Categories
Bailey Payne Coarse River

River Chelmer – A Successful evening Roaching

Today’s session is a quick after work trip down to the River Chelmer. Hoping to target some of the lovely Roach which reside in this stretch of River. I have personally caught them up to 2lbs, and heard of some 3’s.

The approach for my River Roach fishing is to keep things as simple as possible. For bait…Bread, blitzed bread to feed, breadflake on the hook.

In terms of tackle, a nice light quiver rod, in this case the 8ft Specalist Quiver, it has a lovely and soft 1oz tip, perfect for detecting the delicate bites from these Roach, Light line, 6lb in this case, down to a free running plastic cage feeder with less holes, its a deep river so I want my feed closer to the bottom. Then a quick change bead into a long (16inch) hook length with a size 16 hook.

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A city fishing scene

The session started quick, with rip round bites coming, but I could never connect to any of the bites, became frustrating, however knowing there were some fish feeding filled me with confidence that I would catch.

I plugged away, and made sure I kept holding the rod to react to the quick bites, and it paid off, hitting into the first Roach of the day, proving to be a nice one! The next few bites came quickly and the next two fish were also tidy Roach.

Sadly after the great triple start, the fish did soon slow down. And did get a bit smaller. However for a quick session after work for an hour. I was very happy with the fish I had caught. A few good size Roach, and for a first river roach session of the season, it made it even better, surely it can only get better!

Hope you guys enjoyed this quick after work blog! If you did, check out the video on it! Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel to see the videos sooner!

Categories
Bailey Payne River

Roach Fishing a Tiny River

Well today’s blog is a quick after work session down a local bit of river on a lovely sunny evening. I was fishing with bread/worm in hope for a few good Roach and maybe the odd surprise. I have learnt this bit of river holds some great roach for the size of river, but also some good dace and chub, and catching any of them would be a great bonus.

The first swim was a bit more of an open part of the River, with a nice reed bed in, casting just to the side of this towards a tree too, I was hoping for some quick action, and the action did come quickly! With the first bite and fish of the day being a lovely Rudd!

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Wasn’t complaining at all with this lovely fish, I thought I would have a few more chucks here, missing a few bites, but connecting to two good fish!

Two cracking roach from a tiny river! You won’t see many complain with this stamp of Roach!

Moving onto the next swim, a lovely over hanging tree swim, I was confident again of a few fish living here!

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And again, fish where straight on the bread flake, with another few nice Roach coming from this swim!

This little river is really getting a warm place in my heart for being reliable in throwing up some fish, and those of a good stamp too!

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The last swim fished is a lovely long overhanging tree going into the river, so have to be careful while casting here, although this is a swim I have even seen goldfish swimming around! So catching one of them would be great!

The bites continued into this swim with another 2 fish from here! The first being again…another lovely Roach!

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What quality fish from this little river!

The next bite took a tad longer, however on landing, I quickly noticed is was one of the resident good Dace which live in this stretch of the river!

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And that sadly was the end of my session, and what a little evening session it was. To go to a river after work for barely 2 hours, and catch these fish, I was chuffed!

Hope you guys enjoyed! Here is my video from this session to so you can see the action in real time! Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube!

Tight Lines all!

Categories
Bailey Payne Lure River

Dropshot for Perch: Creature Lures & Worms!

Something different from me today, I go to try and get the grasps of lure/dropshot fishing for Perch. I have previously tried, and failed, although so far only have 2 lure caught fish to my name, a Pike and a Trout. So I’m not the most confident when it comes to lure fishing and the Perch has evaded me so far.

I was hoping to christen my Rigged & Ready Fish Rig 180 a super light rod ideal for Dropshot and lure fishing for Perch. This time, my dad decided to come along and give Dropshot for a few perch a go too. We headed down to the River Chelmer, a river with an abundance of Perch, or we were hoping for anyway! We focused on fishing structures where we thought likely for the Perch to be, bridges etc etc.

I started the day using a FFS INBE Creature Lure in Get Bit colour, really hoping I would get my first Lure Caught perch! The lure is only small, so it gave me a lot of confidence the little wasps would go for it. At the first bridge, the water was crystal clear and we could see a lot of Perch darting around, although a lot where close in just staring at where the wall met the water, possibly after larvae?

