28 November 2017

Army Carpers Match 1 Newlands Hall fishery

Right I know it’s been a while but I thought that to keep some new content coming on my blog that I would start to add my carp matches, plus I can add a bit more detail than I tend to in the videos as I find that too many videos end up with the host waffling some rubbish about his tea. On that the video can be found here :
Avoiding the Blank 17 Part 10
But for now ....I was off to Brook lake at Newlands Hall in Essex the other week, I managed a quick 24hr practice so I shall start there:


As I drove over to Essex the temperature barely reached above zero degrees the whole way and I was greeted by a frosty view as I started my first couple of laps around the lake. My main plan was to get the pegging sorted for the main competition the following week and also to see if I could find or discount any tactics.  Pegging laps done I managed to get have a bit of a chat with a couple of locals, Dan and Freddie, they were both very helpful and pointed out the better areas and also the areas that were not fishing as well.  I decided that I would start on the Mark Pitchers swim peg 40 though as it was next to the island and also had some open water to go at.

I decided to start with mag aligners and small bags of maggot as the air temperature was still well down, but after an hour I was starting to question my sanity as I was constantly getting done by small roach and bits. I tried several areas of the swim to no avail and decided that a move was needed, so it was off to peg 46 as it looked like a very good margin swim.  This time I changed tactics and started to fish method feeders on both rods, it didn’t take long and I soon had a couple of small fish on the bank but at about a pound in weight they were not what I was after.  A fish showed under the far bank tree line so I sent both method feeders along the far bank snags, within 20 minutes I had had another brace of bigger carp this time one at 6lb the second at about 4lb.


This was enough to tell me that there were fish in the area and that if I could get a bait on them it was possible to get a couple of quick bites. It was time to find a swim for the night as I did not fancy snag fishing, so I loaded up the barrow again and wandered over to peg 14, this was between a couple of points and had a nice margin and loads of open water.  I started again on the method feeder and after a quick fish I decided to try some more normal tactics. A wafter rig was sent into the same area this time clipped up to a patch of harder bottom and I accurately loose fed a few boilies over the top.  Again it wasn’t long and I had another 6lb carp on the bank so it was time to try and forse the peg, 3 spods and another quick bite for another 6lb.  I thought that I had cracked it so fed 3 more spods and that was the last indication I had for 14hrs!!!  I tried going back to maggot, method, zigs, casting at showing fish, casting tight to the far bank in fact everything short of dynamite, but I learnt a lot and I felt better as Dan and Freddie stopped getting bites during the nighty as well.
I did another couple of laps in the morning, said my farewells to the guys and drove home with a bit of a plan for the following week and a good idea of how to peg it to try and make it fair.

