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Knowledge Is Power

Dear Anglers Net,

I am new to fishing and always looking to further knowledge about fishing. So even when I am not fishing I am still reading and learning.

I wonder if other Anglers Net readers that are new to fishing find the same problems of asking people at the bankside. I find that people contradict themselves and information about fish/fishing contained in a stretch of water are grossly misjudged.

What I like about the angler's net is that articles are written by people who "do" know what they are doing, in fact leading personalities whose advice is not only solid fact but also thought provoking. I have enjoyed reading many of the articles. Basically trying to fill in knowledge and experience which is only usually collated by hours on the bank. These articles have no doubt been responsible for more fish on the bank and better care for these fish when on the bank. Which for me is of prime importance. Only irresponsible people don't care for the welfare of the fish. Lets face it a few hours spent on the Angler's Net reading the articles on pike has enabled me to catch more. Tips and knowledge on pike gained from the site has meant that I have been able to treat the pike with the respect it deserves. Not that I didn't before, but the factual advice has given me better confidence to play, land and unhook the pike exactly as it should be done.

One of the articles which taught me the most was about the delicate balance of pike in our waterways that help to stabilise the ecosystem. How many times have you heard people say that pike should be killed? Read the articles and you know that those people are wrong, very wrong.

Hopefully one day I will have the knowledge to contribute to the site and stay true to sound advice, not wavering into the mire of conjecture and elaboration of the facts.

Truly a great fishing website.

Thanks Elton

John Westley

And thank you, John, for taking time to write into Anglers' Net. We do receive quite a few nice emails, but don't publish them all. The reason for publishing this one is so that I can thank both you and, publicly, Leon Roskilly - author of the pike article you mention and tireless worker in the field of fish care and conservation. Thanks, Leon.

Tight Lines,


Asenby Anglers
Having fished the Black Bull strench of the river Swale at Topcliffe for a number of years on a day ticket with barbel up to 9lbs bream to 8lbs and numerous chub to 4lbs, it is with great sadness that I find that a syndicate has now aquired it and closed this productive venue to the fisherman with, I hear, no intention of ticket fishing.
ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF MONEY TALKS, I AM A MEMBER OF BRADFORD NO1 and hope to join Leeds AA, so that I can fish close to this venue of Topcliffe.
It's a shame day ticket waters are fast disappearing.

If you have an opinion on this subject, you're bound to find a relevant current topic in our coarse fishing forum right now, as it's become one of the largest angling debates of 2001. What's your opinion?

Today was a blank day
After going to my local tackle store yesterday to get some boilies for a days fishing I found they did not have the ones I wanted. So after some rooting around the shelf I thought I would have the next best thing in this case it was squid instead of crab and mussel. when I got to bank today to start fishing and setting up my rig I found the boilies was rock hard and almost impossible to use short of drilling out a hole first to bait my hair rig. They did not have any smell of flavour.
The only run I had all day was from some I had left from last week witch was fine.
Please pass this on to other unexpected Anglers it may save the day for them and save them wasting Money to.



I was hoping that you could help me. I just received these 4 fishing lures of which I have no information. Then I was approached right away by someone wanting to buy them from me. He said they are old and he collects them. Before I do so I would like to know what you think they are worth since I have no clue and no nothing about them. All I can tell you is look at the attached pictures and they are all stamped.
The biggest is stamped with 52M8 It has a glass eye it looks like. The other 3 not as long but also all stamped no glass eyes.
1. Hump M-23-x
2. Hump F-23-X
3. Hump (can't make out the number)
I appreciate any information you can offer as I don't want to make a mistake in selling them and don't know what a fair price would be.


Lisa Herschelman

Being a keen angler myself I happened across your website the other day and before I continue would like to take this opportunity to say what a great, well put-together site this is!

