottom prior to fishing.

With the assumption it was clear, I was complacent which negated any chance I had to catch a fish in the few hours I had.

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Brian Holland

The Rant

Well, I do not know where to start, we have to a blog each week about fishing or what we have been fishing for. As you can imagine at the present moment in time this can be hard with the restrictions in place due to covid, so we also look at the internet for inspiration.

Looking through Instagram, Facebook and YouTube constantly trying to get the motivation, this is become more and more diluted with crap.

 With Instagram you see pictures of people with their catches and then suddenly after a few months their pictures of them fishing stop and get replaced with a constant barrage of a second-rate product by some second-rate company as they think that they have become a sponsor angler, get real, I started to follow you because of your catches not a product because you think you have made it.

What has gone on with Nash, they have always been a company that show the fun side of fishing with the films and output.  Their podcast has now become just the same as the rest, nothing against Hassan as he was obviously bought in for that specific reason, but this has made their podcast just like all the rest, Bring back Alfie and Dan with their free-flowing jokes and style.

It is not a podcast if it is on Youtube.

YouTube stop putting in so many bloody adverts.

Do not get me started on the latest competition websites and Facebook pages. Buy a ticket and you could win a bivvy or another product. You could but the chances are you will not. Example ticket price of £2.49 there are limited 200 ticket’s, so the company collects £498 and the prize that they are offering is only £160 that a £338 profit and the odds of you winning are 200-1, Save your money and buy the product that you want.

Lure fishing on Facebook has become the big I am, with trolls having a constant go and outing newbies to the sport, trying to help them out with advice not try to make yourself look a pratt.

What is up with carp fishermen having to cast to the longest reaches of the lake, well I must cast 100 yards plus because that is what the big boys do.  1) have a look at the size of the lake they are fishing on compared to yours and 2) check the bloody margins.

If you are going to ask for advice not note of it and use it, do not ignore it, and do what you feel is better. Got asked about a swim and told them to fish to the left as under the water straight ahead is a weed bed under the water and to the left is a gully where you will catch, next minute they are casting into the weed bed and moaning about it, Twats.

When did it become essential to go every where with a bloody cup of coffee it a stupid plastic mug.

And do not get me started on Russell.

Rant over and tight lines everyone

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Brian Holland

There’s a Lure stuck in my Finger

Please note that this blog contains graphic pictures of an injury.

Well last Saturday I was to go lure fishing for perch at the lake down the lane from where I live, as I could walk there, I was getting prepared getting the tackle from my car, with everything out I decided I needed my sunglasses because even in overcast weather they can take the glare from the water. As I lent in the car to reach the glass’s I had forgot about the lure I has casually thrown behind them the week before, yep treble straight into the tip of the middle finger.  I am by no means squeamish, so I went round to the boot to get the wire cutters the I keep in the pike kit to try and prize it out. No as it was dead centre and barbed it was not going to budge.

I only had one choice and that was going to hospital to see what they could do.  After cutting off the lure with the cutters in my left hand which is more awkward than you think when your right-handed, I now drove to A&E with the cut off hook sticking out of my finger.

After I cut off the rest of the treble

Luckily on arrival at Southend A&E the receptionist happened to be a fisherman so after a ten-minute conversation about the pros and cons of barbed hooks I waited to be seen. The sister who first looked at my finger decided than I should have an x-ray to see where the hook was situated in the finger.

Can’t beat a good x-ray

So, after a few pictures I was called back in with a couple of doctors who advised me that I would have to drive to the hand trauma unit at Broomfield hospital.

I had to go home first to get money for the car park and to put petrol in the car to get there, Funny how you keep catching the end sticking out of your finger on everything around you.

I got to Broomfield hospital to find that the car parking is so antiquated that the meters only take change, no notes, or cards, so I had to drive back out and up the road to a shop to but something to get change. After getting back to the hospital and parking was paid for, I made my way to the hand trauma unit where they were expecting me. After a couple of hours wait the sister came and after Covid, MRSA, blood pressure, temperature tests, the surgeon came to see me and decided the only way to get the hook out was to operate by cutting it out as it was so deep.

