Ironsides Blog

My blog is very eclectic and blog articles include angling, what's been on the television and basically anything else that comes to mind

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I live on the south-west coast of England in a small town called Brixham.  I been confined to a wheelchair 1986 after breaking my neck in a swimming pool accident.  Computers are my saviour and I spend most days doing one thing or another on my PC.  Other interests I have include angling and amateur radio.  I also run a website and forum dedicated to looking after and caring for the Oscar fish cichlid

If you want to learn about batteries and how they work and what batteries to use for different functions then this is definitely the website that you need to have a look at.
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If you are planning on going on holiday to Brixham and intend on doing a spot of crab fishing with the kids then I would recommend getting your crab bait from Brixham Bait and Tackle which is directly opposite the old fish market, next to the Golden Hind. You can't miss the shop, they always have fishing rods outside when it's open.
A bag of squid will cost you £1. They also sell crab lines and nets, plus buckets so that you can enjoy an afternoon's crab fishing in the harbour.
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Posted by on in General Discussion
A friend of mine Peter who is disabled is looking for somebody who can help him go out on his small 15 foot motor craft which is moored at Brixham Marina. Peter suffers from chronic back problems and therefore is looking for a reliable and competent companion to help him go out on the and do a spot of fishing during the summer time, or when the weather is fine.
In return for helping out Peter will let you use the boat to go out on your own from time to time. The boat will carry six people and there are six lifejackets on board. The only stipulation is that if you use the boat when Peter is not a board, you will be obliged to help towards fuel costs. Other than that, it's basically a freebie for helping Peter out.
If this is something that you are interested in and would like to talk to Peter about what is involved then please contact Peter on the following number.
01803 852072
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Posted by on in Angling
Sonubaits make a huge variety of pellets. I am particularly fond of their which I specifically use for method feeder fishing. I would recommend using the 2 mm -sized pellets as these can be soaked for two or three minutes and then used with method feeders that utilise a mould to attach the pellets.
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Posted by on in Angling
I am a massive fan of sonubait's, I use several of their products including ground bait and pellets. Another product I would highly recommend is their

. If you fish small commercial waters where the carp are fairly small then this is what you should be using to give extra flavour to your ground bait and pellets. The stuff smells gorgeous, if you like vanilla ice cream then you will like this stuff. I'm sure the carp love it as well, it seemed to give me the edge using it, I could definitely tell the difference when I didn't have it added to my pellet mix.


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They featured an interesting article on this lunchtime spotlight News so I thought I would share it. A clever bunch of people down in Cornwall have developed an iPad application that can help stimulate the brains of people who suffer from Alzheimer's. Anyway, check their website out, I've also included the link to where the app can be purchased on iTunes.
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Posted by on in Angling
There's nothing more exciting than catching carp from the surface. There are several companies that produce tackle that especially made for the job. Fox produce some really good quality tackle which you can buy from eBay

When you are surface fishing for carp it's very important that you do your utmost to disguise not only your hook link, but also your main line which can easily spook carp. Fox have designed a floater mainline that will address all these issues.


Fox also produce line that is made especially for hook links.

