TheCarpCatcher
 
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Boilies, Popups, Hard hookers, Paste & Glug
#blogging
Responsive blogging
A big part of TheCarpCatcher isn't just about the skills on the bank it's also about the skills in front of the computer. From the fishing and filming comes the editing, uploading and releasing on the web. YouTube, Facebook, Google and Twitter are there ready to suck up your content but of course it can soon disappear in the never ending feed. In 1996 i made a good decision for my future and a bad one for my current fishing, i went to university to study Computer Science. In 2007 i built my first website for TheCarpCatcher when i started blogging. Now fully responsive, for mobile, pad or pc my blog is in it's second year with 300+ posts. I lost three years of carping, but we wouldn't have TheCarpCatcher without it.
#fish cleaning
Valley Pool part five
This film encapsulates all the reasons i love to fish these intimate little pools. You can get close up! This is probably one of the best films i have shot and gives you a wonderful insight into the carp. They are not just fat pigs living in water. They are complex creatures with ways and habits that are as intricate as any other living creature. Carp have developed ways of surviving and this is one of them. Cleaning themselves after their winter layup (see http://thecarpcatcher.co.uk/thecarpcatchers_blog.php?post=163).
#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.
#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!
#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
#basemix
The fly test
I am a great believer in keeping things simple. The more complicated something is the more likely you are to fail. These are two of the simplest baits i make. There are no added flavours or oils etc in either bait, only the eggs needed to bind them. The yellow one has two dry ingredients. The brown one has three, but the third ingredient makes all the difference. I know a fly isn't as smart as a carp but, the instincts are pretty similar. These two baits amply demonstrate the 'food signal' approach to bait and how keeping it simple, makes it easy to understand and the easier it is to understand the more likely you are to succeed.
#hair rig
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.
#hookbaits
Bait Making ~ hookbaits
We take three of the recipes from the film Bait making ~ Recipes (see: https://youtu.be/O_FJrADfxfw?list=PLHJEFZmmQgP_QBbkBfUVrJ4ND1_eLevxe) and produce Hard hookers, Corkball popups, Popups and Balanced hookers. Plus an old favorite for surface fishing 'Floater cake'. Loads of tips and tricks, easy to follow recipes that bring results. For the full film go here >> https://youtu.be/BfLgBDkPMz4
#willow lake
Pushing the limits
This picture was taken in 1991, that's my son Marcus who is now 25 years old wearing my hat. As you can see i started fishing with my rods up over 25 years ago now so it's not something that's new to me.Things like this can be just fashion of course but as i said a few posts ago i consider using the the rod setup also as part of the trap by enabling the rig and the lead system to perform differently. Just recently over the last few sessions i have been pushing this to the limit and with some astonishing success. However as with anything you push to the limit you always find the edge and so have i. So this week i will be taking all that i have learned through my successes as well as my mistakes and dialing it back a bit, fine tuning it. This for me is what fishing is really all about, finding a method, getting it to work and hopefully bagging a few before it all changes.