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Thursday, 19 April 2018

Sea Fishing for Beginners

Sea Fishing for Beginners
Sea fishing can seem complicated and confusing from the outside. With our advice and guidance in this article we can show you that with a well-chosen rod, a few rigs and a variety of bait we can help you successfully master it. You’ll be casting and catching in no time at all.

There’s a huge range of different sea fishing rods available, which cover every imaginable type of sea fishing. Have a think about what type of fishing you'd like to do before you go and make your purchases. Even visit us in store to see what you are comfortable with. Shore rods come in many sizes from 6ft to 15ft and depending on where and what you fish depends on the size of the rod you need to buy. If you are going to be mostly spinning and float fishing then a 7-9ft spinning rod will be perfectly fine for both. However, a good quality all-round 12 to 14ft beachcaster will get you started and cover a wide range of fishing situations.

Okuma G-Force Beach Rod
Most sea anglers start off this way and then move on to more specialist equipment (such as LRF) once they’ve learned the basics of sea fishing.

There are two main types of sea reel used in sea fishing, fixed spools and multipliers. While many anglers will claim multipliers offer the best performance, fixed spool reels are the easiest to use, and make the most sense for a beginner.
Penn Spinfisher V
‘Terminal tackle’ is the term used for the equipment which you will tie onto the end of your line – hooks, links, swivels and beads are all terminal tackle, and go together to make your ‘rig’. There’s a huge selection of terminal tackle for anglers to choose from, which can seem overwhelming to someone new to the sport.

Many new sea anglers purchase ready-made sea rigs. This is a great way of learning how rigs work and how to construct them, with many anglers soon progressing on to creating their own rigs using rig making accessories.

Using a good all-round rod to begin with will allow you to fish a variety of venues and locations. We’ll cover a couple of places that are ideal for beginners but feel free to find out for yourself what works.

Beach Fishing
Beaches are a great place to start as they can offer snag-free fishing, which is a bonus as you will learn. It is always best to visit a beach at low tide and look for features which will attract fish such as gullies, structures or depressions in the sand. When the tide comes in, natural food sources such as dislodged shellfish, marine worms and small fish gather in these places, making them an excellent area to cast near to.

Pier Fishing
Piers are a popular angling spot due to their easy access, and the ability to place a baited hook into deep water without a large cast. This may be an attractive proposition if you haven’t mastered casting yet.

Two Hook Flapper Rig
Two hook flapping rigs are a good choice when fishing from piers, but it can pay to use size 1/0 or 2/0 hooks in a strong pattern. This size allows smaller fish to be caught while retaining the strength to handle a larger fish if ones takes the bait.

Ragworm is one of the most effective baits for sea fishing and can catch everything from small Flatfish to specimen sized Bass, Cod and Rays. Indeed, pretty much every fish species in the UK can be caught on Ragworm. Another advantage is that Ragworm is easy to present on the hook and stands up well to casting.

Marukyu Isome Worm
Artificial Baits deserve real consideration and are a superb addition to any sea angler's arsenal. Isome Worm is a versatile bait which comes in a variety of colours and sizes and works extremely well with simple bait rigs. The realistic worm shape and natural movement makes it look alive and attractive to the target fish. The fish also can't resist the unique flavor and smell.

Mackerel is another top bait. Strips of Mackerel are rich in fish-attracting oils and many species around the UK can be caught on them.

The more you fish the more you will learn about what bait works best for you.

If bait isn't for you then lure fishing is the way to go. A lure is the generic term for anything designed to look like prey for the fish. It is intended to tempt the larger fish to attack. Many anglers find lure fishing exciting as they are constantly active, casting and retrieving, knowing a fish could take the lure at any moment. It also allows you to go fishing at short notice without having to buy or catch fresh bait.
Tronixpro Casting Lures
The need for deeper water means that piers, jetties and rock marks are the places where lure anglers will most often be found. Using lures for sea fishing goes hand in hand with lighter tackle, and hooking a Pollock, Coalfish or Wrasse on light gear is one of the most exciting types of fishing to be found.  Even a single Mackerel is tremendous fun if hooked on the right tackle.

There are numerous lures types to choose from. Metal, plastic, rubber and feathers means there is a lure for every situation. Spinners may be your first port of call. Spinners are so called because they spin, wobble or revolve as they are reeled in which mimics the movement of a small fish. Spinners for mackerel are easily affordable. Heavier spinners, and the more realistic ones designed for catch Bass, are a little more expensive. Traditionally, most spinners are silver, a colour which resembles prey fish such as sandeel or sprats, although these days spinners come in a range of colours which are just as effective as traditional silver spinners.

