Monday, 12 November 2018

NEW CHALLENGE

Earlier in the year, Easter weekend to be precise, myself and 'she who must be obeyed' dropped in on a large body of water with the intentions of having a nice leisurely stroll along the banks with our two pooches. I,ve heard of the place on and off over the years but never actually got round to visiting the place. Rumours have it there were some good sized pike swimming around beneath this inland sea and seeing as pike are my favourite species it was on the bucket list but the place kept falling out of the memory banks. 

Well after months of research, finding out not a lot about the fishing on this 350 acre beast in the process, i bit the bullet and handed over my hard earned for a years permission to fish this behemoth. My research had pulled up a few details and pictures of average sized carp and pike that have been caught over the years, as well as a few blog posts about the good tench fishing and the large roach to be had. Nothing particularly exciting i will admit but you have to understand that this is a huge body of water to find your quarry in with depths ranging from a couple of feet to nearly 50. As i mentioned the stocks of fish present weren't what was exciting me but the surroundings around where they live. The place is a wildlife paradise, it must be 75 percent tree lined with plenty of small bays and numerous other features dotted around its banks. Theres also plenty of areas designated as wildlife sanctuary which just teem with various flora and fauna.

Well at the beginning of october i finally arrived at my chosen swim for a weekends fishing targeting the mythical carp that live there. Overnight temps were down to low single figures but day time temps were in the low twenties, very odd for October. After watching the water for a couple of hours i set about finding three sexy looking spots to place my rigs and hopefully snag me a mudsucker. Over the course of the first day nothing happened except the odd single bleep on the alarm possibly caused by one of the squillions of silver fish that were topping all around me. The sun started to set so after a big boy lump of sirloin steak i settled in for the night hoping that i might be rudely woken by a screaming alarm. Well would you believe that is exactly what happened about 10.30, i was away with the fairies when my left hand bait was snaffled by a carp. i know it was a carp as after i picked up the rod it hooped over and whatever was on the other end started to take line, theres only 2 fish in this water that could run like that and it definitely wasnt a pike. Standing in the dark with my knees knocking and my heart pounding, i could,t believe  that i was attached to a carp on only my first attempt targeting them. Then horrors of horrors, the line went slack. I could,t believe it, from riding up high i was now stumbling all low, my price had spat the hook out.

The next day passed quickly and quietly without anything interesting bar a visit from another member i had previously been speaking too who popped in to say hello. Upset about losing a fish but happy to have hooked one i packed up early afternoon and set off for home.

Tuesday, 14 August 2018

MORE FLOATER FUN

 So i had a few hours fishing one evening on a local park lake last week as i felt the need to get the tackle out. It had been scorchio for the week previous with most days getting close and even hitting 30 degrees but i just fancied a quick and easy trip with the chance of having my string pulled..
The temperature was still in the mid twenties when i got to the banks of this water and started to walk down the side i wanted to fish as the wind would be over my shoulder here and not effecting the water for a good 20 yards out, just how i like it for floater fishing. Unfortunately most swims on this side were taken by day anglers, a very loose term for them, so i walked around to the other side with where the wind was in my face. I was particularly happy about this as although the wind was warm it was also quite strong and i try not to use floats when i fish on the surface.

Well i catapulted a few pouches of mixers out as far as i could whilst i set up my gear with a Korda surface float and  just as i finished tying the hook on i noticed a big old pair of lips nick a stray floater 3ft from my feet. "Oi Oi says i, whats all this then." I flicked a few more mixers along my margins and within a couple of minutes a few carp started to slurp them down. Of came the controller and with just a size 8 Fox Floater hook and a pellet band i dropped my bait in front of the next carp i saw.  With an almighty boil my bait was taken and my Sonik stalker rod was nearly wrenched from my hands. After a spirited fight of a few minutes my first carp was on the mat.

I didn,t weight the fish as i hadn,t brought my scales but it was a scraper double mirror, good size for this water as its teeming with pasties. There was a willow to my right with a big clear spot beneath it and i had noticed a couple of rises there so thats where my bait went next. After a couple of failed takes another mirror carp fell to my oiled chum mixer. After a hard fight beneath the willow i managed to net the beast and was surprised at it only being a low double figure fish, thought it might of been bigger as it fought like a goodun.

After all the commotion i moved a swim along and proceeded to bait the margins as previously and within minutes there was some carpy movement inches from the bank. After following the largest carp around with my floater i finally got the perfect drop in front of its nose and straight away it sucked down my mixer before powering of beneath a nearby bush. After few tense moments where the fish got stuck in a couple of branches the price was finally mine. Another scraper double mirror, well happy was i...

