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#woolpack
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.
#tips
The Importance of bait
The great thing about reviewing my sessions whilst editing is that i can analyse them and identify my strengths. Only through this can a pattern of success or otherwise be identified and this film has a message that's abundantly clear and that's the importance of bait and how you apply it. A constant trickle of bait over a four day period has paid off for me on many occasions and the reasons are obvious. We know they eat our bait at there own time of choosing and it's because of this that we have to regulate what's in the swim. Too much and they might fill up and move on before picking up the trap. Too little and there caution remains making it equally likely that they won't pick up the bait. Little and often regulates how much is in the swim but it also gives you variation too. Bait will be spread out more randomly and will be in different states of breakdown so this will see the carp being a lot less cautious and the fact that there is always a few baits in the swim too is a real bonus. The only thing left is to keep an eye on conditions, adjust your feeding accordingly and of course, be lucky!
#scenic
Ironing out mistakes
Last weeks session on Frisby lakes was just what i needed to get back in the groove before i start my year on the much tougher, Woolpack lake 7. You get rusty and so ironing out mistakes and trying out things is best gotten out of the way early. So apart from the usual setups and rigs I also managed to get out my sharpening file and hook doctor. I have been touching up the korda choddys, taking some of the beak down just past the barb and bringing the hooks up to needle sharp, I also practiced taking the micro barb down slightly as well, with pleasing results. I tried a couple of new hooklink materials as well as bedding down the new line on the spools. I caught fish too! and that doesn't harm the confidence. I gave the K-LO it's first outing and that held up sweet, with five kilos going out over the three days. So next week it's another practice session just in case on Nickolls lake down in Kent, then on to lake 7, I hope i'm ready.
#lake 3
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.
#hair rig
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.
#2016
You have to endure
The last two sessions on the woolpack have seen totally opposite weather from cold and wet to baking hot and dry and thats right after a six week suspension of fishing for spawning and recovery. It's anything but settled and scratching for ideas and bites is the order of the day when it gets like this. However it does not come to you overnight when you're new to a water it takes time to find the clues that lead to a fish. This week i found a few clues, i got to watch carp feed, see their reaction when they realised they were being fished for and i sussed a few areas for later use. So all in all not a bad session but it was tough going, something that if you want to be succesful you have to endure.
#2004
River Cam Carp Quest Pt4
I can count at least three occasions where I had a carp in the net within two minutes of casting into the river during my sessions on the Cam back in 2011. An upper double, a twenty and a thirty all from a river in less than six minutes fishing! So how did I do that? Whenever I have 'got into the groove' on any water my results have improved tremendously and I can think of any number of occasions when that has happened. Regular visits to swims to observe the fish coupled with bait application are the key factors to success. Last month's article was all about that, using what little time I have to achieve results that are better than expected for the sum of hours spent fishing
#lenny middleton
Lenny Middleton
Is it really eight years since Lenny passed on? Time flies by so fast... If you have ever used the hair rig then pay your tribute to the man who invented it and passed it on to us
#bob james
A passion for angling
Probably the best films ever made about fishing. I have to say that i was inspired by these films as i am sure everyone who watched them was. I still watch them now and then, they never age.