Mustad Mackerel Feathers
While spinners used with light rod and reels provide great sport for summer mackerel many people choose another method and instead employ feathers or daylights. Feathers and daylights are hooks, usually sized 1 – 2/0 dressed with feathers or plastic to resemble small fish. There are a huge range of feathers and daylights available on the market today, and as Mackerel are unfussy predators they can be caught on pretty much any of the different types of feather/daylights which are available.

Plugs can be sinking or floating and are available in a wide variety of designs. There are many different types of plug available to anglers today, and sea fishing with this type of lure is increasing in popularity. Some plugs are designed to float on or near to the surface of the water, whereas others are designed to go under the water, with the size and angle of the diving vane dictating how deep the plug will go as it is retrieved.

Soft and rubber lures are extremely effective for a range of predatory fish. These types of lures are made from rubber or soft plastic and have an extremely realistic and life-like action making them ideal for targeting large species such as Bass or Pollock.
Ecogear Sofbait
A simple sea fishing set up can equip you with the tools to successfully catch a range of different species from several different marks. Keeping equipment, rigs, hooks and bait simple is the best bet for those new to the sport. There are more advancements in rods, reels and terminal tackle waiting for you once you master the basics.

If you would like more information about getting started with sea fishing, you can contact us on 0141 212 8880 or visit us in store at the Glasgow & Edinburgh Angling Centres where our expert staff will be happy to help you.  

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Fishing For Ferox

Fishing for Ferox
Ferox are as aggressive and carnivorous as their name implies. These cannibalistic and voracious feeders live in deep water and owe their size to their protein-rich diet. These huge Trout will feast on everything from Arctic Char, Brown Trout, Coarse Fish, Frogs and even Small Rodents.

The first big question that you need to ask is where are Ferox and Predatory Trout found?

Many of the large glacial lakes and lochs could potentially be hiding these monsters, they have a marked preference for Arctic Char so if you find them, may find Ferox.

Ferox make wide-ranging movement and have been found to congregate around Loch outlets during the Salmon smolt run. Ferox are active during the day and have been recorded making dives down to 30 metres, possibly in pursuit of deep-dwelling Char. This suggests that Ferox are active pursuit predators as opposed to ambush predators using cover to attack prey.

Your next big question is, how do you catch them? The most common way, and many would argue the only way, is trolling.

If you are unfamiliar with trolling then here is a brief description. Trolling is a method of fishing where one or more fishing lines, baited with lures or bait, are drawn through the water, usually behind a moving boat. These traditional techniques are often complimented with state of the art boating equipment whilst you carefully and systematically search the area for the fish.

Humminbird Helix 9X CHIRP
Your chances of catching will be substantially higher if you invest in specialist equipment such as fish finders. The Humminbird Helix 9X CHIRP is built for those who want to see everything at once. It is almost more like a tablet than a regular finder, making it a valuable addition to your boat.

While many fish finders point directly underneath your boat, higher end units like this one will sweep to the sides as well. Side sweeping is much more valuable as it allows you to find fish wherever you are, rather than finding them, moving the boat, and then trying to catch them.

Having GPS included in your finder makes it easier to pinpoint your location and mark hot spots so you can return to where the fish are time and time again.

Investing in this kind of kit not only helps you find the fish but your trolling experience will be safer and more productive as you avoid running aground and snagging your lines.

There are several boat rods that can be used for trolling. The rod must be able to withstand heavy pressure. A lighweight rod may break under the pressure. A rod of around 11-12 feet should be used for the port and starboard sides. Anglers have been known to use old salmon fly rods around 15 feet. The reason that you need a longer rod is simple. When you make turns with the boat, it ensures the lines do not cross and tangle.

Westin W3 Trolling Rod
There are many makes of rods available for trolling but unlike other conventional trolling and downrigger rods the Westin W3 Trolling Rods are designed specifically for trolling large lures and targeting big freshwater predators. These rods are ready to set the hooks even if the lures are swimming far from the boat. The rods will also handle line-mounted planers, paravane and other tactics used for modern predator trolling.

