Lockdown 3.0


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With the UK in another lockdown and this time fishing isn’t possible. Oh this has now changed to day fishing only, it will be a nice relief from home-schooling!  I have decided that I’m going to start posting old videos from when I started doing my blog.  Hopefully it may be funny and interesting to watch.

As we can now go for the day, I luckily I ordered so maggots and caster from Willy Worms before lockdown and nearly put them in the freezer.  But decided against that as it’s cold enough in my shed!  This was lucky and my originally plan was to going fishing this Friday and it now looks like I can!

My new adventure on a new syndicate will have to wait until lockdown is over as I feel its 23 miles too far away from my house.  In all honesty I’m feeling a lot happier that my family is all safely at home, with covid figures so high and rising by the day,  it’s the best place to be at the moment or by a peaceful stream.  We all just need to pull together on this, stick to the rules and with any luck we can enjoy our night fishing soon and even get away on holiday!

I will also see if I can find some old posts and photographs to post.

Just to give everyone something different to do/look at, until we can get back on the bank.

Richard

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New Adventure!


I got an early Christmas present! An email (early December) for a ticket on a very nice water.  It’s steeped in angler history, over the years it’s had many changes from syndicate to clubs and finally back to a syndicate.  It’s well on its way back to its former glory.  There are some absolutely stunning carp in there.  My name’s been on the list for just under 5 years, which has certainly felt like a long time coming, but it now has a closed list.

However, this isn’t the best timing for me to get offered this.  My wife is in the travel industry, which has been extremely hard hit this last year due to the pandemic (along with so many other industries).  So, with this looming over our heads, it was a real hard decision to part with the cash, oddly it took me 24 hours and lots of calls.  I managed to get it in my head that I would have been stupid to say no thanks.  So thank you folks for your help and support, I just need a push in the right direction.

I will leave the name out until my first visit.  However, I will say it’s a 24-acre gravel pit, situated in the same valley where I already fish.  This valley holds some truly amazing waters, this being in one of them.  The lake has a good head of carp with still a good number of original ones.  The current stocking program is going to be absolutely awesome in a couple of years and I’m sure that’s why the waiting list is closed.  We all know it will be one of those sort after tickets (if not already, I should say).

There is a great mixture of Mirrors & Commons from 4 strains of carp and the original stocking.  It’s full of weed and gin clear waters.

My first trip is imminent and is purely about setting foot on the bank and starting to build up a feel for the lake.  I’m not going to kid myself, it’s going to be hard going and to target one carp seems ridiculous but achievable.  It will definitely be challenging, but that’s in my blood.  Before I moved here in the mid 90’s, all the lakes I fished since I started in the 80’s, have been low stock and you were lucky to catch 7 carp a year.

I’m not going to drop my other syndicate, there is still unfinished business on the Airfield lake.  I can’t just drop after putting in so much hard work over the past years.

I’m planning my first trip on the new syndicate in early January, weather permitting, as I have a feeling it could be a hard winter this year, unfortunately it looks like Covid19 has roll the dice once again and we are all lockdown for a month or two and all new member are unable to fish until they have done there induction, these thinks happen and  I will be buzzing by then to get out onto the new water.  as my old syndicate isn’t to far away I’m hoping to get back out there soon.

Until that day

Stay safe

Richard

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Happy New Year Folks


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Happy New Year, to all my readers and followers.

Richard

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Tackle Old to New – My Journey


How it all came about for me, discovering tackle.

When I first started carp fishing seriously (most weekends and some nights), I was on a garden chair under a brolly trying to stay up as long as possible and sleeping on the ground in an old sail bag that my dad gave me. Then came the plastic sheet wrapped around the brolly and tucked under the brolly spoke to hold it in place. This didn’t last long when the wind picked up.

Things have changed so much in the chair, bedchair, brolly, bivvy front since 1981 when I started out night fishing.

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The original nash canvas bivvy was a brilliant step forward and kept you warm through the winter months. It was great fun to pack up in the wet or when a frost was about. It was like folding cardboard. Now look at what you can get, even if you are on a small budget, you can kit yourself out very well. If you’re not worried about money, then Aqua products are probably the top of the range, you have so many brands to pick from.

