FishSpy Echo Pro – The Ultimate fish and feature finder – Pre-Order !!

For the first time ever, FishSpy Echo Pro combines cutting edge sonar and live stream video camera.

If that isn’t enough, Echo Pro also allows you produce bathymetric maps using its built in GPS chip.

Priced at just £229.99, Echo Pro is now available to pre-order here.

A new era begins…. For the first time ever sonar depth sounder and underwater camera combine; the awesome new FishSpy Echo Pro is the complete fish and feature finder. Why settle for just sonar technology when you can have the power of two – Sonar AND live video? Packed with features including sonar, GPS, lake mapping, file storage and amazing high quality live video streaming and recording, Echo Pro can be cast with a rod or attached to a boat.

Uncover the secrets of the places you fish, discover underwater structures; reveal the composition of lake bottoms, riverbeds and floors, reveal the depths of your waters; Echo Pro uses powerful sonar and crystal clear video to locate features and fish. Wherever you fish, bank, boat or shore Echo Pro’s combined power of sonar and video guarantee you miss nothing. Echo Pro streams live lake information direct to your smartphone or tablet and is purpose made to be stored in your tackle box. Echo Pro is even compact enough to be carried in your pocket.

Features:

– Cutting edge Echo Sounder technology
– Live video streaming
– Record and download video footage
– Switch modes at the touch of a screen
– Offline Sonar plot history
– Built in GPS locator
– Build bathometric lake maps – study offline
– Locate features and find fish
– Huge 100m plus range
– Android & iOs compatible

ORDER FISHSPY ECHO PRO HERE

FishSpy Echo Pro Sonar and Camera – available to order now!!

FishSpy & TF Gear Carp Fishing Shows 2019

The FishSpy and Total Fishing Gear team are pleased to announce we will be attending a number of the UK’s leading carp fishing tackle shows during the early part of 2019.

The unique FishSpy camera is one of the biggest products to ever hit the carp fishing scene – there simply hasn’t been anything like this before! So naturally we appreciate you might want to take a closer look at the innovative underwater camera that is becoming an essential bit of kit.

Therefore in early 2019 FishSpy will be on the road, giving you a perfect opportunity to ‘try before you buy’ prior to the carp fishing season kicking off. So why not come along and see what you’re missing?

In addition to FishSpy products and accessories, we will be showcasing select products from our parent company Total Fishing Gear, including the popular Airflo inflatable bivvy and Airbomb bait delivery device.

In running order, the 2019 FishSpy shows are:

Brentwood carp show

Brentwood carp show 2019

Dates: 26th & 27th January, The Brentwood center, Essex.

Packed full of exhibitors from all of the top carp fishing tackle brands, the Brentwood carp show is firmly established as a winter favourite. Make sure you check this show out – what else it there to do in January anyway!?

For more information and ticket prices visit the Brentwood carp show Facebook page.

The Northern Angling Show 7

Northern Angling Show 2019

Dates: 23rd & 24th February, Event City, Manchester.

This is the 7th year of the huge Northern Angling show, and a third appearance for FishSpy in this part of the country! A great opportunity for carp anglers based in the north of the UK to get to grips with FishSpy up close. The NAS has grown bigger and bigger each year and now boasts the highest footfall of any UK carp show. This year is set to have a record attendance and we can’t wait!

For more information and ticket prices click here.

The Big One

The Big One Shows 2019

Date: March 23rd & 24th  Farnborough, Hants.

Date: April 13th & 14th Stoneleigh, Midlands.

New for 2019 the Big One has TWO carp fishing shows! As well as the favourite Farnborough showground, there is a second venue at Stoneleigh park in the Midlands.

With the extra show The BIG ONE is going to be the largest carp fishing event in 2019 by far. This year will see the exhibitions jam packed with carp fishing celebs and top tackle marques – just in time for launching your full-on spring carp angling campaign.

For more information and ticket prices click here.

The FishSpy show stand


Thinking about buying a FishSpy, but cannot decide?

