It’s approaching summer and the carp are starting to thinking about spawning. In May the fish weights are at there highest until they have spawned and, depending on which type of water your fishing, your approach can vary greatly.
It’s all down to personal preference really and I’ve been swapping and changing styles thoughout May.
On the pressured waters I’ve been fishing the stick mix approach, casting to showing fish with Squid and Orange stick mixes and matching hook bait Waffters to great effect.
It’s not really an approach I use often but the waters I’m fishing this spring seems to have many more anglers than usual this year.
The fish seem to be wary of large beds of bait because of this so I’ve had to keep active.
While on the quieter waters I use my usual large beds of particle and CM60 method.
Most big feeding fish like their food – you never get skinny big eaters really do you? I like to spread the loose offerings around an area of the lake with large pocket of Boillie approximately 1/2 per spot. I make sure that a couple of areas have no rods fishing them so hopefully they clear the area up before looking for more food.
It’s also a good idea to oil the baits to identify if an area has visitors.
It’s a dead giveaway when the tell-tailed flat spots appear because of feeding fish disturbing the bottom of the lake while they root out the treats you’ve positioned.
This has only been possible on the quieter waters this year, but again seems to for me.
You can use any purpose made fishing oil if you like. I like to use trusted salmon oils and hemp oils, but it’s entirely your choice.
It’s not a approach I use on pressured waters really but is very effective to find feeding fish.
Well until next time tight lines.
Like most people I find time limited with commitments and family life.
I often watch reports of friends and fishermen returning from foreign trips or local trips in the UK with a saddened heart because it’s usually just not possible to do more than 48hrs if I’m lucky.
Now I have to say I’m very lucky to have a full life and I would not swap it for the world but when the chance arises I’m going to take advantage.
At the start of the year, I thought I would try a little trip into France in April as usually this is the quietest period of the year for me and I thought I would have a break away from the world then.
I was thinking of fishing a barrage in Northern France on the Orme usually un-fished by many people but being practical about this I chose to fish a managed fishery with a better chance of catching after a 800 mile trip from my front door.
Living in the Northwest is not the ideal point to start a trip to France, the distance and the cities that I have to travel though can be horrendous to say the least so travelling at night is by far the best option. Being clever, I thought I would work through day and then travel after work. Massive mistake as you can imagine, a full day’s work on top off a 12 hour commute is near madness.
I won’t bore your with the details but let’s say we got a little lost at points along the journey and put another two hours onto the trip.
Luckily I had a companion for the trip and this made its a little easier.
I chose to travel with a great friend and good angler Phil Flatman for the trip and myself and Phil fish completely differently which is a bonus because we can learn by our mistakes on a new water. You never stop learning.
The venue we decided to fish was pretty much forced on us because of my travel plans. I could only manage a longish weekend fishing from Thursday to Monday really because of business commitments and most venues required you to fish Saturday to Saturday.
This was just not possible for me and after much searching we were allowed to fish Etang Autels but only fixed pegs on certain pegs which I hate with a passion.
On arrival we found the lake to be empty and it looked like we where the only people on the lake. Result as we thought, we quickly phoned the booking agent and he allowed us to chose the peg which looked perfect.
Fish where showing and everything looked bang on.
After a quick trip to the super market for food, a little to quick for my liking as Phil was like a scolded cat on hot bricks to get fishing. The world passed in a blur for a couple of miles as we travelled from the lake to the shop and back.
We managed to set up quickly and our own approaches started in earnest.
I opted for the HG42 Boillie and Halibut pellet approach and Phil went for the particle and pellet method.
Twenty kilo of baits in both swims where introduced and we sat back to relax.
Now you would think that was perfect wouldn’t you but no.
At this point the lake owner turned up to informed us that we have to fish on the other side of the lake as some local anglers had recently booked the swims we had just prepped and as a result we would have to leave the swims in the morning.
We were too tired to argue and really needed sleep to be honest.
It wasn’t long before the fish started feeding. Phil was into large grass carp and I was spending most of my time being battered by very big cats which to be honest destroyed me on my carp gear.
I was getting frustrated with the cats but stuck to my guns for the carp.
After a nights sleep we had to move and wave goodbye to the baited area to just watch the French chaps turn up and fish over our baits exactly on the spots we had baited.
This really doesn’t help when you watch fish after fish being caught over your own bait but not by yourself.
The next three days where painful to say the least.
We tried our hardest to get feeding areas going but our swims where mostly void of fish.
The cats still where feeding and as a result broke the silence day by day, but the carp where being very elusive to say the least.
I still managed a chunky mirror but remember it’s all about getting out there and enjoying the moment which we did and an adventure was just what the doctor ordered really.
Many fisheries now insist that leads are dumped when a fish picks up the bait. Currently I am using the MCF clip, this appears to dump the lead consistently.
My set-up using a MCF clip
Dumping the lead can become very expensive on prolific waters, especially with the price of leads. For this reason I have started to make my own leads.
Home made leads, lead eyes and moulds
I have created two videos, the first one covers making the leads and the second how to coat them:
Click here for videos
The big question is are they any good? Recently I caught my PB English carp at 44lb 14oz. I was using a 3oz home made lead cast 130 yards. Indecently it was caught on the actual rig shown in the first photo. The bait is a CM60 snowman, but the lead is a replacement as the original lead was dumped.
44lb 14oz caught on a CM60 snowman using a home made lead
27lb 12oz common
It has been a slow start for me this year and my lake has been exceptionally slow. Only 4 fish have been out all Winter, so it was nice to see the odd fish on the bank in the last few weeks. I have been putting in the odd few hours here and there and have landed 7 carp.
16mil Squid and Orange bottom baits has caught every fish for me.
The water has been crystal clear and any warm days has seen the bottom of the lake coming to the surface. This often happens on estate lakes which are heavily silted and the scum it creates drifts on the wind in the day then settles down to the bottom again as the water cools at night. It certainly has effected the fishing this year and has made it extremely hard work. The clear water has allowed all the bird life to see any bait easily in the shallow lake.
Despite this I have been spreading around the lake, half a kilo of boilies each time I have packed up, mainly because of the problem with coots and diving ducks. Any introduction when I was fishing inevitably drew in the our feathered friends into my swim.
Out of the 7 fish that I have landed 5 between 20lb and 27lb 12oz.
My rigs have been made up of the combi-rig. There is a link to the Angling Lines web site that shows how I tie this rig. Click here to view.