The first cast saw instant attraction, with a group of Perch following the lure through the water as I jigged it. However none of them seemed to keen? Maybe I had to tweak retrieve to spark interest? (If anyone can comment or message me tips It would be greatly appreciated as I am still learning this technique!) I went for quick bursts which seemed to really get the perch chasing the lure, a quick burst, then stop, drag, quick and repeat…BANG! First Perch had grabbed the lure! And was quickly lifted in!

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My first lure caught Perch!

I was chuffed to get my first lure caught Perch! A lovely little wasp! This bridge struggled to provide much else for us, so we wandered down to the next, where again it wasn’t long before I managed to get another on the same Lure!

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I started to struggle to keep enticing these Perch to take, so swapped over to using worms on the dropshot for the rest of the day, which certinaily gave me more fish, clearly it was a worm day, however the Perch still seemd pre-occupied (Any thoughts maybe?).

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A lovely little wasp by the Rigged & Ready Fish Rig 180.

The Perch were coming quite quickly for us through most of the day, and we caught a lot of the smaller wasps just on sight fishing, which is great fun watching the Perch suck in the worm and lure! My dad managed a few Perch too, and even a little Pike which put up a good fight!

The best Perch of the day came as the water started to colour up, preharps the more coloured water on the upper chelmer starting to come through, or just the sheer amount of boats that had been going past us?

The best Perch came from the middle of the River under a bridge, and was on the retrieve, still on Dropshot and Worm. And put up a great scrap!

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The best Perch of the day!

On our wanders up and down this lovely bit of River, we did also stumble across a rather large grass snake, which I couldn’t leave out of my blog!

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Grass Snake

All in all, a good day, and really helped me build confidence on the Dropshot, hope to go out on the jig and catch a few more soon! Really got the bug of this type of fishing! I’ve always loved a Perch too!

Until next time, Tight Lines All…

Rigged & Ready Fish Rig 180: (If you interested in getting anything from Rigged & Ready use the following code for 10% off! ESSEX A+R&R)

FFS Lures INBE:

https://www.ffslures.com/product-page/inbe

I highly suggest checking both of these out! Tom @ FFS Lures is a great help and will take the time to answer questions and help you find what you need to get you catching!

Categories
Bailey Payne Coarse

Sunshine Tench

Well, we have finally had weather with some resemblance of Summer! It’s been a long time coming and from cold it’s seemed to have gone straight to hot! And clearly the fish have noticed this change to, with mass spawning taking place.

I headed back to Parsonage Farm Fishery, in hopes for maybe a few Tench. Same method as usual, a little hybrid feeder on my trusty quiver and Tincaberry groundbait, a good mix, and hopefully with the heat the Tench would fancy some berry flavoured goods!

Within 30 minutes of baiting up and fishing, the tip had smashed round, and a very un climaxing fight began, with the Tench almost giving up with barely any fight. However great to get off the mark!

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A Lovely Tench!

This beauty weighed in at around 3lb. With sadly a bit of damage to its upper lip, it was swiftly returned.

Unfortunately, the next few hours just provided constant line bites, never developing into anything. It’s always frustrating to see the rod tip moving so much but to no avail.

I opted for a change of tactic, others on the lake seemed to be catching well on float. So I quickly put the only float I had on! And hoped for some more Tench.

Using just corn on the hook, and casting just past the first ledge a few metres out. Similar to where other Tench where being caught, I was hopeful. Although I saw what seemed to be millions of Rudd buzzing around in my swim!

Providing a challenge to get past them, however catching these beautiful small fish really made time go by quickly, and it’s not long before you lose count!

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I possibly forgot about Tench fishing while catching these scale perfect little fish one a chuck, and really just forgot about taking photos. Sometimes it can be such a joy just to constantly catch like this. no matter the size of the fish. Especially sitting in the sun, catching one a chuck proved to be a great way to spend a day.

Before I knew it, my alarm went off and it was time to head home!