Seeing FishSpy first hand will truly open your eyes to what this ground breaking device can offer carp anglers. Discover exactly how it can improve your carp fishing and give you insights you had never dreamed of.

You will be able to speak to FishSpy’s designers, meet the Total Fishing Gear development team, see examples of actual FishSpy footage and on selected shows talk with Dave Lane, one of the UK’s foremost carp anglers who has been heavily involved in the intensive field testing of this product.

We will be able to answer all of your FishSpy questions and will have plenty of the cameras on hand for you to test and take a closer look at. FishSpy underwater cameras and accessories will also be available to purchase from ourselves at each show, so look out for super deals on the show days, including FishSpy cameras at just £99.99!

See you there

The FishSpy/TF Gear team

For further information please email: info@fishspy.com

Introducing TF Gear Airbomb: Shotgun Baiting

For the past 2 years we have been working on a project to improve the bait distribution market. After tireless testing, tweaking and design evolution our unique mid-air bait delivery device is now ready to take the carp world by storm. Introducing Airbomb and ‘shotgun’ baiting.

The Airbomb idea:

The Airbomb was the brainchild of Leighton Medway and Nick Rees, two Welsh carp anglers.

It was baiting up time whilst fishing Fendrod lake Swansea in 2016. Leighton Medway, 47 a Professional Golf Coach/Mechanical Engineer and Nick Rees 23 a Carpenter, both from Llanelli area South Wales had set up in tight swims with overhead trees. During their attempt at baiting up they kept catching the overhead obstacles which caused their payload of bait to burst and spread just yards in front of them. Unfortunately they were 16 rod lengths short of their mark.

This sparked the idea of trying to construct a casting style baiting tool which could offer them this spread of bait at any range they were capable of reaching. Both spent endless hours in Leighton’s garage trying to find a way of making this possible. After weeks of head scratching they managed to construct a prototype which was ready to be shown.

Fortunately Leighton had a good friend, Rob Williams, the Director of Total Fishing Gear. The natural path for this was to go there, and there was no better person to take this product to. Thanks to TF Gear and their staff’s knowledge, Leighton and Nick were able to work closely and endlessly with TF Gear to develop the Airbomb to what it is today. We hope you all enjoy using the Airbomb and it helps you bring more good fish to your nets.

The Airbomb official video

Product development – The TF Gear way

It took us a long time to get to the finished product. Over a period of over 2 years, extensive field testing and various prototype’s were used, abused and developed upon until a perfect combination was achieved.

Extreme product testing….

Built to last

The TF Gear Airbomb development team spent countless hours on the water, making tens of thousands of casts to ensure Airbomb was as durable and useful as possible. Many variables and designs were tested, and the final product bore fruit of literal blood, sweat and tears. Airbomb’s are made of a super resilient plastic polymer that is buoyant as well as almost indestructible.

How does it work?

Airbomb is triggered by a central pin, which controls opening and closure. When the Airbomb hits a reel clip in mid-air, the jolt is sufficient enough to open the chamber with such force that the bait flies out in a wide, beautifully scattered pattern several yards ahead, hence the term ‘shotgun baiting’.

Should you not hit your reel clip (or decide not too) Airbomb will not open upon impacting the water. So as well as giving you another chance to cast without wasting bait, this gives you the option of depositing your bait into an exact area. Simply overcast your spot, draw into position then open Airbomb with a shark jerk of the rod tip, thus allowing you to precision bait with incredible accuracy.

Why doesn’t it open when you cast?

We came up with an innovative system that transfers energy when the cast is made. A spring loaded rear clip takes the power of the cast, rather than the pin that triggers the Airbomb. During the cast, the spring releases a ring attached to a leader specially designed for distance casting. The transfer of energy through the leader ensures a smooth delivery without premature opening. As the clip is reached, the beads on the end of the leader trigger the Airbomb to open.

Airbomb casting

What is it made from?

Airbomb is made from a super tough and naturally buoyant plastic compound. It has been tested repeatedly in extreme conditions, including comprehensive destruction tests. We never had a single material failure during the testing process! We are confident the Airbomb has been built to the highest standard possible, meaning it will perform reliably time and time again.

