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Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Into The Wild & 'The Modern Decline Of Learning'

"Wild - A Natural State Or Uncultivated, Uninhabited Regions"

In this blog post I would like to share my views on how I feel the modern carp scene and modern technology is effecting "us" the angler in terms of mastering our art, angling is an art after all. Along with this I would like to share with you my views on the wild waters. There's something about fishing a place that's very much undisturbed that stokes the angling fire, no preconceived ideas just the mysterious prospect of unearthing a hidden jewel. There are no comparisons between waters that are wild and those that have been made by man, commercialised and modernised. 

"This Entry Isn't A Moan, it's an observation and in no way am I knocking the angling press and the tackle firms, as we know developments within the industry has been pretty incredible over recent years and there are a lot of hard working people that make the carp fishing scene what it is, I am just trying to hold on to the romance of it all"

Existing in a world where every action is scrutinised and observed, where we have constraints in the system both mentally and physically, I have this continuous desire to find a place that's wild, untouched. A place so removed from the 'everyday', where you can simply get lost in the feeling of 'being'. The worlds population is contorting, the heaving of the masses are pushing and pulling and all too often do I get the sense of drowning amid the rush of it all. Angling use to be an escape but now I feel the modern carp scene falls into the description above, it's all become so commercial, so overrun with the crowds I feel it has lost its way and the industry is systematically tearing us away from the essence of what angling really is.

I have touched on this point before, it's all so focused on everything that is external, we are amidst the "Look At Me" generation, the "My Dad's Bigger Than Yours" outlook, Who's caught the biggest fish, who's got the best tackle, who can cast the furthest, this perplexing need to be a field-tester or consultant, the list goes on and to me "the ego" is well and truly to blame, fuelled by the mags and DVD's. Carp Angling is now sold to us in such a way that it's stifling and with the rise of social networks the problem has magnified somewhat. Don't get me wrong, if all the above makes you happy and is exactly what you want from your angling then 'fair play' to you. The sport is there for all of us and we all have the right to take from it what we feel we need.

Now with the Internet there is so much information at our finger tips, this is all well and good for learning 'the theory' but I feel the practical side of 'thinking and doing' has taken a back seat. When I first started carp angling I had nothing to really go on, if I wanted to know about a water I would go and put the hours in and still do to this day, very rarely will I look for information on my chosen venue prior to going. I'll admit that a little local knowledge can be helpful but I certainly don't change my approach in accordance to what I have been told. 


Nowadays through media such as youtube, you can pretty much get all the information that you need before stepping foot on the bank, but why be a carbon copy of someone else?. This seems a shame to me because the process of your natural learning can suffer. The only way you truly learn is by doing, to mould a true opinion about something, after learning the basics, you have to climb the path by yourself from the ground upwards. Is technology making us lazy? I personally think it is. And is technology depriving you of personal experiences? Are you just mimicking what you watch and read?

A Possible Anaesthetic To The Brain

I can equate this to university graduates that can recite every Shakespeare poem off by heart or rattle off someone else's viewpoints on a specific subject. To me these people are just mixed up fragments of someone else's efforts and opinions. To truly understand Shakespeare you must be able to connect emotionally with what is being said, having maybe walked in similar shoes. Try to feel deep within your heart what love truly is, what pain really contains, the only way you can do this is if you've experienced those emotions first hand, you don't learn by regurgitating, you don't learn about love by reading a book about it. Both love and pain are two emotions that can walk hand in hand when chasing that dream fish. 

The only way you can have your own honest opinion on anything 'including carp lakes' is if you've embarked on the journey unaided and grown through your own personal experiences that you have learnt along the way. Surly it's more satisfying going to a new water and finding your own way into it rather than mimicking someone else's approach. Within my blogs I share my views, opinions, tactics and approaches but by no means are they "the law". This blog is simply allowing you to hitch a ride on my journey, take from it what you will but whatever you do take please include a bit of yourself within it. 

