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Boilies, Popups, Hard hookers, Paste & Glug
#k-lo
The Woolpack lake 7 - part two
With the cold spring and the knowledge that the lake would be busy early on i decided to delay my second visit to Lake 7 until the end of May. Decades of experience has taught me that the carp in early spring don't all become active at the same time. Sure the few that are active can be caught and often quiet quickly. But eventually the blanks start to pile up for everyone as the pressure builds. The bait continues to go in and a surplus occurs so it just gets harder, however as the water warms there comes a point when all the carp are active. It's at this moment your chances improve and it's time to pack the car.
#2009
Pingles pool - Last of the Cuckoo's
Pingles Pool is an old clay pool situated in rural fenland and it is full of beautiful, fat Mirrors and Commons. It has been twenty years since I last fished and laid eyes upon this lovely little pool and in those following years many fish had been added and grown on with the olduns. The lilies had taken over all of the shallow margins and bars while some of the old mighty trees had crashed into the lake margins. Renowned for it's moods and the ever-surprising fenland weather the pool has an atmosphere all of it's own. Let the adventure begin!
#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
#articles
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.
#2011
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. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Bivvy-Tramps-Martin-Lawrence/dp/1871700825/ref=aag_m_pw_dp?ie=UTF8&m=AUTN9R1ZEQUDF
#2004
The hair rig
In 2002 I started to fish the Woolpack lakes in Godmanchester. One of the resident anglers on there was a fella named Lenny Middleton. Lenny and a few of his friends as we know are attributed with the development of the hair rig. Obviously I asked and we chatted about this and other subjects on many occasions. However it is a story that Lenny told me by the banks of the woolpacks lake two/three one afternoon that I would like to relay to you here. Lenny spent an enormous amount of time fishing the Woolpack and would often stay two weeks at a time. This of course lead to him being very sociable and the offer of a chat and a brew was always on the cards. I of course admired Lenny, he was real old school and let's face it a proper legend. But through our numerous cuppers I gradually began to ask him about the old days and in particular the origins of the hair rig. The account he gave me is something else that will always stay with me. I remember it all so well and can picture myself now sitting by lake two having yet another cupper with Lenny and discussing all things carpy as well as putting the world to rights. Lenny was still tying the original hair rig he first wrote about in Course Angler in November 1981 and this lead to the question I eventually asked, 'How did you get the idea?', this is what he told me. Lenny had been fishing a number of waters and doing well on particles and being the inquisitive type wanted to know what other particles he could catch on. He had determined that the carp were particularly fond of sweet baits and so to this end searched for a particle to fulfil this requirement. The only one he could think of was tiger nuts as he remembered that when he was a kid you couldn't get sweets (rationing) and so they used to get a cone of tiger nuts instead. He went out and brought some and took them home to prepare. However, no matter how much he boiled them they simply did not get soft enough to side hook. After many attempts to get the tigers to stay on the hook he eventually decided to tie one onto his hook using a piece of fine line. He immediately caught and thorough the day continued to cast out the same bait each time. Eventually the knot worked loose yet he noticed he was still catching fish. So there you go, the invention of the hair rig wasn't about catching shy fish, about rig mechanics or stealth, it was about bait.
#weed fishing
Redhouse lake Part two
It's the morning and we are greeted by a tench as we continue my first session on Redhouse lake. With all the weed its obvious that spots or areas to put a bait are going to be hard to find, however i have a few indispensable tools in my armoury to deal with it. One is my homemade weed rake which you use with rod and line to clear spots and the other is my bag fishing skills, honed to perfection. Whilst in the bivvy i show you the method i most use with bags and one that has caught me loads of fish from the most weedy of places.
#ultimate-fish-mix
TheCarpCatcher Bait
The second most important thing after location as far as i am concerned is bait, it is after all what you put in front of the fish to catch it. My faith in bait is as strong as my passion for it and if i didn't have total confidence in my bait then i wouldn't use it, it's that simple. So this year see's the start of TheCarpCatcher Bait and hopefully it will prosper. At the moment the field testers are getting the chance to get some of the initial batch from the manufacturer and as always their voluntary feedback is always welcome. Last years test went amazingly well and there will be more on the way. The Berry needs developing and testing with it's new format. Then there is Ultimate Fish Mix a culmination of everything that is awesome in a fishmeal bait basically :-) Popups and Bait soaks to develop and test too plus all sorts of other things to give us that confidence and edge that we all want over our fishy foe. If you want to apply to become a field tester for TheCarpCatcher Bait then follow the link, cheers. http://thecarpcatcher.co.uk/notifications.php
#bottom-bait-rig
A good place to start
Just back from my second session on the Woolpacks lake 7 where this week i spent time in two swims. Once again i found the car park half full when i arrived and with a north westerly blowing that gave me a choice of four swims if i wanted to get on the end of the wind. Now getting on the end of the wind doesn't guarantee fish but it does often give you a better chance and it's a good place to start. So with my water bottle in-hand i trekked off to the first swim in the south west corner, it was taken, and so were the other three. So with little choice i took the second swim on the east bank, this gave me clear water and kept me as close to the wind as i could get. As it happened i had fish rolling on me in the morning but didn't get a pickup and by lunch with the first swim in the south-east corner becoming vacant i moved. Having fished this swim the previous week i had little work to do to find spots and within five hours of placing my rigs i had one of the mirrors at 26.4lb. It's good to know that what i am doing works and so far i have been fortunate and i have found a working spot. Next week who knows, but i am already looking forward to it.