May Blog – Andy Murray

Hi, welcome to this month’s Blog, it’s certainly been a busy month! With lots of work, now I can get out and see clients once again, also I have had plenty of time on the bank, it will be hard to cover all that’s gone on this month, so apologies in advance for going on a bit.

If you remember last month, we had been out filming with the Icons and the Zappa, the results weren’t great, so I had a trip down to Wolf HQ to do it all again. With some coaching from James and Liam and around 4-5 hours of takes we got enough done for them to make some sense of it all. We will just have to wait and see how it comes out…it’s not as easy as it looks.

I finally got to fish on my own and had a couple of trips to the A1 Pits, which is my regular haunt. I love fishing on Pit 6, which is the largest Pit, its 50 acres or so and it’s fair to say, it is a challenge. Although there is the A1 Motorway on one side and the main railway line on the opposite side, you sort of get used to the noise, and then ignore it. I like the amount of bank space I have whilst fishing and I love looking out over the expanse of water. As to the fishing, it is definitely a case of getting the location right on here, there is no point worrying about what rig or bait to use if I am not in the right swim or more importantly fishing in the right spot. if I can’t get where I want on Pit 6, I will drop onto Pit 5 for a night or so. It’s a good back-up plan and as it’s smaller it isn’t quite as challenging getting closer to the carp.

Normally by mid-May I would have had several trips on here and have a few carp under my belt, as well as having a good understanding of which parts of the lake were producing. With all that’s been going on this year, it has really eaten into my own fishing time. On my first trip I only had time for a one nighter, as I arrived at the fishery I could see Pit 6 was busy, or the part I wanted to fish was busy anyway, after looking round for a couple of hours I decided to leave 6 and take a look round Pit 5. This time of year, it’s the corners and shallower parts of the lake that are the areas I am taking a look at. I settled into a corner swim on Sunday evening and had a lead around, I found a nice plateau at around 50 yards and put a DT N-Blend Wafter with a small PVA bag there, along with a few X-Spods of chops and crumb. I never go too heavy on the bait the first night on here, especially on a Sunday night. As it’s more than likely I am fishing over someone else’s bait, which is always a concern as I never know the quality of the bait they may be using. If I was staying in the swim another night, then I would put more bait out the second day. I fished one rod tight into a corner with a short rig in a bag of chops. The third rod was fished with an adjustable Zig, which I set it at 6 inches under the surface where I saw carp mooching up and down. It was quiet to start with, there were carp mooching about though, an hour after dark I had a screaming take on the Zig, which came off after a short fight. That was it for the night, I hoped the carp would come back in with the early morning sunlight, however the following morning there was a heavy freezing fog that wasn’t going to lift and the whole area seemed lifeless. Usually if I don’t feel like I’m going to catch, I will pack up and just take a look round for an hour or two before I go. I feel it’s important to build up a picture of what’s happening on the lakes. So, looking round for a while will tell me if my immediate instincts were right as to swim choice, sometimes it is, sometimes it isn’t. This helps give me a feel for what I plan to do in the future. Watching the lakes and watching others and how they fish is important in building knowledge and helps for future trips, especially on such a large complex.

My next trip down was a Sunday night again, there was a huge blow forecasted so I was looking to get on Pit 6 this time. When I arrived, I could see a lot of carp showing off the A1 bank, although they were well out, I felt they would come in later on. I set up on the Point of the headland, I did know the spots to fish here from previous sessions, it around 100-105 yards out. The wind was coming across me and was already getting stronger and I did struggle to hit the spots, so I kept at it until I felt the leads had dropped right, this took some doing with the bow in the line. Even with the big Wolf Spod rod and the Competition Spod, it was a challenge to get much bait out as well. By nightfall, the wind was really blowing, and the waves had white horses on them! I felt the carp drifted across me a little bit, but I knew the wind was going to change by dark and come straight in at me. So, I felt the carp would drift back across in front of me during the night, which they did. The Icon Qi had been quiet all the time, even with the wind and waves battering the set-up, at around 1 am I had a screamer on the right-hand rod. Stood in the teeth of the wind was awesome playing an angry carp, with the waves crashing on the bank. I just enjoy moments like that, man against the elements. The carp was leading me a bit of dance and decided to kite across the other two rods during the fight, eventually I netted a low twenty common.

There was no point putting it in a retainer as the waves would have bashed the carp around too much, so I took a quick shot on the mat for posterity. To be fair, if I didn’t need the pics for articles, I would mostly just slip a carp of this size back, I’m not trying to be elitist or anything, as I have said many times, I fish for my own pleasure and not to prove things to others, and I have caught a lot of carp of this size over the years. The part I really enjoy is the alarm sounding, this tells me I am getting the parts of the jigsaw right, which for me is the bit I really enjoy, the challenge of getting a bite, a lot go for many sessions on here without a blip. The wind was really up now, I struggle to get the rods back on the spots I wanted, so that was it really. I was off early as I had to be at work later. So, 2 trips, 2 bites, I’ll take those rates if they last for the rest of the year.

