Ringer On Hooks!
Steve Ringer reveals the patterns of hooks that he uses for different kinds of fishing, explaining when and why he uses them.
I am always playing around with hook patterns. For me, a hook is one of the most important parts of fishing. It hosts the bait that you are trying to get the fish to eat, and actually catches the fish for you, taking all the strain of the fight. Here are most of the patterns that I use for pole fishing.
Sizes: 16 and 18
Line diameters: 0.10mm, 0.11mm and 0.13mm
These are great when you’re catching mixed fish. They’re very strong, without being overly heavy in the wire. This is important when you’re looking to catch quality silver fish and the occasional big F1 that can sometimes be wary. On a lot of commercials there is a big head of mixed fish to catch, such as at White Acres, where I fish a lot of festivals. To get consistent results in leagues and festivals it’s important that you target this mixture of fish. Fishing with chopped worms and casters is a brilliant ploy – you catch plenty of roach, perch, skimmers, and maybe a tench or two, but mixed in with these will be the odd carp and F1. The Gama Pellet is the perfect hook for this when fishing with baits like a worm head, or single and double caster.
On tricky days, when a smaller hook bait is better, I like to use a size 18 to 0.10mm or 0.11mm line, while on good days when I’m really catching well, I’ll step up to a size 16 and 0.13mm line.
LWG Barbless Spade
Sizes: 14 to 18
Line diameters: 0.11mm, 0.13mm and 0.15mm
This is my general carp and F1 hook when I’m fishing with baits that I put straight on the hook, such as pellets, meat and corn. These are very strong and very sharp, without being overgunned. This is vital when catching big weights of fish because you need to get bites but also have the confidence to get the fish in quickly.
On a lot of venues I fish, a great swim is the short pole with meat or corn, where I normally put the bait straight on the hook. These hooks are always my choice for this. The most popular pin that I have in the hook box is a size 16 in these hooks to 0.13mm or 0.15mm line. Matched with white or black Hydro elastic, I’ll happily target fish to double figures with them. When really bagging, I’ll also use these hooks for F1s.
LWG Barbless Eyed
Sizes: 18 and 16
Line diameters: 0.11mm, 0.13mm and 0.15mm
This is the same hook as above but with an eye rather than a spade. I use this when I want to fish with a hair-rigged band or spike. Fishing with a hair-rigged band plays a major role in my fishing these days, allowing me to place a hard pellet in the band and have the hook free to hook the fish. I simply tie the band in a tiny loop and whip a knotless knot around this so that the band and pellet are sat just off the bend of the hook. I sometimes use a little bait spike too when I’m fishing with meat on the hook on the long pole, or fishing shallow with it. In these instances, I’m regularly lifting the bait and laying the rig in to keep it falling through the water. Using the bait stop on a small hair rig means the meat stays on much better and you also seem to avoid nuisance silver fish with this arrangement. I’ve even had a lot of success using a small chunk of worm on a bait stop and hair rig. It helps the worm stay on and you can catch five or six fish on the same bit! I have these hooks tied in sizes 16 and 18 on line diameters from 0.11mm for wary F1s, to 0.13mm for general F1 fishing in summer, and 0.15mm for carp and catching well.
Kamasan B911 F1
Sizes: 20, 18 and 16
Line diameters: 0.10mm, 0.12mm and 0.14mm fluorocarbon
I love this hook for winter F1 fishing. It is my main pattern throughout the cooler months at places such as Tunnel Barn Farm, and I even use it occasionally for commercial silvefish. The hook is quite fine, but the round bend and wide gape means that you get a good hook-hold. Balanced with the right elastic, such as pink or blue Hydro with a puller kit, you can land big carp on them too, which you do occasionally hook.
Interestingly, I have these hooks tied on Gamakatsu fluorocarbon line. I have a lot of confidence in this for F1 fishing because the line is supposed to be almost invisible underwater. It is also very stiff and you don’t get any tangles. When fishing with a short hooklength and a bulk close to the hook, I really like the idea of the hooklength being stiff and straight bcause this means that I am fishing very direct to the bait. When a wary F1 takes the bait, I see a bite immediately. I’m happy to use these hooks for maggots and expander pellets.
Sizes: 14, 16, and 18
Line diameters: 0.10mm and 0.11mm
This is my ultimate all-round barbed hook. I use it on natural venues when targeting roach, perch and skimmers, and have caught big bags of fish on it both in the UK and in Ireland. Last year I enjoyed some brilliant matches fishing at Furzton Lake in Milton Keynes, catching numerous 40lb-plus bags of roach. A size 16 B560 was my hook choice for this.
