Tuesday 6 August 2013

Back Down Burrows 'Dreamy Summer Days'

In this Blog I will be accounting for three short sessions.

Every so often you come across a water that really connects with you, Burrows is one of these places for me. I have done a lot of blog entries about the water and no doubt I will continue. The stamp of fish is pure quality, I have never come across such clean looking carp. I have mentioned before, carp fishing isn't a numbers game for me, it's all about the process.

I haven't fished it for quite a while because I was focusing my efforts elsewhere. Since the fish have spawned all the waters seem to have slowed down, I have suffered a fair few blanks of late and with the extreme increase in temperatures I knew things were going to get harder. 

I have literally been scratching for a bite, fishing for a bite at a time. I did have some success the other week down on the stock pond, I managed to tease a fish out before it got to hot, I will be writing that session up shortly.

I arrived at the water mid morning and the sun was already beating down, for the first time in ages I noticed shoals of carp just under the surface. I was actually surprised to see some really big lumps, I think there are still a few secrets swimming around in the depths. The bank side was so different to my last visit, everything was overgrown, insects buzzing and the water was an amazing green/blue color, instantly I felt back home.

The bowl end seemed to be showing a lot of activity so I chose to fish the first double swim on the lake, this commands a lot of water and some great far margin features. I was planning to fish a 5ft zig on one rod and whack a bottom bait over to the far margin making sure it was tucked nicely in the shade. 

Regarding my bottom bait rig I kept it pretty simple, the hook link material was Rig Marole 'skin full' stripped back just behind the hook eye. My chosen hook was a Nash Fang X size 6, I was fishing a blow back rig with a medium length hair and a Fox rig ring pear. The pears suit a thicker hook and give the 'blow back' effect a nice little kick. I was using a 'carpy chris' black inline weed lead finished off with carp craze 'translucent green' tubing.

Business End

Rig Presentation In The Water
My chosen bait was Raspberry Ripple topped off with a small piece of imitation sweet corn. To help the hook-link blend in I used some rig pens, matching the colour to the lake bed. I am a huge fan of rig pens, they're a bit of a confidence booster for me.

Before I got my bottom bait rod out I put around 200 baits spread in about a 4 meter radius of where I was planning to fish my rig. From past experience when the fish move down this end of the lake you can get a big hit if you keep the bait going in and get your rig back out quickly. The approach I've adopt is pretty systematic, I unhook the fish in the net and then cast the same bait out. Many times this has produced before I even managed to get the first fish back.

I cast my zig rig over tight to the far bank, there was a nice scum line developing and I could see a few fish groping around just under the surface. To be honest I wasn't expecting a quick take, I felt I stood the best chance late afternoon when it started to cool off.

View From The Swim
On my bottom bait rod I was using a 2oz back lead tightened right up, this was to make sure the line was nicely out the way and I was in complete contact with the bait, when fishing so close to the opposite margin you have to be on your rods very quickly to stop the fish from driving through the snags.

After a few hours the sun really started to beat down and it became very hot, luckily I was able to sit in the shade but it didn't help on the confidence front regarding a bite. There were plenty of signs of fish in my swim. After a few hours I decided to recast my bottom bait even closer to the opposite margin because fish were showing tucked underneath the marginal growth.

Burrows Carp Showing Themselves Which Is Rare

Interesting To See Them Grouped Up

It was really interesting for me to see the carp grouped up, I always thought that they moved around in shoals. The bigger fish seemed to be in ones and twos, seeing this made me understand why big beds of bait can work well. It's obvious the fish move in and start competing against each other, quick takes can occur after a recast if the group are holding over the baited area. Also the wind seemed to play a big role in which direction the carp were heading, I will log all these points and bare my findings in mind when I fish the lake in the future.

The hours were ticking by with no real action, I had a few liners which was promising. Come late afternoon the far margin was now in complete shade and fish were starting to top and jump very near my spot. Late afternoon came and went, come 7:30pm my bottom bait rod took off at lighting speed breaking the silence with a scream. I lent into the fish, steered it out of the impending snags and held on for dear life, she tore around left, right and center. Eventually she tired and I slipped a lovely looking common over my net, scales sunk to 16IB, I was very happy, this fish had broken my run of blanking and I felt really inspired again.

16IB On The Raspberry Ripple
I had about an hour or so left before I was going to pack up so I got the rod straight back out. This time I didn't put anymore bait in, I was thinking that if fish had moved in and munched what I had put out, there may be a few milling around which could produce a quick take.

The remains of the day passed with no more action, I was pleased with the common, she was a beauty. I can't wait for the temperatures to drop a little and for things to stabilise, it's been a tough year for the carp with the extreme cold, then crazy heat.

I planned to come down in a day or two and try to fish the same swim, a lot of bait had gone in and I was hoping the fish might pick up on it between now and then.

Second Session, Breaking Through

I arrived at the lake at 2pm and was really happy to find the same swim free, before casting out I got a good amount of bait back in the water. This time around I had modified my rigs slightly. I was using a longer hook-link and a longer hair, I changed my lead to an inline pear 1.75oz and added a heavy flying back lead to my setup. This rig arrangement really sat well on the bottom and the braid and lead were pretty much undetectable.

