During the netting of Jonchery carp lake this November, we took the chance to see some of the young carp that fish farmers Pisciculture Bachelier produce up close. It was great to see how the big beautiful scaley mirrors that Jonchery is known for start off. These fish are removed from the lake each year and grown on elsewhere. They are the fish that eventually form the stock for Jonchery, Jonchery #7, Brocard Small, Brocard Large and Brie.
As this is my first blog for Angling Lines I thought I’d start with a bit about me and my fishing background. I, Steve Bedford, started fishing aged 5 when my dad would take me fishing off the pier at the town of Donaghadee; we never caught anything but I really enjoyed it and from then on I was hooked on fishing. A few years later I moved back to the UK and started course fishing, starting out with a rod and reel and moving onto the pole, which I loved, this just made my passion for fishing grow. I am a strong believer that everyone who goes fishing, whether it be for carp, pike or match fishing should start out by course fishing. Not only does this give you the confidence to catch more/bigger fish but it also gives you the experience at handling fish and give you a respect for not only the fish but also other anglers.
My carp fishing started when I was about 26, I was fishing my local water Pilsworth Fishery on the small lodges. It was just a normal day fishing with my pole catching roach, rudd and bream when suddenly the float ripped away to my left under an over hanging tree, straight away I could tell this was something a bit special, after a 10 minute fight the fish gave up and started coming towards my landing net, soon going over the cord. I couldn’t believe it, my first carp and it was a nice little common, as I was fishing on my own I struggled taking a photo on my phone and carefully slipped it back in the lodge. From then on I was hooked on carp fishing, the pole went away and the carp rods came out.
I’ve learnt a lot over the years about fishing for carp and hopefully I can share some of that knowledge with whoever reads my blogs and at the very least I hope it’s a good read for someone. Anyway, enough of the past, lets bring you up to speed with what I have been doing this year. Due to work and family commitments I haven’t been able to get on the bank as much as I would have liked to this year, however, I have managed to get out a few times and have started my plans for next year. For the remainder of this year I plan to fish my usual lake at Bradshaw Hall Fisheries, Lake 2. I have had a fair bit of success on here throughout the years but next year I fancy a change.
Bradshaw Hall Fisheries, Lake 2
My most recent trip to Bradshaw was last week, I managed to squeeze a short session in on one of my days off work, the weather seemed to be good, the wind on the day I chose was set to change from a North Easterly to a Westerly wind with no rain forecast and the only downside was that the temperature on this day was set to be the lowest of the week. With all this in mind I took a trip to a local tackle shop and stocked up on some new boilies and PVA mix.
During the winter months Bradshaw is only open from 8am until 4pm and night fishing is not allowed, this combined with the fact that it is usually busy every day with tons of bait going in constantly I had to make sure that my bait was a little different from everyone else.
I arrived at the lake at around 9am, there were already 2 people on the lake in one of the usual hot pegs, but I managed to get to another hot peg on the other bank. I don’t normally get to pick this peg as its usually the first to go so my hopes for the day were high. Shortly after arriving and setting up I decided to fish my right hand rod about a third of the way out to where the fish are usually seen and caught, there wasn’t much in the way of fish showing today so this was my best guess. This rod was setup with PVA bags with a mix of 2mm and 4mm carp pellets that had been coated in a light drizzle of Mainline Baits Banoffee stick mix liquid the night before and mixed with some Mainline Baits Tiger nut stick mix. As for my hook bait, I decided to start with Korda slow sinking Fishy Fish plastic dumbell.
My left hand rod was setup on a running inline lead attached to my favourite D-Rig with Sticky baits Buchu Berry Dumbell Wafter, this was also cast about a third of the way out to the left of my swim. Both of the rods were followed by a scattering of Activ-8 Boilies. Shortly after casting out a few line bites followed but no other real interest.
At around 10:45 I decided to change my baits over as there was no real interest in my current baits, the left hand rod was changed over to my homemade slow sinking banoffee cell boilies and also moved to the left hand margin as this is usually where some of the lakes bigger fish are caught. The right hand rod was changed to Cell dumbells that had been soaked in Almond Goo and the PVA mid now included a splash of almond goo for extra attractant and to hopefully pull the fish closer in.