You can use all kinds of baits with them – maggots, casters and worms are my most popular choices. The wide gape and round bend gives you a great hook-hold, and even when you mount a chunky worm head or double maggot, there’s plenty of hook point showing. Although the hooks are barbed, it’s only a small barb that’s just enough to keep your bait and the fish on, but not too big that it slows you down when unhooking fish! The main sizes that I use are 16 and 18. The 16 is my bagging hook and I’ll happily use just a single maggot or caster when I’m catching well. On trickier days a size 18 is usually my choice. I normally match these with 0.10mm or 0.11mm line, and a doubled-up No4 Preston Slip Elastic.
Sizes: 12, 14, 16 and 18
Line diameters: 0.10mm, 0.11mm and 0.13mm
This is the hook that I use when I want to step up a gear into bagging mode on natural venues. It often comes into play when there are a lot of skimmers around and I need a hook that is a little bit bigger and stronger than the B560. The barb on these is also quite viscous, which helps keep fish on the hook when fishing in deep water. I’ve used it quite a lot in Ireland when targeting skimmers, where I’ll place two or three red worms on a size 12 or 14. Bream and skimmers can be a nightmare for coming off in deep water, but I have a lot of confidence to administer a firm strike and guide the fish out of the swim and into the net with this hook. If I were to target bigger bonus fish such as perch or chub on a canal with the pole with lobworms, this would definitely be the one I’d reach for.
Sizes: 16 and 18
Line diameters: 0.10mm, 0.12mm and 0.14mm fluorocarbon, and 0.11mm and 0.13mm N-Gauge
This is a new hook that I’m still trying out and looking forward to using a lot more. It’s specifically designed for pellet fishing with F1s in mind. The wide gape but rather straight point means that you can roll a soft pellet onto the bend perfectly and still have plenty of hook point showing. It is medium in wire, which is important for good presentation to fish like big F1s. I’m yet to have any issues with the hook straightening and have hooked and landed plenty of big carp while testing them. For me, this pattern fills a lovely gap between the B911 F1s and the LWG Spades – it’s the perfect spring and autumn F1 pattern. Despite the packet saying ‘pellet’, I’ve also used these with maggots and worms. I’ll happily use these on light elastics such as yellow and pink Hydro and would step up to white if needed when I’m catching well.
X-Strong Carp Spade
Sizes: 12, 14 and 16
Line diameters: 0.17mm and 0.19mm
The ultimate margin and big-fish hook! I love getting these beauties out and use them for all my big-carp and margin work. They’re incredibly strong and sharp and have a very wide gape with a long point to give you a reassuring hook-hold. For margin fishing, there’s little scope for messing around, in my book. You may only have a short spell at the end of the match to catch big fish quickly and you need strong and reliable gear. My typical margin gear is a size 12 Carp Spade, matched to 0.19mm N-Gauge and red Hydro, for fishing big bunches of maggots or two full worms down the edge. The huge gape means that you can mount these multiple baits with ease and still have loads of hook point exposed. On tricky days, or in clear water, it can pay to scale down a little, so I always have a few size 16s tied on 0.17mm line too. Sometimes I’ll use these on the short pole with meat when the fish are really having it!
A new competition for disabled anglers launched in the East Midlands
A brand new competition for disabled anglers is being launched in the East Midlands. The inaugural East Midlands Disabled Angling Championships will be taking place on Thursday 22nd September at Rycroft Fishery, Derbyshire (DE74 2RE) on Moat Lake.
The competition has been established in partnership with the Angling Trust to create more opportunities for disabled anglers to fish in competitions. The match will form part of an on going calendar of local matches for disabled anglers taking place at accessible fisheries.
Pole Fishing shines the spotlight on the latest pole roller from the UK’s ever-innovating angling brand, MAP!
This is definitely the most adaptable pole roller that we have ever seen... you can almost do anything with it!
The legs are a key feature because these are fully detachable, meaning you can clip them in and out of the roller. Each roller comes with two sets of telescopic legs, allowing you to place the roller on virtually any ground. The shorter, stumpy legs are ideal when you have a bank behind, and you need the roller just above ground height for a low ship. The short legs extend from 20 to 28 centimetres. You also get a longer set of telescopic legs, extending to 45, 70 and 95 centimetres. Then there are the rollers themselves.
