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The Woolpack lake 7 - part six
Episode six is the first part of a three night session i did on lake 7 back in August 2016. A rare chance to be on my own on lake seven and an opportunity to see how they react without the usual bombardment under ideal weather conditions. The constant heat and southwesterly winds had been replaced by cooler northwesterlies and even though fish were showing half way up the lake my instinct told me to get on the end of a summer northerly, set my traps and wait.
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!
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.
The Woolpack lake 7 - part five
It's my first week using my new Trakker Tempest brolly something i have been wanting to sort for a some time. Weather for the week is westerlies and sunshine and the swim choice is the south bank giving me a great view of the lake as well as a chance to fish the exit of the drainage channel and put a bait near the sanctuary of the southwest corner. The lake has just opened after a six week break for spawning and so has been very busy with plenty of pressure on the fish so i am expecting it to be tough.
River carping
There probably isn't a river, drain or canal in England that doesn't contain at least a few carp and some a lot more. Many of these fish have never been fished for and over the years have quietly grown on to rival anything you can catch in a lake. Although river fishing is a challenge it's not an impossible one and the rewards can be amazing. More often than not you will be leaving footprints where others have never trod; you will be breaking new ground and catching dreams. Since releasing the series River Cam Carp Quest in 2011 I have received many requests for information about river carp fishing and so I have decided to put together this short piece covering the main aspects you need to address.
Kick back
Since I started carp fishing in 1980 I have used many different kinds of rod, lead and rig setup to try and catch carp. In the early 1980's much of my time was spent on a steep learning curve that took me from light 1/4oz running rigs and float fishing to 2-3oz bolt rigs, tight lines, heavy bobbins and high rod positions
#bait making
Chin stroker
Four minutes into part 12 of The Woolpack lake 8 and i start talking about bait and it brought on some right old chin stroking i can tell you. I had just made a fresh batch of 18mm popups containing a sample of hydrolysed krill protein concentrate and i was using these alongside an early batch of K-LO. I was confident the bait would work and indeed i had one within ten minutes but as always with bait you're never quite satisfied, you always want to improve. Do a quick search for chin stroking on the internet you will come up with something like 'Stroking the chin is often a signal that the person is thinking hard. They may well be judging or evaluating something, particularly if the conversation has offered them a choice or decision to make'. S'true, grow a beard, make decisions ;-)
Confidence is the key
I spent the afternoon mixing up my Berry basemix and sorting a few kilos for the bank holiday weekend. It's the first opportunity i have had this year to get out for a few nights and i'm hoping to score of course. At this time of year the fish are just waking up and few of them are going to be around, so choice of water is vital. Deep ones will produce but they are not as good a bet as the shallower ones. This is simply because the shallower lakes warm up faster and are more stable than the deeper ones. We learned this at Valley pool, spotting the same old carp swimming around the first few weeks of April but then as the sun got out and the water stabilised, pop! Up come a few more. So i am hoping i have all bases covered. One thing for sure thought, whilst i'm making and using my own bait i will always be totally confident that if a carp comes by it'll get interested. From top left: 14mm Robin Red glugged 14mm Berry popups, 14mm Two-Tone Berry popups, 10mm Berry Hard hookers, 10mm Berry Balanced hookers, 14mm Berry corkball popups and 10mm Berry popups...sorted!
#chod rig
First on The Berry 2016
With rain forecast and a low pressure system moving in i took the chance last night for a quick overnighter to test out a batch of The Berry. After 5 minutes with the marker rod the weed growth all over the lake became very evident so i elected to use a chod rig. The 15mm Berry Airball popups stayed up all night long with no loss of buoyancy and would have most likely stayed up considerably longer. This 40 year old common came at 7am, weighing in at 23.8lb it's the first on The Berry for 2016.