Tight Lines all…

Categories
Bailey Payne Coarse

Essex Tenching

Back to BDAC’s Parsonage Farm Fishery, a lovely lake, with no carp, and a lot of Tench stocked, other species such as Perch, Roach, Bream and I’ve heard good size Crucians are also resident to this venue. However I am mainly targetting for Tench.

My first session resulted in landing one, and losing one, along with a small Roach. So I was eager to improve on this. This time, although still cold and not ideal, at least it wasn’t raining! The brolly happily stayed down for…most…of the session. I opted for the same approach as last time, fishing my light quiver tip with a hybrid feeder with a Tincaberry groundbait/micro mix with either a berry boille or grain of sweet corn on the hook. I did decide to feed slightly more aggressively and hand fed the area I was casting too just past the reeds.

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I also had a Berry glug I poured over the feeder for some extra scent!

First cast provided a quick bite, although it was no Tench, as the tip quickly jolted, the Tench usually drag the rod in. This eager fish happened to be a decent Roach, and this venue is really proving to have some chunky size silvers.

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I quickly re-baited and went in again, and it wasn’t long this time before the rod was being dragged in! The fish charged to the reed bed I was fishing by, as did every fish I hooked here, proving a challenge to keep the fish under control. I managed to steer this fish clear, and slowly waited and tired the Tench in the open, free of any snags. The net was swiftly under the Fish, and time for photos.

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A Lovely Tench of just shy of 3lb

This was a great Fish to start with. Sadly, after this quick two bites and fish, the swim went quiet. And hours went by with only a few touches on the tip, but never developing. I had been feeding quite reserved, with only my initial few balls and then what was in the feeder. I still saw a few Tench coming out, and was getting notifications fish were in the area. I decided to try and up the feeding after this hour or so of quietness. And it wasn’t long before it paid off with another wrap round of the tip.

The perk of using a 1oz tip with these Tench, is they are so much more of a joy to play, however I do feel I should probably go to a 1.5oz tip, just to have a bit more beef while playing them away from the reeds, however the 1oz tip has done me well. This fish yet again, was persuaded away from the snags, and had a lot more energy than the last. When the fish got close, it looked a good Tench. And upon weighing, it was infact a new personal best!

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5lb Tench, kindly photographed by a nearby angler

5lb Tench! Not a monster by any stretch of the imagination, however a PB of any size, is a good fish for anyone. So I was chuffed with this! The fish was soon slide back into the Lake.

And on a new high with a new PB, and doubling the amount of Tench I caught last time. I was eager to get back in! And again a cast, another ball or two hand fed over, and the tip wrapped round again! This fish got me while I was hand feeding, so a slower reaction to strike, however I connected quickly to the fish, although it seemed to little to late as the Tench made it’s way to the reeds, and dislodged the hook leaving it in the snag. This is the risk of fishing towards a snag, however the previous Fish shows the benefit.

I quickly re-rigged, and recast, and after another 30 minutes, the tip went round again, however, I was not going to make the same mistake, and brought the fish away from the reeds before the powerful Tench got a sniff of the snag.

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Another fine Tench

Another lovely Tench landed, and with this fish, the heavens decided to open a bit. I was satisfied with my session, and was happy to leave it and head home while still fairly dry and warm!

Tight Lines all…

My Rod:

https://www.tacklebox.co.uk/rods-en/specialist/specialist-rods/tackle-box-darent-valley-8ft-specialist-quiver-rod.html

Categories
Guest

Catching At Frant Lakes And Feeling More Like An Angler.

Frant Lakes is a beautiful fishery on the border of Kent and East Sussex. It has eight lakes-two of which are the speci lakes (lakes 7 and 8). It will always have a special place in my heart as it is the first fishing venue my other half took me to.

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My last two trips there have resulted in seven fish being caught. We have only ever been out on speci lake 7 where it has a nice couple of features you can fish to-there are snags and lilly pads out in the middle and over to the far right a small island.

I booked a 48hr session over there in April and I was determined to rely on myself to find the fish rather than just cast out to the edge of the snags and hope for the best. Got myself all set up-2 Sonik Vader RS rods, my brand new Sonik SKX bite alarms (a big improvement on my first alarms, Saber) and my Leeda pod. Unfortunately the weather was all over the shop and relatively cold and the fish were not showing. No splashes, hardly any fizzing on the water-nothing.