As I said I am a keen angler and have been fishing for most of my adult life. Early attempts at quiver-tipping, float fishing and the ilk eventually led me on to exploring other species and in the quest for "the monster" I finally found "my slot" in specimen hunting. Carp fishing in the summer and pike fishing in the winter devours my free time these days and my own personal inventory of catches includes carp to 22lb 10oz and pike to 29lb 10oz.
Now with all this in mind you could be forgiven for thinking the following story and attatched photograph may be a count of one of my latest but in this instance I'm afraid not!
Last year I met my partner and contrary to the "usual" (I have been married before and I'm sure my weekends away fishing helped along the demise of that partnership) she actually enjoys going fishing as much as I do and so fishing trips these days are usually more like a family outing than anything else. When I met my partner Jo she came with an accessesory, my stepdaughter charlotte.
Now Charlotte, (soon to be 11)loves fishing too and has been on at me for ages to get her a rod so she can have a go.
Recently I injured my spine and without going into it all too much detail suffice to say the money the benefits agency allows family's to survive on does not include sufficient funds to allow fishing tackle to be bought for the kids and any spare money we have has to be put to putting food in our mouths but the other day whilst cruising the local "poundshops" for bargains Jo noticed a junior fishing outfit for five pounds!
Needless to say it isnt exactly a kit that would be endorsed by Bob Nudd and is about as far away from the tackle I use as can be dreamt of.
The rod is 5' long, has only 3 rings (before you ask, no they are not fuji) and has a test curve of about 1oz. The reel is mainly plastic, can hold about 60 yards of 12lb line and looks like a gudgeon can do it some real damage!
The reel came already loaded with about 20 foot of what looked like tow cable and the kit it came with consisted of 3 size 8 spade end hooks, two swan shot and a pole float.
Now I don't have any coarse fishing stuff myself, all my gear is rated for carp and pike and, as I had to turn to my own tackle box for Charlotte, I ended up rigging the reel with 12lb mainline, a very scaled down inline rig, and a brade hooklength to size 8 boily hook in the hope that perhaps Charlotte might catch a small tench or bream.
Charlotte did all the rigging up (with a lot of help from me) and we hair-rigged a small cube of luncheon meat onto the hook.
We were night fishing on this occasion and I set her up with one of my spare Microns and an indicator (just in case) and we went about casting in.
Booming out my own baits to the snag off an island, I watched Charlotte cast her 1/2 oz inline rig about 12 feet out and after helping her set the little rod up on the rests baited the areas with hemp.
I think you can see where this is going now can't you)
Two hours later (about 9pm) we was all going about our business, getting the tents homely when Charlottes alarm issued a bleep.
Line bites where we fish are quite common so I didnt pass it much heed but when the second bleep came i went over to her rod to see what all the commotion was about and was just in time to see the indicater fall back lifelessly.
Now Charlotte had never caught a fish before and had no idea how to handle one. She has only been coming fishing with me this season and as, so far, my season has been fishless has never even seen one landed so it was decided (in view of the rig she had to use) that, should she catch one, I would lift into it to see how big it was before I decided wether it was small enough for Charlotte to land it herself.
Suffice to say it wasn't!
The next twenty minutes would have earned me 250 quid on you've been framed as I wrestled with a 13lb 8oz mirror carp on tackle that would have been tested by a large Perch much to the amusement of other carpers on the lake that where watching my plight.
Charlotte netted it for me (althought she couldnt lift the net out of the water) and we took it to the mat for unhooking and photographs and moments later Charlotte was (as we all are) hooked for life.
Now to add to my list of crosses to bear I am being bugged even more for a better rod and reel etc and as I am trying to finish my first novel as a writer I am now being bugged by both my publisher and my stepdaughter to the extent that the keys on my keyboard are melting.
All in all as the attatched photograph shows my little girl has took the first step on the road to a long and fulfilling life of pulling out great big carp while her long-suffering step daddy sits there and stares glumly at his own prone indicators.
At least one of us is catching though eh?

Yours sincerely,

Steve Bennett.

Pencil Float

Hi Leon,

I love your site, I have learned loads about Pike Fishing but i would like to learn about a float that I Bought in Norfolk last year when I went on holidays on the Norfolk Broads the float is made by fox and it is called a deadbait pencil. I would like to know about this float because I am going back to Norfolk this year to see if I can catch a pike as I have never caught one before


