First Tuition Session of 2015

Well it’s that time of year again. Holiday makers have started to arrive in Cornwall and enquiries for tuition have been rolling in…. and the weather is totally rubbish.

My first session was planned for Sunday morning, however with two first time anglers to take out, the weather was not looking very good, 30-40mph winds and rain. Now the one thing I always try to do is make sure the participants enjoy the session. Two lads age 10 & 12 where probably not going to enjoy being cold and wet. So after discussing it with Mum and Dad we decided to re arrange for Tuesday. However the forecast has changed, Tuesday was meant to be dry and with considerably less wind, however the current forecast is for a 50-70mph North Westerly. So again the weather has now put back by first session to the end of this week.

So here I am pondering what people think about deciding to re arrange to avoid bad weather. I’m pondering because it has been said to me that if these young lads are to become fishermen then bad weather is something they have to be out in. Also I’ve been told that if they book a session then cancel as they don’t fancy the weather they should still pay!!

Well after very little thought (in fact no thought at all) I decided that I was right to cancel and re-arrange the session. It could mean that by the end of the week if the weather hasn’t improved I lose the booking. It could even be that the weather improves and they decide to do something like go to the beach instead. The fact is this: I don’t want the boys first experience of fishing to be a bad one. I don’t really do this job for the money anyway. I do it because every now and then a young boy or girl leaves a session and I know I have just created another angler.

I have and do fish in all kinds of extreme weather conditions. I had my bivvi turned inside out in 80mph gales, had to run for safety in a thunder & lightning storm and woken up to find my lines in a frozen lake and got back to the car showing minus 7deg. So yes I understand that anglers fish in all sorts, but that is a choice we make when we know what the rewards can be.The rewards can be fantastic, carp off the top in high summer risking sunburn, well every carp anglers done that havent they. However carp on the bank that is covered in snow in January, now that is something that takes a bit of dedication,something to be proud of I think.

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But being out is seriously adverse conditions is not something that should be put on two young boys trying angling for the first time.

So I’m not going to take them out in bad weather just to get paid, I’m not going to charge them for cancelling, in fact I’d rather they don’t have the session at all than to actually put someone off fishing. Sitting by a pond freezing cold and not enjoying it could put them off for life. By not doing the session at all there is still a chance that at some point someone, somewhere will turn them into anglers.

Hope to have a fishing report by the weekend.

Tight Lines

Colin

South West Fishing Adventures 2015

Looking forward to 2015, I’m now offering Coarse Fishing tuition and guiding with nearly 20 venues available in North Cornwall and Devon. I have also welcomed on Board thee fellow guides offering Shore Fishing for Bass, Deap sea Fishing by Boat and Fly Fishing for Rainbow and Wild Brown Trout. So all bases are covered and also on offer for this year is a Hook it and Cook it deal where aftter you days fishing you catch will be prepared and cooked for you at a lovely county pub, Obviously not carp but a fish supper can also be included for coarse fishermen and women.

Looking forward to warm sunny days and plenty of happy customers.

Stinky Old Bait

It’s nearly the weekend again and I’m not sure if I will venture out fishing or not yet. It’s a bit colder than of late and that feeling of spring being in the air I felt last week has gone and been replaced with the chill of possible snow fall.

I do have the itch to get out though and I have been in the garage a couple of evenings this week sorting through the gear. I’ve decided I need to separate the coaching kit from my own carp fishing gear once and for all so that I can pick my kit up and go when necessary. I find that when I decide to go fishing, first I spend ages sorting through a mountain of stuff before deciding what rod bags to use and which luggage to take. Yes I have too much gear, but I’m going to have a proper sort out this weekend before I even think about going fishing again, so maybe Sunday?

Anyway the other night while starting to rummage through some old bags I found some stinky old bait, it must be getting on for ten years old. Now I know what your thinking but this stuff was and still is a killer carp bait and is still in tip top condition.

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Apart from the packaging that is.

Now for those of you who remember Mainline NRG you will no doubt be very envious of this. These pop ups and air dried bottom baits where soaked in NRG bait dip and by the looks of things a fair amount of Chilli powder, the smell when I opened the tub was glorious, it took me back to some long forgotten carp fishing trip into deepest Cheshire many moons ago. I really could have shut my eyes and been back on the banks all those years ago.

So stinky old bait isn’t always a bad thing, I will have to give these ago, I reckon I could well shed a tear or two when I have a fish on them. I’m nostalgic and sentimental like that.

So it looks all set to be a busy weekend, I’m in work for overtime tomorrow at 7.00am, home for lunch (Cornish Pastie) then in the garage for a serious clear out and sort out with a view to fishing at some point on Sunday. I will let you know how I get on with the old mainline NRG.

Tight Lines

First Tuition Session of 2014

Well after last Sundays fact finding mission up at Killock Farm Fishery I found a couple of students prepared to brave the chilly February temperatures for their first fishing experience.

