Carp and Bream!

It’s been another tricky week, and in truth, I’m still struggling to find out why… In this part of the world, warm, overcast days, have been followed by cold, clear nights, and although the water is getting warmer, varied cool winds, and drastic changes of air temperature are not helping in my opinion.

I have had some success this week though, starting on a Staffordshire club water, from where I’ve been having a few issues catching with any regularity recently, I picked off a trio of chunky double figure carp within ninety minutes, then sat untroubled for the rest of the day! When I arrived, the lake was mirror calm, and fish could be seen all over, but once the sun rose fully, and the wind changed direction yet again, that was it, they vanished! I’m perplexed; my tactics haven’t changed (perhaps they should!) and although I’ve changed my bait supplier, I’m still catching more than others who are just as frustrated as I am, but it’s still a puzzle… but then that’s fishing I suppose!

Last week, I enjoyed my drop shot fishing with worm so much that I’ve been back and had another go, just to prove it wasn’t a fluke! Once again, the bare minimum of tackle, a small tub of worms, an unhooking mat, and forceps; that’s about all you need for a couple of pure, unadulterated fun! I walked down onto the floating jetties at Rudyard Lake, lowered the bait into fifteen feet of water, and got the expected ‘thump’ within a second or two! I did have to chase the shoal though, dropping in spots three feet apart saw vastly differing results, but if the bait was dropped amongst them, then it was hit as soon as it touched the bottom. I spent about two hours, sitting on the wooden decks, enjoying the sunshine, chatting to various ‘boat’ types, and catching fish after fish, probably fifty or sixty, whilst showing some youngsters what I was doing; great fun, and there is always s the chance of a bonus big fish too! If you still haven’t tried it yet, then please do, it’s a super way to catch perch, and very good fun on light tackle!
Having bagged enough to supply images for all that needed them this week, I ventured back onto the tough estate lake I mentioned earlier this year. It’s coming into full bloom now, the willows glowing green on the far bank, the rhododendrons thick and glossy, reeds standing sentinel above dark waters, and the birdlife in full cry; it really is a wonderful place, and the rewards, (if you can catch them) are certainly worthy. I love it for all those reasons, and the fact that it allows me to target quality tench and bream too, with tincas to around 9lb, and bream of similar (perhaps bigger?) sizes. It’ also full of friendly anglers sharing advice too… if I could own a lake, it would be this one!

I’m still finding my feet here though, and despite a plethora of well intentioned advice, I often fall back on tried and trusted methods; after all, other anglers only ever tell you what they have caught on last, not what they have tried and failed with don’t they? With that in mind, I set up a small Kamasan Black Cap feeder, tried a fairly long trace, and fished double maggot on a size 18 hook to 2lb 8oz bottom. I tried ranges from thirty to eighty yards, adjusted my hook link, changed my hook, alternated the colours of my bait, but still only gained a single bite throughout the day,  at extreme range, which I subsequently missed!

On my second rod however, my trusty 1.5lb test curve Sonik S3 Specialist, I put a small method feeder, packed with Spotted Fin Krill groundbait, banded onto the hook a small 8mm Classic Corn wafter from the same stable, and began to cast around the swim, giving it fifteen minutes until I got a bite. An hour in, and I had my first, twitchy take, so lifted the rod and connected with the enthralling fight of a ‘slab’ which duly surrendered as soon as it felt the hook! Although the fight couldn’t be described as ‘exciting’, it’s still satisfying to tempt your target species, and the fish was slipped back, before I cast the feeder on to the same spot.  Over the course of the next few hours, I netted a further trio of healthy looking bream, all around 5-6lbs, unfortunately not the bigger fish I’d been after, lost two, and missed two, all whilst enjoying yet more sunshine, pleasingly songful avian company, and numerous cups of tea; in other words, a perfect fishing day! I was surprised to find that only a single tench had been landed elsewhere, as conditions were pretty good, but I’m told by the head bailiff that the water hasn’t really ‘switched on’ yet, and that things will get better… I hope so, but even with a few bites, plenty of tea, and delightful surroundings, I’m happy as it is, and wouldn’t change a thing!

Clint Walker

I am a freelance angling journalist/copywriter. I currently write two weekly columns in a UK national carp magazine, monthly features for a top trade magazine, I have my own newspaper column, compile video reviews for a weekly coarse angling magazine, and write for a variety of online media and other publications. I am also currently sponsored by Mainline Baits, Sonik Sports and Vardis Tackle.

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