About 5 hours later we had the lake to ourselves after the other anglers left. An hour after that I saw a fish, splashing away over to my right in the next swim. I thought right you, you’re mine! I reeled in my right hand rod, stuck a fresh 12mm Mainline banoffe pop up on my hair rig and made up a PVA bag using my Crafty Catcher 15mm chocolate and nut boilies and casted out to the swim on my right (having the lake to yourself has some advantages I guess!). Then I sat back and waited. 40 minutes later my bite alarm on the right screamed off and I was on! He took a while to bring in as he decided to take me into the snags but I got him and landed him all by myself. Beautiful common weighing in about 14lb if I remember rightly. That day I felt a bit more like an angler.

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Categories
David Porter Sea

Bass Fishing From The Shore In North Suffolk (part two)

The weather has been extremely frustrating with frontal systems sweeping in that seem to produce air temperatures more applicable to early Spring than mid May. Normally by this time we would expect that the summer visitors, such as the bass and smoothhound are well settled in our coastal waters. The signs are good with the fish showing in some areas, but they do not appear to be widespread on the East Coast at the time of writing.

I decided to chance my arm at one of my local marks for a crack at an early bass. It was to be an extremely speculative session lasting all of fifty minutes or so of actual fishing time. I had allowed myself forty minutes of travelling time, which was a bit optimistic with the Lowestoft Town Bridge a notorious traffic bottleneck to negotiate, but I managed it. The chosen venue was the Lowestoft South Beach, which is a shallow sandy beach bordered by a concrete promenade that stretches into the distance towards Pakefield. There is ample parking along the main road route. I would be fishing two hours from high water.

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Lowestoft South Beach as it stretches South towards Pakefield.

The weather during that early morning session broke the mould as it was windless and warm as the Sun’s rays broke through a thin veil of cloud. The previous day had been cold with gusty winds blowing from the North turning the sea into a churning vindictive maelstrom.

The tackle requirements were simple and I could travel a light, with a rod and all of my other tackle and equipment contained within a bag hung from my shoulder.

I chose to use my Anyfish Anywhere 12 foot lure and bait rod which will cast up to 90 grams and my small Akios 555SCM multiplier loaded with ten pounds monofilament line and a twenty pound casting leader. For a rig I used a single hook running paternoster with a two ounce Breakaway Flattie pattern lead and at the business end I tied a size 1 Mustad offset Aberdeen match hook. Bait was lively ragworm purchased three days earlier at the Gorleston Tackle Centre.

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The moment had arrived for my first cast to catch a bass in 2021, and I lobbed the bait out thirty metres into the flat calm sea. The fish are often in the calmer water behind the rollers or they congregate in the vicinity of a feature, such as a gulley, depression in the sand, a patch of stones or a breakwater; all of which hold food. This being the case it is good practice to observe the beach at low water regularly, but be aware that storms can alter the topography of the fishing mark. When I fish using a light hand held rod I stand parallel to the surf line so that the line is at ninety degrees to my rodtip.

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My stance with the rod parallel to the surf line. This photograph was taken on a much colder day in more like early Spring conditions with an onshore wind.

I did not have to wait long for my first take as the tip of the rod violently wrapped around, similar to the take of carp in a commercial fishery. A sharp strike and I was into my first bass of the year. It swirled on top of the water and made for the sanctuary of a nearby breakwater. After a delightful couple of minutes of furious swimming and thrashing on the surface I guided the fish onto the shore. It was small and plump, but measuring in at 40cm it was a very satisfactory result. A good point to make here is that this fish taken on a standard surfcasting rod would not have provided such enjoyment, as the fish would have been overpowered and not allowed to show it’s true mettle. Twenty minutes later I landed a second bass of a similar size and this fish was trapped because of its own curiosity. I always try to overcast when fishing light and gradually retrieve the end tackle by recovering a small amount of line every so often, and this is done not so much as to give movement to the bait, but to disturb the bottom raising a column of suspended sand near my bait. The idea is that the curious fish will investigate the disturbance. This tactic dictates my choice of the Breakaway Flattie lead as it is designed to achieve this effect.