My point is, before you next jump on youtube or other social media sites to find out other peoples views and approaches on a specific carp water or venue, take time to understand everything you might be depriving yourself of by not getting out there and experiencing it first hand for yourself. There's nothing like bagging a beauty when you know the journey was walked by you and you alone.

The Wild

If you have come into carp fishing via modern doorways the subject of 'the wild' might be uncharted territory for you, those of you that grew up watching 'A Passion For Angling', using fairy liquid bottle tops as bobbins will get where I am coming from with this. The wild doesn't contain named fish, going swims, shower blocks and puddles over stocked with large pressured carp. For all we know the wild contains nothing at all and that's the beauty of it.

Through the recent angling years it has be somewhat obscured, it's very rarely written about. When you cast into such waters you aren't battling to beat a PB, you are very simply trying to unearth the unknown. The beauty of the wild is that it can be perched right under our noses, unrecognised or hidden deep within the valleys, yet to be christened with a line. The best part of it is there's no documented way into any of these waters, it's all based on your own judgement. To follow through on your judgements you must first feel confident in your own views and opinions, these are built up through your own experiences, this can be a struggle when your only source of material is feeding you with mixed messages. There is no wonder rig or magic bait, the only thing that is real to me is watercraft and you learn this by "doing". I look upon it as a sense and like all senses they have to be developed with independent thinking. 

The Untouched

There is one water that I can associate with all the above and I plan to share with you my exploits within my next blog entry. It's not totally untouched but at the moment it is as wilder water as I can get close enough to. It's been left, very rarely fished, overgrown and buried deep within the Medway valley. It's not clear exactly how many carp are hidden in it's depths but I have managed to bring a few to the bank, they may not be the biggest fish I have caught but each one of them represents something that I am eager to explore further. The sessions I will be accounting for are a series of two hour stints from late afternoon to early evening, this time of day seemed to be the most productive. I am looking forward to sharing my journey with you.

Pure

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Wicks Mere 'New Ways Of Thinking'

This blog is a condensed account of my thoughts feelings and approaches that I adopted on Wicks Mere, it's been a humbling and enlightening journey.

Little did I know that from the first moment I laid my eyes on Wick Mere a new obsession was in its infancy. The minute I took the long walk from the car park down to the waters edge I wanted to unearth it's mysteries and get acquainted with the carpy residents that resided in its vast depths. I was eager to get my head around the place as fast as possible, in many ways that was my mistake, trying to rush the process of learning.

"Some of my views within this post might be somewhat abstract but please bear with me because it should all make sense in the end."

As I have stated in the past, I don't do night fishing anymore, overall my fishing and catch rate has improved because of this. I have learnt that it's not how much time you put in but more about how you use the time that you have available to you. I work and have a family life, I don't want to be camping out for days on end. I find the night fishing approach 'can' harbour a very one dimensional way of angling, basically... you put your bait out and sit on it for three days, this isn't what carp fishing is all about for me, it was once but not anymore.

Afternoon On The Mere
The older I have got there is one aspect of existence that has become very clear to me, that being 'the process'. What I mean by this is, the same building blocks are needed to be fixed into place to get the desired end result, this is relevant in whatever activity you have chosen to do.

My example of this would be the almost perfect symmetry between 'the process' of tuning a drum and tuning yourself to a water. There is no set way to tune a drum, they're all different just like lakes, each drum has individual regions, regions are tuning areas where the drum will sing and resonate perfectly, each drum has a different number of tuning regions. Just like different waters, they all have different feeding areas and hot spots which will produce better than others, they all have holding areas and zones that the carp feel safe in, to me these spots equate to drum regions. Drum tuning is a sense, you know when you've found its sound, just like water-craft, it's intuitive, you start to know when you've begun to suss a water. Both drumming and angling are very different but the process of getting to the end result is the same.

