As you are probably aware if you read this at all often I am a bit of a sucker for a spot of carping, well I have decided that over my summer leave I am going to catch a river carp from the Bristol Avon.
If any of you have tried this before you will know that the most important thing is location, followed by location and finally location, for instance the stretch of river that I was looking at concentrating on has a weir at both ends 4.5 miles apart, now that’s a lot of river for them to be hiding in and considering at best you can only see a couple of hundred meters at a time location is hard.
I was at the river for dawn as I thought that this would give me the best chance of seeing a fish or at least some signs of fish, I didn’t count on the extra colour in the water though and I had found a hurdle straight away, I only had a foot of visibility, not ideal for fish spotting. So carrying my rods, chair, tackle and some bait I started walking downstream checking out all the likely looking nooks and crannies. After about 30 minutes I got fed up of carrying my kit so I hid it in a bush (just in case the cows nicked it), and carried on down the river. Every now and again a spot would take my fancy and I would check the depth and bottom make up with the 1 rod I was now carrying and a bare lead, but even though all these places looked really fishy there was no guarantee that there was a carp within a mile of me.
In the end I got bored of walking and timed the 30 minutes back to my kit, I had seen some lovely areas but livestock, power lines and weed would make them tricky to fish so I decided to put a bit of bait into a spot I had found some fizzing in and give it an hour looking for liners or other signs.
|Told you there were bubbles|
I gave it an hour and then decided to move on as I was being descended upon by a herd of young bullocks, discretion the better part of valor and all that, anyway I decided to move to a new stretch and after a 30 minute walk back to the van a 20 minute drive not including a stop off at Maccy D’s I was parked up and getting my kit out again. This time I left the chair in the van as the bait bucket would double up as a chair and started walking downstream again, I crossed bridges, forded streams and took on a bit of jungle warfare until I found my next spot, again visibility was a problem but there were signs of anglers and there was a nice looking feature on the far bank, good enough for an hour I thought.
As I sent the two rods over to the far side I found the bottom was clear probably due to the overhead trees but there were small fish topping frequently so fish wanted to live here.
I got bored quite quick as there were very few signs of anything happening again, lots of small fish but they probably wouldn’t be able to eat an 18mm Live System bollie so I contemplated a move (again).
|Me contemplating another move|
Now for the technical bit, as I was fishing for what I thought would be large uncaught or at least un landed fish my hardware looked a bit like this:
10ft 2.75lb TC Nash Scope rods
Shimano 5500 XTB Reels
15lb ESP Syncro XT line
3ft of ESP leadcore with an esp leadclip and a quick change link on a swivel in the clip.
1 oz lead (more of this later)
8 inches of Fox Cortex to a size 6 ESP curve shank hook, see below for the actual rig.
As you can see it gave a really aggressive hooking arrangement and all the gear was strong enough to moor a barge to, I looked at the rig in the margins and it blended in well so that was not the reason for the lack of action, so it was on my heels again and off to a stretch of river renowned for its carp.
Within 15 minutes I was sat behind a very tasty looking gap in the far bank trees and a quick lead about told me all that I needed to know.
Both of the rods were sent out but due to some weed closer in I decided against the lead core and took it off, then about 100 baits followed the rods out and the wait started. My watch said that the time was one in the afternoon and I had to be away in around 3 hours and for the first 2 hours not a lot happened. At about three, I heard some commotion in the rowing club to my right and thought that I was going to get my usual visit off 10-20 kayaks, so to stop any problems I decided to recast and run a flying back lead down each rod. This would have worked if it was not for the weed down the inside and down the middle of the river so after snagging the first rod up and breaking off it was time to go home.
WHAT I WOULD HAVE DONE DIFFERENT:
Next time I will make sure that I can spend the evening at the very least at the venue as in my experience nearly all my river carp have come during the hours of darkness, and if you don’t get one they tend to show in the early evening.
I am going to have to wait until after the weekend for my next shot as I am on the commercial national at Cudmore fisheries.