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A great looking bass in perfect condition.

After landing the second fish it was time to pack up, but it was a case of mission accomplished so I was quite pleased how things had worked out. The fish were in residence and I had caught a couple which had been returned to the sea, so roll on the next session.

The next session turned out to be four days later and again it was to be a short session of about two hours actual fishing time at the South Beach. This time the conditions were totally different and the weather had reverted back to its changeable pattern, and the wind was fresh and blowing from the South East. The sky was grey and overcast and that was no visible sign of the Sun’s warming rays. The sea state was choppy and surf was rolling in, hopefully providing perfect conditions for a bass hunt. I was fishing the middle part of the flooding tide. The tactics were exactly the same as during the previous session, but this time I choose to use a two hook paternoster with shorter snoods because I expected fish to feed freely in the prevailing conditions. I was quickly into fish taking one of 35cm the first cast on a cast of about twenty five metres. A short while later I hooked and landed a slightly larger fish of 40cm.

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I started to get a number of bites which were distinctly different to the violent wrap around takes of the bass and these comprised of the lifting and settling of the lead usually following the retrieval of a small amount of line when displacing the lead. I ignored a couple of the bites expecting a bass to grab and swim quickly off with the bait, but nothing happened. I finally struck at one of the bites as the line slackened and was instantly into a fish which was not so dramatic nor vigorous in its attempts to escape.

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The answer to the puzzle was a plump flounder in superb condition and this first one was followed by two more, with all of them falling to the slowly retrieved bait technique.

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A fine conditioned flounder that has spawned in deep water during the early Spring and is now packing on weight before returning to the East Coast estuaries.

I was very pleased to see a flounder or two as I rarely catch them during my sessions on the open beach targeting the larger species. I have had good bags of flounders from this beach before during the late Spring and early Summer period but not recently.

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I look extremely well wrapped up against the wind and for good reason as the fresh onshore breeze was chilling. Still with the fish feeding well the uncomfortable conditions were not such a problem.

I topped the session off with a fine plump bass that measured 49cm and probably weighing somewhere in the region of three pounds. The bass hit the bait hard and went ballistic when hooked, by first swimming quickly through the water one way and then running in the opposite direction as I played it and applied pressure. The rod took on a dramatic bend as the fish tried to escape taking a bit of line against the drag. Gliding it in with a wave was an exciting moment, as it thrashed about on top of the water before finally submitting to pressure. I carefully lifted the fish by hand and held it while admiring its beautiful silver profile…what a great looking fish! After a quick photograph the fish was carefully returned to the water, and after a few seconds of recovery it flicked its substantial tail and headed back out to sea. All the fish I caught were carefully returned to the sea.

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The best of four bass caught from the Lowestoft South Beach.

I finished the session with the smallest bass of the day, and my two hours of angling bliss had ended, as it was time to head for home as promised. This light tackle fishing for bass is addictive and most coarse anglers who fish for tench and carp will have appropriate rods and reels amongst their kit, so it’s a great opportunity to try something different. For me, it won’t be too long before the sound and smell of the sea and the dreams of the silver bass tempt me to fish again; perhaps tomorrow?

Next week my fellow blogger Alan Stevens, will entertain you with his recent sea angling adventures from the shore in South Suffolk, and it is sure to be a great read.

Categories
Bailey Payne Coarse

Small Pond = Big Fun

With the amount of rain we have had lashing down, it really does put you off Fishing, certainly put me off driving a fairly long way to try and catch some Tench, instead, I stayed at home, warm and dry, and when there was a break in the conditions had the short stroll to my little local pond which has been providing me plenty of fun and bites recently with the numbers of Fish in it, and definetly some true surprises.

My approach for fishing a small pond like this would normally be a light float setup, then fishing over micros with soft expanders or corn on the hook. However, I just used what I was going to go Tench Fishing with, which was a hybrid feeder, with a sweet berry groundbait mixed with micros and corn on the hook. Sure on a small pond, a few fish would fall to this sweet mix.

