Mark Cresswell’s session on Tortue Lake

June 24, 2012

Here is a very nice article sent to me by Mark Creswell. Thought I’d share it on the blog:

Just returned from an extremely enjoyable trip to Croix Blanche in France

Friday 15th June is a special day for the river anglers but for me it was special as it was the day I set off, I meet my 2 companions for the week (Jeff and Steve) at Watford and we’re soon at Dover, a good crossing and then a drive down to Croix. We discuss our ambitions for the following 6 nights, I am hoping for a fish over 50lb as I’ve never caught one or if lady luck shone a 40lb common, Steve would be happy to beat his PB (27lb) and Jeff just wanted to have a good time, which in reality is what we all wanted, a good time with hopefully some decent fish thrown in too Read the rest of this entry »

French Moggies

December 4, 2011

Boilies aren’t just about carp fishing. Boilies also make excellent baits for cat fish. The following is an extract from a diary by Alan Batham of a recent fishing trip to Croix Blanche Lakes in northern France. Alan highly recommends the lakes as a fishing venue. You can check out Phil’s Mogger-don recipe on the recipes page.

After a long ball-ache of a drive (3am start from Luton) we finally arrive at Croix Blanche at about 1pm. I’ve been buzzing about this trip ever since it was booked about 6 weeks previous and have talked about very little else to those that would listen…. and those that wouldn’t. Yes I’m a sad old fishing bore – I love it! Read the rest of this entry »

Angling – What does it mean to you?

September 15, 2010

I saw a really nice thought provoking article by UK angler Pat Gillett on the Quest Baits blog. Pat is a long time specimen hunter often turning his attentions to the rivers in his region and their large barbel.

I too think angling and carp angling gin particular has lost its way. Ok I make a living out of fishing, but I’m sure those of us who have been fishing for over 20 years will remember the days when carp fishing had a mythical magic about it.

Fortunately the wonders of nature have not changed and a kingfisher alighting on ones rods is still a marvelous sight.

See the original article here:

“ ….I was talking to a mate of mine the other day (a good match angler) and it brought home to me how we all derive different pleasures from angling. To him it was all about the competition and the sheer numbers and weights of fish, obvious really, has this is what is needed to win matches. To me angling pleasure comes from something totally different. After being an angler for over 35 years the need to equate everything to numbers has long since gone. It’s more about ‘just being there’. It’ easy to get drawn into the numbers game and easy to lose sight of why we actually go fishing.

I do like to fish for larger than average fish (for my area) but that only comes from the many years of fishing and thus building my way up from catching smaller fish. To get the most enjoyment I need to be on the right venue and to be catching ‘on my own terms’.

One thing I try to avoid is ‘over pressured’ stretches of river or lakes, unfortunately the presence of bigger than average size fish tends to bring with it loads of fish chasers and swim jumpers and at times a total lack of angling etiquette. I fished one of these stretches (on a small river) a couple of times about a month ago. Read the rest of this entry »

Carp Hooks – Barbed V Barbless?

February 21, 2010

By Jon Perkins

This is a subject which has been debated for many years and both barbed and barbless hooks certainly have their place in modern carp fishing.I beleive that on the majority of waters and in the majority of angling situations, barbless hooks are better for the carp.
Most fisheries these days have a rule governing the type of hooks that are allowed, I would say that the majority of waters have a barbless only rule, but some still rule in favour of barbed hooks – which is correct ?
There are several factors involved in why these rules are made, some of which are fact and some of which are speculative.
There is little doubt that more fish will be lost during the fight when a barbless hook is used. With a barbless hook there is nothing to prevent the hook “falling out” of a carps mouth, in fact the only thing keeping the hook in, is the presuure on the hook via the tension on it through the line. Carp can very quickly “learn” that by twisting around during the fight and thus making as many different angles between itself and the line in its mouth they can often shed the hook. Be in no doubt that from the moment the hook catches in the carps mouth, its sole objective is to get rid of it ! This has been shown on the Korda DVD’s with very pressured fish even trying to get rid of the hook before running off, which is their primary instinct.When a carp reaches a weedbed it can shed a barbless hook in seconds because it has something to use to create an angle and a slack line. I have experienced this many times myself and watched it happen countless times. I’m not saying it happens every time because sometimes the hook has such a good hold in the mouth “that was never going to come off” ! Read the rest of this entry »

