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FACT Launches two posters to save Nation’s fisheries



Fish theft and spread of disease have been the big issues for Britain ’s anglers over the last two years. The Fish Welfare Group, a working committee of Fisheries and Angling Conservation Trust (FACT), recently launched two posters carrying key messages for the health of our fisheries;

Tuesday, 23 September 2008 19:46

The Wels Catfish

The Wels Catfish

Description
The Wels CatfishThe Wels Catfish has a long, scaleless body like an eel, with a large head and mouth. The inside of the mouth has rows of 100s of tiny little velcro like teeth on the top and bottom of its jaw, these are used to hold its prey before passing it to the two sets of crushing pads at the back of the throat. It has six barbules, two long ones on the upper jaw for detecting its prey and four shorter ones on the lower jaw. It has a small almost pointless looking dorsal fin whilst the anal fin stretches backwards until it almost reaches the tail.

The colouration of the Wels can vary from fish to fish but normally they have dark eyes with a dark greeny black body with creamy yellowish sides creating a mottled effect. Albino looking catfish are sometimes found but are very rare, these have red eyes and a yellow/creamy colouration to its body.

How to catch a Wels Catfish
There are various methods to tempt the Catfish, one is to ledger deadbaits consisting of Roach, Rudd, Carp, Tench or eels. From the information i have found it is best to look for any likely feature that the Catfish would patrol like marginal shelves, deep holes, old stream beds and snaggy areas and place your bait here and wait.

Livebaits are another top favourite, fishing with the above fish baits but alive! The bait can be presented just below the surface using a dumbbell rig or if possible a weak link tied to the opposite bank. I have been told this method produces very violent takes, so make sure you are by the rods at all time!

Worms are a very underated bait and can be devastating if fished just off the bottom, only to be used at night though as every other fish in the lake will want to eat them during the day.

The most common bait to be used on most commercial fisheries at the moment is the Halibut pellet. The pellets come in various sizes and are best fished with a few large pellets on a hair rig over a bed of smaller pellets.

Location
Catfish like to hide away in dark quiet places until they are ready to feed, which is not very often. Look out for overhanging trees, weed beds, lilies and hollows under the bank, a bait placed near any of these areas is a good bet. Anglers do say that when a catfish is on the feed it will come to you and will not be a fussy eater either.

Wels Catfish uk record
62lb (28.123 kilo’s) 1997: R Garner from Withy Pool, Henlow, Bedfordshire.

Recommended Catfish Venue
Carpenwater, Clacton-On-Sea, Essex, England
Contact Phil on 01255 479918 or email to Carpenwater@btinternet.com

Source: www.welscatfish.co.uk

Many thanks to Phil at welscatfish.co.uk for kindly allowing UK Fisherman to use this article.

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Monday, 22 September 2008 20:30

Carp fishing with Marc - carp baits

CARP FISHING WITH MARC - By Marc

Seasonal Changes 2006 - Part 2

Thinking About Baits

Welcome to part two in which I’m going to talk about baits & the successes I have had of late.

In the late eighties I never bought used shop made baits. I allways rolled my own & I’m sure many of you will appreciate just how long this takes. Many hours I spent in the garden shed after getting banned from the kitchen mixing, rolling & boiling boilies. Yes pre-made boilies have come along way since then but I just preferred making my own on the basis that I had control of what went into my final bait, colour, flavour levels etc.

Most of my boilies were made from BFM (big fish mix) with various flavours/colours, until I stumbled across the amazing flavour of cranberry. This flavour was & still is today a top fish attractor. I did mess around with maple too but it just didn’t match cranberry.

As you maybe aware BFM is a brownish red colour & with a small amount of red robin a lovely dark red colour was formed. Red, purple & brown are apparently some strongest colours found in the carps colour spectrum - worth remembering!

I wasn’t heavily into particles at this time, a few tiger nuts, sweet corn & hemp were used occasionally and I had massive confidence in my boilies so I stuck with them.