In the past from this pond, I have had hybrids, Carp to around 5-6lb, and seen even bigger at, a few doubles which is a shock! But these small ponds do throw odd shocks. They do have some crucian/goldfish hybrids too, which are always lovely fish to catch. And I’m sure there is other species in here I have no clue about.

My plan was only to spend an hour, maybe less here just between the rain as a way to get out and catch a few Fish. If I got one, I was happy, I setup, and had a short underarm chuck, and straight away a few fish where there with indications on my feeder straight away. Always a great sign!

From then, the tip went round in my first bite of the day, and I connected to the Fish! A small, perfect condition common carp.

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The one thing I so often find with these little ponds, is the the fish are always in such beautiful condition, no damage on them at all, and they have the tendancy to be a bit scrapier than your usual little Carp too! Which really adds to it, especially on a light rod, these little Fish will try and dart into the reeds and snags and really make a go of it. Afterall, a lot of us grew up fishing these little ponds, catching fish like this, and it’s always fun to roll back the years and do it again. Especially if you do have venues like this on your doorstep.

Back to the action, well, it got a bit quiet, clearly the disruption from this guy had caused a few others to back off maybe, and it was a quiet 10-15 minute wait. And then the tip went round again, for another little energetic Carp. And again, another 15 minutes or so, I managed another one.

So, for under an hour, 3 little Carp, I was quite happy, and satisified the fishing bug for the day! And for a day where I was just on a quick run out, I can’t complain. However, next week, onto a change and hunting some more Tench!

Tight Lines…

Categories
Joe Chappell Carp

Back in The Game – Park Lake Carping

It’s safe to say that this year, I’ve been out of the carping game. Over the winter I dedicated my time to some pike and river fishing. Once the weather warmed up, I was overloaded with revision for my A levels and only managed to hit the bank once for a quick overnighter at my local park lake. That session resulted in 3 lovely looking fish, two of which were caught in the last hour out of the 26 hours that I was fishing. Last weekend, I finally managed to catch up with my friend Jack and catch a few carp.

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One of the fish I caught last month on my overnight session.

The previous night, I had made up some spod mix. It consisted of crushed up God’s Gift economy boilies, whole 11mm regular Baylys Baits God’s Gift boilies, breadcrumb, pellet, and some leftover white rice from dinner. I gave it all a good soaking of Secret Sauce Glug+ to add even more attraction, it’s not only a glug but also a liquid food & Lysine Amino Acid. When adding many boilies to my mixes or crushing them up, the economy boilies are fantastic. They’re affordably priced but still offer lots of attraction. I think that by using them in conjunction with the regular boilies, it can make the regular boilies which I will use on the hook stand out more too. I also made up a stick mix and a few pva bags which consisted of crushed up God’s Gift boilies, pellets, and Glug+.

With my bait and rigs prepared, I was up early and at the lake by 7. Jack had arrived before and picked out a likely looking swim. To our left was a large fallen tree, out in front of us was the island and to our right was a large overhanging weeping willow. Jack had picked the right hand side of the swim which left me with the left hand side which I actually prefer.

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My side of the swim. (An old photo from last winter, don’t have a recent one)

I started by throwing a few handfuls of my spod mix about 15 ft out next to the fallen tree. I then prepared my rods. I decided to fish a Ronnie rig with a yellow God’s Gift boilie on my margin spot, and a simple snowman rig with a God’s gift Boilie and 11mm Secret Sauce pop-up towards the island. I fished just a few feet off the island and used one of the pva mesh bags that I had prepared the previous night. Around the island, the bottom is quite firm, so I opted to use a 3oz lead to help drive the hook home.

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The Ronnie Rig

It took about an hour for the first bite to come. It came from my rod over the baited spot to my left but was rather twitchy, probably because I was fishing slack lines. The fish took me on a short run before shaking the hook, never to be seen again. Although slightly disheartened, I looked at the positives. My rig, bait, and spot were working and the fish were obviously hungry for me to get such a quick bite over quite a bit of bait. I re-cast and threw another couple of handfuls of bait over my spot in the hopes of getting the fish feeding. I’d also brought with me my new spod rod which I was eager to try. After getting the first bite, I decided to spod some bait towards the Island. It didn’t quite go to plan and using the stiffer rod was harder than expected. I think some practice is needed.