Some advantages to consider

The two most common castable bait delivery products work by opening upon impact. This results in a narrow deposition of bait that can clump up tightly and even arose the suspicion of fish on heavily pressured venues. A wide bait spread can encourage confident feeding behavior and therefore more chance of a run. Some bait delivery products are prone to attack from nuisance birds; Airbomb has been shown to confuse these pests. Some other products have reliability issues, such as refusing to open, breaking easily or bursting apart early on the cast. Airbomb has been engineered to avoid these frustrating problems.

Additionally, in some waters carp have adapted to conventional baiting patterns, such as from baitboats, so we theorised this method of baiting would provide a completely new angle of attack for the carp fisher on heavily pressured venues. A wide spread of bait can encourage confidence, where carp feed and throw up silt and detritus which encourages yet more fish to investigate.

For baiting up tight to margins, snags and islands Airbomb is unbeatable. There is no risk of loosing your Airbomb through a careless cast. simply clip up and fire your bait tight onto the spot.

For surface fishing Airbomb has proved invaluable. spray biscuits and floaters at feeding carp without risk of spooking them.

Airbomb key points:

Airbomb is designed with the following functions in mind.

  • Airbomb releases payload in mid-air, creating a shotgun effect bait spread
  • Stealthy no spook baiting operation – Airbomb falls well away from the baited area
  • Spreads bait forward in a scattered pattern well beyond the reach of your cast
  • Aerodynamic design maximises casting range
  • Total accuracy every cast due to stable quad fin design
  • Massive load capacity
  • Easy and quick to fill – a once handed scoop operation is possible for efficient operation
  • Create vast beds of bait with speed and efficiency
  • Precision bait by drawing over weed gaps and localised feeding spots then jerking rod tip to open
  • No risk of spillage or wasted bait
  • Suitable for all carp fishing baits including boilies, particles and floaters
  • Naturally buoyant and effortless to retrieve
  • Heavy-duty and robust construction – will withstand extreme casting
  • Bait up far margins, snags or islands with no risk of losing Airbomb
  • Confuses nuisance birds and other bait eating pests
  • Perfect for floater fishing – release floating baits with no risk of spooking carp

When can I get one?

Airbomb’s are available from all good TF Gear dealers, priced at £14.99. or you can order your Airbomb through the website here.

Use Airbomb with any bait.

The Secret Diaries of Dave Lane

It’s what we’ve all been waiting for! The fishing has been on fire at the St Ives shallow lake over the past month, but as a tactical move Laney had to keep things quiet – and boy did it pay off!!

What you are about to see is a 4 part series of ‘secret’ carp fishing blogs, leading up to the capture of Colin, the 52lb 12oz St Ives lakes mega carp.

Watch part one here:

Watch part two here:

Watch part three here:

Watch part four here:

River Coarse Fishing with TF Gear Fishing Tackle

TF Gear team members Simon and Ceri recently headed down to the River Wye one evening after work. The guys picked up a decent catch of barbel and chub on a selection of TF Gear tackle, including the Airlite free-spool reel, Nantec mono and Banshee barbel rod.

This quick report with images shows what great fun you can have whilst river coarse fishing!

In the jungle, waiting for a bite!

Simon elected to use the new Nash Cultured boilie hook baits with a delivery of groundbait and pellet in PVA bags. The banshee barbel rod in 1.5lb test curve was definitely man enough for the job. These tactics paid off almost right away!

Releasing a River Wye barbel.

Using cage and feeder tactics with groundbait, Ceri started picking up decent sized chub on 8mm pellets, and also the odd minnow – some of them new personal bests!

Ground bait all ready to use.

A nice size chub.

A new PB minnow.

With 12lb nantec main line, there was no danger of loosing fish or tackle. The drag of the TF Gear Airlite reels are perfectly smooth, and excel in playing strong fish such as barbel and big river chub that like to dive for the nearest snag.

The TF Gear airlite reel size 40 is perfect for river coarse fishing.