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Posted by on in TV Gossip
I watched Top of the Pops 1980 last night on BBC Four. Peter Powell was presenting it with BA Robinson as a guest presenter. Honestly, what is it with these co-presenters on TOP? The other week we had Roger Daltrey who was being extremely sexist and was rather too familiar with some very young girls on the set. Now we've got BA Robinson acting like a complete and utter TWAT. I will also question whether some of his comments regarding The Village People were somewhat homophobic. Okay, we'll make jokes about The Village People, but there is a time and a place.
It was also funny to watch The Skids with Richard Jobson is lead singer, somehow he looked out of place, especially wearing their ridiculous suit, it looked like he should have been on a boat at Henley Regatta. And what was that with those kids singing, that was absolutely terrible.
Really hilarious to see Ian Jury wearing lipstick.
I love looking at the people in the audience, most of them are more interested in what's going on around them, rather than listening to the music. This was especially true when Sue Wilkinson was singing.
It's great seeing the music from the 1980s, but the presenting is really dated and to be honest with you I'm surprised some of it hasn't been edited out because it really does cross the line when it comes to homophobic and sexually related comments made by the presenters. I'm sort of beginning to realise now why people like Dave Lee Travis was prosecuted, the behaviour was definitely questionable from what I can see. If he behaved like that with some of the young girls then I'm not surprised he ended up in court.
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Posted by on in Angling
I been using center>for a couple of years now and they are awesome. Because of the shape they are very good for hooking soft floating pellets. Alternatively, create a hair rig using the same hook and use them with your fake imitation mixer dog biscuits like I do.
The hooks come in various sizes, I would recommend size 10 if you are surface fishing using floaters, or imitation dog biscuits on a hair rig. If you are using bread then go for a size 6.
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Posted by on in Angling
Keep nets are something I absolutely detest. However you see them all the time on commercial carp waters and I just wish the fishery owners would put a complete ban on them outside of fishing matches. Over the last two or three years I have seen the same people constantly using keep nets at one of the venues I go to. I've observed them throughout the day putting every carp they catch into their keep net. However, at the end of the day when they are packing up, all they do is take the net out of the water and empty all the fish back into the pond. Exactly what is the point of this? Even though I don't agree with keeping carp cooped up in a keep net for several hours, I could sort of understand if somebody wanted a nice photo of themselves lying on the bank behind a huge haul of carp, at least they'll be doing it for a reason. But no, the only thing I can think of is these people are doing it because they want to show off in front of all the other anglers, hey, look how many carp I've caught!
I honestly don't think some of these people are taking the carp's welfare very seriously. Fish do not like to be all huddled together in the keep net where they can't move. In the summertime when it's warm the water can often be lacking in oxygen. Anglers who insist on using keep nets when it's very hot are not thinking about the carp's well-being at all. If a fish cannot move around properly in hot weather then it could possibly die of hypoxaemia, this is a lack of oxygen in the blood. Under no circumstances should carp ever be kept in the keep net in warm weather. In fact you should forget about keep nets altogether during the summer time in my opinion.
Finally, there is the question of fairness. Everyone pays the same money to fish at a commercial water. Is it really fair of one guy to keep a large number of the ponds fish in his keep net just for his own ego? If there are 200 fish swimming around in the pond and I have paid £7 to fish that pond, I want to be fishing for 200 carp, not 120 because a few guys have got them all in their keep nets.
If you are an avid keep net user then please think very carefully about what you are doing. Why do you feel the need to put every carp you catch in the keep net for the whole day? Do you honestly think that it's fair on the fish? I would ask these anglers to please leave their keep nets at home and only use them for when they are taking part in fishing matches. You are not impressing anyone by keeping the whole day's catch all cooped up in the net. All you are doing is causing the carp a lot of stress.
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Posted by on in Angling
has been around for quite a few years now. However, it's always been in the form of a chum mixer biscuit that has been soaked and has expanded in size. So when you put in three offerings, your hook bait didn't look the same and therefore the carp would often get spooked and avoid them. So companies including Enterprise Tackle have now reinvented the fake mixer biscuit and brought out one that looks exactly the same as the mixer biscuit that comes straight out of the packet. They have also designed the biscuit so it can be easily hair rigged which I absolutely love. I have now made up several hair rigs at different lengths to suit different floats. I've used one of Korda's mixa hooks and Krusier control surface fishing line which makes for the perfect surface fishing hook link. These new mixer biscuits sit perfectly on a hair rig and you get an excellent hook hold every single time, right in the corner of the mouth.
The new fake mixers come with one hole in the biscuit. You'll find that you will need to push a needle through the hole and penetrate the other side so that you can get your hair through. Make sure that when you mount the biscuit, you always push the needle through the larger hole first. When the biscuit is mounted on the hair, the larger hole will be at the bottom. The fake mixers come with a clever little device that prevents the biscuit from falling off the hair. However, they are also coloured and are made to act as a spotter so that when your fake biscuit is sitting amongst 10 other real biscuits, you can actually pick yours out quite easily because. This is particularly helpful because carp will often mouth the bait before taking. The little coloured disc that holds the biscuit onto the hair can almost be used as a float, if you see it disappear under the water then the chances are it in a fishes mouth, even if the fish hasn't run.
I absolutely love these fake mixers, you can literally spend the whole day surface fishing without ever having to change your hook bait. There's nothing worse than reeling in quickly because you want to cast out to fish that are topping only to have the biscuit fall off, you've then got to fiddle around with a silly little elastic band that can often be quite difficult to get around a mixer biscuit.
I got mine off eBay where you can often find companies selling them without charging post and packaging.
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Posted by on in Angling
I bought myself a bag of a few weeks ago and have use them at a local venue. I must admit I was rather surprised at how well the pellets performed. However, these pellets are oil-based, they are also very hard, much harder than your standard course type pellet. Therefore ignore the three-minute to 3 mm soaking rule, soak these for about half an hour and you will find that they will stick to the feeder like nobody's business. 
