Fishing Bite Alarms

July 29, 2008 by  
Filed under Carp Fishing Methods

A bite alarm is a method used to alarm the angler that the fish has taken or playing with the presented bait.

Electronic Bite Alarm
The standard bite alarm which will spring to mind is the ‘electronic bite alarm’, these have become very popular when fishing for carp and catfish. Used throughout the day, but become a very valuable piece of kit when night fishing.

They vary in price depending on the features you require, the high-end range of bite alarms are presented in very stylish protective cases and the functions include volume, tone and sensitivity controls, plus remote controls, buzzer boxes and ear phones.

Quiver Tip
A quiver tip is an extension to the rod, normally a ledger rod. The idea is to screw or push a quiver on the end of the rod, this is very light and sensitive, when a bite occurs the quiver will move, and the angler will strike. You may sometime require a dark board, which is pushed into the bank with a bank stick, this helps to make the quiver stand out on sunny days when the quiver may blend into the background.

They are an advanced method to the bobbin tactic below. Basically the line is clipped to a bobbin which is attached to either string, a thin pole or the rod stand, they can be used in conjunction with the electronic bite alarm for additional detection. When a fish bites the bobbin moves up or down.

A bobbin is attached to the line between the reel and the first eye on the rod. The line is pulled down so the bobbin pops-up when a fish bites. A very simple, cheap method which works. The bobbin can be bought from all tackle shops, or homemade from cork, washing up liquid caps. I have even used bread paste in the past. There are different variants of bobbins, some come with rod stands, which are more expensive.

Koi Herpes Virus Disease outbreaks confirmed

July 23, 2008 by  
Filed under Angling News

News From Defra

Movements of fish in and out of two fisheries, in Derbyshire and Somerset, have been restricted following the confirmation of the serious viral fish disease, Koi Herpesvirus Disease.
Read more

Force 8 Bivvy

July 23, 2008 by  
Filed under Carp Fishing Gear

Force 8 Bivvy
From reviewing my fishing bivvy advice, I have researched a few Bivvies, one shelter which covers a number of my considerations and set at a buget affordable to most anglers is the Force 8 Bivvy from Fishtec.

Features Include:

  • 3,000mm hydrostatic head – 100% waterproof guaranteedBuy force 8 bivvy
  • Heavy duty 6oz denier fabric
  • Extra tough ribs to withstand the strongest winds
  • Porch for extra storage and protection
  • Errected in under 20 seconds
  • Built-in groundsheet for extra warmth and comfort

Effortlessly set up in less than 20 seconds. Force 8 is fast and easy to errect, thanks to it revolutionary central hub system that quickly pulls its strong flexi ribs into place, it is then just a simple matter of sliding the Flash-Touch power lock into position and this incredible all season shelter is ready to go.

Twinned skinned to maximise comfort, the Force 8 creates a warm, thermally insulated condensation free enviroment guaranteeing full protection against the worst weather imaginable.

Designed with an integrated porch area that gives extra storage space for wet clothing, bait and any other tackle you do not wish to have within your main living space,this also provides vital extra frontal coverage during extreme weather conditions.

Click to Buy the Force 8 Bivvy Now:

Sea Bass

July 16, 2008 by  
Filed under Sea Fish Species

Regarded as a premier marine sport fish in the United Kingdom. The sea bass (Dicentrarchus labraxis) a highly targeted fish for UK sea anglers.

The sea bass is an excellant fighting fish, and the bites are often a real heavy clunk followed by a long run. They provide sea anglers with great sport.

The bass is a very powerful fish, its features include a very large muscular mouth, sharp pointing fins and gills like razors. The scales are menium sized and the colur a steelish bluey grey.

They mainly feed in the surf, for sandeels and on clear days can often be seen swimming, sometimes in depths of water less than a few feet.  Other feeding grounds include rock peaks, and ‘School Bass’ can be found entering estuaries during the summer. Juveniles venture far up estuaries into brackish water, where salt water meets fresh.

Bass move inshore to spawn during March through to June, they are a very slow growing fish and a few year ago were becoming very rare.

Thankfully strict size limits, and a marketed catch and release policy has helped preserve stocks. Cleaner coastal waters are also all helping populations of bass to become re-established in many areas, but commercial fishing is still the major obstacle.

Hooked on Bass – Fishing Book

July 12, 2008 by  
Filed under Sea Fishing Gear

bass fishing bookOne of the better Bass Books I have read

Now an established classic on the subject, this revised and updated edition of Hooked on Bass shows anglers how to catch bass, particularly the bigger fish, from the shore. With excellent photography and clear, detailed diagrams to help illustrate the advice, any angler, beginner or expert, who has caught or would like to catch bass will find endless value in the pages of this book.