Last knockings are often the best times for river coarse fishing – it really pays to stay on until the darkness and beyond if you can! There was a flurry of action as the light faded, with chub to 4lb and barbel to 6lb gracing the nets.

Last knockings River Wye barbel.

TF Gear fishing tackle is ideal for river coarse fishing, visit the website to checkout the entire range!

Dave Lane on Camera’s – Get your carp fishing self takes right!

I probably get asked as many questions about cameras as I do about fishing nowadays.

I suppose that I normally have a remote in my hand in most of my trophy shots and a lot of people would like to improve their self-photography as this is the main subject of the inquiries. The reason I take so many self-take photos is a mixture of two things really.

I do often fish alone and I much prefer it that way but, even when other anglers are on the lake, I tend to take my own pictures whenever possible. Firstly I do not like to drag other people away from their fishing, particularly not at the main bite times, which is generally when you have a fish to photograph.

If another angler has to reel in his rods to help me deal with a fish then I always think that I am depriving him the chance of a carp himself, which hardly seems fair.

Also, there are actually only a handful of people that I would trust to take shots that a fussy git like me will be happy with. This is not a slur on others photographic skills it is just that, once the fish has been returned, there is no chance for a second attempt.

A nice daytime self take

Photos are very important to me, I spend a lot of time chasing carp and I like to able to look back and see that magical moment, a sixtieth of a second, frozen forever in time.

Obviously the safety of the fish on the bank is paramount and yes, it is a lot to deal with when you have the camera and the carp to contend with but this is easily solved by forward planning, the correct equipment and a bit of practise without a real live fish in the equation.

All of this goes out of the window if I get a really huge fish, a target I have been hunting, a personal best or anything that really blows me away because, just like everyone else, I still get a bit flustered at the sight of a really special fish and then I will enlist some help.

Basically, you need to get into a routine where your camera is acting almost like another angler in the swim (without all the wisecracks) it should be in the perfect position, ready to take a photo at any time and capable of showing you the result without you having to move an inch.

To this ends I would only recommend a camera with a flip screen, one that actually points at you and displays either the picture you have just taken or, even better, has a ‘live view’ function so that you can frame the shot before pressing the fire button.

In the old days we used to have miles of cable for an air shutter release running across the ground but most half decent cameras nowadays either come with a remote or you can purchase one to suit.

Personally I like to use an SLR camera and my model of choice is the Cannon 70D, not a cheap camera by any means but I think it’s worth the outlay.

The previous model, a 60D is also incredibly good and I had one for years up until recently. You can pick up a second hand 60D for around £400 on e-bay, with a lens, which may sound a lot but, in reality, it is about the price of a new bivvy, or a couple of new rods and it will give you excellent results for years to come.

If that is out of the budget then there are ‘bridge camera’s’ like the Canon G series to consider, I used to have a G-3 that gave amazing results and I saw a second hand one on E-Bay for £40 the other day, boxed and complete with leads and a spare battery!

Bridge cameras are a halfway house between a full on SLR and a compact. Even compact cameras can be bought with ‘flip screens’ now and they are available in every price range.

A tripod is an absolute must have item but fear not, they are ridiculously cheap and I recently upgraded to a taller, telescopic, version for video or camera and it set me back a whopping £14 online.

So, with your kit sorted the next most important thing is composure, where are going to take the photos, and this should be sorted long before you actually catch a fish.

You need to pick a spot that will either have full shade or full sun, work out where the sun will be at the most likely time you will need to use the camera, pick two spots just in case one has got dappled sunlight in it because this is the absolute ‘kiss of death’ for fish photography.

Full on shade will give a nice, realistic, defined shot of the fish whereas full on sun can sometimes be a bit glary off the carp’s flanks.

Pay special attention to the backdrop, make sure that the skyline is constant and you do not have a quarter of the shot showing bright sky and the rest in shade, as this will confuse the light meter in the camera and darker the foreground, losing you and the fish in shadow.

As with the sun, go for one or the other, either open sky or totally closed background, such as bushes or trees.

For night time photography you will need the latter, an area where the flash will bounce back from, a solid background that is as close as possible to your back or you will end up surrounded by inky blackness.

