After my recent carp fishing blank, I was keen to make amends and actually put a carp on the bank. I decided that a change of venue would be a good idea to perhaps break the spell. A quick ring around and I secured a day’s fishing at Hacche Moor Fishery’s Bottom Lake close to South Molton. This lake has been established for several years and has a good head of carp up to 36lb with numerous twenty plus specimens. https://www.hacchemoorfishery.co.uk
On arrival one of the anglers at the lake was already in action playing what looked like a good fish. Eager to get set up I hurried on to choose a suitable swim and did not wait to see what the scales read.
There were four anglers on the lake and two were vacating swims and moving into the swims that I fancied in the prevailing conditions. The two anglers had already fished for three nights and days without a fish so moving into their vacated swims seemed a bit concerning. But it all looked right and the other two angers on the lake had caught indicating that success was likely if the correct approach was adopted.
It was good to be set up and sheltering beneath my brolly confident that a carp would slip up. I fished one rod off the Island and another to my left a rods length from the margin. On the Island rod I fished a Sticky Bait Krill Boilie in conjunction with a small PVA bag of crushed boilie and small krill pellet. On the margin rod I employed a couple of old school baits planning to randomly alternate bait with each cast.
I settled down to the waiting game changing baits from time to time and scattering a few free offerings around each rig. Swallows swooped over the lake and I relished the summer scene. In the background I could hear the constant buzz of traffic and industrial work at the nearby building site. The sounds reminded me of the outside world not too far from this oasis of calm water amidst lush green life.
Late afternoon and my confidence was ebbing slightly. I decided on a slight modification to my margin set up and slipped a back lead to the line pinning it close to the bottom.
Half an hour later the Delkim sang out the line ripped from the reel and rod bounced in the rests…..after a pleasing battle a handsome mirror was safely in the net. At 14lb 8oz it was no monster by todays standards but very welcome.
With confidence restored I made a fresh coffee and savoured a moment of success. Two hours later the same rod was away again and another fine looking mirror carp was safely netted and posed with me for a quick picture kindly taken by the angler next door. We both thought it would be close to twenty but I was not at all disappointed when the scales told the truth at 17lb 8oz.
With the blank spell broken I can resume my occasional carp fishing with renewed confidence a vital ingredient to success in all fishing. I fished on for another couple of hours until the light began to fade and was delighted to hear a bite alarm ringing out as one of the long stay anglers enjoyed success adding to a fish he had taken earlier in the afternoon whilst I was banking my first fish.
I pondered as I drove home. Did the fish switch on to feed for that period or did pinning the line to lakebed disguise the trap?
BB wrote of Carp Fishers in his delightful tome “Confessions of a carp fisher”.
“ And then there are carp fishers, or should I say, carp addicts. These are very strange men indeed. Carp Fishing is a must curious form of fishing and calls for a very special turn of mind and character. First there is the quality of patience. Your habitual carp fisher is a man of inexhaustible patience, no angler born has more than he, not even a wild sad eyed heron has greater patience and, I may add, watchfulness.”
Much has changed in the carp fishing world since BB penned confessions in 1950. This was prior to Dick Walker catching the British Record carp of 44lb in 1952.
The days of mystery have by and large gone with carp fishing now big business with many lakes crowded. The methods used for carp fishing have changed dramatically since those far off days revolutionised by the innovations of the eighties and following decades.
I fished with a degree of intensity for carp during the eighties my imagination fired by the literacy of Chris Yates, BB, Walker, Rod Hutchinson, Kevin Maddox, Tim Paisley and several others.
I return occasionally to carp fishing and have had a succession of blanks in the past twelve months. A couple of trips to Jennets have not seen the alarms screaming out which has to a degree increased the desire to connect again.
On my latest trip I arrived a little later than intended at around 7:30am to see a rod bent into action in the first swim. I knew I should have got up earlier! Still I set up half way along the res and put baits out against the far margin. Whist it seemed right at first I had a nagging feeling to move up to the shallower end of the lake.
By midday I was in my new swim and put one bait in the near margin and one to the far bank with a scattering of freebees around each. And so, the wait began again. I often liken carp fishing to a game of chess; the issue is to a degree that there is a board and we make our move but cannot see the pieces on the board or sometimes not even the board! There are so many factors to ponder upon as the wait goes on. Confidence is a major factor for without this doubt creeps in regarding the bait, location, rig etc.
Its not a problem waiting beside a carp lake in summer amid a bouquet of wild summer flowers. The occasional glimpse of a kingfisher and the constant background restful tones of birdsong.
It often goes quiet between 1.00pm and 5.00pm so a lack of action didn’t matter too much until early evening. Shortly after 6.00pm a carp rolled over my baits and expectation grew. I hovered expectantly and felt sure a chance would come.
Just after 7.00pm the Delkim screamed out the bobbin rose and I jumped to the rod lifting into thin air. This proved to be my only chance of the day and I packed away at 9.00pm.
As I walked back I came across a small group fishing the first two swims one of whom was into a decent fish. They had been fishing since 5.00pm targeting the session over the prime time. After a few moments a handsome common was in the net and pulled the scales to 18lb 6oz. The angler was well known local angler Chris Connaughton who was using Remix Secret pop ups and Lakebed Leads products.
I was very impressed with the care taken with the handling, weighing and photographing of the fish. An important factor in these enlightened days of fishing.
As I walked away I pondered on the fact that I had seen two carp caught all day one as I arrived the other as I left. Perhaps twelve hours is not long enough! Or perhaps I should just arrive to fish early morning or late evening ensuring I get there first thing or stay till last thing?
Aaron Bunning Had these 3 commons of 19lb 14oz, 15lb and 12lb on a spur of the moment 4hr session Sunday after work. ‘I saw a few fish showing through the afternoon and couldn’t resist having a go. All fish fell to Scopex squid wafters fished as single hookbaits to showing fish’. Great stuff Aaron!
Simon Orman from Tiverton fished Slade for the first time on Friday the 26th and was rewarded with a fully scaled mirror carp weighing an impressive 27lb fish was caught on cc Moore. Anthony Hunt did a quick session catching a fine upper double mirror iain Ross has also been among the fish landing 2 upper double commons also caught with cc Moore. Bailiff Paul James squeezed in a quick overnighter catching a fine common of 24 12 caught on home made baits.
Tara Dobson fished on the summer hut swim of Beatties Lake and caught seven carp up to 26lb 6oz all fish were caught on banoffee snowman style.
(Below) James Richard Russell fished on swim 15 (Albert square) on Lodge Lake this weekend and had 6 fish out in 24 hours, James was fishing with Cornwall baits Occy with balanced hook baits , 14mm & 16mm freebies.
Ashley Moores fished Furzebray’s Island Carp Lake and banked two of the venues most sort after carp. The Mint common at a weight of 34lb 2oz and Star at 42lb. Furzebray has been established as one of the West Countries top carp fisherys.
Gareth Hazelden had a session on Nirvana’s Day Ticket Kracking Carp Lake and caught a 34lb Mirror, Gareth caught the Mirror on a Mainline prototype bait on a hinged stiff rig with Korda end tackle fished tight to the island from swim 4.
Ashley Bunning Grounds Supervisor at Anglers Paradise fished after work and had surprising luck, in two sessions he managed to catch Tadpole at 30lb 8oz and Cheeks at 32lb 4oz from the Spessy Carp Lake. Ashley caught both fish on Nash Citrus pop ups over a bed of sweetcorn.