My Opinion on Hooked on Bass:

This is one of the better bass fishing books I have come across. It focuses on shore fishing for Bass,  from rocks, beaches and estuaries. So if your looking for a book on how to catch Bass, what tackle and rigs to use, general methods natural baits and best bass venues then this is the book for you.

I prefer these types of book as they focus on one fish, and the information is detailed. It has actually got some humour as well, so it makes for a little more interest.

Anyway, I wont tell you too much otherwise it will spoil your read.

Best price I have found for this book is at Amazon

Buying a Fishing Pole

July 10, 2008 by  
Filed under Coarse Fishing Gear

Looking to Buy a Fishing Pole?

Buy force 8 bivvy

I started fishing with a pole when I was 12 (a good 23 years ago) at Bolingey lake in Cornwall, before it changed hands so many times and shape, but that another story. The pole I had was a Victory V and at the time was a semi-decent pole – weighed a ton though!

I’ve had a few poles since, and have tried many of my angling friends so I do know what to look out for when buying a pole, but the first decision you need to make is what will you be catching, and what’s the poles main purpose, match fishing, carp fishing or a little of both?

Below are a few pointers to help you decide.

Match Poles
Match poles are very light and very stiff, for this reason they are also very expensive. They need to be light as when match fishing you are generally holding the pole 98% of the time (in competition). In general they have a maximum elastic rating of around a number 10 or 12, as there main purpose is for catching Rudd, Roach & Bream (silver fish) and Carp averaging around 3lb. A pole if fished correctly will catch much bigger fish, but to the match angler fishing on canals their main target is to bag up on smaller fish, but in quantity.

Carp Poles
Carp poles overt he last 10 tens have become very popular, although not a traditional match pole, they are actually becoming more popular on matches when fished on a commercial lake, where you can expect to catch 10lb+ carp. For this reason the Carp Pole is a lot heavier than the match poles as it has to be much stronger. Carp poles are more flexible, and heavier than the Match Pole, they are designed to take a heavy elastic.

All-Round Poles:
For the general angler this is the preferred pole, as it caters for both carp and match fishing. They offer strength are fairly light, but at the same time stiff. The main attraction is that they come with different top section to cater for either match or carp fishing. Match top kits (Elastics up to 12) and power top kits (Generally up to size 16 elastic). Selecting the appropriate kit you can have the best of both worlds in a Pole that is much, much cheaper than the average Match fishing Pole.
Top of the range poles can be £3,000+ So be sure you buy from a respectable dealer, and if you’re paying this sort of money I would advise you go to your local tackle shop to have a feel for the pole, and then shop online for a bargain!

Please browse through the below books and DVDs on pole fishing:

Baited Bacon Strips

July 9, 2008 by  
Filed under Coarse Fishing


There are lots of different carp baits on the market these days. However one bait that is very cheap is grilled bacon ends.



I have used this on many occasions with great success. I think its because carp get used to luncheon meat, corn, boilies and pellets, so when a semi rare bait is introduced they jump on it immediately as they do not associate it with them being caught.

 As a tip, try soaking it with soya sauce overnight.

Deep Spinning Sandeels

July 9, 2008 by  
Filed under Sea Fishing Methods

This method is as basic as it gets, but it is great for catching pollack in the daytime.

Basic Setup:
Light Beach caster or Carp Rod
Multiplier or fixed spool reel with 20lb main line
30lb shockleader – length depending how far up the cliffs you are fishing.

End Tackle:
4oz lead
3feet 12lb trace
3/0 aberdeen hook
Biating elastic
snap swivel

Ammo blast frozen sandeel.

Rig Setup
Attach the weight to the snap swivel
Thread the snap swivel up the shock leader
Thread bead onto shock leader
Tie swivel the end of shock leader
Tie trace with hook to the other end of the swivel.

There are other methods where you could tie the weight to the shockleader using a rotten bottom method, so if the weight gets stuck in a rock, you will loose the weight, but the trace hook and maybe a fish is still in attached.

To use the rotten bottom method, simple tie a few nots in the line with attaches the weight to the main rig, this acts as the weak point within the rig, as the knots cause frictions and become weak, when pressure is applied this is the spot to give and snap.

Fishing MethodHook the sandeel through its mouth and out its belly, so the shaft of the hook is within the eels belly. Wrap elastic tightly around the eel. This will stop the eel from breaking up when casting hard, and will generally last on the hook a lot longer.