This will make or break your finished pictures so make sure you have it right, take a look through magazines at some of the more impressive shots, or your own album at your favourite ones and find a common denominator that please your eye.

Look at the background of the best ones and see what is similar in each one.

Once you have everything ready, set it all up as if you have a fish and get some practise in, digital photo’s cost nothing and can be deleted at the press of a button.

If you set up the mat, the camera on its tripod, and even a bowl of the water you will need for the fish you can pre-create the exact scenario you are going to be in when the time comes and, this way, there will be no surprises.

Everything set up ready and a fish on the bank.

Hold a full gallon water bottle and use this as the fish and keep trying until you are totally happy that you have everything framed as you like it, even soak the bottle in water if you are using a flash to see how bad the bounce back is going to be.

Once you are happy with the results then mark them all down.

Take a landing net pole and lay one end in the centre of the mat and mark the distance on the  pole with a piece of tape to show exactly where the centre of the tripod should go, this will always be the same so mark it permanently and you will have one less thing to consider.

If you are using a compact camera then the automatic feature will work out the settings for you but, with an SLR or Bridge camera, you have a lot more options.

Thankfully nearly all of the better cameras will have either one or two custom settings, usually marked as C1 C2 on the control wheel.

I like to set one of these up for night shots and one for the daytime but, if there is only one then use it for nigh time shots as it is hard enough in the dark anyway, without having to change settings.

If there are none then use a notebook or a notepad app on your phone.

Every variable should be sorted out in advance, not necessarily every trip but, once you have a winning formula, it can be applied everywhere.

Before you even think about lifting the fish from the water you should have your kit set up, your camera turned on (check the settings to make sure it stays on standby as long as possible) the remote function enabled and the remote sensor in position next to the mat.

Take a trial shot first, just hold up your hand at the width you want include and check the picture for clarity, light, and composure. Make sure you do not have a branch behind you that makes you look like you have a set of antlers, or a gaudy sign stating ‘deep water beware’ make sure you are happy and confident and then retrieve the fish.

Your remote should always be held in the hand that has the head end of the fish as there is a wider area to balance on your hand, the tail end requires a more closed grip and it’s very awkward to work the remote.

Confidence is the key, you know the camera is going to work, you have practised enough times and you know the settings are correct, the only difference to having a photographer there with you is that one little button in your hand.

At night it is often the auto focus that really lets you down and, because of this, I NEVER use this function at night.

Firstly you need to use the landing net pole method to get the exact distance for your focal point, this is best done in the daytime and, once you have the exact focus and length you need to mark the camera lens with two little dots (tippex) one on the actual bit that spins to find focus and one on the fixed part of the lens. When these two dots are in alignment turn off the auto focus on the side of the lens and the camera will always be in focus for the correct distance, which is marked on your pole.

Alternatively, just place a water bottle where the fish will be, shine a bright light on it, and  focus the camera from the tripod and then turn off the auto focus (while the fish is still safely in the net).

And a night self take, with a bit of practise.

Practise makes perfect and you have plenty of time for that whilst waiting for a bite and practise will build the confidence that you need to take perfect self takes every time.

Barbel fishing – Roll on June 16th!

It wont be long before the TF Gear team turn their attention to barbel fishing – and the long awaited June 16th river opener!

A river Wye Barbel.

In the TF Gear office we are literally counting down the days when we can get onto the river bank straight after work, and fish into the late midsummer evenings.

Luckily we are within a fairly short distance of the river Wye, one of the best barbel fishing rivers in the UK. For what the Wye fish lack in size, they make up for in sheer numbers, with fish in the 4 to 8lb class being very common with the odd sprinkling of double figure fish.

The delightful River Wye.

TF Gear make plenty of fishing tackle for the barbel angler – for example our Nan-tec barbel rods, which combine power with finesse and stunning good looks. Available in 1.5lb test curve and 2lb test for ‘big river’ flood water condition these lovely rods come with full cork handles.

