Steve Gardener needs no introduction to the angling world, he has fished at the highest international level for 27 years and has literally been there and done it.

In his Team England career he has won a staggering 11 team World gold medals since he made his debut back in 1987.  Steve is the ultimate team angling professional, frequently putting the team before personal achievements.

Now retired from the international team events, Steve continues to fish several matches a week, from local opens to large scale matches in Europe.


Gardeners World – On Tour!

10th November 2018

It’s fair to say I’ve been about a bit since I last wrote, hence the reason I haven’t done a blog for a while!

No Judith Chalmers jokes though please, it has been quite hard work….ok apart from my little holiday to Florida Keys!

I did do a bit of fishing over there of course, but it was difficult due to the red tides that they have had recently.

We did manage to catch a few bull sharks, and I caught two very rare Sawfish about 8ft long.  They are that rare now it is estimated the numbers of them are severely in decline with them having a critically endangered tag on them.

I actually had to report the captures so the biologists can track and note them.

You can see from the video what they were like, but it was a strange one that’s for sure!

After Florida I had to go to France for a trade show and special Star Wars match.  The match was an invitational 16 pegs with the criteria being you must have won a medal on the world stage.

I had to drive to this one, so the van was loaded up and taken through the tunnel!

It was a continental who’s who and great to catch up with some friends including Jan Van Schendel, Stephan Pottelet etc. 

The match was fished on the River Somme, and we had a nice couple of days practise before the match and then the French Trade show.

On the day of the match I drew a peg in the narrows, an area where I had practised on the pole and caught plenty of roach.

It was a bit of a slow start, but I did snare 2 big Ide then the Roach moved in to give me 11kilo 500g which was 2nd in the section of 8.

The winner came off the peg I had practised on the feeder and like I did, caught some lovely Bream.

Great fishing and a great event and well worth the long journey.

After I got back from France, I only had a day or so to recover before I was packing my bags again for the annual trip to the international Milo Day and Bait-Tech trophy.

The Milo event was held on Tensi on the Saturday and Sunday, which is one of their most popular commercial type of venues and a deep one at that!

The team event on the first day saw our team all fishing in the same box, UK anglers would never like it as the pegs in the box are only 4m apart, but we know what to expect now and well used to it.

We struggled a little bit though, and despite catching about 20kg a man were off the pace on the day with end boxes doing the damage.

Day two on the same venue I won my section with 18kg fishing the big maggots, the Belgians won both days fishing the paste!

Day 3 and we were fishing an open on a new lake I hadn’t been to before, this was even deeper than Tensi with it top 5 to 6s at 8m!

I finished 2nd in my section with 20kilo of Carp so not too bad after going there a bit blind!

Final day we went to another new venue just outside Milan for the Bait-Tech Trophy, another great days fishing where I weighed 52kg but not enough to win!

It was a tiring but great event again, not helped by Milo dropping me off at the wrong terminal at the airport as he wanted to get some food!

I had to make a quick dash in a taxi to the other terminal, but thankfully caught the plane on time!

So I’m back in Blighty now for a while anyway and looking forward to fishing a few more local matches again!!

Hope you all have a good weekend

Steve 

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Gardeners World – It ain’t over till the large soprano sings!

21st September 2018

Fishing can be a funny old game, you can never rest on your laurels and nothing is ever certain!

Last Saturday we were fishing the final round of the More House Farm Teams of 3 league, myself, Mark Goddard and Don Garnish had a 15 point lead going into the day.

Everyone was saying it was all done and dusted and there was no way we could be overtaken!

However, anything can happen and it nearly did!!

We drew the same pegs that we did on the previous round, with a few tricky ones and low and behold we were a mere whisker from blowing it!

All three of us bombed right out with me coming last but one in section with 39lb, Mark was the same with 31lb and Don was last in his with 25lb!!

So that left a very anxious wait as the chasing team of Sam Docker, Gary Ford and Gary Cooper had all done extremely well with Sam winning the match overall!!

Lady luck shone on us though, Sophie Hill pipped Gary Ford by 4oz’s which in turn gave us a 1 point advantage to just nick it overall!.......Thank you Sophie!!!

If we had tied then they would have won it as they had more section wins, so it was incredibly tense finale to a great league.

Following that nail biter I went to the brilliant Willinghurst on the Sunday, I do fish here a lot as the fishing is superb and it also has all the facilities like a damn good breakfast and bait shop to boot.

The match this day was on John lake, and the draw saw me on peg 33 which is the end peg over the far side. I started long on pellets and as usual caught the odd few fish before it went quiet. It was the same old story of a waiting game then for the fish to switch on.

My magic paste did the business again when they did start to move about, and caught a few just out from the bank.

I ended up winning the match with 90lb, Tom Arnot was second with 86lb and Shaun Silvestre third with 81lb.

Wednesday I was back there for another go, this time on old lake. I managed to draw the same peg as the previous week and had right old peg to peg battle with Jimmy in the process.

Jimmy was fastest out of the blocks with a very fast early run of fish, some of which were small but he was regularly putting them in the net.

I eventually started playing catch up when I found a few fish on a 6m line, again falling to my magic paste!

I went through a bit of a purple patch when I was foul hooking them and thought I’d blown it! I moved slightly to a different depth of water but couldn’t get a bite there then.

Somehow though, when I reverted back to the line I had been foul hooking them off they were still there and I was hooking them all correctly! Very strange!

In the closing couple of hours I had a great match and ended up weighing 252lb which won the match, with Jimmy second with 222lb!

My fish were a lot bigger to the stamp that he was catching which made all the difference on the scales!

So it was a good week all in all, we avoided a disaster at More House by the skin of our teeth, then I’ve had two great matches at WIllinghurst.

I was loading up my trolley the other day and it made me laugh to remember back when I started match fishing we use to be able to carry all your gear to pegs, or even multiple pegs if it was a rover. Then also carry your fish back in a bucket to the weighing point….with all your kit still on your back!

