David Williams

Tony's lake in France is where I headed in early April this fine year. 422 miles from Calais it's a fair ole journey tbh but there we go. I met up with mates who run other fisheries in France and we walked the lake. At about 10 acres with three on we were happy and it was V in shape the tip of the V being the shallows and the tip of the two joined as a dam wall. I opted to fish the shallows or peg 3 the other 2 in pegs 1 and 2. Rods out My home set up and BEEEEEEP I was in. A lovely 22lb 8oz mirror was in the net -no French blank for me. The night was quiet apart from the owls and grunting wild boar. Luv it. Day2 and 3 were quiet for me but I was enjoying the sunshine and wine. Into day 3 - BOOM 30lb 8ozmirror quickly followed by a 22lb 10oz mirror and a smashing 37lb 14oz mirror. They'd moved up my with the fresh wind and the sunshine it was all falling into plan nicely. The bed of mixed monster particles and boilies that I topped up ever 3 to 4 hours had certainly worked. Part 1
Watching the boxing hates in the fields yonder and the deer feeding makes these trips all worth while. Not forgetting the marsh harrier, buzzards, and red kites to name a few of the birds I saw I was in heaven. We booked the food package as well which was excellent. The monster particles were kept fresh in the various fridges and freezers Tony let us use and the showers kept us refreshed- it was far from hot but very nice. One morning we even had a good frost but by 11 am it was t-shirt and shorts weather. Entering the final day and BOOM 3 commons graced my net. All from the baited spot or just off it fished with the method feeder again I mix monster particles in with the ground bait and pellets as it worked wonders for me over the years. The 3 commons went 22lb - a one-eyed fish, 24lb 10oz, and 28lb 10oz buzzing. Still, time for a lump also as we entered the final night. Alas 6am turned up and time to pack up. One hook pull in the night awoke me at silly o'clock but I was fazed as I was well happy with my captures. Tony runs a lovely fishery. 10 ish acres. 7 pegs. 6 anglers max and around £200 each with food package extra. Till next time chow Stax.

Adrian Chowns - Chad Lakes

Adrian Chowns - Chad Lakes

Last weekend was unusual for the time of year... 16° in most parts of the Country...its February !!

I opted to fish a shallow lake in Stow on the Wold known as Chad Lakes. I'd never fished the venue before but I knew from my research that the maximum depths were about 6ft, which was ideal for these conditions. The water temperature was likely to be on the rise quicker than a bigger, deeper lake which would mean one thing. feeding Carp !!

I arrived at the venue around 4 pm and after a quick chat with the owner I loaded up my gear and dipped my nets (compulsory at Chad Lakes!!) There was one other angler on who hadn't caught as yet so I had a walk round to see if I could locate any fish.

This is THE most important thing about Carp fishing..location, location, location. I opted to fish swim 3 directly in front of the channel between two islands which gave me a few options. There were a couple of obvious 'points' against the islands or the channel in between where I'm sure fish would patrol. I was running short of time so I had a few gentle casts (important to be stealthy on shallow lakes) with a marker lead to get an idea of the makeup of the lake bed and depth. The channel was an even silty bottom with some obvious signs of leaf matter which was visible on the marker lead when I reeled in. My plan was to put a light scattering of the Monster Tier 1 mix over this area with a few boilies to hopefully get the fish grubbing about.


There was also a harder, clearer spot to the left-hand point of the island which I thought the fish would probably patrol and feed over. I decided to use a PVA bag approach here. The light was fading quite quickly by this point so with this in mind I quickly set up my first rod with a naked chod with a size 8 hook and a 12mm Mainline Milky Toffee pop up soaked in squid goo and cast it out into the channel between the islands. I put 5 spods of the Tier 1 mix over the top and scattered about 20 banoffee boilies in the area.

The beauty of the Chod is its a cast (pretty much) anywhere rig. The second rod was set up with a running in line lead and a short soft braided hook length of around 3inches tied to a size 8 hook with a cut-down banoffee boilie and essential cell pop up set up snowman style. I placed the rig and lead in a PVA bag filled with pellets and some crushed up boilies and cast it to this second spot tight to the island.

Around 9.30pm the right-hand rod fished in the channel over the Tier 1 rattled off but as soon as I lifted into the fish and felt it kick the hook pulled.. gutted !! Not put off I topped the area up with a couple of spods of Tier 1 and placed a new pop up on the chod rig and recast it into the channel.

Nothing else happened for the next day despite regularly topping up the channel with a couple of spods of Monster Tier 1 on a little and often basis it just gives that extra colour on the bottom.