So to the match weekend, I had kept Chris fully briefed on my little visit and we had quite a few little chats on the run up to the match, I got to the lake nice and early on the Thursday so that I could peg it out and then the social took the form of hiding in Freddies shack eating burgers and hiding from the cold wet weather that had descended for the evening.
Come the morning we all awoke to frozen bivvies, so the conditions were well against us again, I managed to spin the draw out to allow a late comer to arrive but once he was present we got the show on the road.
It was apparent that the luck of the organiser had rolled on from last year as Chris and I were first out of the bag and we pounced on Peg 5 (perm pegs 16 and 17) as it gave us access to a couple of nice margins and also a lot of open water where the fish historically held up.  All the other pegs came out of the bag all bar peg 6 to our right, so the water was divided between ourselves and pegs 7 and 8 opposite.
The plan reasonably simple, Chris was going to try and plunder the margin to the right of the swim and I was going to work the open water using method feeders hoping that regular recasting might give me a few opportunities.  I called the all in at 9 O’Clock and within 20 minutes I had a small carp on the bank from next to a tree in my left hand margin, I wasn’t expecting too many from this swim as it was going to suffer from any disturbance that we made in the swim but it was a good start.
The rest of the day saw Chris picking up the odd fish from down the margin and I was able to get some small fish from in the open water, I was having issues with finding any sort of rhythm or rhyme as to how the bites were coming and some of the fish were very small, I had a Common of 11 ounces on the first night. By 11 O’clock the next morning it was apparent that Pegs 1 and 7 had the lion’s share of carp in front of them and Lewis and Tom on peg 1 were keeping a healthy lead with 18 Carp for 164lb, they were being chased by Ian and Mark on peg 7 with 15 carp for 134lb. There was a battle for 3rd starting to develop though between Chris and James on peg 8 with 8 carp for 71lb closely followed by Chris and myself on Peg 5 where a quick couple of fish saw us start to catch up with 13 carp for 60lb. It was all to play for as the top 3 teams would all walk away with a small prize so Chris and I started trying to figure out how to extract the best from the swim.
We decided to swap sides of the swim at around lunch time as the cast down the right hand margin was very tricky and I thought that I might stand a better chance of pitching a method into the snags and hopefully the path of a passing carp.  The tactical switch worked and over the next 2 hours I had 5 bites landing 4 and come the penultimate weigh in Chris and I were now in third place albeit by the narrowest of margins.
The last night was nerve racking as I struggled to get a rig into place in the darkness with new branches snatching my rigs out of the sky most chucks, but we kept on working and were rewarded with a couple of bites throughout the night and also with a 6lb carp at first light.
We were never going to catch the top two pairs as the stamp of fish that we were catching was tiny, on the second night I caught an 8 ounce carp whereas the other pairs were catching fish that averaged out at around 10lb a fish.   
I called the match to an end and the final results were:
1st:  Peg 1: Lewis and Tom 270lb 9oz (27 Carp)
2nd: Peg 7: Ian and Mark  214lb 13oz  (23 Carp)
3rd: Peg 5: Chris and I 109lb 12oz  (23 Carp)
4th: Peg 8: Chris and James 103lb 7oz  (12 Carp)
All that was left was to do the prize giving and to wish everyone well until the next match in April, in all it was a very enjoyable weekend as the weather was nice for November, there were plenty of laughs, especially when Tom in peg 1 decided to use himself as a plummet.  The fishery staff really  looked after us, Ian the bailiff was still trimming branches in the swims on the Friday so that as much of the lake could be covered by the swims as possible, and he was also saw dusting Dave’s peg at the all in (oops).  Freddy and his awesome breakfast rolls was another highlight and saved me from cooking in the morning, and his top tips were well received.

What would I have done differently?
Not a lot really I didn’t leave a stone unturned for the first 27 hours when I was working the open water, I tried everything that I could think off bar smashing a load of bait in open water on an area, and I didn’t fancy that with the weather we were suffering. Maybe picking an corner peg next time?? J

Tackle used:
Method Feeder:
Rod: Drennan 11ft 1.5lb TC series 7 Specialist
Reel: Daiwa TDM 4012
Line: 12lb Syncro XT loaded 0.21mm powerline hooklength
Hook: 10 QM1
Feeder: 36g-45g Guru Hyrid medium and large black elastic in a long stem

Zig:
Rod: 12ft Avid traction 2.5lb (Modified Butt).
Reel: Korum 6000 bait feeder reel
Line: 18lb Syncro XT to 0.21 or 0.24mm Powerline
Hook: 8 Fox beaked wide gape barbless

Maggot and wafters rigs:
Rod: 12ft Fox Horizon X 3.5lb TC
Reel: Shimano Ci4 ultegra 14000 XTB
Line: 15lb Korda Touchdown
Rig: Various







