Well in a few weeks time I’m going to be taking on my biggest session of my life!”I must be absolutely mad” but eh life is for living and this is my only chance I’ve got to follow my dream before mrs austin or children come along!!!
I have been really busy in the last few weeks with preparing everything for the trip and trust me when me when I say this it’s not cheap!! But very rewarding at the same time.I have literally thought of everything from tooth paste to a boat!!
Don’t get me wrong there has been times when I’ve had cold feet like most people,were only human at the end of the day! And if I didn’t have them feelings I would seriously think there is something wrong with me! I mean let’s put it straight I’m practically homeless for the next 12months! But the closer I am getting to the 8th of March the more I’m buzzing for the adventure ahead, I just can’t help thinking of the potential fish I could have,I love fishing for big Unknown carp on huge pieces of water, there is something about catching a unknown big fish as it’s still virgin and probably never been seen before!
Im getting asked this question a lot recently why are you doing this? Well since a child really,I remember sitting down on the sofa and watching John Wilson fishing adventures and who remembers the little clip before the program started of the man walking around the world,with just a set of rods,well I can honestly say it started there for me I remember always saying to my mom and my dad I’m going to do that one day! But as you can imagine day to day life gets in the way and before I knew it I was 24! And My biggest fear in life is regret,It’s always been a dream of traveling around the world but never did I think for one minute I would be following it threw. I’m still pinching my self everyday and think how lucky I am, with the support I’ve had from people on the social media! friends and family, I’m really humbled by it all.
ive been really spending a lot of time planning and doing my investigation into lakes,rivers,canals and I’ve found some amazing places which I just can’t wait to get my teeth into, Im mainly fishing public waters(free) but there is a few commercial waters what have always intrested me as well, my plans are to travel to France,Spain,Belgium,Holland,italy,Switzerland,Slovenia and Croatia so I’ve got some serious ground to cover! Me being me I have chosen some of the harshest and biggest waters available but on the flip side i have found little pockets of heaven were there is a chance of a big fish! But who knows?
well I’ll be blogging regular while im on my travels and there will be loads of coverage on we’re I am in the world!
until next time
With everyone’s winter campaigns well under way and the mild weather giving a helping hand, success is being had all over the land. Unfortunately I cant say the same about myself, to be honest its been the worst I can remember. A mixture of not getting out as much as I’d hoped due to commitments and just simply blanking, but that’s fishing and we cant win them all!!
So for this blog I’m going to warm us all up, get us excited for those long warm days and tell you about a trip I had late last summer.
With the weather in full boom, every man and his dog were out, day tickets heaving and all having a bash down the syndicate, I sat wondering where to go for a nice quiet session with the chance of a bend in the rod.
I decided to visit the Cotswold’s, my favourite area of the UK, beautiful countryside, more waters than you could shake a stick at and the fish, well they speak for themselves. I chose a small pool where really, it all started for me, so a trip down memory lane it was. I arrived at the lake and it was as if time had stood still since my last visit a few years back. Nothing had changed, the big willows swooped over the pool from the two islands, beautiful lilly-pad beds separated the pegs and the lush green grass cut to perfection like those of a golf course, pure bliss and a pleasure to be back.
The lake was as usual rather quiet with only another 2 on which was perfect giving me virtually the one side of lake to myself. I dropped my gear in the first peg and went for a walk to plan my ambush and see how the others were getting on. On my way round to the others, I didn’t see anything really to go at so I went to chat to the first guy, he told me I was wasting my time, “Go else where” he said, to my surprise. He continued on, saying he had done 3 nights without a single bleep and it was fishing terrible since the spawn. OK I thought, but I wasn’t going to let that deter me and on I went to speak to the next guy. He also told me he was on a blank, this time 2 nights. He said he was a regular and lately it was slow. So I walked back round to where I had dumped my gear and must admit, I was thinking of repacking the car and heading down to another water nearby, that I knew would be rammed but always has a good chance of a bite or two. Not wanting to be put off I stood looking for signs of fish and there it was, the signal I was waiting for. Plenty of fizzing and clouds from the bottom being churned up just on the corner of the island.
Wasting no time one rod was straight on the spot with my trusty, Nash Cultured Key Hookbait, mounted onto a size 6 Fang Twister, blow back rig. I stood back and the feeding continued, my lead hitting the water didn’t bother them one bit. Within 3 or 4 minutes the rod was in meltdown and I was into my first Cotswold carp of the session. It fought well, staying deep, making big surges and with the other anglers peeping over in disbelief, the pressure was on. After giving me the run around, a nice big old warrior of a mirror wallowed into my net. I knew it was a nice one and what I had returned for!!!
