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#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.
#2014
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.
#film
The Woolpack lake 7 - part four
It's the last week of May 2016 and the weather is in a downturn with cold wet driving northerly winds day and night. When i arrived I counted plenty of cars in the car park so i knew it was going to be tough getting a swim on the wind and a walk around the lake soon revealed little option. Now it's at times like these when you think your chances of a fish are small that you must push on. Places like lake seven are not easy prospects and you need to spend as much time on the lake learning as you can. So even if a session looks like a write off, you must still go. Remember if it was just about catching fish it wouldn't be called fishing.
#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.
#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.
#cooking
How to cook chips?
One of the things that has surprised me since i first started blogging my fishing and especially my cooking on the bank, is that some chaps don't know how to cook chips? But then these days most either cook oven or microwave chips and the art of homemade chips it seems has been lost on them. Well no more as i have taken on the responsibility to ensure the banks and towpaths of britain are rife with the smell of freshly cooked chips in the pan. Chips are what made Britain great and lets face it the best way to cook a potato, especially when accompanied by a brace of bar-b-q style lamb chops.
#bottom-bait-rig
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.
#alder lake
Alder lake playlist
Even though i fish and film these sessions. Edit and re-edit, preview and release i still like to go back and rewatch them over again. You never take it all in on the first watch, you can easily miss things. For me however it's not just about that but also reliving the moments, happy days spent chasing my dreams.
#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