05 August 2017

Royal Signals Coarse Angling Championship Day 2, 04/08/17 The Glebe

So it was crunch time, 4 of us were all on 1 point from the day before Daz, Martin, Ian and myself so the goal today was to get 1 point and then it would be down to the weight of the fish.  I was going to be on Lake 1 this time but as I have only ever fished one swim on there if I didn’t draw 24 it was going to be new territory.
By the time I got to the draw bag I knew what mini section I was in as all the high numbers were gone peg 13 graced my hand and from the results yesterday I knew that if the wind behaved it could be a very good feeder peg.  My team mate Evo had drawn on Peg 92 so I briefed him up with what I thought had happened the day before and we went on our merry ways with the brief of ‘have fun catch fish’.
On getting to my peg I could see why it was such a good feeder peg as there were boards to cast to on the far bank so after sorting my usual 50:50 micro and groundbait mix it was time to get the rods clipped up and my 3 pole rigs plumbed up.  I also decided to add a mugging rig at the last minute just in case it got tricky and I had a couple of opportunities to get extra weight, but it never went over the water so enough of that.
As the all-in was called I put in half a pot of hemp, pellet and corn as usual and then sent the feeder across the far bank and so the mould was set for the next couple of hours.  I managed a few fish in this time but I was having serious problems with being accurate in the cheeky wind, I even stepped my quiver tip up from 2oz to 2.5oz carbon version to try and improve accuracy. It kind of worked but I could not get anything really going and a few lost fish saw me starting to become exasperated.
By the mid match point I had about 30lb in the net and I had already had a look on the short line for a small skimmer, so that was re fed and left again, I had been topping it up every 20 minutes with ¼ to ½ a cup of bait hoping to draw in and hold some bigger fish. I had also had to retackle my feeder rod 3 times now due to a couple of mis-casts and on the 4th time I lost my teddy and swore that I would now concentrate on the edges. There were 90 minutes or so left but I had one quick carp from my right hand edge then nothing and no signs from under the tree to my left!!  I was resigned to blowing out now as I had been watching Kev on Peg 4 steadily catch small carp all day, although he was slowing, and Pez on the next peg was moaning about it being hard although I could hear regular splashing from behind the tree.
That was it I tied up the feeder rod for the 4th time, spent 5 minutes getting it clipped back up to the spot, but as soon as I did the wind dropped slightly.  Every cast was now plopping where I wanted it and the tip went around 8 times in 8 casts for around 40lb of fish, I had also taken some advice from one of the guys the night before in the bar who said that pellet was best, he was right. The problem was that they were taking a while to get in from the far bank so to try and speed things up I rested the feeder line to have a quick count of 100 on my RH edge, I got to 60 and was latched into an angry 6lb carp, ‘here we go’ I thought. But apart from a very small carp the next put that was it for the edge fish, however, I dropped in on my 2+2 line before I went back out on the feeder, I started counting, the goal was 70, I got to 20 and the float buried! That one was 5-6lb, the next put 23 seconds, clunk, the next 24 seconds, clunk, the next was on the drop and I was motoring now. After every bite I was topping up with 2 small handfuls of pellet hand balled into the area, however, this seemed to be bringing them off the bottom and with 10 minutes to go I gambled and put in ¾ of a pot of bait and went down both edges for 100 seconds. No fish from the margins so it was back out on the paste line for a 3lber and then an agonising wait until the all-out with a few small liners to show for it, I had blatantly overfed the swim for the last 10 minutes and I was livid with myself as I thought that I had blown a possible come back for a decent section place.  We all started to pack down and I went next door to see Pez, he finally admitted that he had been catching all day and he thought he had a decent weight but he had not been clicking his fish, I thought I had about 120lb, but I may have missed a couple of fish when I started bagging, finally as Kev walked down he thought it would be close for him and I as his fish dried up at the end and that Pez had smashed it.
I was first to weigh with a surprising 145lb 1oz (65.800Kg), I was actually shocked that it was so much but I think I had missed a few when I got busy in the last hour, Pez was next and he too was surprised but he had 127lb 6oz (57.625Kg) so a lot of his fish were smaller than he though and then there was the long wait until Kev got weighed so I busied myself packing up only to find out that Pez had pipped him by just over a pound.  Finally it dawned on me that I had won the section, so it was just waiting to see how the others had done, Daz was 2nd in his section, Martin was 3rd in his but Ian had managed to win his section so it would be down to weight.  I caught up with Evo to find that he had managed to come second on his lake behind Craig so it would be close between Blandford and Bramcote as to who had won the team championships as well.
Back at the results and there was plenty of banter still going around as everyone was waiting with baited breath to see where they had finished, I was soon put out of my misery though as in 3rd was Pete with 3 points and 104.350Kg, second was Ian on two points and 110.975Kg that meant that I had managed to win the Royal Signals Coarse Championships for a 4th time with 2 points and 127.250Kg. 

