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.


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!

So where are we now?

We’ll Know my health is not as good as it was last year, but I still want to go fishing. So it will have to be a more casual kind of fishing, sitting down behind rods and being relaxed as I can be. Not far from me is a club carp water with a few nice carp in it, so for the continuing future I’ll be close to home fishing for some big fish. It will be difficult as the water is low stock, but the fish are worth it once on the bank. I can get home in 15 minutes if needed, and the parking is not too far from the swims, also I have a barrow now, so a proper carp angler indeed?


I’ll start next week, mapping out the lake and putting some bait in a few spots ready for fishing. I’ll be watching the water and maybe taking the dog for a few walks around the place, baiting as we go. It’s very weedy, so maybe a few swims will be cleared in the margins just enough, not to scare the fish, but to present baits better. I fancy it will fish better in the autumn when much of the weed is drying back and the carp are more hungry. Subsequently this year I’ll play less outdoor and indoor bowls, and do more sitting behind carp rods, sound good to me!

I’ll be putting some pictures of the lake up in the coming week, stay tuned.

Short trips/Blanking!


Looks so good for a bite, earlier in the year 2018.

I’ve had three short trips fishing for some difficult carp, on a local reservoir. To be honest I didn’t expect to catch, and you may find that strange from someone that is mostly positive. The only times I’ve done any good to be honest, is when they are up for a floater. The place is very weedy, featureless in the main, and the fish don’t often show. So floater fishing works as you can imagine.

I baited the margins mostly in hope than anything else, as that’s what you do isn’t it? I mean all the famous carp anglers you see do it, don’t they? The fish come in and bingo everyone a coconut, well no, not on this place. Even when I clear spots (with a rake) the fish don’t seem to turn up, well not when I’m there. I tried floaters each visit, but the wind was very changeable and never really gave me a good chance. I’m comfortable with the gear I’m using should I hook a giant. A 2.25lb t/c Daiwa floater rod 12lb Nash Floater line and 9lb Guru n-gage hook-link. I love the Guru line, very strong and The Nash stuff lays well on the spool for casting. I’m using the Nash floaters this year along with the slicker, and riser pellet, but to date cannot give you any feedback.


Floater fishing can be exhausting, sometimes?

I’m going to keep going, because I think it’s just case of finding some fish in the upper layers, and getting them feeding. I’ll keep you informed! Still awaiting the river chub session, as the river is still up and coloured.



100 and out.


What a cracking day I’ve just had, loads of fish then back home for a Asda Curry. With all the current rain in Lincolnshire, I genuinely thought the local carp pits would be flooded. But after an early morning call to the owner, he gave me the all clear.

Now this is the Lake I’ve mentioned before, where I think a few big old Roach could be had during the winter months.  I’ve seen a few swimming about while float fishing for carp. Today with a fresh 3 pints of maggots ( two white one red ) from the farm, the drive was steady and eventless, no floods? I chose white maggots as I knew the lakes would be coloured, and so they proved to be. You couldn’t see past a few inches down, but the fish gave themselves away when scattered maggots were sprinkled over their heads, by boiling on the surface.


I started on the 3 meter whip and never changed all day. The fish were so hungry, they were hooking themselves against the tiny “Matchstick” I was using for indication, just 12” from the size 18s hook. In just four hours I must have taken over 100 fish, mostly Roach around 3-6-oz with the odd better fish to 8-oz. A handful of Roach were of a much better stamp, one going 1lb 3oz and two others 12-14oz. All took single maggots on a 18s to 2.2lb hook-link.


During the session, I managed to hook four nice carp all Crucian – F1 type around a pound to a pound and a half. Scary stuff on a light three meter whip and 2.2lb line, but boy such fun.

This was my first day out after my cancer operation, and it felt liberating. I sat in the sun watching a Red Kite swinging just over my head, looking for Goose chicks I think. He made several fly passes, some so low it felt he was within touching distance, what a stunning bird of prey they are. I hope to be out again on Weds, but this time my eye will be on some big carp and tench in a local lake close to home. Also I’m keeping me eye on the local river, as once it abates a little, the chub could be up for some floating crust? Maybe!


The future!

So I’m sitting in bed recovering from my cancer operation. All being well in the coming months I’ll get some fishing in, and I have a kernel of a plan forming. Whatever I do must be quick and simple, so I’ll start off on the local River  fishing for Chub on floating crust. Mixed with a spot of Rudd fishing with the small whip on the local canal. All within a few minutes from home, and little gear to carry. If the river is too low with no flow, then the canal will come in, and visa versa.

I’d also like to try for some decent Roach in a carp lake beside the River Trent near Newark. By big I mean I’ve seen some fish over a pound in weight. But you never see all the fish in any lake when you visit, do you? I’ll only use the whips and maybe light bomb and match rod in reserve, I simply want fun and a few fish.

Game fair 6 (Small)

In the coming week I’ll get a few bit and bobs together ready, in a small rucksack. A loaf of bread, pint of hemp and maggots is all I’ll need come next trip. I may even get to the “Game Fair” again?

Pre opp! Post opp!

We’ll, less than a week to go before I have my PROSTRATE removed, and I’m a little apprehensive if I’m honest. You never know all the outcomes of what could happen, and I’m very happy with my life at the moment, apart from missing my fishing like crazy. I’ll have to have a least six weeks doing nothing, so a good time to sort all the gear out, and I may even have a sell off, of some of my tackle. My fly-fishing days are mostly over and I still have a dozen quality rods and reels about the place unused. I love the whip fishing and hope to do more of that come autumn after some decent Dace on the local river.

Fish takes Dry!!

A huge wild brown trout takes a dry fly late evening on a local reservoir. It was landed and returned none the worse for its capture. The image was a cover for a well known fly-fishing magazine some years ago.

In addition if I’m well enough at the start of the river season, I fancy some floating crust fishing for big Chub. The Trent in parts could be very good for this style, but my local small river is ideal, intimate with deep pools every hundred yards or so, with nice bends and undercut banks. I just hope the surgeon gets all of the bloody cancer and that’s the end of it. Thanks to all my Facebook and River Trent Angler followers for the wonderful support, and kind wishes.

Wish me luck and see you all on the other side.