On the Sunday morning after a succession of recasts it was my left-hand rod that eventually rattled off and after a short but rugged fight, I slipped the net under a gorgeous 18lb 6oz Mirror in her full winter colours.



The key thing I learned from this session was that this time of year you need to have the confidence in your fishing and to persevere with what you are doing and if you use a quality bait like Monster you will reap the rewards.

Lee and Will's Adventure (Fisherwick)

Lee and Will's Adventure (Fisherwick)

After nearly 2 weeks of up and down weather me and will manage to get on the bank Wednesday. It was definitely the best day for it pressure was low temperature was up and after hearing a few fish were banked on the weekend we were hopeful.

We arrived at fisherwick lakes mid afternoon wasn't that surprised when there were only a few pegs free. We grabbed 2 pegs near the hut will tucked up in a nice bay sun had been shining in all day, I had just open water but a nice gravel bar in front and I could see carp rolling.

I got the marker out managed to find a spot about 30yards out I flicked out 2 rods close one with a fin force banoffee and maize other was a banoffee wafter both using a simple but effective KD rig with a size 6 Gardner dark mugga hooks.

I had bought monster ghost with me spombed 5 over my spots. I love the ghost mix best it gives off a nice haze as it enters the water and smells the mutts.I flicked a 4ft zig 20 yards to showing fish. Will using the same rigs he dropped one in the middle of the bay using a natures bait berry bite wafter, one tucked up in the tree line tight to some snags with a natures bait alpha pop up and one on a gravel patch 25yrds out with an alpha 18mm bottom bait all with a few spombs of monster ghost over light started to fade I had a drop back and missed it I was gutted as that seemed to be it !.

Finally packed up around 9 no fish this time but the fish are definitely on the move and am sure it's only a matter of time before we bag a few monsters.

Adrian Chowns 2nd Blog

Adrian Chowns 2nd Blog

This weekend was the perfect example of how important it is to find the fish at this time of year.

My session was spent on the Smith's side of Hardwick and Smith's on Linear. I'd heard that a few fish had been coming out on Smith's so decided to head over and give it a try. I set up in one of the swims opposite the cut through. I found some nice clear spots at 40 and 60yds and decided to use a particle approach over the longer area so I put in around 10 spods of Monster Tier 1. I use this mix this time of year because it has a lot of smaller particles which not only helps to draw uish onto the spot but gets them grubbing. To cut a long story short I spent the next blanking.

On the last morning a swim had come free about half way down which had produced a few fish so I quickly picked up my rods and moved.

I stood and watched the water for about 15 minutes and a fish topped out slightly to the left about 3/4 of the way over. I gently cast a rig in the area where the fish had shown. The drop wasn't that positive so I reeled in and tried a little further. This time the lead went down with solid drop so I was confident I was either on gravel or a silty bottom. I cast my other two rods on the same line and those both went down with a 'donk'. I spodded out a few spods of the Monster Tier 1... Traps were set !

After about an hour the middle alarm beeped a couple of times and the bobbin dropped indicating a drop back bite. I lifted into the fish and after a short but valiant fight I slipped the net under a gorgeous high double fully scaled mirror.. get in !

I quickly replaced the banoffee and essential cell snowman and recast to the same area. I topped up with another 4 spods of Tier 1. It didn't take long for the middle rod to register again and I lifted into and landed a nice mid double scaley Mirror. I recast the rod and topped the area up again with a few spods of the Monster Tier 1.

After another couple of hours the left hand rod screamed off this time and I landed a small stocky Mirror.

That was the last fish of my session but it brought it home to me that the most important thing you can do when fishing is finding the fish and give them a quality bait like Monster particles because no matter how good the spots are that you're fishing over if they ain't there then you can't catch them.

