February Blog – Andy Murray

Hi all, we hope you are enjoying the new Website, seeing updates on products and also reading about the consultants and their fishing. It’s taken a lot of work to get to this point by the whole Wolf team, and we look forward to bringing you more coverage of the tackle, the team and their fishing in the future.

When I completed my first blog for this page, which was at the end of last year, things were looking more settled as to where I was fishing for the winter, also my own work, and meetings at Wolf etc. Then came the full lockdown! We have had to move our regular R&D and team meetings to Zoom, which has meant we can keep working on our program of development. As for my own fishing, it was impacted by first the lockdown and then the weather…read on.

On announcement of the lockdown, the lake I had decided to do the winter on, closed fully rather than continue with day tickets, so that was that with the winter ticket on there. I had a very hefty workload on, so I had a couple of weeks without fishing so I could clear the decks a bit, at the same time, trying to find somewhere else to wet a line through the rest of the winter. Part of the problem always with these articles is that when I start to write this up, it may be a couple for weeks or so before its published, and as we are seeing at this time, a lot can happen in two weeks! Like most I have been waiting for the weather to change for the better and also the lockdown rules to ease off. I tend to start my monthly piece, then dip in and out of it at different times, so its kind of ongoing, then I try to complete as its ready to go, in case I have any last minute announcements, such as catching a carp!

For the past few years I haven’t fished through the winter months, I did in the past, many years ago, with mixed results, but mostly catching the carp I was after at that time. I wanted to make a start fishing again throughout the year including the colder months, so I wanted to find somewhere I could finish the winter on and keep within the rules of staying close to home. Then see what would pan out for the rest of the year. Our planned trip to France in March, is cancelled, our April trip to Eastern Europe is now looking decidedly iffy as well. I have attached a picture of a 40lb carp from a trip to Hungary two years ago, we were supposed to be heading back there in late April, it could be later in the year now.

So, where to fish? I had my eye on a couple of waters where I could do a short day session or an afternoon session. It would mean changing how I fish as well. I am used to fishing on the A1 Pits where I can fish out of my van, where all my tackle is geared up for that, I can take as much gear as I want as I don’t have to carry anything. The changes for now will mean switching to a barrow and trimming my gear right down, and I mean right down! It had taken three trips so far, to get to the point I can get everything I need on a barrow that is not loaded to the gunnels! Don’t forget, I am getting on a bit! But really, I only need enough for a six hour session, so it has been a good exercise from that point of view.

It can be hard enough starting on a new water at the best of times, but January is a tough ask, never-the-less, that’s what I’m going to have to do if I want to fish. So, I am starting on a 20-acre pit which is in a public park, on the outskirts of Leeds. It’s 200 metres above sea level, and next to the airport. It’s fair to say it’s not quiet! It has a fair head of carp and does have some winter form though, although this winter is proving to be a bit tough, maybe due to the extreme cold we are having. The guys who run the lake, have very kindly produced a map showing the contours of the lake, which is a really helpful start especially as this time of year. I have had two exploratory trips so far of approximately 5 hours on each trip. Arriving mid-morning each time I can see where the regulars are heading for and the ranges they are fishing, and some of the methods being used. Everyone seems very chatty and happy to mention what they are doing. Did I mention it was cold! Chuffing Nora! I chose not to set the brolly up so I can watch as much as possible, on one trip, I had hazy eyes all the way home because of the cold wind blowing into my face.

The middle of the lake is where most anglers would start, and its just over 100 yards, so a relatively easy cast with the Wolf rods, boats are allowed, but I’ll stick with casting for now. There is also a sanctuary at the top end of the lake which is protected by a barrage. It is however really shallow up there, and at this time of year I’m still not sure if I should be having a go up there in these freezing conditions. As there is only the occasional carp coming out from a lot of regular anglers fishing the middle of the lake. I’ll keep at it for the next few weeks in the main fishing area. As my regular night water is unlikely to open anytime soon due to lockdown conditions and winter flooding, it looks like I will be fishing here for some weeks to come.

Having had two trips now, I have settled on fishing a Glugged pop-up on one rod, a small bag of chops on the second rod, and a Zig on the third, I’ll keep playing with these until I either get a bite, or someone tells me different and that I’m doing it all wrong (which is always a possibility). As it’s comfortable casting range, I am using the Competition Spod and the Extreme Spod rod to put some dead maggots, hemp and a few chopped boilies into the area. I had been told there were crays in the water, on my last trip I caught one on a Zig! On several occasions retrieving the baits, they have been well and truly attacked by the Crays, it seems they are more active than the carp at the moment, so I am going to have to watch this in future sessions.

What has been good to is have a good play with the Wolf Extreme Spod Rod and the new Competition Spod, and also get some good video footage. This Social Media malarkey is all new to me and I am having to up my game on a few fronts to catch up with some of the younger guys in this area. My new I-phone is helping with this, especially with the slow-motion videos. It has also helped me with my own casting as well, as it identified something I was doing wrong myself, if any of you are struggling with your casting, have someone do a video of you casting, it’s really eye opening watching it in slow motion, it has been a big help to me in this area, identifying my positioning for when I want to really wind the rods up for big casts. I am ok with fishing accurately up to 120 yards or so, and I have cast much further in the past, but in recent years have struggled with extreme distance, which I call 140-150 yards. So we will see how that goes, and I will cover it more in future Blogs.

Now that I have had several winter trips with the new Icon alarms it’s good to see they are working well, despite what the weather throws at them. They should be out soon as well, so keep an eye out in your local tackle shops.

Anyway, back to the fishing. After our exploratory trips, I felt we were getting an idea where and how to fish on future sessions, I had also thinned my gear right down, so it would go on one barrow easily. So, we were looking forward now to the next few trips…then the lake froze for the best part of two weeks! It’s clear this winter has been a challenge for me fishing wise and is not being kind to me so far, but that’s how it goes sometimes, no good moaning about it, not catching is part of fishing, sometimes you have to endure the blank sessions to learn enough to catch carp on future sessions. Once it thawed, we were out there, although it was felt it would take a few days of warmer winds to see the carp moving enough to feed (or get caught), which proved to be true, as the lake seemed lifeless. As I am sat writing this, the lake produced its first carp today for three weeks. Which is good news, the bad news is that tomorrow I am booked in for eye surgery, to restore the failing site in my left eye. So, I will be out of action for a couple of weeks, I will just have to sit in and watch those catch reports coming in, never mind, they will be still there once I am fit and able again. That’s it for this month. Whatever you are doing, take care, look after yourselves and your families, more importantly, make sure you make the best of it.

Catch you next time.



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