Stepping up your game
My first season on this very tricky weedy gravel pit ended abruptly after 5 months and only one fish, when some nice chap broke into my van whilst parked virtually behind my swim on the grass verge of the a228.
I didn’t feel safe fishing there anymore especially as one bank is a public footpath. The effort I had gone to in casting weed rakes out and clearing spots was going to be in vain. However after a 2 year break the lure of very large old commons got the better of me and so I re-joined
The lake itself is fished by some of the best in the carp world and many write articles on it. So as you can imagine these fish have seen every trick in the book. A good season on this place is 4 or 5 bites with many blanking altogether. It is common practice to fish as far as you possibly can with no leaders or mainline allowed over 15lb. So to get to the fish at 120-135yrds I’ve had to invest in new rods, reels and casting tuition. They show well in no man’s land at around 140yrds but with the road noise on two sides you have to rely solely on your eyes and often miss subtle heads poking out.
I can now fish the known spots out in the lake the same as the long chucker’s and I have fallen into the same trap as everyone else of baiting, waiting and trying to bore them out. This does work with regulars such as “no job” landing over 50 this season.
As far as improving my angling has this really helped me? I don’t know! I only get 10hrs fishing a week on one quick overnighter. I have been fishing one spot at 125 yards range with all three rods spaced less than 5ft from each other, big hits happen on here and it could be me
However to get amongst the special ones, those that only grace the bank once every few years I have had to do something different.
I’ve made my own bait for years and come up with a mix that I truly believe sorts the chaff from the wheat singling out the bigger more cautious fish.
I roll all different sizes from 10-26mm including dumbbells and off cuts, squares and triangles which keeps them guessing and I’ve been pre baiting midweek in between my planned night
This takes about two hours each time at that range and everyone can see what im doing and where I’m baiting. The lads are a good bunch though and have let me carry on without capitalising on it whilst I’m gone
I’ve also been trickling a bit in below a lookout tree that I can keep an eye on but no one can fish
To my surprise the fish have been clearing the weed here and now after 6 months the bottom is glowing and out of swan reach
I’ve started to place a rig on the edge here but the fish seem cagey and often dart off and don’t come back for hours so I’ve taken steps to conceal my mainline and rig
Three blobs of putty and a flying back lead coupled with mega slack line still wasn’t enough
My new pb of 46.15 came from 10yrds out 20 minutes after putting two back leads on once id seen fish flank on my bait
So do I continue in the hope of a red letter day and having 4,5,6 fish in a night or create these little margin spots that everyone casts over and maybe bag a 50lb 50yr old leney strain common
Big thanks to Craig Sharpe for writing this article