09/04/2021 - Tactics & Edges
Finally, Out Fishing.
Hi all, welcome to my first Blog on here since I joined the team a few weeks ago. What I would like to do for the readers information is write a monthly blog on my Carp life, I say life rather than just fishing because that’s how I see it. I have fished for carp for a long time now, whilst I am no longer as competitive as I was (which I think is a good thing!). I love being out on the bank, and when I’m not on the bank, I’m planning my trips, whether home or abroad, sorting gear, making plans for future trips etc. All of this, as well my ongoing work with tackle development and filming at Wolf gives me a lot of things to focus on, it all revolves around carp fishing as well. So, you could say that my family and work life are intertwined with my carp life, though my family will always take precedence, I learned many years ago which was the most important. Sometimes the blogs will cover fishing trips-good and bad, sometimes it might be a fishing show or something else I am involved with that’s Carpy. The idea is to give you the reader an insight into my involvement with DT and my Carp fishing going forward. I am really looking forward to working with the guys here at DT, on their current range of baits and also some new ideas for the future.
Most of my fishing is done on day ticket waters, there are several reasons for this. Firstly, I like to get abroad a few times a year, for fishing and family holidays, although the last year has been more problematic due to the Pandemic. This year we should have been travelling to Eastern Europe in April for 2 weeks exploratory fishing on a few waters in Croatia and Hungary, which has now been put back to September, which means the Autumn trips have been moved to next year. Our planned trip to Brigueuil in July we are still hopeful will be on, but we must wait and see how things pan out I guess. I have fished Syndicate waters in the past and whilst it would be nice to have access to a private big fish type water, I wouldn’t be able to get the time in to warrant the effort and expense, I also don’t want to get in that mindset either of chasing one carp, or one of the A-team! So, given that I am abroad fishing and on family holidays 4-5 times a year, time planned on working and attending shows with Wolf, then some charity events I fish as well, I really want just to be able to turn up and fish. Maybe when I retire I will have more time…So, I spend my fishing time on Day ticket waters, taking my turn with other anglers for swims, and fishing for what’s in front of me, sometimes I catch and sometimes I don’t, but I’m ok with that, I don’t take it personally anymore, it’s just part of fishing. What’s important to me is that I fish on my own terms and for my own enjoyment and not what someone else thinks I should do. It’s also quite a challenge as I don’t fish an easy water. More of that in future blogs though.
So, fishing this month…Well, I guess we have all been waiting for night fishing to be back on the agenda, planning on this we had booked three nights on Trent View Fishery, although we knew it was going to be busy, we didn’t care, like most we just wanted to be out on the bank. Clint and I had fished there 3 times last year, I had caught on every trip, Clint hadn’t, so he was keen to make amends, me, I just wanted, no needed to be out! So, on the 29th of March, myself, Clint and my son Alex met at the lake for three whole days on the bank. Alex doesn’t really fish for carp, he is more of a Predator angler, but as he has been on furlough for a year now, he just wanted to out with us for a break, so he didn’t bring any tackle. He brought his Go-Pro and camera, to do short videos for us (and help with the Beer!).
Having just joined DT, both Clint and I were keen to try out the new bait we had with us. Clint had opted for the Fishmeal with Blood and Orange. I had opted for the N-Blend. We had both spent some time at the factory a couple of weeks previously going through the baits that DT have on offer and chatting with Fenton and Neil. One thing I always do when trying bait is to taste it as well as smell it. Sometimes baits can have a strong smell that attracts anglers but then they don’t taste the bait as well. This is when you can tell if a bait has a good overall flavour, as well as just tasting ‘right’, is it too sweet, too sour, too bitter? This can all impact on how the carp react to eating the bait you are using, and whether they will continue to eat it, once they have had a small feed on it. You can get a better idea of this by chewing them up yourself, which is ok with things like the N-Blend, but not so great with Fishmeals! Anyway, we had both decided to use different baits, which is down to personal preference at the end of the day. Although while fishing we were fishing a similar way, by that I mean chopping and mixing with the DNA matching liquids. Although we fish together quite a bit, we tend to use different types of rigs mostly, although I am not convinced that when carp are feeding it really makes that much difference, it always makes for conversation. I would say that I am happy to fish with Zigs a lot more than Clint does though.
Back to the fishing, Ian had put us in to pegs 7-8 which were in the shallower area of a bay as good weather was due and it was felt the carp would be starting to creep in, which they had been doing recently. When we arrived, there was a strong South Westerly blowing which was blowing directly out of the bay, it also seemed to be pushing the carp that were there out of the bay as well. The lake overall is a good size and deep, but the bay was a much smaller and shallower area. It didn’t take too long to find the areas to fish to, this part of the lake was weedy but there were two clear gullies, one halfway across and the other nearer to the far bank. I decided to fish one rod on chops and Monster Hemp in the far gully, with an N-Blend Wafter hookbait on a combi-rig. The other two in the middle line, one with a small bag of chops and a Wafter hookbait on a short rig, and the other on a three-foot zig with a small washed- out DT Zinger Pop-up, which is a nice small pop-up, perfect for this. I was getting the odd knock pretty much from the off on the right-hand rod on the far gully, so there were definitely carp about, it did seem they were moving through fast though. About 2 hours after setting up, that rod rattled off and after a very short fight, the line parted! Looking at the line it had been cut clean through, no doubt due to the Pea Mussels that were present in the weed, the wind had dragged the line into the weed a bit. Oh well, try again. With hindsight, I should have been on it sooner.
The next two days the weather really heated up and we had two days of clear skies and Sun, which was great to be out in, but the carp had moved out of the bay, so we were biteless for the next two days. We could hear and see them during the night passing the mouth of the bay. That first dawn though was great to witness, I am usually up early and watching the water just before first light and this was no exception, I had really missed sleeping out on the bank, no doubt about it.Â
On the last evening, the weather was due to change big-style and boy did it! From hardly any wind and over 20 degrees it changed to a strong North-Easterly and 6 degrees, it was chuffing freezing! It did bring the carp back round in our direction though, you could hear them approaching during the night. Clint had a run just before first light and landed a nice-looking Mirror, not massive but very welcome, as it ended his run of blanks on there. Not long after my Zig rod was away…great stuff I thought to myself, be nice to leave with us both catching after struggling for a few days. Then the sodding hook pulled! With an hour left before we had to leave, I recast two rods with Zigs, but that was it, I had fluffed my last chance. That’s carp fishing though isn’t it? Sometimes you catch and sometimes you don’t. So, Clint left with a carp under his belt and a happy chap, me not quite so, actually that’s not true, I had spent a few days back on the bank with a good friend and my also my Son Alex, who I have spent a bit of time fishibg with in this lockdown, I know that might sound a bit soft to some, but time with family and friends is priceless. The thing for me was that both Clint and myself had bites on our respective new baits, despite those around us not getting any action. So, I see it as a great start with the new bait and I am already planning my next couple of trips. One will be some overdue filming with Wolf, the other will be my first trip to the A1 Pits and Newark, which is my regular haunt. See how we go heh?
Catch you next time.