Another staff favourite are the Banshee barbel, which in 1.5lb test curve are ideal for low summer flows – such as we find at the season’s start. With an Airlite freerunner reel in size 40 completing the deal, this set up is often what we throw in the car for an evening on the Wye.

TF Gear Airlite freerunner reel – Size 40.

For mainline the Nantec mono in 12lb is simply unbeatable – this stuff is  very strong and abrasion resistant, so you need not fear a break off or fish loss in a snag or weed bed.

We like to keep things simple and use basic cage feeder and groundbait  tactics with  a hook link of 10lb Airflo fluorocarbon with a hair rigged trout pellet. There is no need to use a ridiculously heavy winter feeder in summer – a 23 gram cage feeder is more than enough in low water conditions.

Often, we see anglers turn up in a swim and automatically lump out a cast to the far bank, with no regard to fish location or snags present in the swim. This looses tackle and results in less fish on the bank.

Think before you cast…..

We like to scout out swims and loose feed a handful of pellet before carefully and quietly casting the bait just a few yards out, looking for side creases, bankside drop offs, dips in teh river bed and gaps in the weedbeds on the our side of the river.

A short accurate cast also helps ensure your presentation is spot on. If there are fish present expect a ‘3 foot twitch’ – sometimes within minutes, provided you haven’t spooked them when approaching the swim. Make a move if nothing happens after an hour – keep roving the bank until you find them and the rewards will follow.

Good luck and may you have a successful June 16th!

A Wye barbel goes back.

How Dave Lanes Uses The FishSpy Underwater Camera To Check Baited Areas

Our revolutionary FishSpy underwater camera is already proving it’s worth to carp anglers up and down the country, despite the wettest and windiest winter on record! Here leading UK carper Dave Lane explains how he uses FishSpy to check baited areas. What he reveals is astonishing!

One extremely handy use for FishSpy is to check baited areas; whether this is pre-baited spots or just the actual areas you are fishing before topping up the swim.

FishSpy screen shots showing uneaten bait on a variety of lake beds.

Uneaten bait can be a problem on heavily fished waters and nobody would actually chose to fish over it so, checking a swim out before you start a session has obvious benefits.

After catching a fish, however, there has been no way to know how much of your loose feed has been eaten and, in my experience in the past when using boats, I have learnt that this varies dramatically.

Sometimes, particularly if you are using a pop-up, it can be the hook-bait that goes first and the rest of the feed barely gets touched. On other waters, and in different circumstances, the fish can take everything and leave the hook-bait until last or even return later and take it when it is being fished as a single bait.

On one occasion this summer, during testing, I caught a thirty five pound mirror from a spot I had baited with two spombs full of whole and chopped boilies. The fish came during the early morning feeding spell and was my only bite of the day.

Later, when the bite time had passed I considered re setting the trap for the following day and applying a further two spombs of bait to the area. Using the FishSpy camera I checked the area first and found that most of the bait was still present.

This told me that I had either hooked a solitary feeding fish or that the other fish had spooked off as I got the bite, leaving the remaining bait untouched.

I could see no point in applying yet more bait and simply recast on top of the existing feed, hoping that the fish would return at some stage.

Had every scrap of bait been gone and the bottom of the lake visibly disturbed then I would have increased the baiting levels, hoping to create a situation where I received more than just one fish the following day.

In the video below Dave uses FishSpy to investigate his swim after a missed bite at 4.30 am, and discovers a spomb full of bait.

The implications of bait checking with a FishSpy camera are simply huge.

  • Save yourself a packet in the cost of bait over a year.
  • Save time by avoiding areas where fish are clearly not feeding.
  • Maximise your chances of a carp taking your hook bait with just the right amount of bait being present in the swim.
  • Check how successful your pre-baiting is, by seeing if those spots have been visited.
  • By using boiles of differing colours, shape and flavours it is now possible to determine a selection preference by checking baited spots.

I had always relied heavily on guesswork but the FishSpy has changed all of that. I can now see exactly what is on the lake bed and fish far more effectively because of it.

Tightlines, Dave Lane.

For more information visit www.fishspy.com

 

Upcoming events – See the FishSpy underwater Camera in action at three major UK Carp Fishing shows!!!