During my brief encounter with marriage I had to sacrifice a bit of my carp fishing, the long hours bait making was one of the first to go & my over night sessions were cut down too. The birth of my daughter Annalise really limited my time on the bank, but as many of you dads will agree is a well worth sacrifice.

This was when I really had to find a pre-made bait that lived up to my expectations!

Friends & magazines really made my decision easier; everyone seemed to be raving on about Mainline baits! So my next trip to the tackle shop saw me leave laden with 10 kilo’s of Assina8 (freezer boilies). They looked good, smelt good & tasted great, yes I eat my boilies. Not regularly honest, but I believe if I like them the carp will too.

I had some really good catches on this bait but something was missing. The carp loved the bait but often got bored & would start feeding in the silt around the boilies? I started asking questions, having thoughts about this to myself. I think it was a match angler friend who suggested loose feeding maggots & cutting down the amount of loose boilies offered. God did this work, the carp went crazy, the water was fizzing with activity & they readily picked up both baits. This is when I stumbled across chopping the boilies & feeding them with the maggots, yep I had cracked it. Bearing in mind this was during the nineties & I did get many a strange look from other anglers as I sat there chopping boilies into a bucket & mixing it all with maggots. Maggots are for Roach, Rudd etc aren’t they?

I skipped the introduction of the Activa8 although some of friends caught very well on them. I stuck with my current bait until Maple8 was released. This boilie was so close to my BFM bait I just had to move on to it.

There comes a time when every angler has to raise his targets & move on to new venues, I had six great seasons on Furnace Wood syndicate & Buckhurst Park Estate lakes, with me moving homes too made finding new waters easier.

This is where I found out about a 10 acre lake, little pressure from anglers & stocked with carp to mid thirties (Lake View). This was also around the time when I heard about a new bait from Mr Hearn, ‘The Source’ & I was lucky enough to get a few kilo’s before they hit the shop shelves. New water & new bait? After a few investigating walk rounds of my new water it was becoming clear that the few anglers who did fish here were getting smashed up the likes of sweet corn, hemp & maggot, this got me thinking about particles more.

So here I am sitting in front of a new piece of water, armed with ‘The Source’, a bucket of halibut pellet & a bucket of particles (sweet corn, maize, hemp, tares, chick peas & a pint of maggots). I was expecting too much on my first visit but after plopping the marker round around the swim I found three likely areas, one in the margins, so many still today forget how productive the margins can be. I love fishing the margins, you can guarantee your presentation is 100% & your baiting up is bang on.

I had very good night, very little sleep, an aching arm & two sacked up carp, I don’t usually sack for fish for more than a few hours but it was so close to day light & wanted to get some good pictures. I asked the first day angler on his arrival to assist me in accurately weighing & photographing the fish. He did look a bit bewildered with my request but agreed. On removing the first sack from the lake my new friend Gary asked how many fish were in the sack, I could only laugh & said “One Bro”, there was no reply until I transferred the carp from the sack to weigh sling then came his reply “Bloody hell, how big is that?” “The small one of the two” was my answer. The scales swung round to 24lb, pictures taken by a very excited photographer & the carp safely returned with the use of my floating mat ( I prefer to return big fish safely with the use of the mat, just in case they flip/wriggle).

The second sack was hoisted from the lake, I knew it was bigger, just how much I was unsure. On seeing the carp my friends comment is unprintable! The scales pulled round to 29lb 10oz, my heart sunk a little I was sure she would go thirty. Photographs taken, carp returned safely & friend asking all sorts of questions.

A year later Gary has become a total all out carp angler & has broken the twenty pound barrier, a very happy moment for both of us.

During the summer of 2005 a friend of mine bought two smallish waters (Hunters Lodge) & I was invited for a session in exchange for some work he wanted done. We only had rumours of twenty pound carp to fish for & we found some of them during the next few months.

I now had three new waters close to my home, not 100% sure of their total carp stock.

The start of 2006 I found myself using particles more & more, I changed boilies again due to ‘The Source’ becoming so popular (Top Bait). I was still catching lots of fish but the edge had gone, so I switched to Richworth’s ‘Multi-plex’. A truly worthy replacement to my last boilie.

