Hi all, welcome to this month’s blog, I hope you are all hanging in there. This last 3 months lockdown has been very tough on many people, me included, I feel a bit stir crazy! Still, nearly there and the light at the end of the tunnel is starting to get a bit brighter and nearer for us all. As I’m sat typing this, we are only a week or so away from been allowed to night-fish again! I don’t know about you but how much am I looking forward to that!! We are just in the process of arranging to get on the bank to do some filming for Wolf, on several topics, we can’t wait!
As to my own fishing this month, if it wasn’t for bad luck, I don’t think I wouldn’t be having any luck at all. As I mentioned in my last blog on here, I was due for eye surgery, which I had and that meant I had to take it very easy for a couple of weeks, that proved to be the time the lake switched on as we had lots of sun and nice South Westerlies blowing. So, some nice carp hit the bank that week. Following that we had a serious cold snap again and the carp just switched off again, which was when I was allowed out again. It was a struggle staying in for those two weeks as I had been told to take it really easy, as any undue stress on my eye would undo all the good work the surgeons had done, as well as the issue of any contamination of any sort. So that’s what I did, I caught up on sorting through some files and updating some notes and pictures. Thankfully, the surgery has been hugely successful, and I have the eyesight I had ten years ago now. Once the two weeks rest were up, I was allowed out on the bank, but with strict instructions to not overdo anything, so I still had to take it easy, but at least I got out. The fishing was hard though and I really struggled for a bite. As I have a fairly busy schedule, I only plan to get out for one afternoon a week in these winter trips.
If I don’t catch, that’s it until the next trip. I don’t have unlimited time, which does help when trying to find feeding carp on any water, let alone in winter, as they may not move very far at all, I’m not complaining, it’s just how it is. If someone has the luxury of being able to go a few times a week, there is more chance of being there when the carp are having a little feed, I’m only mentioning this as some anglers can get a bit despondent when they don’t catch and see that others are, you have to see the bigger picture.
Now, here’s the thing, I could have travelled to a fishery that was easier so I would have a few carp to show you here. On a personal note, I think it’s important we stay within the lockdown rules as much as possible to help everyone, so I wanted to try and keep closer to home until things started to improve. Secondly, in my mind that would be giving up on my own challenge of catching carp from my chosen water. I fish for my own pleasure and benefits, not others, when I catch a carp it’s on my terms and it’s then my own success. Anyone who has fished for carp long enough knows that sometimes you have periods when it doesn’t happen for you and you have to go with it, it can be testing, especially when you see others are getting it right more than you are doing. This is the first winter I have tried to fish right through for quite a few years, and its very fair to say that on the carp catching front I have failed miserably. However, one of the things about fishing is that it’s a learning curve, the blanks I have suffered this winter, will stand me in good stead for next winter-Location, bait, tackle, clothing. I have made several changes to the way I will fish in winter in the future. Very hopefully next winter we won’t have the same issues that we have had to put up with over the last few months as well. When I look back on my fishing last year, I caught carp in every month of the year I fished, that is until December hit! Then a run of blanks ensued, I could make excuses, change of venue, lockdown then another change of venue etc. it happens, that’s carp fishing. One good thing that has come from the last few months of lockdown, is that I have been able to spend some time with my son Alex on these days out, as he is on furlough. It’s just been nice to be able to spend time at the water and fish together, something we normally only get to do once a year, so I am really thankful we have had that time on the bank (Social Distancing of course!).
As stated, next week we should be back to night fishing and then I can return to my regular night fishing venues, though I think they are going to be very busy for a while, as is everywhere! So, I guess we will all have to be a bit more patient that usual for a while. One of the things with fishing through the winter is I have kept my casting up to a good standard, usually with not fishing through November to February, the first few trips are needed to be getting used to casting again, as my old bones take a bit of warming up, especially when fishing at range, as everything can be a bit rusty. Whereas this winter I have kept my spodding arm in very nicely, as we have been putting the Wolf rods and spods through their paces, as well as the ongoing testing of the Icons in all weathers.
Usually at this time of year I will be starting to think about what bait I am going to use for the coming year. I have always been a believer of choosing one bait and sticking with it for a full season, it’s the only way I can really judge how my season has gone, too many anglers chop and change bait too often, blaming the failure to catch on a trip on bait choice, rather than a number of other things, it takes a season to fully judge how things have gone, sometimes you are in the right spot, sometimes you aren’t, sometimes you fish well, sometimes you don’t, tweaks are needed on rigs, location, how to fish each session. At the end of the year, I like to look back and judge how my fishing has gone, after taking all these things into consideration. Then and only then, can I say, yes, the bait I used has worked. As some of you may know, I left Mainline Baits, who I have been with for 25 years. I’m not going to go into the why’s and wherefore’s here, as that wouldn’t be correct, it’s done now, move on. Over the last 2 months or so, I have been clearing out my freezers and preparing to re-stock for the coming season. Usually, I decided on what bait I’m going to use for the season and then stock up on it, rather than chop and change every few trips for the reasons I have said above. I have been speaking to a few companies as to who to join, it isn’t just about bait, it’s about finding the company I want to work in the future, where we have some synergy and want the same things. So, I have been taking my time with this decision. I am just about decided and will let you know more next month about the Boilie side of things.
For the particle side of my bait, I have joined the Monster team, my first delivery of hemp and tigers landed this week, with some gorgeous giant tigers for hookbaits, which I will trim down and soak for ongoing use. I’m looking forward to using a wide range of their particles this year.
Well, I have just about used my wordage for this month. Hopefully by next month we will all have been out and had a few nights on the bank, then maybe a few more carp to talk about as well. Whatever you do, do your best, more importantly make sure you enjoy it.
Catch you next time.