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.


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


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

Marukyu Specimen Carp Test Continues.

Or should I say Quest and not Test. After a 20lb carp and things are going well, but not that well.

My next session on Riverside was obviously going to involve Krilled Dead Red Maggots as the tactic had previously worked well and resulted in the only two fish on the bank during my last trip. This time I had decided on a couple of small changes. I was fishing with smaller PVA sticks and a shorter hair for one thing. Also on my last trip fish had consistently showed over a shallow plateau between the islands. I never moved onto them last time out as I had committed a few pints of maggots to another spot and was justified in sticking with it as it produced two decent fish. Anyway I decided to wait until just before dark to bait up as it was at this time the fish seem to show most and it coincided with the lake normally going flat calm as the wind dropped. I was also using a homemade mini spod to bait up as the Catapult would not reach this area.

It appeared I had made some good decisions as the night panned out as I had thought and the fish once again started to show out on the plateau. I was a bit worried about spoding on top of them even thought my homemade spod makes very little disturbance but really had no choice in the matter. So I decided to get the whole two pints of Krilled Dead Reds out there asap and in doing so get the disturbance over with quick.

My second rod was also on the Maggot rig but with less bait over it, about half a pint as I wanted to see if this tactic brought a quicker take. It was baited slowly with the catapult and fished at short range as per last week’s success. I was very confident in both spots having caught on one tactic last week and having fish over the plateau spot this week.Image

Only one other angler was on this week so less pressure on the fish had my confidence running high. He was next to me and was also fishing a maggot rig at shot range but had chosen a 10mm boilie and PVA bag approach out on the bar between the islands.


The result for me was a couple of fish 14lb 12oz and 16lb 8oz, both came to the maggot rig on the plateau. The other three rods blanked witch is an interesting indication of how hard these fish are as two of the rods also fished the same rig and bait as the one the caught two fish. I also hooked and lost a third fish on the same rod, probably the twenty I was after, so another trip is on the cards at some point soon. My main conclusions were a couple of interesting points to note for next time, firstly the rod that was most heavily baited with Marukyu Krilled Dead Red Maggots had three takes, and secondly the spoding was not a problem, in fact having only baited up at about 7.45pm the first fish was at 9.30pm and second at 11.00pm so the fish came along earlier than last week. The third fish I lost was at 3.00am so the fish were clearly on the bait for a long time. I think next time I’m going to put all my eggs in one basket, something I don’t always like to do, however three or four pints of maggots on the plateau with both rods on it sounds like a good plan, “I’m going all in” as they say in Texas. I’m by no means disappointed with the results as two fish and one lost in my opinion is proof enough that Marukyu Baits plus my tactics are working for me. But I do want a fish over 20lb to top off this feature.


It rained most of the afternoon and evening but was dry by the morning and getting warm, the fish were soon up on top and while the bivvie was drying nicely in the sun I reeled in and went off to do a bit of improvised stalking with some bread from my sandwiches. I found a group of three fish near an inlet pipe but they were off as soon as the bread hit the surface a couple of yards away from them, I was hoping it would drift over them on the breeze. The fish started to move towards it as it plopped in and I thought I was on for a take first cast but the fish just swam right under the bread and kept going disappearing into the muddy depths. This went on for a couple of hours as I kept finding fish but nothing was getting them to have a go properly and I was obviously under prepared, Krilled Bread has worked wonders for me in the past but I had a limited supply of bait, lesson learned I think.

I packed up and got home for 1.00pm then set about getting ready for my next tuition sessions on Wednesday when I had two tuition sessions booked. I will have to book another session on Riverside but with me being busy all this week I’m not sure yet when I will get back.

The Quest Continues.


Tight Lines





Welcome South West Fishing Adventures Blog.

Hi, my name is Colin Blackburn and I and a self employed Angling Coach base in Cornwall, England. I provide Coarse Fishing Tuition and Guiding to people of all ages and ability.

This year I will be trying to write a little more than I have in the past and will keep the blog up to date with all my fishing adventures both while Coaching and Guiding and Fishing for my own pleasure.

We’ve suffered a very cold winter and my first fishing session was on an unseasonably warm February Day. I took advantage with just a few hours I could spare manage to catch six carp using simple floating bread tactics and was very pleased. Then it got very cold again with most waters frozen over.

I’ve now started testing some new bait by Marukyu and intend to use various Marukyu baits over forth coming fishing sessions and will post my results and finding here. The idea is to take a bait that has been used with some great success by match anglers and progress from the match style of fishing into catching bigger specimen size fish. The first session was yesterday and you can read all about it in my next post coming very soon.

Tight Lines