In Which Jacket And Pocket Contents Are Disclosed… Shopping Today… And Tomorrow’s Plans Are Discussed

Firstly apologies (or more probably sighs of relief will ensue) but the planned pocket-by-pocket and item-by-item explanation will have to be foregone – struggling with time and need to re-fill the now empty jacket pockets – and then finish off rest of tackle – for tomorrow’s planned sortie on the canal with the drop shot rig…

So without further to-do lets make a start with the main item – the jacket!

As can be seen from the picture this is a Ron Thompson branded jacket. Bought for me by Liz for Valentine’s Day 2011. Since then it has been worn on every single trip to the water’s side – was re-waterproofed with NixWax(?) tent waterproofer in July of 2012 – and has always provided sterling service proving quite wind- and water- proof over all that time. And the velcro fasteners on the wrists allow a nice fit without flapping or sleeves falling over the hands. In all it has 17 pockets of various sizes – 16 are visible in the picture and the 17th is a large pocket on the back capable of holding scales, towel, weigh net and small unhooking mat all at once (albeit it bulky!) so great for roving/stalking duty. Also the sleeves are detachable via zip fasteners and so in the hotter weather it can become a waistcoat…

OK… that’s it for the jacket – let’s start on those pocket contents…..

Boxes and Tin

The main contents are these compartmented pocket-sized plastic boxes and tobacco tin which are used to draw upon for various items on most trips. The plastic boxes contain various weights, Enterprise Adjuster-Stops, quick change link connectors,  various large shot (2SSG + 3SSG mainly), swivels, and small (15mm) and large (30mm) Stonfo Bait Holders which are latex pieces that attach to the bend of the hook and are like hairs that can be attached/removed easily – not easy to find but can be obtained from http://www.pkangling.co.uk. The tobacco tin contains my hooks – mainly Kamasan B981 barbless in sizes 2-16 although there are some Mustad Carp Maggot hooks and others down to size 20… basically the hooks smaller than size 16 are a throw back to my match fishing experience that I undertook for a year before deciding it wasn’t for me. My usual hook sizes I use for legering, freelining and floating baits fall between size 2 and size 6 on pools and rivers, for canal I usually look at 8-12’s for the same tactics and floatfishing anywhere it’s 12-16’s.

Odds and Ends

Next items – above pic and from top row left to right – are plastic sleeve holding both mine and Liz’s licences and permits (why are the EA cards so cr*p? I laminate ours to prevent water damage), notepad with pen for quick notetaking (but generally only used if the next item is full or not available), Dictaphone for verbal notemaking (much easier than writing – and thus more likely to make notes), digital indoor/outdoor thermometer with clock display (outdoor probe is on a 3 metre lead to make throwing into water easy – clock is convenient for for reminder of hourly updating of temp records on the Dictaphone). And bottom row, left to right again… links for legers (ca 4″ long, 6lb nylon terminated with a swivel at one end and a swivel’n’snaplink at the other, the line being encased in shrink tube – helps prevent tangles on casting and also allows the running swivel to sit above soft silt if lead sinks down), back leads for canal legering (saves having to rewind/recast each a boat passes when canal legering as they hug the line to the bottom and the boats pass over without problem), cigarette lighter (various uses except lighting cigs as I don’t smoke! Eg shrinking shrink tube, melting tag ends of knots to create a ball to ensure knots do not slip, etc), tub of small beads (various uses), hook tags for pike fishing and for attractors on hooks of perch spinners), 2 made up link legers inc the attached leads.

And there’s more!…

Tools

OK… here we have a pair of scissors, wire cutters, sharpening stone (for hooks and knife), disgorger/loop tier, spare disgorger, 2 small files (hook sharpening 2), small screwdriver – and a bunch of elastic bands that are cut into small pieces to keep live baits (maggots, worms) from wriggling free on barbless hooks.

Purse

Next item is a black leather purse and its contents… ring clips (as used on bracelets – useful for adding things to the maninline without breaking all the terminal tackle down – just open sprung slider, slip on line – attach items to loop on ring), split link clips, meat spikes (add to hair rig, poke into meat and barbs hold meat securely), plastic pouch with small ordinary scissors, braid scissors, boilie drill, baiting needle, and needle threaders to aid attaching small hooks to line, bait pins (for hair rigging maggots – actually us older folks will recognise these as an item that’s done a ‘Listerine’ (originally a general antiseptic, then a floor wash, now a mouthwash – and the formula has never changed!) as they were sold in the 70/80’s as eyes for homemade floatmaking purposes!) and finally a selection of silicone rubber sliding float stops of various sizes which are also used upline when river legering to prevent crud catching on the line and being washed down to the lead and hook.