I approached Wick like I was tuning a drum, I had to find its sound and understand it's regions/feeding zones. Because it's very different to anywhere I have fished before I was well aware that for the first month or so I would be operating way out of my comfort zone. I can equate this to tuning large drums, the larger the surface area the more sound there is to control, the only way I mastered this art was by doing it. In regards to the water, even if I blanked, as long as I'd gone away at the end of each day having learnt something, then I knew that I was putting those building blocks in place and eventually I would get the end result that I wanted. Can this process be rushed? No, I don't believe it can, if things are to grow correctly then they must grow naturally.

View From The Bowl End
My first few sessions were based around starting to understand the make up of the lake. I focused my efforts on the bowl end, this is the deeper part of the water. Lots of anglers always seemed to be up the other end of the lake so I thought avoiding the pressure could work in my favour. After having a lead around it was clear that the marginal drop offs were extreme, literally falling down to 10ft a rods length out. I instantly felt, considering the warm weather we have been having of late, that this part of the water could make for good winter fishing. The depths might be to vast to target in the warmer weather. 

Wick has a varied bottom, there's weed, clay, silt and gravel, out in front of me the gravel was at the very bottom of the marginal slope. Being a lover of margin fishing it felt like the perfect place to start. I would adopt my usual tactics, a few handfuls of bait, one rod fished on the slope, the other at the bottom on the gravel. I knew nothing of feeding times so I had to just sit it out blind, I knew my presentation was spot on for where I was fishing.

Rough Layout Of The Bowl End

On my first few sessions I received a few 'ghost runs' where there was nothing on the end of my line. I thought that it might be trailing fish. After speaking to some regulars, it was in fact trailing fish, apparently there are some savages bars towards the island and the woodland area and home to a lot of swan muscles so a lot of fish are lost and left trailing line. I clocked this information for future sessions, especially if I ended up fishing near the woods and island. If I was getting 'ghost runs' then it showed there were some fish in the area so I was hoping for a few pick ups, they never came. A good six sessions were spent moving swims around the bowl to try and get some kind of response from the carp.

During these sessions I religiously watched the water and after a few visits I started to see patterns emerging. The carp would start to show themselves from about 4 o'clock onwards, it appeared that a majority of them shoaled up. Nearly all the shows were up the other end of the lake around the island and along the margin of the wood land area. This now explains why most anglers were up that end of the lake. 

The woodland area use to be fish-able but hasn't been open for a few years now due to flooding. It was very clear to me that the carp knew this was a safe zone, there were only two swims on the lake that you could get a bait to them.

Wick Aerial View

The image above shows where I believe the safe zone to be, it also shows the two swims that allow you to get close to this area, it goes without saying that both swims are nearly always taken. After talking to the locals about the water, it started to become clear that the majority of the fish held up there. A lot of the guys that do nights would catch, this told me that the carp felt safer under the cover of darkness to venture out around the lake. 

I started to feel that during the day on most of the water available to you, you'd be fishing for a bite at a time, hoping to pick up the odd carp that has ventured away from the woodland zone. This was a somewhat frustrating prospect, if I wanted to stand a chance at catching during the day I would have to get myself in either of those two swims.

Symmetry 
My next bulk of sessions were focusing on both the margins and the open water. I was slowly moving up the lake and covering the majority of the swims. During this period I'd found plateaus, soft spots, drop offs, channels, you name it, I found it and fished to it. Lots of bait, minimal bait, pop ups, solid bags, stringers, every approach possible, including zigs. 

It was around this time that perseverance turned into obsession, I had to get carp out of this water and I sure as hell was going to find a way. Through all these sessions the anglers that were in the two main swims were catching, this solidified the theory that the carp are hauled up in the woodland area. It struck me that it didn't matter what my approach was if the fish weren't in front of me to catch, the result would continue to be nil. Because I don't have a night permit it was as clear as day that I had to get to where they were. I didn't have the luxury of catching them when they spread out at night.

Realistically I'd done around twelve sessions without landing a single carp and I'd used everything in my armoury. We've all been in this situation, the problem screamed 'location'. I decided to step away from the water for a few weeks and concentrate my efforts somewhere else with the plan on coming back to Wick with a fresh perspective.

