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Diary of a Young Angler - Jack


If you have taken a look around our website you will see that we offer lessons both on the pole and various methods on rod and line.

We have a junior ( age 12 ) who has decided that he wants to learn as much as possible and we are going to post the results of his training both from our perspective and his.

What we have agreed with Jack and his parents and grandparents is, that he will have a lesson one week – we will then post the results plus what he has been taught – Jack will then come back the following week and put into practice what he has learnt.



Week 1 - Lesson 1    Saturday 7th June  Peg 1

Not the best weather to have your first lesson – it teemed it down all day

We looked to fish 3 lines but the weather put paid to that idea as it become obvious that even 9 metres would be too much in the appalling weather conditions.

We changed to top 2 plus one section fishing down the right past the grassy bush in the water in peg 1

The tactics were to fish corn on the hook over feed bait of 2m pellet and corn into the swim.

Jack had fished the canal pegs before and on maggot but because of this he had caught a lot of perch, roach and a few small ghost carp. Jack arrived for his lesson at 9.00 a.m. and we were ready to go after putting up 3 umbrellas.

The swim took 15 -20 mins for the fish to start biting and then the float buried – fishing a 12 elastic on 6lb line to a size 14 hook length on 3.5lb ( .18 ) diameter line. Jack was shown how to play the fish and to wait until it was ready to net. It was duly netted and weighed around 3lb – this was followed by a couple of ghost carp between 2 and 2.5lb each.

The swim went quiet so I showed Jack how to fit a cadpot to the pole so we could build up feed in the swim – after losing the feed only twice, Jack soon had the hang of shipping out without spilling the cadpot.

Timing could not have been better as Jack’s grandmother had brought him and his mum and brother and just arrived when Jack struck into a good fish – Jack showed experience beyond his years and with encouragement from me he played it for 10-15 minutes before landing a 10lb 8 oz Mirror Carp.

Sessions are normally 3 hours but because of the poor conditions we fished closer to 4 hours. We then weighed in at 32lb 8oz – a beautiful net full of fish

During the session we discussed fishing to a feature – trying different coloured floats because of the light and changing our shotting pattern. We showed how to tie a rig to a crow foot method and accurate plumbing. I for one cannot wait for the next instalment when we move onto pellet. Also, we will be moving to top two plus two and three sections to see how Jack copes with medium length pole.

Jacks comment "It was great"
Even though it was raining, I really enjoyed my first lesson with Ron. Ron explains things to me, so I understood them easily. I could not believe it when I landed my 1st but got a 10lb 8oz fish. Really looking forward to my next lesson


Week 2 -   Saturday 14th June

Jack fished the same tactics and rigs as his previous lesson but this time on his own.

Again it was mainly ghost carp with the odd tench and silver fish.

Jack had his rig smashed by a big fish that unluckily got away – not so bad for Jack as he was fishing my rig.

Weigh in = 28lb 8oz


 Week 3 -  Saturday 21st June


Jack was not due for a lesson but because his dad was home, he decided he would bring him –

I thought we would fish similar tactics but in a different peg and we set it up together in peg 38 in the Canal pond.

The difference here is that you can fish a lot shallower and a lot deeper in this peg – we elected to go down the left shallow and the same rig down the right and then a deeper rig straight out in front


I had visited Jack two or three times to see how he was doing and also to bring his dad up to date with what we had been teaching him and then finally for the weigh-in

During a 5 hour session there was also a match on the main pond 6 hours – Jack guessed at his weight would be 21 lb - I weighed him in at 42lb which would have put him third in the match

This is a record for Jack and he has this method sorted.

Jack’s comment. "Wow "
Ron’s a great teacher but has a bad memory … my weight caught was actually 44lb…a great days fishing


Week 4 -  Saturday 28th June

Jack was not due to visit the pond but is scheduled to fish on the 5th July on the pellet – when we will be fishing somewhere different on the pond


Week 5 - Lesson 2    Saturday 5th July

Jack is now fairly confident on fishing maggot and corn so we move on to soft hook baits

Jack arrived at 9.00 and we spent the first 30 minutes showing how to make jelly pellets 6 mill and making up some rigs to fish these baits - we made rigs at 1 g and .7 g one with an Olivetti for fishing top 2 plus 3 into a medium wind and the .7 for down the edge top 2 plus 1. we also made some 2m feed pellets as we were to fish the 6 mill pellets over this loose feed.

