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IN THE MIX - KEITH JONES
IN THE MIX
HELLO AND WELCOME TO OUR SUMMER EDITION OF NASH-E-ZINE!
lthough blue skies and warm sunshine is something we all look forward to, the summer months can often prove to be a tricky time for catching carp. Mounting angling pressure, hot lethargic disinterested fish, an abundance of natural food and on some waters a fair amount of uneaten bait too have all combined recently to create a host of problems. This year the unpredictable weather has also caused a few issues. But having said that, this hasn’t affected many of our in house staff, consultants and field testers who seem to have shrugged off the problems and continue to catch plenty of fish.
THE EUROPEAN ANGLE Keith Williams starts a new series this month, Keith is a very experienced carp angler and traveller with a wealth of knowledge to share with anyone planning a trip across the channel. We’ve also got some interesting input from members of our European Nash team which has added a new dimension to the magazine. This month we are taking an alternative look at the French carp scene. With Nash fast becoming an almost global brand these days I’m sure that’s something we’ll be including much more of from now on.
INSTANT AND CONSISTENT In the bait and TT features within the magazine there are images of some pretty impressive looking fish. One thing that I noticed whilst compiling the details of those captures was how quickly many of those fish were caught, some of the takes came after just a few minutes of casting out. Obviously there’s some good angling involved and I think the stealthy low spook nature of Diffusion rig components played a role in the captures of one or two rather elusive fish. But I also think it says a great deal about the incredible inbuilt attraction of Nash Bait products. Because all of our baits also provide carp with a high quality valuable food source, those same baits, unlike many inferior high attract alternatives, will go on producing consistent long term success. I think its fair to say that Nash boilies also have an unrivalled big fish catching track record too.
IN THE MIX - KEITH JONES
CURIOSITY Within these pages we’ve got the complete low down on all the baits and tactics that have been working so well recently, whilst putting the magazine together I’ve picked up on several ideas that I’m itching to get out and try. Mind you when reading any technical or ‘how to do it’ type feature I don’t think it’s a good idea to just slavishly copy the ideas. To get the best from them you need to test and evaluate them, draw your own conclusions and think of ways of integrating new tactics and baits into your own approach. Curiosity is the key, I like to find out why something works or alternatively why it doesn’t, that way you can be sure to get the maximum potential from it.
JUNGLE FISHING I’ve spent some time recently fishing wild jungly places and been lucky to catch some lovely old carp, the biggest was probably only around 25lb, I say probably because to be honest I didn’t bother weighing any of them. It’s not that I’m disappointed with their size, its just many of these fish have probably never had a hook in them before which to me is something special and size is irrelevant. Mind you, there will be some much bigger ones to come but as is often the case, it might take some time! The Sirens have continued to impress, the takes you get from these fish can be strange to say the least. Before the Sirens came along I was a fan of vibration sensing alarms, but over time I’ve found that the speed sensitive roller wheel system unique to the Sirens does genuinely translate much more ‘readable’ information back to the angler on the bank. I’m sold on the idea, Sirens give you an edge. I’ve got the new black soft touch snag ears on mine, I can’t honestly say these will catch me any extra fish but they do look good!
DON’T FEAR THE WEED Thick bottom to the surface weed can be a problem on these wild places, many anglers seem to struggle with weed, I’ve even met people at shows who won’t fish weedy waters. Weed attracts carp and so it attracts me too, it’s full of natural food and it’s somewhere that carp feel comfortable and happy, with the right tools it shouldn’t provide too many problems. The Nash Weed markers for example are incredibly buoyant and a large clog free run ring allows you to explore and pop the float up in the thickest of jungles and identity tiny hot spots that otherwise would be missed. Creating clear areas with bait is another option, Monster Carp Pellets and Soluballs are perfect for this, they attract just about everything that hops swims and crawls including carp. The feeding activity is intense and clear areas can grow by the day. Adding Food Dip to the mix prolongs this activity, I’ve also found that adding small amounts of the new Nash Bait Salt Crystals keeps the spots attractive even when all of the bait seems to have gone. So this product has become yet another bait bucket essential!
Well that’s enough from me, we all ho pe you enjoy reading ou r magazine and als o gain something from it, remember we wa nt you to get the very best from our products and if you need additional help or advice we’re alw ays here to help - catch you next time.
LIFE AT NASH
The last few months of life have been as good as I can ever remember – don’t you just love it when things go to plan and come to fruition whether that be family, personal, work or fishing related! Not only have some really exciting projects finally got off the ground at work but we are also starting to get towards the final sampling/testing stages of a lot of the product we are due to release this autumn. I’ve been working at Nash for nearly five years now and 2013 is definitely going to be the biggest and best year of my time so far with regards to
the product that we are bringing out for you guys – I’m easily excited but I’m ecstatic about what will be hitting the shelves soon. Testing products can be so restrictive, by that I mean that when we have something so special that no one else can see or know about it can be really frustrating at times. Having to hide things away, only use them at venues where you’re unlikely to have prying eyes – I just want to show you already and shout about them from the roof tops – but sadly I can’t usually due to restriction of patents pending or
the confirmation of a registered design being authorised - all I’ll say is it will be worth the wait and I look forward to speaking about all in the autumn. My angling has been much the same and I’ve been working relentlessly hard to get as much time as possible on the bank – this often involves very early starts and late finishes at work but on average I’m getting a good 36 – 48 hours each week albeit sometimes that could be made up of 5 or 6 short sessions. I spent a lot of early spring chasing big roach on the waggler with my Scopex no 1 maggots resulting in lots of good hits and multiple catches of 2 pounders with the biggest a new PB of 2lb 13oz. As well as the roach fishing, the floater gear has been out on numerous occasions and between a multitude of venues I’ve had a lot of fish off the top. I always start by drifting a stream of Riser Pellets across the lake. This Riser pellet is one of the most bizarre baits I have ever had the privilege of using – I have never seen fish react so quickly to a baiting situation but conversely
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this can also make them ever so difficult to catch. Put simply I wouldn’t even go floater fishing anymore if I didn’t have some Risers but it has taught me to be disciplined in what I feed and it’s all about monitoring what the fish are eating, the way the bait is drifting and then strategically topping up the swim when they’ve nearly munched it all. If you haven’t been out and tried it yet then PLEASE don’t let the summer pass without giving it a try – everyone who I have shown
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or people who are already using it all say the same thing – there is nothing like it! June 16th saw the start of the river season – something I never miss each year. The carp had been located and after weeks of monitoring my spots and keeping the bait going in, the magical evening finally came round and I managed to catch on my first night – such a great feeling when it all comes together. I suppose the most exciting angling I’ve
been engrossed in is sadly the one I can tell you the least about. I have been targeting a new water with Kev – it’s certainly not your average Essex syndicate in fact, it couldn’t be any further removed. Without saying too much, it’s a big piece of water containing uncaught monsters. As I write this piece I’m actually sitting on the banks of it, rods are out and each and every session is another step closer to unlocking its secrets – all will be revealed when we can both get our heads around the
place and we have some of its unbelievable uncaught residents to show to you – exciting – very exciting indeed. I hope you guys have had such a productive start to the summer as I have and look forward to hopefully seeing some of you at one of our up and coming fishery road shows. Before we know it the summer will be all but a distant memory – go and enjoy it and catch some off the top!
LIFE AT NASH
Up close and personal
Late spring and summer is my favourite time of year for fishing for carp. The fish are often to be found in the edge and I can indulge in one of the most exciting ways to catch carp that there is â€“ stalking. Although I spend a lot of time out on the bank, I actually get very little time to fish myself, so I am always on the lookout for a quick bite when I do get the opportunity and finding the fish and presenting a bait without spooking them can bring very quick bites indeed.