The same can be said about bedchairs and chairs. I started out on a garden chair and slept on the floor and progressed to an Argo’s sun lounger in bright orange! If you where lucky you could get a blue one! I use to peg my one to the ground, firstly I would dig grooves in the ground and then peg it down. Why, you ask? Simply because they were a death trap.  They would clamp and fold up on you in the middle of the night and if you where zipped up in your bag, it was pretty hard to get out.  A couple of my friends used a piece of wood with a v cut in each end to wedge the legs open, this stopped the folding up, but not the  tipping forwards or backward!  It was a great laugh fishing in those days.

They were a few more choices on reel front; Mitchell, Cardinals and the odd sea reel.  They were no way near as many as there are today.  I used the cherner method, which was just basically let the reel spin round on the take and grab it hoping to smash your knuckles on the reel handle (if it was spinning very fast).  Today you have the option of bait runner’s, fantastic front drag system for a free spool set up.

Rods – from fiberglass to carbon fibre.  It’s been an amazing journey and the development put into carp fishing alone is amazing.  We can party thank F1 & Military based technology companies for passing down the line the breakthroughs and advancements.  A little unknown fact about Century Rods is that it’s a subdivision of an armoury company in the body armour side of things (and probably more). The distances and playability of modern rods is such a leap forward.

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Once upon time, which is not so long ago, buzzers were a complete dream for me.  A few coins balanced on the spool and a tin lid for them to land on, was all we had to wake you up in the middle of the night.  Then came the Heron alarms, which at the time, I couldn’t afford.  But after a while, a few other similar ones arrived.  The Optonic was born, but you did need to listen out as they were very quiet, even with the sounder box (which had 2 ft leads), unless you made some up yourself, which generally was all that was happening in that era of fishing.  Then Dell & Kim arrived with their Optionic conversions by adding a speaker from a telephone, that’s an old fashion phone and this changed the fishing world forever.  There’s a bit more to the Delkim history.  It however, wasn’t an overnight revolution, it still took a long time for the fishing industry as we known it today to be born.  I should mention that you could also get Bamford conversions as well.  In the early 80’s & 90’s there where still only a few fishing brands, these started slowly in garages/sheds and then took the world by storm.

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Fox, Nash, Delkim, Solar – Some History

From what I can remember, the first hooks I used for carp were clearly not man enough for the job and I broke a few.  My worst recollection was 3 broken hooks in the space of a couple of hours, looking back, it’s was pretty amazing to get any takes in those days.  This did me a flavour, as I headed off to the tackle shop and got some much better ones, can’t remember what they were and they did bank me a fair few carp,

End tackle was pretty simple, size 8 swivel and mono hook links.  This was until I discovered Dacron hook links, I started running rigs and then moved on to bolt rigs, which I can’t believe didn’t kill more carp.  This was probably because the line was so poor quality, I didn’t discover hair rigs until about 1984, which is the year my carp fishing completely took over.  Previously, I was happy to catch anything even though I was doing nights but in 1984 a group of us headed off to Weybread Pits on the Norfolk Suffolk boarded and that was it.  I was completely hooked as they say and still going 35 year’s later.  How things have changed over the years.  It was a slow process and some of the tackle was pretty cheap and rubbish, but the industry learned the hard way and sometimes things just got better.  They then started to think what does the angler need and now they have moved onto comfort and well-built products.

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When I started out, you basically used what they call Arlesey bombs, which I thought at the time was a term for a large lead.  Little did I know its history.  I just remember that it was hard to find big leads and I hadn’t thought of sea leads, making my own or even getting a tackle shop to do it.  In those days Match/Sea fishing was the thing and tackle shops were not overly interested in carp fishing, let alone a young sixteen years old trying to buy carp tackle.  But now everyone knows someone that makes leads in their shed and there are so many small cottage companies leads making these days.

Not really sure which line I started out with, but I soon moved over to Slycast line black & sorrel from what I can remember.  I don’t remember having many issues with line, probably due to the lack of carp over 20lbs!  I permanently used 8lb line in those days and stepped it up a bit for pike fishing in the winter.  Over the years, there has been a dramatic change in line technology, which is brilliant.  Back in the 1980’s, line dimeter was very thick and would reduce casting agility.  Today this is one of the key points line companies are permanently endeavouring to reduce, abrasion is another key area.

Clothing back then for me was just your everyday stuff; jeans, cords, a warm coat and wellies.  Boy, did I get cold feet!  I’m sure I am paying for it now, as whatever I buy my feet are cold.  I’ve tried sketeex field boots, Baflin boots, all sorts of socks and they just don’t cut it, my first ever pair where the Boom 80 Boots.