Evo and I also managed the UIN trophy and runners up in the teams to boot so it was a very very good day.

I would like to say thank you to Roy Marlow for letting us use his awesome fishery, there are not many places that you can go to almost any peg thinking that you target weight is over a ton, thanks also to Craig and his team for a smooth running festival, without guys like you we don’t get to do this.  Finally I would like to thank all the guys who took a week out of their busy lives to go fishing and have a bit of banter with their mates, it’s a hard life at times but weeks like this make up for it.

What would I do differently?
The only thing that I am rueing is that I should have set the feeder up straight away after losing the rig each time, and I should have had a looked at the short line a bit earlier, but I was catching on the feeder and you should never come off feeding fish, especially when they are taking on the drop.  I also should have only fed the short line with max a quarter of a pot with so little time until the end of the match, but fortunately it didn’t make that much difference.

Secrets to the success (this won’t happen often!)
1) Regular casting: for most of the matches I was only counting to 20 before a re-cast, the longest the rig was in the water was 100 seconds. Most proper bites came on the drop or in the first 30 seconds.
2) Simple plan: I had a max of 6 things set up, feeder and pellet wag for the far bank, corn and paste rig for 5m, paste for the edge (plumbed to the same depth both sides) and on the final day I set up a mugging rig just in case.  The far bank for at least 2 hours then find the best swim and plunder it.
3) Simple bait: My feeder mix was 3 pints Sonubaits 50:50 method/paste mix green, 3 pints micro pellet and 3 pints water. Chuck it all in a bucket and wait an hour before breaking it apart, simples no drills no riddles. Other than that I had 6mm pellet, hemp, corn and paste on my side tray with a pint of 4mm and 8mm pellet to get put in the feeder and a few wafters for on the hook.
4) Never waste time: I tried not to get suckered into sitting down the edge or on the short line too early if it wasn’t happening as most people were neglecting their feeder lines allowing me to steal fish.  Count to 100 if it hasn’t happened re feed and switch.
5) Failure to prepare is preparing to fail: I did not need to tie a rig or hooklength on the bank or in the evening as I had spent time in the weeks running up to the match tying up everything that I thought I would need.
6) Total Faith in my kit: all week I caught a lot of big fish and managed to land the vast majority of what I hooked, I put this down to correct feeding and fishing with gear that I trust implicitly.  Whilst people were getting smashed hooklengths, elastics and poles I had one hooklength snap all week and that was on the feeder as the fish made a run behind a pole in the water.

Tackle used:
Feeder:
Rod: Drennan 11’6” medium feeder 2.5oz tip.
Reel: Daiwa TDM 4012
Line: 8lb sensor to 0.19mm powerline
Hook: 14 QM1
Feeder: 20g guru open end feeder with 5g of extra lead

Pellet wag:
Rod: Drennan 12ft Acolyte Carp waggler.
Reel: Daiwa TDM 3012
Line: 0.20mm Supplex to 0.19mm Powerline
Hook: 14 QM1 (thanks Kev)
Float: 14g Drennan pellet wag

Pole Corn:
Elastic: Preston 13h
Line: 0.19mm to 0.15mm
Hook: 3 T175
Float: 0.6g Drennan Carp 3

