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ALAN BLAIR ON WINTER ZIGGING Boost your results by fishing off bottom

#GET IN THE VAN Euro carping – Nash staff style!




The essential guide to PVA


Bait edges for winter bites

Coated with Nashbait’s unique dissolving Culture skin infused with powdered versions of the killer Citruz attractors, Citruz Cultured® Hookbaits slowly release complex fruit esters, aminos and nucleotides for cold water action where other baits fail. For best results use with Citruz Cultured® Fizzing Stick Mix that gently fizzes, steadily releasing food particles and deadly Citruz attractors through the water column, drawing carp to the hookbait using sight, sound, smell and taste. GET HIGH-VIZ WITH FIZZ!





Alan Blair’s guide to boosting your winter results by fishing off bottom.

24 - 37 #GET IN THE VAN

Euro Carping – Nash staff style! Two men, one van and one mission









32 - 37 NAILED! LAND MORE, LOSE LESS The Essential Guide to Better Hook holds.


Nash Tester Jed Kent proves a few hours is all you need if you pick a venue wisely.


The carp world’s number one instructor on tangles, winter location and more.

50 - 51 NASH KNOWHOW - THE ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO PVA How to keep PVA working for you when bites are at a premium.


The new Nashbait brand manager on being dropped in at the deep end!

62 - 66 GARY BAYES – GET A BITE BELTERS The very BEST in cold water bait edges for more action this winter.

70 - 77 STEVE BRIGGS – WINTER BAITING A different take on cold water carping from globetrotting carp ace Steve – he gives them some…


Matt Rhodes on the lessons learned from his first six months running Nashlakes Royston. Essential reading!

Editor: Colin Davidson Design: BRAVEDOG Web: Kevin Tucker and Colin Davidson Photography: Oli Davies, Tom Forman and Dan Yeomans With thanks to: Nash Consultants & The Nash Tackle HQ Team. @officialnashtackle @officialnashtackle


Get MORE from Nash!

Check out the recent winners on the Official Nashbait Instagram page. Upload, share and win!



KYLE HEESOM from Bulwell, Nottinghamshire Nottinghamshire club lake, feeding a mix of Key Cray and Citruz. Prize: 1kg Key Flake, 1kg TG Active Flake, 1kg 4G Squid Flake

JASMINE FENN from Ely, Cambridgeshire


Cambridgeshire club lake, 10mm pop-up and small PVA bag of crumb fished to a reedbed.


Prize: Citruz Cultured Hookbaits 15 and 20mm, Citruz Cultured Fizzing Stick Mix, 15mm Special Edition Citruz Pop Ups, 1kg 15mm Special Edition Citruz Boilies



TEDDY TAHIR from Beckenham, Kent Fishing Abbey lakes in France, baiting over the top of a solid PVA bag with The Key boilies hemp and corn.

Prize: Christmas Bumper Bundle 5kg of 15mm Key Cray Stabilised, 5kg of 20mm Key Cray Stabilised, Nashbait Cap, Nashbait Hoody, Cyber Lite Throwing Stick




Colin Davidson

THE winter season is show time and on a daily basis new Titans, Indulgence Beds and Scope Luggage items are being loaded into vans to head all over Europe to let people get their hands on the latest additions to the range.


t was a pleasure to be invited to the Carp Austria show in Vienna recently with Gary Bayes and Alan Blair to support Team AustriaGermany, and see the thousands of anglers who wanted to watch the new Titans being set up in seconds or pick up a promo bag of the new Key Cray. Gary’s talk on the development of the new bait plus his other pearls of bait making wisdom had the audience absolutely hanging on his words. Watching Alan Blair with the Austrian crowd was an absolute masterclass. Chatting away to visitors to the Nash stand he got into a discussion about chod rigs. Before you knew it Alan was sat on the floor, next thing his tackle box is out, he’s throwing boilies around, lifting the rig off the floor, showing the mechanics of the hook and every other clever little demonstration you can think of. Within minutes he had dozens and dozens of carpers virtually trapping him against the stand to see what they could learn. What sets Alan apart is this absolute genuine passion for sharing his time and his fishing with anybody – it was amazing to watch. Not many weeks later I was sat with Kevin Nash, having a Nashbait meeting and the phone went in his office. He got involved answering questions from an angler interested in Scope rods but confused about

"What sets Alan apart is this absolute genuine passion for sharing his time and his fishing with anybody – it was amazing to watch."

test curves. Kev explained his thoughts and before long moved onto hookbait choices then rig mechanics and more to address problems the guy was having on his current venue – a typical carpy chat that we all have when we need some help. At the end of it the caller obviously asked who he was talking to. ‘It’s Kevin, Kevin Nash…’ said the boss man, almost a bit surprised to have to introduce himself at that point. I don’t think the caller had ever been so surprised in his life! Like Alan’s off the cuff chod rig demo, it was a lovely example of what I think makes Nash different –Kev and Alan are the most down

to earth, approachable guys you will ever meet. It’s not staged, it’s not a marketing ploy, everyone is treated with the same courtesy. For a company the size of Nash that speaks volumes about their values. We’ve got another belting E Zine for you, guaranteed to soothe a sore New Year head and give you a stack of reasons to make getting out there and catching some winter carp one of your New Year’s resolutions for 2017. And if you drank too much to be able to read clearly, why not head to the website and Nash TV and check out the brilliant film Big Carp the Austrian Way. Underwater cameras, polyballs, boats and more – something for everyone to learn!








WHEN winter is well and truly here I’ll still be confident of a bite even when it’s bitterly cold - and ALL my rods will have a zig rig on them.


igging is not just a summer method when the fish are near the surface, it’s a method that will work all year round and particularly through the depths of winter. I personally feel my best chance of getting a bite in the winter months is using a bait suspended off the bottom. The fish in winter group up together, their metabolism has shut right down and often the last thing on their minds is dropping down onto a bed of bait to feed. Zig fishing for winter carp is more like lure fishing rather than traditional carp fishing.



“What did I learn? Fishing on the bottom is simply not the key to success in cold weather.” So why exclusively use zigs in the winter? I’ve been there and done it, winter campaigns in the coldest of weathers, baiting and fishing a quality cold water food bait week in and week out. What did I learn? Fishing on the bottom is simply not the key to success in cold weather. Today if I am carping in the colder months you will always see me fishing with zigs. The last thing I want to be doing is sitting in my bivvy freezing cold, zigging


in the winter can be such an active method, lots of recasting, adjusting the depth, twitching hookbaits and more. It keeps me busy, interested, warmer and catches me more carp. The key is simply if you can locate where those fish are grouped up for the winter months then you can keep the bites coming whilst others around you will continue blanking until the Spring comes around. The same goes for those long winter nights. Don’t be fooled into thinking that when the sun goes down it’s time to reel in your zigs and stick out the bottom baits as I have caught countless winter carp during the night with baits suspended well off the bottom. On some venues it seems night time

zigs is often the only way to get bites. Where many anglers fail when being tempted by the idea of zigs is that they don’t put 100% into it. So often it’s a case of I’ve not caught so I’m going to stick a zig out for the last couple of hours… Zigging always gives you an edge as most anglers will still opt to fish bottom baits. I have all my rods off bottom, trying all manner of depths and colours until I start to build up a picture of what the carp are doing at certain times of the day and certain times of the year and I catch a lot more this way than sitting behind a pop up on a KD rig.


“I am confident that using zigs I can pester or tempt them into grabbing at something by sheer persistence.”

WHERE ARE THEY? A simple question to ask yourself is simply how many hours each day do you think a carp might feed on the bottom for – even in summer? It might be a few hours in the morning, maybe a few more in the afternoon, evening and possibly at some point during the night but it isn’t a full 24 hours rummaging around for food on the bottom. For most of their day carp are likely to be moving from place to place, laying up somewhere and not actively feeding. It’s at times like these that they can be lured into

taking a hookbait that is positioned under their noses whatever the time of year. I deliberately use the word ‘lure‘ as I don’t think carp are considering feeding until the point they see or smell your hookbait and investigate. At this point they either suck it in as it entices them through its inherent attraction or are simply lured into sucking it in because they wonder what it is. If we are intrigued by something we can go and pick something up and look at it, whereas a curious carp will suck something in to test it, giving you a chance of hooking them. When carp activity slows down in the winter the situation becomes even more pronounced, with carp spending sometimes days and days

barely moving at all. But even a carp that isn’t interested in feeding can be encouraged to grab at a hookbait, and the number of times I’ve caught in bitter conditions before I’ve even set the indicator after a recast is a reminder how much the movement of a bait settling (or more accurately rising up to the extent of the hooklink) can be enough to bring some interest when a bait sat motionless on the bottom catches nothing. As long as I can locate where carp are sitting then I am confident that using zigs I can pester or tempt them into grabbing at something by sheer persistence.





A weed lead clip allows lead size and shape to be changed but also allows the lead to be discharged on the take when using long hooklinks.


Straight pointed hooks on Zig Flo links are the go anywhere combination for good presentation and reliable hooking


Always feather your cast to keep the hooklink separate from the lead as it hits the water to reduce the chance of tangles.



Tungsten Zig Links over the hooklink swivel act as brilliant anti-tangle booms when casting and add movement to the hookbait for more reliable hook holds.


Add Zig Aligna tube or use a Ziggaz sleeve and foam to improve hooking mechanics, a knotless knot reduces the gape of a small hook and causes losses.petition.


Fish with a bowstring tight line to the lead, as soon as the link is tightened the lead bouncing back towards the rod tip helps pull the hook home.