LIFE AT NASH
Now stalking to a lot of people simply means fishing a rod in the margins, but that is the lazy mans version - there is so much more to it than just that. To me, it is the chance to actually watch the fish feeding and in some circumstances actually pick up the hook bait, and luckily I have access to several venues where the water is clear enough. It offers us a rare opportunity to take away all the supposition and guesswork, and actually watch how the fish react to your bait and baiting, how and where they feed, and how fish deal with rigs. This is not only incredibly exciting to watch, but gives you a better understanding as to what is happening out in the lake where you canâ€™t see what is going on. It also gives an insight into the behaviour of individual carp, and you begin to realise that every one is different in its feeding habits and the way it reacts to danger. For instance, having baited a spot under my feet on Horton Boat Pool and got several fish feeding I watched in amazement as a common feeding very tight to the bottom picked up my bait and pricked itself. Instead of bolting, this fish visibly stiffened, itâ€™s fins twitching, and without moving an inch it quite deliberately sucked and blew vigorously until it had dislodged the hook and ejected the bait. Instead of spooking off, it continued to feed nearby. Within a few seconds, another bigger common approached the bait, but he was feeding far less carefully than his mate. He was
moving as he picked up the hook bait, and when the hook pricked instead of freezing he shook his head violently and bolted, resulting in a fish on the bank. Perhaps a shorter rig would have nailed the first (and smaller!) fish? How often does this happen out in the lake but we are none the wiser? Being able to see what is going on allows us to fine-tune rigs and bait for each situation and sometimes individual fish. The first thing to do is to locate the carp, and the only way to do this is to get on your toes and find them. This can involve more walking than fishing, and lots of time creeping around in the undergrowth. Even on large waters, being
proactive, reeling in and checking a few likely areas on a warm day is definitely worth the effort. Of course, you can tip the balance in your favour by prebaiting spots and encouraging the fish to visit areas regularly and keep them clear, but sometimes it is simply a case of finding them and fishing for them. This is where you need to be prepared, tackle-wise, as these areas can be snaggy and difficult to access. I use a 7ft stalking rod which allows me to fish in holes that would be impossible to fish with a conventional carp rod, coupled with 15lb mainline and a big, sharp hook, usually a size 4. I will also use a long leader, usually leadcore, (the end of which is often still in the tip ring when fishing!) with good abrasion resistance to avoid being cut off by branches or in thick weed. I can be confident of extracting carp from the tightest of spots using this beefed up tackle, having said that, I will always thoroughly assess any spot before fishing it. I would prefer not to hook any carp if there is not a very good chance of landing it safely. By using sensible tackle the chances are dramatically increased and new areas of
the lake and opportunities are opened up. Another important factor in landing the carp is ensuring that the lead drops off, something which I tend not to do in normal circumstances. Without the lead attached the fight tends to take place higher up in the water, avoiding sunken snags and is especially beneficial when fishing in thick weed. For most of my fishing I favour inline leads, and so for stalking I fish these drop-off style with the leader running round the outside of the lead. I have also recently discovered the perfect lead for the job â€“ Nash flat squares. These low-profile leads hug the lakebed inconspicuously and offer excellent hooking potential due to their large surface area. They are not designed to be cast great distances and are best suited to bag work or being lowered in. Bait choice for me varies, but I will rarely use boilies, instead preferring to bait and fish with smaller particles and pellet. In my
experience, boilies out in the lake and particle in the edge is a good rule to follow.
LIFE AT NASH
Without doubt my favourite hook bait is the humble peanut and I always keep a bag of KP salted nuts handy. Carp love them, and they have the added advantage of being slow sinking, going some way towards balancing the big hook. Once you have found the fish comes the hard bit - getting a bait on the spot without arousing their suspicion. It pays to be patient and waiting for the coast to clear before attempting this. Although stalking, by its nature, is a solitary pursuit there are times when it is helpful to have a mate to help with this, spotting for you if it is not possible to see what is going on. Remember, if you spook them getting a rig in they may not come back again. Sometimes the fish will not leave the area at all, and in this situation a little bit of
bait thrown on their heads can get them to move off just far enough and for long enough to get the rig in place without spooking them from the area completely. Any time spent watching them is rarely wasted, as you will build up a picture of where best to place the rig on the spot. Sometimes the fish will only feed on a very particular spot within the swim and being even a couple of inches out will mean the bait is not picked up; incredibly frustrating but all part of the learning curve. For sheer adrenaline stalking cannot be beaten, and I haven’t even touched on what I call ‘Alan Blair’ stalking, basically lure fishing for carp with freelined baits! That’s for another day…
LIFE AT NASH It’s been a while since I have written anything for Nash-E-Zine and plenty has happened here at HQ over the last few months. The work schedule is always hectic but just recently I have been fortunate enough to have some involvement in the production of Kevin’s soon-to-be released book; ‘Memoirs of a Carp Fisher – The Demon Eye’. The book is an autobiography documenting Kevin’s carp angling career and the journey he has taken, including how he came to build the market-leading force in carp fishing tackle innovation. Of course there is a healthy dose of
Essex humour thrown in for good measure, plus a murder and a love affair or two. It has certainly made for interesting reading and I have lost count of the number of times the words on the screen in front of me have had me crying with laughter. Well in Kev, truly awesome stuff! ON THE BANK I started off in February this year at a local water only ten minutes down the road from Nash HQ. The water in question once held the Essex record and is a bit of a stalker’s paradise with numerous reed-lined bays and
snaggy corners that all look like they might hold a carp or two. However, I knew that location would be paramount at the time of year so I went on a mission to find the fish, spending a few evenings at the lake without any rods just watching and listening. I had my suspicions as to where the carp would most likely show up after a cold winter and it didn’t take long for my thoughts to be confirmed when on the second lap of the lake, on my second recce of the year, I heard an almighty crash in the area I was most interested in – definitely a good carp. The
LIFE AT NASH
ripples gave the game away and in the darkness of the wintery evening I could just about work out that the fish had shown in a gap in the reeds at about 85 yards range. I baited in the general vicinity with a scattering of Monster Squid boilies and went home to prepare the rods for the next evening! The rods were out by 6:30pm after work the next day and I sat back to watch the lake. I must have drifted off to sleep when at 9:30pm the rod tightest to the reeds gave a short burst of bleeps on the Siren, and after
a lively scrap a mid double common rolled over into the net. I was well chuffed with my first fish of the year from the water and went through the motions of getting the rod back out on the money spot. I dozed back to sleep content with the little common and wondering if any of its big old scaly mates would grace the bank before I was forced to pull off for work in the morning. At around 4:30am I found myself standing out in the frosty early morning air doing battle with an angry carp and I could feel by the grating
sensation on my mainline that this one had found sanctuary in the reed-bed. I kept the rod compressed and slowly but surely I started gaining line. There was a massive eruption further out in the lake and I was back in direct contact with the fish- happy days! A few minutes later the fish rolled over the net cord and I was left gawping at a stunning fully scaled mirror lying in the mesh. It was starting to get light, and I had to be off for work in a couple of hours, so I got my pal Loz to rattle off some pics (thanks mate!) before getting her
back and starting the slow pack down. Unfortunately other commitments took over and it wasnâ€™t until the first two weeks of April that I next managed to go angling again. I had two weeks booked off work and had planned a trip with Jack Brown to my Dads place on the river Ebro in Spain â€“ www. ebromadcats.co.uk A couple of other friends would be joining us for the second week of our trip so it looked like a good social was on the cards! To cut a very long story short we had two weeks of extremely hard but
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rewarding fishing – and everyone involved caught themselves a new PB or two! One morning I went to see Scott in his swim and found a smashed rod, a reel that didn’t appear to have any braid on the spool and two big catfish on stringers in the margins…. Clearly it had been a busy night for Scott! Between the four of us we banked a total of over 2000lb of fish and I personally banked cats to 145lb and carp to over 30lb. We used over 250kilos of bait during the trip and once again the Monster Squid did the business (the Cats got more and more of a taste for it as the trip progressed!!).
The fishing on this section of the Ebro is about as wild and untouched as it gets – you really don’t know what will take the bait next. I can’t wait to get back out there and have another go later this year! After my trip to Spain I did a string of overnight sessions on Kevin’s Church Lake. The fish were getting on the natural hatches at the time and luckily for me the development team had been working long and hard on a revolutionary new Zig Rig concept – The Zig Bugs. By identifying where the fish were most active in the upper layers I enjoyed some awesome fishing
using these little foam critters as hookbaits, culminating in the capture of a new P.B. Mirror of 53lb 15oz. Unfortunately, not long after the capture of this fish (by not long, I mean 15minutes!) I fell off a quad bike and hit the deck pretty hard, resulting in a compound fracture of my collarbone and a dislocated shoulder. Ouuuch! Still, the shoulder is now well on its way to making a full recovery and I am hoping to receive a ticket for a new lake in the post this week so with a bit of luck I will have a photo or two to show you in the next E-Zine.
LIFE AT NASH In the last E-Zine I talked about my success on the syndicate I was fishing. I say “was” fishing as shortly after, it came to an end, however not in the way I had planned. Unfortunately the biggest resident and my target fish sadly died! These things happen but it was extremely disappointing for myself and also the other lads fishing the lake. After the sad news I had no real intentions of renewing my ticket and returning to the lake, however at the same time, apart from a few local club waters I had no real idea of my next plan of action. As a result the last few months have seen me flitting from water to water as opposed to focusing on one water and one fish, and to be honest I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it!
