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Boilies, Popups, Hard hookers, Paste & Glug
#2008
Forgotten fish
Keeping a diary is a handy thing, especially if like me you sometimes need to look back. It was while i was looking through my pictures from 2008 when i spotted this fish which i had completely forgotten i had caught! The filedate said 08-09-2008 but that's all. However back in 2008 i was still keeping diaries and so a quick look at the back of the diary for 2008 revealed all. September 8th 2008 was a Monday and on the Saturday previous i had pre-baited the swim with 6Kg Hemp, 3kG 15mm pellets and 4Kg of Berry boilies. Prebaiting like this had gone on for 2 weeks already and i had managed three fish, all to short 2-4 hour sessions with just one rod and the minimum of kit. Looking in my diary for that morning the entry is brief. 'Fish rolled over spot when i arrived at 7.30am. 8.30am 26.12lb common. Left at 9.30 and baited up with 3kg Hemp, 2Kg pellets 1Kg berry boilies'. So this year i am going to start keeping a diary again, that way i can look back with just a turn of a page and perhaps, not forget any more fish?
#lake 3
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.
#swavesey lake
Swavesey Lake
I had spent most of the early spring/summer months fishing fenland clay pits and although i had caught many a fine carp i craved to be back on a windswept gravel pit. So after a chat ticket was secured for a syndicate on a Cambridgeshire gravel pit that held a small number of large and little caught carp. More than enough to keep me happy me thinks!
#rigs
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
#bottom-bait-rig
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.
#woolpack
Learning time
It's the first week of july, six weeks after my last session on the woolpacks lake 7. The lakes have all been closed for spawning and the change is dramatic. The trees and bankside which were just starting to fill out in May are now heavy with summer foliage. The water is considerably warmer and the carp much more active, split up into small groups and no longer shoaled. This is the time when it starts to get really tough, with an abundance of natural food and the bombardment from the bankside there is a surplus. The long hot summer days and clear skies also shorten the feeding periods lessening chances. It's scratching time, but it's also learning time too, that's the one thing you can always do no matter what the carp or the weather are up to.
#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.
#richard walker
Angling wisdom
'All angling is, is a series of problems. The more you fish, the more problems you will be set. For the solution of one very often sets a number of fresh ones, and it is probably true to say that the greater your experience is, the more unsolved problems will confront you, and you can never solve them all. The best advice I can offer you here is that before you try to solve a problem, make sure you know what the problem is. When you have done your best in every way you can think of, you must wait.' - Richard Walker - Pic: Dick Walker fishing the River Witham
#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.