British lure angling champs

Those of you waiting in anticipation to find out where the qualifiers will be held for the first ever British Lure Fishing Championships need wait no longer ! BLAC’s head honcho Julian Chidgey has announced the dates and there are some cracking venues !

Qualifier 1- Exeter Ship Canal, Sunday April 6th

The Exeter canal is a lovely water that the Lure Tour team have fished a few times. Normally it’s very clear and later in the year can get quite weedy, but early April should be a perfect time to hunt down a few big perch and pike. The canal regularly turns out 2lb + perch and some monstrous pike including at least two thirties that we have heard of.

LureTour’s Must Have Lureslow sink 6″ BBZ

Qualifier 2- Kennet and Avon Canal, Froxfield. Sunday 13th April

The K&A is one of our favourite perch venues as it’s rare to spend time there are not manage to bank a few stripeys. What’s more there are some cracking pike in there too. If you’re going to win this match you will have to bank plenty of perch or find a couple of the resident big double figure pike. You can bet the majority of the field will be using various soft shads but if the canal is clear and the weather is bright this is a qualifier when drop-shotting techniques might just prove to be the winning method

LureTour’s Must Have Lure – Savage Gear Soft 4Play Shad

Luretour's very own gary Palmer with a nice K&A perch

Luretour’s very own gary Palmer with a nice K&A perch

Qualifier 3- Grand Union Canal (Leamington Spa) Sunday 11th May

Oh yes ! the third qualifier is being held on Luretour’s very own home water the Lure Anglers Canal Club Stretch of the Grand Union canal near Leamington Spa. This is a water that is normally fairly murky and catches are dominated by Zander. Having said that there are plenty of nice perch about too and the occasional bonus pike, but we suspect the winner of this qualifier will be the angler that banks the most Zeds. Once again soft shads will be the main lure for most anglers, but it’s worth pointing out that the fishery record zander of 9lb 6oz came out to a drop shotted lure and there are also a few regulars who swear by spinners and crankbaits. This is a venue that you will really benefit from practising on..but don’t forget to buy a day ticket before hand from the Lure Anglers Canal Club as no tickets are sold on the bank and anyone caught poaching will be banned from taking part in the qualifier !

Buy day tickets here – www.lureanglerscanalclub.co.uk

LureTour’s Must Have Lure – Spro Komodo Shad (review to come soon !)

Simon Nicol with the venue nest Zander of 9lb 6oz

Simon Nicol with the venue best Zander of 9lb 6oz

Qualifier 4- River Thames (Oxford) Saturday 5th July

We just love the Thames around Oxford, it has provided us with some spectacular sport and some great memories, so this is one qualifier we are definitely looking forward to ! This is a tough one to call though tactics wise, as there are good stocks of cracking perch to be had, but you can guarantee that some big pike are going to appear too…so do you go all out with big lure for big pike ? or do your hedge your bets and fish a 4″ shad hoping to have a chance to catch perch, pike and maybe a bonus zander ? It’s your call !

LureTour’s Must Have Lure – Salmo Sweeper

Luretour's John Cheyne with a gorgeous fat perch from the Thames near Oxford.

Luretour’s John Cheyne with a gorgeous fat perch from the Thames near Oxford.

Qualifier 5- Regents Canal (London) Saturday 6th September.

This is another of the Lure Anglers Canal Club waters, or at least it will be by the time the qualifier is fished. Set right in the heart of the most famous capital city in the world, this qualifier really is bringing “Street Fishing” to London. The canal here can be very clear at times so finesse tactics may be the order of the day and most anglers will be after the perch. However there are plenty of bonus pike around that might just make the difference. We know of one regular Regents canal lure angler who catches almost all his fish with French style “Plomb Pallete” tactics…never heard of it ? look it up !! Funny thing is, this is a venue we have had good results on using little crank baits so maybe this is an event to keep your softies in the box and fish ‘old-skool’

LureTour’s Must Have Lure – Gloog Hektor crank

Chucking lures amongst Multi-million pound office blocks will be the order of the day on the Regents Canal !

Chucking lures amongst Multi-million pound office blocks will be the order of the day on the Regents Canal !

