Welcome to my blog

Hello all

Over the comming months I’ll be telling you all what I’ve been up to, warts and all,.be it good, bad or indifferent. I’ll also be keeping you udated about what friends have been up to, what they have been catching and hopefully giving you some insight as to how they fish ! You can also look forward to some reviews on angling products. Working in the tackle trade enables me to get my hands on all sorts of bits and bobs and rest assured if I especially like any of them you will get to hear about it here.

From time to time I’ll be giving you my perspective on anglings political issues. I suppose being in and around angling for as many years as I have, to the extent that I have, gives a person a different perspective to the bloke who just turns up at his local fishery every now and then. I’ve noticed with other authors that issues can get drawn out of all perspective because our sport means so much to us. I try hard not to get so emotional so you can look forward to what I consider a fairly balanced view of things (well I would say that wouldn’t I).

Anyway onto this my first blog, I hope you enjoy it.

My Spring Obsession

At the beginning of march I was planning to go down south to fish for tench. This wasn’t something that I really wanted to do but I felt I had to. The funny thing about fishing for big fish is that it can be limitless in terms of potential objectives. I’m never happy for long . When I caught my first double figure tench I thought that was it, task achieved and I could relax and go and visit some little lilly lined pond somewhere and catch loads of three pounders on the float. The truth is, I couldn’t settle for this, I’d had a double, now I wanted an even bigger Tench and there was so little chance of me achieving this up north it probably wasn’t worth trying! Then, as has happened during countless previous years, problems arose, my finances were drained by the usual bills and expenses and I found myself with less fishing time than I had hoped. By the middle of April it became evident that my planned trips down south would have to be aborted. To say I was devastated is an understatement. My Tenchfishing is the highlight of my entire year. I looked at what venue options were available close to my Hull home (it didn’t take long) but I didn’t feel I’d be happy fishing any of them.

One of the waters slightly further away, one that I was vaguely familiar with; did have an apparent history of some big Tench indeed it was supposed to have produced a handfull of double figure tench over a considerable period of time. The trouble is that the lake is large and the stocks are apparently extraordinarily low even for a big fish venue. To be honest, with my circumstances as they were and having tried but failed to find anywhere else suitable within a reasonable distance of home, I didn’t feel I had a choice but to purchase a ticket for the venue.

My first and only double figure tench from a venue in the deep south!

As you might expect with the weather being as it was during May, the fishing was slow; to the extent that catches on the lake were apparently zero, Zilch, none existent.

It struck me that many of the other club members weren’t even fishing, just walking around the place and hoping for a bit of sunshine. The lack of action didn’t bother me as such because I pretty much knew what to expect but I do concede that I did get a little downhearted at times. The lake is rather bland in appearance, large, open and windswept and I suspect it was looking out over such a landscape that I found depressing. I spent most of the blank hours peering for signs of tench and to be perfectly honest I saw very little. There was however, one area of the lake where I did see a few fish; and as the weather warmed this seemed to me to be the only and obvious area to try. To cut a long story short I had a 5lb 11oz male, lost a fish inexplicably on the next trip and then after a period when I didn’t go for a couple of weeks I caught what is my 4th Yorkshire tench exceeding 8lb’s. I added a six pounder on the same trip. So after all those blank sessions (18 Days in total), I hooked fish on three consecutive trips. It just goes to show how important location is in this game!

A Change of venue

By June 16th I realised I had a few more options in terms of local(ish) waters to target and one of these was rumoured to have some very big tench – though it has to be said that I wasn’t totally convinced by the rumours. With the spring being a cool one and some of the Tench still carrying spawn I felt that this would be the ideal time to give the lake a go.

In respect of my scepticism I had a shock comming. My first tench on my first trip to the lake weighed 9lb 4oz, backed up with fish weighing 7lb 10oz & 6lb 4oz. My companinon on the day, Shaun Porter was even more shocked at the size of his fish. Shaun broke his pb twice with fish weighing 7lb (male !!) & 6lb 10 oz and i think the reality of the situation with northern tench sank in. Shaun had seen loads of photo’s of supposed big tench from waters near Hull and had been plugging away on these venues without catching anything notable. I think it was instantly evident to him that he’d been hoodwinked on a very large scale!

My shock 9lb 4oz Tench from a Northern stillwater

The fact is that i’d overlooked this venue because of the same reasons (I expected the stories being the usual bullsh*t). The particularly anoying thing for me and the reason that I’m now kicking myself is that I couldn’t totally blame the volume of innacurate claims. The truth is I didn’t go to the trouble of checking the place out. I was lazy and made excuses. It doesn’t open until June the 16th, you can’t night fish etc.etc. I hadn’t really realised just how close to home it was because I hadn’t taken the time and trouble to look properly. I had infact dismissed it for years. .Angling has a habit of teaching us some harsh lessons, lessons that can be applied in different walks of life. One of these is simply to make the effort, put in the work because if you don’t you certainly won’t reap the rewards!

The Tackle Review

Before I comence this part of my blog please let me make it clear that i have no connection to any of the companies who’s wares I’ll be covering and I won’t be doing mates or company reps any favours in return for backhanders. If a product appears here it is because I genuinely like it end of..

Sonik SK3 Specialist rods

It took me a few minutes to really appreciate what Sonic have achieved with these rods, for appreciate them I do, to the extent that I bought a couple of the Tri-tip version myself. This comprises of a butt section along with three Avon tips rated a 1.5lb, 1.75lb and 2lb test. There are also three twin tip versions available which comprise of any of the three Avon tops (your choice) along with a quivertip carrier section and three heavyish push in tips.

Now you will probably be surprised to hear the purposes for which i bought these rods including:

Specimen roach fishing with bolt-rigs on large stillwaters.

Tench fishing in any situation you care to mention including the use of a float.

Perch fishing on a variety of stillwaters

Barbel Fishing with virtually any method on any type of river.

Stalking Carp with float Tackle, surface fishing, lightish bolt rigs and other lightish applications.

Not to mention certain ellements of Chub, Pike and Zander fishing.

A long lean common of 11lbs caught from a snag using the sonic sk3 Tri Tip and float tackle. I’d happily use the rod for fish from 1lb to 30lb’s in weight

These rods will do these tasks and plenty more besides and unlike most of the combination rods that I’ve owned and used, these rods do all these things beyond my wildest expectations. So just how have Sonik managed to produce such versatile rods? Well to start with they have made the softer two tips progressively more rapidly tapered; enabling the use of much lighter tackle than might otherwise be the case.. These rods also differ from the majority of similar rods in respect of the fact that I cannot discern a single flat spot along the rod in any of its various guises.

Pick the rod up and you will no doubt be shocked by the lack of weight and best of all is the price. On my first examination of these rods I was expecting a pretty hefty asking price, probably in the region of £180 plus. The tri-tip actually costs just £59.99 and any of the three twin-tipped versions available for £49.99 from Chapmans Angling.

Bye for now

Tim Ridge

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