The Break Through  

On arriving at the water, there were only a few cars in the car park, I thought I'd get loaded up and make my way straight round the wooded area to see if 'the going swim' was available. Much to my shock and surprise it was, I was buzzing and got myself setup as fast as I could. 

To get right up in the 'safe zone' I would need to cast in excess of about 100 yards, I felt this was doable. My chosen bait was a single Octospice pop up topped off with a small bit of yellow zig foam, I was going to fish it on a helicopter system. From the google-maps image I could see there was weed out where I wanted to fish. Through the winter I have perfected my helicopter rig, I use a very slow sinking pop up, I have found fishing a rotary setup with a balanced bait pretty much presents itself over anything. The other reason I opted for a helicopter system was because I was having to cast a long way and with the weight being on the end of the line, this would lend itself to casting well for distance. 

View From The Swim
The hook-link I like to use for my helicopter rigs is a coated braid stripped off at the point where I put the putty to counter balance the bait. The main points for doing this is, the stiffer materials are less prone to tangles plus the coating helps to kick the hook-bait away from the line/leader.

The Business End
The most important component to make this presentation fool poof was a lead free leader. Take note that this is included because I found out that the carp can cut you off on the bars - that proves the importance of the learning process, without that knowledge I probably would of fished the rig bare. For those of you out there that don't think it's safe to fish a helicopter rig in weed, I would like to point out that I replace the back bead with PVA cord, this alleviates the problem of the bead getting clogged up with weed and not being able to run free in the case of a crack off. 

Rig Marole Lead Free Leaders

It took me a few casts to get the rods exactly where I wanted them, I had to compress the carbon big time, in the end I was hitting the clip and both baits fell poetically underneath the branches. I opted for singles because I knew 100% that the carp would be mooching about. Hours passed and just like always fish started to show along the wooded margin, my baits were in perfect positions so I just had to wait, sitting comfortable with the knowledge that my presentation was correct.

Out of nowhere my left hand rod tore away, I paused for a second because I was almost in disbelief. Leaning into the fish I could feel that it was a lump, I kept the pressure on, easing it my way. I was a bag of nerves, I just hoped that the leader was going to do it's job and protect my business end from the carps usual "get out clause". After what seemed like a year the fish was starting to give up the ghost, I caught a glimpse of a lovely long, black common, weed was strung all up the leader and line, the fish was also caked in the stuff. The game was soon up and I slipped the net under my first Wick Mere carp. I was numb, totally blown away, I had done it, after a considerable amount of blanks I'd finally broken through. Scales sunk to 20IB exactly, what a feeling!!

My First Wick Mere Beauty
Side On
It goes without saying that I was over the moon, perseverance is an art, a driving force that you must work with. I've still got a long way to go though and this fish is just a small piece of 'the process'. I feel that my views on the carp activity are thorough enough and I am just going to keep on chipping away at the place. There is something about Wick, I can't quite put my finger on it but to me it is a very special water and I feel that it's going to take me on one hell of a journey, I look forward to sharing it with you. 

I Will Return



Sunday, 10 August 2014

Blunts Mere Part 2 'Great Fun & Great Sport'

This blog is a continuation of part one, if you haven't read it yet you can find it here Blunts Mere Part 1. Because my approach was discussed at length in my first blog this will just be an account of what occurred. I'd had a bite on both rods very quickly so once the rigs were reset I was expecting some more action pretty fast. As I was watching both of my spots carefully it was clear that there were a good few fish around and they seemed to be feeding.. a lot. 

Review Of The Swim
Before I knew it the right hand rod was away again, it was a savage drop back and the fish had kited at crazy speed down to the left of me, it was a hard and energetic fight. Eventually I slipped the net under another long looking common, that was two on the Mexican Hemp.