Pole Paste:
Elastic: Preston 17H
Line: 0.21mm to 0.19mm Powerline
Hook: 5 T175
Float: 4X10 Big H Paste

Pole Margin Paste:
Elastic: Preston 17H
Line: 0.21mm to 0.19mm Powerline
Hook: 5 T175
Float: KC Carpa Margin 4X10

Pole mugging:
Elastic: Preston 13h
Line: 0.19mm to 0.15mm Powerline
Hook: 18 Guru pellet wag
Float: 0.4g Drennan crystal dibber





Royal Signals Coarse Angling Championship Day 1, 03/08/17 The Glebe

I would be lying if I said that I did not fancy my chances going into this week bearing in mind that I have started to focus more on Big Carp fishing for the last 12 months or so, but, my run up form was not too bad with 4 matches over the last couple of months resulting in 2 match seconds, 1 match 1st (all section wins) and a DNW on my new bogey venue.  I may do a catch up blog just to wrap those all up… watch this space.
Back to the day in question and I drew peg 88 on Lake 6, I was quite happy with this as it was only 2 pegs away from where I had been fishing on the practice day so I was sure that there would be a few fish short and down the edge in the last couple of hours so the plan was another simple one. Feeder and pellet wag for the first couple of hours followed with paste and corn short and down the edge, if it was hard start looking at putting some weight in the net from anywhere.
The match started well with a few fish coming on the feeder over the course of the first couple of hours and I think I had about 20lb at this point.  Again I started to attack the feeder swim and this brought the fish up in the water following the splash of the feeder, so out went the pellet wag and I managed a few quick fish before back to grafting on the feeder. Another trick that worked was to drop the feeder about half a rod length short and this again gave me a few fish during the quiet spells.  The weather was doing its best to scupper the fishing as the wind was horrendous and I was glad that I was not on Lake 1 as the wind was off our backs but occasional showers were making it a jacket on and off kind of day.
With about an hour and a half Chris on the next peg, 86 decided to concentrate on his left hand long margin, this was good for me as he stopped feeding his short line.  I was soon on it after a half pot of bait and the fish were queuing up again in the last hour, I managed a lot of fish in that time and probably caught 70-80lb in the last hour, half of which I caught in the last 20 minutes when some bigger fish turned up on my paste line.
As the all-out was called I was hoping that the far end of the lake had fished as hard as it had for the guys around me, there were tales of woe as loads of fish were getting lost.  I think a lot of this was the fact that the carp were not happy feeding until the later part of the day and that then you needed to feed positively to drag them down onto the bottom and create the competition in your swim.  I also believe that the hemp helped draw fish in and that by feeding bigger heavier particles it was easier to keep the fishes heads down.
The scales showed that my 135lb 9oz (61.645Kg) was enough to win the lake and therefore the section by 40lb so I was quite a happy chappie.  It was also enough for second in the match behind an 87Kg weight from Pool 1 so that improved my smile no end.  Day 2 would see me on Pool 1 so I decided to take my time packing up, tidy uop my kit a bit and prep some of my bait for the next morning so there was no rush, hopefully the prep would pay off.

What would I do differently?
Not a lot really, I really enjoyed my day but possibly a 10ft rod would be easier on that lake as it is not as wide as some?

Tackle used:
Feeder:
Rod: Drennan 11’6” medium feeder 2oz tip.
Reel: Daiwa TDM 4012
Line: 8lb sensor to 0.19mm
Hook: 14 QM1
Feeder: 20g guru open end feeder with 5g of extra lead

Pellet wag:
Rod: Drennan Acolyte Carp waggler 12ft.
Reel: Daiwa TDM 3012
Line: 0.20mm Supplex  to 0.19mm Powerline
Hook: 14 QM1 (thanks Kev)
Float: 6-10g Preston pellet wag

Pole Corn:
Elastic: Preston 13h
Line: 0.19mm to 0.15mm
Hook: 3 T175
Float: 0.4g Drennan Carp 3