 

Q6- Stainforth and Keadby Canal, Saturday 13th September

Ok we admit it, having never fished this venue, we know a little bit less about it’s potential than some of the other venues. What we do know is that there are some big lumps in there as 20lb + pike are landed every year. However a look at the match catches on the stretch in question also shows that perch feature regularly in the catches, so the pikers might not have it all their own way..it’s gonna take a lot of perch to beat a brace of big doubles though !

LureTour’s Must Have Lure – Savage gear Soft 4 Play

Monsters lurk here ! hooking into one of the canals 20lb+ pike might just win you the day !

Qualifier 7- Leeds Liverpool Canal Sunday 14th September

Another Northern venue that we haven’t fished (we don’t get out much) this is a canal with a great reputation for producing quality fish. Like any canal the temptation will be to throw out soft shads and bump them along the bottom, but you might just be surprised how effective a topwater can be if you want to tempt one of the big pike to make an appearance…ok, a surface bait probably isn’t going to be the lure that wins the day, but imagine what a god you would look like if you beat the shad boys by getting a monster to erupt on the surface !

LureTour’s Must Have Lure – Daiwa Dead or Alive

You can always depend on the North West to supply a glamorous “dream trip” venue ! Ok Ok the Leeds-Liverpool may not be Acapulco but it will certainly produce some fish.

Qualifier 8-Ferry Meadows, Peterborough, Sunday 21st September

If you’re nowhere near the Thames and canals really aren’t your thing then this could be the perfect qualifier for you. Ferry Meadows offers 80 acres of stunning, clear, predator infested waters. We suspect it will be Pike that win this match, although there are plenty of perch and even some Zander too. But with a big clear venue like this it often pays to cast just that bit further than the average angler and reach the water that is less pressured, so we reckon this could be the right venue to fish with medium sized jerk baits that cast miles.

LureTour’s Must Have Lure – Salmo Slider

Ferry Meadows is just begging you to fire a Salmo Slider at the horizon !

Ferry Meadows is just begging you to fire a Salmo Slider at the horizon !

Well that concludes LureTour’s preview of the BLAC Qualifier venues..now what are you waiting for…go sign up to one, two or all of them…we’ll see you there !

For more information check out lurematch.blogspot.co.uk

Share

A Review of the Slow Sink/Suspending Crank ‘N’ Shad by MH Custom Lures

MHLures

Lure Name Suspending Crank ‘N’ Shad
Manufacturer MH Custom Lures
Lure Type Crankbait
Length 6cm
Weight 12g
Price £4.99

There are times, especially in cold water conditions, where the fast erratic action of a crank bait is a little too much for predators. When conditions are hard and the target fish’s metabolism have slowed down, casting fast action, “rip em and stick em” baits just doesn’t produce the results. It’s times like this, and on pressured waters when the fish have seen a lot of straight cast and retrieve lures, that slow sink crank-baits that have the ability to ‘hover’ really come into their own.

Mark Houghton of MH Custom Lures has been making beautiful little balsa lures to order for for some time now and his little floating flat sided liplure the Crank ‘N’ Shad has become a favourite of many anglers. With a tight wiggle and plenty of flank flash it’s a particularly good lure for light gear pike fishing and also takes it’s fair share of Perch and Chub too. So when I was looking for a suspending crank that was small enough for perch fishing, but with a big enough profile to attract big stripeys I dropped Mark an email and asked him if he had ever produced a suspending/slow sink version of the Crank ‘N’ Shad. The answer was “no not really…but I could make you one !” and so the Suspending Crank ‘N’ Shad was born.

A Selection of Suspending Crank N' Shads

A Selection of Suspending Crank N’ Shads

The lure has a slim but deep lip and a thin, deep body. This means it has a surprisingly big profile in the water for a comparatively light lure. The key to getting this (and all suspending cranks) to work properly is to try a number of different trace set up’s until you get the rate of fall just right. Fish this lure with a heavy wire trace that has a large swivel and a large clip and it will sink too fast. Team it up with a light trace with small hardware and suddenly you find it literally hovers on the pause. This is the key moment as predators are very used to seeing prey fish suspended in the water, sneaking up on a small roach that is just hardly moving takes up a lot less energy than one that it fleeing, so smart predators love a suspended lure.

Three little guys all ready for action ! The slim profile of the lure helps it dive quickly and mirrors the body profile of a roach or rudd.

Three little guys all ready for action ! The slim profile of the lure helps it dive quickly and mirrors the body profile of a roach or rudd.

