Friday, 1 January 2016

Burrows 'A Touch Of Synchronicity'

"Synchronicity is a concept first explained by psychiatrist Carl Jung, which holds that events are "meaningful coincidences"

Synchronicity in its many guises can be a beautiful thing, it's a moment in time where everything comes together, different elements seem to marry, thus creating the desired result. Through the years, to a certain degree, I've come to understand my own 'synchronicity', it's something that can't really be preplanned or negotiated, it's something that you very simply "allow".

Using my drums as an example, I slowly came to understand my own learning process, and as time went by the number 3 started to present itself in a very strange way, not only in my music but in my angling as well. When I was in the recording studio I would always get the take I wanted by the 3rd run through. When I played live it was always 3 songs in that I started to get "in the zone" and everything became effortless. When I would practice hand and foot technique I found that 3 blocks of twenty minute practice sessions seemed to be the most beneficial.

Recognise Your Own Synchronicity

Moving on to my angling, I've mentioned in past blog posts that there are times when I feel completely out of sync with my waters. This feeling always comes after a break, it takes me about 3 sessions to reconnect, things then seem to fall into place and I can read the water in front of me correctly. When finding my spots and clipping up to position the rigs perfectly, it takes me a good 3 casts to get it spot on. I change my hook-link after every 3 fish, these examples go on, none of it's a conscious decision, it's a natural occurrence. So taking this all into consideration ..... What number are you?

This brings me on to my first session of the summer down on the Burrows, it had been a long time since I'd last visited its banks. I had such a great winter on there and I was looking forward to checking back in. I planned the trip when I was very much 'in sync' with all of my waters. It was on this session that every element of my approach was perfect, simply put, I'd had a touch of "Synchronicity".

Unlocking the gates to the Paddlesworth complex always fills the pit of my stomach with nervous excitement, it's something I've done hundreds of times and this feeling never changes. I'm always in a hurry to get the gate locked behind me and get up to the carp park. Frantically loading my barrow, my mind was already running a sequence of events, the walk to the swim, getting my buzzers out, setting my rods up etc. I always do my best not to let the excitement cloud my judgement.

A Winter Memory 

As I made my way from the car park along the narrow paths, branches were brushing my face and brambles were clinging to my clothes. Everything was in full bloom and the bleak memories from winter that were etched so clear in my mind, were swiftly erased, I felt like a ghost back them, now, I felt very much alive. 

Burrows is such a unique looking place in the summer, the marginal areas are obscured by lots of overhanging trees, the water always seems to change to a lush green colour. The paths are obscured and overgrown, as you walk down them the water periodically reveals itself through holes in the bushes. 

Both the surroundings and the quality of the fish are in equal measure, that's the main reason why I love the place so much. I fish lakes for their location and atmosphere more than I do for their stock. I'm a sucker for waters that literally remove you from reality, every time I lock the gates of Paddlesworth behind me I mentally switch off from everything that isn't related to my angling.  

Burrows In Bloom
Making my way around the water, I was keeping a firm eye on any possible fish activity, most swims were free. I was tempted to go in the 'muddy double' but it gets so heavily fished, I passed on it. I decided to make my way further up, there was a lovely calm breeze moving from left to right. I clocked a marginal area with some prominent overhanging trees that I hadn't fished before, it looked very tempting, so I decided to target it.

My plan was to bait really heavy, I'd decided to use the Bio Cp2 Amino, when I use both "green Lip Mussel" or "fishmeal & Betaine" base mixes I always put a lot in. From past experience, I feel because these specific blends have so many natural ingredients and attractors in them, the carp can really get into a frenzy when feasting on them.

Visual Attraction

You'll see in the image above that I added two 10m imitation boilies in two different colours. In conjunction with this I was using both 12mil and 10mil baits, 4x 10mil boilies were put in a small mesh bag and nicked onto the hook for the cast. I really wanted to offer something a little different on this session, like I've said so many times in the past. To move forward you have to be thinking forward, this is a 'rule of thumb' for everything that I do in my life. 

