I Guess Winter Finally Arrived!!

February 5, 2012

It’s amazing that in one week the weather can change so radically. Just one week ago I was packing up after landing my second biggest common ever. The outside temperatures were in the 5°C and it was fairly overcast. The water temp was 6°C during that weekend. Read the rest of this entry »

Last Session for January and my Second 40lb+ Common

January 30, 2012

41lb 8oz Second January Forty

With the weather forecast announcing the arrival of a prolonged cold snap next week, I felt that I had to get back out and do a couple more nights before the cold eventually put an end to the carp’s willingness to feed in winter.

The first few days of the week had been very wet so I was waiting for a 48 hours window of fairly dry weather in which I could wet a line. I really don’t like fishing in the rain. The odd shower is okay, but constant rain I just find depressing.
So Friday dawned bright and dry with a reasonable weekend in sight, and I loaded the car to drive down to the Tortue lake.
I elected to fish the same peg (14) where I’d caught all my fish so far this year. Why change, as the fish were obviously visiting this area? I know from experience they often don’t go far in winter. The water in the lakes was a fairly uniform 6°C.

Chilling in the Hammock

I’d made up a half a dozen PVA bags the night before, filled with 5mm carp pellets and broken Proline Red Devil boilies, so getting the lines out was a very quick affair this time. I had been using Quest Baits Pineapple, as I wanted a smaller  & instant bait for winter, but having run out, I only had the lake specials to use. My hook baits were hi viz tutti fruitti pops fished snowman style. I was hoping that a fluoro bait would give me a chance in the day time, as all the fish so far, had come at night.
With the baits in place and the hammock set up I made myself some dinner.  I climbed into the sack at around 8pm. I lay there reading before eventually dozing off.
At about 5am, a couple of bleeps and a steady run, on my left hand rod, signaled that I’d had a take. The fish did nothing special before rolling into the net. At 25lb it was a nice start. I did a couple of pictures and slipped her back. Read the rest of this entry »

What’s happened to Winter?

January 3, 2012

Croix Blanche 2010: What has happened to Winter this year?

Its funny how the years pass and are so different. One year we have a heatwave in the summer and the next it’s cold and wet.
Take the Winter; this time last year we were in the north pole, we had several feet of snow. In fact it was the heaviest in living memory for most of the people in my village. The temperatures plummeted well below freezing and the lakes were solid for well over a month.

So how different it is this year. 2012 comes in with the warmest start in over 100 years. In fact 2011 was the warmest year on average since records began. We are still yet to have a significant frost…
Its strange that we don’t seem to have regular and proper seasons any more. If proof were needed 2011 is a good case study. We had a spring that was not only exceptionally dry, but the hottest on record. Temperatures were up as high as the mid thirties by mid May.

The summer then quite simply didn’t happen. After a rainy, cold July, August was barely better. The Autumn however did give us some fine and sunny weather. Read the rest of this entry »

Carp Fishing « EDC » Kit

December 14, 2010

Most of us that are into carp fishing are also into most other things ’outdoors’, hunting, camping, hiking etc. With all these activities its important to be well equipped, and in carping there is no shortage of gadgets.
Recently I’ve been looking at some of the ‘Bushcraft’ videos on Youtube by a guy called Dave Canterbury and his Pathfinder School site .He’s also doing a survival show on Discovery Channel called ‘Dual Survival’.  His Youtube site is full of good info that also has a utility for carping and camping out in general. One of the items I particularly liked was his ‘EDC’ or “Every day Carry” kit. (I guess this is a US military acronym.) It basically consists of a mountaineering ‘Carabiner’ with a selection of useful gadgets hanging from it that can be clipped onto ones belt or tackle bag. All the items are quickly and readily available at a seconds notice.

Anyway I figured this would be a really good idea for us carpers to have such a selection of kit. As I already had a large carabiner, I decided to add a few items to it to make my own EDC. This is just my own preference but naturally one can add any tools one finds useful… Read the rest of this entry »

Croix Blanche Snow Gallery 2010

December 9, 2010

Read the rest of this entry »

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 »

Coolest Carping Accessory Ever!

September 10, 2010

Well now we have all seen « Realtree », clothing, bivvies, rods..Well everything imaginable in the ubiquitous camo pattern.


Well perhaps not quite. I came across this accessory in a French tackle shop “Realtree” seat covers for my 4×4. Now as I was in the market for a set of front seat covers to help protect the upholstery from wet dog, dirty fishing clothes and all the junk I end up carrying in the car,  these Browning camo covers seemed just the ticket.

The sales blurb reads:

» Universal bucket seat cover fits most standard bucket, seats including GM seats with built in seatbelts
» High quality, heavy polyester fabric is treated for water repellency and dirt resistance
» Foam backed fabric keeps seat coller and helps it breathe in hot weather
» Browning logo on a quality woven patch is prominently displayed
» Patent Pending custom fit

Anyway I couldn’t resist them so now have a set what has to be the coolest Realtree accessory ever for my car.


Read the rest of this entry »

Five Best Fishing Vehicles!

March 7, 2010

by Gareth Watkins
Over the years I’ve had a whole range of different vehicles that I’ve used to get myself fishing. In the early days it was my parent’s cars, so whatever they had at the time, and varied from an Audio 80 to a Triumph Dolomite. Not always very practical… Since then I’ve had several different types of car and they all have advantages and disadvantages. Here then, is my choice of Carp fishing vehicles. My latest car is a Nissan Terrano, that replaced my beloved camper… the camper was great but not a practical car for working around the lakes.

Vans :
The first type I had when starting my own fishery was a small compact Renault Express van. Now in the UK the Escort Van was virtually de rigueur in carp fishing circles.. I saw so many of these. These type of vans are small, compact and carry a vast amount of gear. Only real draw back is they are two-seaters. If you have more people to carry you need to look to a larger vehicle. 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 »

Thirty Years Ago this Year…

October 11, 2009

For more info check the website: http://www.croixblanchelakes.com

by Gareth Watkins

gareth80-01Its thirty years ago this summer that I started carp fishing seriously and Oh! how things have changed since. It all really started by accident, when I landed an 11lb common while tench fishing. Sweet corn was the bait. After that I had caught a double and I was a Carp Fisher. I had a copy of ‘Quest for Carp’ by Jack Hilton on permanent loan form the local library, and we awaited eagerly every article by Rod Hutchinson and Chris Yates in magazines like ‘Angling’ and ‘Coarse Fisherman’. I enjoyed the fact that everyone on our local lake thought we were mad. Sitting behind a pair of parallel rods on buzzers for hours, that wasn’t fishing!!!
We were considered eccentric kids, trying to catch fish that were not catchable with techniques most angers at the time didn’t understand. ‘Noddies’ as we termed them, couldn’t understand why we would wait all day day for one bite. It was though ‘ A Carp Fisher thing they could’t understand’
The revelations at the time for me came in three phases. Firstly it was jointing the ‘Carp Society’ in 1981, where the first edition of ‘Carp Fisher’ contained Lenny Middleton’s article on the hair rig. This was the catalyst that had us all buzzing with excitement.
Secondly I sent off to Rod Hutchinson for his first ‘Carp Book’… another bomb that had me racing round South Wales looking for ‘Maples, Tick beans, Chick peas’ and various particles. The final piece that had us all making boiled baits was Kevin Maddocks’ ‘Carp Fever’ (My mother still remembers the smell of kit-e-kat in the kitchen). Read the rest of this entry »