The TF Gear team are very pleased to announce we will be attending a number of the UK’s largest carp fishing tackle shows over the coming months!

Our unique FishSpy camera is one of the biggest products to ever hit the carp fishing scene – there simply hasn’t been anything like this since the invention of the bait boat! So naturally we appreciated you might want to take a closer look at the innovative new underwater camera everyone has been talking about.

Therefore, we decided to take FishSpy on the road this winter and spring to three of the biggest carp shows in the UK. This is your perfect opportunity to try and buy before the carp fishing season kicks off in earnest so why not come along and see what you’re missing ?

Been thinking about buying one, but can’t decide?

Seeing FishSpy first hand will truly open your eyes to what this ground breaking device can offer carp anglers. Discover exactly how it can improve your carp fishing and give you insights you had never dreamed of.

You will be able to speak to FishSpy’s inventors, meet the TF Gear development team, and talk with Dave Lane, one of the UK’s foremost carp anglers who has been heavily involved in the intensive two year field testing of this product.

We will be able to answer all of your FishSpy questions and will have plenty of them on hand for you to test and take a much closer look at. FishSpy underwater cameras and accessories will also be available to purchase from ourselves at each show.

In running order, the 2016 FishSpy shows are:

1. The Brentwood carp show.
Dates: 6th & 7th February, The Brentwood center, Essex.

Packed full of exhibitors from all of the top carp fishing tackle brands, the emphasis this year is on NEW tackle – and that includes our revolutionary FishSpy camera! Make sure you check this show out – what else it there to do in February anyway!?

For more information and ticket prices click here.

2. Carpin’on – THE carp show.

Dates: 12th & 13th March, Five lakes resort, Essex.

Carpin’ On is the UK’s #1 carp fishing exhibition, covering all aspects of carp angling and bringing all the biggest tackle brands together under one roof!

Over 90 exhibitors, outdoor demos and displays and the best entertainment line up of all the UK shows including live forums, slide shows and tell-all interviews from leading anglers. This is your chance to meet the experts including TF Gear consultant Dave Lane!

For more information and ticket prices click here.

3. The BIG One.
Date: 19th & 20th March, Farnborough Hants.

Fishface promotions bring you THE BIG ONE! With well over 180 exhibitors, as the name suggests this is simply the largest UK carp show of 2016. This year will see the exhibition jam packed with carp fishing celebs and top tackle marques- just in time for launching your full-on spring carp fishing campaign!

For more information and ticket prices click here.

(Please note: Dave Lane is unable to attend this show.)

See you there!
The FishSpy team

For further information please email: info@fishspy.com

Alan Yates Sea fishing Diary October 2015

IT’S TIME FOR COD

The cod season has arrived and an increasing number of anglers are out after them, with catches from all around the UK being much improved on recent years. In some regions it’s possible to catch four fish over 3lb in a session and a few are making 6lb. Reports from various regions include the river Tyne being packed with small codling so the future seasons are also bright there. Inside the Humber estuary codling are showing at Immingham. In the East Anglia codling of 3lb plus are a regular feature of competitions and that shows they are around because the matches are not always organised for the best fishing, more towards social hours and the pub times.

Ian Dancey of Waterlooville, Portsmouth with two cod from Ferry Bridge, Chesil beach

In Kent Dungeness has already produced four codling in one session. Reports of cod from Brighton and Shoreham beaches show the English Channel has prospects, whilst the hot spot on some days is Dorset’s, Chesil beach. The Bristol Channel looks good with Blue Anchor, Dunster beach and Brean/Brean Down the top high water venues. The Fylde coast cod season looks good with codling showing already with fish averaging 1lb to 2lb. Best reports are coming from the northern end of the coast from the west facing beaches like Cleveleys, Dronsfield Road and Beach Road, Fleetwood.

Chesil beach – a great spot for catching cod!