There was an edge to today as Jack's granddad had come to fish against him so the pressure was on.

We made sure that Jack went through the normal processes of getting all his gear to hand assessing the peg and choosing at least 2 swims to fish -Jack plumbed up so we were just on the bottom and also picked out a feature to give him the same line each put in. We potted in several cad pots of 2 mills into each swim and then away we went. The fish were biting within 10 minutes but quite a few got away as Jack was not striking into the fish - this was soon remedied and the fish started to come to the net - he was catching mirror carp to 2 1/2 lb and ghosties 1lb - 2 1/2 lb

Jack was asked to keep his eye on his second swim and to keep feeding it - an hour into the session the first swim dried up so we moved to the second swim and the fish were waiting - Jack continued to pull in the carp plus a nice bream - at this point granddad surrendered

Lessons are 3 hours but again this ran to 4 and a 1/4 hours and we weighed in just over 28lb but my guess is we missed or lost another 20lb

I explained to Jack that we need to strike into fish on this method a lot more than corn and maggot as the pellet is normally lost and the fish is away if we miss the bite - Jack got the hang of this and his success rate improved as the session went on - next week he will practice this method in the same peg and he will make his own pellets - can he beat 28lb?


Jack’s comment.
Today I learnt it was useful to keep 2 swims fed and ready to fish… a great days fishing … because I beat my Granddad


Week 6 -  Saturday 19th July

Jack has had some success on maggot and pellet and corn so we move on to a new method - paste

Jack turns up prompt as always and eager to learn anything new that will help his fishing - I show him how to make a paste mix - its not rocket science as it tells you on the bag but you can vary it to make it harder or softer depending on the conditions

We move from peg 34 to peg 2 as it is totally different and we are going to fish top 2 plus 3 - we fit a large cad pot to Jack's top 2 and add I/2 pot of 2 mill feeders before dropping the paste in the pot - Jack is shown how to ship out and how to know that the paste is still on the hook - using a large stem float that has been plumbed but is short of shot as the wait of the paste will cock the float how we want it - when the paste comes off the float will rise in the water. On previous methods Jack has been shown how to jig the rig to entice bites but with paste this will just lose your bait.

Jack gets a few fish but we are quick to realise that they are not really taking the paste - as part of the lesson Jack is taught to react to both conditions and feeding patterns so we switch to soft punched cheese and this makes a difference - except this is my bait prepared for my days following match.

The bites come and go and the fish turn off for a while so Jack has asked about casting a waggler - we spend just 20 minutes casting and the improvement is easily seen

Before going back on the pole we go to the bait room to show Jack how to prepare cheese as a pellet form punched with a meat punch - Jack prepares his own bait and returns to his peg and hooks into an 8lb mirror on bait he has prepared himself - at the weigh in Jack has 28lb 08 oz in his net plus an 8lb lump - so 36 lb 08 oz

On Saturday the 26th Jack will be fishing match conditions - he will have set up time and 5 hours - he will be given various baits and rigs and it will be his tactics to see what he can achieve

Jacks comment to follow


Week 7 -  Saturday 26th July


Jack has been progressing nicely and today was the day to see how he could put this to the test as he was to fish a match against his grandmother who was having her first lesson from Ron.

The night before 12 anglers had caught 732 lb at an average of 61lb an angler but today was very hot and no breeze or ripple on the water. There was a match booking on the lake and not many fish were taking to the various baits.

Jack was given the same baits and feed and time to rig up and select his swims and tactics - Ron assessed Angie's peg and we were ready to fish.