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Posted by on in Angling
There are various companies that produce ready-made hooks to nylon method feeder hook link. Okay, many people prefer to make their own, but for the price you pay for eight hook links, you're probably better off buying them. They are made from first-class materials and are perfect for use with the method and pellet feeder. I've been using various companies including Drennan and Guru.
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Posted by on in Angling
Guru who manufacture some really nice method and pellet feeders have now brought out some redesigned method feeders that look really good. I haven't tried them yet, I've got someone order which should be with me in the next day or two. Apparently these pellet feeders address the problem of pellets falling off, especially if you are fishing in deeper water. I will write up a blog post at some stage and tell you how I get on with them. In the meantime, try them out yourself, I bought mine from eBay.
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I started using pellets and ground bait manufactured by Sonubaits. Obviously there are far too many other manufacturers out there to try every single company, but I really love their pellets and ground bait, not only do they do the job, but you also get really good value for money. After watching a YouTube video I also started using one of their flavourings, the which smells like vanilla. I really do think the stuff works, ever since the bottle ran out my catch rates haven't been quite as good.
I have given you a few links on eBay to companies where you can buy both ground bait and pellets manufactured by Sonubaits. 
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After nearly 20 years I decided I should get myself a mobile phone, after all I spent quite a lot of time driving and on more than one occasion in the last few months I've had problems where I needed to contact somebody for help. Thankfully on those occasions I've had somebody with me who has got a mobile, but the time will come when nobody is with me and without a mobile phone I basically screwed.
I've heard a lot of good things about the iPhone. I've had iPods for quite a few years now and I love them. So I decided I would get an iPhone. Just recently I changed the stereo in my van in favour of one that would connect to an Apple device via Bluetooth, whether that be for streaming music, or accepting phone calls, in my case both.
So my mother and sister and I went over to Currys last week where I bought my mom a tablet for her birthday. Carphone Warehouse have got an outlet at the Torquay branch of Currys so I bought myself an iPhone 5C. I didn't want anything too expensive or elaborate so I paid £319 which I thought was quite reasonable.
The first thing I wanted to do was pair the iPhone up to my Panasonic stereo unit in the house just to see how well Bluetooth works. Well, could I get it to work? Could I hell as like. Whereas the iPod touch connects beautifully via Bluetooth to my Panasonic stereo unit which means I can stream music, the iPhone just doesn't seem to be able to find the Panasonic stereo unit, and vice versa, the Panasonic unit doesn't seem to be able to see the iPhone.
Obviously the first thing I did was to get on the Internet to see if I could find a solution. It seems that this is not an isolated problem to myself, lots of people have been having exactly the same problem with their iPhone 5's, they cannot connect to a Bluetooth device, whether that be a home stereo system, or a stereo in the car. I even spoke to a down my local tackle shop who has an iPhone 5, he told me he wasn't able to connect the phone to a Bluetooth on ear microphone. One of my carers Kim has the same phone, her phone won't connect to my Panasonic stereo unit either. So I know that it's not just my phone that has the problem, many other people around the world experience in the same thing happening with their iPhone.
So exactly what are we supposed to do? I bought this iPhone because of this function, without it the phone is pretty much useless to me. Because of my disability I rely heavily on Bluetooth, especially for streaming live music. Also, I had hoped that the phone would work through my stereo system and the car, a game that seems to have been dashed. There is absolutely no way I am spending another £200 for an iPhone 6. Surely Apple are aware of this problem? I would put it to them that they should recall all phones and fix the problem, not continue selling them knowing there is a problem.
Although this is not a review of the phone, just wanted to give my point of view of how easy it is to use one of these devices from a disabled person's point of view. Okay, in one word "difficult". These phones and iPods are not made for disabled people to use easily. In fact, I would suggest that anyone with larger than average fingers will struggle to use one of these phones. They have a touch keypad that is extremely sensitive, even my mother with small fingers struggled on my iPod to enter a callsign into iTunes for me, there will be no chance in hell that I could do it easily. I haven't got around to use the music side of the iPhone, but I know it's exactly the same as the iPod touch that I've got. That is slightly easier to use, but believe me it's not easy if you have to rely on the side of your finger. So if you are disabled and have limited finger movement I would think very carefully before buying an iPhone, I think there's probably more suitable phones out there with much larger keypads that you will find easier to use.
It will be interesting to hear from anyone who has experienced the same problem. Alternatively, have you had this problem and found a fix, I would love to hear from you, so would thousands of other people I would think.
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One of the most annoying things that can happen if you use an outdoor wheelchair is wheeling through a huge pile of dog crap. I'm afraid that I don't have any time for people who do not clean up after their dogs. There is absolutely no excuse to leave your dogs excrement lying where it can be trodden or wheeled in. If you don't like picking up dog poo with a bag then my not invest in a pooper scooper. They are cheap and readily available from places like Amazon and eBay. Please, think about people like myself who cannot do anything about dog poo on our wheels once it's there. Put yourself in my wheels, how would you like it if you had to walk into your house with dog crap all over your shoes?
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For those of you who receive disability benefits and have been worried that the budget may affect your payments, worry not, even though some benefits have been affected, including being frozen for the next four years, disability benefits are excluded so your benefits will rise each year accordingly. Also, if you are receiving employment support allowance then unless you are able to work, this should not be affected either.
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Posted by on in Angling
I buy the majority of my carp fishing tackle and fishing bait on eBay nowadays. You can often find exactly the same shops on eBay, but you will often get exactly the same goods but without having to pay any shipping.
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EBay is a great place to get a bargain on a drive from wheelchair accessible vehicle
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