Once again it’s December, I’ve hung up the carp rods for a while and it’s time have a look back at the highlights of my fishing in 2016.
For a change 2016 started off with a different species of fish as I decided to do some lure fishing for pike and perch instead, you can read about last winter’s exploits fishing for Shropshire Union Canal Pike and Perch on my sister blog Anglers Diary and if you've an interest in taking up lure fishing yourself checkout my most recent update on that blog or watch the film below.
After a winter of lure fishing I was itching to get back to fishing for carp, taking a break and targeting those canal pike was a great idea and I came back to my carp fishing in March fully refreshed after my long break. It didn’t take long for my first success to come either as I banked a lovely 24lb+ mirror from one of my local waters. After this quick success I struggled for a while and the next notable carp capture came on our annual social. This year we went back to that popular day ticket water Sandhurst Lake but our return to this venue wasn’t a happy one by any means. I did manage to top score with a nice mirror of 27lb 6oz, a fish I was extremely fortunate to bank given the state of the heavily weeded lake.
After sandhurst I revisited a lake I’ve fished before, The Catfish Lake, I had one eye on the river season opening and with a few weeks to go before the off I had a couple of Saturdays targeting carp and catfish on this lake. Success was instant and I caught a few low double figured carp and several catfish, I had so much good footage I turned both of these short sessions into youtube films, part 1 saw a best catfish of 25lb 4oz and part 2 produced a best catfish of 22lb 8oz. The quality of fishing on this little lake is superb and I’ve no doubt I’ll find time for another couple of sessions on there in 2017.
Summer turned out to be a bit of a mix of different fishing styles, June 16th saw me leave the carp fishing behind for a while as I concentrated on Fishing for River Severn Barbel. This year my barbel fishing went extremely well and I banked a run of mid sized severn barbel mostly on or around the 7lb mark with a best of 8lb 8oz. I really enjoyed my summer time fishing on the River Severn and I’ll definitely be going back for more in 2017.
The other style of fishing that took over my summer was Floater Fishing with an Enterprise Imitation Dog Biscuit. Fishing for surface feeding carp has always been a favourite method of mine and there are a few videos showing zig rig and floater fishing on my youtube channel. This summer I ended up freelining for carp because the fish were so spooky of lines and controllers. Using a Surface Controller was a sure fire way to blank on my chosen local such was their paranoia. These carp weren’t very big, just singles and doubles but they’d been fished for hard on the top for many years and I really had to pull out all the stops to catch one. The summer became a real battle trying to outwit them on the surface and I loved every minute of it, for me it was the challenge of trying to hook what seemed like the unhookable most of the time. I managed to catch a few including the stunning fully scaled mid double on the film below, I also broke a very long standing ‘floater pb’ this summer, a pb that had stood since August 1993!, the carp may not have been massive but I earned every one of them and the fishing definitely provided the kind of challenge I like.
Autumn saw me go back to more conventional carp fishing as I headed back to a different local water in search of another twenty. I’d like to say I caught one but I didn’t, in fact the lake was particularly unkind to me and I ended up blanking for several months as I failed to outsmart a single fish. The closest I came to banking an autumn carp was losing a twenty pound plus common at the net to a hook pull, my only run from September to November and a bitterly disappointing ending to my carp fishing in 2016.
As I write this in early December I’m taking a break to recharge my batteries with just the odd lure fishing trip here and there, I’ll be back out looking for a winter carp over the Christmas period then I’ll be back to the lure fishing again until spring, all in all it’s been a mixed year and I’m certainly hoping to catch a few more twenties next year. I hope you’ve enjoyed the stories and the short films that accompany them and hopefully I’ll get the chance to make a few more next year.
Until next time, tight lines and all the very best to you all in 2017.