Blog Posts by Shane Billings

Back Shane Billings


Part Time Cleaner
Other Sponsor(s):
Chapel Baits
Favourite Venue:
Cudmore Fisheries

My Bio

My uncle started taking me fishing with him when I was 9. We used to go on the river Dove and the canals and I was "hooked" straight away!!! My Grandad also used to take me to the river Dove for a few hours once a week, I have to laugh now because i was lucky to fish for 1/2 an hour.....he had the rod the rest of the time !!!! I got involved in match fishing for the local youth club then started to fish for British Gypsum once a year in a team event at JCB at Rocester.In my second year I was placed second in my section and was awarded a trophy....Unforgettable!!!

As the years have passed I've fished from rivers to ponds and lakes with an occasional open match resulting in a few wins. I turned my attention to specimen fishing ,carp, barbel and in the winter pike but for the last four years my main target and my passion is the Wels catfish which I target from April to September,then back to pike again until April!!!!

My personal bests are Wels catfish 54lb 3oz,Cudmore Sturgeon 24lb 6oz Lychgate, Pike 21lb 9oz River Dove, Mirror carp 20lb 12oz Pirelli pool, Grass carp 20lb 2oz Shattersford, Common carp 19lb 5oz BMAA club pool, Zander 15lb 3oz unamed venue, Barbel 14lb 6oz River Trent, Bream 10lb 12oz Pirelli pool, Tench 8lb 8oz Pirelli pool, Chubb 5lb 8oz, River Dove, Eel 5lb 4oz Pirelli pool, Perch 3lb 2oz Fleam stream,(runs into the river Dove). 

28 Jan 2012


On arriving at Cudmore Fishery on Saturday the 28th Jan at 8:30am I was confronted with a sight all anglers dread…. ICE and it topped every pool. I had decided to fish Tara as there would be a good chance of a Pike if nothing else was biting. 

I really wanted to try for the carp and armed with a selection of Chapel Baits pop ups I was more than prephared.

I also wanted to have a go for the pike so I took so I packed my dead baits and blood glugs.

It was really cold but I  wrapped up in my thermals and with the anticipation of hooking into a big one I managed to keep warm.

The carp set up I employed consisted of 8lb mainline, free running lead with a bead. 18" of 15lb braid (weighted down with tungsten putty) and a size 10 barbless hook. To ensure the line as discrete as possible a flying back lead was then used.

For hook bait I used a 14mm Plum and Black Pepper pop up tipped with two red maggots to add the visual attraction often needed in winter carp fishing.

Due to the ice in front of me I had to angle my rod at 45 degrees to keep the line off the ice. I cast to the island in the centre of Tara. In these conditions I very rarely feed preferring to fish with lone hook baits. 

The Pike set up was on the same basis but with no back lead. The hook link material was 30lb mono line with a cat fish hook with kebab'd roach hair rigged to it inter spaced with pop up foam all of this was then glugged in the blood and worm dip. Giving maximum attraction with minimum feed.

The bait was then cast 30 yards out into open water. I put the alarms on and then it was time to stoke up the cooker for bacon butty's and a cuppa.

It was very quiet as I had pre-empted and it gave me time to take in the scenery and also a opportunity to start planning my next session.

As I was observing the water I noticed a couple of small fish topping and over my Pike bait. Was the glug drawing in the pike?? I wound in re-glugged my hook bait and recast straight onto the same spot.

I didn't have to wait long before my rod tip started tapping slowly and sure enough my alarm burst into life. Before long a immaculate jack pike was safely in the net and a few photo's later was returned to the lake. 



I re-baited and re-cast to the same area again hoping the glug had drawn in more than one pike.

Time was passing with no more activity and the lake took on a very dormant state no more fish topping or other movement to be seen at all. I had almost given up when……

My carp alarm gave a single bleep then went quiet, then it went again with four short bleeps this time I wasn't going to wait and I lept up and struck…. I had connected!!!

The result was a stunning chunky Mirror Carp. I was over the moon having resigned myself to the one fish all of a sudden I had two on the bank in conditions I can only describe as vile. This was the first instance of me using a Chapel Baits pop up and definitely won't be the last. It wasn't a specimen but on a day as hard as today I was chuffed. 

Twenty more minutes passed and all of a sudden the pike rod twitched and the alarm chirped into life I struck and connected into what I initially thought was a decent fish after a spirited fight I had another Jack Pike in the net. What a stunner!! 

Keep an eye out for my future blogs as I will be visiting Cudmore again after one of their big cats. I WILL BREAK MY PB!! 

Roll on summer!!!