I mostly where walking clothing these days as underlayer and them a fishing hoodie, as I have yet to find a tackle brand that combats the outdoor conditions better.  In their defence, why spend the money on development when the outdoor clothing company have already invested millions and they can’t get it right unless you buy the real top brands.  You can’t really justify that expense for the short period of time you would wear them e.g. waterproof clothing.  I suppose there must be a good brand that I just have not tried, I can’t believe the match anglers would sit out in the rain and cold without good kit.

Cooking wasn’t too bad, as camping was/is quite popular, but the kit was very chunky and I used a normal pan to cook with.  But we did eat pretty well and none of the pot noodle rubbish.  Modern stoves and cooking equipment is much more compact and a lot lighter, the Ridgemonkey toaster is brilliant and could be used for so much more than toasting sandwiches.  I’ve warmed up baked potatoes, omelettes, chilli, the list is pretty endless and I am sure most anglers may eat better than they do at home, but don’t tell the wife.

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Wheelbarrows, where clearly not an option.  I first started out with an old style pram with the baby carriage removed, I then chopped down a barrow and just used the frame.  I was quite lucky on one lakes I fished for a few years, I could park behind all the swims.  Then carp porters arrived, which changed the amount of tackle you could take.  The downside of a booming tackle business was more and more tackle started to get stolen, this was a real shame.  You need to get your tackle from the car to the swim in one go and for the older or disabled angler’s there are even motorized ones, which I am sure I will end up with.

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How and why it I started Carp Fishing

The moment that I discovered the true power and of coarse one of the pivotal moments was fishing Llandroed Wells carp lake back in the late 70s.  My parents dropped me off there for the day and went walking for the day.  I bagged a few bream and was very happy and then I hooked a carp.  I had no idea it was a carp.  I had it on a size 16 hook and even the tackle I was using was very old at the time.  I had it on for what felt like a life time and I so nearly got it in the net.  When I say net it, I’d worked out there was clearly no way it was going in there.  So I did my best to get it in the keep net, but it was not meant to be and my recollection has faded but I reckon I still could find the swim as I can clearly picture the swim.  That day carp were topping everywhere, I can distinctly remember that and how it changed me.  There is another incident that I so nearly caught my first carp that sticks in my mind forever.  It was on a farm near Framingham in Suffolk, there were 3 small ponds and used to love fishing on them after the crucian carp.  One day, I fancied giving the small one a go, which had one swim and was surrounded by reeds.  I hooked this fish and spent another life time getting out of one set of reeds, only for it to charge off into the other set.  It then finally shed the hook, without even an attempt to get it in the net. But the seed was sown.

First Carp

Latest Carp

I moved on to other small lakes until I started work and joined GAPS.  I took the first week of the session off back in 1981 and by chance had a conversation with someone in a office I had visited.  He suggested that why don’t I fish the night, I was only ledgering at night and float fishing in daylight hours and started to enjoy Tench fishing.  I did most nights when I could and even made up my own boilie mixture at home.  To my amazement I had a few bites that snapped the hook, little did I know at the time these were carp.

One particular night, one of the more friendly carp anglers spent a good two hours talking to me about my fishing and if I tried carp fishing.  He explained, firstly I would catch more tench which I loved and secondly there was a good chance of a carp.  As I was doing night’s it would make sense and so it began.

Until next time

Richard

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Trip 67 Carp Fishing – 2020


Location – Meadow Lake

Hours Fished – 48 Hours

 

This is it folks!  My last trip of 2020 and the last on Meadow Lake for some months.  I start a new adventure on a new syndicate for 2021 and I’m seriously looking forward to that.  It’s not going to be easy but more about that on the future.

I had in mind going back into the same swim but you never know with the weekend before Christmas whose been on there and the weather being considerably warmer – how many!  The rain over the past 48 hours has been particularly tropical storm like and the angler pressure was extreme this weekend.  Which I’m sure put the carp back into their sanctuary areas.  Here comes the hard part and a big gamble on my part.  Will the carp will find their feet again over the next few nights?  Will they venture back to where I picked them up from in my last trip?

This was my plan.  The pressure will go up and down some what and the chances of rain is pretty high.  I don’t believe it’s going to be easy for these few day’s, but it’s generally still very mild.

Night – 1

I decided that my best option was to be using single hook baits again.  If there are any signs of carp, then I will start putting bait out.  After my last trip there is no sense in over doing it.