Nowadays my trolley is that full I keep bumping into people as I can’t see over the top of it to direct it right!!!

Have a good weekend folks!!

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Gardeners World – All change!

7th September 2018

Its arrived…the time of year where you have to re think your match plan. Due to the temperatures dipping over night, the first half of the match is currently a case of catch what you can before bagging up in the later stages.

It has been noticeable on the venues that I fish that this is the case, the paste still works but you have to fish other methods to keep the bites coming and your options open.

Last Saturday I went to More House Farm and drew peg 18, not a bad draw and was happy enough.
I couldn’t catch down the middle to start with, so I had to go long with pellets with limited return.
Next it was a top 4 to try angled to my right where I did tart to catch a few, likewise on the same line to my left seem to be the best area.

Late on, the paste did you to fruition and I did catch well on it but I was playing catch up really and a little off the pace.
The top 4 weights were all on different methods too, Mark Smith won it with 186lb caught on expander over groundbait. Mark Parrot was 2nd with 150lb on pellets, Derek Gladwin was 3rd with 128lb on maggots and I was 4th with 118lb with as above most of my fish caught on paste late in the match.

I won’t write about Sunday, as it was a poor turnout and not a lot to report about to be fair!
Wednesday however it was back to Willinghurst for the open that was on Johns Lake and I was determined to learn from my previous mistakes.

I actually didn’t put paste on the hook until 1.30pm, but didn’t catch on it until 2pm!
Started the match on hard pellets on a top 5, before going on the long pole. Caught a few but lost a couple of foul hookers in the process.

Next port of call was the method onto the bar, this put a few fish in the net before drying up. I rotated between the pole and the method for a couple of hours, picking up a few fish then switching so not to fish the swims out. As mentioned, at about 1.30pm I did switch to paste and started catching well on it from 2pm. Had some really good fish on a line to my right hand side, and kept them coming there and the edge lines to weigh 162lb for a match win.
Shaun Silvestre was 2nd with 122lb and Jimmy 3rd with 113lb, so I was happy with that.

It pays to have an open mind at the moment, little things starting to happen and you need to not be blinkered with the methods that have been doing well through the summer.
I’ve even been out and bought my first pint of maggots this week for the weekend! I haven’t bought them since March, but now’s the time you need to tweak and don’t ignore other methods.

Have a good weekend folks, hope you all catch plenty!

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Gardeners World – Its not over yet!

1st September 2018

There have been signs that the seasons have been changing this week, with the paste still working but it taking a bit longer to come good.

Sorry Sam, but I think we’ve still got a few more weeks of it yet though as the forecast is for it to stay warm for a little bit longer!

This last week has been mixed to be honest, last Saturday I went to More House Farm for the teams of 3 league.

I drew peg 46 that I have been on before in an earlier round, and my plan was similar but thought I would maybe have a few more on the long pole line. That wasn’t the case though, and I caught most of my fish in the middle and down the edge.

Couldn’t catch in the deep water nor long, so it was the close lines I concentrated on.

I weighed 124lb which was 2nd in my section and about 6th overall. Shaun Silvestre won the match with 173lb, Mark Smith was 2nd with 167lb and Mark Goddard 3rd with 162lb.

Sunday and Wednesday I was at Willinghurst where both matches were on Johns Lake.

It was a charity match on Sunday, so there was a good turnout.

I started on 5m on paste as usual but nothing, not a bite! Quick change to a long pole line on pellet saw me put a few fish in the net, but it wasn’t fast a furious to say the least.

Looking around the lake I could see a few catching some on the method, so that was next off the roost to try. Had one fish on it, then nothing!

I was fishing the method out on the bar, so thinking that they could be backed off that in the deeper water started pinging a few pellets to that area, and threw the bomb over the top of it with meat on the hook. This didn’t work either, so it was back on the pole lines to alternate swims and then going down the edges for some munters. Thankfully they did rock up down there, not in massive numbers but they were decent fish when I’d get one.

I ended up with 113lb which was 3rd on the lake, but I did win the section so picked up a few quid.

Wednesday it was back there for the open, and this saw me drawing peg 3 a peg that I had drawn and won off a couple of weeks earlier.

Had two nice edge lines, but they were long and you need to go 13m down the edges to the features.

Started again at 5m on the paste and again nothing! So spent the next couple of hours alternating lines and swims trying to locate a few fish. After 2hours and 4 mins I had about 10lb in the net and was going no where.

At about 1.15 Jimmy shouted over the time and announced that’s the time the fish switch on here!

So taking his word for it, I’ve gone down the edges and caught one! It was a bit finicky though, I’d catch one from one side and have to move to the other and rotate them to feed and rest. I did catch steady for the rest of the match after that to weigh 127lb that was 4th.

Think I made a mistake however on reflection, I should have had a line closer in where I could feed pellet by hand as think it could have got me a couple more fish.

Especially as it was really tight with 3rd being 129lb, 2nd 139lb but then Jimmy a mile ahead with 186lb.

Its been a funny week this week, the fish generally speaking have been a bit smaller, but crikey they don’t half fight back in there!

I’m sure the time will come soon where I will have to change and come off the paste, but until it does then I won’t come off a winning formula!

Here is also another video, which I did to give you some tips on my sticky pellets and my so called Ferrero Rocher method!!

Have a great weekend folks!

Steve 

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Gardeners World – Back to the blogs

24th August 2018

Hello everyone, we’re back on the blogs now after a few weeks off!

The past 6 weeks since I last blogged, I’ve pretty much fished the paste for the entire time.

I’ve been a bit of a bung hole billy as well, and the draw bag has been very kind to me and I’ve enjoyed a few match wins and some great weights in the process.

Over those few weeks I’ve learnt a fair amount and think that have made a lot of progress on the method.

With it being a very hot summer and water levels low, this has certainly contributed to the method being so deadly.

