As soon as I arrived at the lake I had a feeling I’d catch, it was just a matter of how many. The carp were on the surface in numbers, as I stepped out of the car and looked across the lake I saw a lot of backs breaking surface on the far side and nobody fishing round there!. I grabbed my gear straight away and headed round to the swim that was full of fish. After dropping my gear and watching for a few minutes I decided floaters were the best line of attack and fortunately I’d taken a couple of bags of chum mixers with me.
The only problem with using floaters was the bird life, there was a large amount of seagulls on the lake and they would cause problems for me sooner or later. I began to feed mixers slowly, just half a dozen at a time to start with. It didn’t take long for the carp to show and interest and the first bait was sampled and taken within minutes. I continued feeding mixers and slowly the fishes confidence grew as more and more carp joined in. I’m amazed I managed to avoid the seagulls for so long, a few of them even flew over my baited area and ignored it despite seeing the carp getting stuck into the floating baits, a sure sign nobody had been floater fishing on the lake for quite a while!.
After an hour and a half of constant feeding with the catty my swim looked like a jaccuzzi, there were carp everywhere with their mouths out of the water scrapping for every last mixer. The swim was nearly ready for a hookbait so I slowly began to put a floater rod together. I set the rod up with a drennan sub surface controller and a 10lb drennan double strength hooklength that was 5 feet long. A single mixer superglued to size 10 esp big t raptor hook completed the setup.
I was just waiting for the superglue to dry on the hookbait when two ducks appeared from nowhere and charged straight through my swim grabbing every mixer they could. I continued to feed the mixers as the ducks had their fill but it was another hour before the carp started to get their confidence back again, just as they did a swan arrived on the scene and set me back again, next to arrive were the gulls and at one stage I had a swan, a couple of ducks and about 30 gulls all over my baited area grabbing every last mixer, in with these birds were the carp and they weren’t going to miss out on their free food. My answer to the birdlife was to step up the feed and I simply hammered in the mixers, the birds had their fill and when they couldn’t eat anymore they simply drifted away and watched from a distance, even the gulls had their fill and half an hour later I was sat with a swim full of carp again.
The carp were a little more wary with the disturbance from all the birds and they kept coming back for seconds every so often. I resigned myself to the fact that I wasn’t really going to get the carp completely preoccupied because of the birds so I changed tactics and set up a zig rig. I knew the water was roughly 3ft deep so I set up a zig rig with a 2.5ft hooklength and a small monster pursuit boilie pellet for a hookbait. My new tactics were to put the zig rig out slightly to one side of the baited area and to continue feeding mixers to try and build the carps confidence again.
The zig rig had been out maybe half an hour when the water erupted and my delkim suddenly burst into life. I was on the rod straight away and after a spirited fight I landed a small common that I guestimated to be around 6-7lb in weight. I took a quick picture on the mat and returned the fish then continued to feed more mixers whilst I sorted out another hookbait for the zig rig.
I was fishing again a few minutes later, this time I put the zig closer to the feed area. It was perhaps another 30 minutes before I had a repeat of the last run, the water erupted again and again the delkim warbled its tune. This fish turned out to be a small mirror of perhaps 4lb. I returned the fish unweighed and set the zig rig up again with another fresh boilie pellet. By now I was fishing right in amongst the feed area and it didn’t take long to receive another blistering take. Unfortunately this fish kited to my right and I had to pile on the side strain to try and keep it from getting round a marginal bush. It was a real hang on for dear life moment and sadly my hook length parted as my line came into contact with the submerged branches of the tree.
My swim went a little quiet after loosing the fish and before I could build the carps confidence again the wind sprung up making it impossible to feed more mixers. It was blowing straight in my face so my mixers just kept getting blown straight back at me. As well as feeding mixers during the afternoon I’d also been feeding in some large elips pellets from hinders. With this new breeze blowing I simply switched to my usual knotless knot hair rig and fished on the bottom instead.
Switching to bottom baits produced another run half an hour later and after a spirited fight I netted another small common around the 7lb mark. By this time I was knackered, feeding mixers for over 4 hours with a catty really does take it out of you so I called it a day with just 3 fish to my credit. Judging by the amount of carp that had been in my swim I should have had more but you just can’t avoid problems with birds ruining your groundwork. They’d been a real pain for me on this session and they’d cost me dearly, judging by previous floater fishing sessions on this water I’d have been looking at catching over 10 carp for the session. At the end of the day, you can’t rush the carp through to pre-occupation on chum mixers. It takes time to build them up with careful feeding so its hard to avoid our feathered friends. I’m now thinking of buying a laser pen to help me out next time!.