Monthly Archives: December 2014

Happy New Year

Just to wish all anglers, and especially our customers ‘Tight lines’ for 2015.
We have had a fair year, fish wise, here at VMO
Andy Evans had lots of fish, large and small boat fishing, great fun with LRF and plenty of codling from the shore.

VMO staff member

Some of Andys codling on his new Fiamma at Hinkley


Jansen Teakle, who you may know from his regular Sea Angler articles, weighed in with a good selection of quality fish
Bass taken on Varivas Line

Jansen with a cracking Bristol Channel 9lb Bass

from the shore including some really nice huss and this cracking bass.

Harry Brake went all out for specimens and although he did not get any shore tope he persevered and turned up trumps with his blonde quest landing 8 in on session. With lots of other decent fish he had a great year.

Varivas Big Mouth hooks score

Couple of blondes for Harry from the Bristol Channel


Joe our latest employee has also been amongst the fish landing his first thornbacks as well as a real mixed bag of flatties conger etc
Veals Mail order

Joe, latest Veals Mail Order employee with a couple of typical Bristol Channel Codling


Congratulations also to one of our tackle consultants Mike ladle for 2 shore caught bass over 12lb, taken up close and personal on bait in very very shallow water.
Nanofil line and Varivas Circle hooks

12lb+ Bass on Bait


Hope you all had a good 2014 at least there was sun, not too much wind and a few fish about …. roll on 2015.

Dizzy’s look back at 2014

A look back on a crazy year of lure and bait fishing from the kayak…

I got to meet a couple of angling celebs… Jeremy Wade…

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and Bob Nudd (One of my fishing heroes)…

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2014 was a great year for catching black bream from the kayak. I managed to catch quite a few fish over 3 lbs, including a new PB of 4lbs 2ozs, and some rays as well.

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Some great trips to Wales to fish the reefs…

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A nice tope – great fun catching them from the kayak…

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I made a conscious decision that in 2014, I would concentrate on freshwater lure fishing from the kayak. My aim was to catch a decent pike, a decent perch, and a zander. The reasons were two-fold. Firstly, I live 2 mins from a river, and spend most of my time on the salt, despite it being over 2.5 hours away. Secondly, there were 3 big lure fishing events occurring in 2014 – all of them freshwater based – all of them in Holland (more of that later).

So opening day of the coarse fishing season, saw me down at my local river kayak fishing. An encouraging start, but I knew there were more rewards to be discovered…

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The Teklon 702 dropshot rod was a fantastic piece of kit – I have to be honest, I didn’t use it much for dropshotting, but its so versatile – one of my favourite rods.

The first of the big competitions was the World Predator Classic 2014 in Hellevoetsluis in Holland. This amazing tournament saw boat, street and kayak fishermen from all over the world compete in a 3 day event. The venue, accomodation and organisation were top drawer. The potential of the venue is vast, with massive perch, pike and zander – sadly, I didn’t manage any of them ! But I learned alot, and I will be back in 2015…

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I managed to make it on to the front cover of Blade kayak fishing magazine. I was chuffed as hell…

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July was the month when I felt like I finally cracked the river.. it had been a long time coming, and lots of hard work, but now it was paying off with massive chub and some nice perch and pike from the kayak. Best of all, I got to enjoy it with 2 great friends – Steve and Charlie…

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I caught some huge chub on small crankbaits. This was light tackle lure fishing at its best…

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Also managed some nice perch on 2.5cm Z-man grubz…

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I love livebaiting from the kayak. I have a livebait well on my Hobie kayak, and its just the ticket…

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Then, something I have wanted to do for a long, long time on the kayak. My time came with a trip to Weymouth. I was on my todd, but the conditions were perfect. As is so often the case, the fishing was slow, and I started to wonder what I was doing wrong. Eventually, things clicked into place, and I managed to land 4 or 5 squid on 4lb line and ultra light rods and reels. Great fun – and the squid jigs from Veals really did the business…

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In September there was another trip to Holland. This time, it was the Hobie European Championships. I decided to go over a week early, and get some fishing practice in.