It is a matter of personal preference when it comes to reels. Multiplier Reels are preferred by many anglers as they are great if you hook into a big fish. Multipliers come with level winds which help get an even lay of the line when you wind in. Some multipliers are available with a line counter that shows the angler how much line is out, this can help the angler know how deep the lure is fishing or how far the line is from the back of the boat. If you see fish at a certain depth you can let out the exact length of line to get your lure to the fish.
Okuma Cold Water Line Counter Multiplier

The Okuma Cold Water Line Counter is a premium multiplier with seemingly endless features all designed to deal with the toughest cold water conditions. Little details like the expanded wide mouth level wind that can acccomodate allbright knots or thick wire leaders. From a drag system that is a dream to use to the ergonomically designed handle all in all this the weapon of choice when trolling for massive Trout.

When it comes to line, although it's personal preference, a lot of anglers use braid for trolling. Braid has very little stretch so you feel everything. You should always use a snubber when fishing with braid. One of the reasons for missed strikes when trolling is the sudden jerk the fish feels when mouthing a lure. These in-line snubbers let the fish feel the "live resistance" it expects, and keeps it holding on long enough for you to set the hook.

Just to reiterate line really is up to the individual angler. A monofilament line with a breaking strain of around 15 - 20 lbs should be ideal. Many anglers normally use 15 lbs on their side rods and 20 lbs for the downrigger.

Canon Lake Troll
Downriggers are a great accessory when trolling. There are many different makes and styles to choose from. Downriggers are available either manual control or electric. The rod sits in the downrigger holder and the line is set out 30-40yds. The line is clipped to an 8lb lead weight attached to the downrigger cable. The line is attached to a release clip which is set to allow the line to release when a fish is hooked. The tension needs to be enough to set the hook but release the line once the fish is hooked. The downrigger weight is then lowered to the desired depth. When you are trolling, and a fish hits the lure, ideally the fish will be hooked, and the line released from the clip. All you must do is wind up the downrigger weight and play the fish.

Savage Gear Manic Prey Deep Diver
The right lure at right speed will attract big Ferox. The key is the striking rate. A Ferox attack is usually very aggressive and it’s important that you nail your strike at the right time to set the hook.

Lures make a tempting enough snack and on most occasions and will be often be found fully in the Trout’s mouth after the attack, which should make your job of setting the hook a bit easier. Using natural coloured lures with a steady action are a good choice.
Savage Gear 4play Lip Scull
When trolling with frozen bait, the bait should always be mounted head first on the trace so that it appears to be swimming. Hook the top treble through the lips while the bottom treble is hooked along the back directly above the anal vent, the hook spacing is critical. The Ferox aims for the middle of the bait but as its still being drawn through the water it hits towards the back end of the bait around the vent area, so to hook these fish the bottom treble must be further back than normal.

It's worth noting that Ferox are often accidentally caught by anglers targeting big Pike. This should give you a good indication of the aggression and appetite that these monster Trout have. So if you feel your Pike is fighting differently as you reel in, don't be surprised if it isn't a Pike at all.

There will always be a debate about what constitutes as a Ferox Trout, but these techniques certainly produce specimen sized predatory fish.

Of course, large wild Brown Trout like this are prized by fishermen, yet only a tiny proportion of the Trout in a lake or loch may be are Ferox depending on the water and the fish stock. These valuable and rare fish must be protected. Catch-and-release is therefore of the utmost importance.

If you would like more information about the tackle and tactics mentioned in this article, you can contact us on 0141 212 8880 or visit us in store at the Glasgow & Edinburgh Angling Centres where our expert staff will be happy to help you. 

This article was brought to you in association with Trout Fisherman magazine.

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

The McPhail Emerger Caddis with Davie McPhail - Fly Tying Tutorial

Davie fulfills his friend's wishes this week as he ties his very own McPhail Emerger Caddis, in response to a request for an emerger-version of a standard Pupa. Using a CDC bubble, you can be sure that this fly will bob back up onto the surface when cast or if pulled across the water. This amazing fly is an evolution of a Balloon Caddis and other CDC balloon type patterns.

All of the materials needed to tie this fly are available from Glasgow Angling Centre as listed below, but as always if you need any help finding materials or substitutes then we'll be happy to help. Without further ado, here's Davie McPhail's "McPhail" Emerger Caddis.

Materials Used:
Hook: Fulling Mill Czech Nymph Barbless Hook Sz16
Thread: Uni Thread 8/0 - Dark Brown
Shuck: Veniard Polypropylene - Light Yellow which is then barred with a Brown Marker Pen
Legs: English Brown Partridge Fibres
Body: Dyed Brown CDC and Roe Deer, dyed with Cinnamon dye.
Thorax: SLF Standard Dubbing - Rust Brown
Horns: Bronze Mallard Fibres 
Additional materials: Additionally, Davie made use of some Varnish before whip-finishing in order to lock in the results of the whip finish.

