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Boilies, Popups, Hard hookers, Paste & Glug
#basemix
The fly test
I am a great believer in keeping things simple. The more complicated something is the more likely you are to fail. These are two of the simplest baits i make. There are no added flavours or oils etc in either bait, only the eggs needed to bind them. The yellow one has two dry ingredients. The brown one has three, but the third ingredient makes all the difference. I know a fly isn't as smart as a carp but, the instincts are pretty similar. These two baits amply demonstrate the 'food signal' approach to bait and how keeping it simple, makes it easy to understand and the easier it is to understand the more likely you are to succeed.
#leyland water
Leyland water Part two
Dawn is breaking as I arrive in the carp park at manicure, it's been a couple of months since my last 'very' successful visit. The members log book is littered with blanks and 'makes grim reading' but to be honest? I am well confident!
#woolpack
The Woolpack lake 7 - part two
With the cold spring and the knowledge that the lake would be busy early on i decided to delay my second visit to Lake 7 until the end of May. Decades of experience has taught me that the carp in early spring don't all become active at the same time. Sure the few that are active can be caught and often quiet quickly. But eventually the blanks start to pile up for everyone as the pressure builds. The bait continues to go in and a surplus occurs so it just gets harder, however as the water warms there comes a point when all the carp are active. It's at this moment your chances improve and it's time to pack the car.
#withy rig
Pingles Pool - A Dream Session
Winter was upon us without the usual autumnal low pressure systems giving us those wonderful high winds and racing grey Skies. With high pressure and constant sunshine sport had died on Pingles pool and getting a bite had been very tough indeed. Then like manna from heaven a huge low pressure system moved in from the south west and blew the hell outta the trees leaving them stripped. The high winds and rain continued all week until the Sunday morning when i awoke to find sunshine and calm, time to get the rods out!
#line lay
Bedding down your line
Choosing an area or spot to fish isn't just about the spot itself but also about what lays between you and the rig. Line lay has a big effect on whether you catch or not. So choosing an area you can fish effectivly is important. Once I have cast my rig and followed it down I always spend some time getting the line lay right and bedding it down. It's out of sight, it ensures the rig works as it should and importantly doesn't spook fish off before they have even got on your spot.
#jrc brollywrap
Winter skined
Using the JRC brollywrap is ok if the weather isn't too bad but if it's thunderstorms coming straight at you? My old Trakker SLX has been passed on but i kept the winter skin and this is why. It fits perfectly over the brolly to give me that little bit more protection from the elements. What's more the winter skin packs away light and small into my old gas mask bag from the 1980's. Pukka!
#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.
#1990
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.
#hookers
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!