These are top-quality, extra-sturdy and roll incredibly smoothly on their bearings. Across the horizontal of the roller, there are four separate roller sections, meaning you can have several pole sections in storage on the roller without worry of dragging them off when you ship out! The upright rollers are in fact made from a different material from the horizontal rollers. The horizontals are the ones that can cause bounce, but by making these from super-soft memory foam, MAP has ensured super-smooth shipping to prevent you scattering that bait out of your pole pot when you ship out! You might also notice the upright roller, which can be located in any of the three holes in the main bar.
The Build Up
The Angling Times Supercup is the biggest club team event in the U.K match fishing diary, the 2015 event attracted over 300 teams! Over the last 5 years I have fished the competition for Warrington A.A and have been lucky enough to reach the final and also the semi-finals on a couple of occasions, in fact, being part of a team and going on a good cup run brings with it a massive amount of satisfaction. Not only do you have your own sense of triumph but you also feel that of those around you.
Moss Farm Fisheries (Maddisons Pool) 09.01.16
Firstly, a happy New Year to all readers of my posts. Hopefully this year will bring even more success and I hope you continue to follow my progress. As always, it is very much appreciated!
My first outing of 2016 saw me take a trip to Moss Farm Fisheries in Irlam, just a six or seven-mile trip up the road for the final round of the winter series that I have been part of and my first opportunity for silverware this year.
People who have read my last couple of posts will be up to date with how I have been getting on in previous rounds of the series, but for those who may have missed them, out of the previous three rounds, I was unavailable for the first (luckily we are able to drop our worst result). That meant the three remaining matches were even more important because there was no room for a poor result. Round 2 saw me finish 2nd in the match, a solid start to my winter series. Round 3, again at Lloyd’s Meadow Fishery, resulted in a silver-fish match win, but only fourth in the overall competition. Not completely disastrous but it did mean that going into the last match I was sitting in second with a group of people just one point behind me in the overall standings. Derek Smith was top of the table at this point. However, he was not fishing the last match and ultimately could not figure in the overall standings.
Having arrived at the venue early I made my way to the on-site café where the draw would be taking place and got myself a full English breakfast, joining a few of the lads who had the same idea. As I mentioned in my last post following my first visit to Moss Farm, the venue has brilliant facilities with the on-site café as well as a tackle shop.
It didn’t take too long before all the expected participants arrived and we began the draw. Before the match I had been advised by people who had fished the venue before that the better pegs were those on the near side of the lake (1 to 7) or closest to the car park. Having not seen the lake before I wasn’t too fussed where I drew, I just knew I needed to do well!
I pulled out Peg 8; apparently the wrong end of the lake but being an end peg I was happy with my pick.
On arrival at Maddisons Pool, the match lake here at Moss Farm Fisheries, I pretty quickly came up with my plan for the match. The lake is a pretty standard canal/snake-type lake, although in places pretty wide. For example, my peg was 16.5 metres to the far side, meaning options are increased slightly from more conventional narrow snake lakes. Setting up the tip rod was an option but in the end I decided to keep it in my bag.
I decided on three main lines: A top two plus two at the bottom of near shelf feeding maggots, using a 0.3g AS3 float, 0.08mm hooklength and a size 18 B911 F1 hook. The second was fished at 11 metres to the bottom of far shelf feeding pellets and dead red maggots, using a 0.4g AS3 float, 0.10mm hooklength and a size 18 B911 F1. The final setup was my far-bank dobbing rig comprising a 0.1g Carpa Ape float, 0.11mm hooklength and size 16 B911 F1 hook.
I kicked the match off by putting a small sprinkling of soaked micro pellets in on my 11m line, along with a few dead red maggots, hoping that when I moved onto this line some fish would have settled over it.
The first rig I picked up was my far-bank dobbing rig, set six inches underdepth with a strung-out shotting pattern to help the bait fall as naturally as possible. I dropped it in on the far side, poking it into gaps in the far-bank foliage and up against the features along the bank.
It took around 20 minutes to get my first bite of the day. This resulted in a carp of around 1lb. My next few put-ins resulted in nothing more than being mithered by small rudd, which were interfering with the bait wherever I dropped it in. To try and avoid this I altered my shotting, but to no avail.
A change was in order and I decided to see if anything had settled over my initial feed at 11 metres. Two dead red maggots was my initial bait of choice and it almost instantly produced, with my float burying after just a couple of minutes; a small yet scrappy carp of around 4oz finding itself in my net following a spirited fight.