Mexican Hemp Caught Common
I got her back quick and proceeded to cast the same boilie out, it was undamaged and I am starting to think a slightly washed out bait might get picked up quicker. The bobbin was reset and before I'd even sat down, it was away again. Another hard fight resulted in another spotless common.

A Quick Common
I slipped her back, because I'd had a few fish off of this rig I decided to put a new hook-link on. It's now a rule of mine to change hook-links after three or four fish, it's clear that the hooks do start to blunt, in the past I have lost fish because the hook I was using had lost its edge. A fresh hook-link was tied on and out went the rig on the same spot. Some fizzy was starting to occur over my right hand rod and I was getting a few twitches, the liners increased and then it whizzed off. This felt like a slightly better fish, once again the fight was hard, I teased a nice dark common over the net. This was a lovely looking carp.

Tigernut & Maple
Both spots were working well, I topped both zones up with a bit more bait and finally had a chance to sit back and relax for a while. Things slowed up for a short time and it was nearing the end of the session. Just as I was starting to think about packing up the left hand rod was away. As I lent into the fish I could feel that this had some weight behind it, it felt like a torpedo and flew around the swim like crazy. I soon tamed her, it was an awesome long looking fish, I was very pleased with this one.

A Torpedo Of A Common
I decided to break down the rod and slowly get my things together. In the closing minutes the right hand one gave a few beeps and dropped back, this resulted in a nice bonus fish to end the session, this was a lovely dark carp.

A Closing Minute Common
It had been a positive first session and goes to show that you can get results in a few hours fishing if you do it right. My plan was to come back a couple more times. Due to work commitments at the moment I can't be doing long sessions, because Blunts was a productive water it made sense to fish it when I can't put the longer hours in elsewhere, it was clear that you stood a good chance of catching a few.

Session Two

Just as before, on arrival at the lake I took a walk around to see if I could spot any fish, it was so hot, I was sweating buckets just being in the sun. There were a lot of fish in the upper layers, it didn't look like they were on the feed, just hanging out and sunbathing. I did spot a few feeding signs in the back bay, this swim was tucked right out the way and was very quiet, it had a nice shaded margin which looked like the perfect place to put a bait.

View From The Swim
The rigs I was using were exactly the same as my last session, the only difference was I changed the Tigernut & Maple for Octospice. Octospice is formed from a green lipped mussel base mix and was originally made for the french carp fishing market. I have used this bait in the warmer months for a few years now and it really does produce very well.

Octospice

Both rods were on my desired spots first cast, I put a couple of handfuls of bait over each rod. I didn't want to go crazy, it was very hot and I had a feeling that the carp may not be up for a load of food. This session started off slowly, there was signs of feeding going on over both spots but my rods stayed static, I decided to leave them, hoping that I might get a few fish when the sun started to go behind the trees.

A good 45 minutes went by before I got my first pick up, it was off the left hand spot, it instantly felt like a little scamp, as it surfaced I was met with a lovely golden common. She might have been small but was almost perfect looking.

A Miniature Bar Of Gold
I got her back, recast the same boilie out - 'it was nicely washed out' by now, set the bobbin and took a seat. From the initial amount of bait that I'd introduced, I could see by the silt starting to kick up that some carp had moved in. The next rod to go was the one fishing the Mexican Hemp, as the rod tore away I could see a huge patch of bubbles shoot up from where the carp had bolted. This take resulted in another colourful common.

A Mexican Hemp Caught Common
By this point it appeared fish were pretty much holding over both my baited spots, the fizzing and bubbling was crazy. I decided not to introduce anymore bait, this should result in the hook-bait being taken quicker. The right hand rod went back out but a little further along the far margin. I reeled in the left hand rod and put it right under the overhanging grass stems opposite from me. The right rod shot off instantly, it was an awesome fight resulting in yet another spotless fish.

Clean As A Whistle
By this time the day was starting to cool down, a light breeze developed, it was perfect and a real pleasure being on the bank. I love being by the waters so much and at this point in my life it feels more like home than anywhere else, I feel like those of us who have not awoken the angler within them are really missing out on something special. I didn't have a lot of time left so I decided to reel in and come back in a few days for another quick session. 