While waiting for a bite, Jack and I baited a couple of marginal spots in the swims next to us in case a stalking opportunity arose. We soon noticed lots of swirls coming up along the bank under the willow tree. Armed with sweetcorn, Jack lowered his improvised float setup into place. After a little while, he received a bite from a bream. The bream was covered in spawning tubercles and was oozing milt. We thought that although we had caught a bream, there may be carp feeding on the eggs, so we persevered. Suddenly, a huge sheet of bubbles came up and the massive disturbance patterns came up. We suspected that it was one of the dozen or so catfish in the lake. Jack decided to reel in one of his rods and switch it over to a catfish rig. I’ve never really catfished properly however Jack is quite a competent catfish angler. Unfortunately, nothing came of Jack’s efforts and the fish weren’t playing ball.

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The willow which the bream were spawning under. (Once again an old photo)

I was receiving frequent line bites on my rod to the island and suspected that the fish might be feeding on the bait which I’d spodded just short of my rod. After receiving no indication on my rod in the margin, I decided to move it to just off the island where a few of the spombs landed. I also decided to change the rig on my rod towards the island. I changed to a Ronnie claw rig and used a pink Secret Sauce pop-up as a hook bait.

At around 2 o’clock, I received an absolute screaming take. It was fish on! After a great battle, I had the first fish of the day in the net. It was a beautiful mirror and weighed in at 14 lbs 8 oz. The fish looked familiar and after examining some photos, I realised that it was a fish I’d already caught the previous year. Last year it weighed 12lb 12oz so I was pleased with the increase in weight. I slipped the fish back, and got the rod straight back on the spot.

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14lb 8oz

The fishing around the lake was starting to pick up, Louie who was fishing a couple of swims down managed to catch a nice looking mirror and a couple of other fish were being caught around the lake.

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A beauty caught by Louie

Before long, I was into another fish on my rod towards the Island. It was a very shy drop back bite and at first, I thought that the fish had escaped me. Fortunately, it hadn’t and before long, I had my third fish of the day on the bank. It was a chunky common which we estimated as around 8lb.

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My second fish of the day

Jack was starting to lose confidence in his bait so I offered him some God’s Gift to try. He cast his rig perfectly under the overhanging tree on the island. A fish showed over his spot and a bite was inevitable. Finally, he received the bite he was after. It wasn’t quite the size he was after but it was better than a blank. The action continued all around the lake, Louie who was a couple swims down from us had a bite not long after slipping Jack’s fish back and his rod was almost pulled in.

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The Smallest of the day for Jack

By about 5, the bites were slowing down. I’d lost one which I think must have been foul hooked because I brought back a scale on my hook. Eventually I received another bite and managed to catch my third fish of the day. It was another common, this time slightly bigger than the previous one and around 12lb.

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My final fish of the session

Jack’s dad arrived at around 6 and brought with him some catfish gear. The conditions were apparently perfect for catfish. Unfortunately, the last couple of hours were quiet. All in all it was a good day’s fishing in good company. I’d recommend getting yourself some Bayly’s Baits, the proofs in the pudding. All the fish were caught using Bayly’s Baits.

Click Below to head over to the Baylys Baits Website. Enter code BB10 at checkout to get 10% off your first order.

cropped Baylys Baits Carp 2

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LRF – Flounder On A Bladed Jighead

Flounder just epitomise LRF (Light Rock Fishing) to me… Quirky looking, surprisingly aggressive and fight so well on light tackle. Knowing that they start to come back from spawning in May, could I catch an early one? A trip to Cornwall was on the cards…

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One of the most entertaining LRF target species.

Flounder return from their spawning grounds in deeper water, hungry and aggressive. They have successfully served their purpose for another year and spend the rest of spring and summer building back up their fat reserves. Although they aren’t traditionally targeted by most anglers in these months, for me, this is the best time to find them. These fish are lean and fit, ready to take on any prey they can get their jaws around!