Davie's preferred type of whip finish tool can be found HERE!

Monday, 16 April 2018

How to tie an Olive French Partridge Mayfly with Davie McPhail

Davie ties an Olive variant of a French Partridge Mayfly that is known to have great success in Spring and early Summer, all the way through till late into Autumn as a Wetfly, earning it a place in your fly box. The "Green Drake" has earned its popularity across the UK due to its effectiveness when fished on the bob as the Mayfly are hatching but it can also be fished dry although abnormal can be effective.
The French Partridge is similar to some other flies such as the Olive Drowned Mayfly.

All of the materials needed to tie this fly are available from Glasgow Angling Centre as listed below, but as always if you need any help finding materials or substitutes then we'll be happy to help. But now it's time to learn how to tie an Olive French Partridge Mayfly from Fulling Mill's own Davie McPhail.

Materials Used:
Hook: Fulling Mill 31530 Competition Heavyweight
Thread: Uni Thread 8/0 - Olive
Tail: Natural Cock Pheasant Tail Fibres
Rib: Uni French Oval, Gold/Small
Body: Pale Yellow Artificial Raffia
Body Hackle: Indian Cock - Olive
Thorax: French Partridge - Olive
Additional materials: Additionally, Davie made use of some Varnish on the head of the fly, avoiding the feathers/fibres.

Davie's preferred type of whip finish tool can be found HERE!

Monday, 9 April 2018

How To Catch Spring Rays

How To Catch Spring Rays
Rays are thriving right now, and this is because they are not targeted by commercial fishing. This not only means stocks are increasing, but they are getting bigger, too. As a sea fishing angler, you should be cashing in this spring and be targeting a real specimen fish exceeding double figures in weight.

There are numerous Rays found in British waters; Thornback, Small-Eyed, Spotted, and Blonde to name a few, and you can catch them all on the spring run with our easy-to-follow guide.

As with most species, the secret to catching them is first to find them. Rays tend to be localised on certain types of seabeds and venues and because they are a shoal species, find one and there will be others.

As the weather warms and we gradually get deeper into spring, Rays can be effectively targeted at most venues. An entire stretch of coastline can hold fish, so for the sake of spring Ray fishing, focus your attention on the coastlines.

Most Rays prefer a clean or mixed sand/mud seabed, although is commonly found on clear sandy patches, the drop-off edges of sandbanks, in the large estuaries and close to thick kelp and rock in deep water. They can also be found rough ground consisting of rocks, boulders and reefs.

Water depth is not too critical because Rays will happily feed in just a few feet of water, although if the winter has been a particularly cold one, which it has been, the deeper marks may be favourable.

An observation worth considering is that although rays will feed during most stages of the tidal cycle, a spring tide can make it very hard to keep your end tackle pinned to the seabed. This will result in your lead weight clawing its way across the mud before eventually tripping. For this reason, tides in the neap to mid-range offer more practical angling conditions.

As always with fishing, it advisable to fish with a friend for your catch to be safely landed. Modern sea fishing boots with hefty treads that will aid your grip on slippery rocks and piers increase your overall confidence. If you are fishing on the rocks you want your flotation suit or life jacket either are a worthwhile investment and something that may one day save your life.

With Ray numbers increasing, so is their range, and more and more regions are experiencing increased catches of Rays, in many cases where they have never been caught before.

Cumbria, Lancashire, the Humber and even Tyne and Wear are starting to produce more Rays, while existing strongholds like South West Scotland, Wales, the Bristol Channel, the English Channel and Ireland have all seen numbers of rays and average size increasing, especially inshore.

Catching Rays is not difficult by any stretch of the imagination, and, as a result, you will have a real fighting chance of landing a specimen fish.

The fish itself will not put a tremendous strain on your gear, but the venues you fish will often require the use of heavier lead weights, which means you will need a more powerful rod. Anything capable of casting six or seven ounces of lead will be adequate.

Standard beach casting tackle based around 15lb mainline is ideal for clear ground, but over mixed ground go up to 18lb or even 20lb line. Two rods give the angler an option to try different baits and casting ranges.

Greys GR100S Beach Rod
Keeping a hooked ray from shovelling its nose into the mud and any potential snags require a rod with a little backbone, as well as a suitably matched high-retrieve reel, be it multiplier or fixed-spool.