The arrow is just incase they got the wrong finger

 I got changed into the operating costume still with my fishing boots on which looks stupid, I was led down to the theatre where they explained the procedure. So, with three aesthetics into the figure they cut out the hook and with a couple of stitches I was ready to go.

Suited and booted

In the recovery room, I was bought a nice cup of tea and some biscuits then sent on my way.

A stitch in time

On Sunday I went perch fishing and blanked.

I would just like to say thanks to all the nurses, sisters and surgeon that had to put up with an idiot with a hook sticking out of his finger.

I would also like to thank all my fellow bloggers for the compassion they showed on a very traumatic day LOL.

The remainder of the hook

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Brian Holland

Beginners Guide to Perch Fishing

So, you have decided to take up lure fishing and you have watched YouTube and hit the sites on Facebook on the set up that you would require and had endless advice on it from all the people on the pages and still none the wiser with all that information. Well, let us break it down to basics. The first species we are looking at is Perch.

What I have looked at is to tie a Texas Rig with small lures that will get you started by aiming at the smaller Perch or Wasps as you will here them called. You will then be able to build up your tackle and lures as you wish to target bigger specimens and try different rigs to catch them.

You will need to purchase the following: – Rod, Reel, Line, Hooks, Weight’s, line stops, lures, scissors, and a pair of forceps. Also advised is a mat and a net.

Rod: – On this look at a rod with a casting weight of 3 to 10 grams at about 7 foot (2.1m). This will cover most of the lures that will be cast. Remember the casting weight will include the weight of the hook, lure and the weight attached to the line. So, as you build up your tackle with different lures you can use the same rod. 

Reel: – On this look for a 1000 spinning reel which will have front drag. This will comfortably hold enough line to cast out the distances that will be on most English rivers and canals.

Line: – Purchase some 8lb – 12lb braid to put onto the reel as well as some 4lb – 6lb fluorocarbon which will be used as a shock leader. This will be tied to the braid and the hook.

Hooks: – Start with size 6 offset worm hooks look at the Gamakatsu worm 325 hook these are designed for small soft baits and fished weedless

Weights: – Get some 3.0g Bullet weights – buying these as a kit from say Spro will come with clear glass beads that you will also require.

Line stops: – These are little rubber stops that slide on the to line prior to putting the weight on. You can set the length of how far you would like the bullet weight to go up the line when jigging on the bottom.

Lures: – With the number of lures on the market this will become the addictive part. But to start look at small soft lures around the 5 cm mark. Make sure that these do not have a deep belly. Pictured are finesse flukes to give an idea.

Purchase two colours a bright colour like yellow and a natural like green. So, if the water is clear you start with the natural and if the water is coloured start with the bright lure. There are so many different types of lures including creature baits but to start with a couple of packs of these and gradually build up your collection.

Scissors: – Make sure that these can cut braid.

Forceps: – If the perch takes the whole lure in you will need these to retrieve the lure out of the mouth. These do not have to be long nose ones.

The below set up is for a Texas rig which is a good starting point for your fishing.

Once you have lined the spool of the reel with the braid making sure that the line is just below the lip off the reel feed it through the eyes of the rod with plenty through to tie on the fluorocarbon.

Cut off about 3 ½ feet of fluorocarbon for the leader.

Tie the fluorocarbon to the braid using a double uni knot.

Thread on a line stop at about 1 foot up the fluorocarbon.

Put the Bullet weight on followed by the glass bead.

Tie on the hook using a uni knot.

Place the lure on the hook.

Pull the line stop back down so that you have about 2 inches of movement from the weight to the hook.

On the water.

 Whether you are fishing a canal, river or a stream look for any structures. i.e bridges, platforms, locks and over hanging trees Perch love hanging out around these. Also look for deeper parts of the water close to the margins of where you are walking.

Start with short underarm casts down the side of the section that you like the look of.

Let the weight hit the bottom and the line go slack and give a little flick up to bounce the weight on the bottom, turn the handle to retrieve some line, and repeat until the lure is below the rod tip then cast out again.

