Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Day Ticket Carping - Day Two

As I loaded the van early this morning, there wasnt a cloud in the sky and it promised to be a glorious Spring day full of warm sunshine.  Within minutes my hoodie was off and slung into the back of the van,  I then made my way to the chosen rendezvous point to meet the Old man for another days carping.

Today we had chosen a venue neither of us had ever visited before let alone fishedso we were hoping to land a few carp and get a bend in the rod.  When anglers visit a venue for the first time, we can bring a plethora of rigs, bait and tricks, however, the one invaluable item we can all bring which doesnt require to be loaded on an expensive barrow and pushed to your preferred swim, weighs nothing, its in your head - its watercraft!

On arriving on any venue new or old, if theres one piece of advice I can give, it is to have a walk around, try and observe some fish activity or spot a likely feeding area. Its all too easy to park yourself in the nearest swim to the carp park! Weve all done it, including me, more too often in the past, however, I am now of the mind set that ive made the effort to get here, I might as well make the most of it.    On our walk we spotted quite a bit of surface activity, especially around a little bay area.  The more I observed the carp I could see that a few of them were feeding close in the margins, one common was up ended sending clouds of mud to the surface as he fed on the bottom. 

We decided to fish either side of the bay area.  My first rod was on a margin spot, my favourite type of carp fishing, the second rod was set up for surface fishing, hopefully I could winkle one out off the top.  I fed a few handfuls of hemp and corn groundbait mix into the margin, then dropped my method feeder into the water, scattered a few boilies over the top and of course back leaded to keep the line close to the lake bed.  I then angled for some carp off the top for the next couple of hours but to no avail.  All of a sudden the margin rod went, as the bobbin ripped up towards the rod as it parted from the taught line , my strike did not meet any resistance and I reeled in, I rebaited with another 3FT test Boilie and recast to the same spot, adding a little more feed. 

The sun was now high in the sky and very warm,  a peacock butterfly landed on the gravel path and stretched out its wings resembling solar panels taking in the sun rays.  A brave crow squawked as it mobbed a circling buzzard above me, Ive always wondered what the crow would do if the buzzard was having "one of those days" and turned in anger.  Today the buzzard lazily circled to pastures new enjoying the warm air thermals, soaring higher with no need to flap its wings.

The carp didnt seem to want boilies or to actively feed on the bottom, so I knew a change of tactics was required to try and get a carp to grace the banks.  I turned to a method, ive had very little success with in the past.  Its always been one of those last ditch efforts when all else fails, however today, it seemed the sensible thing to do.  As alot of carp were in the higher layers of the water, I turned to the  Zig-Rig.  It seems a bizarre method of catching carp, in this case a 5 foot long leader direct off the lead, with a tube shaped piece of brown foam, hair rigged to the hook.  When you first use a Zig you think its never going to work, often it doesnt, other days like today it can be an invaluable method to have in your armoury. 
Winning Rig
The Zig was in the water for no more than 5 minutes before I had a few bleeps, Line span from the spool, the bobbin dropped to the ground and the line went taught.  I was fishing over a weed bed and the fish had sought sanctuary in this safe haven soon after being hooked and it felt solid for a few seconds,  the fish began to move and thankfully came free as I played my first carp of the day towards the net.  It was a stocky common about a pound in weight, small but very welcome on a hard  day.

I  set the second rod up with a Zig and soon both were recast in the hope of something bigger.   Was it to be a one fish wonder,  either way, confidence was now high as I watched the Rooks coming and going to their Rookery, building up their nests in preparation for the eggs. 

Half hour or so later the same rod came to life as the bite alarm signalled another take, the fish felt heavier as it strongly swam up the lake heading for another weed bed.  It became weeded up, and the line went solid, there wasnt alot I could do, I kept the line tight for  several minutes, before trying an old trick.  I slackened off the line hoping the carp would turn and swim free of the weed.  It took a few minutes,  but it had worked I felt a thump on  the rod tip and quickly wound down, I was still  in contact with the fish, excellent.  Its a strange feeling playing a fish on a zig-rig, the lead is a several feet out of the water as the carp fights in the margins, thankfully the old man was on hand to land the carp which turned out to be a lovely mirror around 9lb. 
Another Zig caught Carp
 We fished on for a couple more hours with no success.  It was a hard days fishing, with strong sun, the carp unwilling to feed on the bottom, however it sometimes pays to try something different instead of stubbornly being sat behind motionless rods.   It was a new venue so we werent sure what to expect, we spotted bigger carp cruising near the surface, so its a safe bet that ill be back again in the near future.  

Carp fishing can be frustrating sometimes, so be prepared to try new things, you never know it could save you driving home thinking  "What if"!