Ready For The Cast

Before I even got my swim set up I applied the bait in abundance, I got into a good rhythm with the throwing stick and spread it all around both the far margin spots that I'd chosen to target. I concentrated on getting it really tight under the overhanging trees. I've fished Burrows enough to know that during the summer months the carp practically get under the bank, it still surprises me how close to the edges you can actually catch them.

My plan was to clip up so the rig literally kissed the branches on its descent, I wanted to fish fast so I had to have every element sorted in advance. Mesh bags were tied, my yards sticks were easy accessible, "no catching the line in surrounding trees and bushes". Two kilo of bait was put into a bucket of water so it was easier to be accurate with the throwing stick, dry baits just down fly out the stick as well. Once all 'anal' tasks were completed I wrapped my rods to 11.5 wraps and I was finally ready to go.

View From The Swim  
11.5 wraps put my rig perfectly under the bushes and trees, to make sure each cast was perfect, I stood directly in line with the front legs of my pod. Both rigs were placed with a perfect feathered cast, a few more handfuls of bait were put out for good measure, now it was the waiting game. 

It was hot so I took my shoes and socks off, rolled my trousers up and sat on the edge of the bank with my feet in the water. The silty clay felt soft and smooth on the soles of my feet, I felt strangely connected to my environment. I sat looking out over the water knowing that the fish were sure to move in on my bait and hopefully they were in the mood to scoff.

Skorpios 2 3/4 Test Curve

Twenty or so minutes in and I was starting to receive tiny little indications on both rods, both bobbins were fidgeting away. When I looked closely at the rod tips I could see them jolting so very slightly. The odd bleeps on my right rod suddenly turned into a 'one toner', the first fish was on and accelerating at crazy speed to the right of me. I had a very shallow margin so I decided that I would get in the water to land it - "I love landing carp whilst standing in the water"

The initial run was intense, letting my rod do the work, I just kept the pressure on. I was using my 'Skorpios' in 2 3/4, the blank was literally bending down to the butt, the communication between me and the fish was so acute. As it came closer I could see its broad back cutting the surface of the water, easing the net under her, my first carp of the session had been tamed. Before the unhooking and picture taking I launched another two handfuls of bait over the spots. 

A Broad Back Mirror
Once returned I clipped up to 11.5 wraps, hooked my pre-tied mesh bag on and got the rig 'bang on the money' first time. When you're going for a 'big hit' you've got to get into a solid rhythm, everything has to be as poetic as possible. The more "in rhythm" you are, the higher chance you have of getting the fish to compete, the more care free they are, the higher the chance of them tripping up on the hook-bait.

Once the swim had settled from the baiting up and recast, I started to get liners instantly, it was at this point that I knew it was going to be a manic session. All the big hits I've had down burrows always start with a quick fish and continuous indications that carp are present. Within minutes my right rod was away again.

Once again it kited tight to the right, I jumped in the water and a mighty battle commenced. This felt like a slightly better one, its initial run was immense, I stood strong waiting for the perfect moment to start guiding her my way. As she came closer I caught a glimpse of a plump little mirror, soon enough she was staring at me in the bottom of my net mesh. Again, before unhooking her I launched another couple of handfuls of bait into the swim.

Number Two Tamed
Before slipping her home I treated all minor abrasions with both "wound seal" and "propolis", you must always respect your waters and the carp that live within them. As anglers it's our duty to look after and nurture everything in our 'angling environment'.

Before I even managed to get the rod back out, my left one rocketed away, this fish shot to the left. Once again I got in the water, my feet were sinking in the silt, the bubbles from the air trapped within it shot up through my toes, my trousers were drenched, I felt strangely grounded. Another majestic battle resulted in a lovely mirror, the scales on its back were perfect.

Another One On The Bio Cp2 Amino
The session was coming together nicely, both rods were now out of the water, I once again clipped them up to 11.5 wraps and made the casts. By this point the rigs were 100% hitting the mark, I had to be right under the branches to get the bites. I got a few more handfuls of bait out and decided to make a coffee. It was now really quite hot but I always need a good dose of caffeine to keep my mind sharp.

