Any real Anglers' Net enthusiasts will notice that another few months have passed since I last contributed to the site, and that this is the second time I've used school and exams as an excuse for not fishing or writing. Now I'm sure you'd all love to hear how I've been getting on in my physics exams and art coursework, but I don't want to think about it, so lets talk fishing....
My main aim over the summer was to catch a big carp from the syndicate I've been fishing. Carp have always been my bogey fish and despite a 16lb leather and then the 20lb mirror (pictured), I'm still having a lot of trouble. Most of the other members have been bagging up, while I've been getting myself into a right pickle about bait and rigs when I think my main problem has been location. I spent a lot of time exploring a nice gravel bar early in the spring, which became covered with weed straight away! This left me with little knowledge of swims, and not being an angler with a great love for marker rods I ended up fishing what I now know were duff swims! What I should have done is spent a day when the weed was up not fishing but finding a few clear areas. This would've stood me in better stead for my other sessions. Anyway, at least I've learnt a few things, which is important whether you catch or not! Out of interest, the twenty came on a Monster Crab flavoured Rod Hutchinson Fish and Liver boilie fished over trouties in a swim shown to me by another syndicate member (who is, coincidentally, very good with a marker rod!).
I boiled the boilies for longer than usual, and then left them in crushed pellets for 24 hours before fishing. This makes boilies about as hard as they can be! I went to all this trouble as the crayfish (shown in the picture) love smelly bait, and I hate wondering whether there's any bait on the hair. I used a 15lb Carp Silk hooklength, size 6 Gardner Talon Tip and 2oz inline lead. I shouldn't have worried about my bait or rig as they were both sound! Location was the key.
I don't know how many of you read Angler's Mail, but earlier on this year they stitched me up good and proper with an article on my "record eel attempt". Some people, it seems, have taken the article a little too seriously and decided that I'm a bit too big for my boots. Putting the record straight, I didn't ever say I was fishing for the record eel and I wish the Mail hadn't written such a stupid story. I did fish a water I knew held them very big, but, believe it or not, they were actually netted and removed from the lake. Sounds like a classic fisherman's excuse I know, but sadly for me (and the eels) they ended up getting eaten!
Apart from carping and eeling, I've had a few dace, including the one pictured from Oxfordshire's river Windrush. I've had them on all sorts of tactics, but they do show a particular liking for feeder fished maggots. More recently, I've been rigging these up bolt rig style and not missing any bites - interesting. I've started my winter's perch campaign with a bang, taking an estimated 30lbs haul of perch to 2lb 8oz adding carp, tench and crucians. I've been experimenting with some different flavours for the perch as they are another species which find certain types irresistible. My three favourites are Ultraspice, Megaspice and Hutchy's new Masala flavour and are all shown here. The new one smells exactly like the inside of an Indian takeaway and is really good for perch. A few drops is enough on a pint of maggots, but makes a world of difference, especially in cold weather. I'm sure that my success with perch last season (two four pounders) was down to the curry and I'll continue using it in the future.
Well that's what I've been up to, but I'm sure all of us at Anglers' Net would love to hear more about you lot! You can e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Whatever you do, I'll be back soon to tell you about my Autumn and whether I've caught any good fish.
'Til then good fishing and tight lines,
Fred - 1999