Another swim move but with less action saw me living dangerously and hanging the bait over the top of a branch as the fish were a bit spooky here, i think they were actually the same fish from the previous swim that had been patrolling between the two areas via the bush which seperated them. After a frustrating half hour a common, again a scraper double, slurped down my hookbait and tried to escape beneath the bush it had been hiding under. Walking along the bank away from the bush with the rod tip held below the water surface with steady pressure applied soon had the fish out of the danger area and into open water. Another good scrap for a few minutes and it was in the net.

I moved around to a vacated swim on the opposite bank just as the sun was getting low and proceeded to fire out some more mixers and after 10 minutes or so i got the fish feeding really well. These carp were further out in the open water though, just within casting distance of my freelined mixer, but everytime i cast to a few showing fish they would bugger off to the other side of the swim. This got really frustrating until i could barely see my bait in the gloom and just as i reeled in to pack up i saw a bigger boil than normal some ten yards away from where my mixers actually were. A quick cast there just for the hell of it resulted in a right old tussle with what turned out to be a lovely common, although it had a bit of a gammy mouth, around the mid double size, largest of the trip.

All in all i had a fantastic evenings surface fishing for the hungry carp there and ended with 5 crackers all just into double figures, which is a bloody good average size for this water as when i,ve fished it before i,ve normally only caught fish around the 5lb mark. I will be back for some more before the cold weather arrives....

WATER SNAIL


I had a walk around a large water that i plan on joining this weekend and as i usually do i was poking around in the margins seeing what lives there and what the fish maybe feeding on. I found the usual water fleas, shrimps and small worms in and around the marginal weed as well as quite a few mussels, but on entering one 'swim' i found quite a few large water snails in the shallows moving towards a small clump of reeds. I only took the one picture but wish i took more now, maybe even a short video, as i,ve not seen a 'clump' of large snails like this before and they all looked on a mission. I,m guessing they were on their way to lay eggs on the nearby reeds. They were big too, between 1"-2" shells.

MULLET

A nice few mullet i saw a couple of months back whilst walking the dog at Tollesbury marina..

Sunday, 24 June 2018

FANTASTIC FLOATER FISHING


We regularly walk  our dog Paddy over a local country park of a weekend and on our walks there ive noticed theres a lake in the middle of the park. When theres water involved i mhave to explore and upon walking round this small lake i,ve noticed quite a lot of carp activity. On our last visit there it was quite obvious that the carp were very happy to feed on the surface as i saw them bow waving and sipping down insects around the lily pads and marginal reeds. A plan was hatched and later that evening i arrived at the water armed with my stalking rod and a bucket full of mixers and loaf of bread.
 It was a red hot evening with not even a hint of a breeze, perfect for surface fishing but not great for a knackered old fisherman walking the 1.5 mile needed to get to the water. After finally getting my breath back i proceeded to chuck out some mixers and straight away the water erupted with carp of all sizes fighting for the free food. Great thought i, banded mixers on the hook should snag me a shedload, how wrong was i. Although they fed heavily on my free offerings they turned away from my banded baits, so out with the old faithful breadflake and first cast resulted in a lovely common of a couple of pounds, result. Feeding regularly with the mixers and using breadflake on the hook resulted with somewhere in the region of 20-25 carp banked varying in size from a few ounzes to the cracking common at the top of this entry which i reckon went around 18lb, i didn,t have any scales with me. All the carp caught were in cracking condition and the big common put up an immence fight on my 9ft Sonik Stalker road. Not a bad result for a few hours fishing.

After my previous success the week before i decided to have another go for the carp of the surface. I used to only fish this way when i was a teenager, making my Dad take me to local club waters after work/school to spend the evening stalking carp from various bays, weedy corners and reedbeds. I regularly 'pissed off' the proper carpers by fishing a couple swims up from them and easily catching fish of the top whilst they had been struggling all day with nothing to show for their efforts. More than once i got told to 'fcuk off boy or i,ll chuck you in' as another carp splashed over my net cord. Anyway where was i, oh yes back at the country park lake. Sharon had come with me to walk Paddy so i only had an hour or so to wet a line and as previously the fish were definately interested in my bread. By the time 'Melady' had returned i,d netted over half a dozen carp topped by the two fish shown, both around the 8lb mark i reckon. You can,t complain about fishing like that on a free lake deep in the middle of a beautiful country park. I,ll give the place a proper go with bottom baits in the larger part of the lake at some point as talking to a guy who says he fishes it quite a bit, theres carp just into the twenties living in there. Its got to be worth a go.

AN EVENINGS CARPING

So after coming back from my French trip i havn,t exactly had a lot of spare time to get the rods out, so the thinking cap was donned to see how i could get a couple hours dangling in so that i could scratch that nagging angling itch.

