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As promised I thought I’d better write a new blog before we embark on another season on our great rivers.

So what have I been up to?

well I embarked on a 2 week fishing holiday on my beloved Trent at the end of the season, but wish I hadn’t in insight. The river was cold and not conducive barbel conditions, it felt I was battling against the elements and not the fish I intended to catch (the barbel) as every day seemed to throw something else into the mix. Rain, hail, sleet and snow were all part of our great British spring, seems like it’s a re-occurring theme every spring and summer doesn’t it? Although last season during March we were basking in the Mediterranean heat and temps of 23 Celsius, it seemed like a distant dream this year however as temperatures got not much above 6 – 7 Celsius during the day with overnight frosts to top it off.

I have had fantastic barbel sessions during the last 2 weeks of the season, including last year where I caught a few doubles and many other chub and bream besides, which also served a purpose, keeping me occupied waiting for those barbel that inevitably picked up my bait.

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The last 2 weeks of this season however yielded no such luck as I tried in vain to catch a barbel, alas I only hooked and caught a decent chub of 5lbs 13oz and a smaller one of around 2lbs within those 2 weeks. The weather of course played a big part on the locations I chose to fish and the way I approached them as I wasn’t prepared to pay upper end day ticket prices on some venues because of the weather.

My fishing was somewhat limited due to these adverse weather conditions but in truth I doubt I would have caught much more anyway.

I did manage a couple of sessions with one of my ‘field testers’ Adrian Needham where in the lashing rain that just didn’t stop he managed to tempt a 6lb barbel on a double Dubby hook bait.

I unfortunately blanked, only having a solitary ‘thump’ on the tip that didn’t materialize into anything more, this was realistically my last chance of a barbel as water temperatures were around 6.6 Celsius which gave us a chance but the bank became so slippy and dangerous in the dark (it looked more like a mud bath) we decided to call it a night.

This session put any slender hopes of catching a barbel on this trip to bed, of course I carried on trying even though I knew it was not going to happen as the water temperatures plummeted to 3.3 Celsius and frosty and snowy conditions prevailed for the remaining time of my stay.

So What Else… ?

Since my return I have been busy sorting out a new boilie range for carp and tench, which is something I am really excited about. The tench mini boilie in particular (Mr T) is something I feel will do very well when the tench finally wake up, the cold easterly wind seems to be persisting throughout the spring, leaving many waters behind several weeks.

Mr T boilies will catch many tench this year I am sure.

I have also created a new groundbait to use in conjunction with the boilie, a method mix is a favoured method for tench on a lot of waters so I came up with a very active and very nutritional groundbait that tench will adore. The focus is on fizz and how active the groundbait is along with the cloud that is generated from it…

Here’s my first product test video of said groundbait – beware though this is my first attempt and there’s plenty of mistakes!

I have also produced a new carp boilie named the D-Ream which is a nutty base with Hazelnut and Tiger Nut aroma, it smells just like it looks – delicious!

The new D-REAM currently being tested!

The new D-REAM currently being tested!

As well as these great new boilies that are currently being tested throughout 2013 and into 2014 the pop-ups to go with the range are also a product that I hope will hit the ground running. The D-REAM, Canadian Bounty and Mr T will all have pop-ups to accompany the bottom baits in various bright colours such as Pink, Yellow, Orange, and White…. for now.

The new D-REAM Pop-Ups in fluoro Yellow

The new D-REAM Pop-Ups in fluoro Yellow

As you can see the new company is moving forward and I am looking forward to the future. This coming season is set to be a great one for our testing team on the rivers as we have a full season to go out and do the business. I myself will be getting in on the action (I hope) in June/July for tench, carp and barbel. 

The testing of a newly designed barbel boilie  (‘Flamin’ Sizzle’)  will be available to the testing team for June 16th which is something myself and the team are looking forward to along with the eagerly awaited and anticipated pellet range. It is certainly looking a bright future for 3 F T and the team we now have in place as I am sure the company will grow and go from strength to strength.

Lastly, consultant Frans Vogels is starting to tempt barbel on his waters in Holland on the Dubby boilie including this lovely 8lbs barbel caught on what, in his words “A small river”, I think I need a holiday!

Frans Vogels (3 F T Consultant) with a nice 8lb barbel, caught on a Dubby boilie.

Frans Vogels (3 F T Consultant) with a nice 8lb barbel, caught on a Dubby boilie.

In June/July there will be a big change to the site as we move to a domain and the structure and the way the blog/site is laid out will be different. This will act as a 3 F T shop where you can buy the products available and articles, features and reviews will be a joint effort, between myself and the testing team. This will give you, the reader more content to read on a more daily basis, something I don’t have much time to do myself.

Also included within the new site is a gallery from the team and their own individual pictures along with a testimonial.

There will be a new ‘where to fish guide’ that will only be available to members of the site and a video section where I am sure many of us will take part in trying to provide you with some handy tips and/or a feature on the bank. Plus loads more… 

Not long to go before the season starts and I for one can’t wait to get myself back on the bank in ‘proper’ weather conditions and hook into barbel again.

I will update again before the season starts but until then happy close season whatever fish you’ve chosen to target.

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