Crushing the Barb

October 15, 2010

I saw a post by Henry Gilbey on his fishing blog about crushing barbs while sea fishing for bass. Now I know that he is using trebles and we don’t in carp angling, but the question of crushed barbs is an interesting one.
I remember when we did the Remy video that they insisted we use barbless hooks only. I have previously written about “Barbed vs Barbless”, so I won’t go over that again. But are crushed barbs not a better way to go than either barbed or barbless. Barbed vs Barbles
I have been doing this for a long as I can remember, for the simple reason that, while I didn’t want to use a barbed hook, I couldn’t find the barbless version of the model I like…ie. Drennan Continental Boilie hook. So for years I’ve been crushing the barbs on these hooks.
I think it was Tim Paisley who wrote about the advantages of a crushed barb, as it leaves a small bump on the hook, that helps avoids the movement and sewing machine effect that can happen with a barbless hook. It remains however far easier to remove, and more importantly give the fish a chance to shed the hook if it breaks you off or gets snagged. The penetration is better than a barbed hook but it does stay in better than a pure barbless. Read the rest of this entry »


Catch Report 5th June : 45lb Mirror Tops the Catch

June 14, 2010

Belgian carpers Rudi Bru and Pete Bleyaert got in amongst some superb carp and cats in a short three nighter in the company of their wives this week on the Tortue Lake.
As they arrived on the lakes they opted for peg 15 at the top end of the Tortue as there must have been 100 carp sunning themselves on the surface. The first 24 hours in the warm weather proved unproductive with just one small cat to show for their efforts. A change in the weather with a thunder storm and some rain soon put the fish back in the feeding mood and in the next few hours they banked several cracking fish.
Pete managed a lovely mirror of 45lb 2oz (20.5kg) as well as a 38lb 5oz (17.6kg) Common. Rudi not to be out done also landed some nice carp with a Mirror of 36lb 5oz and Commons of 24lb 5oz and 22lb 4oz.
The successful bait was the Proline Red Devils and a homemade garlic flavoured boilie. The flurry of action ended with the return of the hot sunny weather, and reluctantly they headed back to Belgium.

Croix Blanche Catch Report : Two fish over 20kg this week.

June 5, 2010

31st  May to 5th June

Two fish over 20kg (44lb) were landed this week in a carp bonanza that left everyone happy. With the cats in a very voracious mood of late the carp had been hard to tempt, but not this week. The weather was roasting hot but it didn’t put the carp off going on the munch. Andy Phillips opened the account with a cracking 47lb 8oz mirror from peg 14, while peg 10 followed suit 24 hours later with a 44lb mirror.
The catch of the week though went to Adam Lowridge on peg 11 who banked 18 carp including 8 thirties as well as cats to 37lb. In all 15 fish over 30lb were banked with catfish to 45lb.
Successful tactics were hempseed and boilies for the carp with Maineline Cell and SBS baits doing the business, where as pellets and boilies sorted out the catfish.
Most carp came at dusk to midnight or early morning, as the days proved hot and still only producing the odd welcome daytime catch. Surprisingly most of the cats were caught during the day.

For more photos : June Catches

Read the rest of this entry »

Five tips for Catching in the Spring

March 9, 2010

by Gareth Watkins

  1. Signs of moving fish:
    After a long winter and this year was cold, long and severe, the fish are just starting to wake up in the Spring as the days lengthen and the light penetration lasts longer.
    As the fish slowly move out of their winter torpor they won’t be moving very far. So any signs of feeding fish will certainly move you closer to your goal. If you see carp top, lump out, crash out or simply break the surface, get a bait out there, close by!! I wouldn’t recommend you bait heavily, but a PVA bag or a couple of spods should see you in with a good of a take. Read the rest of this entry »

Why France for Carp?

February 27, 2010

by Gareth Watkins

Carp fishing as we all know is  immensely popular now, with more and more people coming into the sport every year. This puts a huge pressure on the ticket lakes, club lakes and syndicates across the UK. Most anglers outside the ‘A’ list are faced with long waiting lists and the slim chances of getting on a water with big fish. Ticket lakes are often crowded and fish sizes modest.
For a number of years carpers have been looking towards France.

But is it the Carpfishers ‘Eldorado?’   What does France have to offer?

1) Access to bigger fish: Well firstly in the majority of cases there are no syndicates or waiting lists to fish the top waters. You can simply book up with a lake  or go it alone to a ticket or public lake.
Whatever you choose you’ll have access to bigger fish than the majority of lakes in the UK.
The continental climate in France gives us just that few degrees extra average temperatures, which is enough to get the carp feeding longer throughout the year. You gain on average one degree for every 100 km you travel south. Also the strains of carp stocked into France have generally been fast growing mirrors and they can reach 30lb in just 5-7 years. 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 »

Ten New Year’s Resolutions

January 19, 2010

by Gareth Watkins

1)      Get out and fish a bit more: It’s funny but the more you get involved in fishing the less time you get to get out on the banks and participate in this sport that we all enjoy so much. I read so many times on the forums young anglers wanting to get a job in angling. Most imagine that they will simply get paid to go fishing. How wrong can you be! Since first getting involved in the carp angling scene I have fished less and less over the years. My friend Shaun Harrison used to say he only got to fish two nights a week when he worked at Walkers, but now he tells me since he has set up his own business he doesn’t even get that.

I know just how he feels. Even owning my own waters, it is hard to get enough time to fish. Also when I have a full house of customers it is not possible anyway. So for 2010 I need to find a way to make a concerted effort to get out on the bank more often. Read the rest of this entry »