Time to get out and bag a few!
Hi all, isn’t it great? Summer is finally here, I got out on the bank and in shorts! Catching carp in the summer, it seems such a long time since I did this. After travelling around so much in the spring, with Socials, filming etc. it was great to be out on my own water for a change, the A1 Pits at Newark. My first two-day trip of the year was due, and the weather forecast was nice and sunny. There is no doubt I have missed some good fishing on here over the last couple of months with travelling around, unfortunately that’s the price to pay for being involved in fishing things other than just going fishing. So, no one to blame but myself for missing out. As well as filming and meetings eating into my time, some of my trips were cut short or cancelled due to my wife not being so well. Although the chemo, radiotherapy and other drugs courses are done and she is now clear of the Breast Cancer, she is still on a lot of meds long term that are causing a real slow return to full health. The effects of Cancer and its treatment can take the human body a long time to recover from, if it does totally anyway, but better than the worst-case scenario at all times. So, on a few trips I have had to return home as she wasn’t coping so well, there‘s no way I could stay and enjoy fishing knowing she was suffering. The way I look at it, is that the carp will be there another day or another year, our families should always take priority, not some obsession that means very little in the grand scheme of things.
Anyway, back to the fishing, I was due down to the Pits for 2 days and the weather forecast was warm and sunny, man was I looking forward to it! I arrived to find the lakes busy and swim choice on Pit 6 was very limited, I spent an hour or so looking round and saw every little to move onto. My plan on here is to always look to fish pit 6 as it’s my favoured lake on the complex, but if I can’t get on one of the swims I want, rather than just take up a dead swim for the sake of wetting a line (which I have done in the past), I will then take a look at Pit 5 as my second choice lake, there are nice carp to be caught from both lakes, well all the lakes in fact. I prefer the bigger Pits as there is less chance of someone encroaching on my water, which does happen on the smaller lakes. Looking round Pit 5 we quickly saw a few carp showing in one area, which seemed devoid of anglers. Talking to one angler he had sat and blanked for two days watching the carp show somewhere else, I would always look to move after one night if I felt I was in the wrong swim. Anthony was joining me for one night, so we got set up in the area the carp were showing in, what was good they were close in as well. I opted to fish the corner swim which ended up being a mistake, as anglers on the opposite side of the corner started picking my lines up. As it turned out, the carp that were in that corner seemed to be moving out as well. Anthony who was further along had more chance of picking one up I thought as they seemed to be heading that way. After an hour or so Anthony had a screamer, and landed a mid-double, this looked good I thought, but the rest of the night was quiet. We had a nice bottle of red wine and some Tapas, then another bottle of Red…it’s a good job it was quiet that night I guess… I was up before first light as I always am, looking for signs of carp, they were showing further along from the other side of where Anthony was fishing. Anthony packed up just after 10 and left. I knew I had to move, no point sitting it out when the carp had moved on. I knew some guys were packing up on Pit 6 in one of my favoured areas, I could also see the carp showing well further along on Pit 5 from where Anthony had set up as I said. Time to make a decision, in the end I decided to move along the bank on Pit 5 a bit. I didn’t want to set up on the carp directly this time, rather, I set up at the side of where the carp were showing and try not to disturb the shoal too much, as I could see there were a number of carp in one area, not often I get to see them so close in on here. Which makes it relatively easy fishing range 60-70 yards, as opposed to the 100-120 yards I normally have to fish on the big pit.
Having got moved and set-up, I knew the feature to fish to was the second bar around the 60-yard mark. I decided to fish solid Bags with DT baits N-Blend Pellet and a DT N-Blend wafter on a short rig. After using the N-Blend since March on several fishing trips now, I have total confidence in its carp catching abilities. One of the things on here and it is the same with most lakes, although the bar is in front of you, do you fish on top of the bar, down the sides, or in the crease at the bottom? This is critical as I often find that they will be one part that is more likely to provide a bite than the others. I find on here it’s not often that it’s the top of the bar, unless there is a lot of weed present, more likely to be the crease at the bottom of the bar, which tends to be a natural food trap. So, I was fishing the crease at the bottom of the bar. I didn’t want to use either the marker or spod rod to create any disturbance at all, hence the decision to use solid bags on this occasion.