Shot, etc

Now we have a split shot dispenser (SSG to No 6, I think), Mucilin silicon to make line float, sheathed 15lb BS braid (various uses inc hook lengths), power gum (various uses).

Compass and Forceps

And finally – but not really ‘pocket contents’ as they are worn around the neck on lanyards are my forceps (unhooking) and a compass for determining wind direction, etc.

And so there ends the ‘jacket’ saga!!!

And so we come on to today’s shopping exploits – one success, one failure…

The failure was the Dinsmore’s threaded umbrella poles – on Go Outdoors site at £2.97 each (cheapest spotted elsewhere being £7+). Did a ‘Reserve and Collect’ for 2 of these last night, got an auto-confirmation back to say they’d contact me if  the items were out of stock. Anyway, no e-mails arrived but just before heading out of house this morning I discovered a missed call from them on my mobile… so I ring them up and discover that the call had been to say that a woman had called to pick them up and they were checking that they were being collected for me… however, as I say, I missed the call (deaf and phone in hallway on charge at the time) and so in the absence of contact they sold them to her!! And no more in stock 😦 Saved a journey though, I suppose. Dunno about the GO ‘RnC’ thing at all though! – their systems are just not up to it! 4 times I’ve used it and 3 times been told items are out of stock despite showing in stock online… and the 4th time I’d seen a set of scales I liked in there on a visit but at £20 I ooh’d and ahh’d and left the store without them… got home and later that day decided I would get them and so did a ‘RnC’ online – only a little later to get an e-mail apologising that they were out of stock – which I thought strange as there were 5 sets on the stand earlier that day. So next day I went there anyway… and lo and behold on the stand there were still 5 sets!!!

Success was with the 3-rod Korum quiver from Fosters of Birmingham – so soon my old but excellent condition 2-rod one will go on eBay to recuperate some of the expense of the new one 🙂

Tomorrow – off on the Staffie. A stretch I’ve never fished before *EVER* – and although I know where it is, I don’t know how to get there in the car – so looks like M. Poirot solving the case of ‘The Big 4’ will have to have a rest from being my bedtime reading for the night as I peruse Google and/or Bing Maps instead :D.

Right… looking at my watch now… got 30 mins to reload those jacket pockets and to check all is OK tacklewise for the trip tomorrow – before ‘Elementary’ is on the TV and we get the ferts out for their scamper around the living room… 🙂

So… BBYYYEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!

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Tuesday morning’s early ramblings….

Oh well, nearly time to get up and go shopping! But until then I’ve been thinking about Friday’s planned expedition to the club’s tench pool accompanied by Liz.

Hoping to do some ‘laying on’ – a technique mentioned before in my blogs – and hoping to see that float rise slowly and then dive under the water! Few better sights and gets the heart pumping! 🙂

Going to take my ‘chocolate’ stuff that I won in a magazine competition a while ago – it was a package of choc flavoured pellets, groundbaits, dips, etc – as I read an article that chocolate was a good tench attractor – but will also be taking dried blood to add to it too. Will try the choc pellets although I’m not a great pellet fan – don’t think I’ve EVER caught a fish on pellet! But main baits will be sweetcorn (natural and strawberry), maggot and bread – and, if I can find some in the compost heap, I’ll take redworm and brandlings, etc too. Feed will be choco groundbait and breadcrumb with added dried blood, maize, corn and maggot introduced via a mini-Spomb as this will allow a very dry mix of groundbait/crump that will cloud the water on its descent. Probably introduce a couple of cricket ball sized ‘sticky’ groundbait+corn+maggot balls by hand initially too.

Tackle will be my 13′ float rod, 6lb line straight through to size 16 Kamasan B981 hook, and a 1SSG float shotted with 1SSG+1BB both 3″ from the hook and fished 6″-12″ overdepth and line wound to tighten until float shows correctly in water.

Depending what happens and personal inclination, we may also have a last hour or so on the adjoining carp pool.

Shopping and Drop Shotting planned…

Well, I’ve decided to do my shopping for the brolly poles and the Korum 3-rod quiver tomorrow – deliveries allowing as Liz has an eBay item in transit to us… the guy who has sent it will be sending us the tracking details for the courier later this evening and hopefully it won’t be expected to get here until Wednesday. Saying this reminds me that I need to plan my journeys for the bus and trains (using the wonderful free pass that us ‘oldies’ get!) and print out maps of the locations for the walking bit.

