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Ninth anniversary
I have just completed my second session this year on Nickolls lake down in Kent and as it happens i also celebrated the ninth year of TheCarpCatcher. It's amazing to think that over all those years the format has remained the same, the only change i guess is me and my beard! So to celebrate i ventured into the wild area again taking two trips with the barrow on what must be a half mile trek. Four days in a JRC 60 inch oval brolly in torrential rain, fog, boiling sun and a driving north-easterly, some nice carp, plus eels! lots of em!! I ain't no pussy but it's good to be home and i'm ready for the tenth year.
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 The constant heat and southwesterly winds had been replaced by cooler northwesterlies and even though fish were showing half way up the lake my instinct told me to get on the end of a summer northerly, set my traps and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.
#redhouse lake
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.
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
#river granta
A magical trip
For some years i have planned a very special trip down this very special little river and each year i promise myself the same thing. Get a canoe and go. There is miles of wondrous winding river and countryside to meander down with untouched fishing and carp to be found. There is so much adventure and unknown out there, still. Pic:
K-LO field test
Over the years many of you have asked for my bait so i have decided to make 'K-LO' available from the Spring 2016. Since the bait is being improved for release in 2016 i am currently testing it out. Suffice to say this is not a cheap flavour filled bait but a food bait designed to catch carp using natural stimulants and food signals, so sharpen your hooks for 2016! For more info (see: This is one of four fish to come in an overnight session to early tests. Successful method was my popup multi rig, my semi-fixed-running-rig lead system and an 18mm K-LO popup.
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.
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
#common carp
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.