The day went on and as the sun got hotter the lake went very quiet with a few plodding around on the surface enjoying the sun with feeding being the last things in their mind. I knew this was the perfect time to get a bit of bait out and get the rods in position for the night ahead. I opted to put 3 kilos of Nash Baits “The Key”, pretty tight to the islands corner where I had success that morning and the other rod was put out into open water towards the dam end, this time baiting with the same amount but a lot more spread in the hope of getting them competing for a multiple hit.
As the sun slowly started to fade, I had the lake to myself and the carp started to give me a right show over the open water spot. One would crash, then another and another!! I knew it was a matter of time and oh how right I was. Within an hour of the first fish showing I was into another hard fighting Cotswold carp. This one was a little smaller but certainly made up for it in looks, a near fully scaled long, lean mirror. I remember looking at it in the net with a huge grin, thinking this is how I remember them, proper old English warriors.
With fish still showing in the open water and the sun near gone I retained the fish to get the rod back on the spot.
Photos of the near fully done, I slowly slipped her back home and as I did the same rod was in meltdown again. I couldn’t believe it, I was being beat up again. After a much longer fight this time, a stunning perfect linear rolled over the net cord and I couldn’t believe it, this was turning out to be one hell of a session.
After that, the dark had taken over, the lake was so still, reflecting the stars like a mirror. I sat back with a cuppa, grinning like a Cheshire cat, watching the bats swoop overhead.
First light came and I was woken to my island rod screaming off, I picked up the rod and immediately the fish fought for its life, trying to take me thought the island channel to the safety of the snags, but keeping constant pressure I soon had its head turned and into the open water in front. I knew it was better than the others that I’d hooked that session and I didn’t get a glimpse of it, until it decided to give up and come towards the net. It was a right lump of proper dark Cotswold common. By this point I was thinking can things get any better?
With the fish weighed, photographed and back in its home I put the rod back out, topping up with a little more bait.
More anglers started to turn up, so with the session being a success, I decided to start packing up and head home one happy angler!
The barrow was loaded and only my rods, net and cradle were left and once again the island rod was off, I couldn’t believe it, another cracking common, this time slightly smaller but stunning all the same, impressing the crowd of anglers that had just arrived.
So what a session, from being told I was wasting my time, to landing 5 fish, 2 of which were proper old Cotswold lumps and another 3 equally as impressive in looks, I headed off home planning a return trip!!!
Thank you for taking time to read and I hope you enjoyed my latest blog, hopefully next time I will be telling of how my winter campaign ended in success. One can only hope, in this crazy pursuit that captures us all in different ways!!
Till then, good luck, take care out there and tight lines all!!
All the best, James Hughes.
You can also keep up to date with my recent carpy antics via instagram (HUGHESEYCARPER) and facebook (JAMES HUGHES CARP ANGLER)
Hi, welcome to my first blog here for the Danglers Nation Team, my name is Lee Moore and I’m the founder and owner of the Norfolk bait company BIG FISH BAITS.
As you can imagine, being the owner of a very successful bait company leaves me very little time to get myself away from the day to day running of things and got some of my own fishing in, especially from March until November, this previous year has been no different! over the last year however we have been putting the final touches to our newest bait #MILK #ONE, with Xmas and the new year fast approaching I knew that for me my chance to get some bank time was coming!
We’d just gone into the new year and a window of opportunity had come my way, with fresh #MILK #ONE out of the freezer defrosting and a pot of each white and pink 12mm #MILK #ONE pop ups put in my rucksack the car was loaded and I was on my way to meet a good friend of mine at his local lake, some 20plus miles away, when I arrived it was still dark, I done a couple of laps and didn’t see or hear a thing, even though the sun was starting to break through, the swim I decided to fish was fairly central with a large reed bed out in front, after a few casts I had all 3 rod’s bang on the money, although I’m a big believer in “my carpy feeling” this just didn’t feel right at all to me! I gave it till just after 11am and nothing happened, I made a quick phone call to another bailiff of another lake and found out only one other angler was on, result! Gear packed away in double quick time and I was off!
By now it was getting on for midday, I knew I only had till around 4 in the afternoon due to family commitments, I had a good idea where I thought the fish would be, so got round to the area quick smart!