Jack was in first put in with a nice bream and he followed this with a couple of silvers but it didn't tale long to realise the fish were not biting today - the fish had been on the bigger baits for a week so meat cheese corn etc had all been doing well but with the breeze or ripple the fish were just cruising up in the water with very little interest.

Ron jumped ship to help Jack as Angie had taken the lead landing a 4 1/2 lb mirror and 3 ghost carp. Jack changed swim and tactics and started to get bites but these resulted in him pulling out of enough fish to win the match.

In a way it was a good lesson as there will be times when the fish are not biting and you have to be able to change tactics or try other methods

The result was not important but for the record books Angie 27lb Jack 19lb

It has been a pleasure teaching Jack and it was very nice to receive a birthday cake from him and his family - next week we will be back on the fish and I expect to see Jack set a new personal best.

After the 5 hour session Jack continued to fish for 3 more hours - that is dedication when things are not going well and it shows his commitment as anybody can sit on the bank when they are catching - it is those who put the time in when it is hard who will become the better anglers

well done Jack



Saturday 2nd August

Jack is going to fish on his own in peg 35 - the conditions have changed and the wind is against him - also some heavy showers forecast - I think Jack brings this weather with him. I have fished the peg the day before but conditions were in my favour and I bagged 69lb 4oz

I think 30lb will be a good target - Jack is fishing punched cheese, corn and meat of 2.3mill feeder pellets

Jack has targeted 2 swims and I think he has chosen correctly as it is not long before he starts getting bites and these in turn become fish in the net.

Because of the wind Jack is fishing .7 gram floats with a bulk rig - 6lb line to 3lb hook link on a wide gape 14 hook for the bigger baits - he has 3 pints of feeder pellets with some chopped cheese blitzed in a blender in 2 pints of water and this has been used to soak his pellets. The fish are on the cheese and this strong smell added to the pellet should attract any fish nearby

The fish are off and on and conditions are not helping but Jack perseveres and shifts from swim to swim - he has been smashed off

We come to weigh in and Jack has 29lb which is very good for the conditions - it is important to know what effect the wind direction has when fishing margins - midweek I fished against my brother and he was on the opposite bank with the wind in his favour and he beat me by 31lb ( 89lb v 58lb ) - on Sunday we fished the same pegs with he wind in my favour and I beat him by 37lb ( 35lb v 72lb)

We are going to be exploring the rod and line options and this will include pellet waggler - meat to a hair rig normal waggler and banded baits but I think we need one more day on the pole to break that 50lb



Saturday 9th August


The pond had fished extremely well on Friday afternoon with a 61 lb average weight per angler in the match but Jack always brings his own weather with him and it didn't look good - I think we had the leading edge of the storm that hit Sunday - this put 6 inches of water in the pond.

I got it wrong - my fault without a doubt - my brother who had smashed 300lb out in 3 days was in the next peg and had 6 fish all day

Not one to waste an opportunity I decided to give Jack a free lesson on casting and methods on the waggler. When fishing hook to nylon as your end rig there are so many options and we looked at meat rig - lasso - bait band and wide gape hook.

I showed Jack how to rig up his rod - float and shotting from scratch and then we went for some casting practice - we had some fun and a little competition - apart from normal casting over your shoulder, I showed Jack how to sideways cast under the wind - drawstring cast and other methods

We set up targets on the lawn and points were awarded for accuracy and distance - Jack was the only one to score a perfect 10 - however I did manage to sneak a 3-2 win and I am the teacher.

There was a match on the pond and the top weight did not come anywhere near the average of the day before

Jack set up his own rod and line after some help from me and went to try it out - a few floats lost on the island is a quick lesson learned and I have seen some of the best anglers on the pond struggle in such conditions -Jack did go on to catch a few fish on this method which is more knowledge and experience in his locker

We are going for the + 50lb net then I may become redundant





We hope to see you soon . . . .


Tight Lines



Tansterne Fishing

Tansterne Lane
East Yorkshire
HU11 4RD

Fishing in Yorkshire - Tansterne Fishing Ponds



Mike  07873 336149

Ron  07711 936611


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