There’s been some stunning sunrise this week.
There’s been some stunning sunrise this week.
The syndicate where I’ve fished for the past 5 years, I have been hunting the unknown carp. This is what I enjoy the most and get the most reward from. It is a 64-acre gravel pit, which was in fact 3 lakes once and now has channels connecting them.
It has its own particular challenges, it has a lot of history as it was once an airfield and still has it’s original control tower! Albeit a bit run down.
It even featured in a propaganda film starring David Niven. It was then dug out for its gravel, filled with blitz rubble and then dug for yet more gravel and then sort of landscaped into 3 separate lakes. A water company then joined them all together with a channel. It was finally run as a fish farm, until the overpopulation of carp destroyed nearly all the natural food sources, at this point they removed most of the stock but left a few lumps in there. It then had a restocking program from an adjacent water. I bet you can agree that it has had an interesting past and no one has any real idea what’s in there!
There is no maintenance on there, it’s just left to run wild and the anglers fit in around the wildness of the lake. Which is how I like it. I’m not a fan of manicured waters, where you feel you are fishing someone’s back garden.
There are a few issues to contend with, but this adds to the adventure of searching for these unknown carp. Firstly, it’s only open 6 and a half months each year from mid-March to the end of September. Secondly, the carp spawn extremely early, sometimes around the 1st of May. This year it was just before, this is due to them being partly an Austria strain of carp and a high proportion of the lake is only just over 3ft deep. So the lake soon warms up in those warm Spring days.
Prior to the carp spawning, it’s pretty easy to track down the larger residents. In reality, you only get the April to catch them, once they start spawning – which can last on and off for all of May (which is pretty frustrating). Then the small carp appear and just take over the place, you catch the odd one beforehand, but they just go crazy. It then becomes a battle of wills to keep on going through this carp, until you bag a lump.
There are also considerable amounts of out of bounds areas – mostly the West Bank. It is also pretty much unusable by casting, so there is a 2-acre area that you can’t get a bite into.
All this adds up to an incredibly challenging water, which I’m utterly obsessed with. It contains some huge carp, yet to be captured and my adventure will continue for a few more years I’m sure. Normally, I’m only on a water for about 5 years before it’s time to move on as I have caught what I was after. I also get bored of the view and need a change in scenery. I can’t see this happening for some time as the six months on-off routine keeps the enthusiasm going and some years I’ve not even fished a particular area or lake, as I have broken them down to their original 3 lake structure. Even though they are just one giant lake, joined by channels which contain 7 islands, 2 of which you can fish off.
Oddly there is no real angler pressure; mostly due to the other lake, which comes with the ticket. It’s a lot smaller and stocked with a greater number of larger carp and none of the 10 pounders that plague you for most of the season.
I can’t get enough of this place and can’t wait for another season to kick in this year and maybe one of the monsters that I’ve spotted a few time way out by the island that is completely uncastable even for the boys that can blast them out, one day it will grave my net and it could well be this year.
Until next time
Out with Spotted Fin for 4 night’s on Embryo North Bank lake near Peterborough.
Its going to be a great few day’s and the weather is looking good and we should catch a few carp along the way.
As it was World Mental Health Day
I thought I would share how I believe fishing has helped me get through all the years of suffering and into many more.
My depression started, way back when I had no idea what was going on. It is only in the past twenty years when the illness has been brought out into the open and less of a stigma attached to it.
Unfortunately, there is still a vast gap between people who suffer and people who don’t. There is just no real way to explain that one second I can be perfectly ok and the next unbelievably sad and wishing I could burst out crying. Which in a nutshell, is how I have lived my life for decades, there is no trigger that I can spot.
I was prescribed medication a good number of years ago and took them for about a year when things were really bad. But after reading lots about the long time side effect, I discided this was not the way forward for me and I just have to deal with this down moments in time my own way.
What I (and my wife) noticed it never happened when I was fishing. In some ways, I thought was odd, as I generally fish alone and have done for many years. I think we fish better like this; don’t get me wrong, you can see from my blogs over the years I have started to fish more, with other people. I often wondered whether it was due to having fewer things going on. Which can’t really be the case, when you consider how much time I have spent by myself before I took redundancy. Work was so full-on, over 12 hrs a day and my mind was occupied with work 24/7, it still would kick in but a lot less. However, over the past 4 winters, since finishing my shipping days and doing gardening now, the Winter months have become less active for both work and fishing. There is a clear difference between the weeks where I can fish and the weeks I can’t. I have come to realize that fishing is definitely my happy place or it could be just getting out into the countryside and the freedom of it all. For me it’s the best therapy there is and I’m not sure where I would be without fishing. There has been the odd time where I just could not get out of bed, but I found that I just had to go and tell myself, just go for a walk around the lake. Inevitably, I would stay and fish, probably not to the best of my ability, however, I was out there. It also goes without saying that my wife & family have been so understanding and letting me out in the bank all these years.
I have also found that it’s a great satisfaction for seeing my friends catch carp – it must be the emotion of the moment which rubs off on me. I get a great sense of well being.