What I’ve learnt has been priceless and I’ve kept diary records of all my matches logging how I’ve caught, what I’ve fed and mistakes made so not to make them again.

The biggest learning curve for me has been about the feeding of micros and the depth of water that that I needed to fish in.  Both play a massive part in your catch rates and getting them fine tuned to the venue is essential.

One thing I would say now is, try to find out what depth the fish are comfortable of feeding at and don’t feed and expect them to come to you.

Fish are fickle creatures, and you can be amazed at the difference the depth of water makes to them feeding confidently.

Other things to consider is to create competition amongst the fish for your feed.  This is a fine art to master as feed to much and they could miss your hookbait, feed to little and you may not bring enough in to get that competition for feed.

There is no right or wrong for this and I can’t tell you exactly what to do as it will vary from venue to venue.  But take some time to figure it out and it will improve your catches no end.

I have documented it before, but I always feed the Bait-Tech sticky micro pellets in conjunction with my paste.  They are absolutely brilliant and I cant praise them up enough.

The good people at Bait-Tech asked me to do a short video on this, so this week instead of some pictures you can watch a video of it which will explain it a lot better.

Thankfully I can hear you say, there is probably only a few weeks of serious paste fishing left so as we go forward on future blogs the methods are going to be changing again and we will have to work out new methods that will see us winning through the Autumn months.

Will also be quite glad not having to clean my pole and my kit after every match as the one thing with the paste is it gets everywhere!!!!!

Anyway, have a great bank holiday weekend and we’ll be back next week with my latest match reports.

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Gardeners World – Tripple Whammy!

6th July 2017

The heatwave continues, and it’s been another week with a tropical feel to it down here in sunny Surrey!

Last Saturday I went to a place called Stanbridge View Fishery, as there was no match on More House due to club bookings.

Stanbridge is a lovely fishery, with good bags of Carp and Bream the norm so we knew we would have a good days fishing.

I drew peg 4 which was at the deeper end of the lake, and when I looked at the water colour and depth didn’t knew there would be little point in going long.

Instead I opted for a line at 5m on Paste and micros in the middle and to my left, then also some margin lines.

Started off on the middle on paste and it got off to a decent start with a nice Carp and a few other smaller ones caught.  I had the feeling though that I wasn’t feeding it quite right, and decided to change and stop the micro’s but instead feed the Bait-Tech 6mm Carp Pellets.

As it turns out, it was a good move as the swim was transformed and fishing got better and better.

I rotated the swims through the match, putting a few fish in the net before re feeding and moving and ended up weighing 160lb which won the match!

Pete Turnbull was second with 109lb, so that feeding change made all the difference on the day.

Sunday I was off to Monk Lakes, standing in on the team league for Mark Goddards team.

I was on lake one and it was an out and out paste attack for us.

It started well again with two Carp and two decent Skimmers soon in the net.  Had a bit of a nightmare then as the small Skimmers and Roach moved in.

After this I had to rotate lines and move away from them in order to keep catching some decent fish.

I ended up with 104lb 8oz for second in the section, got lucky a bit as beat Bill Reynolds by 4oz who was third in section.

Andy Quarmby won the section, and the lake was won my Mark Goddard with 181lb.  The match overall was taken by Mick McMillian with an awesome 240lb but our team won the day only dropping two points so my job was done!

Wednesday it was back to Willinghurst for the open on top lake.  I drew peg 12, and was thinking about the match last Saturday at Stanbridge where I fed 6mms which worked well.

I decided on two paste lines, one feeding the usual sticky method micros and one where I would feed 6mms again.

The match kicked off and I started shallow and caught one angry Carp, before the wind picked up so I had to ditch it.

I had brought a load of left over soggy micros from the weekend and cupped them in to one of my edge lines to wee if it would generate a bit of interest.

Low and behold not long after I had done so, I glanced down there and noticed a swirl there.

Picked up my margin rig and it was all go then for the rest of the match!

I put 167lb on the scales which won the match with Don Garnish in second with 145lb.

So all in all it has been a really good week, two match wins and a good result in the team match at Monks so am a happy chappy at the moment!!

Hopefully this will continue!

Going to have a little break from the blog for a few weeks now, but I’ll be back in a fortnight to update you on what’s been happening.

Have a great weekend all, hope you all catch plenty of fish!

Steve


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Gardeners World – Name the famous Yazz and the plastic population song!!

29th June 2018

It hasn’t been a very good week to be honest this week fishing wise, and very hit and miss with not many pick ups to talk about!

Before I start with the reports, have to mention this brilliant little tool that my mate Mark Goddard got me from Lee Murphy.

It’s a set of blades that fits on your cupping kit, and its absolutely brilliant for clearing weeds from the far bank or edges.  Beauty of it is too that you can change the blades with the start to blunt.  I’ve been using it a week or so now and it’s been a godsend! 

Saturday I went to More House Farm and drew peg 18.  This peg isn’t too bad and can produce, even though it’s a bit of a funny one to fish.

The peg is on a point, not the actual peg where you sit but the far bank where you fish to at 12m and it has a very uneven bottom.

I was quite optimistic though, as had two empty pegs to my right and a lovely edge line so I was expecting to bag up from there in the later part of the match.

I was planning to have a line over on the far bank, paste line down the middle and also the edge lines.

I started on paste, but only had one small F1 so had a go over the far bank pinging pellets at them.  This was a bit of a nightmare to be honest as it got the fish swirling which sent my float do-lally! I Couldn’t really see it as it was being washed around like mad!  I did catch the odd fish by doing this but didn’t see the float go under on any of them.

Whilst this was going on, I could see some anglers starting to bag up and I was going no where so came into the edges for a look.

Amazing really, I only had one bite close in so after a bit of wasted time decided to persevere with the long shallow line.

I did managed to get a little bit of momentum going and ended up weighing 138lb that was joint 4th in the match.  Andrew Quarmby won the match with 240lb, second was Mark Parrot with 156lb, and third Alec Bishop with 139lb.

