Browsing Posts published by david

Following on from Shaun’s earlier blog about favourite tackle items I had to think long and hard about what I really valued in my kit. There are some items that are more obvious – I love my rods and reels for example – but I wanted to come up with something a little different. Sitting with too much time on a session I realised there were two bits of kit that stood out.

Firstly my tiny Primus stove. I love kit that’s compact, well designed and does the job. This little beauty screws into propane / butane canisters, has a self ignition switch and fits into the palm of my hand when folded. No matter how little kit I carry I can always have a hot cup of tea or hot food.


The second items is these amazing braid cutters from PB products. I promise you once you have tried these you will never use anything else. You can dangle the thinnest braid in the air and it will still cut them with no tension, it’s like magic! Great design – in my opinion the best there is out there.


Oh and I have had two trips since the last blog. Managed 4 doubles the first time out and a double and a scraper 20 the second trip. Not bad on a water where one or two bites a session is good going.

Tight lines, Elie G

Hello there Shaun,

Thank you so much for the reply and I fully understand and appreciate the reasons on how and why you choose your bait testers.  I am an avid carp angler and wanted to try and may be using bait testing to put my name around in the carp fishing general.  Hope I’m not ask too many questions, but how would I go about in getting mentions in magazines etc?   I hope you can help and I really appreciate the reply you sent.  I wish Quest Baits all the best and tight lines!


Hi Carl,

It is very important to be seen to be catching fish and generally getting people to recognise you. I started carp fishing in 1977 and it took until 1987  before I picked up my first sponsorship/tester role and this was after a few years writing in the monthly magazines of the time. These days things are a little different as many companies run with a big army of so called testers who are nothing more really than offered bait/tackle at a cheaper rate. At Quest Baits we decided not to do this and only have people involved who have been picked/chosen by us.

These days there are many avenues to get your face recognised. When I started there were only 3 or 4 different coarse angling magazines (no carp fishing ones in the high street). Your best bet would be to start putting some catches on Facebook (free of charge and you are in control of it), Send a few catches to some of the On-Line magazines and Carp Talk. The secret to catch reports is trying to make the story interesting. At the end of the day the Editor needs to keep his magazine enjoyable there is a lot of competition out there. So, rather than stating the bare facts, bait, rig, hook etc try and think if there was something unusual about the capture, something which will make a bigger report. Perhaps you moved swims, or changed tactics, anything which gives the reader extra information and the Editor more to work with. continue reading…

You know some things go to the back of your mind and are often forgotten about until something jogs the old memory banks?

Well the old memory bank has been jogged. I had someone ask me if I knew where they could get hold of real cheap back leads as they were fishing a productive water and losing quite a few of them but were needing to pin their line down a few rod lengths out over a hump.

I delved into my tackle box, and came out with a plastic run ring and rubber band, I looked at the ground at the side of me and picked up a stone.

Within seconds I had produced a environmentally friendly back weight (can’t really call it a lead) which has the chance to release the stone or the clip from the line. The person I showed it too seemed real impressed so I thought I would share the tip with the rest of you.

For what it is worth it is a little dodge I used to use whilst margin fishing on a local water where the fish were very tackle aware. Instead of a lead I used to attach a stone out of the margins in the same way.

The other added bonus is that you don’t have to hump a bag full of back leads around with you as most venues I have ever visited have plenty of useable stones laying around.

Best fishes


I have just returned from a week long trip from Sapphire Lake in France, which is one of the latest venues to be offered by Angling Lines.

On the second day of my visit I had made a decision to fish a shelf which stretched half the length of the lake, and went out for around 50 yards into the lake. I found around 3 ½ feet at 36 yards directly in front of me which very gradually became shallower towards the bank.

When I am in France, I usually select one area and fish all my rods on or at the side of the baited area. I had seen carp moving just below the surface on the shallows so I decided to change my approach to tackle this venue.

With the marker rod set at 36yards, I marked out all my 4 rods to the same distance.  I then fished the rods in a fanned style. My left hand rod was at 90 degrees from the bank, with the other 3 rods set to marks on the horizon all to the right. This enabled me to fish the rods at different distances from the bank but all the same distance from my rod pod. I was hoping to intercept any fish coming onto the shallows from the depths to my right.  continue reading…

Just wondered if anyone had any tips for casting zigs?  Sometimes the surrounding swim prevents the casting of say a 5ft zig.  I’m sure I read you can tie them up with pva tape but I can’t get it to work for me?

Hi Jim,

The easiest way is to lay your unhooking mat down behind you and coil the line down on that.

I have also seen anglers coil their hook link in a saucepan or mug even but the mat gives you more room to simply lower onto and is a more proficient way than using PVA which shrinks rather than melts. This means the PVA forms a tight ball around where you tie which can result in it not releasing.

Hope this helps.

Best fishes, Shaun

After visiting a few fisheries for day sessions over the last few weeks, with the occasional fish caught, I am now on the shores of a lake within walking distance of my home for a short session of 24 hours without pre-baiting. It’s early in the morning that I arrive at an arm of the lake that I like because I know it’s where the fish like to get together before spawning.

My early season bait has been Rahja Spice because it is really spicy & I know that carp love the spice without fishmeal, particularly in these cold water conditions.

I put my rods in the boat and rowed my baits out to 2.5m of water near the dead wood on the opposite shore.  Bait was 20mm boilies above a bed of hempseed with boilies cut into pieces – a great mix that I like very much early in the year.

Everything is in place and it is in the afternoon that my first run occurs. A nice mirror with nice round belly and a yellow tinge – very nice! Before nightfall I have 2 more great fish of the same caliber.

That evening I baited up again and the next day a festival with a lot of runs!  The carp are on the move and I am in the right spot.  I fish until 7pm then retire exhausted.  What a great day!

See you soon at the edge of the water…