We found a lovely clear stretch of canal to test the lure out, so we could watch it’s every movement and we did swap and change traces before we were completely satisfied that we were getting the lure to truly suspend. Of course their are times when a very slow sink is what you are after, so all you need to do in that situation is use a slightly meatier trace. The action on these lures gives nice feedback to the top tip without being to violent and little downward stroked of the rod tip as you retrieve will know the lure off balance for a second and have it flanking nicely. We were just having fun experimenting with different retrieve styles when the first little jack decided to attack the lure. It probably wasn’t more than 2lb, but it was great fun to watch it edge out of the weed on the bottom and then after a couple of quivers of it’s fins, snap into action and bolt at the lure.

Mark produces his lures in a vast range of colours schemes which are nicely detailed. Take a look at the scale effect on this "Charteuse Pikie" version.

Mark produces his lures in a vast range of colours schemes which are nicely detailed. Take a look at the scale effect on this “Charteuse Pikie” version.

Despite the fact that our first fish was a pike, it was actually Perch I had hoped to catch on the canal. The fish here have seen a lot of lures especially soft shads and I was hopeful the novelly of a suspending bait would prove irresistible. Thankfully, it wasn’t too long till a perch appeared and when it did it was a beauty. I tweaked the lure alongside a stretch of reeds, letting it stop and suspend wherever there was a gap that might be the hiding place of a nice stripey and second cast into the area one thumped the lure on the hover.

Not the greatest pic, but a lovely perch that hit the suspending crank with confidence.

Not the greatest pic, but a lovely perch that hit the suspending crank with confidence.

Since that day we have fished the Crank’N’ Shad a good number of times and while it’s failed to deliver on a couple of occasions, it has also picked up fish when small shads, spinners and even drop shotting has failed to get a response. Our advice would be, to always have a suspending crank or two in your lure box. They offer a great alternative to straight cast and retrieve, sink and draw or deep diving baits and sometimes they can catch fish when nothing else will. At an amazing £4.99 each, the Crank ‘N Shad offers terrific value for money so what are you waiting for ?

http://mhcustomlures.blogspot.co.uk

Mark has now introduced a new range of Foil finishes that take the lure to the next level.

Mark has now introduced a new range of Foil finishes that take the lure to the next level.

Build Quality Very nicely put together lures that will last you for years. We like the red hooks and the split rings used are good quality. (9/10)
Quality of finish Nice hand painted colour schemes and a good layer of lacquer, We like the look of the new Foil versions. (8/10)
Performance You may need to tinker with your trace set up to get this lure working to it’s optimum, but that’s half the fun of suspending baits (8/10)
Value For Money You really can’t argue when you can buy one of these handmade lures for less than a fiver ! (10/10)
Variety of Options Available Floating version also available and a wide selection of colour schemes (8/10)
TackleTart Factor It’s always nice to fish with a hand made wooden lure but maybe the design is a little traditional to be totally “Rad” ! (7/10)
Overall A nice alternative to more mainstream cranks from Rapala, Manns or Salmo etc . (8.3/10)

MH Lures can be bought online  HERE

The Crank ‘N’ Shad is awarded a Silver Meda

 

Share

WPC-header-logo-sponsors1

If you like boat fishing for predators with lures and you fancy the chance to get your hands on some amazing prizes then you might want to take a look at the upcoming World Predator Classic.

Sponsored by Rapala Shimano amongst a host of other big names including British Company Reuben Heaton, the World Predator Classic competition will be held this year in The Netherlands with the historical town of Hellevoetsluis as the base. The fishing will take place over a period of 3 days in 3 designated zones of the Haringvliet located south of Rotterdam. The target species will be zander, perch and pike.

Predator anglers from all over the world will compete in what has been described as the Formula 1 of angling for a massive prize table complete with prestigious opening and closing ceremonies. There are even rock concerts planned for every night of the event !

bassboat-at-haringvliet-hollandsch-diep-600x421

A high powered bass boat on Haringvliet

The total number of boats in the competition is set to 60 with 2 anglers per boat. Places per country are limited. Lure fishing only, no live baits, no dead baits and no trolling with Best practice catch and release angling, being strictly  observed at all times.