SIMPLE LINE UP A winter zig set up only needs to be really simple and I personally use a weed lead clip as I feel it casts and feathers better. I also always add a tungsten Zig Link to prevent tangles and also put some increased free movement into the rig to improve hooking. Remember, if a zig is literally a fixed length of line straight off the lead with no additional movement possible then a carp can actually struggle to get the bait in its mouth and you will lose a lot more carp than if you add the zig link. Hooklink needs to be NXT Zig Flo either 8, 10 or 12lb depending on the size of fish and any snags or weed present. It’s such tough line that I’ve landed some really big carp even on the lightest strain.


Length of the hooklink is constantly adjusted until I’m getting regular bites and good hook holds. Hookbait choice and bait mounting need not be complicated either. I used to use a knotless knot to keep the bait tight to the shank and caught plenty of carp that way, but these days I’ve tweaked my presentation slightly and prefer to knot the Zig Flo direct to the hook and use Zig Aligna tube to encourage the hook to turn.

It achieves the same hooking mechanics as a knotless knot but without the line down coming through the eye that reduces the already narrow gape of a small hook, which occasionally can lead to hook pulls or half chances rather than carp in the net. I love the straight point on the Twister and Fang X patterns as I feel they just lend themselves to pricking more readily than for example a hook with a beaked point.



Alan’s favourites – Cased Caddis, Corixa and Black Louse Zig Bugs

Launching Zig Bugs really was a game changer in many senses and was the start of the explosion of interest in zigging, it was the moment where suddenly zigging became mainstream and just couldn’t be ignored. Sure, very select and forward thinking people had always understood carp were catchable on trout fishing style flies, and I had previously made my own or even used over the counter trout flies but making flies was time consuming and trout flies weren’t the answer because the pattern of hooks they were tied to were too weak and I began to get fed up with hooks opening and fish being lost. Nashy was aware by this time of the huge benefits of zigging, fishing hookbaits in safe zones and as a result we developed a range of Bugs that resembled many of the insects carp would come into contact with but tied onto proper carp hooks. A 50 lb common caught from Church Lake whilst testing Bugs told us we were on to something pretty big! The rest as they say is history, the method snowballed and we were inundated with mails and phone calls from anglers who simply couldn’t believe their effectiveness.

choices that carp angling has just never had before.

The range has since been improved again with bigger hooks and wider gapes for better pricking potential, different patterns with elements like two tone colour finishes or shimmering trim to mimic a beetle’s shell when moving through the depths give a range of hookbait

Zigging isn’t all about Bugs though, and a hookbait can simply be a 10mm pop up, piece of foam, bit of cork, basically anything that will support the weight of the hook and your hooklink and is suspended up in the water. Three years ago we launched the Bread Bomb, a year

It’s impossible to say which Bug is the best, just the same as no single boilie is the best in the world so it pays to have a selection, fish with them, experiment and just like a boilie, gain confidence. My personal favourites are the Black Louse with its shimmering green trim on the underside, the Corixa (or Water Boatman) because it looks so much like the real thing and on shallow gravel pits the Cased Caddis.

later and through popular demand we brought out a smaller version and now we have launched the final size in the trilogy – the Ziggaz to house Ziggaz Foams, they are so simple to use and allow you to quickly change a pre soaked piece of foam in seconds ready for a recast. I use them as much as I use Bugs! Ziggaz allow you to change colours in seconds to find the day’s winning formula




Lots of choices of shade and colour are vital in your zig hookbait armoury

Just like when fishing on the bottom some colours will work better than others on a given day – I have caught most of my fish with either black hookbaits or black with another colour on the top. I’m sure if the fish are below the hookbait they can see the darkness of the black most easily from below against the sky and the top colour really is to more down to your own preference. Whatever the reasons, blending black with something brighter is a great starting point. Another favourite when fishing in deeper or more coloured water is the Glow Beetle Critter. It has two major benefits, firstly, if I am fishing at range and using an adjustable zig rig, when I want to pop the bait


all the way to the surface and then back down to my chosen depth, it is the easiest to see and secondly because the glow also helps catch carp! By ‘charging’ the critter with a camera flash it gives off an ultra violet glow. I’m no scientist so have

no explanation as to why it is so effective – I assume it’s back to that scenario of a carp seeing something interesting and unusual in the water, mooching over to have a look and sucking it in as a result – by then the rod tip has pulled over and you’re in!!


FIXED OR ADJUSTABLE? An adjustable zig’s main benefit is to allow you to fish in depths of water beyond the length of your rod - it becomes very difficult to cast and net fish with a hooklink beyond say 10 or 11 feet. The adjustable Zig Float allows you to fish in ANY depth of water and present your hookbait absolutely accurately where the fish are sitting. Cast out, bring the float to the surface, if at range some binoculars are required so you can identify your hookbait, then it’s a simple case of rotating the spool until the hookbait disappears just below the surface, from there you can accurately pull the bait down to whatever measured depth you

desire – six inches below, one foot below and so on. Where it is a huge help is when the lake bed undulates. You may want to fish two foot under the surface in ten feet of water, but if the lake bed is up and down and you land the rig in a depression or on a small hump you won’t be presenting the hookbait where you think you are. A float system allows you to always fish accurately and use the surface as the reference every cast before setting the depth of the hook bait.

fishing in a snaggy or weedy swim the large float and heavy lead can mean lost fish and in some cases float systems are simply unsafe to use. Secondly, in terms of pure hooking ability, I’d take a carp tightening to a lead on a clip every time to get that point pulled in – with floats you often get a few more fluffed chances. A good monocular or binoculars helps you set a zig float accurately at range or in ripple

There are downsides to float systems though. Firstly they don’t cast as well as a standard fixed zig end tackle, and you also can’t discharge the lead, should you be



BUG BOOSTING Because they are so realistic and carp eat hundreds of insects without ever being caught, Zig Bugs catch lots of carp as they come straight out of the packet, but there are still times when I flavour them just to add that vital extra incentive for a carp to get hold of one and keep hold of one. Due to the nature of the bugs and the materials used to create them, they will all absorb and take on flavours either penetrating into the foam or soaking into the fur, feathers or hair used in the trim. In the warmer months I love something stinky like the Shrimp Juice – be warned – this is NOT for human consumption and you need a strong stomach to even be around the smell but the fish love it! When temperatures start dropping then something sweet tends to be more consistent. I like the really sweet Nectar Juice or the tangy zing of the Citruz spray enhance. Again, it’s all about experimentation – and both Old Skool and Tangleberry from the Ace Cards range have amazing cold water pedigree when used as hookbait dips so they are worth a look as well.

“…sometimes quick twitches on the line can see it snatched from your hand as a carp grabs the bait.”

ON THE PULL I’ve been long aware of the effectiveness of movement in a bait and it goes back to my very early years when by twitching a bait on the surface I realised could easily entice a carp to almost snatch at it on the surface. Fast forward and I'm now employing the same tactic with my zig fishing. The easiest way to make a zig hookbait move is to fish with an adjustable Zig Float end tackle. For me, this is one of the biggest advantages of an adjustable setup, I can use the float to easily move my bug up and down through the water column. By sitting close by my rods I can slowly pull line from the clutch or conversely wind line onto the clutch moving the hookbait up and down through the depths.


Sometimes doing this very slowly will almost immediately induce a take whereas the static hookbait had produced no interest, and sometimes quick twitches on the line can see it snatched from your hand as a carp grabs the bait. I think movement is so under estimated in carp fishing, we are forever fishing static hook baits, I think that element of movement creates a huge amount of interest to a fish, in just the same way a bug would as it moves through the water. It doesn’t matter what country you are from, please take a second and think, do the carp you are fishing for really spend all of their time at the bottom of the water or do they also use the various depths of the water they live in? I think you know the answer! In the colder months fishing off bottom is even more essential than when it is warm.

High Viz with

Coated with Nashbait’s unique dissolving Culture skin infused with powdered versions of the killer Citruz attractors, Citruz Cultured® Hookbaits slowly release complex fruit esters, aminos and nucleotides for cold water action where other baits fail. For best results use with Citruz Cultured® Fizzing Stick Mix that gently fizzes, steadily releasing food particles and deadly Citruz attractors through the water column, drawing carp to the hookbait using sight, sound, smell and taste. GET HIGH-VIZ WITH FIZZ!



#G The 18


Get In eVan Load the gear, buckle up and switch the SatNav on. It’s the way Dan Yeomans and Loz Smart squeeze a cheeky overseas adventure inbetween work. Just drive!



Loz and I grew up together, were both mad keen carpers and we’d always planned to hire a van and head to one of the big fish meccas in France. Then life happened, and between work, travelling, university and a bit of growing up the dream somehow got shelved. Until now…


oz starting to work full time for Nash suddenly opened up some interesting possibilities. My little VW Golf may have only been a few inches off the floor as we went through the Dartford Crossing but Loz had the video camera on, we were heading to Belgium to fish a park lake and we were finally going to do exactly what we’d always wanted to – get over to Europe and do something completely different. We arrived late evening, met Benelux consultant Jelle who had a cooler box full of beers and an area earmarked for us as we raced against the fading light to get baits in position amongst thick weed around 100 yards out. The night produced nothing but the morning that greeted us was magic, with the most tranquil sunrise over a great expanse of crystal clear water, not a ripple on its misty surface – just what we’d imagined. Fast forward two hours and I had a dog drifting by on a paddle board a bus load of kids swimming on a man made beach across to my right, a flock of kayakers drifting past the rod tips and every two minutes a runner charging down the path where we sat which had me fearing to peek out of my brolly. There was even a full on bikini photoshoot 30 yards off my spot – obviously I kept checking with binoculars to ensure the carp weren’t being disturbed. The park lake had literally come alive and it was also hot, really hot. I had of course laughed when I was being mothered on the way out of the door – ‘make sure you take some sun cream!’…



“…a full on bikini photoshoot 30 yards off my spot – obviously I kept checking with binoculars to ensure the carp weren’t being disturbed.”