Now, it has to be said, I’m not the greatest PVA bag angler, so it’s always good to have a bit of practice on something that I don’t do so often. I had decided at the start of this year, one of the things I was going use more this year was PVA in its many forms. I think that’s one of the things where a lot of anglers let themselves down, because they aren’t adept at a particular method, they don’t use it, then don’t catch, and just say to themselves ‘oh well, the carp aren’t having it today’. So, to me, this was a great opportunity to have a practice session on PVA bag fishing, one of the main things that is the key with bag fishing is to have bags ready tied to simply attach to the line, whether I have had a carp or just not got the cast dead right. So, what I do is have the bags tied on to lead core leaders ready to attach for each recast, this gives the rigs time to dry thoroughly for re-bagging. It also saves time in between fish. Also, if I have bags re-tied and the cast isn’t dead right, then I am more likely to recast and get it right as I have spare bags tied up, rather than just leave if for a while.
The rods had only been in about 40 minutes and the right-hand rod rattled off at speed, and nice mid-twenty common was the result, ‘excellent’ I thought to myself and did a little jig! In total, in four hours fishing I had 7 runs and banked 7 carp up to 27lbs. I was fully expecting a big hit (not that 7 good sized carp in four hours isn’t a big hit!), I meant I felt that one of the big fish was on the cards.
The problem was that it was Friday, and the lakes were getting busy, I knew it was only a matter of time before some other eagle-eyed angler would see where the carp were and move on to them, which is exactly what happened. I had avoided doing that as I felt it would move them out, which is what happened in the swim next door. The angler set up, had a lead around and the carp moved further long and outwards, such is life…the rest of the night was quiet and the following morning I could see the area was devoid of carp, the chance of the big fish had gone, time to head for home.
At least I had a few carp under my belt to show for my efforts. To me, catching carp is great, after all, that’s why we go fishing, but it’s the end product of knowing that I am getting the whole jigsaw puzzle right that is the bit I really enjoy, it’s the challenge that I like, that’s why I fish here on these lakes as it is a challenge to get bites on a regular basis, that’s what keeps me coming back.
It had been a good session, it will be two weeks now before I’m back, I know some people think I am fishing all the time. I manage one night a week, or two nights every two weeks. I have my own business to run as well as the fact I want to spend time with my family, I am also writing 3 articles a month now, all this does impact on my fishing time. What I do try to do is make the most of the time on the bank and enjoy it all, the blanks, the catching, meeting other anglers.
Part of my fishing is putting products to test, as well as photography and looking at options and thinking about all things fishy. As to some of the Wolf Products I use all the time as part of my fishing, which I think is a bit hardcore and does test tackle well. To date the Icon Qi alarms are working very well. After 7 months of being used most weeks throughout the winter they have not let me down once. I have just had to change the Batteries in the Hubb, I have also been using the Hubb and alarms to demo to retailers as well, otherwise the batteries would have lasted longer in normal fishing circumstances. I have heard some say that the batteries don’t last very well in the Icon range, I can’t say I have found that’s the case. Rods wise, I have used the 10ft and 13ft XK1 rods and they have stood up to the demands of the fishing I do.
Lastly, and you can see from the picture, the Mozzie Zappa is out and in the shops, this session was the first night I used anything other than the prototypes for my fishing, as you can see it works well. The morning after having the Zappa on all night, my van was clear of bugs and I had not been bitten. I have had some very bad bites in the past, hence my search for something that will work better than sprays that can be harmful, or coils that burn that are poisonous. The Zappa is a great little gadget and will prove to be a very useful little addition to any anglers’ tackle bag.
That’s it for now, as always, I am looking forward to my next trip next week. My French trip is only two weeks away and it looks like it’s going ahead, I am anyway! I’ll let you know how I get on.
Catch you next time.