The first night past by with a what felt like a tropical storm and not much sleep.  I did manage to drop off in the early hours  and I slept until just before 1000.  It was a tad later then normal, however I did need the sleep.  It was impossible to hear anything out there with the rain and rain raging.  I’m still sticking to the single hook baits and may just leave them out there until tomorrow.  We shall see.

I decided that after last week’s near miss with calling out the AA (that is a story for another day) and despite the garage finding the power drain, you’re always on edge for a few weeks.  I reeled in and took a slow drive around the lake, looking in all the snags etc for any signs of carp.  But alas nothing was spotted.  There was another belt of heavy rain and wind due this afternoon, this is the only downside of this milder weather.  I had fresh 12mm white Catalyst pop ups on and got the baits bang on target first time.  I now hope the heavy would arrive sooner to give me a chance of a take tonight or first thing tomorrow morning.

With the weather conditions looking favourable for tomorrow, there’s certainly every chance of a carp.

Night- 2

This was still windy but it didn’t last all night long and the rain was light drizzle.  This gave me a lot of hope for a good chance of a bite in the early hours.  Unfortunately, it was not so.  This was a real shame, as something was over my rods this morning, however not sure if it was carp or bream.

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I decided on a number of counts to head home, 1) the weather conditions were looking rough tomorrow morning, 2) the number of anglers had increased, 3) I’d not seen anything worth saying it was a carp showing and 4) I did fancy getting Christmas underway with the family.  With this in mind, I was soon back home after a quick pack up and a chat with a couple fellow member to wish them well for Christmas.

 

Until next time

Stay safe

Richard

P.s.

Which will be next year and with a new adventure underway.

 

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Trip 66 Carp Fishing – 2020


Location – Meadow Lake

Hours Fished – 95 Hours

When I come home from my last session I always start to plan for my next.  With this in mind, I spotted a wet, warmer front was due to arrive over Saturday night (today is Monday).  I wanted to do my last long trip of the year, so was looking at arriving Sunday.  But first, I need to get all my gardening jobs done and get the car in the garage on Wednesday.  It was full on for the next 3 days – not very pleasant I must say, but I just knew I needed to be on the lake.  If the weather was going to continue (until Christmas) in this vein, I just had to be set up on Sunday to give me the best opportunity of a bite.  If I’m lucky then I may get a second bite of the apple.

I arrived down the lake just as the last of the weekend anglers were packing away.  I took a slow drive around the venue and looked in a couple of swims.  I then had a quick chat with the lads packing up and it was still sounding pretty bleak on the carp front, I just hope the weather does the trick.

I continued my look about and couldn’t make my mind up, but there is something about the Gap Swim and the amount of water that it commands which draws me back here time and again.  I believe it’s an area the carp love and is very well placed in the middle of the lake.

There is an area, I’ve yet to map with my Deeper.  In all honesty, I’m not bothered, as it would be silly putting a bait on that area anyway.  Too much of a chance of losing them.

With my choice made, I quickly set up the bivvy and got the kit mostly sorted on the dry.  I’d been studying the weather conditions and waiting for a gap in the rain, I’d made sure I left home to arrive just before it arrived.  I was pretty much spot on.  Luckily, the heavy rain wasn’t due back until dusk time, this did help a lot and gave me more time to look about and set up.

I was going to be putting out quite a bit of bait, but only chopped boilies and particle as before.

I just wanted to get a lot of attraction into the swim – in the way of small items of food.  This is in the hope of attracting their attention and hopefully holding them there.  Once I’d had a bite, I would introduce 12mm boilies to build the swim up and my catch rate.  That’s the plan, now I need to put it into action.

Night – 1

It was a lot more wet and windy than I anticipated!  Today’s forecast is a lot less rain than previous advised with only the odd shower.  The S/W wind will still be blowing strong, day temperatures of 11+c and night time 7+ c.  It’s certainly amazing for this time of the year and the pressure is still below 1000mbs, these fish are definitely due to get on the munch!

We had a bit of fun with a swan or 3 this morning.  I didn’t realise there were 3 swans on this lake!  One of them was feeding with its head down to the right of me, the other 2 appeared around the corner, the swan to my right charged off to the left and ploughed through both my lines regardless of the chaos left in it’s wake!  I rushed out and tried to pick one rod up, stick the tip under water asap (to get the line under the swan) and this was all still going on as the other 2 swans chased the other one.  Once the line was free, I grabbed the other rod that was still screaming off and stuck this tip under the water and the last line was free, so it was now time to sort the mess out.  I reeled both rods in and then sorted the pod out – so that the rod tips were under the water.

