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 »
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.
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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:
BROWNING: UNIVERSAL SEAT COVER
» 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.
After what is now three decades of carp fishing, my attention towards other species has been .. well nil. Carp have occupied the whole of my fishing time since I caught the first one as a boy while targeting tench.
Recently on the video shoot for catfish I decided to pass some of the time between filming float fishing for some of the huge coarse fish that the Croix Blanche Lakes hold. I settled in to peg 15 armed with my trusty antique Bruce and Walker 13ft XLS glass float rod, some scalded carp pellet and three tins of sweet corn.
Ron Woodward who was fishing for the cats for our film had told me that he’d seen lots of bubblers in the swim so I was confident that I might catch a couple. Well the float bobbed and dipped as it was attacked by hoards of small rudd on the surface, before gliding away. I struck into a powerhouse of a fish that I took to be a tench at first. As it came to the net I could see it was one of the lake’s big crucian carp. It only just fitted into my newly acquired pan landing net. And what a fish it was tipping the scales at over 6lb. I carried the net round to Ron and Jeff proud of my new PB crucian. Both were suitably impressed but doubted it could weigh over six pounds. So I zeroed up Ron’s sling and grabbed his Reubens to check the weight more exactly. 6lb 12oz was the weight the scales gave. Read the rest of this entry »
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.
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 »
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 »