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Boilies, Popups, Hard hookers, Paste & Glug
#woolpack
Learning time
It's the first week of july, six weeks after my last session on the woolpacks lake 7. The lakes have all been closed for spawning and the change is dramatic. The trees and bankside which were just starting to fill out in May are now heavy with summer foliage. The water is considerably warmer and the carp much more active, split up into small groups and no longer shoaled. This is the time when it starts to get really tough, with an abundance of natural food and the bombardment from the bankside there is a surplus. The long hot summer days and clear skies also shorten the feeding periods lessening chances. It's scratching time, but it's also learning time too, that's the one thing you can always do no matter what the carp or the weather are up to.
#popups
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!
#old school
Twitcher hitting
Back in the day... Twitcher hitting! And we still have them today despite our best efforts. How often has you alarm just suddenly gone off with an odd bleep? How often has your bobbin moved up an inch only to immediately settle back? And how often have you put it down to line bites? But what if there is just as much chance of a fish picking up your bait as there is it running into your line? Sure you can screen out the odd bleep when the wind suddenly picks up, but the one thing i have learned over the years is that if the alarm sounds is most likely a fish. I think it's well worth considering the affect this all has on results over a season. I will certainly work on my setup this year to try and iron out any guess work. So when the alarm does sound...
#semi-fixed-running-rig
The Woolpack lake 7 - part three
The winds are still pushing in from the north so a swim on the south bank is required however that's not to be at the start of the session. This week i move into a new swim, find the spots, defeat the seagulls and get to see a few of these old warriors show themselves over my bait. A tense few hours waiting for a run ensues...
#2009
Pingles pool - Last of the Cuckoo's
Pingles Pool is an old clay pool situated in rural fenland and it is full of beautiful, fat Mirrors and Commons. It has been twenty years since I last fished and laid eyes upon this lovely little pool and in those following years many fish had been added and grown on with the olduns. The lilies had taken over all of the shallow margins and bars while some of the old mighty trees had crashed into the lake margins. Renowned for it's moods and the ever-surprising fenland weather the pool has an atmosphere all of it's own. Let the adventure begin!
#underwater
Understanding carp
If anything the underwater footage of Valley should have dramatically changed your view of this small intimate little pool. It should also confirm that carp do indeed hibernate during the colder parts of the year. http://thecarpcatcher.co.uk/thecarpcatchers_blog.php?post=163 It's not the first time that i have pointed out that the hardest waters to fish are often the smallest. Carp more than any other fish learn about their environment and can associate any change with danger. The one thing i have noticed on Valley is this 'sensitivity' to their environment. It's tangible, their posture and the way they switch off or just avoid areas when your about. Valley pool has given me a great chance to do what i love and that is to study the carp. I truly believe that this is paramount to becoming 'the complete angler'. Results and numbers don't matter in the end as you forget them. Experiences with carp, close up, learning their secrets and their ways stay with you forever.
#float fishing
Fishing match
Whilst chatting to Alf the Bailiff last week in the Tackle shop at Linford lakes i suggested we have a friendly match. A time and venue was set for Monday 6-8pm on the canal between Alf, Gordon Owen (the tackle shop manager) and myself. Alf turned up with all the kit and Gordon and me...well we had some old gear pulled out of the shed and a few rusty old size 12's. As the match progressed Gordon and i steadily caught skimmers, roach and perch whilst Alf was still setting up all his poles and specialist platform. Gordon managed to cast into the reeds opposite every second cast eventually losing it to a pull for a break ten minutes from the end. I found myself surprised, fishing like i had never had a pause from it. After spending much of my early life with a float rod in my hand it felt like second nature to me. I managed three tench as well as all the bits and won easily. My secret weapon? Berry bolies crushed up and mixed into groundbait.... Happy days ;-)
#lake 3
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:http://thecarpcatcher.co.uk/thecarpcatchers_blog.php?post=402) 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.
#2013
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. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Bivvy-Tramps-Martin-Lawrence/dp/1871700825/ref=aag_m_pw_dp?ie=UTF8&m=AUTN9R1ZEQUDF