Now I have to say that normally I am very cautious about taking youngsters out fishing when it’s very cold, mostly because the fishing is slow and if they get cold, wet and miserable that can often be their lasting memory of ‘fishing’ and could potentially put them off fishing for good.

However today was a nice dry day so no chance of getting wet, it was forecast to get to about 10 deg C so not bitterly cold and after last week I was confident that I could keep two 8 year old lads busy with plenty of small carp.

Also all of us were keen to be home by 4.00pm to watch England v Ireland in the Six Nations Rugby so starting at 1.30pm it was only going to be sort session of about 2 hours.

It was forecast to be a good stiff wind so I decided the float rod would stay at home as I knew there would be a good chop on the water making float fishing for newbies difficult. We started with the feeder rod and got straight into getting the boys casting out. Neither had ever fished before but with a few goes each had the feeder flying out across the lake so much so I put the line in the clip and set it to stop level with the island.

Then we got onto baiting the hook and the feeder, both lads thought the hair rig was a brilliant idea. The first bite took a while to come, but resulted in a small common. Things were not happening as quickly as I would have liked although both lads showed a tremendous amount of patience.

First Carp

First Carp

After another fish and about half an hour had passed, I decided to scale down to a 14 hook and fish three dead red maggots on the hook. The result was instant, fish seemed much more eager to pick up the small bait and we had a run carp over the next hour or so.

Lovely carp in perfect condition

Lovely carp in perfect condition

Both lads had a great day and at 3.45pm I had a job to get them away to watch the rugby, they both play rugby as well, but would have been happy to miss the England v Ireland game in order to have few more casts.

However the adult won the day and we packed up. Leaving the youngsters wanting more is always a good sign. They’ll be back at Easter and it would appear a float fishing match is on the cards.

Tight Lines

New Fishery Near Bude

So another holiday season starts with Feb Half Term. I have been lucky this year, a brand new coarse fishery has opened right on my doorstep at Killock Farm, Kilkhampton nr Bude. I had a meeting with the owner a few weeks ago and I will be providing tuition there for both local youngsters and holiday makers.

I was shown round no less than six lakes and ponds as we drove down the track, not all are open for fishing yet but four of them will be open for this summer. The first lake is probably a couple of acres with varying depth and has recently been stocked with over 600lb of carp from Priory Fishery in Cullompton. From what I understand the fish were a mix of yearlings and three year old fish so various sizes and all mirror carp. These fish have been complimented by some of the owners stock of common carp as well as a few Tench and Bream but no silver fish.

Next was a small pond that I was told contains lots of Rudd ideal for taking juniors on their first fishing lesson. Then another large lake that is yet to be stocked. down the bottom of the hill is the 30 year old original lake, and two other small ponds, all are stocked, the original old lake as mixed fishing lake with few big original carp in there, one of the ponds has some Crucian carp and the final pond in the woods is stocked with some reasonable size carp. All in all plenty for everyone to go for and a very exciting prospect.

I had a quick session on the first lake last Sunday 16th Feb. Starting off with a feeder rod, a 25g Drennan Method Feeder set up complete with a Drennan Method feeder Hair rig in a size 12. An 11mm Robin Red pellet tipped with a little bit of plastic corn was a big mouthful of a hook bait and 4mm pellets from the Fishery Farm Shop were dampened off and used on the feeder. I decided to fish at the first swim I came to with the intention of moving round the lake until I found the fish, with it being February I was expecting the fish to be huddled up together in the same place.

At this time of year I’m looking for slightly deeper water so rather than cast tight to the island I placed the feeder about 5 meters to the left of it which I hoped would be near the bottom of the island marginal slope. It wasn’t long, maybe five minutes, before I had my first pull round after a few knocks and bangs on the tip as the fish had obviously found the feeder and started knocking it about. The result was a small common carp about 1lb. It appeared I had found the fish by luck more then judgement and interestingly on the back of the wind and not on the end of it.

I continued with the feeder for about an hour and caught a fish every cast, as more feed went in the bites got quicker and the fish got a little bigger with a few mirror carp getting on for 4lb. By then I was more than happy that this lake was going to be very productive in the warmer weather when I will be providing tuition. I decided to give the float rod an outing and see what stamp of fish I would catch with a much smaller and softer bait, dead red maggot. Plumbing up in front of me was about 4 foot deep but at about three rod lengths out there was a drop off into about six feet. I set the float to fish just in the deeper water, sprayed a couple of pouches of maggots and one small sprinkle of pellets and cast out.

Within a minute the float slowly pulled under and disappeared, my strike met firm resistance and I was into yet another small carp of around 2lb. I was pleasantly surprised to find the fish so willing to feed at this time of year. Both the water and fish themselves were very cold and few of the fish had leaches on them which shows they have been laid up somewhere for long periods. Anyway another hour was spend pastie bashing as I call it and by the end of a couple of hours I was confident that this Lake would be more than suitable for tuition in the summer, more so I could happily have had a tuition session today.