Next put in I waited a little longer but again a small carp fell for my hook bait and inevitably ended up in my net. I’d have been happy to continue catching these small carp but that wasn’t to be.
It took 20 minutes to get my next bite, this time a carp of around 3lb; a nice bonus on what looked like it was going to be a tough day!
Following this I struggled to get another bite from this line. A rest was in order, so I topped the swim up with another sprinkling of pellets and moved onto my 2+2 line, where I had been trickling in maggots from the start of the match.
I was expecting bites straightaway from here because it was my line to catch everything and anything – or so I thought. Not a single bite! Not even those pesky rudd had moved in.
At the halfway point I felt I was doing okay. Not many big fish were being caught and most people were ticking over with small silvers with the odd small carp chucked in.
For the next 90 minutes I rotated between my far-bank line and 11m line, picking up plenty of small fish, rudd, roach and small carp of no more than 4oz to 6oz. I could only see the people directly opposite and Jeff on the next peg. He had been catching silvers from the off down the track but had struggled to catch any bonus fish. Will Willows, my main competition in the overall standings, had caught a lot more consistently than me, with a few better carp mixed in. However, apart from him, I could not see that anybody had caught much more than me.
The last hour was simply a case of trying to pick up anything possible. Despite being a hard winter’s day’s fishing, the fact that I didn’t know what I was going to catch next made the venue good fun and I had to work hard for bites; something you have to do if you are going to catch during winter.
In this time I managed another carp of around 2lb and some smaller fish, mainly from my 11metre line, some falling to a 4mm Xpand pellet and some to maggots. I did also manage to catch a couple of chunky roach from my 2+2 line in the closing minutes to finish the match off nicely.
After some trouble with the batteries in the weigh scales, we did eventually manage to get the weigh-in started after one of the carp lads from the neighbouring lake kindly leant us a set of dial scales.
It was noticeable from the first few weighs that the bigger carp hadn’t really shown a great deal, although everybody seemed to have caught plenty of fish.
With four people weighed in, 10lb was winning. Will was next to weigh in and easily took the lead when his mixed net of fish took the scales round to 21lb 6oz. I knew I hadn’t done enough to beat that but as long as he didn’t finish more than one position above me we would be level on points.
Following a weight of 7lb coming from the peg to my right it was my turn. I had guessed at between 10lb and 12lb and wasn’t too far wrong when the scales read 12lb 8oz, putting me into 2nd place at this point. However, there were still seven people to weigh in and if anybody came anywhere between Will and me, I would drop down the overall standings.
Jeff Stoll and Pete Mahoney were next to weigh in on the two pegs directly to my left. Strangely, both weighed in with 6lb. Following these, other weights on this side of the lake included 8lb and 5lb.
With just Paul Ryan to weigh in on the end peg the standings hadn’t changed, with Will and I still sitting top of the overall league and 1st and 2nd on the day.
Paul had fancied himself on this venue and was confident before the match that he would do well and rightly so, when his net of carp put him into 1st place with 24lb 6oz, a great weight on a tough day!
This dropped Will and me down a place but, more importantly, kept the gap to one position between us. Noticeably, Paul’s fish were of a much better stamp than anybody else’s. Having asked him after the match how he caught, it’s safe to say his experience on the venue was his edge.
In the end I was 3rd overall on the day and had done just enough to secure first place overall in the winter series, sharing the spoils with Will.
1st – Paul Ryan – 24lb 6oz
2nd – Will Willows – 21lb 6oz (Sec)
3rd – Jake Fowles – 12lb 8oz (Sec)
4th – Mike Dench – 10lb
5th – Simon Evans – 8lb
6th – Arthur Plumb – 7lb 12oz
7th – Dale Shingler – 7lb
8th – Jeff Stoll/Pete Mahoney – 6lb
10th – David Smith – 4lb 14oz
It was a typical winter’s day fishing at Moss Farm Fisheries; hard work yet everybody managed to catch plenty of fish. The venue has a great setup with really good facilities I would definitely recommend it.
It was a nervy last match but in the end I managed to do enough to secure the overall league title and collect my first piece of silverware of the year, hopefully the first of many!
A big thank you to Paul Ryan and Simon Evans who have run a really enjoyable series over the last four months and to both Lloyds Meadow Fishery and Moss Farm Fisheries for accommodating the matches!
Please feel free to ‘Like’ my Facebook page, Jake Fowles Match Fishing https://facebook.com/Jake-Fowles-Match-Fishing-873368519426245/