My particle mix had now evolved big time with no less than 15 different pulses, seeds, nuts mixed within it. Four different sized, flavoured pellets were also introduced to the final bucket of goodies. It didn’t look very good but it smelt great & tasted even better. The safest way to get this bait into the swim was using a spod even though my bivvy has been covered with splatters & spills from casting out.

I was lucky enough to fish a swim with shallow clear water within the margins. I introduced a few handfuls under an overhanging bush & watched. After a short wait the water fizzed into a cloudy mess, the carp loved this stuff big time.

I added two more ingredients to the mix during the late summer - mashed up sardines & aniseed extract. The extra smell & oil content meant I could now use the mix as a sort of ‘Stik mix’ (oil based baits don’t melt pva bags/mesh).

To this day I’m still catching well on the baits.

Just to be a bit different I have fished some of the particles from my mix on the hair & the results have been amazing, the bigger fish seem to prefer small particle baits placed just off the baited area.

Up to this date I have safely landed fifteen different twenties, one thirty & numerous doubles from three venues.

I am sticking to my particle mix for the coming season but I’m looking into a new boilie for the coming season.

I hope you have enjoyed my latest article & found it useful. If you contact Paul @ Uk Fisherman I’m willing to share my mixes in more detail with you, but I recommend experimenting yourselves. There is nothing better than making your own bait mixes & catching big-time.

All the very best & tight lines as ever

Marc

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Published in Carp Fishing Articles
Monday, 22 September 2008 19:58

Barbel fishing on the River Severn

WHAT CHANCE A SEVERN MONSTER? - By Stuart Watkins

Source: Barbel Catchers Club

It’s now almost a decade since Howard caught his former British record fish from the lower reaches of the Severn. I recently read an article by Steve Stayner in one of the angling monthlies where he briefly mentions the capture of this memorable fish. He then goes on to talk about the many people who have since tried to catch it, or a different fish of a similar size, from the lower river. In my experience these people that Steve talks about, don’t exist. The river never did see the influx of anglers that many of Britain’s smaller rivers see when a huge fish is caught. In short the Severn’s most popular period was at the very beginning of the barbel boom in the mid to late eighties. In my opinion this will always remain the case, because other rivers produce fish of an equal size, or in many cases bigger, that are in the majority of cases far easier to locate and catch. We often hear the term anyone can catch from the lower Severn, and while this is certainly true, fish of say 12.08 plus are not common, and fish of 14 plus are rare creatures indeed.

Stuart Watkins with a 13-0 from the Lower SevernSo what chances a Severn monster? Obviously location is the key factor here or is it? Most of the better fish I have caught came from swims which only produced the one fish on the day. A lack of smaller fish may indicate the opportunity for a better fish to move in on any feed present. Note I said on the day, because I feel these larger fish could turn up in any swim on any stretch between Worcester’s Diglis weir and Tewkesbury weir. I feel swim type has very little bearing on whether large barbel will or will not feed in them. The most important factor being a lack of run of the mill fish, again on the day. Could it be that these larger specimens perhaps only move around as solitary fish, or at most in groups of two or three fish of a similar size, and may prefer not to compete with other smaller barbel for any food in a given area. Another thing about these larger Severn fish is that they can turn up at any time of the day. Whilst most Severn regulars prefer to fish in the hours of darkness, myself included, my two thirteens from the river both came in daylight, and one of these in mid-July with an air temperature of 27°c under a blazing hot sun in water as low and clear as it gets on the lower river.

So how would I go about catching one of these truly large Severn fish? As I said earlier, I feel swim type is not that important. But having said that I always feel more confident in a swim that has less of a slope on it from the margins out towards the middle of the river, say fourteen foot deep one and a half rod lengths out, to around eighteen to nineteen foot in the middle, as opposed to say only ten foot deep one and a half rod lengths out. In shallower areas of the river, say around Diglis, the same applies, the only thing that changes is the overall depth, which may only be eleven foot in the middle so eight foot of water one and a half rod lengths would be ideal. I would be looking to place my bait around two rod lengths.