Seven Tips For Warm Winter Carping

February 12, 2010

Carp fishing in the winter can include long periods of inactivity. It is important that you stay warm, especially now that the weather looks as though it is ready to turn very cold at the end of January. Below are some hints and tips to help you stay warm during the long winter sessions. Most of this is common sense, but it doesn’t hurt to remind yourself of the obvious now and again.

1) Lots of Layers
Ensure that you wear several layers of clothing. The air trapped between the layers acts as insulation against the cold. Two T-shirts, a thin fleece, jumper, jacket. If you get too hot, you can just remove a single layer.

2) Stay Dry
Few things are as miserable as being cold and wet. Ensure that you have a good quality waterproof outer layer, stay under, at least, a decent brolly or preferably in a bivvy with an extra skin. I have a Fox Frontier bivvy which goes up in no time and keeps the worst weather out. Not only will this keep the rain off, but it will keep the rain out too.
Read the rest of this entry »

5 Winter Carp Fishing and Bait Myths Busted!

December 10, 2009

Some old catch reducing myths about winter carp fishing and baits still persist. Some of these myths might be things you have unwittingly accepted as fact – so beware! You would be surprised to know what some of them are so read on for the truth and reap the rewards of seeing things from a fresh carp fishing perspective!

1) Carp hibernate for the winter.

Carp do slow down their feeding in winter as their bodies are very much in tune with the temperature of the water surrounding them which means that the enzymes that control their metabolism, digestion, amounts of swimming and movements done is generally much more restricted in order to save energy. Actually finding winter carp is one of the major problems in winter and early spring and this is why regular feeding with baits is so important to keep fish visiting spots which makes catching them much easier. To do this in order to be much more in command of fish feeding behaviours in a lake takes a quantity of bait and is one of the reasons I continue to make my own homemade baits despite all the commercial baits around. (Extremely effective winter baits do not require loads of expensive high protein ingredients!) Read the rest of this entry »

Winter Carp Fishing Baits: Thinking Tactics And Rigs

November 29, 2009

This is the time of year when some of the biggest fish in a lake can be most vulnerable to capture; so winter carp fishing is not as mad as it might first appear! Good planning and preparation including refinement of baits, rigs and use of using warm clothing and equipment is easy. Read on to improve your chances of big winter fish… The often different activity levels of other fish species and altered availability of many natural foods along with changes in carp behaviour in colder water temperatures can contribute to making them a little easier to catch at specific times. Very often the impact of there being far less angling pressure with only the really keen anglers going fishing makes thing much easier. Sometimes you can have the pick of the most favoured swims, although this can become a problem if fish are grouped in front of only 2 or 3 swims on a water.

Much less free bait fed is into fisheries compared to warmer months too and I’m certain this is a major factor in the downfall of many big fish which succumb to capture at this time. The easy free meals they have become used to may to a great degree disappear in winter time. Read the rest of this entry »

Successful Winter Carp Fishing When the Cold Bites!

November 19, 2009

When winter and early spring fishing gets tough often anglers simply give up but for those who persist there are extremely memorable catches to be achieved, often quite easily. Catch more big winter carp right now…

Confidence is the key to fishing success for so many reasons and Kevin Maddocks did not refer to having a positive mental attitude and keeping sensibly warm in order to actually be able to perform and fish far better despite adverse conditions! Winter fishing is just as much about having fun as anything else in life and certainly should not have negative associations.

In fact the less negative thoughts you have about it the higher the probability you will create and exploit the maximum opportunities for outstanding and extremely memorable winter catches. As the scouts motto really says, being prepared is everything, and with good preparation you will be able to take full advantage of any opportunities and be far more aware of them too! Now it is a sobering fact that even in military service, many men perish through a lack of preparation as much as anything else, when in extremes of terrain and hot and cold conditions. Read the rest of this entry »