The frustration of Carp Fishing

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.

Chris Connaughton who was using Remix Secret pop ups and Lakebed Leads products

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?

Jennetts and Slade producing quality carp

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( Below)Darren Baddick also fished the venue to bank common carp of 28lb 12oz and 22lb.

( Below)Paul Blake fished Jennetts Reservoir and banked a fine brace of common carp scaling 28lb 10oz and 22lb.

Stuart Wade has been putting the hours at Lower Slade  and has been rewarded with some nice carp here is one of the stockies that was put into the reservoir at 3lb to 5 lb in 2007 now at the weight of 17lb 8oz.  Stuart caught the fish on a critical balanced pop up over half a dozen freebies.

Jennets Brace of Twenties

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After no action at his syndicate lake overnight Chris Connaughton Mono had a hunch that a change of venue could pay dividends. A trip to Jennets for the afternoon produced a brace of 20s at 24lb and 20lb 4oz. The fish were tempted using monster baits presented on j precision hooks and 4oz Flat pear inline leads supplied by local tackle company Lakebed Leads.

Torridge Fly Fishing Club – Spring Sport

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Located at Gammaton Reservoirs ( 2 four acre lakes) .Annual membership £170. Members can keep up to 6 fish a week.
Day tickets £20 (3 fish) available from Summerlands Tackle, Westward Ho! & Tarka Country Pursuits , Torrington.
Membership enquiries to Mike Ball 07899 742757 . Email : [email protected]com

(Above) Limit bag for day ticket angler Richard Penton. Not bad for £20 & the option for catch & release on the lower lake if you want to carry on fishing after you’ve got your 3 fish.

Smoothound and thin lipped mullet

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Stuart Taylor was targetting bass when this specimen Smoothound weighing 11lb 12ozs Saved a blank session.

Graham Snow won Bideford Angling Clubs 24 hour rover with a thin-lipped grey mullet of 3lb 151/4oz. Antony Smith was runner up with a mackerel scaling 1lb 21/2oz and third Andy Clements with a wrasse of 3lb 103/4oz.

Graham followed this win up landing a brace of thin lipped mullet weighing 4lb 7oz and 3lb 81/2oz.

Bideford’s Clive Baddick Joins winning Team

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Bideford based Clive Baddick qualified for the finals,of the civil service sports competition where they  fished the 6th of July.  The south West team won,3 boats 12 areas so 12 on a boat,simple the winner on a boat scored 1 point they had two boat winners and i come 4th so they scored 6 points, the second team had 11 points,the boats fished were supernova,skippered by Lyle Stantiford,top cat 2 ,and wild frontier 2 .The South West Team was Vernon Allen who won the individual competio. ,Mike Patton who one time was England manager, and Clive Baddick.

Mike Patten,Lyle Stantiford skipper supanova 11.Clive Baddick, and Vernon Allen.

Latest Sea Reports

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Appledore Shipbuilders monthly Rover

James Atkinson won Appledore shipbuilders monthly Rover with a small eyed ray of 9lb 61/4oz. In second place was Richard Boone with a fine wrasse of 5lb 47/8oz and in third Andy Sanders with a thornback ray of 6lb 5oz.

Bideford Angling Club Monthly Rover

 1st Antony smith thornback ray 9lb 5 1/2 103.819%
2nd Antony smith thornback ray 8lb 6 1/2 93.402%
3rd Dick Talbot smoothound 9lb 5 93.125%
4th Andy Sanders thornback ray 6lb 6 70.833%
4th Lee Watts dogfish 2lb 2 70.833%
5th Paul Downing thornback ray 5lb 15 65.972%
As the water starts to warm up wrasse should start to show along the North Devons rock marks. Combe Martin SAC member Ollie Passmore set out after the species and was rewarded with a nice fish of 3lb 6oz.
Bull huss continue to provide sport after dark when Ollie Passmore enjoyed success with a huss of 10lb 11oz. (Below)
Boat anglers are continuing to enjoy boat sport off Ilfracombe with several spurdog to 18lb brought aboard John Barbeary’s boat Bluefin. (Below)