Landmark Lump We’d made plans to move to a nice quiet stretch of canal – but not before Loz bagged a landmark carp. Around 2am I was woken by him wading down the margin to investigate some odd bleeps. Both lines were pointing in the same direction despite the fact the baits were supposedly 80 yards apart. Nothing on the first rod. A couple of bumps on the other…bream? Something wasn’t quite right and after a couple of minutes it appeared nothing was attached…apart

from the other line. His temper frayed at this point I recall as he began furiously hand lining in both rods, one still 80 yards out and most probably with a bream on the end in thick weed. A couple more bumps indicated a bream was still on and there may have been rude remarks about the species – right up until he slowly tiptoed back to the bank, cautiously obtained a net and very carefully slid it under a defeated and confused looking common that went 28 lb! To this day we have no idea what had happened but we were buzzing with the first fish of our Euro escapades!



Cut and run Rather than risk more chaos with the general public we moved on to a quiet stretch of canal Jelle put us on to. Deep in the Belgian countryside, peaceful and quiet, 20 yards across and not another person let alone angler in sight! 22

We flicked a few rods out along the stretch, followed with a handful of bait and began to set up camp. I think the last rod hadn’t even gone out before the first was away with an upper double mirror to me, followed an hour later by a similar fish for Loz. We were liking the canal! We saw another local arrive

on a moped and catch an amazing 38 lb common in less than an hour, then we invented sun breaks to try and stop ourselves burning in the fierce heat, and finally finished our first trip with another carp hooked in the middle of the day, a common of 30 lb and a few ounces and a cracking way to end our maiden Euro road trip.


Take a turn To make the most of every trip one thing Loz and I have always done is share the action, alternating the runs no matter whose rods are producing. We always fish like this when we go away because it’s a team effort. We both want to see fish on the bank for each other as much as ourselves, and if one spot is really rocking you can both reap the rewards rather than one person hauling and the other becoming the trip photographer. It takes a lot of trust in someone else’s approach, rigs, baiting and tackle but it almost makes you fish harder. You really don’t want the blame for a hook pull at the net on your rod… How do we decide who gets the first take? Easy – we have a quick game of Rock-PaperScissors to see who gets the receivers first!

““When we woke up a local angler fishing for bits told us there were no carp in the lake…”"

You don’t want to fish here mate… One of my favourite aspects of Euro trips is the unknown. There’s a real thrill just dropping on somewhere and fishing with no idea or expectation. Within a month of our initial trip I joined Nash as a videographer, and before I knew it European trips were coming thick and fast, whether for European shows and shop days, or heading out to film our European teams. With some of the long trips around Europe we often just need a place to crash and next to a canal, lake or river is the best bet – if you’ve remembered to pack your Sawn-Offs off course.



I spent a night in Poland on the other side of a motorway barrier fishing a lake sat between a shopping complex and a KFC, with lorries shaking my RDS Shelter every time they roared past. When we woke up a local angler fishing for bits told us there were no carp in the lake… I guess there are no maps for pioneers and all that!

Creatures of the night Not all the opportunist fishing I’ve done in Europe has been memorable for the right reasons. Finishing an exhausting nine day filming trip to Germany Carl Smith and I stopped off to fish a night on a canal before the final leg of the journey home. I managed a 28lb common which was a great start. When Carl’s alarm signalled a bream like take I obviously stayed in bed. A few moments later I was woken by an excited Carl shining his headtorch in my face and swinging a dirty great muskrat thing around, nailed in the bottom lip on a size 5 Fang X. It took a nervy couple of minutes with some long nosed pliers, teamwork and a pillow to whip the hook out before it scuttled off!



Bricking it in Belgium May 2016 and Loz and I were loading the van again, this time not for work but play. The only place we were heading was completely out of our comfort zone, to tackle a giant Belgian river. We’d been told about huge shipping barges, rocks for leads, 8 oz backleads and bungees to hold a pod on the bank to stop the current pulling it in. It was all true! It’s this contrast with most UK carping that adds something special. It’s carp angling but on a different scale, both the fish themselves and the venues.

walls which in some places only had access by rusty old ladders, however we were ‘lucky’ with some incredibly steep steps down to the water where our boat lived three metres below. We fished to the far side of the river, just on the bottom of the concrete shelf, 180 yards across. It was most successful doing the rods as a pair, one driver, the other ready to drop the ‘brick rig’ following it with a couple of kilos of 4G Squid and some Candy Tigers over the top. The toughest job being the driver was managing to keep on the same spot in the flow! It was an epic venue in the most real sense.

The river was set below great concrete



Double delight The first night we were welcomed by Jelle again with a BBQ social and stories about the incredible carp and slightly crazy anglers who fish for them, scrambling up and down those ladders connected to carp whilst hopping in and out of boats. Our first run came at midday the following day, a short battle for Loz producing a lovely common, just ounces under 30 lb mark – a baby we were told! It was hard work to keep the rods fishing effectively, rebaiting every couple of hours so we knew there was food around despite the constant barge traffic and powerful flow.


My turn was around 4am, just a couple of bleeps due to the tight line. We hopped in the boat and it was eerie floating about in the dark and the silence, the only sound being the gentle buzz of the motor and the ticking of a clutch. A couple of powerful runs later and a mid 20 was in the net then as we neared the swim another rod was away, one of the close in rods allowing Loz to play it comfortably from the bank while I dealt with the one hanging over the side of the boat. A brace shot of mid 20s absolutely made the trip for us, sharing carp on such an extreme venue.


Last gasp lump Having both caught carp from a venue that only two days earlier had seemed utterly daunting we drank beer, watched the sun go down and even saw carp showing in front of us. Those moments are the ones that to us make carp fishing abroad special. We may also have grumbled to each other about how it wasn’t fair there wasn’t any fishing anything like it back home in England – once you get the bug for those big Euro environments it absolutely grips you. In the early hours of the morning the rod fished close in was away again and I knew it was a better fish, hanging deep and slogging around the bottom of the shelf before Loz scooped the net under the final fish of the trip, our biggest and a new personal best for me. We waited for the sun to show itself before we got 43 lb 12 oz of solid gold, barge dodging, mussel crunching common out the retainer before watching it disappear back to the depths of an incredible venue.


And it’s a thumbs up from Mike for surviving the night!

Belgian beasts A bit of opportunist fishing between the three days of a big Belgian shop show earlier this year didn’t quite produce the sort of night time visitors we were hoping for. After a beer and a barbecue with Mike Wilson and consultant Chris Eaglestone the rods went out and we climbed into our beds after a long day on our feet. I got up in the early hours to do what you do after a beer or two, walked around the back of the brolly and saw two mammoth shapes galloping out of the darkness down the road towards me. A liquid nearly become an unplanned solid, and I dived back into bed. I could hear them nosing around behind me, and these things were huge, more like small horses than big dogs. What was definitely missing was any suggestion of a Belgian owner calling them back. 28


They started making their way around the front of the brolly, by which time I was really losing my bottle. As they clocked me they startled and one let out a bark that I felt echo through my chest. All I could do was hold my rucksack in front of me in readiness in case they attacked. After what seemed like an age they headed off to ‘visit’ Chris and Mikey. Hearing the bark, by this time they had also twigged we had some guests. It went like this: Chris: ‘Don’t move mate…’ Mikey: ‘Where are they?’ (heavily protected, hiding underneath an Indulgence Air Shroud) Chris: ‘Sniffing your head geez…’ They scarpered but none of us would pretend not to have been a little bit concerned for our safety. I didn’t sleep a wink afterwards, and we all blanked. Again.

Just do it The most enjoyable fishing I’ve done has been since I’ve taken the plunge and spread my wings to Europe. Loz and I planned literally for years when we were younger to go on a European adventure and it never happened. Now we’ve learned how easy it really can be we shoot over the water whenever we get the chance, and usually for a maximum of three nights. The thought of the trip or the drive always seems more daunting than the trip itself, it just takes that first step, just to load a van and drive. There is so much water to be discovered and it makes for such a great escape from what can be the rat race of English carp fishing. For the good times to begin all you need to do is #GetInTheVan!





Payback pig Many European adventures simply wouldn’t come to be without the enormous help of so many Nash consultants and team members. Benelux angler Jelle Vandaele bagged this colossal 27.5 kilo mirror during one of Loz and Dan’s road trips. “The fish came out the retainer and we were just speechless, it was a farmyard animal!” said Dan. “We were over the moon for Jelle, he has always helped with great information and lovely venues for our trips and the fish couldn’t have come to a more deserving guy. That’s over 60 lb in UK currency, truly inspirational stuff from an absolutely brutal venue.”



NAILED! Land more and lose less with our essential guide to better hook holds



TO THE POINT There’s greater awareness than ever that hooks need to be as sharp as possible. Fang hooks require no additional sharpening from the packet, and come with sticky sharp points but any hook point will deteriorate in use. Catch a bream and your hook is no longer as sharp as it could be. Retrieve a rig and it catches on the lake bed as you lift it off bottom, no longer as sharp as it could be. Pull a hook repeatedly into PVA sticks – no longer sticky sharp. Check your hook points every time you retrieve and recast or rebait. If the hook scores your nail under gentle pressure the point is still keen.