Pole Paste:
Elastic: Preston 17H
Line: 0.21mm to 0.19mm Powerline
Hook: 5 T175
Float: 4X10 Big H Paste

Pole Margin Paste:
Elastic: Preston 17H
Line: 0.21mm to 0.19mm Powerline
Hook: 5 T175
Float: KC Carpa Margin 4X10




Royal Signals, Masters and Clubman match, 02/08/17

Once again I was gracing the banks of the mighty Glebe Fishery in Leicestershire, for this match my partner was Steve, it was going to be an easy day for me on the coaching side as I had sat behind him a couple of years ago and he had been sat on the same lake the day before during a practice session.  Speaking of the day before I had been sat on peg 90 on Lake 6 and as I had some casters left over from the day before I had decided to see if they would work shallow.  The simple answer was no and I had seen enough of other people catching on the short pole to know that this was the way to go.  I had still managed nearly 130lb though and a lot of that had come from down the edge in the last hour, I managed 40lb in the last 20 minutes!!!
Back to the day in question though and we were on adjacent pegs Steve on 70 and I was on 71 on Lake 4, it was really nice as we could park behind our pegs, the plan was to fish the feeder for a couple of hours and then corn or paste short and paste or corn down the edge.  I didn’t set up a corn rig for down the edge as I have too much faith in paste at this venue.  The feeder was slow for both of us and after the first couple of hours I had 20lb in the net and Steve had about 30lb.  I suggested that it was slow due to the changeable weather and that it would get better later, I was proved right and again over the last couple of hours my feeder and short paste lines started to produce a few fish. I had to feed positively on the feeder line so I was recasting every 20 seconds to try and draw fish into the swim and it worked for a quick run of fish.  When I moved onto the short line I was struggling with liners as a lot of the fish seemed to be sitting a few inches off the bottom, but, positive feeding with a big pot ¼ full of 6mm pellet, hemp and corn soon had them feeding on the deck again and again.  I managed to have a really good run again close to the end where I put about 40lb of fish in the net over the last 30 minutes and I managed to finish with 144lb 2oz of fish.  Steve did well and managed around 70lb of carp and bits but this was only enough for us to come 4th overall as a pair, we did however, win the lake so that was a nice bonus. We would have had to go some to beat Adi and Terry on Lake 5 as Adi managed a massive 200lb+ weight on his own!!
The main plus of the day was chatting with Steve and trying to make him better at casting and also to try and get his head away from the F1 fishing that he is used to.

What would I do differently?
Due to the weather I should have had some dead maggots for the feeder and also tried different hookbaits more.  The short Paste line was my saviour, but it only really woke up in the last hour or so, which means I may have to look at how I am feeding it.

Tackle used:
Feeder:
Rod: Drennan 11’6” medium feeder 2oz tip.
Reel: Daiwa TDM 4012
Line: 8lb sensor to 0.19mm
Hook: 14 QM1
Feeder: 20g guru open end feeder with 5g of extra lead

Pellet wag:
Rod: Drennan Acolyte Carp waggler 12ft.
Reel: Daiwa TDM 3012
Line: 0.20mm Supplex  to 0.19mm Powerline
Hook: 14 QM1 (thanks Kev)
Float: 6-10g Preston pellet wag

Pole Corn:
Elastic: Preston 13h
Line: 0.19mm to 0.15mm
Hook: 3 T175
Float: 0.4g Drennan Carp 3

Pole Paste:
Elastic: Preston 17H
Line: 0.21mm to 0.19mm Powerline
Hook: 5 T175
Float: 4X10 Big H Paste

Pole Margin Paste:
Elastic: Preston 17H
Line: 0.21mm to 0.19mm Powerline
Hook: 5 T175

Float: KC Carpa Margin 4X10

05 February 2017

Carpy Catch up January 17

The beginning of January was proper winter fishing, due to most of the lakes in the area being frozen it started with a trip to the Avon where I managed to get a nice morning of roach fishing on the tip and float, I took my video camera and it can be found here:


The following week however there was a small low front that I had to get onto the club lake for, it was a long cold night with not even a liner to show for it… it was time for a rethink.

