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#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 ;-)
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.
#cawcutts lake
Just the usual
This is my mate Jeff Heath who fished with me on Redhouse lake. Here he is way back in the early nineties with one of the now deceased mirrors from Cawcutts lake in Cambridge at 27lb+. Jeff was always very good at catching carp and i will be fishing with him again next week on his syndicate in the fens. Hopefully all the bait ingredients that i have ordered will arrive in time for me to make up a batch of my 'K-LO' boilies to try out since Jeff tells me the water is well stocked. I haven't got around to picking Jeff's brains yet but he has been catching when no-one else has and generally getting more than his fair share, as per usual. So that is definitely on the agenda over a brew or two. No doubt the answer i get will be a smile, a chuckle and a shake of the head to the words (in your best manchester accent) 'I aint doing nothing mate, just the usual fella'. Yer right Jeff, so do i :-)
#boat fishing
Out in the boat
In the next episode of The woolpack lake 8 we are out in the boat for a snagged up fish. When i was about 15 years old i learned a very useful lesson about boats, they can sink and sink fast! The worse kind are the ones that have no means of floatation other than the ability to displace water, take that away and oh boy do they go down quick. So if your going out in a boat make sure it either has a double skin or floatation built in and always wear a life jacket. Once your out on the boat it all looks and feels a lot different so safety first eh.
Bait making ~ Recipes
The one thing you always need to make sure of is your bait. If you make it yourself then you could already have an edge that other anglers don't. It's the second most important thing to me after location. This film gives you that edge and more. It details twelve ingredients and seven recipes that will always bring you success. There are plenty of tips too to help you on your way. There are no secrets in carp fishing, only knowledge and here is a big slice of it. You can download all three episodes here
#river cam
Secret river
Thursday will see me on the upper river cam in search of pristine Roach, I just wanna get back to basics for a bit and what better time than the Glorious 16th! The river cam has a few tributaries that flow into it and this is one of them, The Lesser Granta. Three decades ago i was catching monster dace and roach from this stretch but i have to say it has changed in that time. It's much more overgrown now and getting a bait in can be difficult but it's a secret river where no-one goes and you will always be on your own. It holds carp too! big ones :P
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.
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...
Understanding carp
If anything the underwater footage of Valley should have dramatically changed your view of this small intimate little pool. It should also confirm that carp do indeed hibernate during the colder parts of the year. It's not the first time that i have pointed out that the hardest waters to fish are often the smallest. Carp more than any other fish learn about their environment and can associate any change with danger. The one thing i have noticed on Valley is this 'sensitivity' to their environment. It's tangible, their posture and the way they switch off or just avoid areas when your about. Valley pool has given me a great chance to do what i love and that is to study the carp. I truly believe that this is paramount to becoming 'the complete angler'. Results and numbers don't matter in the end as you forget them. Experiences with carp, close up, learning their secrets and their ways stay with you forever.