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#the linear
River Cam Carp Quest
My local river is the Cam ten minutes from my house. In 2011 i went back to fish it again for the carp after being so successful in 2004. This is the story of what happened and how i caught a Cambridge legend and it's mates. Some of my best fishing and part seven is my finest moment when i landed 'The Linear', a real stunner of a fish.
As swims go this isn't a bad one eh? This is Almatret on the Catalonian side of the river and on the other side your in Aragon. The border at this point runs exactly along the middle of the River Ebro. Spain has what they call autonomous communities which are in themselves nationalities within the Kingdom of Spain much like Wales or Scotland. So if you go to fish in spain then you're most likely going to be fishing in Catalonia or Aragon. And therein lies a problem as they also have unique differences in their language so you dont just need to learn Spanish, you also need to learn some Catalonian at least. However dont fear, English is and has been for centuries one of the most adaptable languages in the world taking on many words from other cultures, so most Spanish speak it! Anyway i digress, back to the swim. Its 307 meters wide and has depths over 11 meters. Old olive groves litter the closer in areas as well as massive boulders, sunken trees and most likely the odd ship or three littered here and there. We get the odd twig floating down river, they get trees and the odd bloated 100lb+ catfish! I kid you not, snaggy isn't the word.
Valley Pool part six
It's the morning and once again i wake at first light to be greeted by the crescendo of the dawn chorus and the silence of my Delkims. The weather however has changed and the carp have come on the feed. In and out of the morning they pop into my spot for a scoff, all under my watchful eye. They are tricky and clean me out! But as i have often said, Effort = Success.
#john wilson
A massive influence
Just finishing off next weeks episode of The Woolpack lake 8 (episode 15) where we enter silly season and start to empty the place. Even though i spend three to four days on the lake it still can all just fly past and seem like a dream. But then comes the editing of the footage and i relive it all again, always it seems in the third person and i'm always surprised at who i am. The obvious influences throughout my life come shining through and this fella John wilson is at the front of the list. The first angler on the screen that actually made me feel i was there and taking part, he had a massive influence on me and this is very evident in the next episode.
Pushing the limits
This picture was taken in 1991, that's my son Marcus who is now 25 years old wearing my hat. As you can see i started fishing with my rods up over 25 years ago now so it's not something that's new to me.Things like this can be just fashion of course but as i said a few posts ago i consider using the the rod setup also as part of the trap by enabling the rig and the lead system to perform differently. Just recently over the last few sessions i have been pushing this to the limit and with some astonishing success. However as with anything you push to the limit you always find the edge and so have i. So this week i will be taking all that i have learned through my successes as well as my mistakes and dialing it back a bit, fine tuning it. This for me is what fishing is really all about, finding a method, getting it to work and hopefully bagging a few before it all changes.
#hair rig
A legend
It's the tenth anniversary today of the passing of a legend, Lenny middleton. Lenny is best know for the invention of the hair rig (see: but he was also a Taxidermist of some repute and enjoyed fishing in all it's forms. Lenny fished all the famous venues including Savay at the height of it's glory alongside all the other legendary names, he had seen it and done it all. A true sportsman, a gentleman and a fine maker of tea his contribution to carp fishing is immense. So whenever you cast out a hair rig pay a little homage to the man himself because he earned it. Lenny is seen here on Lake 3 with Bertie back in 2005, one of a few he had that afternoon on kit that got thrown out by the dustman, an original hair rig and bait that looked like rubber floor tile! I kid you not, a real master.
Bivvy Tramps
Who are your top five carpers of all time? How about top five carp captures, or even better, top five bivvy babes? Join Kes and his camo-clad mates in Tommy's Tackle shop to sort out the important carp questions of the day. Kes has been a camper far too long, but he's determined to prove himself by catching the Fat Lady from St Ives Lagoon. Lying on his narrow-boat bunk he dreams of being an X-treme carper, tackling rock hard waters like Fen Drayton and Wraysbury. Unfortunately his plans are put on hold when he gets involved with a new ultra commercial carp fishery, and caught up in a whole lot of trouble with bunny huggers, and the worst Ouse valley flood in living memory. Author Martin Lawrence brings the carp world of Kes and his mates to vivid life in this imaginative fenland tale of camaraderie, dreams, opinions, car boot sales, heavy metal, carp captures, antis and disaster. This totally original book will quickly find a cult following from the legions of carpers who share Kes's aspirations and love of carp fishing.
#common carp
A real Gem
It gets busy on lake 7 early in the year so i delayed my first visit until this week. However when i arrived at the lake almost all the swims on the West bank were taken so i opted to walk the East bank with my water bottle, and try and find a swim that gave me the most clear water. For a while i was torn between two swims out of a possible four choices but i eventually settled in a swim in the south east corner. The wind was blowing from the North west straight into the area i was in but would be moving to the south south-west. In the final twenty-four hours it would be moving back to the North west. Despite the rain temperatures stayed up giving me the confidence to keep feeding the spots, building them up over the session and wait for the turn in the wind. On the last night it turned and i had a nice carpet of bait out from 1-3 days old lying in wait. Just before first light on the last morning the right hand rod ripped off with this 31.6lb common on the end, as my good friend Martin Lawrence said, a real Gem and a great way to start my year. Successful setup was my semi-fix-running-rig, my standard fluorocarbon bottom-bait-rig with a 18mm K-LO Hard hooker.
The Importance of bait
The great thing about reviewing my sessions whilst editing is that i can analyse them and identify my strengths. Only through this can a pattern of success or otherwise be identified and this film has a message that's abundantly clear and that's the importance of bait and how you apply it. A constant trickle of bait over a four day period has paid off for me on many occasions and the reasons are obvious. We know they eat our bait at there own time of choosing and it's because of this that we have to regulate what's in the swim. Too much and they might fill up and move on before picking up the trap. Too little and there caution remains making it equally likely that they won't pick up the bait. Little and often regulates how much is in the swim but it also gives you variation too. Bait will be spread out more randomly and will be in different states of breakdown so this will see the carp being a lot less cautious and the fact that there is always a few baits in the swim too is a real bonus. The only thing left is to keep an eye on conditions, adjust your feeding accordingly and of course, be lucky!