FRUSTRATION is definitely the word!

I’ve not had chance to get on any venue for over a month!

Work, weather and anything else you can think of has prevented me wetting a line and I’ve had enough!

Hopefully you have had more success than me?

I have had some good news however; I’ve signed to Devon based manufacturer ‘Pallatrax’ for the forthcoming season.

Pallatrax are the innovators who bought the ‘Stonze’ system to the market, and they will be supplying my bait and tackle for 2011.

Why Pallatrax? Well, I was lucky enough to be asked after some of my work appeared on another website and was spotted by Simon Pomeroy, the managing director of the company.

After much discussion, we agreed that our angling ideas were similar and that we could benefit from working together, so I’ll be adding to their team of consultants!

Take a look at their website to see what they have to offer, not just ‘Stonze’, but a whole host of top quality baits, boilies and other bits to put more fish on the bank.

I think I mentioned last week that I was considering joining Stoke on Trent Angling Society (SOTAS) again?

Well, I have! SOTAS have some premium stretches of the River Dove near Tutbury which I will target for big chub and barbel, and they have what I feel will become one of the premium NW specimen venues.

Astbury Mere near Congleton, Cheshire is owned completely by the club, and has been stocked with carp, cats and pike amongst others to provide very pleasant fishing on over 43 acres of former gravel pit.

The lake record carp stands at somewhere around 34.5lbs and will go again this season if the growth rate of these stunning fish has continued as expected.

With depths to more than 50 feet, the water offers a huge challenge which I hope to conquer . . . fat chance!

My column in weekly magazine “Carp-Talk” is suffering too; the continuous cold weather means very few venues are fishable, the ice still causing mayhem.

Because of this, much debate this week on several forums, including North West Carp ( about the merits of breaking the thicker ice to allow dissolved oxygen into the water.

The latest guidance from the Angling Trust does not recommend aggressive actions to clear the ice as it transmits vast amounts of traumatic shock onto the stock which can lead to fish distress or deaths.

Many North West venues are sadly starting to suffer fish loss, some have even lost all of their fish which is tragic (and expensive) for the clubs involved.

Recommendations include preventative measures such as de-silting waters using products such as ‘Siltex’, stock removal to prevent overcrowding and the use of aerators to force oxygen into the water.

With this in mind, I’m extremely worried to hear of an angler walking out onto a venue to fish through a hole in the ice in the middle of the lake! Dangerous isn’t the word, stupid is!

Take care in the cold weather and let me have your reports at