October has been a terrible month for me! Probably my worst ever for fish captures in all the years I’ve been fishing, with only a couple of losses to show for my troubles. With winter just around the corner I decided to change to my cold water venue, with a change came renewed confidence, and it was just this last week that I decided on a quick overnighter to get the feel of the place and seek out any likely looking winter areas.
So with the ‘carp-dog’ in tow I arrived in the afternoon with just a couple of hours till sunset. After a quick walk round it was evident that either end of the lake had weed and the middle section was pretty barren. I’d been talking to a regular on the lake and he’d advised that the fish were at either end, which makes sense when you think about it, with the slowly dropping temperatures the fish will be finding those weedier areas just that little bit warmer. This observation matches what I have found on many lakes in the winter, find the weed and the fish won’t be far away.
A quick lead around with a light 1oz lead indicated lots of weed, but after half an hour three clearish small spots were found, lines clipped up and I was ready to be fishing.
Due to the rules of the lake that stated no leaders are allowed in any shape or form (including leadcore) I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to use Gardner’s ‘Covert’ Tungsten Tubing. This stuff is super heavy, as you can imagine, and comes in three different colours to match any lake bed at anytime of the year. Most importantly, it’s also very supple so moulds itself nicely to anything on the lakebed.
Well, being an keen leadcore user on my rotary rigs, namely the ‘Hinged’ stiffy, I hadn’t had the chance to use the Covert Tungsten Tubing in the past, as soon as I held it in my hands I was surprised just how heavy it was and hoped it would be perfect for this gin clear water.
‘Covert’ Lead Clips, with the lead arm cut down for even enhanced lead to ejection completed the end tackle. The rigs themselves would comprise of the ever faithful multi-rig, or “Johnny Mac” rig as it’s widely known. I’ve caught a lot fish on this rig over the years and it’s never let me down! The hooklink would comprise of the Disruption ‘Skin’ camo green in 25lb breaking strain which again would blend into the surrounding weedy bottom that I would be fishing over. A size 5 ‘Covert’ Chod hook would complete the rig. The ‘Covert’ finish on the Chod hook is a matt greenish color which is another percentage point towards outwitting these wary carp in gin clear water. To me it’s all about blending in to the surroundings, especially when the water at this venue is like tap water.
Main line… Now this is something I’m very particular about in my fishing and I don’t think enough people pay attention to how your line looks whilst out in the water, and how it reacts whether it sinks or rises up off the bottom, what you are fishing over regard to obstacles, topography etc. etc.
With this in mind I would usually spool up with 15lb Pro (Carp) ‘Light Blend’ (which simply disappears in clear water) and couple it with a length of Mirage fluorocarbon as a leader to stop the leadcore possibly lifting off the bottom near the business end. At this venue though, as I can’t use leaders or leadcore here I decided to go straight through with the 15lb Pro Carp to the Covert Tungsten Tubing. This tubing in essence makes sure that everything is pinned down properly next the rig, whilst with the Pro Carp “Light Blend” the mainline itself will be less visible, hence ill be fishing effectively, stealth like in quite a large area.
So there is an insight into why I use certain products for different situations, I don’t just use a product because its there to be used, it has to be part of my overall plan of attack and have a reason why I use it…
Onto the session, all three rods were eventually positioned and all three had my “4Season” Mistral 15mm pop-ups on. Two on pink and one on white, these are the two colors I have found to be most effective in clear water and more importantly in the winter time.
To cut a long story short over the course of the next twelve hours I managed three bites with a cracking old warrior of a mirror at 33lb 10oz being the highlight!
Did the attention to detail with the line, hooklinks, rigs and bait make a difference? Well I think it did, as I didn’t see anyone else have a fish whilst I was there and from up a tree in the morning I could see a couple of fish moving around the area and spots oblivious to me fishing for them, which tells me that I had got my tactics and tackle spot on.
I can’t wait to get back now and am really looking forward to this winter after enduring such a terrible autumn…