One of the big name teams to have already signed up are the Rapala/Shimano combination of Willem Stolk and the UK’s own Jan Porter who will be known as “Team Silver Machine”. We can only assume they will be turning up in a very flash looking boat indeed !

If you see a guy with hair like Shirley Temple holding up a massive Zander…then it’s probably Willem Stolk !

If you fancy taking part you better make sure you have some cash as the entry fee is a whopping £1500, but with the chance to fish alongside some of the best predator anglers in the World..who wouldn’t be tempted !

For more information check out the World Predator Classic Website

Share

LASLOGOnew

 

LureFair 2014

Make sure you take some cash…there are a million and one things you'll want to take home with you !

Make sure you take some cash…there are a million and one things you’ll want to take home with you !

The Lure Anglers Society’s biennial “Lurefair” has become legendary over the years. The last one was held back in 2012 and there was a record turnout. The Society has announced that this year event will take place on:

Saturday April 5th

At

The Royal Masonic School
Rickmansworth
Herts
WD3 4HF

9.00am – 4.00pm

The Lurefair always includes the Legendary Second Hand Tackle Stall. Here we see Kev Taylor showing off some of his wares !

The Lurefair always includes the Legendary Second Hand Tackle Stall. Here we see Kev Taylor showing off some of his wares !

The Lurefair is always a fantastic event and the LURETOUR team will be there and involved. Below is just a small select of some of what to expect…

  • Vast range of trade stands selling all the latest lure fishing goodies
  • Guest Speakers including Martin Salter & Eric Edwards
  • Drop Shotting Seminar with Live video tank
  • Fantastic Prize Raffle
  • The legendary 2nd hand tackle stall
  • Free Parking
  • And Much Much More !!

Tickets on the door
LAS members £5
Non-members £7

For more details go to www.lureanglers.co.uk

IMG_0156

 

Share

British lure angling champs

The full details are still to be confirmed, but Britain will have it’s first ever lure fishing championships in 2014. The Championship will comprise of at least eight regional qualifiers and culminate in a grand final where it is rumoured the first prize will be a four figure cash sum as well as a host of fantastic tackle prizes.

The event will be sponsored by Fox Rage and heading up this exciting new competition is Fox Rage consultant Julian Chidgey. We spoke to Julian today and he has confirmed that the event will be open to all and that this will be a bank fishing championships. Further details of venues, prizes and rules will be released next Tuesday 28th January in the Angling Times and also on the Competitions Facebook page.

One thing is for sure, the guys from LureTour will be entering the Championships and doing everything we can to make the final !

The man behind the new British Lure Championships – Julian Chidgey

Share

Monarch-Dok Jerkbait review

Lure Name TNT
Manufacturer Monarch-Dok
Lure Type Jerkbait
Length 10cm
Weight 30g
Price £11.99

I’m a big fan of small light jerkbaits for a number of reasons. They cast well, they are fun to use, they catch fish and they can be cast and worked effectively on a number of set ups. Even when I’m out with a medium weight spinning set up I will often take a small jerk or two in case their are some nice pike in the area that I spot and want to target. You have to be careful that your rod is capable of dealing with a decent fish, but as long as the water is pretty open and your rod is not too light, it doesn’t usually cause too many issues. My favourite lures for this sort of work are the 7cm  Salmo slider and Mark Berrisfords Leons. So when I popped on to the Jerkbaitmania website and spotted the TNT I thought it might be a useful edition to my armoury.

The TNT is a little bigger than the 7cm Slider and MB Leon at 10cm, but at just 30g it’s a very manageable weight on a Medium weight spinning set up, but still heavy enough to cast and work properly on a light Jerkbait set up.

The Firetiger Pattern is nice and bright and works very well in water tainted with Algal bloom.

The Firetiger Pattern is nice and bright and works very well in water tainted with Algal bloom.

I didn’t know much about the company, so I thought I’d check out their website. Turns out Monarch-Dok are a Croatian company, and each lure is hand crafted from Abachi wood. Amazingly the lures are all hand tested prior to shipping not in tank but in the actual River Danube ! The site also has some interesting info about the quality of the components used in the construction of their baits and their certainly seems to be an emphasis on quality. The lures are all fitted with either VMC or Gamakatsu hooks and are all wired through using dental quality stainless wire. The finishes are all hand painted too and Monarch-Dok even manufacture their own split rings. It’s also worth pointing out that Monarch-Dok offer a guarantee that they will replace your lure if it get’s damaged beyond use, which gives an indication of their confidence in their product.

