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#2008
Forgotten fish
Keeping a diary is a handy thing, especially if like me you sometimes need to look back. It was while i was looking through my pictures from 2008 when i spotted this fish which i had completely forgotten i had caught! The filedate said 08-09-2008 but that's all. However back in 2008 i was still keeping diaries and so a quick look at the back of the diary for 2008 revealed all. September 8th 2008 was a Monday and on the Saturday previous i had pre-baited the swim with 6Kg Hemp, 3kG 15mm pellets and 4Kg of Berry boilies. Prebaiting like this had gone on for 2 weeks already and i had managed three fish, all to short 2-4 hour sessions with just one rod and the minimum of kit. Looking in my diary for that morning the entry is brief. 'Fish rolled over spot when i arrived at 7.30am. 8.30am 26.12lb common. Left at 9.30 and baited up with 3kg Hemp, 2Kg pellets 1Kg berry boilies'. So this year i am going to start keeping a diary again, that way i can look back with just a turn of a page and perhaps, not forget any more fish?
#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: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.
#hookbaits
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!
#lake 3
The hair rig
In 2002 I started to fish the Woolpack lakes in Godmanchester. One of the resident anglers on there was a fella named Lenny Middleton. Lenny and a few of his friends as we know are attributed with the development of the hair rig. Obviously I asked and we chatted about this and other subjects on many occasions. However it is a story that Lenny told me by the banks of the woolpacks lake two/three one afternoon that I would like to relay to you here. Lenny spent an enormous amount of time fishing the Woolpack and would often stay two weeks at a time. This of course lead to him being very sociable and the offer of a chat and a brew was always on the cards. I of course admired Lenny, he was real old school and let's face it a proper legend. But through our numerous cuppers I gradually began to ask him about the old days and in particular the origins of the hair rig. The account he gave me is something else that will always stay with me. I remember it all so well and can picture myself now sitting by lake two having yet another cupper with Lenny and discussing all things carpy as well as putting the world to rights. Lenny was still tying the original hair rig he first wrote about in Course Angler in November 1981 and this lead to the question I eventually asked, 'How did you get the idea?', this is what he told me. Lenny had been fishing a number of waters and doing well on particles and being the inquisitive type wanted to know what other particles he could catch on. He had determined that the carp were particularly fond of sweet baits and so to this end searched for a particle to fulfil this requirement. The only one he could think of was tiger nuts as he remembered that when he was a kid you couldn't get sweets (rationing) and so they used to get a cone of tiger nuts instead. He went out and brought some and took them home to prepare. However, no matter how much he boiled them they simply did not get soft enough to side hook. After many attempts to get the tigers to stay on the hook he eventually decided to tie one onto his hook using a piece of fine line. He immediately caught and thorough the day continued to cast out the same bait each time. Eventually the knot worked loose yet he noticed he was still catching fish. So there you go, the invention of the hair rig wasn't about catching shy fish, about rig mechanics or stealth, it was about bait.
#lake 8
The Woolpack lake 8 - part 19
So here we are 19 sessions on, from February through to October with the last session on the Woolpack's lake 8. I did do a few more after this but blanked and we have seen enough of them eh? So lets finish on a good note with all the usual effort put in to make a complete session. This is the last episode of the current series, but i will be back, i still have a few to catch...
#lake7
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.
#chris yates
A passion for angling
Probably the best films ever made about fishing. I have to say that i was inspired by these films as i am sure everyone who watched them was. I still watch them now and then, they never age.
#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.
#facebook
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