Sunday, 31 August 2014

River carp in gusty conditions - i'm back on the bank a little more often

Well here we go again, I'm managing to get on the bank for some Angling, I really don't get to go as much as I'd like just due to working long hours as a lorry driver, really love my job just the lack of time to be angling gets annoying at times! Also prioritising a little time for myself to get out on the bank more often is starting to happen.
What I've been do of late is taking some basic fishing gear with me in my daily driver, so if I do finish work at a reasonable time say 3/4pm I nip to the shops get some food & drinks for myself then drive with some pace to my chosen venue & fish till dusk! This has proved a great way of winding down after work I'm sleeping better, feeling less sluggish & obviously more time on the bank improves upon my current skills, & keeps me in tune with my chosen venues that I fish, It doesn't matter to me what the weather is doing, any opportunity to be on the bank angling I'm there!
So I fished the River Avon below Evesham as I found a group of carp, 7 in all ranging from 11lbs (the one in the pics) to the biggest which absolutely dwarfs what I caught!
This is just a quick update which I will probably re-edit, I'll go through tackle/rigs in my next blog! This wont be a blog that stalls anymore......Tight Lines!!!

Monday, 7 October 2013

My running ledger rig

Just a short post showing the running ledger rig I have used since I was about 14 years of age
Its an extremely simple rig to tie, I have caught lots of fish on this style of rig, I do have some variations on it but this is the basic setup
My simple running ledger rig

As you can see in the picture is very basic indeed:
  • Normal mono filament mainline
  • A large bore running ring with a Mustad snap-link attached (notice I put shrink tubing on the snap link)
  • A large rubber shock bead by Fox (Always like fox products for many years-good for the money)
  • A Fox brown buffer bead which slips over the size 7 Fox swivel
  • A Fox size seven swivel with a large bore ring, I like these for the extra freedom of movement they give to the hook link
Running ledger components, the ledger in the picture is for demonstration purposes only 
Just close-up of the large bore run ring & Mustad snap-link with shrink-tube 
Fox Brown buffer/shock bead pushed over the swivel

This has proved a nice tangle free rig over the years, its simple to make up, consists of very few components & most important I feel, only two knots.
1. To attached the mainline to the Fox size 7 swivel with large bore ring on the hook length end
2. The other knot is the hook length be it mono filament, fluorocarbon or braid to its own Fox size 7 swivel to which I clip on a Mustad snap-link.
I use snap-links on most of my ledger weights & hook lengths as it means I can vary my rig to the situation i.e. different lengths of hook length & different shape or weight of the ledger.
I also use this setup on still waters, lakes, ponds, reservoirs & canals, the only thing that changes is the size of the components, ledger weights, main line breaking strains. Indecently, the knot I tend to use to attach components on most of my rigs is the Palomar knot with a slight dab of super glue.
As I fish various venues I'll update what rigs I use.

Friday, 4 October 2013

Coventry Canal Carp & River Bream

10lb of Coventry canal carp took on a single grain of corn
Well it has been a long while since I made an entry to my blog.  I have been away from angling since my last entry-is it 18months or so???? so I'm a bit rusty when it comes to my technical ability of angling.
I decided to get myself back in the groove by way of a visit to my local canal in Coventry, my intended quarry was any of the general coarse fishing species & was happy to not get into a tangle as that was my priority No1!!! never mind catching as that's only the bonus of why I enjoy angling.
It was generally uneventful as sessions go, the weather was roasting hot 80+degrees! bright clear sky's & the sun behind me giving away my presence. I tackled up a float rod with 3lb mainline to a 2lb hook link followed by a size 18 hook with a single maggots, brutal tactics compared to a match angler ;) I also tackled up an Avon style rod, 9lb mainline & hook link with a large float well shotted down, 4" of line laid on the bottom of the far shelf with a single grain of corn on the hook.
Avery happy fist day fishing the canal in August 2013 10lb
It was a difficult session!!! I did catch on maggot, some small roach & perch of only a few ounces, little & often with the feed, maybe only 4-5 maggots every 10 minutes, I lost a tench when I tried double red maggot, the hook "pinged" out of its mouth at the net & I was in an almighty birds nest of a tangle so I gave up on that rod as I was nearing the end of my session.
But... the best was yet to come, where I had been feeding plain tinned corn on the far shelf every 30 minutes or so over my well laid on hook bait of a single grain of corn (with a little secret home made ingredient) the distinctive sign of bubbles from a feeding carp appeared, not what I expected after the commotion I had with the lost tench.
the float wavered from left to right for a good 2 hours-my anxiety & patience were spinning my mind in circles as you would imagine, will the fish take the bait & fall for my big fish small venue method? another hour passed, still the same thing happening made all the worse by the fact I could see the what I knew to be a carp near the surface so I knew what could potentially be the result if I was lucky/given the chance!
its was getting near 5:30pm, I was hot, hungry, thirsty & in my mind I thought, nothing is going to come of this situation, I packed up my gear leaving the "far shelf rod" until the last, I thought, I'll stick it until 7:00pm then head home, my mind had Bruce lee's voice in my head saying things like "patience my friend, patience" 6:52pm...
HOLY S£^*" I cant believe it, a blummin canal carp.
I battled with it for a good 12-15minutes, it was a real gem of a fight, took me into lilies, kited a good 25-30 yards to the left & right, finally it went in the net YES YA B$&*"£%
I was smiling like a Cheshire cat for sure, I weighed my net, then the fish, 10 pounds of canal carp, superb condition & even had the curtain in its mouth so obviously had either never been caught or very few times indeed-what a first session back!
River Stalking for specimens ending up with a nice Bream