And Wednesday I’m planning to try drop shotting for perch on an early visit to the local canal. I’ve been watching YouTube videos of the technique (as this will be my first try at the technique) and have a sort of homemade version of the setup. Using my 8’6″ spinning rod, with 30lb braid mainline connected to a length of 10lb monofilament that contains the ‘works’ via snaplink – a size 2 long shank hook fitted via a custom Palomar Knot with an 18″ tail on to which is attached an 1/2oz bomb for the weight (fits on by snaplink so easily increased/decreased as necessary). By using the separate nylon trace and snaplink its easy to carry a selection of different weight-to-hook lengths or different hook sizes – the actual make-up being ‘fixed’ and the only way of adjustment would be to cut off the hook, etc and remake to the new desired length/hooksize.

See: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9dW4zOaDw-s for the setting up – an easy to follow video. There are also a lot of other good videos on the technique on YouTube too…
Just search on there for ‘drop shotting’ or similar….

My lures consist of small jelly fish and jelly worms of various sizes and shapes…

Will probably aim to get to the canal around 6am and then wander for a few hours down and back up until the boats start to become a pain – usually about 9-10am.

One thing about this technique is that you don’t need a lot of gear! Fits all in a small shoulder bag – box of jelly lures (would fit a jacket pocket), line for making extra traces if necessary, scales, small unhooking mat, weigh bag and camera – and the general stuff that is always in my jacket (hooks, leads, forceps, etc). In fact, apart from rod and landing net the biggest weight/size will be my 1 litre flask of coffee! 😀

Talking about my jacket – I’ve had to empty my pockets to try to dry it completely as it was still damp I found earlier today from the Pwllheli trip – so I’ll try to take a picture of the full contents and explain it all in a post tomorrow as I said I would in the last posting….

Also today I’ve switched over my ‘main’ rods which are used 99% of the time for my stillwater legering from a pair of homemade 11′ rods from the 70’s based on Northwestern 1.5lb TC blanks to a pair of new Ron Thompson Evo2 Concept Barbel (1.5lb TC) rods. Liz has had a pair of the original Evo version for quite a while. Anyway, whilst untackling the rods to switch over reels, I’ve made a couple of minor changes to the terminal end to hopefully increase efficiency… proof will be in the pudding though as they say! 🙂

So… now off to plan tomorrow’s journeys to the ‘dark side’… 😀

Session 16 – not where intended!

OK… back from Pwllheli now….

Did have a days fishing – but not on the Haven Hafan Y Mor site’s pool as was intended.
Arrived on site on the Monday quite early so we decided to have a walk about and ended up walking around the pool.
Very weedy! Full of elodea (Canadian Pondweed) with the surface of the pool 95% covered by it and small clear holes. Liz saw a good sized (20lb+) carp jump – size verified by another guy walking the pool to whom we chatted. Seems this guy fished the pool last year and managed to land a 27lb’er but he said it was very difficult fishing due to the weed – lost a lot of fish when he was unable to get them back through the weed, even when using ‘dump leads’ (leads that fall off when a fish is being played). Anyway, we decided our strongest tackle would not be up to the job (1.75lb TC rods, 10lb line) on this pool and so we abandoned our plans to fish there.

So, we needed to locate another place to fish if we could and we located 2 possible local fisheries – the Bron Eifion Fishery (http://www.broneifion.com/index.html) and the Eisteddfa Fishery (http://www.eisteddfa-fisheries.com/english/index.html) a bit further away.

In the end we decided on the Bron Eifion fishery to fish on Thursday 25th April. We arrived at the fishery just after the 8am opening time and selected 2 swims on the end of the island – Liz fishing directly from the end towards an island and I fishing out to the right hand side into open water. Not the best weather – we arrived in drizzle and mist accompanied by a gusty breeze with intervals of proper showery rain. We fished until around 2:30pm when, having decided we were too wet and cold to continue, and then, as is the usual case, as we were loading the car the rain stopped and others started to arrive at the fishery and to emerge from the wooden lodges around the pool… and an hour later back at the Haven site the sun came out…

We fished 2 rods each – Liz fished spiced meat on one rod and swimfeedered maggot on the other, whilst I fished meat or bread on one rod, and maggot or prawn on the other. Results were fairly equal – all carp, nothing of size, best probably 1.5lb and about 8 fish between us. However, my last fish of the day was a bit of a special – a golden mirror carp of around 1lb.