One of the most useful pieces of kit that I have used over the last two seasons has been the ‘Smartcast’, Now some people may cringe at the use of this, saying that it is unfair, but believe me if like myself the lower Severn is your usual venue, you will find it invaluable. Since first using it I have discovered that in most areas the river has no shelves apart from the marginal one which may be only a few inches deep when the river is at it’s lowest. It will also find snags and you will get used to spotting these after using the unit for a period of time and getting used to it. One other thing about the ‘Smartcast’ is don’t buy one if you are expecting it to find your fish for you, in reality it’s a pretty crude piece of kit. Believe me, having worked in the marine industry for the past eighteen years, it is only really useful as a guide.

As far as baits and baiting the swim are concerned, boilies would be my first choice in daylight, with a sausage meat concoction, donkey choker size, courtesy of ‘The Cullen Guide To Anti-social Barbel Baits’, Millennium editon, as an after dark option. Feeding the swim would be done using no more than twelve to fifteen boilies, fishing only two rod lengths out makes it easy to place loose feed by hand. I would be looking to feed an area say 20’ x 10’, putting in large amounts of loose feed in my opinion, and especially after dark, only encourages smaller barbel in numbers, or bream, and believe me once they move in forget your barbel. Once you start fishing below Upton they are definitely the river’s most predominant fish, and fish approaching double figures can reasonably be expected.

Once the swim has been fed I don’t wait to put a bait in, I can’t see the point, life’s too short and past experience tells me the biggest fish invariably comes out first, especially if you have had no action in the first half hour. Always a good sign that smaller fish and the dreaded bream are not present. My theory is that if your hook bait is untouched or you have had no rod top indications your loose feed will also be uneaten and intact.

Rigs used are simple and uncomplicated. Hooklengths are braid, either or ‘Silkworm’ or ‘ESP Sinklink’, around sixteen inches long for boilies and around thirty inches for meat. I never fish with bolt rigs in the true sense of the term, although a two to three ounce running lead will, I believe, to some extent have the same effect. I don’t see the need for fancy rigs and any modifications I make are usually to make life easier for me. For example incorporating a Fox Safe-lok with a one inch long piece of rig tube placed over it for security will make it easy to change hooklengths after dark. My views on Fluro-carbon lines are that the disadvantages far outweigh the advantages. So I will not use them, even in a gin clear river. Having said that Fox Illusion seems to be getting some excellent reviews at the moment, so I will see how Martin gets on with it over this winter with a view to using it as a hooklength next season. When fishing the large meat baits everything Martin has talked about in his articles applies. To give an idea of the bait size I use, all the ingredients weigh around 1.3 kilos. This makes around fifteen baits!

So what exactly constitutes a Severn monster? Fifteen plus is probably not an unreasonable target if you fish the river week in week out, three members have all taken fish of this size. One of the most important things to note about most barbel anglers on the lower river is that none of them are from the ‘Catch at all costs’ brigade. I think if you take this misguided approach, you will be in for a very lean time. Personally I go in the hope of catching a personal best, and if I don’t then there is always next weekend. I will probably get some stick for saying this but once you get down below Severn Stoke, don’t forget the chub. They don’t come out very often, but when you do hook one it will probably be well worth catching. In barbel anging terms my biggest ambition is to catch a lower river fifteen. Who knows, one day I may just get lucky and achieve it. Now what about that double figure bream??!!

Many thanks to The Barbel Catchers Club and Stuart Watkins for allowing UK Fisherman to reproduce this article.

Visit their excellent website at: www.barbelcatchersclub.co.uk

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Sunday, 21 September 2008 20:41

Skinz hookbait pellets

SKINZ HOOKBAIT PELLETS

Description:
Skinz hookbait pellets from Sonu Baits are an advanced, skinned, hookable pellet type bait full of powerful fish attractants. The skin is full of soluble feeding triggers that go to work immediately once immersed in water.

The skin has an elastic type property that grips the hook and prevents the bait from falling off during casting or on the strike.

