Well what a year I’ve had! If I’m honest I have been working far too much, with only a little fishing done due to family life; but I was fortunate enough to get among those crafty carp on the RK Leisure Complex when I did get out.
Winning bites can be somewhat stressful at times as some of us have found out the hard way, so making the most of your time on the bank is an important key in anyone’s angling. A lot of anglers have asked in the past how you go about learning watercraft. Well it can’t be bought, that’s for sure, and if it could it would undoubtedly be the biggest selling carp book or angling product in England!
It’s only learnt by spending time on the bank, and specifically time invested in quietly observing the water plays a big role in my angling today, specifically focusing on the surroundings a lot of the time as I’ve learnt that the answers are literally starring straight at you! The wildlife gives a lot away for the majority of the time if I’m honest…
As many who know me will state I’m like a hypoactive kid on the bank moving and watching constantly. I owe the majority of my angling success this year to doing this. Its hard work but the rewards, when they came, were awesome!
Gardner’s ‘Bolt Bomb’ leads which I have really taken a like too.” src=”https://gardnertackle.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/DSCF8721.jpg” alt=”I’ve started using Gardner’s ‘Bolt Bomb’ leads which I have really taken a like too.” width=”623″ height=”467″ />
I’m always looking for a week point, as I believe every lake has one, it’s just finding it. For instance, earlier in the year I had noticed on the water I was on that the fish seemed to show at around ten o’clock at night, so I decided to start arriving in the dark at 9PM – usually in the damn rain! Obviously, the reason for this is that I would be on the fish right from the start of the session and I’m sure that this made a big difference to my success.
After many hours playing around with certain rigs and getting the end tackle to match the lake beds colours and contours (as they’re not always the same). So after a lot of tinkering I found what I’d been looking for and settled on a few key components which seemed to work extremely well for me.
Firstly, I started using Gardner’s ‘Bolt Bomb’ leads. I’ve really taken a liking to these leads for a couple of reasons. The ‘chod’ coating is suitable for use on virtually all lake beds and they also have a wide base which, when feeling the lead down, gives a good donk! I’ve also become a lover of the brown Camflex Leadfree leader. It’s outstandingly soft and supple and really blends in with the lake bed.
I also played with rigs that have caught for me over the years, but some have been seemingly ignored by my quarry until the multi-rig started doing the damage for me. This came about when I was watching two fish feed close by under a branch, and their behaviour blew my mind! One of them was pushing its face into the silt feeding, whilst the other sat above the other fish to which its mouth was at least 12 inches from the baits sucking them. It was literally jaw dropping to say the least and it really did my head in if I’m honest….. So my 8inch long multi-rig has now grown to 16 inches after witnessing this. Usually on this particular rig I would use a pop up (like most people) but I chose to use wafters and the bites started coming more frequently, so I was winning gradually.
Confusing the fish was another key to getting bites. Instead of using a matching bait to my hook bait I’d use a complete mixture of different Carp Company baits as feed – which included a mixture of all sizes colours and smells including a little hemp and crushed peanut dosed in their lovely buttery smelling Golden Corn Oil, as it simply has great pulling power drawing the fish in. It’s also a great edge as it tells you when they’re feeding on the freebies as the surface slicks up and flattens off big time. Using this oil really nailed me a few fish as the weed was savage in some areas and as the surface went flat I’d fly out the brolly and sit by the rods ready to react immediately to a bite by taking control and not giving ‘em an inch!
Everything had finally started falling into place, so plodding on through the sessions I just stuck with a winning formula; as the saying goes “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it”.
By barrowing around Horton Church Lake at silly hours I managed to nail 7 fish to 38lb and then captured the big girl at 46lb (gotcha!) in only 6 trips. Being mobile really paid dividends on there! After this I pulled off due to spawning and concentrated on Kingsmead 1 for the rest of the season.
I’d fished this water 8 years ago – and was lucky enough to catch the big girl known as ‘Starrys’ which is now a 50lb+ carp – so with that historical experience I had a decent knowledge of the lake to start with. On my first night back on K1 a bite resulted in one of known characters named ‘Blind Eye’ at 35lb.
Doing two trips a month squeezed in between work was a punishment (oh to be there more!). The weed on K1 was savage in some areas, so due to this I opted to change my rig slightly. It needed to be beefed up and I opted for little hinged stiff links using Trip Wire for the hook section and 25lb Trick Link as boom sections. This was combined with a sticky sharp size 5 Covert Chod hook. Dropping the leads helped to land more fish, and this was achieved by attaching the lead on the helicopter style rig with one of the little ‘Drop Out’ C clips, and the new arrangement worked a treat. No dumpling leads unnecessarily and the lead coming off when needed.
Yet again I was winning, but one thing was for sure, the fish certainly gave me the run around. I was actually moving three to four times in a single night; listening out for them crashing then picking out the better ones and putting a hookbait on them.
What really amazed me was having the place to myself on many trips in the summer! After a few visits I’d found were to target a particular common I wanted so I opted to stick with this area. Every night I did I nailed one from this particular area, which was good but I’d then found one of those fish that never leave you alone it was a mirror of 35lb that must have been living in the woodwork near the spot as virtually every damn trip I did I caught it!
Due to this I decided to concentrate my efforts in the Kennel Bay, which was solid with weed. There were inevitably a few losses by anglers – which happens – but with the bank in this swim being high up I’d found four logs that I stood upright and made like steps which made me even higher. It may all sound a bit extreme but the weed was carnage out in front and extra height really worked. Some fellas were laughing as I’d get a take, grab the rod, run up the bank and hop up these logs before being in contact with the fish. But the proof of the pudding was the fact that I didn’t lose one!
Then whilst at work I got a call saying the common had come out, but hey that’s fishing! One thing’s for sure I was correct on where to catch it!
By this time the weather was changing and in the blink of an eye Christmas was approaching fast so I took off some time from work to make the most of the ticket and weather. After having lots of thirties, with the odd twenty here and there, the last 11 trips in a row I managed a 30+ in every trip! The effort I had put in when I was at the lake really paid off so really a bit of hard graft can make it worth your while. Fingers crossed 2015 kicks off to a great year.