LIFE AT NASH
To be honest I’ve struggled a bit with syndicate style fishing since moving down to Essex. Continuously fishing in the same surroundings, even the same swim and seeing the same old anglers just doesn’t get me going. Whether it’s a day session on a small commercial water or a session on a big windswept pit, I’d rather be exploring somewhere new. As a result, I’ve had a few fish over the last month or so and what’s made things even more enjoyable is the fact that I have caught the majority of them using my favourite tactic of all - floater fishing. After what seemed like an age, we finally had a spell of hot weather during April/May and it was HOT ! I didn’t need telling twice and in a flash the buzzers and big pits were put away and the floater gear came out to play. I grew up floater fishing and I prefer it over any other style of angling. For me the buzz is one that cannot be matched and when you’re on
limited fishing time like myself its most definitely the quickest way of targeting and catching a specific carp. Long may it continue for the remainder of the summer! Whilst we’re talking floater fishing I have to mention the awesome Riser Pellet we now have in the range. The way the Risers have changed my approach to floater fishing is unreal. When fished correctly they quite literally cause a frenzy ! It has to be seen to be believed, the photo I’ve included doesn’t really do it justice but I’m sure you’ll get the idea.
mind either! After living a stones throw away from the Estuary for the last year and a half, we finally pulled our fingers out and started fishing it. We didn’t have a clue what we were doing or indeed what we were fishing for but this made for a great Buzz and we’ve since learnt a few tricks and as a result have caught a number of different species, but no sea monsters just yet though! To be honest I could have fished more over the last few months but traditionally for me as
It’s not only carp fishing that has been on my
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soon as the fish begin showing any signs of spawning I not only take a step back and give the fish the break they deserve, I also take the opportunity to get my party head on and this year was no different. Myself and a few of the other lads
from Nash travelled down to Newquay for the annual “run to the sun” festival which all in all was a great weekend. A few birthday celebrations have also resulted in some good nights out with friends and a day at Royal Ascot topped it all off nicely. As well as all this, my football team I play for and captain were crowned North Bucks Div 1 champions in our first season together, which obviously needed celebrating in style. Well in Boys !! Back at Nash HQ things have
been as busy as ever with product launches plus all the usual mayhem. Speaking of launches, I have been working alongside our design team over the last three months or so developing our brand new website which is due for launch at the beginning of August. Once the design work and construction is completed it will be my task to add and update the content and keep it looking fresh! Trust me on this one, it will be worth the wait as it will be by far the most modern and interactive carp fishing website out there, so keep your eyes peeled for that one. That’s it from me – enjoy the summer
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Tony and Pete with Tony’s 150-pounder
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Set up on the Top Lake
In the water with the 150lb cat
trip to the Ebro.
Doncaster boy Pete ‘Webbo’ Gareth is a catﬁsh/carp-mad Webster, preparations were soon Brummie and not the Gareth underway and a plan was being Edwards of Welsh rugby formed. A couple or three fame guiding and once British pike record services were shortlisted thanks holder, but of course that to that new fangled gadget didn’t the stop us ripping the mickey Interwebnet. The big English out of ﬁrms him all week. that we wanted were all fully We were informed by the booked for the week (in hindsight ever-helpful members of this was a bit of a godsend), the Pike but and Predators forum that eventually the one man early band of May could be a hit or miss Gareth Edwards and his affair guiding with the ﬁsh having spawning service under the name in of Catﬁsh mind rather than feeding, but as I Tours was contacted and we were was going to catch nowt sitting in booked. I think it must be said that Wigan, 2nd to 9th May were the
CATFISHING IN THE UK
Tony’s ﬁrst ever cat at 54lb
dates allocated for our attack. As always at my age the days passed all too soon and, two hours after leaving Liverpool John Lennon Airport, I was in Barcelona. Twenty minutes after this the hire car was sorted, followed by a quick brew, and Pete was with me after ﬂying in from Doncaster’s Robin Hood Airport... no, I never knew Doncaster had an airport either.
Sat Nav set and away weGREAT SPECIAL OFFERS WHEN YOU SUBSCRIBE went –
or we would have done but for wanted and could not have one unforeseen problem been we any closer to the riverbank. hadn’t thought of: being Spain not Gareth was with us for 7am only do they drive on the and wrong the plan for the week’s ﬁshing side of the road but the steering took all of two minutes to wheel, gearstick and pedals sort out, of the with Gaz having one task, to hire cars are also in the wrong catch us some ﬁsh, simple’s. place! After a quick spin round the Both Pete and I had discussed Airport car park we were off and targets for the week and the two-hour drive was pretty agreed that a ﬁsh over the ton was much straightforward. Follow not the too much to ask, so with motorway out of Barcelona, this in turn mind we set to our task left at Llieda and you are with in gusto. If I’m honest, though, Mequinenza, so literally four and neither of us had caught half hours from leaving Liverpool a catﬁsh before so any ﬁsh we caught we were in Mequi’s catﬁsh would be a bonus. country. A quick phone call for directions and a ﬂash of the ON N THE MOV MOVE headlights found us meeting Gaz, A spot was chosen opposite and another 10 minutes saw us in where the coloured waters the apartment with brew of the in hand. Segre meet the clear Rio Ebro. I was up early the following From the off we knew it was morning and while Pete slept on going to be a struggle as the Segre was ﬂowing at a fair rate of knots, and the ﬁrst four or ﬁve hours of the trip were taken up reeling lines back in to clear the
sounding like a baby hippo, – CALL 01430 440624 OR VISIT WWW.PIKEANDPREDATORS.CO.UK I was
in the shower thanking my lucky stars we had separate rooms. The apartment was ﬁne for what we
Above: Powerful rods and sturdy reels are required
Dave Thinking of having a go for wels catﬁsh? to tell you how. Mutton begins a two-part feature
Main: The sensor array of a catﬁsh
at sensing particle displacement if it did its mouth. This means that it in the water using its highly it could possesses a proper stomach, catﬁsh not like the taste of a bait, y the time you get to lie up developed lateral line. The hook will gorge on food and then water reject it, even without the read this, the frosty days food can sense vibrations in the mouth. to digest it. The catﬁsh ﬁnds and being anywhere near it’s of winter will be just a smell, such as a ﬁsh in distress, if you by combining its sense of it nears its This is worth thinking about in memory; a memory that move towards them. As using taste and by sensing vibration that will are going to target them two hopefully is full of fat pike prey, receptors in its barbules the water. The catﬁsh has boat. the cat artiﬁcially ﬂavoured baits. have graced the bank or pick up the vibrations and sets of nostrils and has an to do? As The catﬁsh will actively hunt – in So what are you going starts to ﬁne tune its approach. excellent sense of smell to the two for prey, particularly in warmer In Some of you may continue the catﬁsh nears its victim, Britain only the eels’ is keener. can often be found in linked to months, and ﬁsh for pike through the long whiskers will point straight ﬁsh, smell is very closely many of rod, the upper layers of the water a highly warmer months, whilst ahead almost like a divining it taste and the catﬁsh has it hunting for ﬁsh. This is when buds you, as soon as the days and when it gets within range of developed array of taste rays employs a third sense, that its cavernous its lengthened and the suns adept suddenly opens in which are located along its prey. vibration. The catﬁsh is very around started to have some warmth mouth and simply engulf barbules as well as in and with a them, give a sigh tinged Unlike pike or zander, the rows of touch of sadness as the This 43-pounder is catﬁsh does not possess wels has clearly capable of deadbait rods are put away proper teeth. Instead the taking very large palate again to sit there untouched baits pads in its upper and lower you may of tiny until October. Some of which consist of hundreds other these be after tench, bream or Velcro-like teeth. It uses may be it then species, whilst others pads to grip its prey which for targeting carp. I also ﬁsh passes back to four crushing but at those species on occasion, pads, two top and two bottom, to gain I never seem to be able the back of its throat. the same level of enthusiasm as I do for non-predatory ﬁsh TO THE LIMIT my to for predators. That is why So what tackle are you going and very summers are usually spent need to tackle this large key to targeting that other apex hard ﬁghting species? The predator, the wels catﬁsh. all catﬁshing tackle is reliability is The wels catﬁsh can be and strength. The wels catﬁsh all of described as a predatory very powerful and will test a scavenger, in that it will eat your gear to its limit. When baits, off huge variety of meat or ﬁsh hooked they will either surge natural run both alive and dead. Its on a seemingly unstoppable diet consists of ﬁsh, amphibians, that will have your reel screaming, to worms, waterfowl and small or hug the bottom refusing much hooped mammals. It will eat pretty move and the rod will be its very more anything that it can ﬁt into over to the butt as you apply most to get large mouth. However, like and more pressure trying GREAT SPECIAL OFFERS WHEN YOU are predators its feeding spells SUBSCRIBE – CALL 01430 440624 OR VISIT WWW.PIKEANDPREDATORS.CO.UK infrequent and, as the catﬁsh
GRAEME PULLEN CATFISH CAPERS IN BRITAIN
CATFISH CAPERS IN BRITAIN
After many years of not really paying attention, Graeme Pullen discovers catﬁshing alternative summer species for UK is a viable predator anglers.