You can use Skinz Hookbait Pellets straight from the bag for a slow sinking bait. This is very effective when fishing on-the-drop for fish feeding off the bottom. Alternatively, they can be soaked for a few minutes. This produces a soft hookbait that can be hooked directly on the hook or hair rigged.

Review:
Spending most of my time fishing at commercial fisheries these days, I have come to rely quite heavily on pellets. I have also grown increasingly frustrated with my search for a soft hooker pellet that stays on the hook when cast even a short distance.

Well my search is at an end! Skinz hook pellets are far and away the best hook pellets I have ever come across. They can be used straight from the packet or can be pre-soaked for only 10 minutes or so to produce a much softer pellet. I did have some difficulty with the unsoaked pellets as it can be quite difficult to penetrate the hard outer shell. For me though, they really come into their own when soaked.

I tried them out at a commercial fishery and found that keeping the bait on the hook even when casting quite long distances is a doddle. These pellets really do grip the hook exceptionally well and the outer skin transforms when wet into a consistency I can only compare to cheese on a pizza....stringy but tough. The bait doesn't fall off the hook every time you strike at a bite so you don't have to re-bait every cast. I actually caught 4 fish using the same pellet which for a soft hookbait pellet is unheard of. All species of fish seem attracted to the Skinz Pellets. I caught carp to 10lb, roach, rudd, bream, crucians and tench in one day with the Skinz Pellets.

Believe the hype - highly recommended !!

Score:

Where to buy:
Skinz Hookbait Pellets are available from a wide range of fishing tackle outlets although UK Fisherman recommends you buy yours from Eccleston Angling Centre. Many thanks to Bun and all at Eccleston Angling Centre for supplying the Skinz Hookbait Pellets for review.

Click Here to Purchase

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Sunday, 21 September 2008 20:32

Cheap Match Fishing Roads

CHEAP MATCH FISHING RODS

I hope that you’re reading this article just after it’s published, as I have a feeling that some of the rods I’m about to mention will be sold out very quickly!

Internet stalwart, and clearance retailer for quality mail order fishing tackle, TackleBargains have been in touch today, as they are moving premises. Although they’re staying on the same industrial park and actually moving to a larger warehouse, the thought of moving so much stock at the hottest time of the year has got the boss, Dave, quaking in his boots! Ever the workshy so-and-so, he’s come up with the ultimate solution……discount the stock EVEN MORE and sell it before the big move takes place!

Please click here to view these bargain match rods on the TackleBargains site.

Here is a selection of the match rods on offer:

Masterline XL 12ft Match Rod - Plus Half Price Reel - Blowout!!!

Masterline XL 12ft Match Rod - Plus Half Price ReelAn incredible value match rod built on a natural carbon finish blank. Ceramic lined guides throughout with blue whippings , screw reel seat, cork/EVA handle. These rods have excellent mellow actions so necessary where mixed bags are expected. Supplied with a cloth rod bag.

For every purchase of this rod, we will offer you the chance to add the Elite 5 ball bearing Size 10 Reel by Lineaeffe of Italy PLUS a FREE 200 metre spool of quality John Wilson 3lb Co-Polymer line for only £12.47 which is half our normal already discounted price.

Click Here to Purchase


Normark Avenger 3000 13 - 15ft - Cosmetic Second - Save 60% - LAST FEW TO CLEAR

Normark have been at the forefront of Match fishing rod excellence for over 25 years. Quite simply, the best quality Match rods there are - and this is the top of the range model.

Normark Avenger 3000 13 - 15ft - Cosmetic Second - Save 60%Fuji SIC guides, Fuji reel seat, 'AAAA' grade cork, super slim over-fit joints, the ultimate waggler and long range match rod.

The RRP on these rods is £450, and we have a very limited supply where the Normark logo has not been applied to quite the standard demanded by Normark - otherwise the rods are 100% perfect. The offending logos have been removed, so a nominal amount of re-finishing may be required in this area. These rods are supplied without a bag, and with standard 12 month warranty only (as the price is around £100 less than the normal trade, we can hardly expect Normark to honour the normal 10 year unconditional).