I used my usual river setup regardless of what species I'm after I like to use Avon style rod with a 1/14 test curve, high tech very thin abrasive line of 7.9lb test on my float rod & hi tech 9lb test on my ledger rod, the float I use is a small lignum stick float, its allows me to present a bait in a delicate manner if needs be but has enough weight for longer casts/wider glides & long trotting.
the ledger rod was a bit of a "cock up" I used a carp fishing lead core leader for a helicopter type setup as I forgot to re-tackle that rod for the river, I put a boilie on that rod of 16mm, 18" hook length in mono ( prefer mono as I like the stretch it has in built into it) I found a nice spot in deep water of about 12ft by an overhanging tree, threw in some hemp seed with my homemade special ingredient, some of my boilies also home made as I'm a bit strapped for cash on the angling funds at present, the whole lot went in the deep hole under the tree on a chuck & chance it/pub chuck type basis.
Suffice to say, in the 5 hours fishing until nightfall all I had on the ledger was a screaming take that came to nothing-so what was it???
the float rod however I did OK, I was hoping for chub, barbel Tench perch I brought various baits such as lob worms, maggots, luncheon meat with a homemade flavouring but the bigger baits had no interest whatsoever-strange as the conditions were good for a river lunker.

I stalked fish I could see & tried likely looking spots but it availed to nothing ;(
I found my final stretch to fish until nightfall, 7ft deep, lots of streamer weed, steady pace, no trees for me to get in a tangle with as my casting is shocking STILL!
I trotted double maggots on a waggler that was too light for the situation, I could some roach to only 3oz, a baby chub which must have been 4oz at best, I'm not a match man trying to build a weight and I don't really do the I caught more than you thing!!! I do regard myself as a bit of a haphazard specimen angler, angling is largely down to chance after all, I don't mind catching the smaller fish, they save a blank & it show the river has a breeding population of some description. 
As the sun was coming down to the tree top line I decided to keep maggot on the hook & feed tinned sweetcorn, I continued until I could just make out the float top in my swim, the float slid away like a Tench bite, I struck, YES! a decent fish, it stayed deep in the water, I thought it was a Tench the way it fought, but as I brought through the water layers I could see it was a decent bream using its flanks to kite around in the current of the river then, in the net, superb!
lovely condition & colouration, far less slimey than the lake dwelling bream which is a bonus, I'm not a fan of bream generally due to their thick gloopy slime that's gets everywhere & in lakes they don't fight at all, but the river dwellers may change my mind....they may become one of my targets this autumn, I didn't weigh the fish, it was a good fish the same length from tip to tail as the widest part of my landing net at the front & it was 3" thick, what more can I say....
Superb condition river bream, double maggot over a bed of corn
When I fish the rivers I always use two rods, I really enjoy river fishing, I spent every Friday with my dad on the river Blythe in my school years & caught chub to 5.5lb, its all I could catch to be honest but I got pretty god at it, I could usually winkle out a few when other local chaps were blanking so I wasn't as stupid or as bad an angler then as I thought I was, stalking is my game.
hopefully be able to write about my angling trips a little more often

Monday, 3 October 2011

Particles, 16mm Boilies & Bream, Bream, Bream - but i'm not complaining! even though i wanted Carp!

