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?

Upper Tamar – Three quick commons

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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!

Fully Scaled Slade mirror

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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.

Stafford Moor Carp

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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.

Fine Furzebray Brace

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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.

A blank Trip !

During the 1980’s and 90’s I did a fair amount of carp fishing and enjoyed some success catching carp on a regular basis including a few fish over twenty pounds. My carp fishing sorties in the past couple of decades have been few and far between partly due to a perception that carp fishing requires lots of time and a desire to catch other species has taken precedent.

The spectacular catches of carp I report on has to a degree tempted me back to carp fishing albeit on an occasional basis. The complexities of carp fishing are perhaps a bit of a challenge but with modern tackle rigs and baits catching carp is or at least should be easier than it has ever been. I recently fished at Jennett’s reservoir near Bideford with James and arrived full of confidence. The weather had broken and a North West Wind was blowing down the lake after weeks of hot weather and the carp having recently spawned I expected a good result. As did keen and experienced local carp angler Rob Kendal who had already banked one carp before we arrived.

Rob Kendall 17lb 10oz

James and I fished a peg apart maintaining the required social distance, one bait close to the far bank and another in the nearside margin.

The day drifted past James was pleased to catch a couple of bream on the margin rod and enjoyed chatting with his mate from the cricket club fishing in the next peg along.

Rob Kendall added another carp but was surprised at the lack of action considering the conditions. We made a few brews with the Kelly Kettle and cooked up some sausages. The day drifted past and we took in the surroundings, watched the squirrels and birds going about their daily routines.

James decided to leave mid afternoon and catch up with a few jobs at home. Ever optimistic I stayed on spurred on by the sight of carp rolling close to where I had put my baits. Any time I expected those bobbins to lift and the Delkim to bleep its warning. As the light began to fade I decided to head for home and packed away everything except the rods. As I turned to reel in the rod tip nodded and I pick up the rod hopeful of a last minute carp. it was a bream of around 2lb. I left with lots of questions in my head and doubting my ability to catch carp. I think I will have to invest a little more of that time soon.