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  1. Plaice Fishing Advice From Steve Ace

    Plaice Fishing Advice From Steve Ace

    Plaice Fishing Advice From Steve Ace

    Now heading towards Easter and the last of the winter weather behind us (hopefully). Thoughts turn to our spring summer species, one of which my favourite the plaice. Successful pursuit of this tastiest of flatties does however require the right weather and water conditions. A spell of settled conditions and bright sunshine the best ingredients for success.

    Venues to try around Devon, Dorset and South Hampshire. The big favourite Chesil encompassing Burton Bradstock, Cogden, Bexington, and Abbotsbury. Plaice will show further east towards the ferry bridge end but more consistently later in the summer. Other beaches of note include nearby Seatown, Branscome, Seaton, Budleigh, Slapton, Beesands, and East Portlemouth. All of which can produce great bags when on song. Just keep your ear to the ground. Size of tides can be an issue, but much depends on the venue. Personally, I feel water clarity is the overriding factor. Regards bait

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  2. Steve Ace's Review of the Vass 350 Winter Clothing

    Steve Ace's Review of the Vass 350 Winter Clothing

    Back in February it was time for our much-anticipated trip to Saltstraumen, Norway. Bear in mind time of year, I thought it was time for a new set of thermal waterproofs. Rain, sleet, and snow with numbing wind chill will definitely come to bare, often making it an endurance challenge. Ultimately staying dry was the first criteria and having worn a multitude of all singing all dancing so called 100% waterproofs I have come to the conclusion sometimes you can't beat a bit of plastic or PVC. Joking aside after a couple of years wearing the standard 350 Vass Bib ‘n’ Braces and smock I was more than curious to test the new winter quilted versions in the arctic circle, a true test given the extremes previously experienced. Having now just finished of what I would call hard-core fishing enduring all manner of arctic extremes, the fully winterized clothing never once let water in, or left me cold. A couple of sensible base layers and hoody and I was toasty. Regards the cut, was

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  3. Judith & James Rixon's Dropshotting & Lure Fishing Trip

    Judith & James Rixon's Dropshotting & Lure Fishing Trip


    With Tony Rixon now working Saturdays and having matches booked most Sundays the opportunity to go fishing is limited until the evenings begin to open up. So, when Son number 2 asked if I would like to go to Shearwater Lake with him for a bit of drop shotting and lure fishing for Perch, I jumped at it.

    So, after a nice breakfast at Mario’s in Stockwood a 4.5 because my toast was over cooked, it was off to Shearwater Lake.

    It was a damp grey and drizzly day, so the lake didn’t look as pretty as I remember it. We found a spot on the dam wall and I started off with maggots, still not sure how they ended up in my purse!  James on worm, well not a lot to say really, no bites nothing but we did manage to lose more weights and hooks than the whole of last year.

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  4. Steve Ace's Trip to Norway 2018 - Day 4

    Steve Ace's Trip to Norway 2018 - Day 4

    Day 4

    Wow is the only word to describe a hectic 4-hour session. A return to the scene of last night's catches proved to be the right choice. It all started with the shads, Gary and I love the lure fishing and couldn't wait to buzz are shads out. Rhubarb and custard proving to be the killer. First 3 casts resulting in a 7lb, 17lb, and a 27lb to my rod. Dream fishing as Wilson would say. Mini and Gary launched some Blueys out which were just as readily snaffled. Cod in the 4 to 8lb obliging every cast. A brief lull a cup of char and back in. Gar was next in with a fit 17 pounder. I then followed with feisty 20 pounder which punched well above its weight.  No sooner had we unhooked and returned that fish Gary’s rod arched, and his reel started to play our favorite tune! 5 mins later we were gazing in admiration at Gary’s 21lb 6oz Coalie, what a smasher! The mayhem continued, and I latched into my 3rd 20lb plus fish of the session a hard fighting 31lb cod which

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  5. Steve Ace's Trip to Norway 2018 - Day 3

    Steve Ace's Trip to Norway 2018 - Day 3

    Day 3

    Awoke to bright sunshine and 10 degrees not! -8 loads of the white stuff. Rock ledge on the open coast today was preferred as the wind had dropped nicely. Blueys were the bait today with the occasional black lug whipped in. Fishing kicked off nicely with a low double figure cod for Gary.  Coalies that were previously absent also showed with increasing regularity up to 4lb. Next up was yours truly with a double halibut, then mini Hawkins started to play with his first halibut, although small one he can now tick off, Fishing continued in a rich vein with haddock and Coalies for next hour. A loud shout from Mini with a hint of urgency saw both gar and me scampering to the excited Hawkins. An alarming curve in his Zziplex M4 GT signaled a decent kipper had fancied his bluey offering. A testing 5 mins with fish grounding in eventually saw mini win the battle with his PB cod of 27lb. The day finished nicely with the northern lights.