Hi Chris,

The slim-line design of pencil floats has two advantages. It provides very little resistance, as a pike takes the deadbait, and it stands high above the water, making it a very good visual bite indicator at distance.
Its lack of resistance to being pulled under means that it should only be used for deadbaiting. Even a small roach livebait would have no difficulty in sinking it.
I've attached an illustration, showing how to rig it.
Above the float, you should tie a small piece of line to act as a stop knot. This should be tied loosely enough to slide up and down the main line, yet tight enough to keep at the position you set it too. Leave about an inch of line either end of the knot.
The purpose of the stop knot is to enable you to change the depth at which you are fishing, from (say) three feet to (say) thirty feet.
When you are fishing very deep, the stop knot will be wound onto your reel, but should cast through your rod rings with very little resistance.
Below the stop knot, place a bead, with a small diameter hole. Large enough to slide easily up and down the line, but small enough to stop at the stop knot. The bead will ensure that the stop knot won't pass through the eye of the pencil float.
Then thread on the pencil float, followed by another bead, then tie on your snap tackle (with a leader of at least eighteen inches of wire). (In the illustration, you'll notice that I prefer to use trebles with their barbs crushed. This enables the hooks to pierce the pike's bony mouth more easily and, more importantly, allows for faster and easier unhooking).
Most pencil floats are self cocking, so a minimum of weight is needed to sink the bait.
When deadbaiting, it's important to know quickly when a pike has taken the bait. Watch that pencil float like a hawk, even if you are combining visual indication with an audible bite alarm (recommended).
Pike will often turn and swallow a deadbait in situ, hardly moving the float at all. Waiting for the float to move off, or disappear completely can end in disaster.
I hope that you've had the opportunity to read my article 'Pike, the Basics' at
You will also find some information on the safe unhooking of pike at
A visit to the Pike Anglers Club at will give you further information.
Before you fish in Norfolk, why not contact the local PAC branch. You may find someone who'll be only too happy to show you how to catch pike safely, and maybe even put you onto a local hotspot!
Try emailing the Liason Officer for the Anglian Region, Denis Moules, at Tell him which area you intend fishing, and he'll be able to put you in contact with the local organiser.
Good luck Chris, and don't forget to send me a photo if you are successful.

Tight Lines,


Sea Anglers' Conservation Network (SACN)

Views On Anti-Angling

I have no wish to be disrespectful to anyone here but I have to say that in the light of facing a life or death situation how many of the antis would suddenly take that drug which is tried and tested on animals. Or indeed how many of them will take the place of an animal for the sake of mankind? It is all very well being a strict vegetarian when you are  making a very good living from it, representing anti this and anti that, so that you establish who your customers are but what happens when you are suddenly faced with the biggest battle of your life, for your life? I'll tell you, all your strongest held beliefs and Philosophy goes out of the window and you become a realist who will try anything, every drug known, including those tried and tested on animals for your own survival. How many of those antis could honestly stand up and tell the world they have never taken a drug intended to stop their ailments which has some kind of animal derivative in its make up or which has been tested on animals. Those maggots the anti defended? What if they were used in the medical trade, cleaning out infected wounds. What does that person then think is done with them? Does he really believe a Maggot is worth more than a human life that it could possibly help? I was about to say, "he who is without sin" but some people believe animals were put on this Earth for man to use, for the benefit of the human race, by God! There are far worse things happening in this world to Humans by  Humans than to animals generally, perhaps people ought to concentrate their efforts on something much more worth while and help those people who need it. Attacking angling will not help fish and or any of the life around our waterways. It is often the angler who saves the swan which has crashed into the pylon lines, or been battered by its own mother and driven out of the fold to die of hunger or be predated on by a hungry fox. It is often the angler who notices the first signs of pollution which could cause catastrophe to all life along a river if not reported, it is often the anglers who pick up the rubbish left by the general public after their Sunday Picnic down by the lake in the park. I even know an angler who on hearing a slight cry in the distance investigated and found an elderly man had collapsed and fallen into the river. If that angler hadn't been there the elderly chap definitely wouldn’t have been for much longer. What about the night fishermen who are on the scene when a car is broken into and mobiles the police or reports the break in at the boating house or lake side shop, the angler who saves the dog and or its owner when it has jumped into the ice cold lake. If anglers were not around, who would clean up our waters every year make the banks secure, feed the birds in the winter when all those bird lovers from the summer have stayed at home. Who cleans all the bread away from the margins of the local parks when the ducks have been fed a thousand times too much by the hoards of children who visit and the rats which come out at night can’t even devour and you know your Ranger who is paid to do it wont bother? Who complains about the state of the water when it is obvious that it needs desilting and oxygenating? Anglers, that’s who, because they are there and notice these things. "Anglers"? Who needs them, they are just a cruel, couldn't care less bunch of tyrants who want to exploit nature. Aren't they? Well I love animals wild and domestic I love being out by the lake and quietly sitting observing the animals but I realise we have to eat, and that people have different tastes in their pursuits of pleasure but I wouldn’t presume to tell them what they can or cannot eat, or do in pursuit of that pleasure. I sometimes tell people they ought to give up smoking, but that is down to them ultimately, I realise water sports such as skiing and boating erodes the banks destroying habitat for some creatures and that diesel fuel pollutes water but I don’t try to interfere with their enjoyment even when I am  there fishing. I certainly wouldn't profess to be an animal lover and "anti cruelty to animals person" then release a ferocious predator by the hundred out into the so-called wild "which is actually looked after by man" and is likely to be a SSSI. or a nature reserve, where it can eat all the other rare and endangered species as happened with the Mink, which are now also endangering Fish too. I believe a lot of the sightings of Otters are in fact Mink and I have come across the remains of small fish that I believe were killed by Mink. What with these predators and others such as the highly efficient Cormorant out there pretty soon the antis won’t have to bother because there won’t be any fish left to angle for. I once stood talking to a Bird watcher at Walthamstow Reses. He had watched over a few years, along with me and hundreds of other anglers and wild life fans the complete and utter destruction of the islands of all life forms from the very tips of each and every tree top to the tip of their roots which dangled in the water, every single insect and living species which had inhabited those islands had either died or had to find somewhere else to live. The Bird man didn't have a lot to say about it when I asked him if he thought things may have gone a little bit too far in protecting this creature until I pointed behind me at the island on the No.1. Res, which used to be one of the biggest Heronries in the country and asked him what will you do when those Cormorants start roosting there, eating the tiny fish which the Heron has to eat and spreading the life sapping Guana all over the vegetation which sustains every living creature which is now there? He looked at me a little surprised that I knew about it, then said yes we were getting a little worried about that as he walked away! Talk about Tunnel vision! Let’s all look at the bigger picture please. In other words, people, Get real.