A multiplier reel filled with good quality high visibility 20lb monofilament (or 30lb braid on a fixed-spool reel) should the job. Colourful lines will make little difference to the fish in the muddy sludge but will aid you greatly as an additional bite indicator during night sessions. A long shock leader may help with landing fish if you are fishing at a considerable height above the water.
Daiwa SL30SH Multiplier
Hooks should be strong and sharp, as they should be for any form of fishing. In general, you need to cast more than 100 yards, often further. There is one rig that is particularly favoured for catching Rays, and that’s the pulley rig. This is a single hook rig that mixes the principles of a flowing trace with a mono paternoster. It is considered ideal for catching big fish at maximum range and is particularly efficient at avoiding snags.

Heavy snoods should also be used. There is no reason not to go as heavy as 80lb – again diameter comes into this, and anything of between 0.70mm and 0.90mm will prevent the abrasive crushing pads the ray is equipped with from grinding through it.

The presentation will not be affected, indeed when used in conjunction with a pulley rig this heavier trace line creates a boom-like effect, ensuring the trace line stands proud of the rig body and eliminates tangles. Adding links and clips as well will ensure your bait doesn’t eject mid-flight.

The Ray’s feed on most marine life as they are scavengers of the seabed. Crabs, Worms and Prawns will all interest Rays, but perhaps the most versatile is a large fish bait, either Herring, Mackerel or in recent years frozen Sandeel.

In many estuary regions the rays come inshore in spring in search of the peeling crabs, so Peelers can also be an effective bait in some regions at this time of year.

In spring two baits worth real considerations are Squid and Bluey. Squid is a favourite with many anglers for both its practicalities in the casting stakes and its undoubted fish-attracting properties. One piece of Squid can be well fished for over an hour before needing to be replaced.

Baitbox Ilex Squid
Some whole small calamari can be nicked just above its eye and whipped to the shank of a size 5/0 wide-gaped hook, the top Pennell hook used to secure the opposite end of the bait.

It is often the top hook that finds its way into the corner of the Ray’s jaw. If your squid are on the large side, cut them lengthways straight down the middle and present them in the same manner.

Baitbox Blueys
Bluey has become an equal favourite works especially well when used in conjunction with squid. Casting a Bluey bait out on a calm day produces a huge oil slick, which gives you some indication of the bait’s potency. Other baits will certainly work, but if you fill your freezer with these two, you really won’t go far wrong.
Cocktail baits can also be made. A combination of Sandeels and Squid is an increasingly popular option. Securing the bait together with bait elastic and you will have one deadly bait for targeting Rays.

Use bait elastic to secure your bait will ensure it is as streamlined as possible if you need extra yards on your cast. A useful trick is to hold a length of stainless wire alongside the bait as you whip it to the hooks. This gives you something firm to hold on to as you wind on the elastic and ensures that the bait is as straight as possible for casting. When you have finished whipping the bait on, simply slide the wire out.

Rays often fall on to bait and smother it. Having an under-slung mouth, this can produce lots of rod tip movement but lots of missed fish because of premature strikes.Wait until the fish moves off after taking the bait. Bites are positive and can pull a rod in, so secure it or set the drag so the spool is released on the ratchet if a ray pulls line tight.

It can be a game of chance in that that most of the Rays you will land will be the small to medium-sized ones, but the larger females are often there as well. It is just a case of getting a bait past the youngsters first.

Despite their hostile appearance, Ray's can be safely handled without the need for towels, gloves and the like. Lift the Ray by the indentations either side of its head and turn it on its back to remove the hooks. A T-bar disgorger does a great job when removing hooks from Rays.

Remember it's rare to see a Ray retained now, even for competitions, so it is encouraged that everyone to return their fish safely.

If you would like more information about the fishing tackle needed for catching Rays, you can contact us on 0141 212 8880 or visit us in store and our expert team will be happy to help you.

This article was brought to you in association with Sea Angler magazine.

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Fishingmegastore's March 2018 Fish of the Month Winners!

The winner of the Fishingmegastore Fish of the Month Competition for March 2018 is Iain McLaren with this picture of his Salmon from the River Tay! As always the judging of our competition was left to our 43,000+ Facebook fans, who voted on their favourite pictures by hitting the Like button, and Iain was the clear winner with 440 votes in our March 2018 Fishingmegastore FOTM Facebook Gallery!

Iain wins £100 to spend at Glasgow Angling Centre on fishing gear of his choice plus a nifty GAC cap! We would like to thank everybody that took part, especially all of the youngsters who entered. 