Three fresh white pop ups were tied on to my favoured stiff hinged rig and quickly put into position, after about 15 minutes a couple of other anglers wondered round, they’d had nothing in 72 hours….oh I thought! I needed not worry though as literally at that point the middle rod pulled up tight and I was in! After a hairy battle I finally slipped a pretty mirror over the net, result! After a quick weight, 17+lb was recorded, not bad I thought, rod back on the spot, a few more baits out and I settled down again, this time the right hand rod tore off! Again after another good battle I slipped the net under the second fish of my session, this time a lovely scale perfect common! Time was getting on but to be honest I was pretty happy with 2 fish in a couple of hours from a lake that hadn’t done a fish for a good couple of weeks, I started packing a few bits away when the middle rod was away again, this time the fish went straight for the snags I was fishing tight too, with plenty of side strain I managed to keep her away and guided her into the net, upon lifting the net I could tell this mirror was a bit bigger than the previous two fish, up on the scales a weight of 18+lb, very nice! No monsters by any stretch of the imagination but 3 fish in less than 4 hours was certainly well needed, proof as they say, a few hours in the right place is better than days in the wrong place, I’m 100% certain that our new bait #MILK #ONE played a massive part in also putting those fish on the bank due to its very milky creamy make up and great attractor and feed stimulators
Over a year ago i joined a small water in the shropshire countryside in pursuit of a large common and an old mirror that resided in there. It is a beautiful little lake with a few small islands, lillypads and reed lined margins. The carp in here are immaculate but they have seen it all and with the abundance of natural food, they thrive meaning anglers bait isnt always top of the menu.
Early last October i was fortunate enough to catch the common at good weight but come march my ticket was up and i had to renew as i couldnt leave without having my moment with the old mirror.
Spring slowly but surely came round and the pool started to come back to life. I started slowly feeding a few spots i found and instantly had success off a couple of them seeing me land some really nice fish. One spot just stayed quiet but i kept feeding it and watching it when i was on my sessions. The one session, all was very quiet, so i sat watching the actionless spot and seen a big mirror lump out not once but twice over the spot. A couple of sessions went by, i carried on feeding and watching the spot but not fishing it and again i seen a big mirror lumping out on seperate occasions, i was addiment it was the same fish, the old mirror. Before i left that session i dropped a little more bait on the spot and went home knowing i must fish it as soon as i could.
It was mid may and a couple of days after my last session i had sorted work and was back down the lake and fishing the spot. The day went very quiet with nothing even showing on the spot and as night fell, so did my confidence as id only seen it show on the spot in the day.
At 1am i was woken to my siren melting off so i scrambled out the bivvy and struk into what felt a good fish. It ran me raggid, flat rodding me toward a lilly bed, i managed to turn it and it then tried to take me round the small island. I knew it was one of the biggies. Eventually it was coming toward the net, i seen a big mirror and as it wallowed towards the net and over the cord i knew it was her!!!
I really needed to start concentrating on my syndicate and get fishing the lake more as it holds some old stunning carp.
I planned to go down the syndicate to fish the Friday and Saturday night. I needed to get down the lake on the Thursday night to have a good look around for the carp, also to get out in the boat with the scope and try to find some feeding spots and less weedy areas were the carp visit regurally. I found some nice areas in the central body of the lake and decided to bait up with some urban baits nutcracker and some pellet in nutcracker glug, that way if carp are feeding on the spot the next day when I arrive they would be a nice slick and hopefully see one poke out!
The lake was looking awesome in its summer colours …
I couldn’t wait to get down to the syndicate after work, soon came 4 oclock and it was time to load up the car and get on the road. I arrived down the syndicate and surprisingly they wasn’t anybody fishing or in sight , just me!
I got the gear on the barrow and the polaroid’s came out. I had a good look around the lake and was struggling to find any carp, I was expecting them to be showing them self as nobody was fishing. Off I went back to get my barrow to head up to the swim I baiting up the following night as no signs off anything, as soon as I got to my barrow I saw one cheeky carp bosh out in the first swim – not wear I pre baited! Decision time came as someone else arrived to , I got the barrow and went in the first swim on the showing carp… Game on ! 3 trusty multi rigs was tied up along with 3 white nutcracker pops ups, the rods was placed on some light weed and a nice hardish area off some carpy pads not far from wear I saw the fish. A few kilo of bait went over the spots !
Brew on the go and not long after it was time to hit the pillow to be up nice and early the following morning watching for any signs…
It ended up that I didn’t need my phone alarm to go off to wake me up ! 5-50 my left hand rod signalled a few bleeps in the pouring rain and rod tip slowly bending round!! Ran out the brolly, and hit into the rod, after a nervous fight after the fish weeded me up not far from the net, the old torpedo rolled into the net, what a relief and first fish out my syndicate in the net, such a buzz.
