Stalking can be difficult at times!

Thursday saw me stalking once again, but conditions were really difficult. Wind, cloud, intermittent rain, and low light conditions, but oddly I did find some fish, and at one time thought I’d catch one. A little corner on one the pits has some extensive snags, I believe now that this is the home of some of the lakes carp. They seem to be around this area most times I visit, but it’s not where they feed, even though I tried to tempt them into it. I baited lightly with some crushed Krill boilies, corn, and the odd tiger nut, those fish were interested, but not one would drop down and feed. From my elevated position, I could watch the carp swim over the bait constantly during the day, but the swimming was quick and nervous, as if they wanted the food gone from that place.

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Nothing much is being caught on the lakes despite much angling pressure. It’s funny to watch, when someone leaves in the morning having fished maybe a night or two, then in the afternoon someone else drops in the same swim, for another few night. Not-one angler I’ve seen, just casts out a single hook bait, just to see. They all just pile it in, knowing they are staying a night or two. I find that odd, as just thinking about it would it not make sense to think one fish at a time, after all why put bait in when the fish could be on the bait from a few days ago? Longer term anglers often say the fish come on the second or third days after heavy baiting. I expect they see older bait as safe perhaps it’s been inspected several times, maybe even tested?

 

Doing just days sessions as I am, I see this coming and going all the time, maybe more than most doing longer stints. Everyone seems to talk to me, knowing I’m just stalking the edges. They tell me all about the lakes, the contours and fish they have seen, I’m loving this stalking lark.

Anyway, I did a fair amount of walking again (very good for my recovery) and watching carp is always interesting. The spots I bait from the week before are always cleaned off, this could be water birds, swans, or maybe great big carp? Once it gets cooler, I plan to bait some difficult to get in spots with boilies every week. Trying to build up a few well baited areas the fish will visit regularly to feed in confidence. I’d be happy not to fish them for several weeks. However, there really is a lot of bait that goes into the pits on a daily basis, so adding to it could not work! I’ll see in a few weeks just how busy the place is, then decided about the pre-baiting plan?

I only got to fish the one day this week, with a hospital appointment and my dearest wife being away for a few days. I’ve a cunning little plan for my next trips, so stay tuned and see whats going on. I really must get a fish soon, it’s been four trips without, and the landing nets a bit dry right now!

Oh yes, I’ve brought a nice little tea making kit (mini gas stove, gas bottle, cup and real tea) so I can have a fresh cuppa rather than out of the old flask. The flask is fine when you have nothing better, but nothing beats real tea made fresh. Also, the break gives you time to re-think your plan if it’s not working. I’ve seen a little toasty maker for cheese toasted between to slices, cheap too. Maybe I’ll treat myself soon.

A1 Pits carp fishing.

IMGP0378If you haven’t been to these pits, I’ll tell you a little about them. Six pits ranging from about an acre in size to the biggest often referred to as the Ocean. All contain carp to around 40lb+ and you can fish them for the price of a day ticket, night fish too. All are deep even in the margins, and the carp are very well fished for in all the pits. It’s rare the  pits are not full of anglers so popular is this place.

Currently its very weedy in all of the pits and making the fishing difficult, we’ll getting the fish out when weeded, I should say! One chap on Facebook is getting fish weeded up almost every hour, and calling others for help, di-k head.

I fished pit three and found it not too busy, but the weed was difficult. A small carp and tench was my reward, you have to think outside the box when it’s like this, and fish a bit differently to others. I fished a very light chod with an ounce lead on-top of the weed, maybe a foot down. Well, it seemed to work, twice anyway, a few baits spread on top where some would sink others hang in the weed, just where the fish were hiding out. A few carp would bosh out from time to time, but not enough to move on. I packed at dusk, as the day ticket is justs for that, the day.

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Day two.

