It’s been a hard winter but Spring is here!

First session of Spring and what a cracker!!

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Not posted for a while, mainly because I’ve had such a hard winter with the rod. I’ve been out lots, got frozen fingers and feet but nothing of merit to show for it.

I had one decent perch out the canal on my jig & dropshot set up but apart from that it’s been blank after blank after blank. So in the end I took a bit of a break; I needed to refresh and recharge ready for hitting it in Spring.

Well it worked a treat; well kind of. I went out on Sunday; what a glorious day! What a rubbish days fishing, not a bite. I mean not one, not a wobble not a knock; nothing! To say I was annoyed is a understatement; for me fishing is not about catching the biggest fish going, it’s about being there to see views like this:

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However when it’s such a nice day you kind of expect to at least land one, anything would have done but alas no!

I am blessed however to have a very understanding misses, so on Monday when we couldn’t think of anything to do I cheekily proposed that fishing might be fun. To my delight (& slight surprise) she was up for it. So away I ran to pack some gear; the plan was surface fishing as I know a lovely little lake that’s in the middle of nowhere where the fish love a dog biscuit! Given the weather over the weekend I thought Id be in with a chance.

So away we went; when we got to the venue it took all of two minutes for the carp to start showing on the surface. Now I’m man enough to admit when I make a mistake but I’m not sure I should admit to this one but here goes; I FORGOT THE HOOKS!! The most rookie of rookie errors right there! Luckily my regular fishing partner Ben lives not far away from the venue and he came to the rescue (thanks again mate!!).

The scene was set, lovely bit of sun, lambs doing what lambs do; farm cats all around, the misses was loving it!!! So the set up was simple, the pool isn’t big so I didn’t need a big controller float or anything. I actually used a Drennan Zepplin float; they are great for this as you can thread the line straight through and with a couple of large floats stops fasten it in place. So that went on and then at the business end a size 18 Animal hook. Now I of course was limited to what Ben had given me but given the choice I would have picked the same size hook. The bait was just some cheap dog biscuits; I hook them direct onto the hook through the corner. You can band them if you want but I find it to be way too fiddly and it takes too long and presentation is not any better in my opinion.

You might be sat there thinking a size 18, on the surface; are you mad! I might be, people certainly have thought so in the past but I’m sure I’m not. Think about how many times you’ve seen a poor old carp with a mangled mouth; what did it? I can bet you that it was someone using an oversized hook. Think about it do you need a size 10 hook if you’re going after carp where the max size is going is the 20lb max? I don’t think you do. Now with surface fishing where there is no water to take the force out of any strike just think what a large hook can do to a carps mouth! So yeah a strong size 18 will see you fine; of course if you’re going after bigger fish; scale it up but in my opinion always, always, always use the smallest hook possible! Another thing I’ve seen people do while surface fishing is hitting the strike like they’re marlin fishing; again there is no water to take the sting out of the strike. Not only that I find with most if not all surface fishing that a hard strike is just not needed and is very dangerous to the fish (is it any surprise that a lot of places ban this style of fishing?); I find that most of my surface fishing is done within visual range. That means I can see the fish coming up and taking the bait, therefore I know which way the fish is going to turn it’s head as it goes back under. So with that all I do is lightly lift into the strike in the opposite direction the carp is going. This uses the carps momentum to hook them, in effect you tighten the slack and allow the fish to hook itself. There’s hardly any force involved at all, it is all about using the angles and the fishes movement to hook them, not power; as soon as the fish knows it’s hooked it will do the job of setting the hook as it bolts for the bottom all you need to do is hang on!

Enough of the technical stuff, lets show you the goods:

 

Well what a session it was, we were there for only about 4 hours but in that time Laura (my better half) managed to land her first ever fish and I managed to land 13 beauties. All of them put up a decent fight with the biggest being around 10lb. All taken off the surface; it’s hands down my favorite way to catch carp. There’s nothing quite like watching a carp saunter over to your floaters and slowly mouth your hook bait, hold, hold and bang fish on! The way they tear off, the fight is always more wham bam thank you Mam even if it’s a small fish. It truly is one of the most enjoyable was of fishing and all done at the start of April; can’t complain!!

This is my amazing and understanding partner Laura with her first ever fish:

d.jpgWell done baby!!!

So that’s it for me for now, it’s been a while, it’s been a horrible winter but hopefully Monday was an indication of a good Spring/Summer to come.

Tight Lines

Sam

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