All the gear you need to purchase can be bought from any major outlet or if you need specific advice try your local specialist.

Predator tackle is based in Essex and Dave Greenland the owner will be always will to help with advice on set ups.

https://predatortackle.co.uk/

FFS Lures owned by Tom Moir will make lures to order where you can choose colours add glitters to your own preference and they are top quality

https://www.ffslures.com/

If you need to find advice on YouTube try Thom Hunt his knowledge and presenting makes it easy to understand the fishing side.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCn7MS2hJUH0PINGXssd8CyA/videos

All I can say now is Happy Hunting

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Brian Holland

First time making a lure during lock down 1.0

During the first lock down in march 2020, I decided to have a go at making a lure out of anything I could find in my shed. And here is how it turned out.

First I got a piece of wood.

I marked out the shape of the lure in pencil

Then I shaped it with a chisel and a plane, This is because I only had 1 blunt chisel and a plastic plane and some wet and dry paper

I then added weights to the bottom used AAA leads and a bit of brass then filled it in with filler. As i did this I tested it in then sink to make sure that it floated upright.

I then added 3 U nails to either end and the bottom

Being Happy with that, I marked out the decal.
Then added paint. I found some water color paint at the back of the shed
Then I coated it in lacquer
Added the treble hooks
Luckily I have a small pond to test it in, so I attached it to my lure rod

Then happy with that I added feathers from some old sea fishing tackle

Hey Presto. Not brilliant but shows what you can do when bored and with little equipment. Just try making one it is fun

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Brian Holland

Frozen

Please Note that this fishing trip was done pre lock down 3.0 and as a blogger I follow the guide lines set out by the government concerning travel and fishing locally.

Well arriving at the lake at about 3 pm to set up for a few nights fishing with a glorious sun dropping behind the trees I was on for a good couple of days, what happen should have been expected.

As usual I set the rods out with one 14mm pink pop up and one 14mm white pop up both on multi rigs.  The pink one casting against the side of the dead lily pads and the white one about a rod length from a dead tree branch that poke out of the water. Both were topped over with about 10 soaked up winter boilies. With the average depth being only 3 foot across the whole lake I was not expecting much action, but I believed I could pick up at least one bite.

The first bite came at 7 pm on the white pop up and after a short battle a small mint mirror was in the landing net. After a picture I put the rod on the same spot and retired for the night.

I was then woken at 2 am with a single bleep off the same rod. So, I went outside to check and found that the lake was frozen, I lifted the rod and in did there was a fish on the end. I only manage one rotation of the reel before everything locked up in the ice on the lake.  As much as I tried I could nit get the line through the ice. So, I returned to the bivvy accepting the fact that the fish will discard the hook as I was using barbless and deal with the rod in the morning.

Waking up at 5 on the next day, I checked the lake and was still frozen (funny that). I checked the weather, and it was due to have some sun in the morning so was hopeful that this would defrost the lake. So, as I waited drinking coffee after coffee contemplating how, if it did not defrost how to get the line out. 

At 11 in the morning with the lake still frozen, it was time to try and get my line and rods back. The idea was to get the spod rod and put a 5 oz gripper lead and cast onto the ice to break through.

After a few casts around the first line, I slowly broke the ice, with a small gap at least I would be able to get the rig back, So I retrieved the first rod lifted into it to find that the fish from 2 am was still attached to the hook, it must have just sat there all night.

 Now my work was on to break the ice to form a channel from the line entering the water to the bank, With over half an hour of casting I managed to create a 1 foot wide by 24 foot channel to be able to land the fish, As I picked up the rod the fish now decided to have a scrap underneath the ice as I slowly bought it back towards the back as it got closer I could watch it going left and right under the ice which made playing the fish in all the easier as I navigated it towards the landing net.

After 15 minutes it was in the landing net, a small common graced the bank for a photo.

After releasing it I now cut another channel across the lake to the second rod and bought it in.

At this point I packed up and went, no not home but to a deeper lake which I knew would not have frozen for the rest of the session.

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Brian Holland

Riding the Storm

It was boxing day, when most people are with family still full of the day before festivities for one, I go fishing.