RIGGED UP AND READY Understanding that hooks are easily degraded through use means you need to be prepared to change them more regularly. A good supply of pre-tied rigs before a session encourages you to change hooks however often it’s required. If you don’t have a well stocked rig board you’ll find excuses not to change rigs to a sticky sharp fresh hook, and it will cost you fish. Getting through more rigs and a few more rig materials is a small price to pay for catching more fish because your rigs are always at their most efficient.

THE LONG AND SHORT OF IT Hook holds can be easily improved by altering the length of the hooklink. It’s fashionable to use short links, but they also limit how far a hook is taken into the mouth by a feeding carp, and sometimes hook holds close to the edges of the lips or in the scissors can easily pull free. If your hooks are close to the edge of the lips, add an inch at a time to the length of the links and see if the position of the hook changes. Optimum length depends on the size of the carp, the nature of the bottom and the feeding situation but improving hook holds often means longer not shorter links.



BEAT THE BOUNCE How do you play a carp – off the clutch or using backwind? It’s rarely considered but how you play a carp can also affect your chances of landing it. Watch the end tackle when someone backwinds and the lead tends to swing around much more in the water than if you play a carp using the clutch. Any bouncing around of the lead behind a rig can easily pop a hook out. Some people backwind very well in response to a fighting carp, others less so. A clutch is a much more consistent way of giving line under controlled and steady tension.



DIAL UP THE DRAG By the time a bobbin pulls up to the alarm and a carp takes line from the reel the hook hold should always be secure. Pressure from a line clip and also your drag or free spool helps firmly pull the hook point securely in before you even pick a rod from the rests. Many carpers still set their free spool or fast drag reels to a minimum tension for a taking carp, so much so that even heavy indicators can pull line from the reel. Make a taking carp work for the line rather than giving it away. More tension from the reels is better than less.

GREAT WEIGHT DEBATE Do heavier leads give better hook holds or increase the chances of losing fish? There’s no hard and fast answer. On the one hand a heavier lead helps pull a hook point in further when a carp tightens a link, but unless you eject a heavy lead you then have it swinging or bouncing behind the hook during the fight which can result in hook pulls, particularly in soft mouthed carp. Either losing the lead or choosing to go a lot lighter with 1 oz or 1.5 oz leads ensures pressure is more directly applied to the hook point during as you play it, rather than being absorbed by a heavy, swinging lead behind the rig.



PICK A PATTERN Most carp anglers have favourite hook patterns which they reach for routinely everywhere they fish. Rig confidence is crucial, but if you’re losing more than an odd carp try changing hook patterns. Often the simple difference between a straight point on a Twister and the wider gape inturned point Fang Uni can be enough to solve a problem instantly, and vice versa. For reasons we can’t always put our finger on a different pattern will often completely change your lost to landed statistics. It can often vary from venue to venue.

STRETCH SECURITY Aside from its ability to outwit the most accomplished head shaking carp that dump rigs, the amazing stretching Triggalink material also cushions against hook pulls. When wet Triggalink is an amazing shock absorber, preventing unnecessary pressure being directly applied to the hook point even when playing energetic carp. If you momentarily lose contact with fish in weed or when dealing with crossed lines it ensures there is still pressure on the point. It’s one of the very best tactics for ensuring you land carp hooked amongst weedbeds or close to thick pads. Once the hook goes in, it stays in!

PUTTING ON WEIGHT Weighting hooklinks encourages hooks to turn faster for hook holds in the middle of the bottom lip. For Multi Rigs and other traditional pop up rigs try significantly increasing the counter balance weight, so rather than slow sinking the bait is well over shotted and spins more readily as the bait is lifted off bottom. For bottom bait and snowman rigs add a Clinger Tungsten stop and cover it with a good size slug of putty an inch behind the kicker or shrink tube – it makes a big difference to hooking potential, helping to turn the hook before the link is fully tightened.


CITRUZ CULTURED ® Citruz pulling power - now with a winter coat

Coated with Nashbait’s unique dissolving Culture skin infused with powdered versions of the killer Citruz attractors, Citruz Cultured® Hookbaits slowly release complex fruit esters, aminos and nucleotides for cold water action where other baits fail. For best results use with Citruz Cultured® Fizzing Stick Mix that gently fizzes, steadily releasing food particles and deadly Citruz attractors through the water column, drawing carp to the hookbait using sight, sound, smell and taste. GET HIGH-VIZ WITH FIZZ!






CARPING Need a bit of action now the days have drawn in? We join Nash tester Jed Kent to show how a few hours is all you need if you pick your venue wisely.


estled deep in the East Sussex countryside the Wylands complex is home for Jed Kent, running a small tackle shop on site, servicing the hundreds of anglers who frequent the complex each year. With the lakes literally out the front door of the shop it gives Jed an

unrivalled opportunity to mix work and fishing when peak season angler footfall is over. He can often be found mooching around one of the several lakes in search of quick bites, and probably has the lowest time fished to carp landed ratio of anyone you will ever compare notes with.




We catch up with Jed on one of the trickier lakes, New Speci, two acres and roughly rectangular with a long central island. It’s just gone 10am, Jed has only been fishing a few minutes but already there is a small common in the net. With many of the smaller carp removed recently to allow the remaining carp to grow bigger, Jed reckons there’s the chance of a 20-pounder if he can get through the smaller ones.


There are definitely carp in the area and the next hour sees several liners indicated by slow lifts of the bobbins. With a proper take not forthcoming, instead of flogging the area or sitting it out he decides to rove rods around the swim in an attempt to locate responsive fish. Light leads avoid too much disturbance and he gives each rod half an hour before reeling in and casting out a fresh bag.



This early fish fell to his middle rod, fished up to a set of pads against the island margin with six feet of water off the front of them. Jed reckons that there are always a few fish knocking about here, taking advantage of the cover that the pads offer and sheltered from the horrible north easterly wind that is blowing today.


Jed explains that Wyland carp normally give themselves away by bubbling but the bitter wind is creating a ripple that makes any feeding signs harder to spot. On the basis of the line bites he drops one rod shorter, the second sent out to the corner of the island where a carp showed earlier. The final rod moves further left, but remains tight to the island where the fish have come from.


With the pictures done he wastes no time in wrapping back around the Spot on Stix and getting back on the spot, flicking a couple of pouches of 10mm Citruz free offerings around his hookbait. He lets the line settle before clipping on the bobbin, with just enough tension to register a drop back bite.


Just minutes after the recast the Citruz Fizzing Stick Mix has worked its charms and the bobbin on the same rod twitches before dropping slack, Jed bending into a hooked carp. He steers it away from the dying pads, and a flash of scales reveals it to be another common. As Jed draws it over the cord it’s clearly a better fish than the first. In spite of the foul conditions he has bagged two carp in only just over an hour.


With the rods sorted Jed baits another simple bottom bait rig made from Combilink and a size 10 Fang Twister. The long hair stripped of coating provides free movement and separation between hook and bait. It’s a rig Jed has supreme confidence in, and to prevent tangles he threads a PVA bag of Citruz Cultured Fizzing Stick Mix onto the hair, followed by a 15mm Cultured Hookbait before nicking the hook point back into the bag.


This second fish is a real corker of a common around 15lb. With the photos done and the fish safely returned, once again the rod is positioned back onto the productive spot. With low water temperatures heavy baiting isn’t wise, but Jed is convinced the fish are still active and every 20 minutes he ‘pults out a few 10mm Citruz boilies over each rod, trickle feeding matchman style to try and generate some feeding interest and competition.




Come 2pm and with the cold wind strengthening and no more action, it’s time for a move both for comfort and to try and find some obliging carp. Jed travels light with just a rucksack, chair and Elevator Cradle so a switch of swims or even lakes is no drama and it only takes 2 minutes to pack away. He leaves the rods on the floor until the very last minute, maximising his fishing time.


After an initial tussle to stop the fish going round the island Jed slips the net under his third fish of the day; another pristine double figure common. Again his mobile approach has produced a very quick bite, showing that getting on the fish and offering them an attractive bait is the best way to keep the bites coming even when conditions are less than perfect. With the sun going down, it’s time to wind in and go and get warmed up, Jed well happy with his hat trick of cold water commons on a brutally unpleasant day.



The next stop is the lake next door, Old Speci which has a good stock of carp and leaves Jed hopeful of nicking one more bite. On the opposite side to the dam, the lake is shallower and there is a small island. It’s a little more sheltered from the biting wind too. Jed does a quick lap with his bag of 10mm baits, flicking a small handful out in a few likely areas to prime them for a rig later.


Follow Jed’s step by step to fishing long hairs without the tangles this winter


He starts on the dam wall targeting the deeper water on the back of the wind. With a couple of sets of bubbles visible close in it looks promising, yet after only half an hour he has itchy feet, reckoning that if carp were there in numbers he would have had a bite already. It’s time for another move! It’s a reminder that by picking better stocked venues you can expect to catch very quickly, and if you aren’t catching you are probably in the wrong place.

