TheCarpCatcher
 
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Boilies, Popups, Hard hookers, Paste & Glug
#scenic
Ironing out mistakes
Last weeks session on Frisby lakes was just what i needed to get back in the groove before i start my year on the much tougher, Woolpack lake 7. You get rusty and so ironing out mistakes and trying out things is best gotten out of the way early. So apart from the usual setups and rigs I also managed to get out my sharpening file and hook doctor. I have been touching up the korda choddys, taking some of the beak down just past the barb and bringing the hooks up to needle sharp, I also practiced taking the micro barb down slightly as well, with pleasing results. I tried a couple of new hooklink materials as well as bedding down the new line on the spools. I caught fish too! and that doesn't harm the confidence. I gave the K-LO it's first outing and that held up sweet, with five kilos going out over the three days. So next week it's another practice session just in case on Nickolls lake down in Kent, then on to lake 7, I hope i'm ready.
#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!
#basemix
The fly test
I am a great believer in keeping things simple. The more complicated something is the more likely you are to fail. These are two of the simplest baits i make. There are no added flavours or oils etc in either bait, only the eggs needed to bind them. The yellow one has two dry ingredients. The brown one has three, but the third ingredient makes all the difference. I know a fly isn't as smart as a carp but, the instincts are pretty similar. These two baits amply demonstrate the 'food signal' approach to bait and how keeping it simple, makes it easy to understand and the easier it is to understand the more likely you are to succeed.
#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 ;-)
#secrets
Valley Pool part five
This film encapsulates all the reasons i love to fish these intimate little pools. You can get close up! This is probably one of the best films i have shot and gives you a wonderful insight into the carp. They are not just fat pigs living in water. They are complex creatures with ways and habits that are as intricate as any other living creature. Carp have developed ways of surviving and this is one of them. Cleaning themselves after their winter layup (see http://thecarpcatcher.co.uk/thecarpcatchers_blog.php?post=163).
#breaching carp
Valley Pool part five
This film encapsulates all the reasons i love to fish these intimate little pools. You can get close up! This is probably one of the best films i have shot and gives you a wonderful insight into the carp. They are not just fat pigs living in water. They are complex creatures with ways and habits that are as intricate as any other living creature. Carp have developed ways of surviving and this is one of them. Cleaning themselves after their winter layup (see http://thecarpcatcher.co.uk/thecarpcatchers_blog.php?post=163).
#anniversary
Ninth anniversary
I have just completed my second session this year on Nickolls lake down in Kent and as it happens i also celebrated the ninth year of TheCarpCatcher. It's amazing to think that over all those years the format has remained the same, the only change i guess is me and my beard! So to celebrate i ventured into the wild area again taking two trips with the barrow on what must be a half mile trek. Four days in a JRC 60 inch oval brolly in torrential rain, fog, boiling sun and a driving north-easterly, some nice carp, plus eels! lots of em!! I ain't no pussy but it's good to be home and i'm ready for the tenth year.
#john wilson
A massive influence
Just finishing off next weeks episode of The Woolpack lake 8 (episode 15) where we enter silly season and start to empty the place. Even though i spend three to four days on the lake it still can all just fly past and seem like a dream. But then comes the editing of the footage and i relive it all again, always it seems in the third person and i'm always surprised at who i am. The obvious influences throughout my life come shining through and this fella John wilson is at the front of the list. The first angler on the screen that actually made me feel i was there and taking part, he had a massive influence on me and this is very evident in the next episode.
#lenny middleton
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.