My next trip was for a two day stint, going home between trips, as a bed chair is simply a no-no for my back these days. I chose to have the days simply stalking and getting to know the pits in a bit more detail. Pits one and two were challenged the first day, but rain, dull conditions, along with a 20 mph wind made sure carp spotting was very difficult. It’s really the wrong time of year to start stalking, the summer months of high clouds, windless days and hot conditions are better suited. But if you gain anything about me from this blog, you will know I’m anything but conventional! I may even stalk right through the winter months until spring is around. It just has to remain a mild winter and who knows? It was a much better day today, less wind and only thin cloud keeping out a decent warm sun. Not fish basking weather, but nice, only a short rain spell spoilt the other wise decent day.

I found several fish in some snags at the bottom of one of the lakes. They were big fish too, some over twenty pounds. Where I had scattered some baits the day before was now a clear patch, as all the bait had gone. This patch in the margin was just a rod length form the snags, so I’d guess those fish were the culprits. I scattered some more bait, pellets and chopped boilies on the spot as carefully as I could, then walked off for another tour round the lakes. I was surprised not to find more carp in the edge, as it was fairly free of another anglers. But I’m learning about the place on every lap, plus the other anglers seem very helpful when they know you’re simply stalking. A few fish had been caught during the night they told me, making me think night stalking could be fun, if only I could stay awake long enough, Ha! I do love my bed!!

I returned to the little patch by the snags during the afternoon, but the fish were still in the snags. Maybe they had enough food, or they had seen me approach. I sat and watched for about an hour, the fish milling around moving towards the baits, then disappearing again, only to re-appear in the snags. It seemed they could cross the divide without me seeing them. The water being just too deep to make them out, until they moved over the clear patch, or in the snags again.

As I’d not seen any carp on my travels, plus I was completely knackered after hours of walking, I decided to fish it anyway. A pair of small tiger nuts fished KD style on a size six curved hook, was attached to a supple hook link and swung into place. The 3oz lead was changed to a 1oz to reduce the splash, but it still landed like a brick on entry.  Behind the lead I had a soft sinking leader about 6/7 foot long from Nash, this sinks really well and allows you to lay the line along the bottom out of sight. But after maybe 30 minutes it was clear the fish had moved off, out of the snags from the other side. Next visit I’ll investigate where they come in and leave, then maybe I could trap them at both ends, depending on what they’re doing?

Now we are into September the gates close at 7pm, so I was packed and home in-time to watch a bit of TV with the Mrs., Boy did I sleep that night, and next day my body felt like I’d run a marathon. But it’s what I need to help get over the Cancer the Consultant tell me. Only got the one day next week, but I’m really into this stalking now, what a rush.

 

Flipping.

I’m flipping about right now, one place to the next with no real plan, and I hate it. The reservoir fish are playing dead, no-one is catching and the water is full of an algae bloom. While I mentioned this was a good thing because it was killing off some of the weed, plenty is still about if my last trip was anything to go by.

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I simply hate flipping?

I arrived just after lunch, the Misses needing the car for the morning shopping. I fell in the spot I’d been fishing and baiting previously, it seemed a good bet because a fish boshed out in front of me at 100 yards plus as I was setting up. Out with a chod type rig some 90-100 yards in the right direction. It sat there until I packed in the dark, when I pulled back a ton of weed around the rig, I doubt the fish even saw the pop-up. Feeling for a drop at 100 yards is something I’ve not yet gotten the skills for! The other rod was on a cleanish spot some 40-50 yards range with a slow wafter on with a long hook link of nylon, well you have to try something don’t you? Must have spooked the fish on arrival, as nothing happened during the seven hours fishing. Speaking to one chap that in the past has caught, toelling me it was really slow, and felt October would be the first real chance we would have, when the fish were beefing up for winter.

So I’m planning a trip this week to a local venue we’ll know as A1 pits. They have six lakes all with a decent head of fish, some very large indeed. I’ll be on one of the smaller lakes in the hope of just one bite. As usual I will keep you all posted?

Algae solves weed problem, well almost!

My trip back to the lake was really interesting. A decent wind was blowing, and the sun was constantly in and out of low lying cloud, so I was expecting/hoping to see some fish boshing about. I’d taken a rod with me to test various areas for weed, in the hope it had died back a bit with the heavy algae bloom. I was partly correct, the water was still cloudy and you could see the suspended algae in the water, visibility was down to around three feet. Some blooms can be really thick and dangerous, both to humans and dogs that swim in it.

