Monday, 1 December 2008

Change of Tactics Catches the Carp

As usual I overslept again this week!. It was 10.00am before I was up and about and with sandwiches, a flask and all my fishing gear to sort out it was gone 11.30am when I finally left for the lake. Even if I found some carp quickly it would still be gone 1pm before I’d have the rods out. The journey to the lake was slow, I try to avoid the ‘A’ roads in Cheshire as most of the time you always seem to get stuck behind a lorry and this trip was no different, with few overtaking opportunities I just had to stay at a very low 40mph until I reached a turn off. This slowed me down even more and it took longer than my usual hours drive to reach the Cheshire carp lake I’d chosen to fish this week.
Upon arrival at the lake there were 4 cars in the car park which wasn’t too bad, it meant the lake was busy but the two best swims on this particular carp water are often overlooked. I was so confident of getting on the fish I actually took my gear with me rather than leave it in the car to go looking for fish.

I dropped my gear at the lakeside and went to check out one of the flier swims. True to form the swim was empty and as I stood in the peg surveying the water a very dark looking common rolled twice in quick succession. I didn’t go for my gear straight away, I carried on watching the water and sure enough the signs of carp in the swim slowly became apparent, another fish rolled further out and there was plenty of bubbling in the far corner against some overhanging trees. I’d seen enough and I went back and collected my fishing gear from where I’d left it.

I’d fished this swim before but it had been a good 3 years since I’d last wet a line on this lake. I still had an idea the carp would still be doing their old routine so I placed my rigs accordingly, one rod went off the trees to the left but in open water on a spot that had done me a few fish in the past, the second rod was just an underarm cast down the margins to try and pick up the carp as they patrol around the edge of the lake. Both rods were baited with the same kevin nash monster pursuit boilie pellets I’ve been using these past few weeks. A pva mesh bag accompanied each rig and I used a catapult to scatter a handful of mixed trout pellets around each rod just to bring the fish down on the bait.

I was expecting to catch sooner rather than later and just 20 minutes after casting out I had a vicious liner on the open water rod, a further liner on the margin rod an hour later had me wondering what was wrong?. Something wasn’t right, with a few carp in the area I would usually have caught by now and a few hours into my session I’d just had liners. The carp were still around but they seemed reluctant to feed on the pellets which was unusual.

A change of tactics was needed so I decided to fish tight against the trees. There were plenty of branches trailing in the water and to my left there was a tree stump sticking out of the water, beyond this was a very small bay which is where the carp were showing the most. I dropped a rig against the branches of the overhanging tree at the entrance and exit to the bay. I fished locked up, no back leads and rods pointing straight at the bait. I screwed the clutch up tight on my infinity bait runners and secured the rod pod so it wouldn’t get pulled in or pulled over. I opted to leave putting in any bait to see how things went so it was just a single monster pursuit boilie pellet tight to the trees.

This change of tactics brought an almost immediate reward, just 15 minutes after casting in a couple of bleeps from the delkim was followed by the rod top knocking violently, I was on the rod straight away and because the carp had no line to take it was easily halted from making the sanctuary of the branches that were trailing in the water. I applied some moderate side strain and the fish came out from the bay and into open water were I was able to play the fight out in a normal manner. The carp was lively and still took 5 minutes or so to subdue but eventually I slipped the net under a very long and very thin mirror carp that looked like it might make 10lb. I weighed the fish at 9lb 15oz, not quite a double but it was a result and it proved I was thinking on the right lines by changing tactics and fishing to the snags.

My second and biggest carp of the day at 11lb 4oz


I dropped the rig back in the same spot against the tree, again with no freebies. I wondered if the commotion caused by hooking my first carp would put the others off a bit but I needn’t have worried, half an hour later the delkim sounded another few bleeps and again the rod started knocking violently. I struck quickly and there was a big boil in the water where my bait had been. This carp was a bit more stubborn than the first and it gave me no end of trouble as it tried to reach the snags, at one stage it had me wrapped around the tree stump in the margins but I was able to move up the bank a few feet to change the angle of pull and get the fish free again. I did eventually get the fish into open water and a few minutes later I slipped the net under another mirror carp which turned out to be slightly bigger than the last one at 11lb 4oz. I set up my camera and did a few pictures of this carp as it was quite a nicely scaled fish, with the camera work done I slipped the carp back and focused on getting the rod back out again.

I dropped the rig in against the tree again and set the delkim, I remembered my unhooking mat on the floor and as I turn round to pick it up the same rod was away again. I was on it quickly and gave no line as with the previous two fish. After trying hard to get into the overhanging branches of the trees, this fish headed for open water where I was able to wear it down and get it into the net. This fish was a common that was similar in size to the last two, I weighed the fish and it just scraped into double figures at 10lb 2oz.

With 3 carp coming my way I was more than happy, I did wonder how long the fish would keep coming to the single hookbait approach but I carried on and again dropped my rig tight to the branches of the trees at the entrance to the small bay. Things went a bit quiet for a while and I was able to sit down and poor a brew from my thermos flask. It was 45 minutes later when the delkim sounded again, I was sitting next to the rods all this time so again I was on it straight away. Things went well this time and as I applied moderate side strain the fish came straight out into open water where the carp circled repeatedly on a short line before finally giving up and slipping into the landing net. It was another common, again of similar size to the others and on weighing, this particular common also scraped double figures at exactly the same weight as the last one, 10lb 2oz.

This second 10lb 2oz fish turned out to be my last of the day, despite recasting against the trees again no more runs came and I didn’t see any more fish either. The change of tactics had brought me 4 carp in 2 hours so I was happy enough, I gave it another hour and a half with no action and no sign of fish before I finally called it a day and packed up. I was happy, it had been a warm day, very comfortable with hazy sunshine all day. The carp had finally given themselves away and for once I’d been able to take advantage and catch a few fish.

Tight Lines
Mark.

No comments:

Post a Comment