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The Woolpack lake 7 - part six
Episode six is the first part of a three night session i did on lake 7 back in August 2016. A rare chance to be on my own on lake seven and an opportunity to see how they react without the usual bombardment under ideal weather conditions. The constant heat and southwesterly winds had been replaced by cooler northwesterlies and even though fish were showing half way up the lake my instinct told me to get on the end of a summer northerly, set my traps and wait.
#st ives
Bivvy Tramps
Who are your top five carpers of all time? How about top five carp captures, or even better, top five bivvy babes? Join Kes and his camo-clad mates in Tommy's Tackle shop to sort out the important carp questions of the day. Kes has been a camper far too long, but he's determined to prove himself by catching the Fat Lady from St Ives Lagoon. Lying on his narrow-boat bunk he dreams of being an X-treme carper, tackling rock hard waters like Fen Drayton and Wraysbury. Unfortunately his plans are put on hold when he gets involved with a new ultra commercial carp fishery, and caught up in a whole lot of trouble with bunny huggers, and the worst Ouse valley flood in living memory. Author Martin Lawrence brings the carp world of Kes and his mates to vivid life in this imaginative fenland tale of camaraderie, dreams, opinions, car boot sales, heavy metal, carp captures, antis and disaster. This totally original book will quickly find a cult following from the legions of carpers who share Kes's aspirations and love of carp fishing.
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.
#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 ;-)
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.
#waveney valley
Waveney Valley Lakes 1985
Back in 1985 i visited the famous Waveney Valley lakes in norfolk with three other friends, as you can see the kit has changed but i haven't changed that much. This is G lake and at the time was stocked with plenty of 20lb carp which avoided capture really well on this trip. It was late season and we only managed one fish between us but i did go back for another visit the following year and made up for it with a few really chunky 20's. Alas those pictures are long lost and all that survives of my visit is a few slides i took which i have now scanned. Here we are in 2015 and it's hard to believe that this was thirty years ago.
#leather carp
All five
This week saw me slip the net under five of lake 8's carp in a session where it all came together. I started with a very old fully scaled first stocked in 1977. Then i followed it up with this (near) Leather. Third fish was a common and the fourth a mirror which was also a partial Linear giving a cheeky 'all five' (Common, Fully scaled, Mirror, Linear, Leather). From a guestimate total population of around 70 i have managed 13 so far with three others falling off and i still have a good four or five sessions left if the weather holds. Once the end of October comes and temperatures start to fall it'll get harder and i'll be thinking of my winter water down in Kent. Until then though i will continue to try and get bites, land fish and eventually get through to one of the very few and elusive lumps. Some of the carp in lake 8 that can be seen swimming around remain uncaught to this day despite the best efforts of many. Should i get one then it will be through the effort of all my sessions not just the one. Successful method was my standard bottom bait rig, my semi-fixed-running-rig lead system and an 18mm K-LO boilie.
Cooking with Matt
Here is a lad blogging on YouTube making a very special Panini. Have to say he has gone one better than me and i need to up my game a bit! The thing i did love about this film is the camaraderie and banter. Lets face it, if you're going to make food as good as this by the bank then you're going to make friends!
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