TAKE HOME LESSONS • Pick a well stocked water this winter – it’s meant to be fun • Never be afraid to move, action can be instant • Don’t ignore shallow water even in very cold conditions • Recast regularly so your Fizzing Stick Mix is always working for you • A PVA bag threaded on to a long hair prevents tangles


Walking round to the shallower end Jed finds what he has been looking for. Behind the island there is an area of water that is clearly more coloured than the surrounding area. It can only be fish disturbing the bottom. In spite of the freezing wind the fish seem to want to be in shallower water. It doesn’t take long before the bobbin slams up to the rod and the Citruz Cultured hookbait placed in the middle of the coloured water has done the trick.

THE VENUE A nine lake complex in over 150 acres of East Sussex woodland close to the historic town of Battle. A variety of carp venues suiting the novice to the experienced, holding carp to 36 lb and plenty of doubles and 20s. Catfish to 60 lb. Day tickets on the bank. Night fishing, chalet accommodation and café available on site. Season tickets available. Sat Nav: TN33 0SU

More details at Jed’s Bait Shack 07393 427234



Q&A notice on a lot of Q Iphotos your rod tips are high in the air and all fished on banksticks? Most other people I see are fishing tips down, slack lines and with buzzer bars - why? JAMIE COLLINSON, BISHOP’S WALTHAM I can't categorically say why people fish certain ways but do the words fashion


or carpy ring any bells…? Banksticks offer a more solid setup, they allow you to space your rods out which avoids a lot of problems from crossed lines, and they allow you to point your rods at the end tackles to improve bite registration. I even find them easier to transport than buzzer bars and pods. I use single sticks even on platforms with stage stands for them all, the only time I don't use sticks is if I’m faced with concrete banks! As to fishing rod tips high I do this in two situations. Firstly where marginal weed

Julian Cundiff

is present in front of me I like the line well away from it hence the tips go up. Secondly in Winter and or at range I like to watch my rod tips for bites (just like a coarse angler would). I sit low and use a combination of the R3 on maximum sensitivity and my eyes. Single bleep, watch the rod tip gently bend over... that’s a carp. Banksticks and high tips are both for a good reason. I wonder what reasons you would get for a more carpy set up?

Q&A WITH JULIAN CUNDIFF reeled in a couple of tangled rigs Q I’ve after long cold nights and it’s ruined my confidence. What can I do to stop them? I’m fishing snowman rigs on a coated braid link. MAX ENTON, LOUGHBOROUGH That’s a relatively easy one to solve – but confidence is such a part of being successful that even an odd tangle can really cripple your chances of catching because you’ll never be sure if you’re fishing effectively. One easy confidence booster is to watch your end tackle as it flies through the air, up to ranges of 70-80 yards most people can see clearly enough to be able to see that the link and hookbait are separate from the lead in flight. Getting into the habit of feathering a cast to straighten the line and ensure the lead and rig drop in on a tighter line also helps enormously. But there are also simple steps you can take with your end tackle and rig that will see tangles banished for good.

Not a time to be worrying about tangles this winter!

When you use a coated braid always steam it straight. This helps kick it away from the mainline and lead on the cast.

Use a loop at the hooklength swivel end as this also helps the link settle straight and away from the end tackle.

Long hairs can cause tangles. If you have any gap between hook and bait, secure the hair to the hook using PVA tape.

Even without tubing or a leader adding a PVA stringer, cobweb bag or stick will completely eliminate casting tangles.






NASH E-ZINE WINTER 2016 that the middle of a lake is the Q Isbestit true place to catch carp once it gets cold? I’m only fishing a small venue which doesn’t have any out of range areas. ROBIN SHEEHAN, DUNSTABLE A great question and from my observations an accepted bit of carp lore that is wrong as often as it's right. It's an obvious statement but carp are where they are and particularly so in the colder months when they are less active. In the warmer months carp may not be in front of you to start with but if you are there some time they may well move in front of you at some stage. In the colder months they move about less and often hold up in certain areas for long periods. If you have seen carp then wherever you have seen them is where I'd start each and every time, that simple. If you are not seeing them and have no previous history or other anglers results to work from then it's going to be inspired guesswork. Dead weedbeds, reeds and sheltered areas would always be my first port of call. Anywhere south facing that is out of the wind is a good bet as well. On bigger waters with regular pressure sometimes the carp will be pushed out a bit and the bigger casters will benefit. I have seen it and done it on Catch 22 and Drayton for example in the cold and it can make fishing quite straightforward - as long as you can cast! On a smaller water then forget the middle and just get looking, really looking!

spray, dip or Q What booster would you recommend to get a bite on a hard day? Are savoury or sweet additives generally better in cold water? JEFF MEENE, CHESTERFIELD Boosting a single food item is well down my list of things to do when it comes to getting a bite on a cold, hard day. I actually think it’s more productive to change the colour of a hookbait rather than boost the smell. However, if you are on fish and not getting takes it can help add that extra incentive for a carp


One from the middle, but only because that was where they were!

to take the hookbait. At this time of year the Citruz Concentrate spray is the pick of them all. Be it a pop up or bottom bait a few squirts with the atomiser really adds some punch. I tend to overspray my hookbaits when I get them so I have pots of Citruz bottom baits and pop ups already boosted. In time this soaks through the porous skin and the additional squirt lakeside is a bonus. I have always done better on sweet than savoury in the cold unless I am campaign angling fishing a water week in week out and introducing a savoury food bait. Beware thick glugs and dips in the cold as they may look potent but they coat and

seal in the boilies natural attractors. You want a finer liquid to infuse into the bait’s skin – and also readily come out again. Citruz Concentrate is the pick of all the boosters in cold water

Q&A WITH JULIAN CUNDIFF and coots are Q Tufties making my life

Small feed items like particle frustrate the birds

miserable, my rigs keep getting picked up time and time again and even after dark. What can I do to put them off? STEVE MCKINNON, NORTHAMPTON I feel your pain my friend, is there anything worse? Carp are hard enough to catch in winter without bird life. The best tip I can give you is try not to let them find your bait in the first place. If wildfowl are a problem once my bait is in position I will not bait up until I am satisfied no birds are present. One of the tricks I do is wait till someone else is getting punished then trickle some feed in. If possible I start with a mesh bag or stringer not a Spomb or a catapult. Don’t make

it obvious to them from the start and your life will be infinitely easier. Another trick is to feed floating baits to draw the birds away from you, this can also have the advantage of revealing if carp are in the upper layers too. Shouting and waving a net is as much good as a chocolate fireguard but a Spomb cast towards birds tends to really panic them if its free from feed. Lifting the floating braid behind the Spomb up off the

surface also tends to panic most birds and they often take flight. Fishing darker hookbaits helps a little as does not using bright bag fillings but in anything other than deep water they will still pick it out. Remember small seeds like Slicker Hemp and the Salted Mini Mix help you keep feed in a swim that birds can’t eat, the same with the attraction built up from regularly casting dipped baits or bags.

I set my rods up with the front rod rest high and the butt low as possible. The R3 is set as sensitive as possible (default setting out the box, don’t panic!) and the line is fished as tight as possible without lifting it up around the end tackle. I use the heaviest bobbin I can, and find the 40 gram Slaphead perfect. I sit low on my trusty Nash Bum Buddy and watch the tips. Usually a single bleep

on the R3 will alert me to a take. I watch the rod tip and if the rod tip is sat all differently to when I cast out, or moving or shaking in any way I will strike. Usually the tip will pull over and stay over, with a carp on. Striking at single bleeps is not like striking at a dipping float where you miss more than you hit. They are generally on already, just not tearing off with the end tackle.

heard you describe Q I’ve striking at single bleeps in winter and hooking carp. I don’t want to miss out on fish but I’m not confident striking an odd bleep? JIM FARENSEN, FARMOOR Yes I do strike single bleeps... at times ! Normally carp tend to take the hookbait in, prick themselves on the hook, feel the resistance of the lead and then panic and bolt off so giving us one toners. But there are occasions where they prick themselves and seem to just shake their heads to seemingly get rid of the offending hook. This can happen all year round but is certainly more prevalent in the colder months when they are a little more lethargic. To improve my chances of spotting a carp that is hooked but not bolting




Do you still use braided mainline? I was tempted to switch to Bullet Braid this winter to exaggerate line bites and indications. MALCOLM RAWLINGSON, NORWICH Yes and no. I am a big fan of both fluorocarbon and braid as mainlines resorting only to monofilament in thick weed where I want great abrasion resistance and a degree of stretch when hooking and holding. The benefit of braid is that it has virtually no stretch and whatever moves at the end tackle is reflected almost like for like in movement

and sound at the R3 and Slaphead. At range this is a big advantage as it means you spot carp that are hooked and not bolting off and even carp which do bolt off you can be in immediate contact with, stopping them kiting into snags for example. For its diameter it will also be much stronger than mono which means you can cast long range

without the need for shockleaders. So all good you'd think? Because braid is so vastly different to monofilament it is quite a specialist line and needs some getting used to. You need to load it correctly and also look after it correctly to avoid wind knots which can cost you the entire reel’s worth of braid – expensive! Numbers of fisheries also don't allow braid full stop and finally because it is dark braid can stand out on sandy clean bottoms especially in clear, shallow waters. That said if you want to improve bite registration, are fishing at range and are prepared to get to grips with it Malcolm rather than give up on it after one or two trips then I can thoroughly recommend it!

