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Monday, 19 November 2012

Burrows 'Autumn Colours'

The leaves are turning and starting to fall, temperatures are dipping and the bank side, only a few months ago was buzzing and full of life. It's amazing how quick things change, the lakes are starting to have a stillness about them and with the nights closing in, the waters edge has become very bleak and remote. 

More days than not carp fishing seems to have turned into a riddle rather than a relaxing pass time. I have a fair few lakes on the agenda in regards to winter campaigns, it goes with out saying that Burrows is still high on the list. I have been paying close attention to my bait application and focusing on location, it's paramount this time of the year.

It has become apparent that feeding times seem to now come in short bursts and to maximise on this it's really important to spend a little extra time trying to pinpoint where abouts the carp are holding up. I've taken a few afternoons out to go down to Burrows solely to watch the water, from past experience I have reason to believe that the carp can hold in specific areas of the lake for a good few days at a time, on both trips I noticed a few fish topping up the far end of the lake, this is a part that I am yet to fish.

On returning to the lake I chose my spots wisely, after a bit of searching about with my smart-cast I found a couple of spots that I felt confident in. There was a fair amount of movement on the bottom of the lake and I felt these areas could hold the odd fish.

Bottom Make Up Of My Swim
The way it shelves down is pretty extreme, I felt I could fish a bait close in, when watching how other anglers approach this swim, they seem to cast to the middle, I had a hunch that the carp could patrol underneath the rod tips due to the changes in depth.

Bait Position Of Left Rod

Bait Position Of Right Hand Rod
I kept baiting up to a minimum, I didn't put any freebies into the swim, I thought PVA bags and single hook baits should do the trick, I made sure my bag mixes had maximum attraction. I ground up a selection of fruity baits and then added some Anchovy Paste, this helps to bind the mix together, creating an interesting smell.

Bag Mixes

Keeping my hook baits in a mixture of different glugs can give you a little edge on tougher days.

Instant Attraction

I am testing out Chris Knowlers new POM leads, they're very interesting, I'll go into specifics in another blog, I decided to rub clay over my lead system and hook link for added camouflage, I think this can really help especially if the carp are wary. 

A Little Bit Of Clay Does The Trick

I got my rods out, slipped some back leads on and sat back to wait, I positioned myself back from the waters edge, if carp were patrolling close in, I didn't want to spook them. Some fish showed themselves a little way out in front of me, that was a great sign, I knew a few were in the area, it was just a case of if they were going to get their heads down. Time passed pretty slowly, there was no wind, the lake was really still and silent, it was the first time I'd seen Burrows like this. It was a good chance to spot any signs of feeding fish, there really wasn't any bubbling going on, apart from a few carp topping, the lake was like a sheet of glass.

Time was ticking by when all of a sudden I got a single bleep on my left hand rod. I walked over and noticed my rod tipped was gently bending round, hardly at all, I decided to lift into it. The rod bowed over tight and line started ripping off the spool. I instantly knew I'd hooked into something pretty big because the lunges were very solid, the water is very clear so I got a glimpse of the fish as it surfaced, it was a big looking mirror.

I kept the pressure on giving it line when needed, I eventually slid her over my net, as I looked down on her I was convinced she was going to go 20IB. I got her into the sling, scales sunk to 21IB exactly, I was ecstatic, it's amazing that a single bleep on the alarm could produce such a fish, I felt she was probably trying to eject the hook bait, hence why she didn't bolt off on the initial pick up. I was thinking that my straight through fluorocarbon rig was probably the reason why the bait was taken, it's very hard to detect.

A Much Appreciated Autumn Carp

Self Take Photos Can Be Tricky
I slipped her back and got my rod on to the same spot, the hours ticked by and the alarms stayed silent. There were a few fish topping through out the afternoon but no more bites came. Before I left for the day I put some bait on the 6ft shelf with the plan to come back and fish it later in the week.

During this session I was starting to think about my baiting approach even more, I have primarily been using fruity baits since the temperatures have fallen. I started to feel like this could be limiting my results. I started to think about it systematically and I have decided that when I am using two rods I am going to fish one on fruity and the other spicy. When fishing three rods I am going to fish, Fruity, Spicy and Fishy, I believe this will give me a far broader insight into what works, where and how. With this in mind I wanted to get back down as soon as possible to see if I could get a quicker result.

Burrows Short Afternoon Session 'The Experiment'

I grabbed a few hours the following Sunday, this time around I chose to fish the first double swim you come to on the lake. This is the deeper end and the fish do seem to hold very close in to the opposite margin, as stated before, the secret is to get your bait within inches of the bank, I'm talking about 5cm, even though there's a lot of sunken trees the margins are surprisingly clear.

My Swim

I was fishing single hook baits topped of with a tiny bit of yellow foam, I always feel this helps on the visual side. I was using Starmers Octospice on my left hand rod and Bloodworm & Tuna on the right. I got my casts spot on first time so that kept disturbance to a minimum. 

I left them both for about an hour and then decided to recast, moving both baits slightly to the left of my original spots. My left hand rod tore off after about 40 minutes from the recast. The fish came racing towards me so I had to reel in a fair amount of slack like a nutter, as usual she woke up underneath the rod tip, I eventually slipped a spotless looking common over my net, scales sunk to 12IB, I struggled to get a photo because it was now pitch black and I was slipping and sliding all over the place.