Sunday I fished the Help for Hero’s match at Willinghurst and drew 1A in the bomb hole.  There was a bit of confusion around what peg this actually was, but it turned out I was on the one in the car park as that is where it was classed as the previous day.

The match was a bit of a struggle, not at all helped by an algae scum all of the surface that was covering my float, line and bait.

The only way I could fish it was to dump pot a pile of bait with a 6mm pellet on the hook.

I ended up with 95lb that was third on the lake, behind Mark Eves with 132lb and Sam Sim with 130lb.

None the less it was a nice day for a great charity.

Wednesday it was back to Willinghurst for the match that was on Johns Lake where I drew peg 55 in a corner again!

There was a lot of fish moving about, and I know paste has been catching well on here so thought I could be on for a good day.

Again though it was a bit of a struggle, after the first 2 hours I had 4 Carp and a Bream in the net for about 12lb!

This was followed by 3 hours of nothing!!  Not a bite!!

Never had a bite on the top 6 line, which is usually a banker for some fish but not today!

In the last hour, some fish turned up down the edge to my right and I caught 5 of them which gave me a total or 58lb and thanks for coming!

Don Garnish won the match with 100lb, then Tony Varney was second with 94lb and Ray Warren third with 90lb so another bad day at the office!

Still we’ve got another weekend to look forward too now, so the only way is up!!

Hope you all have a good weekend, and don’t forget the suncream!

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Gardeners World – Same old!

22nd June 2018

Well last Saturday I went to More House Farm (just for a change!!!) for the open on side winder.

The lake was pretty full too, as well as the open there was a small club match so there was a lot of pressure on the water.

I drew peg 4, that normally is the end peg but this week 2 was in as well so didn’t have that luxury.

Did my usual set up of paste lines, edge lines and also set up a rig for across as with all this pressure the fish could be pushed out there.

My far bank swim was very snaggy though, so was hopping I wouldn’t have to go on it with overhangs and brambles in the water buy a few feet.

Started down the track, but it was very quiet with only a few skimmers and some small F1s to show for it.  So went across for a look in the shallower water, and the signs were there but now had the problem of foul hooking fish!  I did catch the odd one amongst the foul hookers, but was still going no where in the match.

A look down the edge only resulted in one bite, so a bit of head scratching was done on how to rectify the situation.

Decided to go out long on the paste just on the edge of a small bay, and did start to catch a few on it.  Also caught a few more down the track before the whistle went for the all out.

Ended up with 80lb, not in the money but not too far off either as it had fished hard.  Don Garnish won it with 154lb that was all decent Carp, so well done to Don.

Sunday it was off to Willinghurst for the match on Johns lake so we all had plenty of room given the size of it.  I drew peg 11, and again the match started very slow.  I wanted to concentrate on the pole lines today, rather that chucking a feeder out so that’s what I did.

It wasn’t too long until my 5m line started to produce, then when I went out longer to 11m that also threw up a few fish including the biggest of the day that was about 9lb.

I had a pipe to my right hand side that was half out of the water and half submerged, which was the area I wanted to fish my edge lines on.  It produced the goods as well as there was a load of hungry fish there and my catch rate massively increased!

I did have a couple of right battles with the pipe, some fish I hooked went under it, some went over it!  I didn’t lose any though, smashed a few floats up but no fish were lost to it thankfully.

I weighed in 184lb which was enough to win the match, second was Luke Sherrif with 146lb and third was Luke Gasson with 123lb so a nice day and a few bob in the pocket to pay for the weekend.

Wednesday was back to Willinghurst and we were on Top Lake for this one, I drew peg 10 that is in the main bowl and to be honest I quite fancied that.

It was a pretty frustrating day however, after 3 hours I only had about 8lb in the net and was get plagued by Roach. 

Really don’t know how many times my float must have went under as it must have been hundreds!! All Roach that was either missed or foul hooked there was that many of them.

I decided to go long, and had a few Bream a couple of Carp before the Roach turned up there as well!!

Finished the match with a four Carp late on and weighed 60lb, that actually wasn’t far off an envelope. 

Shaun Silvestre won it with 134lb, Pete Franklin was second with 124lb then Don Garnish third with 74lb.

So that was it, bit of the same old same old for this weeks blog I’m afraid, but am still enjoying it so hoping for a good weekend this week as well.

I spoke to Milo on Monday, who was out as he put it “doing a bit of pole fishing”!!  He sent me these pictures then of him and a few others Fishing for Sturgeon with his Siluro Big fish pole.

Well his “bit of pole fishing” was actually fishing for big Sturgeon and as you can see, a 90lb fish was landed on it!  Co incidentally using the elastic system I spoke about on my blog a few weeks ago.

Just hope they don’t start stocking these in More House or Willinghurst or we’re going to need bigger keepnets!!!!

Have a good weekend folks!!

Steve!

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Gardeners World – More than one way to.....

15th June 2018

So here we are again then, another weekend to look forward to and the chance to spend some more time on the bank.

Going back to last week for me and it wasn’t a bad week all in all, with three matches and three brown envelopes to take home.

Saturday I went to More house Farm and drew peg 48.  I’ve won off this peg in the past, and it can be good so was happy enough with the draw.

The far bank on this peg is a bit of a nightmare though, with loads of brambles and snags over there so I tend not to go over if I can help it.

Started down the track on paste, and it was a slow start with only 4 fish in the net after the first hour.

For some reason I just couldn’t get them going, so started searching about to try and find a few bites from somewhere.

I could see that Don was catching down the edge, and the peg he was on I know had a particularly deep edge line and you don’t often find them there.  That got me thinking as this peg, has a deep edge to the right hand side, but its normally the left had side that you catch. 

So it could be worth a go I thought, and plumbed up and found a spot on the right hand margin line.  I cupped in some micros, and as it turns out it was solid with fish down there!