Iain McLaren - 1st Place - 440 Likes

Gavin Mason - 2nd Place - 25 Likes
It's always great to see all the amazing different species from up and down the UK and around the world we get sent in as well! You can check out all the entries here.

Every month our world famous FOTM competition grows bigger and better, with amazing pictures of different fish species being sent in by our customers. We give an awesome new GAC Cap to the entrants that came in 2nd and 3rd place as well, so well done to the runners up, Gavin Mason and Ryan Kerr, both with cracking fish pics that got a lot of Likes from the voting public - well done guys!
Ryan Kerr - 3rd Place - 14 Likes
If you would like to enter our April 2018 FOTM competition, simply send us a photograph of you and your catch, when and where you caught your fish, and what tackle and method you used HERE. You can also enter instore - just ask a member of staff for assistance. The winners will be voted for by our customers, simply by hitting Like on the image on Facebook in the entries album and will be chosen on the last day of each month. The best entries will be featured on both
our Blog and Facebook page. Good luck and we look forward to seeing the entries. Submit your entry here ...

If you are having difficulty using the the online entry form, simply email your picture and details to any of the usual fishingmegastore addresses, with FOTM in the subject line!  Don't forget to read our Terms and Conditions - please click HERE to see them!

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Catching Perch on Simple Tackle

Catch Perch on Simple Tackle
It’s been a horrible winter this year, writes Tim Ridge from Chapmans Angling. Cold but prolonged wet weather scuppered my planned campaigns for chub on the rivers great Ouse & Trent and because I was looking forward to these trips so much, I struggled to maintain the enthusiasm to get out on the bankside to fish for much else.

I did muster a few exploratory big roach trips to a very large body of water which had a dim and distant history of producing roach over the magical two pound barrier, but this was primarily out of a sense of duty, a feeling that I really ought to get out on the bankside before the winter was well & truly wasted. Four trips later, and with nothing to show for my efforts but a few chewed maggots, I lost the incentive to continue with the experiment.

Tim with a 3lb 6oz Perch
With my ‘winter of discontent’ now hopefully out of the way, there are few short weeks ahead, when my attention usually turns to Perch. Just for a change this campaign will not involve travelling to opposite ends of the country as there are several specimen perch fisheries reasonably close to my home. Indeed there has probably never been a better time to target these fish as they seem to distributed throughout the country within a variety of different venues.

Though I’m generally quite critical of commercial ‘type’ carp fisheries with their vast and ‘condensed’ stocking levels of permanently hungry cyprinid species, I’m not too proud to fish for the perch which tend to live a life of veritable plenty by eating the never-ending supply of small fish that live in these small ponds. Most, if not all of these commercial fisheries, have a population of perch exceeding 2lbs and many have fish of 3 or even 4lbs or more, though be aware that the numbers of fish in such venues can vary from dozens to just a small handful. One such venue of my acquaintance has produced only four individual perch but what fish they were, range in weight from 3lb 13oz to 4lb 6oz.

Commercial fisheries aren’t the only venues which can produce perch to ‘specimen’ size. Some canals and rivers and even a few ‘natural’ stillwaters have a sufficient wealth of small fish to enable the resident stripey population to grow to impressive proportions. I don’t believe it is a coincidence that competition for food, in the form of pike or zander, is generally either limited or non-existent on waters that produce specimen sized perch.

Perch Tackle & Technique
The intimacy of my venues suits me perfectly because this lends itself to the use of one of my favourite methods: simple float fishing with a ‘waggler’ type float. The hookbait is either a large lobworm or fresh/frozen uncooked king prawn. When I first started using prawns, I suffered a lack of confidence in the bait because I couldn’t see why perch would bother to investigate them. I have no such issues these days, having caught perch from a wide range of different venues on this bait. Also, a huge king prawn does sometimes offer some respite from the often constant attention of ‘nuisance’ carp that can be a problem on commercial fisheries.

Simple Perch Tackle
You can feed regularly or otherwise with pretty much anything a perch will eat. I’ve caught specimen perch in swims baited with Maggots, casters, worm sections, chopped prawns, or bits of finely chopped coarse fish bought from the bait fridge at Chapmans Angling. These have all successfully been included in my groundbaits for perch, however I do find that they attract carp, so these days I tend to restrict myself to a regular ball of finely sieved (unwetted) molehill soil (you can use dampened & sieved black groundbait to the same end). The purpose of this is to colour the water up. Perch have an affinity for feeding during periods of reduced light and the black cloud created by the molehill soil not only reduces light penetration but contains microparticles of the digested lobworms, eaten by the mole!