hile I like my ﬂoater ﬁshing for carp, I can see the attraction of avoiding Gerty the Thirty of the overcrowded carp world, in favour of Ton-up Tessie of the wels catﬁsh world. It was while ﬁlming with Phil Williams in deepest Devon that I began to realise just how much of a cult ﬁsh the catﬁsh has become. We were at Zyg Gregorek’s Angler’s Paradise, which I had never 2
ﬁshed before but we dropped in rather than being full of carp with a couple of cameras catﬁsh is like a B&Q bucket, on the anglers, around so nno half of the big ﬁsh worries way back from a fruitless about whether they can guys were after catﬁsh. session hoping to break eat it or not! Livebaiting the Supposedly night feeders, at the British porbeagle shark the ﬁshery is not allowed, but record. catﬁsh at Zyg’s complex didn’t Zyg has a very large head deadbaits are okay if you of seem to have read the books get catﬁsh at the complex, running and them from Zyg. So, what many were coming out in do the from ﬁve-pounders up to broad anglers catch on? Top selling over daylight – blazing sun and bait 50lb, which I certainly consider blue in the site’s tackle shop sky. was the well worth catching. While giant sized halibut feed pellets. ﬁlming There were different In and catching everything fact many of the anglers from techniques, different rigs threaded golden tench to grass carp and them on a hair rig as doubles and some clonking great baits to ornamental koi I noticed in use make even bigger hookbaits. that, – the mouth on even a 20lb I ﬁshed a couple of hours for a cat
DAN WILLIAMS CAT CRAZY
A sustainable food source exists in Devon, where Zyg Gregorek that the cats crash provides shoals of rudd into at night
Name: Graeme Pullen. Age: 59 Hometown: Hook, Hampshire. Favourite Venue: Royalty Fishery, Hampshire Avon.
Favourite Species: Barbel and pike. Most Memorable Catch: None, they are all totally awesome!
Young anglers are quickly zoning in on the catﬁsh, like Andrew Pillings took this 40lb-plus who from the lakes at Angler’s Paradise
one evening on a smaller lake and watched a guy walk down to a personal tally of several corner, lob out what I thought hundred tackle shows and meet with was catﬁsh... many an enormous bait dropper, anglers who say they would then love walk back to his swim, feeding to catch a catﬁsh, but they out Graeme Pullen: Give are not us line as he went. I sent Phil in many waters. However, off on a introduction on that is the history of the mission to ﬁnd out. It turned not the case today. With out British catﬁsh. I seem to over 500 he was using a half tin of recall the waters holding cats, most pork ﬁrst time I read of them was anglers luncheon meat as a monstrous many are probably within striking years ago at a place called hair rigged cube. Now that’s distance of a suitable venue. what Woburn Abbey”. I call ﬁshing! Phil got a 15-pounder, so he’s off the GP: Is the CCS an elite mark Simon Clarke: Yes, they club, or with a new PB, and although were can anybody join it? I introduced as a folly of the didn’t get my ﬁrst cat I was aristocracy in the late 1800s suitably impressed with into SC: It was started back the Woburn Abbey Lakes by in 1984 by enthusiasm level, and as the Duke catﬁsh enthusiasts. soon as Basically it’s a of Bedford at the time. It I got back I decided I needed wasn’t club to help beginners and to until the 1950s that their help learn more. understand the species. distribution expanded around There are the no real cat experts. Even country with some local though I Cats are long so SIMON SAYS clubs have ﬁshed for them for being given stock, and it more make sure you As fortune would have it basically than 25 years I am still learning my local have a good sized all started from there. Tackle Up ﬁshing shop is something from every session unhooking mat owned I and run by Simon Clarke, – watch out for do. After all, that’s the magic who is GP: What sort of sizes were of chairman of the Catﬁsh them snaking they going ﬁshing in the ﬁrst place. running back then? about Conservation Group and has a GP: Let’s start with the tackle SC: Around 1970 the record a was beginner to cats would need. only some 31lb, so they Start started Chairman of at the sharp end with hooks. out small. There were supposed the Catﬁsh to be accounts that they Conservation reached SC: What you need is to Group, Simon up to 70lb, but there was match a lack of the size of hook Clarke, with to the size of bait. photos. Now with the upsurge of his recent UK Invariably you will be using commercial ﬁsheries and big PB cat of 56lb high baits – lobworms, meat, protein baits going into the ﬁsh, waters squid, luncheon meat – and it can there has been a rapid increase in be very easy to mask the hook if growth, so 30lb is no longer an you are not careful. What exceptional ﬁsh. you need isWHEN a hook YOU with aSUBSCRIBE nice wide – CALL 01430 440624 OR VISIT WWW.PIKEANDPREDATORS.CO.UK GREAT SPECIAL OFFERS gape, long point and long GP: Now the sizes have shank so it can sit nicely off the increased are there many hook bait waters corner, or you can hair rig where the beginner to catﬁshing it. Catﬁsh have big bucket can go and have a reasonable mouths. They come in and nab the chance of catching? bait so you need plenty of hook to go into that large and very hard SC: 20 years ago I would jaw. An have adequate size for a bunch said there were less than of small 50 worms would be a size 2 waters in the entire country; or 4. • The wels can live for at • The British record for the today With a great bunch of lobworms there are over 500. I go least 35 years. wels was closed to further to a lot of then a 1 or 1/0 would match claims on 23rd October the • The wels has no scales. WWW.GIFTS4ANGLERS.CO.UK 2000. • The wels can be found all • The wels was introduced over Europe. Despite their 3 into the UK more than 100 fearsome looks, • The wels is predatory and years ago. wels are usually will anything from insects, quite docile on • The original stocking took rats, birds to ﬁsh. the bank place at Woburn Abbey in • The wels prefers to stay in Bedfordshire. sheltered locations but • Spain, Italy and France can be found in both still have all got established and ﬂowing water. wels stocks. • The wels features a total • The wels thrives in warm of six barbules; two long temperatures where there ones on the upper jaw and is also an abundance of four shorter ones on the food. lower jaw. • Prey is detected by both • The wels can change their smell and vibration. colour depending on their capture and a sign of this can be and allow it to breathe, regain its environment. Dark in clear • Although predators, wels seen by them changing colour strength and swim off strongly. Do water and pale in turbid are also scavengers and and becoming lighter. If this not leave a ﬁsh unattended and water. will eat pretty much happens then it is paramount to take the time to ensure it swims anything. • Female wels can produce return them to the water straight off safely. You may need to hold up to 30,000 eggs per • Water temperature is a away. Because the wels catﬁsh and support them in some cases. kilogram of body weight. major factor in growth has no scales they can get line It is very important to respect the rates. • When wels spawn they marks during the ﬁght, but these ﬁsh you are fortunate enough to use a ‘nest’ positioned in • Wels are ideal for are not a long-term damage and catch so that they can give other tree roots or underwater controlling the numbers of do fade. Once it is time to return anglers the same joy you have vegetation. crayﬁsh in a water. the ﬁsh, hold it upright in the water experienced. • Wels eggs are around • The Latin name for the It is important to 3mm in diameter. wels is Silurus glanis care for all catﬁsh More information on catﬁsh care can be found at regardless of size • Eggs can take less than • The wels is one of the www.catﬁshconservationgroup.com Catﬁsh are ﬁve days to hatch. biggest freshwater ﬁsh in usually hooked the world. • Only 10% of fry are likely in the corner of A large to survive. • The wels is also known as the mouth – take unhooking A big cat is one the sheath-ﬁsh, sheat-ﬁsh extra care with • Males guard the nest until mat is a of the hardest their sensitive or giant European catﬁsh. must the eggs hatch. ﬁghting ﬁsh you’ll whiskers ever encounter • The wels is just one of • The average growth rate thousands of different of a UK wels is 1-2lb a catﬁsh species across the year. world. • The wels can grow to • The wels has fantastic nearly 10 feet long and hearing due to a sound weigh more than 330lb in ampliﬁcation system rare cases. called the Weberian • You need special apparatus. important features of the catﬁsh is photographing in daylight, and can permission to stock wels • The wels has a highly its whiskers so take extra care to become a proper handful. If your in England from the developed sense of taste not damage them as they help the catch is particularly lively on the Environment Agency and due to the whiskers and DEFRA. catﬁsh survive. Ensure camera bank then covering its eyes will mouth/lips being covered equipment is at the ready if you help it keep calm. • Young wels (under 30lb) in taste buds. want a photograph. Some people ﬂesh can be consumed as • Once a wels reaches RETURNING THE FISH can be frightened by catﬁsh but food. around 50lb, it has no they are docile and easy to handle The catﬁsh are very powerful • Wels eggs are poisonous natural predators. ﬁghters and will need a short rest on the bank if cared for correctly. and should not be before being returned. Catﬁsh can However, they recover quickly if consumed. also become very stressed during a retained for a few hours for
CATFISH CARE WWW.PIKEANDPREDATORS.CO.UK
WELS CATFISH FACTS FAC
DID YOU KNOW..?