A frantic last few hours of the match followed, and I ended up weighing 186lb which was only enough for third!  Adam Lee was second with 195lb and Mark Smith won it with 232lb.

Sunday was something a bit different as I was guesting for the Bordon shop team at Willinghurst.  It was split over 5 lakes with 13 on each so a 65 pegger and a decent match.

I drew 25 on old lake, and set up a 13m line on paste, 6m line on paste, shallow rig plus a waggler to try and cover my options.

It fished really hard though, my first three fish were actually Bream!  Good ones though so well worth catching, but nothing up in the water on the pole or the waggler.  The only line I could get bites on was this long pole line on paste where I went on to catch five Carp and five Bream to weigh 44lb which was actually second on the lake.

The luckiest angler I’ve ever known Shaun Silvester won the lake with 50lb, that included a 18lb foul hooked Carp that took him over 20mins to land!  Well angled mate, you know we love you really!!

Doug won the match with 90lb off New lake, so just shows how hard it has fished!

Wednesday it was back to Willinghurst for the match on Top lake.

I drew peg 22 but I had a nightmare start, everywhere I dropped I had crayfish and was going no where.  After the first four hours all I had to show was four Carp and a Roach.

Then as if by magic the fish switched on again!

The last two hours then saw me put 100lb in the net, all caught on paste over Bait-Tech Sticky Method Pellets. 

I weighed in 128lb which was 4th, Don Garnish winning with 145lb then Doug was second with 140lb, Pete Franklin 3rd with 136lb.

So a nice week and a few quid in the wallet.

I had a question off someone about how I prepare and use the sticky method pellets, well I do it a bit differently to what is suggested but then I’m using them for paste fishing.

What I do is I put them in water as soon as I get to my peg, and basically keep them in water then for the full match.  I only drain them off in short quantities at a time, and leave the res submerged.

They do lose the “stickiness” by doing this, but become perfect for what I want to use them for.

They go almost like little expanders, and work a treat when used in conjunction with paste.

I spend a lot of time paste fishing as you can tell by my blogs, I’m not saying its right for all venues but it’s a method I have a high level of confidence with.  I’m fully confident I can compete using this, and the reason why I tend to use it so much.

That said, its not the be all and end all, and it pays to fish methods that you are equally as confident with.

Take Doug for example who won the league match Sunday, then was second Wednesday.  He’s caught all is fish on maggots over groundbait as that is what he is confident with and he does it very well.

Good luck this weekend if your out on the banks, hope you all catch plenty!

Steve

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Gardeners World – Old faithful does the trick!

8th June 2018

Hello all, hope you had a decent weekends fishing and picked up a few bob!

Last Saturday I went to More House Farm, which was a full house for the open on side winder lake.  I drew peg 25 which is a nice comfortable peg to fish, its not a run to peg but not too bad either.  I had a good depth of about 3ft down the edge, with the same over the far bank and there was also plenty of fish in the area as lots of F1s were darting about.

Plan was to fish pellets over the far bank, with paste in the middle and down the edges.  I started down the middle on paste, but it wasn’t fast and furious.  I had a few but Sam Docker who was just down from me went off like a train and had 12 fish to my 4.  So decided to go over and have a look on my pellet line, which did work to an extent and I caught a few proper carp on it before that also died.

The remainder of the match then, I fished the edges on paste and caught a few more but couldn’t really compete with the others.

I weighed in 123lb which was only good enough for 7th place on the day!  Winning was Terry Malloy with 195lb and Sam was 2nd with 178lb.  A nice days fishing, but no cigar!

Sunday it was off to Willinghurst for the match on Old and new lakes.  I drew peg 8 on old, and getting there to see a few empty pegs did think I was going to have a few fish come down the edge late in the match so fancied it.

It was a tough day all over though, I started on pellets shallow but didn’t have a bite. So quickly changed to paste at 6m where I caught a couple, but they weren’t really there and after those couple of fish it went dead.  Next I tried the waggler as there was a few fish cruising about on the surface but again not a bite.

Scratching my head a little bit, went down the edge early for a look and hooked one that was foul hooked and come off. 

Back on the paste line and caught 4 Bream on it, which wasn’t a good sign but a welcome few bites on a very tough day. 

I did catch a few down the edge late on, but it had been hard all over.  My 6 Carp and 4 Bream weighed 53lb, which ended up 4th!

Dave Self won the match with 96lb, Paul Taylor was 2nd with 82lb and Tom Arnot 3rd with 77lb.  so a tough day at the office!

Wednesday we were back there again, this time on Top lake where I drew peg 29, which is a decent summer peg in fairness.

As I was setting up I saw a few fish cruise past, so set up a shallow rig as well as a pellet line and of course my trusty paste lines!

Started on pellets in the middle and nothing, put a bit of paste on then on the same line and wallop, fish on straight away!

That was it though as got really pestered by Roach after that, which were a nightmare.

Again I went down the edge early and caught one, then that line dried up.

So in a bid of desperation I dump potted a load of the sticky micros over to the far side and fished past long over them.

Didn’t look back then, as the swim came to life and it was one a bung then!

I ended up with 173lb which won the match, Pete Franklin was 2nd with 102lb and Dan Cooper 3rd with 101lb.

So a good end to the match and this weeks blog, I’ve included a picture of the floats I use for my paste fishing this week so you can see what I use.  The small silver one is a float that I made up my self out of old Carpa 4s!  This is the one I use for the shallow areas, or down the edges on it.  The bigger red float is a Milo float and my choice for deeper water when I fish it down the tracks for example.

I always shot the floats as well, as want the minimalist resistance as possible on the paste.  Especially when the lake can be towing a bit, if you have no shot on the float the buoyancy can pull the hook out of the paste so for that reason I shot mine.

I know a lot of people don’t use shot, and it’s down to personal preference and confidence.  Shotting it works for me though!

Anyway hope you all have a good weekend and catch a few fish!

Steve

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Gardeners World – On the up!