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During a long slow walk around the lake nothing moved, the wind on this water is really odd. It seems to funnel down a valley and you can never be sure (until you arrive) what direction it would be, today due to the bank configuration it was pushing in three different directions! Only three people were fishing and none had seen any activity of any kind. I stuck on a three ounce dumpy lead and immediately found a nice clear area some 9/10 wraps out near the car park. It was maybe the size of a half a tennis court, any weed was short and well fishable with a pop-up or PVA bag. However it was not like this all around the lake, some places were still very heavy weeded, but not as high as before, maybe 12”/15” but thick, so some form of fishing would be possible?

This clearer area made me think. Just before I pulled off the lake last time I’d watched one guy spodding and area from the ‘dug out’ or ‘tench swim’ as we call it. I was in a line over the other side of the lake and marked just where I thought his bait could be going, ( as any sneaky bugger would do) a little step in the bank give me a mark to focus on. He spodded for what seemed like hours, only to pack up early. Now maybe he had a plan to come back, but I didn’t see him next day so really wondered about it. Now suppose he was coming back and doing it again from that same swim, from the place I’d plumbed (the little step in the bank mentioned before) I could easy reach that area, as it was around a 10 wrap cast for me. Possibly he had been baiting there, but pulled off due to the weed, or lack of fish. Or maybe he could only fish at weekends, either way, that spot was clearer than the rest of the lake I’d plumbed and I was about to take advantage of it. I would not be fishing his baited swim, I’d be at a different angle and some hundred meters from his swim. Had he been fishing with pellet or particle, it would keep the fish busy for days that amount of food each time.

Anyway I baited with boilies (mixed sizes) about a kilo spread all over the area, I did not want a patch, but wanted any fish searching about for food. That way I could get away with a slightly longer hook-link,  PVA bag, or simple pop-up well off the bottom, as this area still had some low lying chod on the bottom. I can’t get in the morning, so will try the afternoon and evening tomorrow, if nothing else it will give me another chance to pre-bait. But for the rest of the week, I’ll give some early mornings a try as evenings have not been over productive in the past. Not that I’ve really given it a proper try before, so must not pre-judge the situation from just a few blank trips.

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Think I’ll start off with PVA bags, still baiting with boilies, and some plastic corn as hook bait. If the fish are looking for food, a one mouthful of mixed pellet should pull them down where they will find a nice pile of grub, and my hook bait. Sounds like a cunning plan to me? Another thing of interest is most of the 30/40 swans have gone? Lake of food maybe now the weeds dying back? Who knows, but it’s a good thing for anglers anyway they dig up so much of the weed, and then it floats off all over the place.

A fish at last.

IMGP0710Not the best picture of me, but at least the carp is a handsome fellow, don’t you agree? I really must smile or get with the somber carp anglers look?

It finally came at the end of a prolonged baiting campaign over two weeks, resulting in one lost carp and this little fellow. While a short fish, it really was fat, easy a double around 12lb. I’m really pleased I finally managed a fish from the river, but really am itching to get back to the lake, and see how the weed it. A friend told me the place had an algae bloom, so that might have killed off some of the weed by blocking the sun-light from the water? So next week I’m going back for a look around. I’ll take a maker rod, and bait, if the weed is better I’ll be back for the rest of the season. A REALLY BIG carp would help me get back only feet so to speak. The lake has always been a “Holy Grail” for me so difficult have I found the fishing. Only time will tell now, I’ll keep you posted as I’m visiting some time today for a look around.

Structure and river carp.

Everyone I’ve spoken to that know anything about river carp all say the same, find some structure and that will be where the carp are. I knew that, but it’s good to have that reaffirmed. Most of the Trent has overhanging trees, a great feature, but with so many where do you start. Well, I’m guessing slack areas are gold too. It’s a place carp can rest, sun, and not have to move about, surly it must be a good holding area, do they feed there, I honestly don’t know? In a flood it must be a waiting area surly?

So yesterday we, my wife and I with fishing dog Daisy took a long walk along the Trent looking for just such an area. Think about it, to have slacks you must have bends, the steeper the better. However much of the Trent has gradual bends, so we had to walk a long way. Even Daisy was done when we got home, but it did us all good, and eventually we found what we were looking for, a nice long slack area.