Session Three

Arriving at the water for my third session the conditions were very hot again. I spotted loads of fish in the front bay on the surface and there was obviously a good few kicking the bottom up. Luckily enough the swims that fished into the bay were all free, this was perfect. This session I wanted to try something a little different, I was going to fish over a lot of bait keeping the rig placements close to each other, I wanted to incorporate a little more attraction around my hook bait. 

50/50 Milk Protein

My chosen baits were Honey Nectar and Banana Cream, these two blends have caught me a serious amount of carp, they're a 50/50 milk protein mix. When I start on a new water these two flavours of boilie are usually my 'go to baits'Along with this I was going to be fishing ground-down 10mil boilies in a PVA mesh bag. For my bag blend I was using Bio CP2 Amino and Strawberry Fish, these two flavours would be combined in 'powder form'. Like I stated in the first part of this blog, these kind of waters are ideal for try new things on.

View From The Swim
Before casting out I filled the swim up with bait, signs of carp feeding on it appeared within a few minutes. After the initial application of bait I was going to add two to three handfuls after each fish. I pre-made my PVA mesh bags in advance so I could get the rig straight back out as fast as possible. Rigs were placed, liners occurred from the off, it was looking good.

The left hand rod was the first one to go, this was from the spot  underneath the bush. It shot away up the channel, it gained so much distance in such a short space of time, when I made contact it was already half way up the channel to the left of me.

Banana Cream
The rod went straight back out followed by some more bait spread around the same spot, bubbles were still coming up so the capture hadn't seemed to of spooked them. Once again liners occurred almost immediately. The right rod was the next one to go, leaning into the fish I could feel some power, it felt like a pretty good carp, once again it raced around everywhere and took a fair while to tame, eventually she tired and I netted a mid double common, this was another long fish.

Honey Nectar
Before I managed to get the rod back out the other one was away, as it shot off I was in the middle of releasing the previous carp, I left her recovering in the sling in the waters edge whilst I frantically scrambled to get to the other rod. This fish came in fast, I felt that little added attraction in the PVA mesh was pulling quicker pick ups.

Little Scamp
Whilst both rods were out of the water I refreshed the hook links, put more bait in and then cast the rigs back out. Within a few minutes, to my surprise, both rods went at pretty much the same time, it was instant madness, I locked up the clutch on my right hand rod and left it on the buzzers, this gave me time to land one fish before attempting to land the second. Don't ask me how but I managed to land both of them ... Result!!

Double Whammy
Once again both rods were out of the water, I put some more bait in and recast. The session was going very well and it was clear that I was managing to hold the fish in the bay. Not to long after recasting the right hand rod was away again. Like all of the fish that have come before, the battle was epic, I soon landed yet another common.

Another Hard Fighting Common
The rod went straight back out, this time I didn't add anymore bait, I didn't have a great deal of time left and I wanted to see if I could get another one before my time was up. A few minutes past and the left hand rod tore away, this felt like a good fish, it gave me a run for my money.. that's for sure, she soon tired and I was left looking at another long common in the net.

She's A Fighter
This fish was the perfect ending to a very productive session, I feel the PVA presentation helped in getting me faster bites this time around. It goes to show that even if you are doing well on a specific water it still doesn't hurt to try something different. That might be the difference between a good session turning into a great one.

Session Four

I didn't have a great deal of time on this session, just over an hour max. When I arrived at the water it was very busy, I didn't bother walking around the lake, I headed for an avaliable swim, the one I ended up in was where the water narrows. To me these types of zones are 'passing traffic' spots, trying to pick the fish off as they move from one end of the lake to the other. This time I was back on the Tigernut & Maple, along with this I planned to use ground down boilies in a mesh bag again.

View From The Swim
I put a good spread of freebies around the bush opposite from me, I planned to fish one rod just off the main bulk of bait and one in it. I was interested to see if one spot would be more productive than the other. As usual signs of fish feeding started to appear very quickly, the carp in Blunts certainly aren't shy about giving themselves away.