1st June 2018

I’ve been asked a question on paste fishing and why is it that I concentrate so much on it during this time of year.

Well the reason is that it is the most competitive bait at the venues that I go to, and I’m confident that I can compete with anyone at the venues with it.

That said, if I felt that it wasn’t working and change was needed, then I wouldn’t hesitate in switching to pellets, meat, maggots etc that would make the positive change.

Saturday I went to More House Farm and drew peg 34 on sidewinder, that is a narrow peg and only about 10m wide.  You do have a lot of bank space on this peg though which is a nice bonus.

I set up a far rig, shallow rig, 2 paste line for down the track and up on the shelf and some edge lines for meat.

You never know what mood this lake is in, I caught 12 in the first hour at 4m then it slowed right up.  I started to search about and picked up a few odd fish across on maggot, then a couple from the edge lines on meat.

The last fling of the dice towards the end I went back on the 4m line and had 10 in 10 drops!

I ended up with 182lb which was 3rd in the match with Sam Docker winning with 218lb and Luke Sherriff 2nd with 192lb.

Had a day off Sunday, but was back there on the bank holiday Monday and 38 which is in the wides.  This peg is 16m to the island, but felt to do well I would need to catch them closer so although I set a rig up for it, didn’t plan to focus on that line unless the going was tough.

Started at 4m again, and got off to a great start catching 16 in the first hour before it slowed up and the skimmers moved in.

Went down the edge for a look after that and started to catch well there, with some bigger Carp around the 2-3lb mark caught.

Did have another look on that 4m line but they weren’t there, so finished the match picking up off Carp off my edge lines.

Today I weighed 237lb, which won the match, Luke Sherriff was 2nd again with 232lb and Mark Smith 3rd with 212lb so some great weights all over the lake today.

I did go to Willinghurst Wednesday, but there was only 8 of us there so more of a friendly knock up than a match.  I did win it with 147lb but it was a low turn out so won’t talk a lot about it.

One thing I also did in the week was have a days pleasure fishing.  I went to Bury Hill with my mate Brian Spiking for a day and really enjoyed it.

Bury Hill is having some work done on it at the moment, but contrary to some rumours, it is still open for day tickets and its fishing well too.

I had about 80lb of Bream fishing corn on the feeder and one bonus big Carp.  Brian had a similar net of Bream and also had a Carp.

Was a nice day, I did foul hook a few as I think they were sitting up I the water but got plenty out and was good to test a few of the new rods out as well.

All the pictures this week are from that day as well.

So that was my week, if your out this weekend I hope you have a good one and enjoy!

Steve

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Gardeners World – Whopper Stopping!

25th May 2018

Don’t know if it was just around here, but it seemed to fish a lot harder last weekend for some reason.

Could be something to do with the time of year and the spawning rituals the fish are going through, but the weights were definitely down.

The paste is still working though, and all over the country too. After talking about it to my Welsh Milo & Bait-Tech partner in crime Iain Swanson last weekend, he went on to win the open at Ian Heaps’s place last Sunday having caught a few on it!

It was Ian Heaps's 75th birthday that day as well, so a happy birthday to him and good to see he's still going strong.

Last Saturday I went to More House Farm for the open that was on Side Winder Lake. I drew peg 40, which is quite a wide peg and way beyond 16m pole lengths. There was a few fish still spawning on the far bank as well, so I avoided that area and left them to it!

I started on top 5 on the paste, and had the odd fish but wasn’t really going anywhere fast so picked up the shallow rig for a few goes on that. Again I had a few but it was fishing hard and I couldn’t put a run of fish together for love nor money.

Decided to dump a pile of pellets in at 4m, and it wasn’t long before there was a bit of fizzing going on.

Dropped on it with my Special G paste and finally managed to put a few fish together. This seemed to have done the trick, and I caught steady then until the end of the match.

I ended up with 91lb that was second, a fay way behind Mark Smith who won it with 131lb and then a little in front of Dave Pearson who was third with 75lb.

Sunday I went back to Gold Valley that was on syndicate lake, I set up the waggler and a margin pole as the fish in here are now huge and pull back!

I’d upped the game a little bit too after being snapped off a couple of times so went a bit more prepared to do battle with the beasts.

Started on the Waggler and caught 5 but also missed a few bites which was frustrating as a missed bite could have been 10lb + in the net.

As the match went on it was time to come and have a look on the pole line. Straight away a double figure fish was tamed and in the net.

Then it went a bit pear shaped and I lost some more big fish that snapped me up as if the line was cotton!

I ended up with 58lb that was third in the section, I’m not sure what won the match to be honest by Will won our section with 72lb so with the size of the fish in here I was only one fish off that.

These big fish take some stopping in here, but I’ve come up with an idea on how to combat that a little. Taking a leaf out of European friends book, when they fish for the big Catfish, Carp and Sturgeon they use elastic that is think but oversized for the pole. It looks a bit daft with a length of elastic dangling down out of their side pullers but if your in open water it does work.

Ive adapted that a bit, but just made it a bit neater with the over sized elastic trapped against the top kit so it doesn’t dangle down. It works for them, so I’m going to give it a go!

(see the pictures!)

But any other suggestions on taming wild beasts who don’t like to stop then please let me know!!

So then on Wednesday I went to Willinghurst and we were on Johns lake and I drew peg 14. I didn’t have such a good day and was one out of the money! I weighed 49lb having a few fish on the tip, couple on the paste and a few down the edge.

Tommy Hillier won the match, with 72lb Sean Silvestre was second with 71lb and Dave Pearson was third with 65lb.

So that was my weeks fishing, if your out in the draw que this weekend my you draw well and fill your nets!

Enjoy!

Steve

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Gardeners World – Guess what time of year it is…..PASTE TIME!

18th May 2018

Hello again, as you will have read before I went to Italy I had a bit of a lean spell on matches with a few disasters.

