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#willow lake
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.
#ghost carp
Park Farm Ghost
My first ever Ghost Mirror and i have to say i was well pleased and for a special reason. This fish swam around evading capture in my swim for two days. Easily spottable because of its color i saw it constantly. On more than one occasion it sussed my carefully presented fake mixer and only ever picked off the freebies. I saw it go up to my controller and then suss the fake mixer! It really knew the score but it's downfall was my very carefully presented chewed popup. Balanced so the eye of the hook sits on the bottom it accounted for over half of all the fish that came to bottom baits. There is a lot to be said for small strong hooks (Razor point, Arma, G-Point) fine strong braid (Pallatrax Steam link, Ace Camo core) and a very carefully thought out and presented bait than a pub chuck eh :-)
#todds pit
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.
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!
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. 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.
#rolling carp
Morning roll
Whilst i am waiting for the agency to call for work i am using the time to get ahead on the films. There is a beauty about just holding the camcorder and scanning the water. You often get shots from frames that are difficult to capture with a camera. It's always good to see a fish roll, it raises your spirits and tells you so much.
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
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!
#baiting up
How much bait?
It's a question i get asked a lot, how much bait do you use? Especially when you hear tales of how carp can eat five kilos in one sitting! The answer i give is very simple, enough for one fish, a couple of handfuls. However that of course is not the end of it because there are many different situations and sometimes a couple of handfuls can be too much or too little, but it's a good starting point none the less.