I be fishing over Q Should silt rather than gravel at this time of year? My mates keep telling me that’s where the natural food is? DEL BRINTON, WINSFORD Without sounding like a broken record, as Tim Paisley famously said they are where they are… to the point and oh so true. If you honestly are not seeing signs of carp and have nothing else to go on then one of the factors to consider is where the remaining stocks of natural food may be. At my lakes it tends to be in dead or dying weedbeds or in the reeds but it may be that your water doesn’t have those features, in which case any remaining natural food will be in the soft silt rather than over hard gravel. I would however avoid dark and smelly silt especially if it has trapped leaf litter in it. That kind of silt in my experience tends to deter rather than attract carp. You are looking for clean soft silt your lead settles in and


as Tim Paisley famously said they are where they are…

does not come back discoloured and smelly. If you bring back a big fat wriggling bloodworm or two on your end tackle or link then you may well have found a productive area.

Also get into the habit of sniffing your lead after you retrieve it, you’ll work out the difference between potentially productive ‘sweet’ silt and the black yucky stuff very quickly!




THE ESSENTIAL WINTER GUIDE TO PVA Tired of winding in snotty residue on your end tackle now water temperatures have tumbled? Not catching so much on your usual bag tactics and fillings? Here’s how to keep PVA working for you when bites are at a premium…


Pick your PVA carefully, cold water takes no prisoners when it comes to breakdown times. The Webcast Mesh uses the bare minimum PVA thread pattern in the mesh weave to ensure that breakdown is fast and consistent even in near freezing water.


PVA Tape isn’t just for tying off solid PVA bags, it grips boilies and half baits to keep them apart and allow the tape to dissolve readily in the coldest water. An old skool stringer uses a lot less PVA than putting boilies inside mesh. Simply pierce the hook point through the tape - no knots required.



Because there’s less PVA used in the meshing process, you’ll notice that knots draw down much smaller and more neatly than with other PVA products. Reducing the size and bulk of the knots prevents snotty residue around your hook.


On many venues maggots become the go to bait in the winter. Webcast Ultra Weave has the smallest mesh of any PVA available at just 0.2mm, allowing even bags of live maggots to be tied up in advance without them escaping. It’s the biggest help yet for efficient mag bag fishing!



Marine and trout pellet blends are deadly when carp are active and their high oil content provides carp with a ready supply of energy. Through the coldest months the oil content of these pellets becomes a handicap – you need to rethink your bag filling to suit the season.


Vary the size of your bag and stick to suit conditions. Start with the smallest sticks until you have some action or some encouragement, the 18mm Webcast mesh is ideal, holding just a pinch of mix. A narrow stick also casts further and more accurately in crosswinds.


The fishing might be slower but keeping busy with the rods and recasting regularly can see you get through more PVA than you expect, particularly when maggot fishing. There’s also always the danger of dropping a loading tube on the bank, damp hands blistering the mesh – always keep a refill in your kit.


Maximum attraction with minimal food content improves your chances of action because the hookbait is the only food item available. Stick Mixes or better still Cultured Stick Mixes are the ideal choice, leaving residual taste and smell around the rig for long periods


Massively boost attraction around the rig using any of the PVA friendly Nashbait Liquid Bait Soaks. Damp down stick mixes, or dip bags, sticks and stringers. Repeated casting of dipped bags builds up the smell and taste in an area, particularly when clipped for accuracy.


Ever tried cobweb bags of PVA friendly particles? Drain the liquid from some Slicker Hemp and add it to a bait box before stirring in a couple of spoons of 4G Squid Salt Dust – instant PVA friendly hemp. Carp continue to eat hemp in the very coldest weather – a great winter trap with a maggot hookbait, grain of plastic corn or a tiger nut.

Check out the guide to making PVA friendly particles on the Nash website




LIFE AT NASH Starting a new job is always hectic, and for the new Nashbait brand manager it was just that and more. We take a look into Max Hendry’s first month working for Nashbait.






ince I began working in the fishing industry my ultimate goal has been to become a brand manager. Kevin and Alan giving me the huge opportunity of managing Nashbait was something I couldn’t help but be excited about - a bait brand known around the world and breaking records for over three decades. With getting to know the chain of command, the anglers in the consultants team along with acquainting myself with the team at the bait factory it was in at the deep end.

SOCIAL STUDIES The first job was get Nashbait its own social media presence, creating Facebook and Instagram pages. We already had an Instagram page to give Nashbait fans all over the world a chance to post their catches and I think it’s important to recognize people’s achievements so the Nashbait hall of fame Instagram page was born. Now, each month we give away prizes to the angler that gets the most likes on the page. Then there’s the Official Nashbait Instagram page for showcasing our products and the consultant captures from all over the world. I was amazed at the grass roots loyalty to Nashbait and we generated over 4000 followers in just a few weeks, which I’ll be building on to reach the same figures as Nash Tackle’s social media following.

ON THE FARM My first week in the new job I stayed down at Nash HQ and got to know some of the lads that I would be working closely with. What I wasn’t expecting was to see UK Marketing Manager Tom Forman lovingly looking after fingerling carp netted from successful spawnings of the Copse and Church Lake giants that live a stone’s throw from the office. There’s almost a mini fish farm and hatchery in the back room! Ridge 54


“…What I wasn’t expecting was to see UK Marketing Manager Tom Forman lovingly looking after fingerling carp netted from successful spawnings of the Copse and Church Lake giants that live a stone’s throw from the office.” Where else do you get to go to work in an office and see a load of scale perfect commons and mirrors with the potential to become the 50 and even 60-pounders of the future?

MUSIC AND MAYHEM If I had to describe a typical day it is a mix of cups of tea, constant phone calls and drum and bass music. I can’t complain, I love drum and bass. Alan is always first to arrive. Most of the week he is in by 3am answering emails and catching up on work. Everyone else turns up around

6am. Kevin is always there at 6am, cup of tea in hand looking across the office lake and talking business with Alan before they go for a morning walk with Kev’s French Bulldog Ridge. He’s nothing short of crackers, and comes racing through the office with a stick at any time. When he’s not fetching sticks his other favourite toy to retrieve and chew is a Nashbait bucket! Ridge had some minor surgery recently, and was forced to wear a satellite like head cone to stop him scratching. Within minutes of it being put on he’d smashed it into so many things it looked beyond help. Now it is covered in tape to try and



strengthen it with some stickers from Kevin’s artistic grandchildren to help keep it in one piece.

THE FACTORY FLOOR A lot of my work is done at Horseshoe Farm but the sales, warehousing, distribution and bait manufacture moved to the new massive Nash premises at Burnhamon-Sea almost a year ago. I go up there quite a lot to see the bait team and discuss what they need. Gary 56

Bayes is a bait genius and you just can’t fail to learn something from him. His right hand man is Chris Cummins and between them they keep the manufacturing of tonnes of different baits all running smoothly. I find the factory fascinating, like an Aladdin’s cave of carp bait. It’s been a revelation to see the raw ingredients that go into the baits and getting to see the process first hand. There has been huge investment in the new factory and it shows, with output increased to cope with the huge demand for everything from Citruz to Instant Action to The Key.

OUT AND ABOUT WITH ALAN The majority of my work is done remotely on a laptop but I visit Nash HQ to catch up with goings on with the team. With the brand management job comes the opportunity to travel, both producing marketing material for Nashbait like magazine features as well as attending shows. We have a huge schedule of shows at Nash and I will hopefully get to most of


them. The Carp Society Sandown Show was great, a really good turnout with plenty of anglers getting to see the new Key Cray for the first time. We had promotional offer 5kg bags for sale and it was received so well we ended up selling the entire two tonne stock we took.

TALKING SHOP Nash isn’t all just about big shows, shop open days are a way of life for Alan Blair – he knows the value of meeting people face to face and is such a great ambassador.

“Nash isn’t all just about big shows, shop open days are a way of life for Alan Blair – he knows the value of meeting people face to face and is such a great ambassador. "

With Eric’s Angling opening their new flagship store in Leeds Alan picked me up and we were off on a two-day roadtrip up north. First stop was a stretch of canal outside Nottingham where Alan bagged a nice common before we were on the road once again. Spot number two was a gin clear stretch of the Grantham Canal blocked at both ends. We saw a few carp and some big pike, but soon left as the fishing was slow. Alan was scheduled to do a talk for the Nottingham Carp Study Group, and it was a great turnout in the social club with lots of questions about the diverse types of fishing that Alan does. From there we headed into the centre of Nottingham to try and catch a carp and in of course he succeeded with a piece of slow sinking bread, catching a common from right in front of an office block! After a few pointers from the lads at the Nottingham talk we took a detour via the Sheffield Canals to check out a few locations before our final overnight stop the River Aire near Leeds. The spot was in the shadow of an old power station and the A1 bridge - a small grass verge and the only place that allows access to fish the river. It was the same stretch that produced the UK river record in 2016 and even though it was uneventful it was surreal knowing that somewhere out there, a 50-pounder was swimming around.



Mick Henderson

TUNA TIME! The Eric’s open day was great, and the undoubted highlight for me was the fish simulator that allows you to ‘play’ a carp on a rod and reel set-up, kind of a try before you buy machine. We rigged up a multiplier and sea fishing rod and set the machine to simulate a tuna. It nearly pulled me off my feet before it snapped 80lb braid like cotton! I documented the whole road trip for a feature in the March issue of Total Carp magazine so keep an eye out for it to see what else we got up to!

CATCH REPORT CHAOS April 1st will see the launch of Key Cray, something everyone at Nash is very excited



Chris Boyda

about. Tested for two years, it’s unique in that it features freshwater crayfish meal where traditionally carp baits have been made from marine products. The result is a lower oil content and a much more digestible bait that catches throughout the winter, another amazing collaboration between bait geniuses Gary Bayes and Keith Sykes.

Alan leans into a big tuna!