2013- 04-25 Steve - 1lb Golden Mirror Carp (2)

By the way – my clothes are NOT wetlook – just wet! And soaking to the skin!

OK… so session 17 will take place some time next week – not sure when but I want to go to Go Outdoors in Coventry for a couple of screw-in-the-ground brolly poles and also hopefully get to Fosters of Birmingham to get a Korum 3-rod quiver – after which I’ll put my current Korum 2-rod quiver for sale on eBay.

If you’ve not got a quiver then get one! I’ve 2 currently in use – the original Korum 2-rod one  which I use for stalking/roving on rivers and an Trakker NGX Captive 5-rod quiver I use for my more static forms of fishing. And intend changing the 2-rod quiver for the 3-rod version.

Korum 2-rod KITM-09captive_quiver5

Liz has a similar 5-rod quiver – also a Trakker but not the Captive – the difference being that there are no protective tip covers on hers…. but she has obtained separate ones which she can attach via elastics to make the quiver into an virtual ‘Captive’ (thanks to a thoughtful boyfriend who bought her a sewing machine as a present! 😀

NXG_5_Rod_Quiver

The advantage of a quiver is that the rods can be carried with reels attached and terminal rigs pre-setup before setting off to the waterside. I *HATE* wasting valuable fishing time setting up tackle!! 😀

Also Liz has made about 8 padded reel pouches (from some camo material purchased from Birmingham Flea Market for about £2, some lining material, velcro and soft foam) which allow the reels to sit inside and a flap wraps around the handle and fastens to the front of the pouch – which keeps the bale arm protected from damage and prevents the bale arms and handles tangling and snagging whilst in the car boot, etc.

All the quivers also have a large central pocket for brollies/shelters and side pockets for banksticks/rodrests. The Trakker quivers also have a narrow pocket the full length of the quiver into which your landing net pole can be located – and this also acts as a stiffener/backbone for the quiver in practice.

Also in favour of the quivers is the fact that, although rods can be carried made up, they don’t have to be… if you prefer to carry your reels separate then you can… but you still gain advantage of the ease of access to your rods as provided by a quiver in comparison to the usual need to unzip an entire length of a conventional holdall for that access.

While I’m in ‘tackle’ mode… a few other items I’d not be without – most of the time anyway…

1. My 60″ oval brolly with sidewalls… purchased from Dragon Carp Direct 12 months or so ago for £30… http://www.dragoncarpdirect.com/products/CK-Fusion-60ins-Oval-Brolly-Shelter.html
I must say that I don’t use the groundsheet though – too fiddly and really no loss of benefit by not using in my opinion.
I’ve also added 3 guy ropes from the centre – and purchased some cheap but substantial tent pegs in order to provide stability in high winds. There is no centre ‘brolly’ pole that sticks in to the ground so it is anchored/secured to the ground usually just by tent pegs in the elastics around the parameter of the brolly but in higher winds the guy ropes add extra strength.

  • PROS:
  •  far, far better than a conventional 50″ brolly for protection from the elements… no central pole to impede movement… cheap compared to a ‘day shelter’ (eg TFG Force 8 at £80+) and comparably priced with a standard brolly. Quick to erect – not much longer than a conventional brolly.
  • CONS: heavy/bulky compared with conventional brolly and so not really suited to roving tactics – I use a conventional brolly for roving days – if I do take any cover at all that is. Not really suited to night fishing or long term sessions (more than a day) when a conventional bivvy would provide much more comfort, space and shelter.

2. My rod pod… again from Dragon Carp Direct for £20.
http://www.dragoncarpdirect.com/products/CK-Fusion-2012-Pod.html
Very similar to ones sold elsewhere for very substantially more – or far better quality to similar items sold elsewhere for the same price. Before I (and Liz) had these we’d tried several other items and tripods, all of which suffered from one or more faults/problems in our opinion. But these are the bees knees as far as we are concerned…
The main factor we like in these is the stability – (a) having double vertical bars on to which the cross/buzz bars fit prevents those buzz bars rotating, something that happens regularly with single verticals  regardless of how tight you lock them and (b) they are heavy enough to be stable and not move when one rod is lifted causing the other rod to bounce out of the rests BUT not so heavy as to make transit a burden and (c) each leg is adjustable so that whatever the ground is like the pod can be set up with the rest levels and stable very quickly due to the use of clip type friction locking (open latch – adjust – close latch). These particular pods are not adjustable in length ie the bar that connects front bars to back bars is one-piece – you can get ones that do from other sources/makers using the same hollow ‘delta’ shaped tube (gives light weight to high strength ratio) but these can cost over £100 – and to be honest we’ve used our pods with rods from 9′ to 13′ (but our usual rods-on-the-pods are 11′) without any problems at all. So – cheap, robust, and of optimum mass to remain firm in all situations we’ve used them in over a good 12 months of almost weekly use. Oh, and the price includes a carry bag too! To be honest, its a very tight fitting bag and the seams and zip do tend to be under strain – and recently both our carry bags failed – mine with the zip, Liz’s at a seam… but with Liz’s sewing machine skills she’s created me a new, slightly bigger bag, from the canvas of an old carp bedchair … and is to do the same for herself. However, I say just treat the bag as a ‘freebie’ – at £20 the pod on its own is well worth that!