Click Here to Purchase


Masterline Ideal XL Avon Quiver System - Save 20% plus Free Reel

Masterline Ideal XL Avon Quiver SystemA superb and incredibly versatile all round 11ft rod. Designed by John Wilson and built on an excellent quality blank. Supplied with 2 top sections, one of which is ideal for float or swing tip work the other is supplied with 2 different strength tip sections for quiver/light feeder work. Supplied with a cloth rod bag.

RRP £59.99

While stocks last, we are including absolutely FREE, the Rapid GT De-luxe 3BB Reel by Lineaffe of Italy. Alternatively, you can upgrade to the 10BB Elite Reel by Lineaffe of Italy for just £10

Click Here to Purchase


TFG Matt Hayes 13ft Carp Match Rod - 3pc - Save £20 - RRP £69.99

TFG Matt Hayes 13ft Carp Match RodThe purpose built tool for handling carp on commercial waters. This light weight smooth progressive rod is also the perfect choice for heavy stick work for chub and barbel.
- Powerful action with forgiving tip
- Light weight guides maintain action
- Comfortable power hump reel seat
- Suitable lines 4-8lb
- Manufacturer's unconditional original owner's lifetime guarantee

Click Here to Purchase


John Wilson Signature System Trotter - New 2005 - Save £30

John Wilson Signature System TrotterHighly adaptable specialist trotting rod, which comes with an 18" extension enabling it to be fished at either 12ft or 13ft6". Ideal for an wide range of venues, from the smallest stream to wide fast flowing rivers. Innovative spacing on the first three guides above the handle make this rod ideal for fishing with a centrepin, but equally suitable for those who prefer a fixed spool reel. With its crisp but forgiving action, the system trotter has been designed for use with lines of up to 4lb, so ideal for Dace, Roach, Grayling, and Chub.

RRP £125.00

Click Here to Purchase

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Alternatively if you would to submit a review of your own or submit an item for review at UK Fisherman, please visit the CONTACT page.

Sunday, 21 September 2008 20:28

Korum Quick Change Beads

KORUM QUICK CHANGE BEADS

korum quick change beadsDescription:
Quick change beads enable you to change your hooklength instantly and also act as a shock bead when fishing a running feeder. Simple to use and totally reliable they are perfect for stillwater and river styles of feeder and bomb fishing.

Review:
Being from the old school of fishing, I very rarely used to use little gadgets like the Korum Quick Change Beads...in fact I very rarely used to use hooklengths at all.

All that has changed nowadays, not only as we become more aware of fish care in general and constantly stive for things that make our lives, and our fishing that little bit easier.

The Korum Quick Change Bead is one such device. Although it at first appears quite fiddly to use, this is not the case at all. Simply tie your main line to one end of the insert, hook your hooklength over the other end and push the whole thing into the bead casing. If you need to change your hook length for any reason, pull out the insert, remove the old hooklength and replace with another.

Everything the manufacturers claim about this ingenious device is true. They are simple to use and totally reliable (they’ve been thoroughly tested in extreme conditions and will never let you down). I fished with them for a day at a commercial fishery and cuaght carp to over 10lb with no problems at all. Retailing at around £1.99 for five, they won't break the bank either.

Score:

Where to buy:
Korum Quick Change Beads are available from a wide range of fishing tackle outlets although UK Fisherman recommends you buy yours from Eccleston Angling Centre. Many thanks to Bun and all at Eccleston Angling Centre for supplying the Korum Beads for review.

Click Here to Purchase

Submit a Review: UK Fisherman would be delighted to here from you if you would like to comment on any of our reviews. To do so, use the comment box below.

Alternatively if you would to submit a review of your own or submit an item for review at UK Fisherman, please visit the CONTACT page.