There is absolutely no necessity for elaborate or expensive rods when targeting specimen perch with float tackle. I personally like float rods with a little extra rigidity in the mid-section. They feel crisper and more responsive than those with a ‘through’ type action. They cast more accurately and using your left hand as a lever placed some way up the butt section such rods provide that little bit of power to stop a specimen perch from reaching the submerged branches and snags that the species is so fond of hanging about near.

Stillwater Matchstix Float Rod
3000 Front Drag Reel
I particularly like the Stillwater Matchstix 12ft float rod though there are dozens of others (inexpensive or otherwise) that I would happily use. Regarding reels, yet again the requirements are basic. I have to admit that I often sill use an old 1970’s Mitchell 300 that has been repaired many times but I also use several modern 3000 sized fixed spool reels. For example a Daiwa Ninja 3000, Korum Front Force Reel or TFG Match Feeder is ideal for Perch fishing. The only specific requirement is that the reel performs its desired function and is filled properly (up to the spool lip) with good quality four-pound monofilament line although some anglers do like modern braids I prefer to stick with mono. If I felt so inclined, I would use a centrepin reel since there is rarely a need to cast far, however battling a centrepin to retrieve the line can become hard work at times and in truth, on stillwaters the only possible advantage of a centrepin reel would be aesthetic.

Stillwater Severn Centrepin Reel
I tend to use quite wide diameter pellet-waggler floats with thick visible tips for my perch fishing. Perch have a habit of grabbing at the bait and engulfing it on the move. A strike timed as soon as the float submerges, frequently results in the bait (or part of it) being missing on retrieval (along with the perch responsible). The highly visible thick float tip enables me to track its progress under the water. I usually watch the float go under whereupon it usually halts a couple of inches beneath the surface. I strike when/if it begins to move away again positively and disappear completely from view. Experiments have shown that if the float re-emerges after briefly sinking then small perch or other species are responsible so this tactic of waiting for a positive bite, serves the purpose of enabling the technique to be selective. The length of the float is generally short. Long floats aren’t necessary since the pellet wagglers that I use are fairly buoyant and being ‘anchored’ by a heavy prawn or lobworm, surface skim/undertow is never a problem.

Stillwater Pellet Waggler Floats
The ‘shotting pattern’ couldn’t be simpler. I place a no4 split shot about six inches from my hook with a larger No1/BB shot about eight inches above this. The remaining shot required to dot the float down to about 1inch is all placed around the base of the float as a means of locking it at the required depth. I generally use a clip on plummet to ascertain the correct depth setting, nipping the plummet to the no4 shot and adjusting the float's position so that a couple of inches just submerges it under the weight of the plummet. This dictates that when the plummet is removed, the lowest no4 shot is set a couple of inches off the bottom. I don’t feel the need to ‘dot’ the float down to the merest pimple on the surface. Big perch are surprisingly bold when taking a float-fished bait and as I’ve already hinted, making the rig too sensitive can result in the angler catching lots of nuisance fish.

Sema Plummet 
Commercial fishery rules usually stipulate the use of barbless hooks but keeping a lobworm on a hook with no barb can be somewhat trying to say the least. You will be pleased to know I’ve found a solution to this (I am. That’s for sure). I tie a barbless size 6 Korum Expert Specialist hook direct to the end of my mainline using a grinner knot but don’t trim the tag end too close to the hook (a 4mm knot tag is about right). By threading the worm up the hook a bit like a sea angler does with lugworm, with part of it (the fat end) threaded just past the knot tag, the stiff mono tag end stops the worm from recoiling back down the hook shank. Prawns are simply hooked in the middle, using the same size and pattern of hook. The only necessary precaution is to ensure the hook point is not covered in bait so that it can penetrate the bony mouth of the perch.  For any other venue, the Kamasan B980 Specimen Hook will do the job.

Kamasan B980 Specimen Hooks
Location is largely a matter of trial and error, but there can be some ‘physical’ features to look for. Perch like to herd small prey fish into corners where they can pick of any vulnerable individuals. They also like snaggy areas because these enable the pray to be ambushed from the points of camouflage offered by such underwater structures. If there is a small snaggy corner then this is usually the first place I try. Similarly, perch often take advantage of reed beds, again for the camouflage they offer. I frequently catch big perch in just a couple of foot of water with my float almost touching the individual reed stems. Lastly, perch have an affinity for cover in the form of overhanging tree branches and the like. This is probably because of the reduction in light found in such places. Perch are said to have eyesight that is superior to that of their prey in conditions of low light, and it would seem areas, where light cannot penetrate, are favoured for this reason.