3. My Korum Mat Bag
http://www.korum.co.uk/19_The%20Mat%20Bag%20Explained_Article and http://www.korum.co.uk/Item_KMLUG-34
At £20 RRP this is a great item! And by shopping around can probably be purchased for less than £18. Basically, it is a bag in which you can transport sundry items of tackle (eg landing net head, collapsible buckets, a keepnet if you use one (I don’t), etc) to the waterside ready for your days fishing… and once there the base of the bag is padded allowing use as a unhooking mat with side walls of 2″-3″ surrounding to prevent the fish from flapping out. Also, if roving, its easy to drop your baits and sundry tackle items inside, zip up and move to the next swim, unzipping and baits and tackle items are at hand with unhooking mat ready. 2 short strap handles and a longer shoulder strap and a light weight make it very easy work to carry with you.

OK! OK! Enough for today!!

Maybe next time I’ll take you through the contents of my fishing jacket pockets 🙂
Really, with the exception of large items (rods, nets, chairs, baits, etc), I could go fishing for a whole day wearing just my jacket… and that includes several changes of tactics too. 17 pockets – and I think each one has its own contents from hooks, weights, disgorgers, rubber bands, rubber tubing, etc, etc 🙂 But as I say, that’s for another day!

Now… I’ve only to decide when and where I’ll be off to this week! 🙂

Prelude to Session 16….

Session 16 will hopefully take place next week…. in Pwllheli!

We’re booked on a Monday-Friday break at the Haven Caravan Site (Hafan Y Mor) there – and the site has a free-to-use fishing lake which is stocked with quite a few species of fish – carp, tench, perch, pike, bream, etc. – and we are intending to have at least one days fishing on there – and I may get to have a couple of short morning/evening sessions there too hopefully.

Currently trying to get tackle into a small a space as possible as we’ll also need to take clothing and bedding and food along too. May have to fit roof box but hopefully will get things organised so all will fit in the back of the car. But unable to start doing that until tomorrow afternoon as we have a previous engagement to attend to that requires the boot space in the morning.

I’ll be digging the compost heap over tomorrow possibly to try to get a few worms for this trip 🙂

As I’ll not have access to a PC – will take the Android tablet but on-screen keyboards are a PAIN – the results etc of session 16 and any others will be added on my return.

Session 15 – in which Steve blanks again but Liz gets a new PB tench!

Session 15 – and I blanked again! However, Liz managed to catch herself a PB tench of 3lb 14oz – which also actually eclipses my PB tench of 3lb 10oz. So she now has 2 PBs better than mine carp and tench! 🙂

Anyway, back to session 15.
The day itself was quite pleasant but could have been improved by the cold northwesterly breeze abating a little. Fished from 8:30am to just after 2:30pm with Liz’s fish coming in at 2:00pm. I fished 2 rods – 1 with bread on a size 6 hook and 1 with maggot on a size 12, Liz fished 2 rods – one with swimfeedered maggot which the tench was caught on, the other baited with chili meat.

Slight upset on the day for Liz – after taking the first cup of coffee from her flask, the catch on the stopper didn’t close properly and, unknowingly, the remainder of the coffee seeped away when the flask fell over on the ground… she did have a couple of cups from my flask though bar mine was black and sweetened with Sweetex (Liz is normally a ‘white and 2 sugar’ person).

Finally, a couple of pics of the pool and location thereon that we fished at, and one of Liz with her new PB tench.
Note that the pic of the pool was actually taken last summer hence the abundance of lush greenery whereas currently is it more barren and brown dead rushes having not yet started from the past few weeks  of  harsh weather….

S2013-04-19 Liz - 3lb 14oz (PB) 01