Sunday, 21 September 2008 20:22

Self heating heater meals

SELF HEATING HEATER MEALS

Heater meals are ideal for outdoor lovers such as FishermenDescription:
HeaterMeals self heater meals go anywhere, require no refrigeration & heat themselves, in the box. Patented heating technology and traditional home-style cooking ensure a nutritious and delicious meal, right where you're standing, be it in a field, on a boat or on top of mountain! Each Hunger Breaks HeaterMeal comes in an easy 'ready to eat from bowl'.

Carefully prepared, your meal is fresh and ready to just heat and eat without refrigeration. The high quality of our well chosen and nutritious ingredients is retained. All the recipes have been carefully chosen to be nutritionally balanced and are mostly suitable for people of all ages in survival situations.

With such proven success for emergency services and the military, it is easy to see why HeaterMeals are also very popular with people who like the outdoor life. They are ideal for leisure and pleasure trips and working outdoors, where you want to avoid carrying equipment or if you just want a highly convenient way to make a meal. They are also essential for more adventurous treks into the unknown, especially where the weather is unpredictable and the location remote.

Review:
Not being very up on scientific issues I was intrigued when I first heard about Heatermeals. Self heating meals, no need for a cooker, microwave etc. How could this be? Well prepare to be amazed because they really do work.

heater Meals really are quite goodThe meal comes in a plastic bowl which you place in the plastic bag provided with a heater pad within it. Add some water, seal the bag and wait for 10 minutes. Everything you need to enjoy a heater meal is contained within the pack, even the water.

So are they any good? Well, I am a sceptical so and so when it comes to things like this and I must say I was impressed. You can really enjoy a hot meal whenever you like after only 10 minutes. God knows how it actually works (to be honest I don't really care) but believe me it does. The food as you would expect is not gourmet standard but is perfectly acceptable. I tried four flavours of Heater Meals (not all at once obviously) - chicken pasta, burger bites and beans, chicken stew and chicken curry. The stew and curry definitely came out top in my opinion for taste.

I have to admit that on the down side, the temperature the meals heat to does seem to vary slightly. The meals will never get as hot as if they had just come out of an oven and once the meal I tried was bordering on the cold side. Maybe in my haste to feed my face I opened it too soon before it had heated throroughly. I guess more testing will be required.

All in all I would highly recommend HeaterMeals to anyone who wants a convenient, tasty hot meal in any situation where there is no access to cooking facilities.

Score:

Where to buy:
heater meals cost £2.99 per meal and come in a range of flavours. For more information or to purchase HeaterMeals, please visit their website at:

www.heatermeals.co.uk

Submit a Review: UK Fisherman would be delighted to here from you if you would like to comment on any of our reviews. To do so, use the comment box below.

Alternatively if you would to submit a review of your own or submit an item for review at UK Fisherman, please visit the CONTACT page.

Sunday, 21 September 2008 20:16

Pondwood Fisheries, Berkshire

Pondwood Fisheries, Berkshire

Located in Berkshire, Pondwood Fisheries is the premier fishing facility for anglers of all categories with three coarse fishing waters, one of which dates back to medieval times and one which is in excess of 30 years old. In addition there is the Snake, a still water course dating back to medieval times which was opened for day tickets in 2002 after widening and extension.

Pondwood fisheries offer carp, roach, chub, perch, rudd and tench fishing as well as some of the best catfish fishing in the South of England.

Reader Review - Jason Barnes, Berkshire - July 2007

Just thought I would let you all know about a lake I go to called Pondwood Fishery. It is the only place I know about where you can guarantee to have an amazing day's fishing.

It has 2 lakes and a snake river. The first lake has an amazing amount of catfish and some big carp in it - it is the only catfish lake I know where you can guarantee to catch a cat in the day time. Some of the catfish I have caught (pictured below) are a 32lb 5oz fish and the other was 38lb 7oz. I have caught so many cats here it would take the whole site up to show you them all - like I said before, AMAZING !!

The second lake is great for the whole family. It has a lot of carp and anyone can catch in this one. I took my little boy fishing for the first time the other week and below is a picture of him with his first carp ... now I can’t keep him away from the place. So much for my peaceful weekend away from the kids ha ha !! But thats what kind of place Pondwood is - great family run lakes.