But since I’ve come back its gone the opposite and I’ve enjoyed some great sport.

Don’t know what its like where you live, but around hear the Carp have been really slow to kick in.  Most matches have seen quiet starts, then a load of activity late in the match when the Carp are switching on.

The Saturday after I got back from Italy I went to More House and drew peg 4.  It had all the signs of being a good day, weather was good, I’d drawn well and the lake had plenty of colour.

I set up a variety of rigs to cover my options, but was hoping to catch on the paste close in.  Started down the track, but didn’t have a bite in the deep water so quickly changed to a close line where bites were instant!

It was F1s though and no carp to start with, and I caught about 20 of them in the first couple of hours.

I decided on a swim change, and moved out a bit from the edge to the slope feeding pots of the Bait-Tech Sticky Method Micros and Fishing Special G Gold paste over the top of it.  This worked a treat and I started to catch Carp, and some proper ones at that.

I pretty much stuck to this for the rest of the match as the sport was so good.  I ended up weighing 194lb which won the match.  Don Garnish was second with 180lb and Pete Turnbull third with 158lb.  So a nice days fishing and the paste is back!!

Following that I went to Willinghurst on the Wednesday, and planned to try the paste again.  I drew peg 2 on new lake which was another nice draw.

The plan today was very similar to my previous match at More House, Paste over the Sticky Micro’s.

Again it worked really well for me and I weighed 123lb which won the lake and was second overall in the match.

The following Saturday there wasn’t a match at More House, so I went to Gold Valley for a change.  Was great to catch up with some of the old face there and see all the great work that John and Will have done to the place.

I drew 116 and went straight to Will for a debrief on the peg as he knows every peg like the back of his hand.

The plan was to fish the waggler to start with, then come in close late on for some edge dwellers.

The fish in Gold now are big, so you don’t want many fish to put a big weight together.  I had 4 on the waggler, then as planned came in and caught another 5 down the edge to weigh 78lb that was third in the match.

In hindsight, I should have fished it a lot more patiently and should have been more prepared to wait for bites.  Mark Goddard won the match with 110lb and Tommy Hillier was second with 79lb.

A nice day though, and great spend some time back there.

On the Sunday, I had a bit of a quandary on where to go, had a phone call at 8 O’clock on the Saturday night to say More House had been cancelled.  There was a waiting list for the open on Gold so I was stuck!

It was too late to book in for Monk as you have to do it through the shop (which was closed) so I rang Lenny Goodwin to see if he could get me in. 

Turns out he was in Holland Fishing, but said to give him 10mins and he’d try and make some calls!

True to his word, he rang back and had managed to get me booked in to the open at Monk.

Monk is another lovely venue that is really well maintained and some great fishing so was looking forward to having a go there.  I drew peg 25 on lake 1, which was a good draw actually as I had plenty of room to my right and knew the area was a good one.

Plan was….paste! It was a funny day though, couldn’t keep the fish in one spot and had to keep moving about to keep the bites coming in.

A big bonus was that in the last 10 minutes I caught 3 big carp down the edge to end up with 99lb which was enough to win the match.

Really nice day though and overall its been a good few weeks, not just for picking up a few quid but fishing some different venues.

This weekend is looking like a nice one, so hopefully the fish will be wanting some more of my Special G paste to try!!!

Have a good one

Steve

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Gardeners World – The Italian Job!

4th May 2018

Hello everyone, you may have noticed that there was no blog last week  That was mainly because I was away in Italy with Milo fishing a three day match.

Well it was suppose to have been a three day match, but that turned into a two day match in the end!

The original plans were to Arrive Friday, fish Saturday then the matches were on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.  That changed though and we practised Saturday, I spent Sunday sat behind Milo who was fishing a federation match then the actual event that I went for was held over the Monday and Tuesday.

I was fishing a feeder only match so that is all I had planned to take basically.

So Saturday I got my hands on the new Milo Feeder Rods and went to Mantova for a fish and a go with them.  I was set up amongst some of the other competitors practising that were in the pole match, so whilst they were all on the poles, I was on the feeder.

Rubbing my hands I was thinking, I’m the only one on the tip here so will have all the long line to myself and empty it!  Wrong!

Everyone on the pole lines started catching Bream, Skimmers and Mullet whilst all I could do was watch them.  I had started on 30 turns, but after a bite less period came in closer until I was at about 17 turns. 

It was only then that I realised what was happening and started to catch.  The anglers on the pole lines were regularly feeding balls of ground bait and the fish were coming in to the noise of that. 

I did end up with a few fish after and had a nice few hours in beautiful scenery.

Sunday I was bank running for Milo, and watched him win the 60 peg match with 60kilo’s in 3 hours.  After that we had to travel down to Terramo for the two day match that we were fishing.

The match on the Monday started and I went off to a stormer, I was fishing the method feeder close in and it was going round every drop in.  I’d put a bit of ground bait in using the biggest feeder I had and was then dropping the method over the top of that bed of bait. After the first three hours I had 60kilo in the net and was easily in the lead.  Then the wheels fell off, a very poor second half of the match only saw me put another 15kilo in the net and I ended up with 75kilo.  That was no where in the feeder match that was won with 96kilo, so after a promising start it was disappointing.

Day two and the whistle goes and I start off again by putting some bait down there and going on the method.  Today though I was struggling even more so and couldn’t get a bite!

The guy to my left was absolutely destroying the match catching one a drop on a very similar method.

It was a very poor day for yours truly though and I only weighed in 35kilo in the six hours.  The chap to my left smashed the match with 106 kilo!  So I was well battered!

Another great trip to Italy though, and its always good to catch up with them all there and the hospitality and welcome is second to none.

Was great to see some of the new products Milo are bringing out as well, there’s some real quality gear being launched and cant wait to get my hands on some of it

Got back a bit knackered, but will be looking forward to the next one!

Have a great weekend, im off to catch up on some sleep!

Steve

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Gardeners World – Chip shopped!

