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#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.
#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.
#2013
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
#2011
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
#semi-fixed-running-rig
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.
#maps
Map locations
For sometime i have had an App on my site using Google maps but his one is better. As i progress i will add more locations, information, pictures and films. So when you ask me where abouts is the lake i fish? i will be able to send you a link. Easy!
#nickolls lake
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.
#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.