The following week, I was at Berners Hall Fishery, as I mentioned, I joined the DT Baits team earlier in the year, we had a team event planned along with Carpology covering the fishing along with some top tips from each angler. We had a whole bank booked for 48 hours, we assembled for a draw, and then the task of setting up got underway. Now, for me this was going to be tough, I am used to fishing out of my T6, so the van had to be emptied and all the gear carried up the dam, 47 steps! I counted them, 8 trips it took me, I was beat. Not knowing the lake at all, I picked the brains of one of the regulars who was fishing next to me, his name was Andy as well. So, he pointed out a spot to fish, he seemed to know the lake well, so I took his advice. I baited up with 2 kilos of N-blend chopped boilies and Monster Nutta Mix, soaked with a good glug of the N-Blend DNA liquid. As I was only fishing at 80 yards or so, I was using the Wolf Performance Spod, which made short work of baiting up. I was using an N-Blend wafter on one rod, a Pop-up on a Stiff Hinged Rig on another and then an adjustable Zig on the third word, which I kept altering the depth on. I always like to fish two different rigs over a baited area, I find the carp (if they are there!), will slip on one or the other, but very rarely both. So, if I get a bite on one rig, I will change both set-ups to that one. I remained biteless for both nights, whereas Andrew next to me was a hauling machine! Getting bites on a regular basis and building up quite a hit of carp. The weather had been nice and sunny the first day and I had got my filming piece done. Fenton brought along a Chinese banquet and some beer that evening, so we all had a natter and got to know each other a bit more. The second day I was mostly playing Ghillie for Andy, it was torrential rain that was coming in sideways for most of the day, I was soaked and freezing, but it was great to see Andy getting so many fish. It seemed that either end of the line of anglers were getting runs, but those in the middle (me included), were not getting anything at all. On the last morning I saw the faintest of shows at 50 yards or so, I put a small N-Blend Wafter with a tiny Bag of pellets on it. As nothing was coming from my baited area, I had to try something! Anyway, a couple of hours later it screamed off, I played the fish for about 15 minutes, the rod was bent double all the team, each time I got some line on it and it came closer in, it would flat-rod me and set off again, it was starting to dawn on me that this wasn’t a carp but one of the big cats, anyway, the line parted so we will never know, I prefer to think I had lost a catfish and not a carp.

A few had gathered to watch and as the line parted everyone went quiet, there isn’t much you can say at those times. I tried to be philosophical about it, but I wasn’t happy, and everyone could see that the cameras were turned off and I was left to my thoughts. Even with the bad weather, the filming had gone well, and many carp had been banked and a lot of filming had been completed for future appearances in Carpology. We had a final team photo and all headed home, it had been a great two days meeting the guys from DT and I am already looking forward to the next one, I will just have to do better! What was good to see though was that the number of carp caught on the DT baits, some were using the N-Blend as I was, others were using their own favourite DT Bait, after all there is a great range to choose from, the carp that were caught were passing the bait out big-style, which shows they were eating it readily.

I did say I had been busy, didn’t I? Just two days after getting home from Berners Hall, I was at Trent View fisheries for a social with a few of the guys, we are going to France in the future together, so a gathering had been organized for us to get to know each other. Ian had kept a number of swims together for us so we could all fish together. The lake had been fishing well but was patchy as to where was producing. As I was setting up there were still carp about, but they did look to be moving on. I set up 2 rods over a small amount of bait in a deep gully, the other was on a Zig which I kept moving about. I had a carp at 3 am that night, a big double, after that I was fully expecting more, but it all went very quiet.

Callum had one later that day, the rest of the team stayed biteless. The carp had definitely moved out and we were not seeing them show much now either. At the other end of the lake they were catching, so it seemed that the carp had moved out. We had a great BBQ on the Monday night and invited Ian and his daughter, there was so much meat it was obscene, we all did our best though. We had booked to Wednesday, but I decided to head for home on the Tuesday, my wife wasn’t so well, she still has bad periods from the Cancer treatment fallout, which is more mental than physical, so I felt it was best I headed back to see her, as I had been away for a fair bit. As I often say, whilst fishing is important to me, my family will always come first. This was a goodly reminder about this.

Hopefully my travelling around has come to an end for a while, so I can focus on fishing back on the Pits for a few trips, which will probably coincide with the carp getting into spawning mode! It will be nice just to do my own things for a while though, I’ll let you know how I get on.

Catch you next time.



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