The last water at Pondwood is called the snake river which has carp, tench, roach, perch and pike. This is where I caught my personal best carp of 32lb floating bread of the top ... amazing !! I know it seems like I’m going on a bit but if you’ve been there you will feel the same way as I do. All this for a tenner a day ... can’t be beaten.


Uk Fisherman would love to hear from any other anglers who have good or bad experiences of Pondwood Fishery. We would especially like to hear from anyone connected with Pondwood Fishery who would like to comment on this review.
Paul @ UK Fisherman

Please note the views expressed on these review pages are not necessarily endorsed by UK Fisherman.

Submit a Review: UK Fisherman would be delighted to here from you if you would like to comment on any of our reviews. To do so, use the comment box below.

Alternatively if you would to submit a review of your own or submit an item for review at UK Fisherman, please visit the CONTACT page.

Sunday, 21 September 2008 19:53

Frant Lakes, Kent

Frant Lakes, Kent

Located just outside the village of Bells Yew Green near Tunbridge Wells, around 40 minutes drive from the South London area, Frant Lakes offers mixed and specimen fishing on eight lakes set in 200 acres of parkland as well as a fifty swim section of the River Teise. They offer disabled anglers more than 20 dedicated swims with adjacent car spaces.

Reader Review - Jel Holyoake, Kent - May 2007

This may sound silly but what planet do some fishery owners live on??

I recently went to Frant Lakes off the A21 in Kent. I arrived at 2.45pm and wanted to single rod surface fish the 'snags' (speciman lake) until the complex closed, 7pm. I was told by the bailiff that I would have to pay for an entire day, £15. I told the bailiff it was only for a few hours but he insisted that the owners would not let me fish unless I paid the full price. As there were only 3 cars in the car park I could quite clearly see that the complex was empty, but my £7.50 wasn't enough.

Are they so detatched from reality that they can't understand that some people only wish to fish for half a day and that on most waters there is a half day ticket policy.

I went down the road to Elphicks where I was sold a ticket for £6 and had 20 fish. I like Frant Lakes, but I think I'm going to struggle to go back there, a place I have intermittantly fished over the last-at least 15 years when Les Bowman (the present owners father) ran it.

How times change. When Les knew I was coming down by train he used to pick me up from the station and chuck my bike in the back of his little white van with his alsation. They were the times when the complex was struggling for anglers and he was consistantly fighting the council for planning permission. I was also the person whom he asked to tell all my friends that Frant was back on it's feet years ago when they had a big fish kill after witnessing the first 20 out, they thought all the big fish were dead.

Sometimes the little £7.50's are better than the no pounds-no pence at all, and us people who get the odd half day off can fish at a fair price.

Score:


Editor: Definitley a lesson for fishery owners to learn there then ! Don't alienate your regular customers as they will vote with their feet. With so many "rival" fisheries in Kent, perhaps Frant Lakes need to re-consider their pricing policy.


Reader Review - Anne - November 2007

Half day tickets are available at Frant Lakes as my sons and I have used them since we first came to the lakes around June this year.

As we have football in the mornings at the weekends we have only ever used the half day ticket and have paid monies to many people in the ticket office. We have found both Mr Bowman and his wife to be most helpful and polite on this our first season of fishing. Bailifs have also taken the time to offer us advice and tips to make the most of our time at the lakes.

We would highly recommend these beautiful well stocked lakes and hope that the previous review has not put people off.

Score:

Editor: Just goes to show there are always two sides to every coin.


Uk Fisherman would love to hear from any other anglers who have good or bad experiences of Frant Lakes. We would especially like to hear from anyone connected with Frant Lakes who would like to comment on this review.
Paul @ Uk Fisherman

Please note the views expressed on these review pages are not necessarily endorsed by UK Fisherman.

Submit a Review: UK Fisherman would be delighted to here from you if you would like to comment on any of our reviews. To do so, use the comment box below.

Alternatively if you would to submit a review of your own or submit an item for review at UK Fisherman, please visit the CONTACT page.

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