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#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 :-)
#willow grange
Bait making begins!
I have got loads of bait making to do over the coming weeks as i establish my bait and start hauling as a response! One of the places i have been visiting for years to get my ingredients is Willow grange. Just outside Cambridge on the A10 they have everything a carper needs for bait as well as tackle. But, most importantly.. they make a good brew. You can find out more by giving Mike, Fiona or the lads a call or by visiting their Facebook page. Cheers
First lake 8 carp
I fished lake 8 for tench back in 2002-5 but always kept my eye on the carp even though there were very few. Then in January 2009 Andy Stafford a long time member bought the lakes and began the revival and i joined a year later in 2010 and caught my first carp from it on my first session. Lake 8 has many more carp now (approx 70) and they are all English gems. The lake has an interesting topography and at around eight acres the carp have plenty of room to get lost. There are still some very large uncaught originals in the lake with the biggest a common, estimated at over 40lb. For more information go here:
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.
#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...
#winter berry
Summer always comes
Summer always comes as they say so even now at the start of winter with the frosts and the cold rain i am looking forward once again to those long barmy days. This year between April and November i managed to spend two or three nights every week by the bank. In that time i caught almost a hundred carp and now with winter upon us these summer sessions where i did so well and had so much fun are coming to the fore. So over the next few months join me as summer comes to my films and we relive those moments.
#st ives
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.
Eight years on
We are just a few months off my eighth year doing this and in that time i have kept the way i film and edit almost unchanged. The quality has improved tremendously from the tiny 360p to full HD 1080p. The old ten minute limit on blogs has long passed. Millions of views from you, watched from all over the world and you continue to do so. The only change this year is the titles, i have spruced them up a bit ;-) However i wont be over celebrating i'll just keep them coming same as ever. Going my own way, seeking adventure, having fun but most importantly, keeping it real. Cheers!
Bait making - The Basics
Making and then catching fish on your own bait will bring more to your fishing experience than any expensive kit could ever do. For me its the second most important thing. The sense of achievement and satisfaction you will get when you catch fish on it will far outweigh the effort required. Not only will you save a load of money but you will also have a big edge over the fish and other anglers!