This being a catﬁsh special edition, occasional cat angler Dan Williams has a few tips and cat facts for other cat novices.
he wels catﬁsh is one the most impressive ﬁsh swimming and it deserves every bit of respect after it’s given us the pleasure of catching it.
LANDING THE FISH A very large landing net is a must when cat ﬁshing. It is one of very few species of ﬁsh that can swim backwards and they often do this when nearing the net in the ﬁnal stages of the ﬁght. If there are shallow margins then boots or waders should be used to ensure the catﬁsh is landed properly. Fishing with someone else is an advantage as it can be a big task just getting a catﬁsh into the landing net – a helping hand is always welcome. Be sure to check all ﬁns are ﬂat against its body and the hook is not in a position that will tear its mouth when lifted (slacken off).
ON THE BANK Catﬁsh are big so once the ﬁsh has been landed it should be place on a large, wet unhooking mat (multiple unhooking mats can be used). As a rough guide, a 10lb catﬁsh is around 3ft long and a 60lb specimen can be around 5ft long so you can see why you need large unhooking areas and mats. A weigh sling should be wetted and zeroed on a set of scales which should be at the ready to ensure the catﬁsh is out of the water for the minimum amount of time. The hook will most likely be set in the soft corner of the mouth. If you are wary of catﬁsh then wearing gloves will help protect you
against Velcro-like teeth – though these very rarely hurt the angler. Strong forceps or pliers can also be a good idea to help remove the hook if it is held ﬁrm. Catﬁsh can feed in hot conditions so it is wise to unhook and photograph in a shady area, and a bucket or two of water should be at hand to keep the catﬁsh moist. One of the most
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of pools below a set Catﬁsh heaven: deep area with no commercial rapids in an isolated other human impact ﬁshing, mining or
Tony ‘Pieater’ Balfour tells of a ﬁrst
lease don’t think that by reading this article, your skills as a catﬁsh angler are going to improve. This is just a tale of a ﬁrst trip to the River Ebro in pursuit of the huge catﬁsh that dwell in the Ebro/Segre system.
With European and even worldwide ﬁshing destinations becoming more and more accessible the decision to head abroad was an easy one. Once a willing ﬁshing companion had been found in the form of
UK DAVE MUTTON CATFISHING IN THE
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they Longe, slim and acrobatic, and roll have been known to jump with their in the surface splashing big tails; a very un-catﬁsh-like ﬁsh is behaviour. In Bolivia this means known as saltador, which has a jumper. Piraiba sometimes the mysterious ‘milk’ gland at pectoral anterior upper part of its but in ﬁns. Its function is unknown, Colombia this ﬁsh is therefore means known as lechero, which milkman.
TONY BALFOUR CATFISH VIRGINS
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ever any freshwater ﬁsh you will in the catﬁsh that lodges itself 2500 encounter on rod and line! ﬁsh, t is estimated that over urethral openings of other the The piraiba is the largest species of ﬁsh occur in even animals or occasionally catﬁsh in the Brachyplatystoma Amazon. The order for its humans(!), to the monstrous the genus, and is notorious reported Siluriformes (catﬁsh) is piraiba, which has been voracious eating and solitary and second most diverse and to grow over nine feet long is the true giant of Many of lifestyle. This probably the most spectacular of weigh in excess of 150kg. With the Amazon with many stories group of Amazon species. of Amazonian Locals than the larger species ﬁsh weighing over 500lb! 14 families, including more catﬁsh are migratory, extremely call the juvenile ﬁsh (those 1000 species, the Amazon active and aggressive predators of all weighing under 100lb) ﬁlhote. accounts for almost half in fast water. world! that live mainly are over 50kg, locals catﬁsh are Once they the catﬁsh species in the Pound for pound, these the call them piraiba. They range in size from – than as strong – if not stronger parasitic diabolical candirú, a tiny
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When they’re juveniles, with piraiba are light to dark grey down and Piraiba look for food as far small spots on their dorsal older, as 50 metres. They will scavenge lateral sides. As they get prey like top and but also actively hunt for they turn dark grey on the and small catﬁsh, characins light grey/white on the bottom. big piranhas. Piraiba, like other This coloration aids in as the Amazonian catﬁsh such camouﬂaging their massive jau, or redtail catﬁsh, dourada and bodies as they hunt in midwater and think do not worry about the sharp shallow places. Most people ﬁn dwellers, pungent dorsal and pectoral of catﬁsh as true bottom for spines of small catﬁsh. Examined but the opposite is the case shoveldourada and piraiba specimens piraiba, dourada and the revealed perforated and/or nosed catﬁsh species. Piraiba likely the scarred stomachs most search for food throughout The at night caused by catﬁsh spines. entire water column and no just slicing teeth of piranha are they can be caught at or they problem either, even though below the surface. where to inhabit the same waters Piraiba have an appetite hundreds of piranha school. bodies. thick match their massive these These giants have extremely Fishermen who’ve caught resists tough leathery skin that have found small they are massive giants inside. such attacks. By the time monkeys, birds and cats can monkeys ﬁve feet in length, piraiba While they don’t hunt for problem move freely in the deepest or birds, piraibas have no fear of Amazon waters without scavenging on already deceased predators.
on catﬁsh in populations the Amazon
special we thought With this issue being a catﬁshthe mix. Arnout we would throw this one into big catﬁsh! Terlouw encounters some really
toolS of tool thE th E trad tradE
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S A N
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WATSON’S ANGLE TEN SUMMER TIPS
FROM MARK WATSON
01 STAY COMFORTABLE
Keeping comfortable in the summer heat is as important as keeping warm in the winter. I’ve had sessions ruined by sunburn and sunstroke and don’t intend to let it happen again. Fishing Elstow some years ago I’d been stalking some fish and not paid any attention to the sun burning the back of my calves and knees. By the end of the day they were red raw and bloody painful so I went home a day early and that swim did the Mother the next day at over 46lb! Antihistamine tablets and mozzy repellent are a permanent addition to my summer kit too, hayfever and mozzy bites can also ruin your fishing so be prepared.
02 WINDOWS OF OPPORTUNITY
Feeding times can become very predictable and the windows of opportunity can be short. Usually dawn and dusk are good times to be alert and ensure all rods are fishing as effectively. On some lakes there will be a secondary short feeding spell around late morning. This is the time when many anglers will have reeled in.
03 ADJUST SLEEPING PATTERNS
During a session of a couple of nights or more it’s worth taking a leaf out of the Spaniards book and having a siesta for an hour or two during the day. This allows you to be awake and alert when it matters. I’ve caught in the past by moving swims in the dead of night because I’ve been awake and reacted to signs.
04 OFF THE TOP
In the past I’ve sometimes neglected surface fishing when it could well have got me a bite or two. But testing the new Riser Pellets has certainly got me more focused, the way carp react to them has to be seen to be believed. I’ve seen carp swimming along for a couple of feet with their mouths out of the water, gulping down the pellets. They become preoccupied just like they do with hemp on the bottom. As a result of that I’ve started adding some larger food items to the mix such as cat biscuits and Tesco’s dog mixers so the carp don’t become completely pre occupied and ignore the hook bait.
Even when the early morning bite time has passed there are still ways to nick a bonus fish or two. As the carp rise in the water through the day a zig in the right spot will produce. This is something I’ll be doing along with surface fishing with Riser Pellets and Zig Bugs.
06 LOOK AFTER THEM The carp have spawned and the females will have lost a lot of weight. Don’t be disappointed if you bag your target fish and it’s not at its top weight, it’s still the same fish. Also make sure you have all your carp care gear ready along with your Medi-Carp Kit. Some fish will be a bit banged up after spawning, applied to wounds, Medi-Carp significantly speeds up the healing process. To use Medi-Carp just dab the affected area dry with the cloth supplied then apply generously. When you return the fish and contact is made with water a film is formed, sealing the wound.
07 IN THE EDGE
Whenever possible I like nothing more than fishing accurately in the margins, carp will come in very close in the summer. During my time on Elstow 2 I caught a good percentage of my fish within a rod length of the bank including the Twin, the lakes biggest at the time. In fact I can recall two captures I had where the leadcore/mainline connection was out of the water. On pressured waters carp can become suspicious of tightly baited margin zones. They will still visit the margins so try something a bit different such as a wider spread of washed out boilies.
