Hughes News – APRIL BLOG

Can you believe it’s May?

Unbelievable weather we’ve been having eh! 

Just two weeks ago it was nearly 30° and on the last day of April we’ve had snow in some parts of England and northern France. The weather really is all over the shop and this is having a massive effect on the fishing. Venues are either “fishing their taters off” or nowt’s comin’ out. Stick with it, and it will happen. I’ve caught a few this April on my usual short session hit n run sessions and for me it’s still a case of bags, traps and Zigs that are the deadly combinations. If you want to read a bit more then I’ve been putting pen to paper a bit this month. CarpWorld has a great Think Tank Feature on Zigs, and Carp Feed is looking at accurate baiting. Worth a read for sure.

April kicked off with the bank holiday, and that saw me and the England ladies team head over to Drayton for a practice and shakedown in readiness for the third Anglo Welsh ladies international come fishing match. England won the last two and we are keen to do it again. There’s been a few changes in the ladies team with some of the girls leaving and new ones joining. As always seems to be the case when the girls head out on the bank, the weather is really bad, and that first session of the year saw sleet and cold rain. Nevertheless with a really good shakedown, and I was pleased with the attitude and skill set of all of the girls including three newcomers, Becky Paula and Jane. Another few weeks, and were looking forward to taking on the Welsh again for the Clifford cup later this month.

There’s been a few highlights for me this month, one of them being taking my son Jack carp fishing. Jack is mad keen and has been for the last seven years. For the first few years we just went fishing and caught fish then I started to hone his skills teaching him feeding patterns on the float, and things like trotting, spinning, drop shotting, and general angling watercraft. Last year was the first time he was allowed to be let loose on the carp rods. I’ve got to say that his favourite style of fishing at the moment is LRF and light lure fishing, especially in the sea, but he really does like the pull of carp. We went down to our local lake for a bit of stalking and he did everything himself, including finding the fish and a spot, casting, baiting up and consequently playing fish. He got his tactics absolutely bang on and nailed a good double from a cast that could only have been in the water 10 minutes. Good lad.

Work wise I managed to pop into Dynamite HQ as well for a look at some of the new things that are happening and also to give some input into a new project we’re working on. It’s not going to be released until 2019 but already it’s looking good and I can confirm that one of the new baits in particular is crazily instant. The first time I used it I had a fish within 2 hours. Magic. We also managed to get out and do some filming for Dynamite TV. The subject this month is top tips for getting quick bites. You can find out more at

As my own fishing it’s been a bit limited for a number of personal reasons as well as work commitments. I was scheduled to finish fish in the IB CC event in Hungary but had to cancel more or less at the last minute. It looked a brilliant event and amazingly there were over 50 tons of carp caught between 200 teams. The weather was typical Balaton. Flat calm and seemingly beautiful one moment and it’s rolling like the Atlantic the next. It really is hard-core fishing out there and my respect goes out to everybody that fished the event. Tim and Andy Swain with Frano Pavey were the highest finishing English paring with a respectable 26th place. A particularly big congratulations should go out to the winners, a Slovakian Team, and of course to the organisers for putting on such a brilliant event. I really do have to be there next year.

Back in the Holiday Game.

Earlier on this month I joined the team at Euro Carp Tours. This is quite big news for me as it means I’m back on holiday industry having stopped running trips back in 2010. ECT don’t actually have a particular venue, they operate transport and also the ability to get to any venue and we’re looking at running some exciting adventure trips to some awesome venues. If you don’t fancy doing the driving they will do it for you and they work for closely with a number of the best holiday venues in France. I went out to visit a couple of them and was really impressed both with the lakes but also the ECT operation. They’ve got a fleet of converted Mercedes sprinters that will come to your door and collect both you and your tackle so you don’t have to worry about using hire kit. Alternatively if you prefer to fly to the destination, they will collect your gear and meet you at the other end. Brilliant if you want to fish some of the long haul places like, Italy Croatia or Hungary, or alternatively fancy a break to a great venue in France with your mates.

I spent a very nice 48 hours at a lake called Archipelago which is near Limoges. It gets its name from a long strip of thin islands running straight down the middle of the lake and I’ve got a say it is very impressive and also a bit “under the radar” so now is the time to get out there. At 8 acres it has a reasonably good stock of fish including a lot of fish over 40lbs. The average size is 40 plus, there is a good helping of 50s and handful over 60 with one which could well be 70 this year. The venue is immaculate and caters for up to 6 anglers at a time. It’s the sort of place that’s ideal for a group wanting an exclusive lake booking and the facilities are brilliant. It’s pretty short range intimate fishing too. You don’t need to cast more than 50yards max, and there are soooo many features to fish to along the margins and the islands.

I managed a couple of fish in my short stay with a cracking chunky mirror being the biggest. One of the lads on the trip, Richard, bagged a pb 47 mirror and we saw some other stunners too. I’m already looking forward to going back and plotting to catch some of the lakes 50s. If you fancy a trip there you can drive and survive it, have a food package if you want (and I can definitely recommend the grub, it’s awesome) or if you want a real VIP trip, ECT can drive you down or pick you up at the airport should you prefer to fly. Once again full details on the ECT web page / FB link.

Next Adventures

I’m not sure when I’m going to be able to go on my next adventure but I’m thinking a new country for a new big fish would be ace. Poland or Holland are on the radar but not until next month. That might sound extravagant but I genuinely don’t get to fish that much so if I do get a 72 hour window I want to go on an adventure. A lot of my fishing is a couple of hours here and there, with an overnighter a luxury and a week away a near impossibility.  I will however be out next week with Harry Charrington for Fox where we starting out the filming for the new Underwater Answers series which will be available on Fox Fishing TV .

Will be looking at Zigs, the going method at this time of year, and hopefully will have some really good answers to some of your questions. Indication, visibility, what and where etc etc. We’ll find out the answers and make sure you get them too.

Finally I’d like to finish this months blog on a real high note with a fantastic project that is being set up by Viv Shears and his mates. I’m helping out with the publicity and planning now and it’s a line recycling scheme. Did you know that if you burn line it gives off toxic gases, and most of the line that is thrown away goes into landfill. It takes 100s of years to degrade so we need to look at this issue sharpish. The idea is called the Angling National Line Recycling Scheme. What it means basically that you take your old line to your local tackle shop, put it in the deposit bin and they will send it off for recycling rather than it being burned all going to landfill. It’s a brilliant conservation exercise and once again shows that angling is at the forefront of awareness of the aquatic natural world and the problems it faces. It’s something that we should all get behind so if you’re reading this can you please mention it to your local tackle shop and get them to sign up. Full details can be seen here.


Thanks as ever for your time, and may your next carp be your biggest.