The storm was forecast but that was not going to stop me fishing. Torrential rain, 50 mph winds, what more could an angler want.

After barrowing four times around to the swim and everything safe in the bivvy, I set about getting the rods in position, One with a winter bottom bait cast half way across the lake under some power lines that stretch across the lake and the second a natural pop up cast to the far reed where I had seen a fish come out three times, This cast has to be done in a crouched position to make sure that you get under the cable, after three casts of which two dropped short I was in position.

With rods cast for the night I sat in the bivvy with the fire to add some warmth to counter act the cold winter night.

Sitting by the lamp, I put the kettle on for a cup of tea with the wind increasing slowly, flapping the sides of the bivvy, Cup full of steaming hot tea I wait for the alarms to go off, knowing my luck it will be at the height of the storm tonight, Bella was going to pound me.

Midnight was the first beep of the alarm, whether it was the wind or a fish I do not know but with head torch on I was up and looking intently at the rods. Nothing, I wandered around the bivvy pushing the rent pegs back into the ground and putting the hood that had folded itself back over the bivvy in place. Looking at the weather report the wind was in full swing for the next couple of hours and the rain was yet to come. I waited in anticipation.

Now at 2am, sleep being discarded as the four walls of the bivvy being continually battered by wind and rain, I sat drinking coffee. Luckily, it was a bright moon so through the bivvy door amongst the rain drops and the shaking I could see the lake. Every now and then a bleep as the wind caught the line in the correct direction to send a signal to the alarm and receiver.

At 4.30 again a blast parted the Velcro at the top of the door blasting rain into the bivvy. I was up putting the door back together, now with waterproofs on, I ventures outside with head torch on, I inspected around the bivvy replacing three pegs that had been drawn from the ground and pushing back in another two and then returned inside waiting the wind to die down completely, according to the weather app I had still one and a half hours to go.

Now mid-morning with the storm now over, I repaired and positioned the bivvy and sat pondering on re placing the rods with the pressure now dropping thus was looking good. With coffee and breakfast out of the way, I set about re baiting and change the colour of the pop up to my normal yellow to see if I could induce a bite and the other rod, I replaced the bottom bait with a pink pop up. With both rods now under the power line midway across the lake

Just after midday, a single beep came from the right-hand rod, as the rod arced to the left, I was in. The pink pop up under the power lines was off. I let it run it hopes that it would wear itself out a bit then slowly retrieved line; it was staying deep in the water. After ten-minute battle under the rod tip, with the fish taking line then me retrieving the line the fish was slowly guided to the landing net. This was my first Christmas fish after 4 years of trying I was graced with a 14 lb common. With Pictures taken it was sent back home and the rod placed back out on the spot.

The sun decided to shine all afternoon which gave me a chance to dry out all the wet gear from last nights storm. With the lake looking like a mill pond with the winters sun reflecting off the surface is why we go out in all weathers

Life is good.

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Brian Holland

The Man in the Mist (A Christmas tale)

Come, come join me for what I am about to relate to you would be no surprise to the locals of the area.

Essex is filled to stories of hauntings by ghosts, Witches inhabiting villages still to this day after being cast to the pyres by a certain Matthew Hopkin, 

Draw up a chair by the winter fire as I tell you a tale.

It was late when I got there, and the rain had been lashing down all day making the ground around the lake a sodden sticky muddy swamp. There were other people on the lake on arrival, but I managed to get a swim I fancied looking across the lake at its deepest points. I started setting up the bivvy first to keep the fishing gear dry as I slowly trudge back and forth through the mud from my car. By the time I had set up all the other fishermen had pulled off for the night leaving only myself.

The weather had turn and a mist descended upon the lake and the swim. With the rods set I retired into the bivvy for some warm food and to watch a film whilst waiting the bite alarm to scream off.

I must have nodded off because as I woke, I could see a figure on the opposite bank setting up in the mist. It looked like he had an old oil filled lantern which made the mist around him light up as it swirled in the light breeze making the silhouetted man drift in and out of focus.