All you need to do is get the sea fishing tackle out and head for the beach or pier, although a good overhaul of you fishing gear might be worth it before you venture out! Especially check you main lines because they will almost certainly require changing. Look at rod rings for wear and hair line cracks and reels for salt corrosion. Terminal rigs that have been returned from last year’s fishing should be binned and it’s not a bad idea to tie up a few new ones, especially because every season advances in tackle accessories are made and you may miss out on something special.

Check out the TF Gear web site: www.totalfishinggear.co.uk or www.fishtec.co.uk for a comprehensive selection of sea fishing equipment.

Bait wise, little beats yellowtail or black lugworm and squid as a front line codling bait, although a few fresh peeler crabs can be deadly on many venues, especially the rough ground and estuaries.

Ben Arnold of Brighton with an 11lb cod from Dover Admiralty pier – it won him the three day pier festival and is the first of the bigger shore cod from Kent

HANDLING YOUR CATCH

The way you handle your catch has become a far more important issue nowadays with political correctness demanding more attention to fish welfare. Dumping the fish in a fish box as they are caught is still practiced, but some anglers want to kill the fish that they catch, others simply release everything alive.

Personally I eat a lot of the fish I catch and so I do kill what I want to take home, but release those that are unwanted, or I feel need returning. There are of course rules and regulations governing legal minimum size limits and not all fish are legally big enough to retain, but those that are big enough are not always candidates for catch and release simply because many a hook hold is fatal to a fish, especially the small species and those species that always swallow the hook. So it’s an open ended situation and I sometimes take home fish I would otherwise have released. There are of course also catch limits nowadays, the new bass three fish a day is the first of many I think we have to come. Some species are barred from capture, eels, tope, shad to name a few.

Removing hooks is a major problem for a majority of sea anglers and lots of sea fish are killed by anglers who want to return a fish, but simply lack the technique and skill to remove a hook without harming the fish. Some hooks cannot be removed without damage, but the majority can if you know what you are doing. Using a sea fishing disgorger helps although many cannot work the likes of the Gemini effectively. It does take practise; get another angler to show you how.

If you are totally intent on fishing catch and release then use small hooks – these do less damage and are easier to remove. Size 8s or event 10s are not as practically efficient as larger sizes, but far more fish friendly if you can call a hook that. Such freshwater hook sizes being an example for their ease of removal with a simple freshwater stick (Stomfo) disgorger. Another good idea for C&R is to use crushed or micro barbs on hooks which make them easier to remove, barbless is less popular, but again it’s more fish friendly for those fishing catch and release.

Another major issue with fish welfare is handling the fish, grabbing a pouting, whiting, mackerel, etc around the middle, fighting the hook free and then releasing the fish does a lot of damage to the fishes protective, scales and slime coating. I am not in agreement with the theory that ALL mackerel handled die because of this. As a regular coarse angler I handle lots of freshwater fish and because they are caught and released regularly it is well known that they survive handling, although a wet hand, cloth or unhooked in the net, plus gentle handling is more commonly practised in freshwater angling.

At sea a problem is that different species are more delicate, some swallow hooks and some are reasonably tough. Bass for instance rarely swallow the hook and have a tough bony mouth and scaled body making them more resistant to unhooking and handling. Mullet on the other hand shed scales easily and need to be handled with great care. Dogfish are very resilient to unhooking and handling, whilst codling and the rest of the cod family and the other soft fined species are very easily damaged by a hook or handling and a very low percentage of those hooked survive. Dropping fish from a high venue is also a problem although this can be solved by the use of a bucket to net or even hooking the fish on the grip lead wire.

Flatfish are also prone to damage when the hook is removed because of the trap door nature of their mouth, many swim away strongly look like they will survive, but die later. The reality is that with the best will in the world some fish will not survive and it is my personal policy, provided a damaged fish is sizable, that I retain it for the table.

If you have to kill a fish or want to prevent it gasping its life away in the fish box then a sharp blow to the head is still the best method. Most boat skipper use the aptly names “priest” whilst from the shore small fish can be dispatched with the fish measure or knife handle

At the end of the day, fish welfare is and always has been a matter of personal conscience and although anglers may differ greatly in opinion it is totally their own personal decision and no one else’s!!!

Tight lines, Alan Yates