An angler's journal

An angler's journal

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Fishing at last

The lack of activity on this site is indicative of how hectic the last few weeks have been. I won't bore you with the details but last week's sunshine finally provided me with the opportunity to visit a local fishery in the hope of some surface caught carp.

Whenever there's some prolonged sunny weather, carp will be seen just under the surface taking advantage of the warm rays. For a cold-blooded animal, it's the perfect way to warm up quickly. By offering them loose fed, floating baits such as dog biscuits or bread crust they can usually be tempted into feeding off the surface.

My setup for this method is pretty simple. Mainline of 10lb, connected to a similar breaking strain of fluorocarbon to form a hooklength of around 4ft long. Using fluorocarbon means that the line immediately above the hook is pretty much invisible and as a result fish are less cautious when approaching the bait.  A size 10 hook and an imitation dog biscuit complete the setup. I also smear a little Vaseline along the hooklength in order to keep it on the surface. Often I will freeline, using the weighted bait to cast since most of my fishing is within a couple of rod lengths. However, a small controller can be added if I wish to fish a little further out.

A pretty mirror around 8-9lb
The key to this method is loose feeding using the 'little and often' approach. The idea is to get fish taking the baits and increasing with confidence. Once this is achieved, you can introduce your hookbait. Takes can be pretty instant and it's great fun (and frustrating) watching fish approach your bait only to turn away at the last second. However, a fish will eventually be fooled as you capture the moment it engulfs the bait or notice your line straighten as a fish moves off. This is the moment to strike!

After a slow start, I eventually found some fish that were cruising the upper layers of the lake. After a few false starts I managed to hook a reasonable fish just shy of double figures.
This went on to to be the largest fish of the session. Four more carp followed averaging about 5-6lb. Although none of the fish were large by carp fishing standards they provided great entertainment on a warm May evening, especially to an angler starved of fishing for the last month. Hopefully I will be able to get a few more times before my attentions turn back to rivers.

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