Winter Wonderland

Some of you might be wondering why a lot of the posts recently have not been about fishing but have been about rigs and reviews, well for the last month most of the waters I would like to fish have been completely frozen. The pic above shows one of the lakes around here and as you can see it is absolutely solid. If it doesn’t start to thaw out soon I will have to start ice fishing. I am getting cabin fever it has been so long since I wet a line. Still there is light at the end of the tunnel I have taken a day off of to go fishing with Fishing Amsterdam next week. Here is hoping that the canal is defrosted enough to get the boat out !

Anyway until then there will be limited numbers of catch reports as there is 3″ of ice between me and the carp and pike.

Loop Knots, which is better ?

We use a lot of knots in fishing and particularly in carp fishing. One of the most often used knots is that used to create a loop. Whether it is to create a loop on the hair or in your mainline to create a loop for your leadcore we tie a lot of loops. In recent conversation with anglers I realised that many people use the overhand loop knot to create their loops, something that I also used to do. A few years ago I was shown the figure of 8 loop knot and I have found it to be far stronger and so it amazes me that some people still use the overhand loop.

In the words of Harry Hill,

“I like over hand loop knots, I like figure of 8 knots, but which is better ? There is only one way to find out….. Fight !”

I have therefore decided to run a fair and independent test to compare the 2 knots and finally put to bed the notion that the overhand loop knot has any use as a load bearing knot.

First lets look at the knots themselves and how they are tied

Figure of 8 loop

first make a loop ( note that I am using fluorescent string to make it easier to see what I am doing)
Continue reading “Loop Knots, which is better ?”

The evolution of a rig – the big pig line aligner rig

Let me begin this article by stating, for the record, that there is no original thought in this rig. This is not to denigrate the article or my thinking in the 1st line but there is very little “original thinking” in 99% of carp rigs today. Almost all carp rigs are just an evolution on someone else’s ideas or are designed to encourage people to buy more rig components. The main exceptions to this in recent years ( after the hair rig) have been the Drig, the Chod rig the combi rig ( and coated braid ) and the now ( thankfully) banned “bent hook” rig. There have possibly been more but these are the ones that I can think of and the ones that I use or have used on occasion.

This rig is the product of several years of thinking and would not have been possible with out ” a little help from my friends”. To explain, earlier in 2009 I was a little annoyed that I couldn’t get a good hook hold which was strange as when I 1st started to use long shanked hooks that is all I got but over time I managed to migrate to short hairs and stiff flurocarbon and the hook holds got poorer and poorer. Then a chance discussion with a mate ( who is sponsored) and an impromptu rig clinic on the bank and I was set straight. later in the year whilst on a fishing holiday I had the chance to have a good look at a mates rigs and ( with his permission) incorporate a good chunk of what he was doing into my rig design.  Not only did catch rates improve but also losses decreased which was crucial at the time due to the hard fighting nature of the fishing the lake.
Continue reading “The evolution of a rig – the big pig line aligner rig”

Review – CCmoore Meteor

A wise man once said, “bait is unimportant compared to watercraft, any bait if palatable will be eaten *if* the carp can find it”. These words have been the foundation of my carp fishing, however that is not to say that quality bait does not matter, it does matter and matter a great deal. My philosophy behind bait choice is that the bait must possess one of two qualities,
Continue reading “Review – CCmoore Meteor”

My 1st Shark !

Ok well not really my 1st as I have caught dogfish off of the Kent coast and a small sand shark off of the coast of South Africa but this was the 1st one for quite a while.

As you know I am in SF at the moment, and whilst I was over here I thought it rude not to try out some of the fishing that the bay offers.  A brief skirt around the bay ( well around pier 39) led to the website of San Francisco Boat Rentals run by Captain Tony.  An early morning start led me to the boat at 9am sharp ready for a days shark fishing.  As I arrived I could see that the tide was really high, amazingly high. As we went out into the bay and started fishing I could see that the water was moving at an amazing rate, indeed a poor sailing boat was having some issues making any headway into the current even with its spinnaker out.

To summarise the day, I had a really good time and would recommend Tony’s charter services to anyone, whilst the fishing was slow I am certain that this was due to the amazingly high tide and the conditions that it produced as with that much current the fish were probably not feeding all that well.  Anyway only 1 fish was caught ( loads of crabs though) to yours truly and it was a tiny, fin perfect spiny dogfish. After a brief photo op, the shark was gently returned to the water whereupon it swam off strongly.  Sadly itg didnt bing friends and it was the last and only action of the day. If the weather / tide changes over the next few days I might try again…. however there are vineyards to be visited 🙂

spiny dog fish

Check out the Golden Gate Bridge behind me, catching a shark ( even one so small) in these sorroundings is a memory I will treasure forever.

The USA bans fundamental statistical concepts ?

Well as you know I have decided to spend this Xmas in San Francisco with my wonderful wife. On my travels I have seen many strange things things in my travels around the world but I have never seen the banning of a statistical concept…

use of median prohibited

what next banning of averages ? wont this make life difficult ? though it would certainly explain what happened with the US banking industry 🙂 then again as a Brit I can hardly talk…

Anyway I will try to get more posts up later in the week including one from my latest fishing experience where I went fishing for Sharks in the SF bay. More later .