08 LOOK AND LOOK AGAIN
Time spent looking for carp or watching them is seldom wasted. More can be learnt from a couple of hours watching carp than reading umpteen magazines. Even if I see a carp nut out I don’t automatically cast straight at it. I’ve seen too many examples of showing carp acting like decoys so instead I’ll watch to see what else, if anything happens. Let me explain what I mean by decoys, these are carp that are showing in one place but feeding somewhere else. On Elstow 1 a swim called ‘the white stick’ went through a spell of doing quite a few fish fairly close in and with the clarity of the water they could be seen tearing up the bottom. We’d see them leave the area then a few minutes later a couple would show in open water about 40 meters out. Another couple of minutes would pass and they would come back into the swim and continue to feed. More recently on my current lake on the St Ives complex, the carp can regularly be seen showing in the middle but they get caught elsewhere on the lake. So when you see a carp nut out look for a trail of bubbles to see where it is going and look for other signs in the general area.
09 ALTERNATIVE BAITS
Bait wise there’s much more to carp fishing than just boilies. Experimenting with one of the Nash ground baits will bring rewards, especially when stalking. Worms are probably the best carp bait ever and I’ve lost count of the number of carp I’ve caught on cockles in the past. Maggots are not just for the winter either but the problem with all these baits is that everything that swims will want a mouthful. Unless your venue is devoid of nuisance species then they are best used only for stalking.
Almost without exception, the most successful carp anglers I’ve met on the bank are also the most impatient, not the weed smoking time bandits. It’s all about maximising your time on the bank, especially if you work full time like most of us do. When I say keep active I mean mentally as well as physically. Have you done all that you can and if not, why not? I’ve often got more areas than I’m actually fishing baited and I won’t hesitate to move a hook bait if I see bubbling or other positive signs. I don’t like to have lots of rigs tied up but I’ll always have three or four fresh ones ready to go. The same goes for PVA bags, Chain Reaction stringers or whatever I’m using on the day.
10 KEEP ACTIVE
Keep active, prepared and fish effectively and most important of all – enjoy the summer!
STICKY PELLETS TAKE METHOD FISHING TO THE NEXT LEVEL!
isit any commercial fishery around the country and the chances are that a huge proportion of the anglers will be using a flat method feeder. Not only is the method feeder dead simple to rig up, but it is also stunningly effective and particularly in the summer months can account for some huge bags of fish.
At Nash Bait our Fish Frenzy range has been developed with the method feeder very much in mind, using our vast knowledge of carp baits we have developed the most effective ground baits, hook baits and pellets around. Results have been fantastic over the last few seasons with more and more match anglers discovering the edge that properly formulated baits will bring them. Probably our greatest success to date is the Sticky Method Pellets, which have totally revolutionised much of our own fishing and have caused an absolute storm of interest. These pellets do what it says on the bag, they are really sticky, making them perfect for the method feeder, they also have some other really important features that put them light-years ahead of normal pellets.
Stickiness - No other pellet comes even close to the binding qualities of Sticky Pellet. When fishing the method you want the pellets to stay on the feeder, not to come off on the cast or as the feeder sinks. With Sticky Pellets you get a perfect pile of pellets on the lake bed with the hook bait at the centre. Preparation - The 2mm Sticky Pellets are easily prepared on the bank. Simply add a small amount of water, just enough to damp the outside of the pellets, and then leave them in a sealed container for around 20-minutes. The pellets will swell up to about 3mm and be soft right the way through when they are ready.
Size - Being smaller than normal pellets, you can cram more Sticky Pellets on to your feeder and create a really dense load, meaning your feeder will cast further and more accurately. Mix and Match - Sticky Pellets are only available in natural pellet flavour, so you can use our Injuicers, or Whiskey Magic Mix to increase their pulling power, or mix them with our 3mm Feeder Pellets to create a slightly faster break down feeder mix that is ready flavoured. Mix at Home - Unlike other feeder pellets, you can mix Sticky Pellets the night before a session or match and take them
to the bank in sealed bags, saving you time on the bank and meaning that you do not have to prepare fresh batches of pellets during a match. Try them in Bags Because of their small size Sticky Pellets are also ideal for creating perfect PVA bags, and because they will soak up a huge amount of liquid they are ideal for loading with our liquid foods, such as Liquid Liver or Carpmino. Nash Bait Fish Frenzy Sticky Pellets really have taken Method Feeder fishing to the next level, at last the perfect feeder pellet is here!
For more info on the full range visit www.nashtackle.com
! W O N K C O T S IN
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_ NXT D CAM MONO
FRANCE – MAKING THE RIGHT CHOICES 50
If you are contemplating your first trip across the channel this summer, choosing the right venue for you is crucial. Top angler and seasoned traveller Keith Williams talks about a recent successful trip.
have just returned from a trip to Etang Le Cheminel which is a beautiful lake situated just four hours from Calais. The lake itself is 60 miles south of Reims and lies within a forest park and farm land. The lake attracts all kinds of wild life from birds of prey to wild cats, foxes and badgers. It is also possible if you listen carefully to catch the call of a bittern amongst the reeds if you are lucky. The swims are comfortable and the owners are more than happy to drop tackle to your swim if need be. Swims are spacious and set on one side of the lake only, so there is no interference from other anglers. The swims are barked so there are no problems with mud and therefore bank sticks and pegs push in easily. There are 9 swims in total some of which are doubles. The lake is long and averages 90 metres across. The carp do patrol the edges but heed this warning, donâ€™t neglect the middle of the lake where the bigger carp lurk sometimes. There is also a small island where carp will feed nearby and they often use this as a route to visit the reed beds. The lake is mostly shallow averaging 3ft in the pads area increasing to 8ft in places. There is also a dam wall, where swim 1 is located, and this tends to produce a lot of the bigger carp. So this would make a great choice if available. As would Peg 9- a double swim located near the pads. In any of the swims with pads you have to keep your wits about you as the carp love to rush into the pads and you can easily end up losing a big fish. Most of carp caught on our recent visit averaged over twenty pounds and a healthy amount of thirties were also landed. This is a good choice for your first French trip as you will have plenty of runs and get plenty of experience fighting those French carp. The current Lake record stands at 47lbs and there are also a few other forty plus carp to be had too.
The purpose of my latest visit was to take 8 boys on an annual educational fishing trip, where it is hoped they will benefit from expert coaching as well as improving their social and team building skills. The boys all attend Knossington Grange School, which I have been involved with for the last few years. Nash Tackle have supported the school not only to help promote Angling but to offer the boys a real chance to work together. The school has really appreciated the work put into organising these trips and they were delighted to win a national award for team building through the efforts of the schoolâ€™s angling team known as the Camo Carp Academy. Le Cheminel was chosen because of the high chance of success and the range of experiences it would provide. With one tutor to every two boys, they were assured of a terrific experience not to be forgotten but more importantly one which might encourage them to become hooked on fishing. This of course is good for the sport as a whole and it keeps them off the street.
For the duration of the trip I was on Peg 9, one of the swims located in the pads mentioned previously. The pupils were to spend one night each with me, learning about rigs and carp care, a subject I feel passionately about. For this particular lake I thought it best not to use any complicated rigs. In fact for the whole week we used simple KD and blow back rigs. I used Fang X hooks in sizes 7 and 8 tied with 20lb Missing link. The preferred bait was boilies tipped with Nash Mutant Corn, two pieces create a perfect critically balanced rig. This lake responds well to plenty of bait so an Angling Technics Technicat bait boat was used to feed up the swim with pellets ,hemp, corn and boilies. It is worth noting that in these kinds of situations using a boat will quickly get a load of bait out into the lake instead of wasting time and effort with repeated spodding. Rarely do you see anglers using the bait boat to just take out loose feed. By dropping the feed while the boat is moving this will give you a big spread in the area you want to place your rigs. This combination of bait, tackle and method has caught me stacks of forties and fifties in France over the years as well as loads of carp in England up to 42lb and it didnâ€™t fail on this occasion either. The first pupil I had was Ashley who caught a few tench before he landed his personal best carp of 21 lbs. Other personal bests on the trip included catches for Adam and Carl who both showed themselves to be capable anglers. During the week 5 out of the 8 boys had personal bests which hopefully will ensure their continued interest. The Top rod for the week was Tyler who certainly impressed me with his angling skills with a total catch of 10 carp. His haul included a 30lb 14 oz. common which gave him a great fight in amongst the pads. He soon learnt how to tie good neat rigs and how to play fish with confidence.
The biggest catch of the week however was caught by Myles, a mirror over 30lbs, he is already asking when the next trip will happen. All in all it was a very successful week with over 70 carp landed in weather that was at times like a monsoon, but watching the boys holding the carp and smiling made it more than worth while. If you are looking for a taste of France for the first time, take my advice and look for a lake like this one. Firstly you will learn to handle the weather conditions, which could be a heat wave or heavy rain, catching plenty of fish will also hone your skills and experience ready for tackling the more challenging lakes that will present themselves in the future.