Part of my job role is to showcase the finished product which is where our fieldtester team comes in. We’ve put together a dedicated team all testing Key Cray and the reports I’ve been dealing with on a daily basis have been astounding. Mick Henderson has caught

40lb fish from a tricky Nene Valley venue and more recently carp that haven't been caught in 18 months have fallen to Key Cray from his Lincolnshire water. Chris Boyda has taken the bait onto tricky lakes in the south and managed fish to over 40lb, Dan Taylor landed Kent’s first 60-pounder since the late British record Two Tone with Blackspot from Wingham in Kent. Catch reports in my inbox from all over Europe tell me every day that Key Cray is making a big impact everywhere it is being used. Nearly a century of combined bait knowledge has gone into the bait, and there will be a lot of happy anglers when it is released.



Chris Eaglestone

LETTER OF THE LAW I never realized how much work went into packaging something as simple as a bag of boilies. In order to comply with EC legislation carp bait has to be labelled with a Nutrient Declaration and Composition breakdown, plus a batch number and a use by date. It’s not just a lengthy process, but also costly, which means manufacturing has to be precise and consistent to ensure the finished product always reflects the declaration and there is absolute transparency as to what you are buying. What many anglers won’t realise is that bait that doesn’t meet these guidelines can be removed from the


AND INTO THE NEW YEAR… shelves of tackle shops in Europe – at the cost of the retailer not the supplier. Luckily the huge amount of money Nashbait has spent on ensuring all its products are analysed and correctly labelled gives retailers absolute peace of mind. The Key Cray packaging has been finalised now and it will really stand out in your local tackle shop, you won’t have trouble finding it that’s for sure! Plus you can expect a full range of peripherals including popups, dips, Cultured® hook baits, stick mixes and more.

With 2017 upon us it’s looking like a busy year to come for us all at Nashbait, shows to attend, a new bait to release, an awesome print project I’ll be working on and plenty more. It’s rare that you hear people talking about how passionate they are about their job, but it seems a common theme with the team at Nash, and from the example set by Kevin and Alan themselves to the talent of the media team guys Carl, Alex, Dan and Oli that I work with – one thing’s for sure and that is that no two days are ever quite the same!

out of

this world

THE FINEST CARP FOOD COMES NATURALLY - Harnessing the attraction of wild harvested crayfish The Key Cray range is the first HNV carp bait utilising the richest natural freshwater carp food source available. Combining the remarkable Key HNV base of proteins, aminos and essential vitamins and minerals with the deadly Nashbait crayfish meal creates a unique nutritional package, set to go down in history as one of the most effective carp baits ever produced.






Want to know the tricks of the trade to get those vital extra takes when the carp are playing hard to get? Nashbait boss Gary Bayes shares his best cold water bait edges…



weet boilies tend to produce more consistently than savoury baits. It’s never a hard and fast rule because TG Active is a great winter bait and is completely the opposite but as a starting point, a sweet bait is generally much more reliable for winter action. Instant Action Tangerine Dream and Coconut Crème are outstanding cold water baits, sweet and bright, and also easily digestible. There are a lot of top class anglers who will use these Instant Action boilies straight out of the bag when it gets cold – and they catch some serious fish. Overlook them at your peril!



LIQUID SUPER SWEET All dips and bait boosters can be improved for cold water by adding sweetener to them, and Tangleberry from the Ace Cards range is the best of them all. It’s highly water soluble, has a lovely rich taste, includes Talin and esters and enhances the flavour of whatever you put it in. As a rule work on a ratio of 3:1, so the Tangleberry is 25% of the finished liquid. It needs to be premixed together in a bottle. Try it in Coconut Crème or Tangerine Dream boosters at those levels - it’s a great way to get extra bites. Being PVA friendly you can then use them for boosting anything, from zigs to pellet bags to dipping entire end tackles.

SPRAY IT AGAIN Citruz spray is superb in cold water, I put it on anything, including free offerings not just hookbaits. It was designed to allow you to decide how strong you wanted or needed the attraction to be. I like mine strong and keep spraying my pop ups every time I open the pot. They get soaked, left to absorb the liquid, soaked again and left again until they are saturated. Don’t just use it with Citruz pop ups, I use Citruz spray on Key pop ups and all sorts of other baits too.



SOAK IT UP A long term soak in Ace Cards Tangleberry is brilliant for producing high power single hookbaits, no matter what the type of boilie, they just get better. It also works really well with tigers. Get a pot, leave baits to soak covered in the sweetener and just fish one out when you need one. I have found neat Tangleberry dipped baits are too strong for summer fishing, but in the winter it’s the sort of tactic that will get you that one bite when conditions are so bad you don’t think you’ll catch anything.

GET A WRIGGLE ON Maggots can dominate sport on some waters through the winter, and although their effectiveness goes in cycles they are still close to the top of the list for winter carping. To give your maggots an edge blend a combination of Scopex No.1 and Old Skool sweetener, three parts Scopex to one part Old Skool and mix it up in a bottle. Put it on maggots at 5ml per pint and see the difference that it makes. You can literally go from catching nothing to catching loads. On really hard days you can try dosing up to 10ml per pint, it seems really strong but definitely works!




Gary uses Ball Maker Method/Bag Mix with a sprinkle of 6mm Instant Action High Attract Pellet in it. His favourite is Coconut Crème.


Make up golf ball size bags of the mix using the Webcast PVA which dissolves quicker than the finer Ultra Weave mesh.


Gary is convinced smaller hookbaits get more bites in cold weather and a single 10mm bait far outscores the common choice of twin 10mm boilies on the hair.



The mix is moistened with his winter dip blend of Coconut Crème booster and Tangleberry. If squeezed the mix should lightly bind together but then easily crumble.


Nick the hook through the mesh away from the knots at each end. Gary thinks this gives better presentation than threading PVA on stick style.


Start with small bags and switch to larger ones once you get action. The bigger the bag the more the residual attraction on the spot to help build feeding activity.










Do you always reach for a pot of pea sized fruity pop ups when it gets hard? Not Steve Briggs – his experiences around the world have given him a different take on cold water carp. He’s rarely shy of putting some food in!


always say that a carp is a carp wherever it lives in the world but there’s little doubt that when it comes to baiting tactics I do treat winter fishing abroad very differently to how I would back in the UK. My first proper winter trip abroad was in December 1994 when night fishing at Cassien was allowed for the first time and we were able to bivvy up on the bank with some comfort. I had no real idea which depths they would prefer in the winter months and also no idea of what baits and how many of them they would like. It was very much a trial and error sort of trip but I did end up catching a couple of nice fish up to 47 lb 4 oz, which was enough to make me realise that I should be doing a lot more winter fishing abroad! The successful tactics were large fruit flavoured hook baits over a big spread of hemp and tigers. It was the first of eighteen Decembers and indeed Christmas Days that Joan and I spent there. I discovered that perversely the fish would feed in shallower water as it

“…the fish would just keep feeding. I caught several good fish in severe frosts and in temperatures down as low as minus 18 Centigrade.” If they were in the mood it didn't seem to matter how cold it got


got colder and many of my winter captures were in less than 20 feet, whereas for the rest of the year they would generally come from much deeper spots. Gradually I began to do away with the particles and concentrate more on boilies – and in particular good quality food boilies. The Cassien carp love boilies but I never really did well baiting too heavily. What is maybe more interesting is that my baiting strategy hardly varied summer to winter, with 20 boilies (normally 20mm to 24mm) tight around the hookbait and then a further 30 to 50 baits spread around the


area, but importantly in the same depth ranges that I was dropping the hook baits. Doing that would avoid wasting bait and keep the fish used to finding baits in those same depths. I guess it adds up to at least 70 more baits than most people start with in the UK though! I would leave the rods in place for up to three days unless I caught

fish in the meantime. Some trips were tough and others were easier, during the better ones I’d be catching one or two fish every 24 hours. I learned early that you didn’t need stacks of bait to keep the Cassien carp happy but they wanted quality and often the fish would be crapping out in the sling what I had given them the night before! In the

end most of my best Cassien results came during the winter periods and certainly most of my larger fish from there. What was interesting was that it didn’t really matter how cold it got there, the fish would just keep feeding. I caught several good fish in severe frosts and temperatures down as low as minus 18 Centigrade.



A big December Rainbow common that came over a lot of bait.

FREEZERS FULL AT RAINBOW If winter fishing on Cassien meant baiting carefully, the same couldn’t really be said of fishing Rainbow. I was lucky enough to be part of the first organized winter trip there in February 2004 after it had just produced its first 70-pounder. We couldn’t have known at the time just what the lake would go on to do in the coming years but after that session winter trips started to become a regular thing and without a doubt the influx of bait right through the winter, where it was lacking before, caused the weights to skyrocket and make Rainbow Lake the world record breaking venue that it became. The much higher stocking levels of the lake and the lack of any real quantity


" the winter the carp were obviously not as active, but 20 kg of bait for a week was certainly not unusual, totally different to any winter fishing I would do back home.

of natural food encouraged the fish to turn to bait readily, and they couldn’t get enough of it. In the Rainbow clubhouse there are three large chest freezers just for bait and on a Saturday afternoon when all the new guys had arrived, those freezers would be full. Everyone knows that the fish come to bait and everyone wants to get their share of the action. It’s a lot more bait than goes into the average UK fishery in a week through the winter, in fact most UK fisheries probably don’t see three chest freezers’ worth the entire winter let alone each week, every week. In the summer it was hard to put enough in at times, in the winter the carp were obviously not as active, but 20 kg of bait for a week was certainly not unusual, totally different to any winter fishing I would do back home.


