Monday, 28 October 2013

Burrows 'Nailing It' Part 1

In between fishing my other waters I have been doing a few sneaky days down on Burrows, I feel a big girl is due a visit to the bank soon. I have done a few sessions on the main lake at Hoo and up on Rugby, I am averaging one take a day on Rugby but always seem to lose them in the weed or reeds, once the leafs start falling I am going to dedicate more of my time to the water, there's some good fish in there. The main lake at Hoo is another tricky one, I have also decided I am going to be putting more time in on this as well, both are challenging but I am up for the fight, I have sorted my presentation out on both of the venues, I am confident I am doing the right thing.

I like to rotate the waters I fish, it keeps you thinking and keeps you motivated, my aim is to be consistent everywhere I fish. My focus is to get the takes, big fish are neither here or there, with consistency they will eventually come. There is a tiny part of me that enjoys the process of catching more than actually netting the fish. Once you've cast out and settled down, it gives you the time to read, write and watch the water, the anticipation of the take is a far greater drug than any legal/illegal high. It's hard to explain but those of you reading this with carping in their blood, will know exactly what I mean.

Beautifully Baron
On Burrows there are a number of spots I know I can catch from, I just wanted to relax into it and see what I could bank. I have been rotating baits on the water and trying a few of the different mixes Starmer knock up. Green Lipped Crab and Bio cp2 Amino have been doing very well and their White Chocolate and Monster Squid have also been nailing a good few, I have caught on approximately 19 different flavors, but for me Banana Cream and Honey Nectar are the ones, these baits really seem to do the business, not just here but everywhere I take them.

"The 50/50 milk Protein boilies are based on a medium protein neutral base mix, which takes just about any flavour readily and is very digestible its dry base form, accepting any concentrated fish extracts and palatant enhancer."

Banana Cream

Honey Nectar

"Green Lip Mussel extract is a highly concentrated powder extract originating from Green Lip Mussels are harvested in the tidal regions where the fresh water meets the sea. These mollusc are filter feeders; filtering out impurities in waters around New Zealand. When the mussel is harvested the lip of the mussel is separated and this is the part that is dried and concentrated. Its own natural high betaine level combined with vitamins and amino acids becomes the vital attractor to carp."

 Green Lipped Crab

Bio Cp2 Amino

On all my sessions I have been trying out a new lead that 'Carpy Chris' Knowler had sent me. It is a Hexi POM lead 2 1/2oz. I was looking forward to using them, the Hexi leads are designed for distance, they're a joy to cast and look real tidy when rigged up. 

I am a fan of the POM system, it creates a great hinge type quality and all the runs have been brutal screamers, also with the secondary running swivel on the hook link I feel it helps to stop the carp from using the lead to shake the hook. When the carp shakes hard the secondary swivel will pull out the lead turning it into a lead clip system, if it tries again, the lead will/can ditch. I am not a fan on ditching leads, I never actually have, but the option is there with this lead setup.

Carpy Chris Hexi POM Leads

My chosen hook-link to use with this system is Suffix Camfusion, it's a strippable braid and has awesome colouring that blends in perfectly to almost any lake bed. I strip off a few centimetres behind the hook and then keep the rest of it stiff, leaving the coating on. My chosen hook is a size 6 Nash fang twister, my hair length is as long as my thumb. I also use a large rig ring, the hook link itself is also long. Because the hair length is longer than normal I use a tiny piece of a PVA nugget to lock it in place, this stops it from tangling on the cast.

Suffix Camfusion

Hair Roughly The Length Of My Thumb 

Tiny Nugget To Lock The Hair

I find with this setup it creates a massive amount of 'free movement' which I feel helps to get stronger hook holds. I have tried and tested nearly every combination when it comes to hair length, hook link length and lead size, there are endless conflicting opinions about it. I have no interest in what the "mainstream" carp fishing media has to say about these things. I go by my experiences and experiments, that is the beauty of the sport, you have the freedom to do what you think is right, I can't emphasis this enough.

My first session was just for the afternoon, I had around 3 hours fishing time. I went armed with the Bio Cp2 and Green Lipped Crab, I chose a quiet margin spot that doesn't seem to see as much pressure as the others.