FRANCE – THE VIEW FROM THE INSIDE
When most English anglers think of carp fishing in France, it usually conjures up good memories of holidays in the sunshine and monster carp. But whatâ€™s it really like from the inside and how do French anglers view their modern carp scene? French carp angler Olivier Peyrebrune gives us an alternative view There are very few things that stay constant in life and French carp fishing is no exception to this rule. In recent years there have been big changes in French carp fishing, some have been for the better some are proving to be less so. For those who like pioneering or fishing into the unknown, in recent years finding new challenges and searching out new or unexplored waters to fish has been an increasingly difficult problem for many of us in France.
Public lakes are becoming more and more difficult to fish Night fishing is forbidden on some lakes Saint-Cassien being a typical example of this, on lakes such as The Orient weed invasion is also becoming a major problem to contend with. The cost of fishing is also rising at an alarming rate. Getting prepared for an expedition or long session to one of these lakes takes much time and organisation. Being away from home for at least one week when free time and money are two things which are in short supply during these difficult times of economical crisis, is also becoming more and more difficult.
The big rivers have been invaded by catfish I have been fishing La Marne and La Seine for several years, this has been a wonderful adventure and at times the fishing has been prolific, catching 4 or 5 big beautiful commons, and also the odd big mirror during an overnighter was not an uncommon occurrence. Today, in the same swims, you will probably catch 4 or 5 catfish instead of those commons… Despite adopting new tactics it has proven almost impossible to avoid these creatures so making the pursuit and capture of carp an almost impossible proposition.
Angler numbers are multiplying Carp fishing seems to be gaining a more exciting and attractive image. Driven by carp magazines with stories of monster fish and also clever marketing, in France more and more people and many youngsters too are being drawn to our wonderful sport. In places like the Paris region, or North of France, there are simply not enough public lakes to satisfy everybody. For those who like to escape the crowds (I am one of them), weekends on those lakes are simply a nightmare, and now even the week days have become busy!
Security on the bank On public waters bankside thefts are on the increase and expensive tackle items make an attractive target for thieves, unprovoked assaults on anglers also have increased which is a worrying trend. In certain places, night fishing is simply not worth the risk unless you have a pit-bull in your Titan or a Smith and Wesson in your Carryall! It’s often very difficult to relax or sleep when fishing overnighters, and unfortunately that’s not due to catching lots of fish!
Private lakes But things are changing and more private lakes are appearing in France to meet the demands of the ever increasing numbers of fishermen. They provide quiet and secure fishing some also offer accommodation, showers and other facilities. These are usually well stocked waters with big fish and only hold small numbers of Catfish and Sturgeon. They offer affordable fishing in a safe environment and you can take the family along too. If conditions are good and you fish these waters well you will usually be rewarded with some good catches. But although more and more people are fishing them, many are reluctant to actually admit they do. In France, there is often heated debate between private and public supporters regarding the merits of fish caught from such waters.
Photos: Olivier PEYREBRUNE, Julien MAQUIN, jérôme CORBEIL, Frédéric DUFAITRE, Jonathan DEPRE
Changing times changing tactics Angling pressure continues to rise on private lakes and as you would expect, the carp have reacted in a negative way. So just like in England in order to keep catching, tactics have to change and evolve to meet the challenge. Instead of boating our baits out we may now have to cast. Pre-baiting with kilos of 25mm boilies used to catch well, but now we may have to resort to more ‘stealthy or advanced tactics’ such as a single 10mm Rainbow pop-up, 3 Chain Reactions on the hooklink or just a few Soluballs scattered around the area. Chod rigs are now in common use, as are the new Zig Bugs. So methods and tactics are fast changing and becoming similar to UK fishing.
Wild fishing Some Rivers can still provide a wild or more natural alternative. It’s still possible to travel great distances by boat on the river and find some unbelievably beautiful places in the country, far from the crowds, far in fact from everything and everybody. Wild fishing with pristine carp is an exciting prospect but it does bring new challenges and it doesn’t suit everyone.
Street fishing Apart from picnics and Sunday walkers ten years ago in the cities very few people could be seen on the banks of our rivers and lakes. But since then a few pioneering anglers started to explore these places and in time more and more carp anglers followed and those who did have found an incredible oasis of wild fishing and previously uncaught big carp. They have had to learn how to cope with Japanese tourists and other distractions or frustrations but at the end of the day, despite the problems they can enjoy good fishing and relative quietness particularly if the weather is not so good. I’m sad to say that the days when French fish were so numerous and easy to catch in free of charge beautiful and often challenging places is fast becoming a thing of the past. But its not all bad, for me regardless of what kind of place I’m fishing I still get that buzz when I arrive and push my barrow through the mist in the early morning…Nose to the wind, eyes scanning the surface, looking for signs, there’s nothing quite like it. Despite the changes and obvious divisions between some of us, whether you are ‘wild fishing’ in the middle of nowhere, or a syndicate member amongst the crowds on a busy Saturday night, we are all carp anglers trying to enjoy our passion and love of carp fishing and long may it continue!
ES, Jean-Pierre BECKER.
WHEN A SIR EN R S1 B EEP S
LISTEN TO IT
The Siren features IES – The patented Interference Elimination System – all other alarms rely on sensitivity systems to eradicate unnecessary bleeps if conditions deteriorate – the worse the conditions, the less sensitive your alarm – you may miss that bite! IES PROVIDES MAXIMUM SENSITIVITY (MINIMUM LINE MOVEMENT BETWEEN BEEPS) WHATEVER THE CONDITIONS.
Set to maximum S and not only have you got ultra-bite detection but you can also detect even the slowest of line movements, such as a liner that will illustrate fish could be feeding closer in than you are fishing. A big storm comes in - adjust to minimum S and you retain ultra-bite detection so you can detect that crafty old rigged up, leadshaking carp.
TAT I O N
Kevin Nash – “I have just fished through the worst conditions of winter on a grueller of a water catching 15 carp – three were good takes – twelve only indicated one or two beeps. I wouldn’t have known those carp were on if it wasn’t for the IES system of the Siren RS1. When the Siren beeps I listen to it it’s a revolution, dramatically upping my game and catch rate.”
Rig TALK SUMMER UP DATE
Featured NXT D-CAM NXT BULLET BRAID NXT ZIG FLO BACK LEADS TWISTER Many more...
DIFFUSION MAXIMISES CONCEALMENT FROM THE HOOK POINT TO THE ROD TIP Fact - When fished alongside conventional solid colour end tackle setups Diffusion rig components catch more carp. During the warmer months angling pressure will be at a seasonal high. Fishing D-Cam mono, Diffusion leaders, tubing and rig components combined with Missing Link coated braid maximises concealment and minimises spook. Once again this summer Diffusion is providing a definite and noticeable edge.
Rig TALK continues on the next page
NXT D-CAM Although D-Cam has only been available for a few months, our new ground breaking Diffusion main line has quickly become a firm favourite with huge numbers of carp anglers. D-Cam is an excellent casting line, it sinks quickly and because it’s so supple D-Cam moulds itself to lakebed contours. Exceptional knot strength and abrasion resistance means that D-Cam can be confidently fished in the most demanding of circumstances with complete confidence. Fished semi slack on or near the lakebed D-Cam vanishes, fish it ultra slack and D-Cam becomes undetectable to carp. TOP TIP – Use 12lb D-Cam as an ultra low spook hook link material
Bullet Braid is a specialist main line particularly well suited to slack line fishing. Bullet is heavy and fast sinking it’s also incredibly supple and ultra strong and abrasion resistant too, zero stretch is an added bonus which also maximises bite detection. For stalking or for setting stealthy margin traps for pressured rig shy summer carp, Bullet is hard to beat. TOP TIP – Use Bullet Braid to construct short ultra supple hooklinks; fish them with a heavy in-line lead and a few Chain Reaction Pellets – deadly!
Because of its high strength and low diameter, Zig Flo is proving to be a major asset this summer for anglers fishing zig and surface tactics on pressure waters. We’ve found that on tricky days when using inferior floating lines, often it becomes necessary to go ultra light to get a bite off the top or mid water. But Zig Flo is different, the combination of low visibility and high strength means you will hook more fish and crucially you will land them too. TOP TIP – This summer rather than fish drifting hook baits on the top for surface cruisers use Zig Flo to anchor a Zig Bug an inch below the surface in and amongst your floating freebies – deadly!
NXT BULLET BRAID
In carp fishing, small things often bring big rewards. A Nash texture coated back lead, slid down your main line and accurately positioned on a subtle lakebed undulation or small gap or clear patch in bottom weed ensures everything stays nailed to the bottom. This could make the difference between a carp visiting a baited spot or instinctively deciding not to take the chance. Nash back leads are a tackle box essential. TOP TIP – If fishing slack lines isn’t an option, find the carp’s summer patrol routes and identify from which direction the fish are most likely to approach your baited traps. Fish line angles that will ensure that carp encounter your hook baits before they bump into any main line that’s not nailed to the bottom.