”These jigheads scream flounder, bass and gurnard to me, so I was excited to try them out”

Recently, I had badgered Jon Owens (Jonny Lerfer on Facebook and Instagram) to order the Magbite Blading Jigheads in, and of course he came up with the goods. These jigheads scream flounder, bass and gurnard to me, so I was excited to try them out. They have a thick, strong hook, with a small blade underneath coming from an extended lead head. Flatfish love bling and these seemed perfect. I couldn’t wait to give them a dipping.

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The Magbite Bladed Jighead

Keitech make exceptional soft plastic lures. I have tried and caught on most but there was one I had eyes on that day. The Mini Wag is a perfect worm imitation, especially in natural pink. Scented with squid like most Keitech lures, it has a mad wriggling tail. Unlike your average curl tail it wiggles from the middle of the tail, not the end, so it’s really unusual. Combined with the Bladed Jighead, I had a combo with great potential, but could I find the fish?

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The Keitech MIni Wag

The tide was pushing in around the harbour and with it, hopefully some predators. I often find flounder will hug the structure, skirting the base of the harbour walls hunting for any fleeing prawns, fish and worms in the onrushing tide.

In classic Cornish fashion, myself and Jon were sharing the quay with tourists from across the UK. There were a variety of accents, ordering drinks and enjoying chips and pasties. Cornwall has a love hate relationship with the tourists that make their way to the county every year – they cause chaos but the money is vital for the locals. As angling tourists though, me and Jon were more interested in the life below the waterline rather than expanding our waistlines.

”a vortex of swirling food, an ideal ambush spot for a bass or flounder”

I flicked the lure out, letting it drop so I could work it along the base of the wall, jigging up and then stopping regularly. The tide was pushing over the slipway, created a vortex of swirling food, an ideal ambush spot for a bass or flounder I thought.

The technique is super simple.. Let the lure hit the bottom and leave it for a few seconds. Once the slack is tightened, I then flick the rod tip gently to lift the lure and spark it into action. A couple of turns of the reel bring lure closer, covering the ground, after that I let it sink back down and stop again. For any bottom dwelling species, this is the ultimate lure technique – stop go, stop go, stop go. It keeps the lure in the strike zone.

”There were no bass like headshakes, only the resistance of an angry flatfish!”

After lots of casts working my way around the harbour, about half way in the rod bent round into substantial weight. The fish had taken the lure on the drop and as I tightened the slack I set the hook. This felt good! There were no bass like headshakes, only the resistance of an angry flatfish!

Spring flounder are far more aggressive and active than in winter, they hit lures with ferocity and fight hard. This fish was no different. It went on a number of drag ripping runs, giving it hell to avoid being netted. The hookhold was strong though in the flatfish’s bony jaws. With a now captivated audience of tourists it was in the net. My first decent lure caught flounder of the year.

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The prize!

We moved out of the way of the now gathering holiday makers, onto some steps to get photos. Other than scorpion fish and gurnard, flounder are my favourite muse. If you get the angle right – photographed from their bottom jaw up – you can really capture their moody nature. Photograph them from the other side and they look a little dorky – these are quirky fish after all!

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Moody looking creatures don’t you agree?

After admiring the fish’s mottled markings, burgundy spots and bony head, I held the flounder in the water. The fish caught it’s breath and kicked away powerfully. The tactic had worked first time and this was the earliest in Spring I had caught a flounder. Everything bodes well for a great season to come.

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See what I mean about looking dorky from this angle?

Thanks for reading. You can find the jigheads and similar items on Jonny’s website –
https://japanjonnylerfer.bigcartel.com/product/blading-skirted-jigheads
The Keitech Mini Wag can be bought here –

https://www.chesilbaitntackle.co.uk/keitech-mad-wag-mini-25-31397-p.asp

The set up
ROD – Majorcraft N-One NSL-S662H/AJI 0.8-12g
REEL – Shimano Stradic 1000
MAINLINE – Majorcraft Dangan Braid 8lb
LEADER – Majorcraft Fluoro leader 4lb
Find more articles like this on my blog – www.benbassettfishing.home.blog