Modified Rig

Gardner Flying Back Lead

Again, I was fishing Raspberry Ripple on one rod and Bio CP2 Amino on the other, both were topped off with imitation corn. Starmers Bio CP2 Amino is a very effective bait, it's a green lipped mussel base mix with a natural high betaine level combined with vitamins and amino acids and it does the business everywhere I take it.

Starmer Bio Cp2 Amino

The spots were pretty much the same as the previous days session but this time I really concentrated on getting the baits as close to the opposite margin as possible. I had opted to move both my spots slightly over to the left, these areas seem to be free from underwater snags and I seem to land fish from these spots without any problems.

View From The Swim
So my traps were set and the bait was out, it really was just a waiting game now. It didn't take long to get my first fish, the right hand rod tore into life and I soon had a little mirror staring at me from the net. It was only small but a real joy to catch. It was around 6IB, spotless and obviously had 'big fish' potential, every small fish has 'big fish' potential. I unhooked her and cast the same bait out back on the spot, topped the swim up and took care of the fish, this tactic can work really well in this specific swim. 

I put the fish back in the net to lower her into the water and set free, when all of a sudden the same rod tore into life literally two minutes after being cast out. This felt like a better fish, it was heavy and powering around like a nutter. Eventually I slipped the net under a lovely looking mirror, I now had two fish staring at me, scales sunk to 22IB.

Mother And Daughter

I really enjoy catching smaller carp, it shows the lake you are fishing is progressing in the right way, all the new scamps coming up our the future of all the waters, never disregard a carp just because it's not a big one. Like I have mentioned so many times before, it shouldn't be a numbers game. It's all about the process and where there are small fish there's usually big girls hanging around somewhere near. 

Taken On The Bio Cp2 Amino
22IB Mirror Taken On Bio Cp2 Amino
I got both fish back and cast the baits straight back out, I had another take on my right hand rod but unfortunately this fish took me into some snags and came off. The day evaporated into evening and the swim went quiet. I had in mind coming back the following day to fish the same spots, before I left I put a good kilo of bait out covering a vast majority of the water in between were I was planning to fish. Hopefully the swim wasn't going to get taken before I arrived tomorrow.

Third Session, Coming Clean

I arrived at the water just after midday and was happy to see the swim I wanted was vacant. Before setting my rods up I got another load of bait back on the spots. I was hoping the fish might have moved on to what I put in yesterday. The wind was blowing nicely down into the bowl and whilst I was setting up fish were showing themselves all over the swim. Just like the day before, I was fishing Raspberry Ripple and Bio CP2 Amino, both topped off with imitation corn. 

I got my rods out both on the first cast, it didn't take long for me to get my first run, roughly about 45 minutes in. The left hand rod tore away and before I knew it I had a nice carp in the net.

A Quick Take
The fish couldn't have been much more than 6IB but it didn't half put up a fair scrap. All the commons in this water fight a lot harder than the mirrors. I slipped her back, got my rod back out and topped the swim up with a load more bait, I wanted to keep it going in. If the fish were here I wanted to keep them here.

Again, it was only about 30 minutes before the same rod went ripping off, this fish was heavy and was kiting around in the open water like 'there was no tomorrow'. I caught a glimpse of a long dark mirror, it looked like a good fish. Once in the net I was pretty sure I'd landed another twenty, scales sunk to 22IB. I was very pleased. The fish was a nice long shape and had a lovely dark color to it.

22IB On The Bio CP2 Amino
I slipped her back, got the rig out quick and again put at least half a kilo of bait back in. It couldn't have been in the water more than twenty minutes before my right hand rod ripped into action. This was a very powerful fish, I instantly thought it was probably a common due to how aggressive the fight was, she just didn't want to come in. Eventually she tired and I found myself looking at a long lean common, bang on 18IB.

Long Lean Common
Awesome Torpedo
I got her back and repeated the procedure, the fish were obviously really on the bait and holding nicely on the spot. Things started to slow down a little. I did get a screaming take on my right rod and it felt like a really good fish but after a long fight it kited down to my right and tethered my braid on some rock. Evening came and whilst I was in the process of packing up my left rod gave out a  battle cry which resulted in a lovely looking mirror and one of the prettiest fish I'd caught for a long while.

With Last Knockings Comes A Bonus Fish
This fish signaled the end my session, and what a session it had been. I think fishing the same swim for a few days can really payoff, especially when the lines come out the water at nighttime. I was really pleased with the results considering we are still coming out of a real warm spell.

Every so often things come good, everything seems to fall into place, I have learnt from past experience that you need to make the most of these spells because they can be fleeting. There are so many variables in carp fishing, so many reasons 'why' and 'why not'. It's this process that keeps me interested, once again I'll say, it's not about numbers or size, it's about consistency, and furthering your understanding, and of course 'enjoying'. 

Never let the chase ruin it for you.