17/06/2021 - Bait Articles
Hi all, it’s been a busy old month! Just as I submitted the last blog to go on here, I was making tracks for the gathering at Berners Hall for the Team get together. I seemed to have a few events that just melted into each other, so I’ll just cover a couple of trips.
The gathering at Berners Hall was the first team event of DT this year, which Fenton had arranged, Carpology were along for some filming for the Website and Social media pages as well. The idea being that each angler would cover a topic for the pages and then hopefully a carp or two would come along to make up the numbers. After a two hundred mile drive, I arrived on the Wednesday morning just in time for the draw for swims, I was first out of the hat, not that it was much help, as I hadn’t fished here before and knew very little about the water. I opted for a swim opposite the Island as at least it was a feature to fish to. We were all spread out along one bank and carp were showing well while we were gathered in a group, so it was looking promising. I think that was because there had been no lines in the water for 24 hours and the carp had gathered here feeling safe, it soon changed once everyone started casting out though! The weather, what can be said about the weather! That first day it was mild and sunny, and I’m glad I got my filming done then, that’s all I can say. My filming piece was about the use of a marker float to fish to, which seems a forgotten thing these days. I know the favoured thing now is to use wrap sticks as a counter, I’m just not comfortable that my bait is landing in exactly the right place doing this, especially when fishing further out. I see anglers asking, ‘what’s the formula for using the spod when counting out wraps compared to the fishing rod?’, if you get this wrong, you could be fishing yards from where your hookbait is. I would rather rely on the old-fashioned way of fishing to a marker. Anyway, it appears I now have a new nickname, which I have to say is about time. Many years ago, around 20-23 years, when I used to write regularly in Carp-Talk and other mags such as Crafty Carper I had a few nicknames such as the Wakefield Warmonger, or more commonly-The Batley Battler! These came about from the occasional argument I would get into fishing around Yorkshire and other places. It was said at that time I would start my day having an argument having a shave! Anyway, I digress, on a few occasions I have met someone this year and their first comment has been ‘Hi Andy, you’re proper old School! I’m not sure how to take that, most anglers I know have been carp fishing as long as I have, maybe we are all old school? Anyway, when Carpology ran my piece that’s what they called me ‘Old School’, so there you are.
So, I got my part of the filming done and then got set up for the coming night, Andrew in the next swim had shown me a spot to fish to and as nothing else much was showing, I baited that area with a mixture of N-Blend chops and whole boilies, and Nutta Particle mix. I have used the N-Blend since joining DT earlier in the year and I have to say it’s producing the bites wherever I go. To date I have caught more carp this year early on than I have for a number of years. When I fish over a baited area, I usually fish two different rigs, as I find the carp may get caught on one rig but not the other, if I get a bite, then I will switch both rigs to that one that’s producing. So, I was fishing an N-Blend wafter on a Combi-rig on one rod and on the other rod an N-Blend pop-up on a Stiff hinged rig. The 3rd rod was fished on a Zig, which I will change the depth regularly to see if I can find the depth the carp may be at. So, everything was set up for the coming night. Fenton (top man), brought some Chinese food down and a couple of cases of beer for us all, so we had a get together and a chat. In which there was a bit of good natured banter. Although I was new to the team and some of the guys knew each other well, I felt part of it right from the start.
The first night was quiet, the weather was set to change on the next day and boy did it! The wind and rain were horizontal, I ended up playing Ghillie for most of the afternoon to Andrew in the next swim who was hauling. By that evening I was wet through and frozen, I don’t know about you, but I’m fed up with being cold this year when fishing. Soaked and freezing, I had some food and got into my bag to get warm, Fenton called by for a chat and we spent an hour talking all things carpy. The second night passed by with not a single blip, I had changed rigs, also changed the depth on the Zig a few times, but I felt I was going through the motions, the carp seemed to be holding off the middle of the line and a few of us were not getting any action at all. Whereas the guys towards each end seemed to be getting the bites. I was up at first light as I always am when fishing, I saw the slightest of shows at around 50 yards, slightly to my left. I recast the left-hand rod with a small N-Blend Wafter and little mesh bag, filled with N-Blend pellets. I started a slow pack-up, at least things were drying out a bit now. The recast rod hadn’t been in that long and it absolutely melted off! I had the fish on for about 10-15 minutes, I would get some line on it, then it would flat rod me again and take the line back. I was starting to think this is no carp, more likely one of the big cats that reside in here. A few of the guys had gathered to watch and the cameras had arrived, deep down I didn’t think this was going well. I have fished for carp for a long time, and you sort of get a feeling when you are in charge and occasionally you know you aren’t, this was one of those times. You can see from the picture that the rod is really bent over, this Extreme Wolf Rod is a powerful rod and it kept getting straightened out, I do tend to play carp fairly hard. Anyway, the line parted and the fish was gone, everyone was silent, it’s one of those moments we all know and recognize, there is not much one can say…it was time to pack up, we did the team photo, and everyone headed for home. It had been a good trip, despite the lost carp and it had been great to meet the team, all the filming was done, and a good number of carp had been caught as well. Some had caught, some hadn’t, but that’s fishing for you, what was noticeable that the team were all using a variety of DT baits and all confident in what they were using. Having had some good results on the N-Blend so far, I will stick with it for this year and then try something else next year, there are so many good baits in the stable to try.
I was only home a couple of days, and I was off again, this time it was down to Trent View for a social, I have a group French trip planned for next Spring, and we decided to have a get together to get to know each other as a few of us had not met before. Ian Harley had managed to book us a number of swims together so we could socialize and have a chat. Of course, the problem with pre-booking swims in advance is whether the carp will be there, but those are the chances you take. It does make location difficult when there are a number of you, as opposed to one person fishing on their own. The weather was still changeable as it had been last week, it was sunny though cold and breezy, with the occasional downpour. We had a good couple of days, though the fishing was hard as the carp had moved off on the wind to the far end of the lake, although I did manage to nick one on the first night. As it was busy, there wasn’t really the option to move so we sat it out. We had a great BBQ, with enough food to feed an army, not just us, we did our best though, Ian and his daughter joined us for a drink and some food, and we had a good evening all round. The trip had been booked for three days, but my time was cut short as it has been on a few trips this year, my wife who is still recovering from Cancer treatment wasn’t so well, so I headed for home a day early. Whilst catching carp is important, its not so important that the health of my family doesn’t always come first. I have had to cut a few trips short, the way I see it is that the carp will be there another time…
So, two socials in two weeks, my travelling around seems to have slowed for a while (thank goodness), so I am hoping to be able to have a few trips on my own water the A1 Pits at Newark. The things is, the big lake on the Pits has fished well during April and May, and I was mostly busy elsewhere with various things, that’s life heh? it’s just part of the sacrifice of being involved with so many different things. Maybe I need to be a bit more selfish in the future as to my own fishing, I keep saying that, but it never happens, mainly because I enjoy all the things I’m doing at the moment.
My first two-day trip to the Pits this year proved to a bit special, I’ll tell you more about it next time though, as I’m running short of space this time round. I am also still hopeful I will get to France in early July as well. So, a lot more to look forward to in the next month.
Catch you next time.