I do hope this helps people and maybe, it’s worth taking up fishing of some sort. It may just turn out to be the best therapy you can ever get.
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Built from the same base mix and liquids as the Catalyst boilies, formatted into a package that breaks down quickly even in cold water temperatures.
Sticky and easy to mould but surprisingly quick to breakdown around your hookbait or lead or whatever you choose to wrap it around, this no compromise product sends out The Catalyst attractor signals into the water column whilst also providing a key food source for the Carp.
After rearranging my gardening jobs for the beginning of this week, a number of disasters on the technology front (my laptop hard drive giving up with a horrible clicking noise, the printer refusing to print black, the DAB radio at home also stopping and then discovering that the drive saving my work decided it was a good idea to stop saving stuff after the middle of June this year), this week has been some what of a challenge and I need some bank time before a lot of family goings on at the weekend.
I headed to the same area as last week for two reasons; 1 – I really needed some quiet time and 2 – The wind was due to pick up again and push down this end of the lake. I was a bit apprehensive at first as the lake was flat calm. But, as I drove down the track, I spotted some bubblers out there, which I thought were in front of the swim I fished last session. I grabbed my bucket and headed off, only to find that they were directly in front of the first swim. So, I headed back to the car, grabbed the kit I needed, flicked 2 rods out, put them on the floor and sat back and ate my lunch. I heard a couple of fish in the bay behind me, I snuck through the brambles only to find a couple of carp.
Their heads were down feeding and then a couple crashed out, one by the island and the other by the reeds. My choice was definitely decided now, once 2 pm arrived and I was sure the morning feeding spell was over, I got the marker float to confirm the location of a couple of spots and how shallow the surrounding humps where. One was particularly bad and I was going have to stay away from that one and fish shorter, with heavier line, in order to avoid any chance of the line parting, when playing a fish. Ian had had this issue last week and had ordered some new line, hopefully to combat this problem.
With a couple of spots sorted out, I set about spombing some 15mm Classic Corn boilies out there and a few spombs of Sf Sf Coarse pellets soaked in some GO2 Naturals Coriander and Fenugreek Bait Sauce, this is just a awesome combination. With that all sorted, it was definitely time for a drink and watching the evening come to a close.
The night was a non event, this is starting to become a bit more common on here, hopefully the morning feeding spell will get me the result I’m after, but the wind has died away and we have a lovely misty morning.
It was incredible to watching the morning develop, as the sun rose over the new forest.
My first take finally arrived (nearly 24 hours since I arrived) on the left hand rod, it ripped off out to the middle of the lake and broke the surface as it went over a bar. I stayed on the bank and held the rod as high as possible to avoid any boulders that were out there. I gained control and gently coaxed the carp back to the bank, desperately trying to avoid it kiting right, as there was so much line out, if it went that way I would be in trouble with the dead tree down the right hand margin. It stuck to open water and slowly headed to my left, which has its own boulder issue and shallow bars, it finally arrived in front of me and I was very happy. I slowly played the carp out, it rolled on the surface and it was a mirror, this was a nice surprise and put the pressure on a bit. With a few more attempts to get back out into the open water a couple of times, but it was soon over and safely in my Nsr50.
It was another middle of the day take, which was nice to see and there is definitely a feeding pattern building up over the last few seasons on there.
I got the rod back out on the spot and as I had now stopped thinking about moving swim, but with the wind picking up and the cloud cover coming back, this swim was feeling like the right place to be. Unfortunately, with this lake, there are no trees to climb up and look for the carp. Also, with the water colour being very murky, the carp just don’t show anymore and I’m sure when they did, they were on the move, not your usual way you would like to fish.
I was awoken by my second take at about 7 am, this was a lovely slow take with the line ticking off the reel. I picked the rod up and pulled into the fish as the line tighten up. It woke up then and belted off to my left, I walked back a bit to get my height, as I see it was heading to the right. I started to pump the carp in, ping it found that boulder that’s out there and the hook was out. I had that sinking feeling you get when it turns into what could of been.
Its now 8 am, the rod is back out there and hopefully another chance will come my way this morning before back up time.
With everything done and packed up, with the exception of the rods by 1130. I was still hopefully for that 1230 take, is happening quite a bit these days. Its going to be a 1 pm reel in, head home and out for a BBQ by 3 pm, pushing it to the limit, as we anglers do.
Until next time
GO2 wafters are the perfect for use on methods, hybrids and bombs. With an element of buoyancy they negate the weight of the hook meaning the bait is the first thing to fly back into the fishes mouth. Not only are they great for carp and F1s but are a great ‘alternative’ hookbait when targeting big bream!
“This bait is made with the finest Blackcurrant flavour and with the legendary carp catching Buchu essential oil, it is a veritable carp magnet. It will stimulate the carps olfactory system in a profound way. With added N-butyric and Betaine.”
Read my latest article in Talking Carp Magazine this month.
The magazine is full of great articles from well known anglers.
See you next month