Cast the eel, once it hits the bottom, start a steady retrieve and do not stop reeling in (this is essential). When a fish knocks, do NOT strike, keep reeling at the same speed, the rod will start to bend  and then reel harder and faster and do not stop.   This will hep prevent the pollack from dashing down into the kelp.

Cast into rocky areas and deep gullies. You want to fish where the kelp is as this is where the fish hide waiting for its dinner!

3hrs before high tide, to one hour after.
This method is best on a sunny day, when the sea is calm and clear. The pollack mainly feeds by sigh in shallow areas, so having a visible bait when spinning is half the battle.

This method is also used for wrasse and the odd bass.

Fishing Bivvy

July 8, 2008 by  
Filed under Carp Fishing Gear


When buying a bivvy for fishing you need to consider the following points, some are essentials but others preferences:


  • Speed to erect the Bivvy, can you erect it by yourself?Buy force 8 bivvy
  • Can it withstand the strong winds and heavy rain?
  • Speed to pack the Bivvy away – does it fit easily into its original bag?
  • How heavy is the Bivvy to carry when packed away?
  • Does it pack into a reasonable size for transporting, both on land and in a vehicle?
  • Is it made from quality products, are the seems, glue, zips, pegs, cord and poles looking good? or are they fragile!
  • Does it dry quickly?
  • Is it a popular brand – can you get parts?

Personal Preferences:

  • How accessible is the Bivvy, does it have any obstructions, are the zips awkward. You need fast access in and out of the Bivvy if you hook into a fish.
  • Is it spaciouse, will it only fit one fisherman, is there room for your expensive fishing gear. (at night i keep loose expensive tackle inside with me)
  • Height of the Bivvy, the standard is around 5feet 6inches.
  • Is there a flap on the Bivy floor to prevent rain water coming in the entrance?
  • Is there a storm porch for added protection when the doors are open (which can be often).
  • Are there windows on the Bivvy doors
  • Are there pockets in the Bivvy for storing tackle, torches, alarms etc?
  • Are there loops in the Bivvy for hanging lights?
  • Can your bed fit in only one-way?
  • Does it get very hot inside, how many air vents are there?

BivvyTaking the above options into consideration a Bivvy should be thought as a long term purchase. In other words its best splashing the cash on a decent recommended Bivvy which is going to last years, than paying for a cheap one which isn’t  up to the job and will only last a couple of seasons fishing.

Even if you only intend to use the Bivvy for short sessions, its still best (if within your budget) to pay that little extra. These days with technology improving you can get a very good Bivvy for around £200+

If you are a beginner or on a limited budget, then you can pick them up for as little as £30, but obviously the quality is not there.

Bivvy’s A Bivvy is normally available in two size, being one man or two man. There are also different versions:

  • The Shelter – a simple shelter, normally an umbrella with added canvas and pegged down
  • The Dome – Single skinned layer, doesn’t keep the wind out so well!
  • The Twin-skinned Dome is the all singing and dancing Bivvy. Wind-proof, rain-proof and damp-proof. The double layer also keep the heat in which should be a huge factor if you intend fishing cold nights during the winter.

Feeding a Commercial Fishery

July 6, 2008 by  
Filed under Carp Fishing Methods

Commercial fishers are all different, however you can bet one tactict (most of the time) remains the same whichever commercial fishery you are on.

Feed little and often.

Adopt this method and you will keep fish in a feeding frenzy, literally throw in 5-6 grains of corn every few minutes, when you hook into a fish throw in another few grains to keep the fish feeding.

Throughout the day, if bites are getting harder, leave it for 10 minutes before throwing anymore bait in, you may find you have ‘over fed’ the swim, so just wait for the carp to hoover up your left overs.

I often find fisherman caterpulting corn and other bait by the bucket loads, even before they have a rod in the water. This can be disasterouse and wreck the swin for the day. Overfeeding a swim will result in fish pre-ocupied feeding off the offerings you have thrown in, and not taking the hook bait.

This method can be applied to breadflake, maggots, hemp-seed, small chunks of meat, pellets and any other bait that softens up quickly.

In the summer, using this method on a waggler you can see carp in a frenzy just below the surface, as soon as your bait hits the water you can be guaranteed a bite!

Also, feed little and often’ one or two other areas in you swim, if the fish do get spooked you immediately have a group of fish feeding elsewhere. Match fisherman use this approach to ‘bag up’ on a regular basis.

The below books and DVDs provide general advice on commercial fisheries, including where to fish and commercial fishery management.