20th April 2018

Hi everyone, Isn’t it nice to have a bit of warm weather back! I’ve been fishing in a T shirt this week for the first time this year and the fish are certainly starting to move about.

Saturday I went to More House Farm for the open and I wanted to try something a bit different. I had to go there with that mentality or I would have just chopped and changed about again.

I wanted to try fishing expanders and ground bait, so just set my stall out for that and put all my eggs in one basket.  
It wasn’t right on the day, and I struggled a bit to put some fish together. I had one good run tight over the far bank when I had 4 on the bounce before one got snagged on an underwater bramble and got me stuck. The resulting struggle with the bush spooked the fish, so it was off for a look close in then. 
I’ve had a few down the edge then, but not consistently and I couldn’t keep them.

Ended up with 71lb that was mostly F1s with a few Carp. Gary Cooper won it with 97lb then Sam Docker was 2nd with 91lb and John Money 3rd with 87lb.
My experiment didn’t pay off on the day, but if I didn’t try it then you never know I could have stumbled on a winner!

Sunday I went to Willinghurst and drew peg 29 on Top lake. It’s a chalk and cheese peg this one that will either throw up a big weight if the big fish turn up down the edge or it can be a struggle.

I wasn’t convinced that I was going to do any good off it today, but gave it a go and same as last time I was on it caught one straight away. Then the nightmare started!
Roach after Roach after Roach then, could not get any Carp back as they couldn’t get a look in! They were on every bait I could put in the water from hard 8mm pellets, meat the lot!
Just as I thought it couldn’t get any worse a load of Geese started having a row in my peg over land rights causing a right commotion! That’s when the swearing started!! (under my breath of course!!)
So after a bit of head scratching, I decided to fill it in down the edge and hope the big fish turned up. They did but not soon enough and I only put 50lb on the scales for no where really. The lake was won by John Radford with 112lb, the match with 197lb off old lake by Ian Dixon. Jimmy was 2nd with 172lb and Tony Kent 3rd with 132lb.

Wednesday it was back to Willinghurst and the match was just on old lake. I drew peg 24 and to cut a long story short was battered both sides!!
I’ve had one on the lead and a couple on the pole for 58lb, mean while on 26 Ray Warren won the match with 83lb, and on 22 Pete Turnbull was 2nd with 81lb on Paste and down the edge.
So it hasn’t been the greatest week this week dear diary, but still great to get out on the bank and feel a bit of warmth on your back.

If your out this weekend, hope you have a good one get a few brown envelopes but don’t forget the sun cream!!

Steve

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Gardeners World - Jackpot Joy!

13th April 2018

Sorry for the omission of a blog last week, but fortunately for myself we had some internet issues and wasn’t able to do it.

I say fortunately for myself, because the wheels fell right off the week before that so it would have been tales of woe!

One thing I have to mention though is the More House Farm 2 day event that was won by Sam Docker.  Sam fished a blinding few days to win the event, which I have got to congratulate him on so a big well done mate!

Onto this week, or should I say last weekend’s matches!  Saturday and Sunday I was fishing at More House Farm for both days where it was a bit muddy after all the rain we’ve had recently.

I can’t remember a wetter last 6 months to be honest, this time last year we were fishing in t shirts and it was lovely and now look at it!

Anyway on the Saturday I drew peg 34, a decent peg that I was reminded that also holds the match record for the venue.  No pressure then!

It started off really slow and after the first 40mins I hadn’t had a thing and was getting a bit worried.  After that it picked up a bit and I had a few tight across before going quiet again, so I came back on the track line for a look.

I’d been feeding micros down there, so dropped in with a maggot but no bites!  Some bubbles were coming up, so there must have been a few there so I thought id have a drop on the paste!  Maybe a bit early but was worth ago, sure enough I caught one but then foul hooked one straight after and it wasn’t really right for them on it yet.

So it was time then to switch to my banker line, which was down the edge to my left on meat over micro’s.  This is when my catch rate really went up as they were there!!

I caught well off this line catching Carp and F1s and weighed 137lb which won the match.

Stuart Williamson was second with 92lb and Luke Gasson 3rd with 91lb.

After a slow start it was a really good days fishing, plus I was on the jackpot peg which was a nice little brucie bonus!

Sunday I was back there again, and this time sat on 43 which is another good peg in fairness.  I think I made a few mistakes on this day though as spent too much time searching about instead concentrating on a few area’s.  After the weights the day before I had 100lb set in my mind and should have been a bit more focussed on the banker lines.

I caught well again on the meat over micros line close in, this time to weigh 92lb which was second in the match behind Pete Turnbull who had 95lb.  So only one fish short, but it was another good close match with everyone catching well.

I was back there again on the Monday, not for a match though just to sit behind Mark Goddard who was doing a feature there with Match Fishing Magazine.  He even managed to catch a grass snake in the process!!

Then it was off to Wilinghurst on Wednesday where we were spread over Old and New lakes.  I drew 6 on Old lake and was hoping that they would be on the short line and down the edge as was a bit wary about looking for them shallow yet.

I was really struggling again, and bites were hard to come by so I tried the bomb but only had a few liners.  In a moment of inspiration I had a go on bomb and bread, and quickly the tip went round and I was into a fish.  Next cast hooked another one, but it was foul hooked and came off.  That was the last bit of action on that line too, so it was time to come and have a look close in.

On this line I was fishing over the new Bait-Tech ADF Fishmeal Method Mix with corn.  If you haven’t tried this ground bait yet then give it ago.  A word of warning, it stinks!! But the fish love it!!

Anyway this did put a few lumps in the net before the all out sounded, I’d had a days fishing but was off the pace really. 

Ended up with 53lb which was no where in the match, Kev Parker won it with 78lb and Terry Harrison was 2nd with 72lb.

So that was my week, the pictures are of my left hand short line at More House, and the snake with another reptile!! …..Love ya really Mark!!!   

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