After finishing work a little earlier than planned i couldn't take it anymore and grabbed a little bit of kit and two of my 9ft stalking rods and took a walk to the local park lake. I,ve fished here a couple of times over the past few years but with its location by a main road being noisy and the fact you get some right old 'Roughuns' wandering the banks sometimes, its not exactly my ideal water. Anyway ignoring the negatives and focusing on the positives, lots of hungry carp,  i opted to give it the evening.
Fishing small pva bags full of pellets or stick mix i cast regularly to the ends of the near margin trees in search of a bite. You could see the carp rolling and patrolling these areas regularly so it made sense to fish in close rather than launch to the island or middle of the lake. As soon as the rods were in the rests the bobbins were twitching as hungry fish fed on the free offerings. This water also holds a good head of tench and apparently some big roach, also some BIG eels if the rumours are true. It didn,t take too long before a full blooded run happened and after a spirited fight, it took me into the trees a couple of times, a nice mirror of about five pounds or so was on the mat.

Because of the previous disturbance i decided to move swims and after half hour, i guess, i was into another mirror of similar size. They don,t half scrap on my 9ft rods, great stuff. Another move and Sharon paid me a visit as she got of the train from work, followed shortly by a fighting fit common of about 4lb. Over the next hour i had another few takes but didn,t connect and managed another small mirror before calling it a night and heading home via the kebab shop.

Its not my favourite kind of water to fish but its worth wetting a line every now and then as its good for a fish or two, all be it small ones. There is fish into twenties apparently but i can guess you have to wade through the smaller ones to get a larger specimen. I will return at some point.

Monday, 30 April 2018

FRENCH TRIP

Having booked this trip the previous year it finally came round with alarming speed. It seemed like one day i had no need to worry about getting my kit checked and ready, and then suddenly i,d be heading to Southern France in a weeks time. Oh shite thought I, best pull my finger out and get organised. Fortunately i only had to stock up on a few bits and pieces and get my bait ordered, Eclipse Virus was the bait of choice.

23lb 4oz
18lb 12oz
 I won,t bore you with the details of the journey, but it was 12 hours and uneventful with rain falling from the time we arrived in France through the day and also the night. What is worth noting is the amount of sexy looking waters i spotted on the trip that look just ripe for a little dangle. I don,t know if any were private or day tickets but nearly all of them looked like they had not been fished as they were mainly overgrown. A possible bit of exploration soon maybe.......
19lb 8oz




28lb 8oz 

28lb 12oz

29lb 8oz

33lb 8oz

33lb 12oz

35lb 8oz

42lb 12oz zig caught beauty

42lb 12oz
23lb

 Well we arrived just before dark and had a walk around to actually get a good look at the water and see if anything was showing. We saw a couple of fish but not a real lot to go on so it was decided that seeing as it was raining we would kip in the owners house and set out fresh and early in the morning.

Just after first light we were back on the banks again and after sorting out where we each were going to fish it was time for the mammoth task of carting all the gear for 10 days fishing to our swims. That was knackering  i can tell you...








I opted for a nice corner swim with a dam running along my right side, offering the deepest water on the lake,  and a nice bit of open water out in front so i could roam a rod around if i fancied. Bivvy up, swim sorted and areas found and baited, all was good. Two rods were fished to areas along the dam using the 360 rig and the final rod was fished 50yds out straight in front over a fairly heavily baited area using my old favourite bottom bait blow back rig.....




All rods out, feet up, latte in hand, andddd relaxxxxxx............


My goal for this trip was to just catch some carp of any size but i was really hoping to catch one or two over 30lb. I know that doesn,t sound that ambitious as a 30lb carp in France is a double figure carp in England, but that was my goal. I,ve had a few 30lb carp abroad before but in all honesty i wasn,t really fishing that hard for them as they were chancer fish while i was actually fishing for catfish. This time i was going all out CARP ATTACK.



Imagine my surprise when my rod ripped of later that afternoon and after an arm aching battle my first carp was a cracker of 33lb 12oz. I was over the moon and to be honest i was like a kid at christmas. It had fallen to a washed out pink virus pop-up on a 360 rig fished to a tree half way along the dam. I was a happy bunny to say the least...





I had action everyday with a total of 4 fish to upper doubles, 6 fish in the 20lb,s region upto 29lb 8oz , 3 fish over 30lb up to 35lb 8oz, and 3 40,s to 44lb 8oz. I couldn,t believe how lucky I had been to land not only this many fish but also the stamp of the fish i was catching. I also dropped another 3 fish, 2 of which were very soon after the take and the 3rd was below the rod as i gave it a bit too much stick and unfortunately it felt like a goodun.








All the fish came to a washed out virus pop-up fished on a 360 rig except for one very special fish which came to a red and black zig aligner fished 6ft of the bottom cast 50 yards out in front into the open water.  This was only my second fish caught on a zig and at a whopping great 42lb 12oz i was seriously happy at this capture.....





44lb 8oz

21lb 4oz

I,m not a carp angler just an angler who enjoys catching carp...