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#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 https://www.facebook.com/pages/Willow-Grange-Ltd/386037361409659
#2004
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.
#k-lo
Fluoro K-LO
Something that's been missing from my bait box recently are these, fluoro popups. What with getting the full range of The Berry sorted it slipped my mind and now of course is when i need them the most. The weather over the last six weeks has been hot with days when there isn't a breath of wind and it's at times like these that an inquisitive bite can get you that bonus fish. So with the weather looking like it's going to continue hot they're sure to get used. You can get them here http://thecarpcatcher.co.uk/bait-k-lo.php
#2015
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...
#2014
Redhouse lake Part ten
The last session on Redhouse lake in 2014 and it's the end of a long hard road for sure. Out of 21 days i spent fifteen on the bank and Redhouse pretty much became my home. Fishing as single mindedly as this though can take it's toll and in many ways. The journey of 50-60 miles each way from home was really no trouble at all to be honest. The camping by the lake was a pleasure for the senses and the soul. The food and brews kept my spirits up as well as the visits from David the owner, Alf and Paul the bailiffs, Gordon Owen the tackle shop manager and of course my mate Shaun. The session with my old mate Jeff rekindled the magic of a true friendship. I was constantly busy trying to outwit and out fish the Tench and of course i managed a few gems. For me it was sheer adventure. I was on my own fishing a lake that was forgotten. No-one really knew what was in there and the chance to find out was what drove me on. If life can be measured then i had my fill by the banks of Redhouse lake.
#woolpack
The Woolpack lake 7 - part five
It's my first week using my new Trakker Tempest brolly something i have been wanting to sort for a some time. Weather for the week is westerlies and sunshine and the swim choice is the south bank giving me a great view of the lake as well as a chance to fish the exit of the drainage channel and put a bait near the sanctuary of the southwest corner. The lake has just opened after a six week break for spawning and so has been very busy with plenty of pressure on the fish so i am expecting it to be tough.
#heritage lake
A loss to fishing
I have fished this lake for a number of years now and have caught many of the carp that inhabit it, much of my time being spent doing day sessions with the occasional over-nighter. With depths that average around five feet it warms up quick in the spring and shuts down equally as quick in the winter. The stock consists of mirrors and commons around mid-doubles to mid-twenties with a few ornamental fish turning up occasionally, so a bite can be on the cards most days. With a lockable gate, a peaceful tranquil atmosphere and a good stock of fish it seems like heaven however this unfortunately is not the case. The club that owns the lake seem to pay little attention to it, i have never seen a bailiff there and the lock on the gate is always broken. The local farmer uses the access track to service his fields as well as the track alongside the lake which has destroyed the track to the point where driving a car down is almost impossible preventing access. This has meant that few anglers now visit to fish it and with this lack of use and more importantly watchful eyes has come the fly tipping and unwanted visits from non-anglers. The litter is building up, trees have even been cut down to build fires and I have to say that i don’t feel safe there which is one reason i rarely fish it nowadays, especially on my own. The shame is that the club owns the lake and unless the club changes its approach and attitude things will only get worse and that is a great shame and a loss to fishing.
#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!
#moving
In with a chance
Mid morning saw me moving swims to the Woods. The carp were on the back of the wind and out of the way of the cold easterly blowing down the lake. Traps are set and hopefully ill get a bite.