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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.
#balanced hookers
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!
As swims go this isn't a bad one eh? This is Almatret on the Catalonian side of the river and on the other side your in Aragon. The border at this point runs exactly along the middle of the River Ebro. Spain has what they call autonomous communities which are in themselves nationalities within the Kingdom of Spain much like Wales or Scotland. So if you go to fish in spain then you're most likely going to be fishing in Catalonia or Aragon. And therein lies a problem as they also have unique differences in their language so you dont just need to learn Spanish, you also need to learn some Catalonian at least. However dont fear, English is and has been for centuries one of the most adaptable languages in the world taking on many words from other cultures, so most Spanish speak it! Anyway i digress, back to the swim. Its 307 meters wide and has depths over 11 meters. Old olive groves litter the closer in areas as well as massive boulders, sunken trees and most likely the odd ship or three littered here and there. We get the odd twig floating down river, they get trees and the odd bloated 100lb+ catfish! I kid you not, snaggy isn't the word.
The waters of the Colne valley are full of carp and the skies are full of aircraft. I'd taken a break from the toughness of the Fjords for two days hauling. Available via TheCarpCatcher Plus
#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.
The Woolpack lake 7 - part three
The winds are still pushing in from the north so a swim on the south bank is required however that's not to be at the start of the session. This week i move into a new swim, find the spots, defeat the seagulls and get to see a few of these old warriors show themselves over my bait. A tense few hours waiting for a run ensues...
#bait making
Chin stroker
Four minutes into part 12 of The Woolpack lake 8 and i start talking about bait and it brought on some right old chin stroking i can tell you. I had just made a fresh batch of 18mm popups containing a sample of hydrolysed krill protein concentrate and i was using these alongside an early batch of K-LO. I was confident the bait would work and indeed i had one within ten minutes but as always with bait you're never quite satisfied, you always want to improve. Do a quick search for chin stroking on the internet you will come up with something like 'Stroking the chin is often a signal that the person is thinking hard. They may well be judging or evaluating something, particularly if the conversation has offered them a choice or decision to make'. S'true, grow a beard, make decisions ;-)
River carping
There probably isn't a river, drain or canal in England that doesn't contain at least a few carp and some a lot more. Many of these fish have never been fished for and over the years have quietly grown on to rival anything you can catch in a lake. Although river fishing is a challenge it's not an impossible one and the rewards can be amazing. More often than not you will be leaving footprints where others have never trod; you will be breaking new ground and catching dreams. Since releasing the series River Cam Carp Quest in 2011 I have received many requests for information about river carp fishing and so I have decided to put together this short piece covering the main aspects you need to address.
It would be interesting to know just how many people have caught this fish. In the six years i spent fishing the woolpack's lake #3 i caught it three times and saw it caught twice more. If you have caught Bertie then send me a pic!