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  6. Steve Ace's Trip to Norway 2018 - Day 2

    Steve Ace's Trip to Norway 2018 - Day 2

    Good morning ice station zebra.

    No respite from the cold -12 plus wind, you earn every fish you catch with these Baltic conditions. Anyway, enough of my bleating, a good ‘brekki’ and we were good to go. With a desire to fish a certain mark and the forecast to remain with the easterly, we thought we may as well go for it today rather than wait. Pitched up and baits cast we sat for 1 hour without a bait, we were getting worried. Then whilst chewing the fat with Gary and Mini Hawkins I noticed Gary’s line drop slack. Gary loaded the rod and set good the hook. Having lost a couple of big fish on past trips through no fault of his own we crossed fingers and watched Gary battle this very big fish for the next five minutes. Now within 15 yds of the ledge we were perched on, the fish made a deep powerful lunge which unfortunately steered Gary’s rig body and set free the beast. The Norsk gods are still not playing ball for poor Gar. We have decided a small sac

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  7. Steve Ace's Trip to Norway 2018 - Day 1

    Steve Ace's Trip to Norway 2018 - Day 1

    Day 1

    Oh my days it's cold! -11 degrees with 40kmh winds = -20 degrees, we were equipped with full body armour and some! We set our stall out on one of our most productive rock marks. 4 hours in a distinct lack of bites and general fishy activity prompted a move. Yes, a full English soon followed which hit the spot nicely. Batteries recharged we decided on a short session on the pier near apartment using the shads and spinning rods. As we rocked up several lights greeted us the Geordie boys had the jump on us and pipped us to the pier.  A suggestion of whisky was made by one or all of us simultaneously which seemed like a plan. A couple of chucks first to use up thawed bluey before they refreeze on the pontoon in front of apartment. A good start from Mini Hawkins with a couple of cod around 5lb lifted spirits after a bite-less first half. An hour in, I was next! This was no tap a strong continuous lunge indicates a proper un! Clicking the ratchet off I lifted into solid

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  8. Daiwa Tournament Pro X Pole Review by Veals Member of Staff Tony Rixon

    Daiwa Tournament Pro X Pole Review by Veals Member of Staff Tony Rixon

    How do you start a review for one of the most iconic pieces of kit that has been on the waterside for twenty years in various guises, it started its life as a ten section pole and it kept at that for a number of years, even back then it was the pole to be seen with and it still is and in its present 9 section design it is a massive favorite with not only canal and river anglers but the commercial fishery scene has more of these on the bank than any other top end pole.

    I was fortunate to get one about 12 months ago and to be honest I was always a bit skeptical as to how good it was, but twelve months on I couldn't be happier. I've had top end poles from other manufacturers, but nothing comes close to this one. It may not be the lightest and stiffest out there, but it is well balanced meaning fishing it up to 16 meters and beyond is relatively comfortable. It’s also quick and responsive on the strike meaning less missed bites and I have had it bent properly with fish on

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  9. Product Review of Daiwa Certate Reel by Tony Rixon

    Product Review of Daiwa Certate Reel by Tony Rixon

    Having used my much loved Daiwa TDR reels for 15 years I thought I would treat myself to a Certate 2500 for waggler fishing, I wasn't disappointed, the 10 Bearings and direct drive make for effortless winding with carp or silver's, the clutch is as smooth as I would expect from a reel of this caliber, which is good as playing big fish in light-ish lines it’s essential the clutch doesn't bind, all in all a fantastically smooth powerful reel, but with a price tag of over 300 quid it’s nothing less than I would expect, the only drawback is no spare spool, but Daiwa aren't alone in this respect, Shimano also don't give spare spools with their top end reels, and the spools aren’t cheap. Come on manufacturers give the angler a choice of buying the reel with a spare spool at a slightly higher price tag.

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  10. Steve Ace and Gary Withy's Trip to North Devon

    Steve Ace and Gary Withy's Trip to North Devon

    A north Devon sea the colour of chocolate all ways gets me juiced up at this time of year, for the specimen hunter it spells quality fish day or night. Having fished James Madsen’s knock up the previous day it was clear the predators were active. With fresh whiting ‘blagged’ after the match for bait, which by the way is like curry to a drunk I always feel confident, you can't beat some fresh death.

    Gary and I planned a low water up montage which meant a late morning start. A late check on the weather further fueled our enthusiasm with the stiff north-east wind veering south-east which would drop the dangerous ground sea which has been present for some time. After a burn down the motorway and Gary threatening to throw my wet, wet, wet CD out the window we arrived on our rock mark in good spirits.

    Bait cut and lines wet it was non-stop from the off. A steady stream of pesky Dog Fish, small Bull Huss and whips keeping us busy. The 2nd hour saw a lull i

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