Safety Rig

Dear Sir/Madam,

Please take a look at the accompanying rig diagrams, assess at your leisure and consider publishing.

About 18 months ago, I caught an emaciated Perch that weighed 2lb 1oz, I’m certain that it should have gone to nearly 3lb. The reason (I feel) it was emaciated, was because of the feeder rig that was still attached to it. This consisted of hooklength and feeder, enclosed by a double loop and fixed to the mainline permanently. I was and had for a number of years used this rig myself, but quickly realized that this rig was a danger to the fish, even if hooklengths of 1lb where used. I set out to find a replacement for this, and came up with the accompanying rig, which is just as effective.

Safety Loop RigFig 1. Tie a hooklength as normal, using a double overhand loop knot to form the loop. Onto your mainline thread on in this order. A medium Drennan ring, a bead, a snaplink swivel, then a final bead. Now tie another overhand loop knot in the end of the mainline, leaving about 10 inches of line on the tag end.

Fig 2. Now tie this tag end to the Drennan ring, encasing as you do so the snaplink and the two beads. Tie this to the required length of loop. Now attach h/link, clip on bomb/feeder, and your ready.

Fig 3. Shows the "Matchmans" rig with double loop, that causes a "Boom" effect, so eliminating tangles with the bomb/feeder. Now attach h/link, clip on bomb/feeder, and your ready.

Fig 4. Shows that if the mainline breaks above the terminal tackle, the weight can come free, and not tether a fish.

Fig 5. If the line breaks here, you are still attached to the fish.

Fig 6. If the line breaks here, the weight can slip free, and not tether a fish.

Fig 7. And if the line breaks here, the fish will not be tethered.

I have used/tested this rig for 18 months now, and having used the other can honestly say that it has not impaired my catch rate in any way. Tackle wise, the only difference between the two rigs are a couple of beads and a 4mm rig ring, and in use this new rig will pick up no more debris than the "Fixed" rig, in a running water situation. This new rig also offers an angler the chance to fish a rig, similar to a fixed one, on waters that currently have bans on all fixed or semi-fixed rigs, as it is free running. The applications are endless, once the principles are applied.

Tight Lines (Free leads)

Steve Randles

See more of Steve's handy work in our 'Rigs' section

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