Crushed 10 mil Boilies Combined

Just like all the previous sessions it really didn't take long for a fish to take the bait. The right rod was off like a rocket and I was into yet another hard fighting blunts carp. This fish was long and dark and fought like a beast.

Another Dark Torpedo
The rod went straight back followed by a little more bait, before I'd got the bobbin on my other one was away, this fish literally swam into the net, where it proceeded to wake up, he was a lively little fella.

Future King Of The Lake
Once both rods we back in I spread another two handfuls of bait all around the area, fish were still there, I could see them kicking the bottom up like mad, they were certainly loving the bait. By now time was ticking by and I didn't have long left, there was a quite period but things picked up and in the last twenty minutes I had a fish off of each rod. 

From The Left Hand Spot
From The Right Hand Spot
I planned on coming back for one final session, my time on Blunts had been "great fun and great sport" and I'd learnt a little along the way. I'd kind of got the lake out of my system and was ready to go back to more challenging waters, I have a few plans in the pipeline.

Session Five

This session I arrived at the water for about 3:30pm, from past sessions I've clocked that this was the time that a lot of the anglers seemed to pack up and leave. By this point the weather had cooled off and there was a lovely calm breeze, it was overcast and looked spot on for a bite. I took a little time watching the water and decided to fish on the corner of the channel that lead into the front bay. For this session I was back on the Octospice but this time around I tipped both baits off with small imitation corn.

View From The Swim 
Both rods were perfectly placed on the first cast, I put plenty of bait out, I could see feeding to the left of me in the center of the channel. I thought it wouldn't be long before they move in. A hour passed with no action not even a liner, then out of the blue my left rod was away, the bobbin was dancing, I lent into the fish to be met with a surge of power, it felt like a good one. It wouldn't give up the ghost and held on for a good 10 minutes until it finally retired itself to the net. It was one angry fish and proceeded to soak me during the photo process.

An Angry Common On The Octospice
I slipped her back, the rod went out and I sat in anticipation for another screamer. It didn't come fast, it was a good 30 minutes before the right rod tore off, again this felt like a better fish and fought so hard, once in the net I was surprised at how chunky it was.

Second On The Octospice
I was over the moon with these two fish and it was great to be able to end this blog with a couple of larger carp. My time on Blunts has served its purpose well, like I stated at the start of part one, all waters have their time and place in my angling, and they all play a part in the bigger picture. I must admit that I wouldn't want to fish waters like this all the time, I like a challenge but doing a quick burst of sessions once in a while can help with your overall 'angling perspective' and most of all they're really enjoyable. Never stop enjoying your angling

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Blunts Mere Part 1 'Great Sport & Great Fun'

Every so often I really enjoy going and just 'catching', not every session has to be like cracking the enigma code. A fair few of the waters I fish are challenging with lots of different aspects to consider and overcome. I don't like just sticking to one water, I like to focus on a series of different ones at the same time. It keeps you on your toes and I get a huge inner feeling of accomplishment when I can see that my results are consistent everywhere I go. "Runs Waters" .. so to speak, play an important part in the overall equation. For me they are a chance to try and test new things, hone your approach and basically go through the process of catching, landing and releasing, this is a sequence that I never tire of.

New Waters



To an abundance of carp anglers out there that are forever chasing the numbers, these specific types of lakes are known as 'Noddy Waters' or being full of 'pasties'. To be honest, these two terms don't register in my carp fishing vocabulary, and I find this viewpoint borderline pathetic. The way I see it is, all big carp were small once and whatever level your angling may be at, we all have to start somewhere. I for one have learnt a great deal by fishing what I describe as "the more productive waters", I don't do it much but when I do there is a reason. 