Taking my position, sitting down by rods, feet in the water and the sun on my back, I felt very much in the moment. On summer days such as this there's always a big part of me that would love to slap on a pair of goggles and go swimming. Propel myself down into the depths and see first hand what's going on, I'm sure whats below the surface is very different to what we all picture in our heads. 

Below The Surface 'Real Mystery Must Remain Hidden'
On the flip-side though, I feel the carps world has to stay secret from us, just as life above the surface is a secret to them. It's the "not knowing" that keeps the mystery safe, not once have I felt inclined to watch any underwater footage of feeding fish, to me, it's just another example of technology taking the charm out of something. Deep in thought, I fell back to reality with the sight and sound of my right rod contorting in agony, I sprung up to grab it and jumped into the water to commence battle once again. 

This fish was stripping line like crazy, I was very simply holding on for dear life, gradually I gained ground, tweaking the clutch as I went, slowly, she was coming closer, a quick glimpse of a lovely grey mirror greeted me as she tried to make her final bid for freedom. Her effort was futile, and as my net mesh engulfed her, a sense of relief washed over me, 'what an incredible looking carp'.

A Lovely Grey Slab
Once again, prior to unhooking and releasing her I fired another 3 heaped handfuls of bait over both spots, it was obvious the carp were reacting really well to the amount of bait going in. The rod went back out and I took a seat 'on my chair', put another coffee on, sat back and continued to soak up the sights and sounds of everything around me.

The main heat of the day was starting to subside, now there was a small amount of cloud cover. A family of coots were getting away with stealing the odd freebie or two, seagulls were milling around waiting for me to pick up my throwing stick. They were masters at infiltrating my baits mid flight, mallards were discussing politics, every so often an agile kingfisher would cut the water at lightening speed. 

The action was both above and below the water, the theatre I was witnessing was suddenly cut short with the sound of my left hand rod wailing. The initial take fired forward at speed and then the fish seemed to take a major 'U-turn', it flew towards me so fast, I was reeling like a madman trying my best to pick up the slack. To my surprise it gave up its ghost with little bother, it's as if he wanted to join me on dry land.

Number 5 On The Bio Cp2 Amino
Once released I decided not to put anymore bait in, time was getting on, I had about an hour left. During this time most of the other anglers on the lake had departed, everything became calm and quiet. It now felt like the "magic hour" and I had a strange sense that if something special was going to happen then it would be now

I sat quietly with my eyes fixed firmly on my rod tips, I was willing a bite to happen, I slowly started to get my kit together, breaking down the none essentials, dragging the most simplest of tasks out in hope another fish would pay me a visit. 

It was in the closing minutes when my left rod sparked into life again, this carp, just like the previous one, bolted towards me and proceeded to go crazy underneath the rod tip. The second I slipped the net under her my other rod went. This take was savage and my reel was literally smoking. Leaning into this fish, I was met with solid visceral aggression.

First Of A Double Take
It was a dead weight, taking more and more line, I nursed the clutch, waiting for the perfect moment to increase the pressure. Very slowly I started to gain ground, the fish was powering around and I was giving as good as I was getting. As it came closer I could see what appeared to be a 'reasonably large' carp, with my heart in my mouth and my legs shaking, I preyed that I would land her. As the fish surrendered onto its side, the net was slipped gently under her .... RESULT !!!!

A Beast Of A Fish To Close The Session
I stood for a moment looking at both my nets, "two nets, two fish", what a way to end the session. From start to finish it had been chaos - whoever said that fishing was a lazy mans sport? I felt drained but the adrenaline I had coursing through my body was enough fuel to aid me on the awkward trudge back to the car park. 

I was sweaty, covered in fish slim and I stunk pretty bad, but it was all worth it. The only downside was when I got home I was going to have to wash my feet, cleaning silt a clay from between your toes and from under your toenails is an art within its self.     

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