Once again the lakes were frozen or at least not too appealing that weekend, so the plan was for a trip to the Avon chasing Grayling and dace, I managed a few and had a nice morning.

Next week saw me getting away for a Wednesday afternoon, with the weather being rubbish.. High pressure and clear skies I decided on a trip to Todber Manor, I fished on one of their new match lakes and managed a few small carp. (ok tiny).  The video is below but misses out on the part where John the fishery owner laughed at me for having to don my waders and try to remove a snag.  It turned out to be an umbrella!!!  Fought well on a 0.24mm Powerline hooklength.
There is a special message at the end aswell.


Due to the cold weather the lakes were frozen again for the last couple of weekends, I ended up on the river both times and had some nice fish but I really need to catch a carp again soon.



Only a short blog but until next month, Tight lines.

04 January 2017

Carpy Catch December 16

So, December hey, it has pretty much carried on where November left off to be honest, but hey ho here we go.

The first weekend was taken up with a practice session for a match at Witherington Farm, you can see the full blog hanging in the AAF Fur and feather blog that I posted last month. Needless to say I had a bad time of it.

Normality was soon restored when I was back on the Club lake the following weekend, I had been away for a couple of weeks and in this time most of the leaves were now on the lake bed so my hookbaits were changed from wafters to pop ups to try and overcome this.  It must have worked as at around 10 o’clock at night I was slipping the net under a low double common, I took this fish from a spot on which I had seen a fish show and then I found a good bottom to present a bait on in the area.  This time it was gravel.  I may have been done in the morning as well but I had been struggling with hook points loosing fights with the bottom of the lake so that may have been why the fish got away with it.  Lessons were learnt though.


The next week I was back down on the lake but the weather looked awful with high pressure and fog forecast, it didn’t disappoint.  On getting to the lake I did a walk around on the north bank hoping to see something, I did, loads of fish cruising in the shallow end but as someone was already on them I went back to the swim from the week before.  There were a few fish showing on the far bank so I cast across towards them. Unfortunately come about half ten at night it felt all wrong so I decided to move across to the far bank on a known winter swim.  The night passed without any other incident but come the morning liners started on both rods, I moved one closer to try and convert a bite but to no avail, it wasn’t until I was leaving that they gave themselves away in the surface layers so a zig would have been the way this time.  I also did a bit of a recce as I was leaving and saw loads of fish moving in certain areas so that was logged away for the next week.

So I decided to work on the info I had from the previous week on my next visit, and at the start of the session it seemed as though I had got it right as there were a few fish moving in the areas that I was fishing.  It was short lived however and even though I may have got done I did not get a proper bite in just over 24 hours.  I again moved in the evening to get onto showing fish but they just did the off laughing all the way.  I also fed a small bed of maggot to try and get a bite off anything, it didn’t work.  It was Christmas eve as I was finishing so I had an early off to get home and see the better half.

My next trip out was along the River Avon in Salisbury as the conditions were dead against me getting anywhere near a carp, I had a nice day fishing a liquidised bread feeder chasing the elusive roach that live in the stretch and finished the day with a chub, a dace, two trout and about a dozen Roach.  In all it was a nice break from staring at motionless bobbins.

The weather looked like it might have been improving for my next trip, I was wrong but I turned up at the lake to -4 degrees and a half frozen lake but as I was there I set up on the north bank in a sun trap.  I didn’t see a single sign all day and decided to move in the early evening down towards the deeper end of the lake, again 1 rod went under a snag and the other into open water, I may have seen something in the morning but it was not enough to make me return a day later.

New Year’s Day (not strictly December I know!)  I went back down the lakes and decided to set up on a small pre baited spot, the rods went straight out onto the spots, I waited, got bored, went for a walk, put the rods back out and blanked. Again.