Its worth mentioning, I’m feeling a lot better now the Doctors have told me my operation was successful, and the cancer is gone. You can never say 100% with cancer, but my blood count was almost normal, wow.

The slack is on a peaceful part of the river, away from the carp park and busy swims. It’s about 50 yards long, and the same distance between swims. If anyone gets below me where the water speeds up, the disturbance would be minimal. (I’m conscious that noise matters to river carp, as your fishing in the near side margin.) Better still the bank-side is full of Reed-mace, willow and proper Bull-rush, no place can you get in, so it’s very overgrown. All the river here has European white lilies, growing up to 6′ from the bottom. I don’t agree with lead dropping for environment reasons, so I’ll use a small lead, less than 2oz if I can get away with it. But if the rain continues I may not have any choice.

Saying that, with the recent rain the river was coloured up a foot, so the swim could not be seen at the right level tonight. Even so I baited with a kilo of mix boilies and about the same with all size pellet, from 2mm up to 10mm, hoping some fish will find this and encourage the carp in. Pellet will attract bream and I don’t know anything of the carp numbers on this part of the river, (I did ask the bailiff and he told me a 20lb had been caught last season, and a good double this year ) so I’m taking a chance. But bream will cloud up the bottom feeding on small pellet, that should attract carp. There is a lot of IF’S there, I know, but as mentioned earlier this is an adventure, we really know little about the carp in the Trent in this part?

Tuesday.  So my first evening was mostly uneventful apart from the bream, several of them to 8lb. They found the pre-bait irresistible keeping the bobbins going crazy as it got towards dark. Lots of line bites too up and down, very tiring.

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Bream City.

This part of the river is peaceful and full of wildlife, birds like the dazzling male Reed bunting and his dowdy female mate. Long tails tits, always in a large group I counted 16 individuals in this family. Then as it got almost dark, a stunning singing bird started up I honestly don’t know what it was, but it was wondrous.

40819379752_5b639138fc_bFemale Reed Bunting.

Common_reed_bunting_(emberiza_schoeniclus)_mMale Reed Bunting.

The rain persisted most of the evening into dark, it seemed to stir the Rivers barbel as several rolled in the faster water on the opposite bank. Funny isn’t it, when you’re looking to find barbel they never roll, tonight after carp, they’re sending me postcards.

I baited heavily again, then packed up in the dark and drive home. A hot cup of tea was waiting me as the Misses was just going to bed, having made her own Coco. We sat in bed together as I recalled the days events, and the nature I’d seen. It seemed he current book was a little more interesting than fishy tale!

Carp fishing update, weed!

IMGP0683So to make this first part of this post short, the lake is solid with weed and I cannot find any clear spots within casting range. The weather has pushed the carp into the middle, and there they stay all day. I guess in the dark (no night fishing) they move into the margins and such to feed when its cooler and the weeds oxygen dies off. I had a fruitless day fishing when it was far too hot, and with no wind, nothing moved. I fresh wind could help, but the weed drifts and catches the line, the 40 swans on the water don’t help, as they are constantly pulling weed off the bottom as they feed. I do think they will move off once the food supply gets less in autumn. So for now I’m pulling off the lake.

So what to do, well a River Trent carp sounds nice doesn’t it? Now this will not be easy, but I have lost a number of big fish when trotting for barbel, some I expect were carp. I’ll make a start today, and do some pre-baiting as I think thats the only way to go. The fish are nomadic, but can be in small shoals two or three maybe. I’ll not feed food that will attract bream if I can, so its tiger nuts and boilies. Tackle wise my new Affinities with pop ups and snowman rigs, big baits that I hope will only take the much bigger bream. Helicopter/rotary set up to avoid tangles. I don’t think weed will be a problem, even though I’ll be fishing right in the margins, just off the initial shelf. Everyone I’ve spoken to say “fish the margins” with strong simple tackle.

It’s still really hot so I think it will be the last hour of light that will produce, but it could take a few trips to get some baited areas established. We’ll see, keep watching!