Ralph Reddy - Tier1 Temptations

Ralph Reddy - Tier1 Temptations
I, like most people, fish when I can as opposed to choosing when to take time off work when conditions suit. Therefore when the two nights off i had to get on the bank last week coincided with a rise in air temperature, a drop in air pressure and an increase in wind speed i got pretty excited. The constant high pressure that we've experienced for the past few weeks, added to the lake im fishing being quite small, shallow and weedy which tend not to fish as well in the colder months meant that iv struggled to get bites from the bottom most sessions iv been out, having only landed a few fish to zigs over the winter.
This hasn't stopped me trickling my favorite Monster Particle Tier 1 onto a couple of hard spots, meaning when we do get positive changes in the weather there is something for the fish to have a feed on, and keep them returning to my spots to find food. I like the Tier 1 for a couple of reasons, it is made up of 5 different particles, two larger and lighter coloured ones (white peas and maize) which I feel initially draw the fish into feed, and also 3 smaller particles (hemp, red dari and black rapeseed) which keep the fish rooting around looking for those small food items, keeping them in your swim for longer and increasing the chance of them finding your hook bait. 
Arriving at the lake there were no obvious signs of fish, so after watching the water for an hour, I decided to set up in one of the swims id been lightly baiting. It has a hard spot in the open water but also gave me access to a bank with some overhanging trees and a deep margin. After getting set up and having all 3 rods fishing (one to the deep margin to my left, one on the hard spot in open water and one roaming with a zig) it didn't take long before I saw a fish break the surface under the overhanging trees not far from my bait giving me a good feeling of confidence!
I waited for around 30 minutes then saw my indicator smack into my rod blank and the tip hoop round, fish on! Fishing close to the bank and knowing there are some snags in the form of tree roots there, I bullied the fish away from the area then played it more gently in open water, happy to see it slip over the cord of my landing net. My prize was a nice looking common carp, although a little on the small side at 8lb 10oz. A quick weigh and photo and I slipped it into a keepnet reserved for fish under 10lb, which are removed from the lake and put into a commercial water owned by the same company, some good stock management. In fact, only fish over 10lb (10lb being the smallest, they go much bigger than that here) were originally stocked so these small fish are the result of successful breeding in the lake.
Luckily after returning the fish to the water, i had only just set my landing net back up when my alarm on the open water rod registered two beeps and the tip gave a couple of nods, indicating another fish on! Almost immediately the fish was on the surface and I easily lead it into my waiting net, unfortunately, another one of the homegrowns, but a really lovely looking linear weighing just 5lb 4oz. Another quick photo and it joined its friend in the keepnet to be collected later that night. With the rods back on the spots and a bit more bait introduced I settled in just as the wind started to pick up.
A couple more fish showed under the overhanging trees, and one over my open water spot leaving me confident of a bite through the night, but it never materialized so I just had to be happy with a good night sleep instead. I woke fairly early around 6 am to some clear sky and a bit of sunshine and again it wasn't long until the carp were topping under the overhanging trees, there was no quick bite this time, though.
Around 8 am I had a strange take on the open water rod, one beep up, two slow beeps down and one beep up again. I decided to pick up the rod and felt resistance at the other end...for about two seconds then nothing. Checking my rig after reeling in my 10mm popup had gone through the gape of the hook and was resting the other side of the bend giving practically no chance of successfully hooking a fish, nightmare! I repositioned the rod and put a few more spods of Tier 1 on the spot, the fish obviously loving the bait.
A couple more hours at 11 am the same rod registered a drop back, I reeled down and leaned into the fish which hit the surface immediately, throwing the hook in the process. It looked as though it was another small fish, however, i would still like to have had a look at it on the bank (and clear the lake of another small one). 2 pm and this time it was the rod fished to the overhanging trees to go off, again an aggressive take with the indicator flying up at the rod blank and tip bending round in a jagging motion. I picked the rod up to what felt like a much better fish, however, a few deep lunges and some boils on the top of the water and it all went solid, really not my day! The fish had thrown the hook after managing to get round one of the unseen u underwater obstacles.
That was my quota of the action for that afternoon and another quiet night was ahead. Quiet fishing wise anyway as by now Storm Dorris was creaping up on me. I woke just before 6 am again but to a different scene from the day before. The sky was grey and there were heavy rain showers, i could see the clouds ahead moving at a high speed as the winds were blowing them along, Dorris was definitely here! The fish remained active, breaching the surface under the cover of the trees and rolling over my open water spot, regular patches of bubbles hitting the surface. I was hopeful for a bite before packing up but there was no such luck.
I was still bringing back a bit of leaf litter on my rigs, I think next time I'll scale down my hooks and use a 12mm pop-up giving it a bit more buoyancy to sit on top of any matter on the bottom. I'll try slightly longer hooklinks and probably go for a lead clip arrangement as opposed to the inline drop off that I usually use, just in case the lead is sinking down into the debris on the lake bed and dragging the hooklink and bait with it. Im also going to swap the bait screw on my D for a mini ring swivel, hopefully stopping the bait twisting around the hook as it had previously and also the lighten the load on the small pop-ups slightly, again giving it a bit more buoyancy. Hopefully, those changes will put some of those lost fish on the bank next time, hopefully, some of the bigger residents too.

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