Alder Lake carp that loved the Squid and Orange
Alder Lake is one of the top venues on the Angling Lines books as it is probably their best runs water to date. This does not mean that the lake produces lots of carp every week. This was the case in this particular week that Paul Brook’s and myself fished. Mother nature was not on our side as she moved the goal posts by varying the temperature that much that it effected the normal feeding patterns of the carp.
Biggest fish of the session at 44lb 12oz.
On the Friday evening of our arrival in France the temperature was 36C and by Saturday lunchtime on our arrival at Alder Lake, it had dropped by 20C too 16C. A mist was rising from the lake as the water was cooling. The carp did not know what had hit them, after weeks of warm humid weather it was like the end of Autumn. The rain arrived and it killed any chance of that early capture of carp. 16 hours later and the rain eased.
Within 10 minutes of heavy spombing they were straight on the bait.
Now for business. Slowly the temperature began to rise and our bobbins eventually became active.
One of the mid-thirties that fell to the 1 rod approach at Alder Lake
By Tuesday evening the temperature was back to the mid-thirties but grass carp had moved in for a feast. A move to shallower water was the only answer as predominately they were feeding in anything over 2 meter depths.
Boilie munching 36lb 8oz carp
I ended up concentrating all my efforts on one rod and by Friday I had withdrawn 2 of my 3 rods and just banging in the bait on a 3 foot square area of the lake. Over the week I used 40 kilo of Squid and Orange with 20 kilo being put on that 1 spot in the last 48 hours of fishing. I only fished during daylight hours and still ended up with 30 mirrors to 44lb 12oz and 17 grassies averaging 20lb.
Full version on the angling lines blog
My first experience of carp fishing was on the Isles lake in Shropshire in the 1970′s chasing some massive 4 to 9lb carp. This was a new type of fishing to me, as carp lakes were few and far between. Bread crust and paste made from catfod and bread crumb was the going bait. This was moulded around the hook which resulted in lots of missed bites. The prize for a successful bite was mirror carp of around 5lb.
HG All Seasons
Obviously since my youth, carp fishing has advanced with the wide use of the hair rigs, allowing hard round baits, that we call boilies. With the hair rig, particle baits could be used easily along with all sorts of nuts and anything else that you could put a baiting needle through, Since the introduction of boilies lots of different combinations of flavours and base mixes have been put together and it is only through perseverance of dedicated anglers and testers that the perfect combinations have been made. Knowledge of base mixes and different flavours came from from the very small number of carp anglers that were targeting carp at that time.
Moving to the modern day and we are all chasing carp of 30 and 40lb as well as having access to lots of companies that make and roll our bait. I have used a number of bait companies in the past and have tested and helped with bait consultation for them but for the past few years I have dedicated my time and experiencing to Quality Baits. Simon who is the owner and brains of the outfit has a good knowledge of what constitutes a good food source from his experience in the human food industry. Putting together sound and attractive base mixes comes as second nature to him, so this is his forte, with additional suggestions from myself,Graham and Jim. Flavour combinations and amounts is were I come into the equation. I hate over flavoured baits and also do not like to add glug of any sort to the finished product. Most of the baits that I have made for me are in the shelf life versions. This is solely out of convenience. I have a large bait freezer which my wife insists on filling with food, so when I get an order to put in the freezer, more often that not I do not have enough room for the full consignment. Hense, shelf-life’s. I do not hesitate to use full shelfies with 100% confidence in them not effecting my catch rate. As long as they are stored in a cool shaded area they will last for months and there is no waste as they will not deteriorate and go off.
If lake rules ask for fresh baits then I I obey the rules and only take enough with me to last for a session. I will not return frozen fresh boilies back to the freezer once they have been thawed out unless I have done it for a reason. By this I am talking about dehydrating the baits. I have a number of drying trays that I use for this and both shelf life and frozen can be dried out. Drying out the boilies hardens them and makes them easier to use in a throwing stick and stops smaller fish picking at them as well as protecting against crayfish and poison chat. If dried thoroughly even a frozen bait will last out of the freezer, however they can then be returned back to the freezer as well. Boilies are a very expensive item so why waste them. I never throw any away, all are used for my fishing.