The fish taken on the float were all of a similar stap to those I had on the feeder so changing to maggots didn’t result in smaller fish as I thought it may do. The absence of any silver fish makes this a very good venue for tuition as I find that things happen so fast when Rudd and Roach bashing that sometimes students don’t know what just happened. In the blink of an eye the float shot under and a fish is on the bank. With small carp however the bites are often slower to develop and therefore timing of the strike becomes a skill to learn and also playing the fish is a little more of an experience.

So all in all I was very happy, at some point soon I will test out the other lakes and ponds on site.

The fishery in on the A39 just outside Kilkhampton as you head towards Bude,  it is well signed and situated at Killock Farm Shop.

I will post a link to the new web site as soon as it’s published. Pellets are for sale in the farm shop at just £2.00 per Kilo and are what is fed to the fish so they have no problems recognizing it as food and they worked very well for me today. Tickets are dawn till Dusk only £5.00 self service from the fishing shed on the way in.

Tight Lines

Busy with Tuition

Now that the schools are back things should start to slow down a little but I have been busy with tuition sessions at holidays venues and doing to rig tying sessions with the local youngsters most of whom fish Upper Tamar Lake on the Devon / Cornwall Boarder.

Softies

A few tutorials this week and a visit to my local tackle shop I noticed they had the new Marukyu Softies and Jpelletz in stock. As I’ve had some good success on the Krill I went for the Krill Softies.

My tackle shop is Waterfront Angling and Shooting located on the Bude Canal, always very helpful and for a small shop stock everything you will need.

The first session in the morning was at Forda Lodges and Cottages, we fished Meadow Pond with light lines and Krilled Dead Red Maggots, things started off a little slow but the first fish in the net was one of the original Bream of about 3lb, the new stock of bream are only around 1/2lb at present. I find it a little strange that only 12 original bream were stocked when the pond was new, they were followed by nearly 1000 smaller Bream, Tench and Crucian Carp. However even with all those mouths to feed they get caught on every tuition session.

A quick change of swim and things started to pick up, Jpelletz to kick the swim off then feeding little and often with the Krilled maggots and if bite slowed a few more Jpelletz.

By the end of the session the boys had landed around 20 Crucians, 15 Tench, one Tench was 3lb and lots of the skimmer Bream. I do think the slow start was due to the fact that I started them in a swim where we could see fish were feeding and bubblers were all over the area. However it was deep, maybe 8 to 9 feet and the only fish we caught there was the bigger Bream, it will no doubt be silty in the deepest part of the lake and maybe all the bubbling was just a handful of Bream. We soon found the Crucians and Tench  in what has been the hot swim for a few weeks now.

It was good to get the boys plenty of bites so they could practise and they both got into a steady rhythm of fishing. Both lads have been out with me before a few times and are now really coming on. I have them booked in for Tuesday for some feeder fishing for carp in Top Pond at Forda which should be the highlight of their holiday and also give them some new skills to take home a work with.

Friday after noon I was booked for a session with some holiday makers in Bude, just the 11 year old lad was fishing but the whole family came to watch how he got on.  He had never fished before and wanted to a few nice photo’s to show his mates at home who have all been catching fish having been shown by other family members what to do.

None of this family fished so they decided to get a session book and we decided to meet at Lower Lynstone Lakes in Bude. This is a great venue as bite are always coming thick and fast and it is only stocked with carp. So again float tactics and maggots got plenty of bites and within an hour the student was hooking a fish on nearly every bite. Most of the carp were in the 1 to 2 pound bracket but he did manage with a little help to land a nice Leather Carp of about 6lb. Next step was to get him doing everything, baiting the hook unhooking and returning the fish etc, once we got that he would be able to get out and get fishing. Unhooking the fish was ok but this youngster did not like hooking maggots at all. Sometime that happens and rather than force them to do it and maybe lose some of the enjoyment I just simply switch to something they will handle and that way they know there are alternatives and eventually in their own time will come round (or not).

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Anyway this made us switch to Marukyu Krilled Softies, 6mm & 10mm JPZ. The difference in the stamp of fish was immediately noticed, three fish on the run well over 6lb took the softies. 10mm JPZ also seemed to catch some of the larger fish.

The session came to end with a lovely 9lb linear mirror carp and it couldn’t have gone any better. Loads of bites and as my student got better and better the fish got bigger and bigger. He had his photos and some lovely memories and once again I knew I had just created another angler.

So now I have to get the kit all sorted out and get ready for Tuesday and Friday evening sessions at Forda. Saturday Evening and Tuesday plus the following Friday are also booked and no doubt a few more will book once they see the lessons taking place and how much fun the students are having. It always get a bit busy at this time of year but I can’t complain.

Till next time, Tight Lines