Tim with a Cracking Perch From a Snaggy Swim
As highlighted by Tim, Perch fishing on commercial fisheries, lakes and lochs is ‘technically’ very easy, and within the efforts of just about anyone, it is relatively cost-effective requiring the use of minimal items of tackle that most anglers will already own.  It also requires simple and inexpensive baits. Best of all, there are so many Perch venues around the UK that are within reach of almost everyone, offering some fantastic sport for this truly iconic species.

If you would like more information about Perch fishing tackle, rods, reels and techniques, you can contact us on 0141 212 8880 and our expert team will be happy to help you.

Monday, 2 April 2018

A Lesson in tying the Olive Lite Brite Buzzer by Davie McPhail

This week, Davie keeps it simple once again when he ties an Olive Lite Brite Buzzerk, with very few materials. This fly is basically a black and olive version of a buzzer, similar to Fulling Mill's offerings of this Fluorescent Green Olive Buzzer and Buzzer 3D Glass Dark Olive

All of the materials needed to tie this fly are available from Glasgow Angling Centre as listed below, but as always if you need any help finding materials or substitutes then we'll be happy to help. Without further ado, here's Davie McPhail tying his take on an Olive Lite Brite Buzzer.

Materials Used:
Hook: Fulling Mill All-Purpose Medium Sz10
Thread: UTC Thread - Black (70)
Rib: Olive Super-Stretch Floss
Body: UTC Thread - Black (70)
Wingbuds: Davie uses his own mix of Gold and Pearl Olive Lite-Brite fibres, however suitable replacements include FlashabouMirror Flash or Mirage Tinsel
Additional materials: Additionally, Davie used Fulling Mill's UV Glass Resin and a clear varnish to spruce up the appearance of the fly.

Davie's preferred type of whip finish tool can be found HERE!

Friday, 30 March 2018

Super Savings This Week on the Bauer SST Jet Black Fly Reels

Deal of the Week - Bauer Black SST Reels

Striking design with awesome performance Bauer Reels are Rolls Royce or Swiss Watch quality manufactured entirely on the Bauer Factory Floor in the USA these reels are as good as it gets.

Take a trip around the Bauer Factory where these reels were made

The Bauer SST Fly Reel is a large arbor reel with a narrow profile frame. This reel is used and trusted by anglers around the world. Equipped with some of the best technology, the SST provides excellent performance and durability.

The Bauer SST Fly Reel is precision-machined and built from aerospace bar stock aluminum and stainless steel for corrosion resistance, maximum strength, and low maintenance.

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Fishingmegastore Reward Card Members Only Pre-Sale @GAC Thursday 29th of March 2018!

As a special thank-you to all our loyal shop customers who joined our rewards Reward Card Scheme, we will be offering all of our rescheduled Spring Open Weekend deals a day early to all of our Fishingmegastore Reward Card holders!
Join the 1000's of customers already reaping the Reward Card benefits!
From 5.30pm until 9pm on Thursday the 29th of March 2018 Fishingmegastore Reward Card holders who come to the store will beat the crowds and still qualify for all of our amazing deals and offers that we were keeping for the weekend! Even if you haven't received your card in the post yet, simply show a staff member a recent receipt with your unique barcode on it, and they can quickly verify your membership so you can qualify for all the deals!
Over 75,000 of our customers are already benefiting from the scheme by earning points every time they shop with us that soon add up to money off future tackle purchases!
Don't have a Reward Card yet? You still have time to sign up, just ask any member of staff instore any time or apply online HERE! Beat the crowds and still benefit from the Spring Open Weekend deals, plus you never know what angling celebrities just might be hanging around, setting up for this weekends big event!
See below for just a few of the hundreds of deals we will be giving Reward Card holders exclusive early access to from 5.30pm until 9pm on Thursday the 29th of March 2018, and of course these offers will be available to all of our customers instore on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday of the Open Weekend Event, along with demonstrations, tuition and previews of this years up and coming products from all the big suppliers in what has become the UK's largest FREE angling event!
There really is something for everyone at these events, that's why they are the biggest in Scotland - and this one promises to be the biggest ever! With FREE parking and FREE entry, there will be loads of things to see and do on the Open Weekend dates as well as some amazing bargains on all types of fishing tackle. Keep an eye out on FacebookTwitter and instore for more info on what's going on at this event! Plus don't forget to register for your FREE GIFT on the day! Click HERE for details!
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