Superb, i decide to start using a bigger boilie to try to stop interest from Bream & what happens, i get even more bream totally switched on to the feed!!! The fact that this hasn't gone un-noticed by the anglers that actually want to be catching the Bream says quite a lot!
Really in all honesty it doesn't actually annoy me catching Bream instead of my intended quarry of Carp, hey it saves me having a blank session, which is also beneficial in the sense that at least the bait on my hook & free offerings are attracting fish & not exactly going to waste!

So i think i have found one of the "Beam" hot spots on one of my local club waters & really on my 3rd session i put in enough free offerings that i would have thought it would have fed the bream off & allowed the Carp to move in to the swim, as this didn't happen & there were no real signs of carp in the area over my last six fishing sessions i have come to the conclusion of moving onto pastures new, a different peg where i can find more signs of Carp!

Bream the carp anglers friend, hey! she saves us from a blank session, i had around thirty bream on my last session all around 1.5-2lb with the odd one around 4-5lb, the towel in the photo was wet!!!

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Outcome of using particles so far.....

The outcome is actually very good news, using particles for three sessions now & I am really surprised at the outcome, they are a superb fish attractor "when used correctly"
On the club venue I fish there is quite a healthy stock of bream which if you are targeting bream using particles as an attractor is superb!
For my own personal goal I'm currently targeting the carp on my club venue & at the moment using particles as an attractor seems to be drawing in the bream rather than the carp, the bream are also quite happily taking my 15mm hook baits, even bream of only one pound!!! but they were really on the feed"

As I say above, when they are used correctly, I mean this in the sense of using a little watercraft, feeding from very small amounts & building what go's in if the fish are responding or taking feeding very small amounts until "hopefully" the fish switch onto the feed, now my own gut feeling is I am not putting enough particles in to bring the carp onto the feed, what I mean is that if I put in a larger "initial" amount, hopefully the bream will have their fill of food & move on!

in my three session of using particles all I have been catching is bream using boilies when the intention was for carp!

I have also been having a little experiment with pva mesh, & I can honestly say for the type of fishing I do they are superb, they give a small target area of feed around the hook bait, very simple to use, what I will try to do is draw a diagram of the two rigs I use & try to show how I use pva mesh bags, these can have an amazing amount of  uses for many different species-never assume a method for one species wont work on others, its worth experimenting by up scaling or downscaling your terminal tackle!

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Time to give particles a go for carp

Well, just a quick update before a planned fishing trip tomorrow!
Today I was put in the direction of a an outlet that sells particle baits which I will start using a little more often in a few area's of my fishing, many species like to feed on particles as its a fairly natural food source for many types of fish, but for tomorrows planned fishing trip, my target species is going to be Carp!

Now if all go's to plan & the gods of angling (& possibly Richard Walker) are looking upon me kindly & the Carp are willing to feed on my baits & go absolutely mental for my particle mix then it will be a good session so fingers crossed  confidence is high!

The actual particles I bought today consisted of various types of seeds and pulses, known in the carp fraternity as party blend!  I bought two 20kg sacks so that should last me a while.
Particle baits have to be prepared before using them. My personal method for preparing any nuts, seeds, dried particles is to put them in the largest saucepan I can find in the kitchen cupboard, cover them with water & have around an inch of water above the particles, bring them to the boil, simmer on a very low heat for five minutes whilst I go & find my bait bucket, turn off the gas & chuck the whole lot in my bait bucket, leave them to cool.

I find this method makes a lot of the starches & oils in the particles leech out & form a very stodgy, sticky & jelly like substance, once all the particles are nice & cool & give them a really vigorous stir, now is the time that I add some samples of my hook baits to the mix, also any flavours & attractors can be bunged in but personally, it should be left as is!

If you are going to add any flavours or attractors prepare the particles as outlined above then follow up by adding you chosen flavours an/or attractors, put your particles in a bag or a number of bags & put them in the freezer, when the particles are frozen the flavours an/or attractors are drawn into the seeds & any water content, when they defrost a good percentage of your flavours and/or attractors will remain in the particles. I'm no expert as you can probably, blatantly tell!!! but, these are just some of the things I try in my own angling as that's what its all about, trying various methods, baits, techniques to fool those fish.

For my session tomorrow I have prepared 2kg of party blend + 1kg of sweetcorn added to the mix, a slight confession, to this mix I have added 250grams of molasses sugar, this is a sugar that has that black syrup type colour & smell, I will update in my next blog with more details of my methods & baits used in my fishing trip

My 3kg Party blend with sweetcorn added
 Lets hope for some Carp tomorrow eh!