I now had two fresh baits on and was now planning on leaving the baits out until tomorrow morning – unless a take came my way.  I topped up the swim with another 10 large spombs, to keep a supply of bait going in, I’m sure the smaller items are being picked up by small fry, etc.

Night – 2

This started with a single bleep and just after 8pm, a fish crashed out on open water.  I was up at 3 am listening out for them and heard another 2 crashes out in the open water again.  This was definitely a good sign and I was wishing for a buzzer to burst into life.  That wasn’t to be, as the sun popped over the trees at first light this morning, we will have to see how the day goes.

If no plan of moving swim as I’m still convinced that I’m in the best area, with the best possibility of a carp.

Just after 0930, the bobbin on the right rod gave a few bleeps, pull up, then dropped down again and bleeps again when I’m on my way to the rods.  Yes, you guested it, it’s a bream, but a sign (of sorts) that something is feeding out there.

I recast the rod, just as Ian turned up to join me for the day with his pike rods.  No joy for him but it was a nice chance to catch up before Christmas.  I’d topped up the swim at just after 1300 and after seeing carp this morning, my confidence was building at the days progressed.  There was rain due tomorrow daytime, but the nights were pretty much rain free and a fair chance of a bite.

We shall see how the third night goes.  There are now 5 anglers on the lake, which I’m hoping will also get the carp moving about and away from there hideaways.

Night – 3

I was up early this morning and just in time to catch the sunrise.  This is before the rain arrived for most if the day.

I spotted a couple of carp topping extremely close to my spots and was sitting on the edge of my seat for the next few hours.

The rain arrived just after 0900 and continued all day long.  I was bivvy bound until just after 1530.  I spotted a couple more carp show at range, beyond my spot and I knew want I had to do.  I put on a 12 mm Catalyst white pop and wrapped out 30 on my sticks.  Once the rain completely stopped the lake, it was like a mill pond and it was time to get that rod out.

Night – 4

Bang on 2130 this rod belted off with a not so happy carp.  It found a dying weed bed for a few moments and then was off again, it felt like a life time but the fish was finally in my margins.  I just needed to play the carp out and slip it into the Nsr.  I was home dry and could breath a big sigh.

25 lb 7 oz Common

Perfect, after all my hard work over the past few days and with the rod back on the spot it was time to reflect, write my blog and look over the other photographs.

I awoke to a stunning sunny morning and feeling very happy with my result from last night.  Just before 0900, the same rod rattled off into the distance and another long battle ensued, with a close call with the left hand margin snags.

Safely in the Nsr50 and very happy with that.

22lb 11oz Common

Both caught on white 12mm Catalyst pop ups.

Simple but effective.  It fills me with a great deal of confidence for my last trip of 2020 next week.  I’ve picked up a small gardening job this afternoon, so it’s time to pack up and head home on a high note.

Until next time

Stay safe

Richard

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How I write


I’m sure most of you wonder if I write my blogs about each trip, at home after the session or as the trip progresses?

I love to write at the moment of the session.  I think this brings out a better picture of the way I’m thinking at the time and how the trip is progressing and my emotions at the time.  This particularly works well after catching a fish.  I’m still high on the emotion of catching or the polar opposite if I’ve just lost one.  Hopefully, you get that feeling as well.  It can be hard work doing this and time consuming, but I think it also helps my fishing.  As I write, I’m also thinking of the events and how I could have improved my chances of catching a fish and where I went wrong if I lost one or blanked.  You get a better understanding of why and how you’re catching, along with taking way too many photographs.  I have to sit back and focus on fishing. I sometimes I get drawn into writing too much!

I hope this helps to give you an understanding of how and when I write.

Until next time

Richard

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Booster Sprays


Booster Sprays are a concentrated flavour to really give your hookbait that extra pulling power. Spray it onto your hookbait, PVA bag, ground bait or zigs to create a halo of attraction which starts kicking off the moment it hits the water. Especially good in colder conditions when you can’t introduce loads of bait but need that little extra focus on your Hookbait.
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Merry Christmas


Merry Christmas to all my readers and followers. Enjoy

Richard

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Catalyst Range


With carp 🐟 slowing down and grouping up in lakes all over the country it’s even more imperative to have a palatable bait in the cold water. Catalyst is a genuine year-round boilie that kicks out attraction even in the lowest water temps. Is it time you found your #catalyst? #spottedfin #fishingfromeveryangle #carpfishing #carp #fishing #angling
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