A Quick Common On A Bleak Autumn Afternoon
I was feeling very inspired, the fact I decided to change to a spicy bait and get a pretty quick take made me feel like a huge amount of possibilities had opened up for me. I have mentioned in previous blogs that it's very easy to get stuck in certain modes with carp fishing, same swims, same baits etc, each time I feel I might be in a rut I remind myself that there's more than one way to catch a fish. 

There's so much trial and error involved and I find some sessions are solely for experimentation, I still believe if you put the effort and work in you will have a break through even if getting to that point means you've got to swallow a few blanks, when all comes good, it makes it all worth it. 

Until Next Time

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Matrix Patriot Pod & NBrice Carbon Buzzers


After having gone through a fair amount of rod pods and buzzer bars through the years I have finally found two setups that are keepers. When looking around for new products I find it frustrating because there aren't always reviews on the web. I decided to review both of my chosen setups in hope that it may help anyone who feels they're in line for a new pod or set of buzzers.

In this blog entry I am reviewing the Matrix Patriot Pod and the Carbon Buzzer Setup from Nbrice. I settled on Matrix for my stainless setup because the quality and reliability of their products is second to none. I have the 'slinky' range which is a slightly thinner gauge and a little lighter than their 'rock solid' series. They're both pretty much bullet proof, I went for The Patriot Pod because of its versatility, not only can it be a free standing unit, you can also separate the elements and fish your rods goal post style or with just single bank sticks. It allows options that will cater for most angling situations.

The Patriot Pod

View 2

All of the sections screw tightly into each other and it goes up in a matter of minutes, the picture above shows the pod without any of the sections extended, the bank sticks can be heightened if required and the pod frame can be extended to make the whole setup longer which really does help for added stability.

Below Shows How The Bars Extend 

All of the screws are very heavy duty, in regards to maintenance, at the end of each session I clean and oil the screws because they're quite prone to getting dirt within the threads, a little oil and DW40 keeps everything in good order.

Central Pod Adjustment

The four screws within the centre of the pod section allow you to adjust the angles of the front and back buzzers so if the ground is uneven you can still get your setup level. It's wise to keep this section lubricated so everything is easy to adjust. After use it folds down allowing it to fit perfectly into the carry bag that comes with it.

Central Pod Section Folds Away
Carry Bag

Matrix Snag Ears

Matrix have a range of snag ears 'pictured above' specifically designed to fit on all their buzz bar ranges. I know that there are a lot of different view points about the use of snag ears. I find them essential because I do fish margins to the left and right of me and my lines are sometimes at very tight angles, in the past I've had a good few rods almost dragged in, the Matrix snag ear range is very subtle and attaches to the buzzers nice and snug. In addition to the snag ears they also have a tidy little adjustable section you can screw your hangers in to, this allows you to change the height according to your fishing situation. There are two types of snag ear, one with the swinger attachment and one without.

Bobbin Adjuster
All in all I feel the Patriot Pod offers everything an angler is looking for, it will set you back a fair few pennies but taking into account its versatility and the fact you'll never have to replace it, it really is a great bit of kit for the premium carp angler.



There are a lot of waters that I fish were it's a two rod limit, also there are days when I don't feel like fishing three. For my two rod setup I have chosen the Nbrice carbon range. I had my eye on the Century carbon series but was drawn to Nbrice because they have a slightly thicker gauge, they're build is absolutely outstanding and they're so light.

Buzzer Setup

The screws are very hard wearing and tighten down nice and tight so you wont get the top section screwed on to the bank stick twisting, for extra stability I use two of their bank stick stabilizers, this makes the setup really solid and will prevent anything from falling or being pulled down.

Nbrice Stabilizers

Even though the back buzzers look narrow, they house two big pit reels without any problems. All Nbrice products can be made to your own specifications, all you have to do is give Neville a ring and he'll sort it out for you. Obviously carbon isn't as hard wearing as stainless steel so it's worth baring this in mind before you make the purchase.

Really Tidy Looking

Like all bank sticks and buzzers, the height is adjustable, you can also get the 'Nbrice' Adjustable' range that allows you to lengthen the width of the bars, this obviously helps a lot if your reels are really close together. This range adjusts very easily in regards to height, in the past with other bank sticks I was having problems with adjustments because the nuts and adjustable sections use to jam and stick.

Adjustments Are Easy

If your thinking about a carbon setup, then I can't recommend Nbrice highly enough, it's small, compact, very light and solid, I am very pleased that I chose this specific range. Below you'll see that the range comes in all sizes, widths and heights, they also do a complete carbon rod pod which by the looks of things is made to the same standard as everything else, I haven't seen a carbon pod on the market that comes close. I'd rather pay top dollar for something that is going to last me a life time rather than replacing things every couple of years. I hope both these little reviews are of some help to you.

The Nbrice Carbon Series From The Kent Angling Show

Assembling The Matrix Patriot Pod

On A Side Note

I don't get commission for selling these products, I wrote these reviews to help people out, I know how hard it is to make decisions when it comes to choosing tackle