TESTING TIME

First time out I used a light baitcasting set up comprized of a St Croix Avid rod and Revo STX reel. The first thing I noticed about the lure is how well it casts. Like the Salmo slider, it’s compact shape and round lines mean that it cuts through the air like a bullet and it really is very easy to cast it a long way. It also casts very true with no inclination to spin or turn in the air, which makes it a joy to cast with a baitcaster and ensures that backlash issue shouldn’t be a problem even casting straight into the wind. On the retrieve the lure has a nice compact side to side glide with just a little bit of flanking action to make sure the lure sends out plenty of flashes of it’s sides as you work it. In fact it glides so easily there is really no need for a particularly stiff rod to impart the action and it’s more than possible to work the lure using the reel, which is particularly beneficial in tight areas between trees or if you are trying to keep a low profile on the bank as you can actually work the lure from a crouching position. The rate of fall is medium slow, which makes it more than possible to get the lure to work fairly deep if you let it drop then work it slowly, but also means that you can easily keep the lure in the top two or three feet of water by starting the retrieve immediately and keeping up a nice steady pace.

There is also a floating version of the TNT available and just in case you have trouble identifying which is which in your lure box, Monarch-Dok have marked each lure with a handy S or F on the underside.

There is also a floating version of the TNT available and just in case you have trouble identifying which is which in your lure box, Monarch-Dok have marked each lure with a handy S or F on the underside.

The TNT is in no way revolutionary, but it does what it does, very well. It just feels like a very nicely put together lure. As you will see from the pictures, the hooks and split rings are Stainless perma-steel which means that the lure is saltwater proof. Monarch-Dok is a popular brand in Sweden when many anglers use them to fish in the salty water of the Baltic, so the extra protection is necessary. The finishes are nice too with a very good multiple laquer layers protecting the hand painted finish.

Fish wise I can confirm that Pike are more than happy to chomp the TNT. After a succession of jacks on the St Croix outfit, I took the lure with me whilst zander fishing on a favourite canal and couldn’t resist giving it a go as the water was much clearer than I had expected. The lure was easy enough to work with my Spro Godfather jigging rod and third cast it was smashed by a decent pike, which only just squeezed into my small net (the drop to the water was too far to chin the fish). A nice fat low double to finish the review off with !

The perils of leaving your unhooking mat in the car ! if you are going to lay a pike on the bank, only ever do it on soft wet grass. I would have unhooked her in the water, but the drop at the canal edge meant I couldn't get at the hooks without netting her.

The perils of leaving your unhooking mat in the car ! if you are going to lay a pike on the bank, only ever do it on soft wet grass. I would have unhooked her in the water, but the drop at the canal edge meant I couldn’t get at the hooks without netting her.

CONCLUSIONS

The TNT is a very well made lure, that casts beautifully and is very easy to work. So easy in fact that it’s a pretty good fish catcher on a straight retrieve . Sometimes the fast slaloming action you get really get’s the pike chasing. It comes in a number of nice colour schemes and the life guarantee means that you can have total confidence in the build quality.

Sexy Redhead

subtle silver Perch

 

Build Quality Very good, Abachi wood, quality wired through construction, VMC/Gamakatsu hooks and they even make their own split rings ! (9/10)
Quality of finish Nice hand painted colour schemes and a good layer of lacquer, maybe not the most exciting and vivid finishes in the world, but certainly fish catchers. (8/10)
Performance A nice medium sink rate and an easy side to side action mean this lure performs very well without being amazingly innovative. (8/10)
Value For Money Not the cheapest of lures and works out at about 1/3 more than the equivalent Salmo Slider, but then you do get a hand made lure and a lifetime guarantee. (7/10)
Variety of Options Available Floating version available and a decent selection of colour schemes (7/10)
TackleTart Factor It’s always nice to fish with a hand made wooden lure and little jerkbaits are just such fun to use. (7/10)
Overall A nice alternative to more mainstream mini jerks and a very adaptable lure than can be worked with a wide variety of set ups. (7.6/10)

 

The TNT is awarded a Silver Medal by LureTour

In the UK the lures are available from Jerkbaitmania

Manufacturers website available here Monarch-Dok

IMG_1481

Share