After taking the shots on the camera and weighing up it was time to be released back for someone else to catch another day!
I cant wait to get back down the lake and hopefully have the chance of catching some more like these to share!
Thanks for reading
Myself and Jaye have been preparing for our Eric’s carp championship qualifier at Farlow’s for the past month. Doing our research on the hot pegs/areas of the lake and the least favoured areas, so that we can get a mental note in our heads before we venture down there.
Our match isn’t until Friday the 10th so we decided to have a pre-match practice the weekend before which happened to fall on a bank holiday.
We sorted our kit out and prepared the bait and so on, which is the deadly nutcracker and the awesome white’s 100% confidence in a bag. I set the alarm for 2am on the Thursday the 2nd April and it takes me an hour to get to Jayes then load up his gear then its back on the road for a further 2.5 hours to Farlow’s, that’s the problem living up north a lot of lakes are down south but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
We got to Farlow’s gate for around 6.15am so the travelling was good and not really knowing what to expect when we arrived, we was greeted with another half a dozen cars waiting for the gate opening at 6.30am. We drove in and parked up and we began to have a walk around and it soon became apparent that Farlow’s is not our cup of tea at all, bivvy city came to mind. So we scraped the plan of fishing and we just walked and talked to the angler’s that was on and got as much info we needed and mapped out all the areas that we felt gave us the best chance of a fish or two. While we were there we did witness and helped net a fat scraper 30lb mirror which was nice to see.
After that we got back in our vans and headed out the gate and decided to drive to urban baits HQ before venturing back up to our cambs syndicate and there we stayed for a few days.
Match day is here and myself and Jaye are buzzing like we usually are and we made that journey back down on the M1 to Farlow’s. We both always get nervous before any match, it’s just a normal thing for us as we always push ourselves to do the best we can. Once through the gates around 6.45am we did the same as the week before and made our way around the lake, getting a plan of the peg layouts and our top 5 swim choices and so on down to the least favoured ones on our list.
We spent a good 1 hour and 45 minutes walking around, talking tactics and listening to previous angler’s that was awake at the time. On our walk we walked into a swim called the knuckle or swim 31 and to our surprise we found a small group of carp milling about over to the island tight and we actually saw 2 carp head and shoulder, so to us that was the location sorted. We both agreed that we would treat this match as we were at one of our syndicates waters and to use our water craft skills as our edge and that’s what we did.
We knew that swim 2 was the HOT peg but we said to each other that it would be the 1st peg to go and peg 9 (peg 31 in a normal situation) is a no brainer to us because the fish are there and we hoped they would stay around if we kept quiet.
I had a dream a few days earlier and the funny thing is that in my dream myself and Jaye came out in the draw 3rd from the bag. So I kept a note on that to see if it would come true and the draw began and the names came out the bag and 3rd out the bag… you guessed it we was 3rd out. I looked at Jaye and said “would you believe that mate”, what are the chances of that.
Peg 2 was taken straight away so no surprise there and we opted for peg 9 as we agreed and that was it, the rest of the lads got there pegs sorted and we jumped in the van and drove around the lake to our peg which is going to be home for the next 48hrs.
Myself and Jaye sat at the water’s edge going over what we was going to do to start with and the approach we will go with. We had a good chunk of water out in front of us so we knew we had plenty of options to play with. We knew that open water wasn’t really doing much at the moment so we decided to fish tight and I mean tight to far margins and island margins, literally inches from them. So accurate casting was in order of the day and if we didn’t cast tight and accurately we would not get the bites it was that paramount we did or we would suffer.
Hook baits was the trusty 12mm pink nutcracker pop-ups on our special little rig and we fished 15mm and 18 millers of whole nutcracker boilies over the top, one boilie at a time to be more precise with our baiting and we put out roughly a couple of handfuls out on a little and often basis, just enough for one bite.
Fish for one bite at a time, then when you have that bite think of your next bite.
To cut the long story short we managed to fish well, day and night and going through about 7kg of bait we managed to get into 2nd place and secure 2nd place for the remainder of the 48hrs.
7 fish caught with no losses for 118lb and ounces and its even sweeter from an unfancied area that people said has not done a fish for a couple of weeks.
I quote “particularly impressive was peg 31 which was not hotly tipped at all before the match but it was brilliantly fished”.
So that’s that we are through to the semi-finals at Brasenose 2 on the linear complex in June and hopefully if we keep doing what we are doing we will go through to the final and all the way.
As I say if it’s meant to be it will.
Luke and Jaye