View From The Swim
I got a nice spread of bait out and cast directly in the middle of it, I separated the baits to each rod but switched my hook bait, so I was fishing a single Bio Cp2 over Green lipped Crab and visa versa on the other rod, both baits were topped with yellow. I was fishing really tight to the opposite margin, almost under it. There are small spots that seem to be snag free and over the years I have sussed out where you can get away with fishing really tight, and actually land the fish. The carp in Burrows are almost genius when it comes to ditching the hook using some kind of branch or root.

Once cast out it didn't take long for the action to happen, I got a take on my left hand rod, it sprung into life and I was in to my first fish, the fight was awesome, all the fish fight really well in Burrows, scales sunk to 17IB.

17IB Burrows Mirror
I slipped her back and got the rod back out, it was on the money first cast. I set the bobbin and sat back, about half hour went by and the same rod shot into life again, after a heated battle I slipped the net over a lovely clean mirror, scales sunk to 13IB.

A Lovely Clean Mirror
I got a few shot and then slipped her back, just as I was about to re-bait my rod, my right one shot off, the carp was frantic, it felt like a common to me. The Burrows commons are bloody nutters and really do put up a great fight, whatever size they turn out to be.

12IB Common Caught On The Green Lipped Crab
The remains of the day went quiet and I decided I'd get my gear together and leave, the sun sets fast this time of the year and I seem to have lost my head-torch. Many times have I been caught out stumbling with the barrow in the dark trying to get back to the car, usually ending up in a hedge. I planned to do a few more sessions, I had bits of work scattered about so I didn't have the time to put long solid sessions in on my other waters.

Day Two

I arrived at the lake for midday, I wanted to fish the muddy double swim, when the ripple on the water is just right and blowing down this end you can really end up having a few. I basically 'match-fish' this swim. I bait up really heavily, get the rods straight back out after each fish, I top the swim up religiously. After a few hours of doing this then I reduce the bait I put in, this can speed up the takes if done right. Today I was using White Chocolate and Monster Squid, once again I was fishing really tight to the opposite margin, you have to get it just right to get the runs, literally Cm's can be the difference between having and not having a fish.

View From The Swim
My end tackle set up was the same as my last session but this time I didn't top my baits off with yellow, I just left them bare and I changed the style of one of my leads, still keeping it on the POM system. Both casts were bang on first time, I sat back semi expecting to get a take quickly. Nothing happened for a fair while, I continued to add more bait, then the action started pretty fast. It was the White Chocolate that pulled the first fish in, I banked a lovely 14IB mirror.

On The White Chocolate
I got the bait straight back out and added around another 70 baits making sure I spread them a good few meters. Within minutes the same rod was away again, this resulted in a lovely low double common.

Second On The White Chocolate 
Again I got the rod straight back out and topped the swim up. From past experience you can get a good few fish in a short space of time from this specific swim, then it seems to trail off and go quiet. My aim was to hold them here for as long as possible.

After a slight pause in the action, my right hand rod soon shot into life, this was on the Monster Squid, this fish put up a real good scrap and I ended up slipping the net over a another spotless looking mirror, scales sunk to 12IB.

On The Monster Squid
Before I even got a chance to cast the right back out, my left hand rod shot off, this resulted in a right scrappy little mirror. I got her back quick and re-cast the rod.

Third On The White Chocolate
I only just got the bobbin on before the Monster Squid was off again. It's obvious the fish were now holding around my baited areas and as long as I kept the bait going in I felt that I could keep catching them. I believe you can get the carp into a feeding rhythm where it gets to the point that even the casting of the rig doesn't phase them.

Another Low Double On The Monster Squid
After the last fish I decided to re-rig both rods with fresh hook-links before casting back out. This time around I didn't add anymore feed, time was getting on and I wanted to try to produce a quick take. Both rods were cast back out and straight on the money. Ten or so minutes later I had another fish on the Monster Squid, an awesome mid double mirror.

A Triple On The Monster Squid
After a few shots I slipped her back, it was getting late now and the swim started to quieten down. Usually I would move up the lake but I decided I would call it a day. I felt I pretty much had everything that was available to have. In my gut I really felt like one of the big girls was due a visit to the bank so I made the decision that I was going to give Burrows a few more sessions, after which I want to move on to other waters. It was very clear that the seasons were changing and if I was going to be out on the bank in all weathers I wanted to be going at some bigger fish.

To Be Continued In Part 2

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