HIGHLY FLAVOURED FLOPS In the UK when the temperatures drop I start thinking of fruity attractor baits, single pop ups and small traps – it’s what works for much of the time. But waters on the Continent just don’t work that way, at least most of them don’t. For a start I hardly ever use pop ups abroad, for whatever reason I’ve just never found them to be that effective compared to bottom baits and I’ve mostly found the same when it comes to high attract baits – in fact on Cassien I found highly flavored baits to be a real turn off for the fish. There is a common theme through all of my fishing on Continental waters in winter and it is relying on top quality bait. I know baits like 4G Squid, The Key and more recently the Key Cray will appeal to the carp right through the seasons.

It's not always about large amounts but the quality is important.

KEEPING IT AVAILABLE The climate difference has to be one reason why Continental fish will feed for longer periods and more heavily than those in the UK. The warm weather lasts for longer and runs much later in the year and that must help. I don’t really think that it has anything to do with the size of fish though. Some people say bigger fish need to eat more, but I’m not sure that’s always the case as it’s often the smaller, younger fish that move faster and burn energy more quickly.

I always like to keep the bait going in

Stocking levels seem to make a difference and the higher the stock level of a water the more likely they seem to be to feed right through. But the attitude of the anglers makes a big difference too. On the Continent anglers tend to use a lot more bait all the time than UK anglers do. Heavy baiting and prebaiting is all part of their regular fishing routine, whereas



Christmas Day at Cassien and the first of six that day.

we are far more focused on just getting a bite as quickly as we can. Feeding heavily and constantly throughout the seasons seems far more likely to keep the fish feeding right through. I’ve noticed the same thing with my own pond fish, if I feed them regularly they will eat right through the winter, but if I leave them for a couple of weeks when it turns really cold then they often don’t want to start feeding again until Spring.

“…I had my same priorities – to use a good bait and a fair bit of it.” 76

they can still feed heavily enough through the winter.


SWITCHED OFF? Talking baiting brings me to a lake in Austria that I fished recently. The regular anglers there have fixed permanent markers and bait them constantly with large amounts of bait and actually monitor those spots by putting cameras down from a boat to see if the bait has been eaten! A bit high-tech maybe, but it makes perfect sense to know what is there before putting more in. When I went I had my same priorities – to use a good bait and a fair bit of it. I had the Key Cray and I didn’t really doubt that the fish would like it if they came across it. The story was that the fish had switched off somewhat and beds of bait were being left uneaten, but I still baited each rod with between half a kilo and a kilo of bait – which still seemed quite a bit considering the circumstances. The weather was up and down with warm days but very cold nights and indeed for the first three days and nights nothing happened. But then on the fourth morning I received a fast take from one of the most stunning mirrors I’ve ever seen at 71 lb 10 oz! From then the action came slowly but steadily right through to the end of the week.

If the bait is good enough they will come for it.

"Something I’ve learned over the years when fishing through the cold times is that the fish will eat a bit of food, they just won’t want to eat every day."

Something I’ve learned over the years when fishing through the cold times is that the fish will eat a bit of food, they just won’t want to eat every day. On all of those waters I’ve mentioned over the past 20 years or more, things could be tough and you couldn’t expect to catch every day. But the fish would come to quality bait when they were hungry and they will often eat more than we think they will even if we think it’s freezing cold!

An Austrian stunner that couldn't resist the Key Cray.



DAY TICKET DOWNLOAD… It’s the toughest job in carp fishing – dealing with you lot! After an action packed first six months Nashlakes Royston manager Matt Rhodes gives us the lowdown on what he’s learned about day ticket anglers and day ticket carp.



Letter of the law What are the rules? I’m still surprised how many visiting anglers haven’t checked the rules before they arrive. If you turn up at a new venue and haven’t clocked it’s barbless only or leaders are banned then you might get lucky scrounging what you need from a mate but if the lake’s empty you’ll have to find a tackle shop… What if you catch a gem of a fish and don’t know what is acceptable in terms of retainers, sacking and photography? At Royston we display the rules clearly on boards – a good tip arriving at any fishery is to photograph the rules with your phone so you can always double check rather than relying on memory.

Listen up If I had to pick one downfall of many carp anglers, it’s not being prepared to ask for advice. To me it’s common sense to get as much information from the people who see the fishery day in and day out, know the carp’s habits, see what is being caught and also how they are being caught.

Talk to other anglers, bailiffs or managers. At one end of the scale are useless, disinterested fishery staff – we’ve all met them. But good staff or bailiffs know their job is to help you get some action and encourage you to return. Look at it this way, even if you only gain one real gem of information amongst a load of rubbish, that could still transform your session. You might

be expecting the fish to be where you last caught them but conditions change and fish move - where have they been showing? Ask! Fishing pink pop ups instead of the yellow ones you used the week before might make all the difference. It's pointless fishing on the bottom if the previous 20 bites came from zigs but if you don't ask you won't find out.



Care Kit first Organising your carp care kit at the start of a session helps keep carp handling to a minimum. If I’m on the fishery when a carp is caught I don’t allow it to be removed from the water until the camera button is ready to be pressed. My fish care kit consists of a few items that can treat the fish and its wounds where necessary and to also reduce time out the water. In my bag I carry scales, forceps, Propolis, Medi-Carp, a large headed disgorger, towel and a collapsible bucket. Separately I carry two slings, two sacks and a large cradle. Once I’ve chosen a peg I set the nets up, the cradle and fill the collapsible bucket up with water before anything else, that way everything is organised before a carp is hooked.

Big baiting blunder Being a fishery manager and seeing people feed your fish heavily is great, it all helps growth rates and big fish sell tickets after all. More often than not though the catch reports come from the anglers who fish for one bite at a time, and the blank reports from the carpers who immediately stuck a shedful of bait in. At Royston we’ve had big hits from heavy baiting, but once you’ve put it in you can’t take it back out. If the carp aren’t feeding hard heavy baiting at the outset of a session will be your downfall. If over a short period of time I have had multiple takes, then and only then will I consider feeding a swim more aggressively. Always bait lightly to begin with!



Spread the spots Mentally break down your swim into sections or areas and try to cover different features with each rod. Seeing people dotting all three rods across the top of the same bar is more likely to limit what you catch than increase your chances. I’ll often start with a rod in the silt, one on a harder area and one down the margins for example. If one rod is producing a few then you just switch other rods to a similar feature or area to try and get a second rod producing. If the rod on the silt catches, then move another one to a softer bottom. Be flexible with rod position, start in three different areas, then reposition them based on what the fish are telling you.

“Seeing people dotting all three rods across the top of the same bar is more likely to limit what you catch than increase your chances.”

Late show It's a regular thing at Royston, come 8pm the fish start to show right through until around 4am and the amount of eyes looking for them between those times is very few. I fish as much as possible between work which means casting out in the dark and reeling back in in the dark. For me to catch fish in that short window then I need to be

on fish. Most evenings I'll wait until they start showing before I choose a swim. One night when the lake was fishing very hard I stayed up most of the evening chucking at showing fish. By morning I must have cast out 60 times, each time to showing fish - but I had five bites during the night and landed four carp. Don’t stick your head in an ipad or phone as soon as it gets dark – keep your eyes peeled!



Nice and tight Ensuring you are getting back on the same spot is the difference between a lucky bite and potentially a big hit. Some feeding areas can be large but some can be very small so using Spot On Stix sticks even at close range, wrapping up and hitting the clip with the rod every time will get you more bites. On many occasions I watch people cast at Royston and after the third attempt you can see them thinking that will do...

If the producing spot is two rod lengths away from your hookbait then you might catch but you could also be two rod lengths away from a bite. When the weather is hot at Royston a lot of fish can be caught on the top of the plateau which is a very tight area. On a flat calm day it’s at 9.5 wraps, the same area with a big crosswind means you need to clip at just short of 12 wraps to land in the same place…

The inside line We hear it all the time… don’t ignore the margins. But it might surprise you quite how much more productive the margins are than anywhere else at Royston. Around three quarters of all the captures have come within a rod length of the bank. Most of my favourite captures have come within one FOOT of the bank and in some swims, the tighter the better. Pay attention to subtle shows and fizzing close in and don't be afraid to fish under your rod tips. Some swims have immediate drop offs and others can be sloped. The best advice is to gently lower a lead around to find flatter areas or more gentle sloping shelves otherwise you’ll be fishing a single bait and all your free offerings will have rolled down the shelf! Always remember that first rod length is the magic area.

“Most of my favourite captures have come within one FOOT of the bank and in some swims, the tighter the better.”



Washed out wonders One of the most reliable ways to get a bite when the fishing is slow I’ve found is to use a white or a washed out hookbait over the top of darker feed baits. Just a handful of dark baits like Key Cray with a pastel or pure white hookbait seems to bring much quicker bites, they just don’t seem to be able to resist picking up the lighter bait amongst them.

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Stay up to date Social media is the very best way for fisheries to promote what they are doing and also for anglers to stay in touch with catch reports, notices, lake closures, events, socials, work parties, stockings and more. You can also tell a lot about a

fishery from their social media and website, check out reviews from other anglers or leave your own. We always answer any questions you might ask and as quickly as we can – it’s called customer service! You have to wonder about any fishery that can’t take a call to answer any queries or reply to an email.

You can stay up to date on: Facebook Nash Lakes ROYSTON Instagram Nashlakes Royston The website is


ISSUE 26 • WINTER 2016

Ezine January 2017  
Ezine January 2017