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Mark Radcliffe

A Species Hunters Diary 2017 – May

Mark Radcliffe continues his search for 50 species from his yak into May, this month Mark goes in search of eels, garfish as well as focusing his efforts on the Swanage Classic Species Hunt.

A Species Hunters Diary 2017 – April

Mark Radcliffe continues his year round species hunt into April, this month Mark heads to Swanage and Devon in the hope of significantly increasing his species tally.

A Species Hunters Diary – March

Mark Radcliffe continues his kayak species hunting diary, a year round adventure to catch as many species as he possibly can from his 'yak.

Species Hunters Diary – January and February

In this new series Mark Radcliffe chronicles his species hunting on his kayak over an entire year, looking at what he's caught and how he caught them. Mark begins by retracing his January and February fishing.

Unexpected Jacks and More in Costa Rica

Although it was a family holiday, Mark Radcliffe couldn't resist packing a travel rod and a few HTO and Tronixpro essentials in case an angling opportunity arose in Costa Rica.

Light Lure Fishing for Chub

Although it's winter, we can't help dreaming of the summer already. Here Mark Radcliffe looks back at a summer learning what makes chub tick when it comes to lure fishing on the river.

Muddy Water Mullet

Often cited as one of the most frustrating fish to catch, Mark Radcliffe looks at some top tactics for catching wary mullet on light tackle from his kayak.

Kayaking Kids Lead the Way

Mark Radcliffe reports from last weekend's Oxwich Bay Kayak Fishing Tournament, an event which attracted a large number of junior kayak anglers.

Scale Down for Success

Kayak Angler Mark Radcliffe looks at how scaling down your tackle will not only catch you more fish but a greater variety too.

Kayak Fishing the River Thames

A lot of my kayak fishing is coastal and a lot of it is competitive, where I will be launching with every possible rod, rig lure and bait. However this summer I have spent an increasing amount of time fishing the River Thames for pleasure, and increasingly using less and less tackle just enjoying drifting along the river whilst drop shotting for perch.
The tackle I use for this couldn’t be simpler and can practically fit in your pocket.
The rod and reel I prefer are the Hart Absolut Spin  with a No 3 reel   loaded with the HTO braid. Then the tackle is just a spool of fluorocarbon, a pack of HTO drop shot weights, a variety of HTO Mini and Mega Sticks along with size 4 wormer hooks for the smaller plastics and a size 1 hook  for the larger.

Tie a simple drop shot rig, lower it over the side and that’s all there is to it.
Kayak fishing offers advantages and also causes some issues. The joy is that you can fish along all the tree lines, close to boats and access areas that just wouldn’t be possible from the bank or a larger boat.
However you have to remember that you will always be moving, you always drift with the current or wind so drop shot fishing in its traditional sense isn’t possible. The weight and rig will always be moving with you putting constant movement on the lure, it is more akin to vertical jigging than drop shotting. You have to use a slightly heavier weight than you might do from the bank because you want to maintain a vertical line to your lure not allowing it to drag at a 45 degree angle.
As with bank fishing putting extra movement on the lure either through vibration or lifting adds interest to the fish and often lifting and dropping the lure just a few inches results in an instant hit. The Mini sticks seem irresistible to perch and there is always a constant stream of fish to 1 ½ lb coming aboard, whilst the Mega sticks obviously sort out the larger stamp of fish.

Whilst perch are obviously the main target on these trips, pike make a regular appearance, loving the sticks as well. In fact it seems that practically every fish in the river has a penchant for the sticks with chub and bream also making a welcome appearance.

It really couldn’t be simpler and is a truly joyful way to fish.
Get out there and give it a go.

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