In an incredible space of about 10 minutes I had 4 perch all over 2.5 lbs, on small hardbaits. This was very technical fishing, and the Hobie Revolution 11 kayak really excelled. The fish were packed into an area no bigger than 3 feet wide, with heavy cover on one side and a moored boat only feet away. Exciting stuff, and it felt great to beat my perch PB 4 times in the space of as many minutes…

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On the last day before we had to leave for the Euros, I managed a really decent zander on a soft plastic lure. It put up a great scrap, and yet again I was as pleased as punch…

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So on to the Hobie Euro finals; I met up with all of my lure fishing friends from Europe. These guys really know their stuff when it comes to lure fishing. I had learned so much this year, and honestly, we are a long way behind in this country.  I decided to concentrate on what I knew best – micro crank baits on ultralight gear, and medium soft plastics, with spinnerbaits and chatterbaits as a backup (you really need to check out chatterbaits). On the practice day, I saw plenty of fish; on the first day of the competition proper, everyone followed each other. I did my own thing. For a while I thought I had done the right thing. I caught some Ide and then a cracking Asp on a micro crank. I was sight fishing for them – a bit like stalking mullet with lures ! …

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With only 30 minutes of the competition left, I hooked into something special, ironically on my ultralight rod and Mitchell Mag Pro Lite 500 reel. Right from the outset I knew this could be the fish of a lifetime. I was pretty sure it was a big pike, and I knew I had a finesse 10 lb wire trace on the end of a tiny 2 inch soft plastic lure. It took me a long time to get the upper hand, and I needed the help and encouragement of Danish competitor Thomas. Without pinching his net, I dont think I would ever have landed that monster. Even my competition measure was not big enough to measure the brute, so the camera boat had to come out and measure it for me. It went 106cms… somewhere between 20 and 30lbs. My previous PB (from a boat was 26lbs) and this creature felt bigger and stronger. All caught on video – one of the most memorable battles I have ever had with any fish; boat, shore or kayak…

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To catch it in a competition, with my mates around me, made it even more special. I was starting to like Holland, and the craic was fantastic; we made so many new friends and learned so much…

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The result in the Euros meant that I had won a place at the 2014 Hobie World Championships – also in Holland. This would be my 3rd Hobie Worlds event – 45 of the worlds best lure fishermen – 13 countries taking part…

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Ironically, my best fish was caught during a spot of street fishing in a 3 foot wide ditch right outside a tackle shop – the funniest thing you have ever witnessed. The locals didn’t really know what was going on, when some crazy Italians, and an Englishman start fishing at the end of their garden…

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… Once a fisherman, always a fisherman !

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At the final presentation we all had to vote for the “Sportsman” award. This is the first time the award has been presented, and somehow, I managed to win it. It took a few moments for it to sink in – I thought it was a wind up. The award gave me entry into the 2015 Hobie World Championships and pays for my accomodation too, so I was pretty chuffed to say the least.

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Also during October was the trip to Ravensthorpe reserviour near Northampton…

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All I could manage were trout on big lures, but one of them was a cracker…

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2014 saw me write for a new magazine title – Neville Fickling’s Pike and Predator magazine. Its a great magazine, and I like the content…

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To round the year off; a spot of flounder fishing in Poole Harbour…

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I was very pleased with second place.

The rest of December was spent gathering goodies for my great Facebook giveaway – that all went off well, and 3 lucky winners will hopefully be using their lures, nets, dry bags and other assorted accessories to good effect in the coming months.

And what of 2015 – well I have a new Hobie Outback kayak to fit out, and I am looking forward to kayak fishing some new exciting venues. I hope to see you all on the water, or in the bar.

All the best for 2015 – keep casting those lures

 

Dizzy.

Fiamma at Hinkley

As promised a pic from Andys last trip to Hinkley. Not the traditional ground for a continental style rod but the Fiamma has a surprising amount of grunt and the ability to cast that bit further when necessary.

VMO staff member

Some of Andys codling on his new Fiamma at Hinkley

Vercelli Fiamma

VMO supply Vercelli SpyraFiamma

Vercelli Fiamma 14ft of Excellence


The long rod / fixed spool combination has taken hold at VMO. Started by Jim Hands from Total Angler, who bought a Vercelli Fiamma from us, then Heath , then Nigel; they were all so impressed that Andy bought one, with a Shimano Ultegra to replace his old fixed spool outfit ( about time ). What a revelation …. fantastic distance at the flick of a lead, power and bite detection, its a fantastic rod and Andy is not known for being easily impressed!! Now Harry has followed suit.
OK the Fiamma is not cheap, but Vercelli rods start from just over £100 and they all are getting excellent feedback from the users.