Grow Your Hair

For instance I've learnt a huge amount about hair length and I was surprised at just how long you can get away with having them. I have caught loads of 2IB to 3IB carp on really long hairs, when I took this finding and introduced it into my general fishing, all my hook holds have been spot on and I can't remember the last time a carp slipped the hook on me. 

Without 'Runs Waters' I never would of developed this along with other little tweaks and changes that I have applied to my rigs through the years. The aspect that I find really interesting about rigs is the fact that the smallest of changes can have such a drastic effect on the way they work. For me there is a time and a place for all waters, they all contribute to the bigger picture .... and what a beautiful picture it can be. 

View From The Moon

Blunts Mere is on the Chelmsford ticket and I was eager to do a few sessions, the next series of blogs will be accounting for a short number of two hour trips. Work has been somewhat hectic lately and my angling has been comfortably moulding around it, each feed the other and my perspective has been very clear over the past few months.

On my first session I arrived at the water for 2pm, it's been very hot so I have opted to fish the latter part of the days. The lake is very scenic, sunken deep in the Essex countryside, there are lots of lovely margin spots with loads of nooks and crannies for the carp to haul up in. 

I walked the lake and saw evidence of the carp being on the front of the warm wind that was pushing down in to the front part of the lake. They were just below the surface. I decided not to go for them in the upper layers and stick to my plan of fishing on the bottom. I was planning to keep my approach very simple and I certainly wasn't going to over complicate anything. I would shoot for the obvious spots and keep the bait going in.

Lots Of Tempting Spots
The two baits I had chosen to use were Starmers Tiger Nut and Maple and the new Mexican Hemp, the Mexican Hemp is still in it's trial stages and doesn't officially go on sale until next year. Combined with this I was fishing Hot Chilli Hemp, this created a really spicy smell. I think this season I am going to incorporate more spicy types of boilies into my fishing, I have always stuck to the fruity and the fishy flavors, I want to start to experiment a little. 

Hot Chilli Hemp

After having a little lead around it was clear that there was a fair few hard spots, the center of the lake was a little softer with some light debris. I opted for bottom baits on both rods. My rig was semi-fixed, I was using a 2oz inline lead, fishing blow-back style. Again it was nothing complicated, I admit though that all my rigs have to be super tidy, all the components need to visually sit together well. 

I tend to stray away from generic looking leads and any sort of quick link, the rig has got to be clean. I feel too many links and bits and bobs can cause problems. Also the less items there are on a rig that can look unnatural on the lake bed, the better. I still can't determine if the carp refuses to pick the bait up because of a warning visually or if it's an inner sense to the fact that something is wrong.

Simple Bottom Bait Rig
You will see in the picture above that I am using pear shaped rig rings. I use the largest size I can get, I find this adds just a little extra when it comes to the free movement of the bait. I want it to act as natural as possible. The hook-link is semi-stiff and is coated in Krystons 'Drop-Em' tungsten putty. This is a product that you use to help the braid sink faster, you simply run the hook-link material through it. Doing this leaves a thin layer of tungsten on your hook-link. This is especially useful if you are using a super supple material. Once it's on gently rub it up and down with your fingers, it's a great little touch to help make sure that your hook-link is flat on the deck.

Kryston Drop-Em

The swim that I picked had a few good features to go at and being on the front of the wind I felt like I was in the right place. There was a narrow channel to the left of me, I was going to place a bait right up in it, smack bang underneath the overhanging branches. My right hand rod was going to be in the open water, pretty much in the centre, I spotted a lot of fizzing going on. 

View From The Swim
I got both rods on the spots, put my back leads on, sorted the bobbins, and within second the left hand rod tore off. I was taken by surprise, this was probably one of the quickest runs I'd had. I gently lent into the fish, before long I was looking at my 'debut' common carp from Blunts. I didn't bother weighing her, today was about the sport, enjoyment and the process.

A Quick Common
Before I even managed to get the rod back out, my right hand one was away, the fish shot like a rocket all over the show, I soon netted a lovely dark looking common. It was looking like it was going to be a good first session.

Clean Colours 
To Be Continued