Phil Kingsbury – Big Carp Blog (September 2011)
I’ve had a really good season so far catching carp from a few different lakes, and now that September is here, hopefully, I can carry on catching through the colder months to come.
Last winter I joined a lake not too far from my house. It’s about six acres with twenty or so carp in it. It’s pretty hard but being close to home I thought it was worth a go.
I rejoined again this season and did a few nights this summer, but didn’t catch any of the low stock of carp, only bream. There’s a shed full of bream in the lake!
As I didn’t want to be punished by the bream I left the lake alone for most of the summer and concentrated on Cemex Angling’s ‘Road Lake’ to try and catch a couple of the remaining big carp that have eluded me so far – namely the Big Dink and the Big Linear. I ended up catching a couple of the carp I needed, including the much sought after Orange Spot at thirty seven plus and also a carp called ‘Not the Brown’ at a weight of thirty four plus – so I was well pleased with that. I was still enjoying fishing the Road Lake; it’s just a lovely place to fish and its got a great stock of carp.
September arrived and I decided to try yet another lake. I had booked a couple of days off work (Tuesday and Wednesday) hopeful that it would be quieter midweek, because during the summer months it got way too busy for my liking.
Having got up at four AM on the Tuesday morning, I arrived at the lake by 5. To my amazement the lake was virtually empty, all apart from one guy who had just got there before me. I thought ‘this is better!’ and barrowed my gear down to a swim that I really fancied.
The lake looked absolutely perfect, and the weather was looking good with a gentle breeze pushing into my swim. I sat there and made a quick cuppa waiting for it to get light so I could finish setting everything up. As I waited I heard a carp jump out in my swim, and thought ‘great, this looks good’!
When it was light enough I cast both rods out into the area that I had heard the carp, making sure I kept the disturbance of the casts to a minimum.
As the lake bed is very silty I chose to use light leads; one and a half ounce Flat Pears mounted onto a Covert Safety Clip. The small leads were chosen simply to stop the hook bait being dragged too far down into the soft bottom and ruining the presentation of the hook bait, and they make way less disturbance going in than a big lead.
Behind this was a meter length of brown Plummet lead core, which would settle down nicely onto the lake bed and matches the colour fairly well as well. Finally the terminal arrangement was finished off with a Speed Link for quick hooklink attachment. To this I clipped on a rig constructed with 15lb Sly Skin (brown) with a size eight Incizor that was baited with an ever reliable Dynamite Baits Tiger Nut boilie.
Soon after I had cast out another carp stuck its head out – this was a great sign as it showed that getting the baits out hadn’t moved the fish out of the area. I stuck the kettle on to make a couple more rigs just in case the bream found my bait before the carp. You can never be too prepared!
I hoped that maybe the carp activity in the area would push the bream out of the area. During the day the conditions remained excellent, with a mild wind still blowing into the swim, which kept my confidence really high and I was sure it was just a matter of time until one of the rods rattled off.
By mid-afternoon the lake was getting a bit busier, there was a couple of guy’s opposite me and more down the other end. A good friend of mine came down to fish and he went in a plot two swims to my left, so hopefully no one would go in-between us. We had a laugh and a social all evening and by ten o’clock it was time to get some sleep.
It was about 1:30AM when I had a one toner on my right hand rod, and I knew ‘that ain’t no bream’!
Jumping out of my sleeping bag and grabbing the rod it felt like a good carp, and it took me a little while to get it into the net. Looking in the net I saw my first carp which looked like it was nearly thirty pounds!
I unclipped the rig from the Speed Link and secured the net, then went to get my mate. When we both came back to my swim and got the carp on the mat, it was a very good hook hold. Up on the scales she went twenty eight pound six ounces.
I was well pleased with my first carp from the lake. With the photo’s done I slipped her back and put a new rig on and cast out again to the same area.
Through the course of the night I caught three bream but no more carp, before I had to pack away early on the Wednesday morning but I was very happy to catch my first carp from the lake. It’s always nice to get off the mark.
Hopefully by the time I write my next blog for the Gardner website I will have caught a few more on my travels.