Friday, 16 September 2011

August/September 2011

Well here we go, my first ever attempt at a blog, first of all, please excuse my lack of punctuation skill, spelling mistakes etc. etc. All my updates will basically revolve around my angling exploits & any fishing related goings on.

I'll try my best to update my blog spot at least monthly:
Explain my venue
Tactics & bait I use
Things I learn about fishing
A personal & un-biased view of products I buy & use
My attempts at boilie making at home with hopefully positive results
& probably a few photo's of my catches and maybe the odd video.

I'm based in Coventry I'm fishing local venues, I like a bit of variety in where I go fishing & this for me personally is dictated by the seasons of the year & sometimes how successful or unsuccessful my angling is! Plans for 2012 are to visit some "so called" prolific fisheries in other parts of the UK.

My wish list of venues in other areas of the UK include:
The river Teme, Severn or Great Ouse for the barbel
Bluebell Lakes in Oudle for the Carp & to hopefully gain a personal best
The Hampshire Avon where Bob James Caught that amazing catch of specimen roach
Sywell reservoir for the specimen Tench
I'm sure I'll have additions to this list to come & hopefully achieve ticking some of them off the list.

A six year break from fishing has dictated that for the time being I'm keeping my tackle & tactics basic, as in all honesty I feel I have lost my touch a bit. I'm currently a member of the Leamington Angling Association so I'll be fishing the venues that this club book covers plus the privilege of a private pool for the known big Carp that are in residence plus any other local venues I fish or get recommended to "give a go" so there we go, there is a little bit about myself!

At present my comeback to angling is with two pronged approach, general float fishing & ledgering tactics targeting no particular species on a wide variety of baits & Carp fishing. The reason why Carp fishing is the "second prong" of my so called two pronged approach is this is where my previous angling direction was going towards before my fishing tackle was stolen, but as I say, I do like all types of angling & want to improve all areas targeting a wide variety of species, but like most us, we all have one or two favourite species to fish for.

So, my comeback to angling at the start of august 2011, fishing Meadowlands fisheries Warren pool for my first three sessions, I'll keep these first 3 session to a minimum due them being pretty uneventful. Meadowlands is a known local venue, is well match fished & not the hardest venue, so was a good place to get used to setting up, casting, setting up in my peg etc. etc.

Well on my first rod I fished a very simple waggler bulk shot around the float, size 14 hook with a choice of sweetcorn or trout pellet paste on the hook, my second rod was a simple running ledger or ground bait feeder with a 12" long hook link, size 10 hook.

My float rod was fished in the margins, simple tactics of corn on the hook  feeding 4 or 5 free offerings every five minutes, this soon brought the small carp onto the feed, I was off to a running start with a 5lb mirror carp in the net, I went on throughout the session to catch nine small carp and one Tench.
The ledger rod didn't have any luck with as I got in a right old tangle, a proper birds nest around the spool, but, was so happy catching on the float, I just didn't use it!
the next two days were much of a muchness.

My next ten sessions have been on a Leamington Angling Association pool & the private lake for Carp, and so far probably more luck than judgment, I have not had a blank session yet..........
for my first three sessions on the Leamington Angling Association pool, concentrating my efforts on general coarse species with a similar setup as I used at Meadowlands fishery being one float fishing rod and one ledger/feeder fishing rod.

The beginning of august consisted of my first three sessions on this Leamington Angling Association pool, its stocked with all non predatory species commonly found in uk waters with a decent head of carp,  which I constantly find a little tempting to fish for, it has a reported good head of bream to 10.5lbs with possibly some larger!!! chrikey, also some reported large roach are present, so a pleasantly varied venue!
With it being a completely new and venue to me, before fishing I had a walk around the lake, chatted to some pleasant people to get a little info on the pool to give me a starting point.

Three initial sessions in has seen me catch on pretty basic tactics as outlined above, I have caught roach to 1.5lb, bream to 4.5lb, perch, Tench, hybrids & carp to 15.5lb which for me is a PB so I'm absolutely enthused about the venue for the variety, fellow anglers seem willing to help with advice on tactics and bait & also happy to point to particular hotspot swims known for producing specimens of a given species, which is a fantastic in my opinion! I haven't any pictures of my personal bests as I didn't realise my crappy mobile phone has no compatible USB cable to upload them to my laptop-how pointless is the camera on my phone eh? but here is a Roach caught whilst targeting Carp on the private pool I fish using straight running ledger on a double 10mm boilie size 10 hook, in the photo I placed my car keys which has a bottle opener which is 4.5-5" long, so gives a half decent reference as to the size of the fish, I was pretty happy to catch it!

A real silver dollar Roach