So that was the end of 2016, total tally for the lake was 13 fish hooked 11 landed to 25lb so not too bad at all.
I wish you all a happy new year and may your bobbins twitch all year.







19 December 2016

Carpy Catch up

I am going to have a quick look back at what I have been up to since I came back from the Inter Services Carp Champs in late September, most of my time has been spent on the club lake and I have managed to continue with a fair bit of success.

In early October I managed a trip back down to the lake for a night, although my admin after the Inter Services left a bit to be desired I still managed a mid-double in the middle of the night from a known winter swim.  It was an eventful battle though as it saw the fish kite into a marginal tree and me having to paddle out to it in my pants in the early hours of the morning, it was a bit chilly but fortunately the water barely came to the middle of my thigh.
The next visit saw me working off information that I had gleaned on my previous visit, with the conditions very similar I decided to try a new swim and fish a margin spot.  It worked with 2 fish of 25lb 9oz and a small 9lb pup.  Both of these came from the new spot so I was well happy that I had found something that I had not seen many people target.  This session was marred however, with an otter deciding to show its face in October, so that doesn’t bode well for the rest of the winter.


The next week saw me back in the same swim but this time I still had a bite but unfortunately I suffered a hook pull, I had just swapped patterns as I had an occurrence in the morning of the last trip that I thought was a fish getting away with it.  I had swapped to the super aggressive Horton rig and although I hooked the fish I could not keep it on for some reason, even though it had been on for a couple of minutes. That was the end of the action that trip even with a morning move onto some showing fish in the next swim.

To get over the loss of the fish earlier in the week I went on a day session to Waldens Farm Fishery to try and get some confidence back in some rigs, it was not easy by any stretch of the imagination but I managed to land a small carp in the end after losing a couple to hook pulls, again it was all snag fishing though so you have to expect some losses.

The following weekend it was back to the club lake to find the area that I liked to target quite busy, I went for a look and found some signs of fish in the shallows so as I was there for the night I set up I the transition between the shallows and the deeper water, my trap was tripped around midnight with a 21lb 5oz common ending up in the photo album.  Again the fish were very active on this trip but they still were not easy to trip up by any stretch of the imagination.

By now it was the first weekend of November, I had managed to get to the lake for dawn and found some fish at the same time as another member of the club, we went on a gentleman’s agreement and fished in close proximity to each other, I was in my margin swim again. At about 11am with the weather worsening I had a bit against the snags that for the first time made it into the snags, I could feel the fish kicking on the end of the line so with a bit of help I ended up wading out into the bitterly cold water to free the fish.  I found it and it popped off the snag and the hook with the lightest of touches to the hook shank, It was a mid-double and yet another Common.  The weather took a turn for the worst for the rest of the session and after about 3 in the afternoon until I left I didn’t see a single show which is rare for this lake.  It coincided with a blank remainder of the session apart from a bream, even though I moved into the swim next door where the fish had all been showing throughout the day once it was vacated.

The next couple of weekends were taken up with fishing Willow Park fishery, 24 hours practice and then a 48 hour Carp match, long boring story short, I saw a few fish, had a couple of liners but caught nothing. No fish came out during my practice and only 4 came out on the match, but the venue is really nice and the food in the café is great.

This made me go on a trip to Todber manor to try and get a bite if nothing else, on the advice of Matt and Kia I was soon set up in the middle of little Hayes putting out maggot bags. I managed one on a cast to a showing fish in the evening but they all seemed to be up to my left more, I decided that I would move in the morning only for 6 people to turn up in the morning stitching where I had fancied a move to.  In the end I tore down and moved with just rods into a quiet corner where I managed two bites landing one and losing one in a little over an hour. 

 And that brings us to December, I will start doing these Blogs monthly unless anything EPIC happens, if you want to know more, just ask away in the comments and I will answer what I can.

Until the next time tight lines.