D-CAM Use 12lb D-Cam as an ultra low spook hook link material
s r o d n o Jamie L HOOK CHOICE Nash hooks have an enviable reputation for being super strong sticky sharp and ultra reliable, there are four patterns to cover any angling situation likely to be encountered. A matt no shine no spook coating specifically designed to blend against all lakebed types combines to make Nash hooks an unbeatable choice.
s d n o m d Terry E
TWISTER The Fang Twister has a long straight dangerously sharp point, radical square bend, straight medium length shank and aggressive 30 degree down turned eye. TOP TIP - If you are not already using the Twister and are suffering with hook hold issues, this is the hook to turn to.
FANG X The Fang X is a very versatile hook, an incredibly sharp straight point, medium length curved shank and down turned eye make this hook suitable for many popular bottom bait and pop up presentations.
iff ! d n u C Jules z - New Pb 9Lb 6 O
TOP TIP - Big baits are a popular choice for anglers making the trip across the channel this summer, for most anglers, big baits and the expectations of bigger fish means big hooks. But if you are fishing a pressured foreign venue try a double 20mm boilie hook bait with a size 8 Fang X and long hair, this combination could well land you that special fish.
GAPER The Fang Gaper is well suited for both bottom bait and pop up fishing and has an unusually wide gape, short shank and a slightly beaked point. The Gaper is a very ‘grabby’ hook and is very effective for catching out pressured riggy carp that might be feeding on your baited spots and getting away with it. TOP TIP – If you have any issues hooking fish or losing them during the fight when using choddies, switch to a size 6 Gaper.
UNI The Fang Uni has a slightly beaked point, straight medium length shank and down turned eye, it also has a reputation for being exceptionally strong and reliable when fishing in extreme hook and hold situations and in very thick weed. TOP TIP – If you are fishing on a hard gravely bottom and your hooks are slightly loosing their edge after coming into contact with stones and other similar objects, changing to the Uni will minimise the problem.
GET ON THE SIRENS! The Siren alarms have been around for a while now and have quickly gained a reputation for functionality, quality build and reliability and all round user friendlyness. The unique speed sensitive bite indication system has received much acclaim and is proving particularly popular with anglers fishing more demanding venues. In time you get to know your Sirens and different sounds mean different things. Unwanted or false indications can be dialled out and a single beep from a riggy fish (something that will be missed by an inferior product) won’t be overlooked. In a way, using the Sirens is
Kevin Nash says ‘listen to your Sirens’ that could well be the best advice you receive this summer!
a bit like watching and interpreting movement and information from a float, once you’ve used the Sirens there’s no going back! Takes from hard fighting summer fish can be ferocious. The new ‘screw in and fit’ elongated Snag Ears will ensure your rods stay put when combined with the equally impressive Nash Butt Locks. This combination is particularly effective when fishing stealthy margin spots when your lines exit the rod tips at right angles.
Mick Henderson 35Lb_6oz 71
UP YOURS MATE! If you want to up your catch rate or PB this summer, a special hook bait will give you an edge
ADAM GARLAND WITH A MID THIRTY
UP YOURS MATE!
MAKING YOUR OWN SPECIALS Not many anglers want to spend their valuable free time making large amounts of bait these days and when you look at what’s available ‘ready to go’ from Nash Bait that’s no surprise.
Mind you, spending a couple of hours in the kitchen with a few tubs of our ready made boilie paste and some Top Rod Formulas or Food Dips is a quick and easy way to produce a few red hot specials that will put a few bonus carp on the bank this summer. Let’s take a closer look at a few ideas that are catching right now.
HI-VIZ BOTTOM BAITS Take one tub of yellow Classic Pineapple Paste, add 8 ml of Pineapple Food Dip, 2ml Banana Oil Palatant and 1ml Scopex No1 Knead the paste until the additional liquid is completely absorbed
Boil for one minute Dry for 12 hours ( longer for a hard bait) and freeze ready for use Fish a single special hook bait over a scattering of any Top Rod ready made boilie
Roll the paste to the required shape and size
UP YOURS MATE!
Take two tubs of Scopex Squid Red frozen paste, add half a tea spoon of crushed Nash Salt Crystals, half a tea spoon of Green Lipped Mussel Extract and 10ml Scopex Squid Top Rod Formula Liquid Knead the paste until all the ingredients are completely mixed Roll the paste to the required size and shape
MICK HENDERSON 35lb
Boil for one minute Dry for 12 hours and freeze ready for use Fish one as a hook bait and scatter a few as special boosted freebies
E K I M
S E N JO
UP YOURS MATE!
RICH WIL BY 30 PLU S COMMON
Boost visual attraction and add buoyancy to your hook baits by fishing either of these specials snowman style with a 10mm Rainbow Pop Up â€“ irresistible!
We are proud to announce that the following people are patrons supporting the work of the Predation Action Group:
Chris Tarrant OBE
Jim Davidson OBE
Les Webber MBE
The PAG need your support and your donations. Visit us online for more info:
The effects of predation are a serious issue facing fishing in the UK, we are the people facing the issue.
T h e l o n g - a wa i t e d s e q u e l t o 1 9 9 4 ’ s ‘ F r o m T h e B i v v y ’
ob Dylan’s cri de coeur ‘How does it feel…?’ in ‘Like a Rolling Stone’ was the inspiration behind From the Bivvy and this book, both of which were written on the bank during sessions. Pictures can convey the beauty of carp fishing through the scenery, the sunrises and the sunsets. They can even convey something of the harshness of sessions, but there is no wetness or discomfort in pictures of rain, and only words can try to get across the reality of spending six days and nights in wet clothes, as happened during the cataclysmic Rainbow November session described herein. It was horrendous, but for me it is one of the highlights of the book, simply because it was carp fishing in its rawest state, and a period of such conflicting emotions, highs and lows. It was a headbanger, but during it I caught my second-biggest fish ever, which made it all worthwhile. The session on Kevin Nash’s Church Pool was another highlight – with a sting in the tail when I had to pack up and battle my three-trip way back to the distant car park through the torrential rain and bitter easterly wind. No pain, no gain. ‘How does it feel?’ It is the question I’ve tried to answer through words and pictures in compiling More From the Bivvy.
“From Gigantica to Church Pool, Ashmead to Rainbow, Yateley to Madine – this book will not only have countrywide £30 appeal, but dare I suggest, worldwide appeal. This is a book that will stand the test of time and it will appeal to all anglers, young and old, who enjoy the journey just as much as the destination.” Julian Cundiff, January 2012 + £2.95 P&P
NOW AVAILABLE TO ORDER FROM ANGLING PUBLICATIONS ORDER YOUR COPY AT WWW.ANGLINGPUBLICATIONS.CO.UK OR CALL 0114 258 0812
FIVE ‘MUST HAVE’ NASH ESSENTIALS ‘MUST HAVE’ ESSENTIALS!
01 BROLLEY DOME
If you are looking for the full weather protection and comfort normally provided by a pram hood shelter system, but also need to travel light and stay mobile, then this is the shelter for you. The ultra lightweight Brolley Dome can be erected and dismantled in literally a few seconds, just like a conventional oval brolley. Unlike many similar shelters it can also be comfortably housed in a rod sling or lightweight rod holdall, making it the perfect shelter for the angler who needs to fish hard and stay on the move
02 MEDICARP KIT
Applying Medicarp to hook holds, spawning injuries and other abrasions significantly speeds up the healing process. Medicarp also creates a water proof seal around the wound which protects the fish from infection. A Medicarp Care Kit is an essential item, don’t leave home without yours!
03 TIP TOPS CONNECT
Tip Tops have been specifically designed to protect potentially vulnerable rod tips spigots and butts from damage. Tip Tops provide essential additional protection for expensive rods. And this is the clever bit, when using rod slings or when carrying rods on a short summer stalking session, tip protectors are probably the number one item of tackle lost by anglers! Nash Tip Tops have an elasticated link between the top and bottom protectors, this ensures both the rod and Tip Tops stay safe and secure – top product!
04 NASH SEAT COVERS
Vehicle interiors can take quite a hammering when carp tackle is being continuously loaded and unloaded between visits to the lake. Fishy odours and stains can also be an issue if a car has to double up as family transport, front seats often seem to take the brunt of the abuse. Our new ‘one size fits all’ front seat covers can be fitted in seconds and when required, removed just as quickly. Mind you, the carpy green colour, soft comfortable feel of the material and the famous Nash Fish logo will probably mean you’ll want to leave them on anyway. Just like many Nash essentials, once used you’ll wonder how you ever managed without them!
05 NASH RIG LIGHT
The Nash Rig light is a tackle box essential. It takes up minimal room and when required, the small battery pack base unit can be simply and securely clipped into place and the multidirectional swan neck extended and directed as required. This is a really stealthy tool, the ultra bright light allows complex knots and procedures to be carried out with ease, but it’s a focussed or localised light that illuminates the subject matter and nothing else.