TheCarpCatcher
 
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TheCarpCatcher Bait
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Boilies, Popups, Hard hookers, Paste & Glug
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Unreleased films - available here
#propolis
Propolis - Fish care
Since 2009 i have been using Propolis for treating wounds and sores on carp, including myself! The one i use is marketed for use on Koi carp and is sold by NTLabs a leading specialist in this field. http://www.ntlabs.co.uk/products/Propolis-Wound-Seal.html It's easy to use and very effective. Simply shake the bottle and tip drops onto the affected area gently rubbing it all over. you will find that it will not 'run-off' like other treatments do. Then pour water onto it to form a waxy coating that seals the area completely. Watch the film for a full demonstration of it's use.
#hookbaits
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!
#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...
#stalking
Back on the Cam
My syndicate the woolpack is now closed for a month whilst the fish attempt to spawn so I'll have to put a hold on my campaign on lake 8. So, it's on to the river Cam tuesday for the glorious 16th! Best go and find them then eh?
#true carping
True Carping - St Ives Lakes
It was way back in 1982 when I first laid eyes on the St Ives complex of lakes and I fished it on and off for the next 8 years. Since then it has matured and many of the carp have grown on to become famous and highly prized. The ever increasing army of carpers is growing and the trend for results has led to an explosion of instant carping. Stocked lakes full of fish where you can catch a twenty, a thirty, a forty or even a fifty. Swims are built with railway sleepers and hardcore, toilets and showers are provided for the endless stream of punters. Carpers from all over flock to cut their teeth and make their names on them, but St Ives is different. None of the above applies to this place, it's wild and rough where waders and a 'can do' attitude are essential piece's of kit. For me though, it's not about named fish or their weights, but the place itself. It has an atmosphere and wildness about it that changes you. This is a true story of one carper, as it happens, keeping it real, seeking adventure and having fun. This is true carping.
#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.
#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 ;-)
#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.
#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.