Even though the mist could impair the vision across the lake, I could tell it was a rather thin man, quite nimble as he flitted from one side of the swim to the other setting up his rods ready for the nights action. From what I could tell as soon as he was set up the light was extinguished, and the mist enveloped the area taking away any sight of the man.

The moon was a Waxing gibbous with a clear sky, the rain had now ceased, the mist was a bright white as it reflects the moons glare. The lake was like a mill pond, with the mist settling just above it. I had no view of the lake and if one of my alarms was to go off, I would be playing the fish by feel.

So, I retired to my bivvy to settle down for the night

Now I woke to the sound of a little jiggling of a bell through the mist, looking across the lake I could see a figure on the side of the bank playing a fish. Within half an hour the little jingle started again and again through the mist I could se the figure playing another fish.

My alarms stayed silent as I listened to the little jiggling one after another.  As the gentlemen opposite continued to catch fish one after another.

It was just after one am that the bell started jiggling constantly, more than before echoing through the mist. Getting louder it continually rang. Looking out of the bivvy I could not see the figure as before. Suddenly sounding through the mist, a large splash as the bell kept on jiggling.

He has fallen in, I rushed to put my clothes on and leaving my rods I was running around to the opposite side of the lake. All I could here was the bell through the mist, ringing, ringing.

I reached the top of the swim through the mud-soaked ground I hurled myself down the embankment, Still the bell kept ringing.

Reaching the bottom nothing was there, No rods, no bell, No man.

My head torch caught the water as I gazed around puzzled and confused, a face, A bloody face staring in agony back up at me, the dark black eyes open. I plunged my hand into the water grasping for the body. Something to grab to drag the poor soul back to land. But nothing, no body but a face still staring as it sunk deeper into the lake, Stricken I grasped again now plunging the top of my body into the water keeping my head just above the surface. My hand touched something, something metal. I stretched again as far as I dare clasping between two fingers, I pulled up a single bell.

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Brian Holland

One at the Club Lake

With the cold nights drawing in I have changed my fishing from Saturday through to Sunday.

The carp fishing taking main stage, as with all the rain lately the rivers and basically un-fishable.

Over the last two sessions I have managed to lose a fish, on both occasions would this be the case at the weekend.

As I am booking my winter fishing holiday which will comprises of 4 days on Suffolk Water park, I am having to change the way I fish, as they do not allow barbed hooks, so this week I am fishing with a bottom bait as well as a pop up.

I got to the lake and it was empty, so I had a stroll around to see if I could spot any fish. As it is shallow through most of the lake, being about 3 to 4 feet deep and this is where most of the weed is even though it has died back it is still beneath the surface.  The deeper water is towards one end that also has reeds.

I chose a point swim where I could access most of the lake on a cast. To the left which was towards the deeper water I cast a 15mm boilie on a size 6 hook with a standard hair rig and the right one a multi rig with a pink pop up towards the weed bed.

Over the top of both, I catapulted about 8 boilies that had been soaked in glug just to get some attraction into the area. The black chickens loved it, swimming over and diving down to retrieve the free food. Sitting there watching the greed little thing I noticed that it stopped diving and was keeping a distance away from the spot. This was because a carp had moved in and 3 little beeps of the alarm and I was on the rod playing a fish.

For the first time in a while, it was nice to play a fish in day light as most of the bites of late have been in the hours of darkness, so I was able to see the line in the water and the direction it was heading supposed to feeling the direction. It headed for the reed bed but the distance it had to cover to achieve this I had full control and steered it away into open water. The fish was now in front of me trying its best to get under the other rod that was going out into open water. As I do not use back leads unless I really have to, this can cause problems with landing fish when you have a small swim area, but this not being the case it was landed safely (apologies for not having a long-drawn-out battle to entice the reader).

With the fish in the landing net, I prepare everything on the bank, Scales, camera etc then bought the fish up into the cradle. Its was a lovely 18lb common.

With the weighing and photo’s done I set it back to its home. Unfortunately for the rest of the session it stayed quiet, but I am not complaining as this is winter and I am fishing for bites.

Happy Fishmas to all our readers and I hope your lines stay tight for next year.

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