As the day went on the right hand rod in open water had a few more line bites but no real action. By mid day there was about 9 other people on the lake, considering the size of the lake (1.9 acres) that’s fairly busy and there were a lot of lines in the water. A few of the other people on the lake were fishing for silvers and there was even a guy opposite me using a spinner! Considering this is the main specimen carp lake of the fishery and there are no pike in there it seemed a bit odd.
I tried a few different baits during the day as I usually carry a fair selection of boilies but nothing seemed to work. As I spoke to some of the other anglers there it was apparent that no one had seen any carp or had any bites and that it seemed like the last few days were just as quiet. Not the best start to my new blog!
At around 4pm I decided enough was enough and I packed up. Unfortunately I got nothing this time but that doesn’t change my opinion on my baits, I usually see a lot of people on the bank and on forums complaining about certain baits when they go a session without catching on them, I am a strong believer that certain baits work better on some venues than others and that one day a certain bait might not catch much but on another day it will do really well. For my next session I will try to the same baits again and hopefully on the same peg just to make sure I give them a fair trial.
The weather wasn’t in my favour on this session but I guess that’s the same with all winter carping, the main thing is to not give up and keep trying, winter carp are a little bit more special than summer carp as they are harder to catch and are usually at their premium weight this side of winter ready for the colder months.
For my next blog I plan on explaining some of the rigs and baits I use and show you how to make them. To me, catching fish on homemade baits and rigs is a lot more satisfying than using shop bought gear, I’m sure if you try it too then you will agree.
Glehias Carp Lake have begun work on the Floating Island Cabin in readiness of the 2014 Season, here’s this week’s update from Lee…
This week saw a lot of finishing up of the exterior studwork including the toilet/gas cupboard wall. On the roof, the rafters were cut back and the facia boards fitted. The front door area was finished up ready to take the door frame and inside, the framework to carry the ceiling was put in place, this is also additional bracing for the roof and helps to stiffen the whole upper structure even further.
The roof is now ready for its covering and final measurements have been taken to start making all the external joinery next week.
If you missed the first ‘Building The Cabin’ installments they are all here.
Our second installment of photos from the Castle Lake netting have arrived. Just in case you missed the first post here’s what Gary, Tom & Co have been busy with at the lake;
‘I’ve just returned from a very hard 3 days netting at Castle Lake. Below is a list of nuisance fish that were removed from the lake;
2 tonnes of Bream
1 tonne of Catfish
1 tonne of Silver Fish
200 carp below 24lb
We returned approximately 220 carp over 35lb, included in this were an incredible 80 carp over 40lb and up to 54lb.
Due to the nature of the netting, we missed at least 300-350 so the overall stock will be around 500-600 carp. Also with removing a lot of nuisance fish the carp will rocket next year. I would like to thank all my friends who gave up there own time and a lot of effort to help with such a massive task.’
I have for a couple of months now had a wildlife camera at Bletiere that I am able to leave out 24/7. It has the software to be able to take HD quality night time photos and videos. I have attached the first few practice videos where I have managed to capture the animals that activated the camera. As you’ll see I still need to practice as it’s not easy getting the angle and height of the camera correct when it’s strapped to trees.
The reason I bought this camera is that I was always wondering what was creeping around the woods and fields at night. I also had a lot of the fisherman who would say they heard strange noises down in the woods at night. Well now we can all see what it is!
I will post more as I perfect the videoing and as more animals show themselves, but here are a few to look at, these are all night shots. The first is a deer, the second clip is for those of you that have never seen a Coypu, here is one going back to next doors lake but luckily we don’t have many problems with them as the two dogs scare them off so they don’t hang around very often! The last clip is a fox cub that seemed to like being filmed.
One of the essential items in my bait bag is boilie paste. This method is extremely effective at any time of the year but becomes even more important as temperatures fall and the fish become less inclined to feed. Anything I can do to attract carp and stimulate a feeding response has got to be done. Paste is an ideal medium under these conditions. It has all the attraction of your hookbait but dissolves and diffuses over a larger area and amplifies what your hookbait is achieving. The beauty of this is that you are attracting but not feeding, the only food available is your hookbait.
Initially I used a paste wrap around the boilies. Apple coring the boilie by nibbling the skin from its sides improves the adhesion of the paste to the boilie. Later I started to use gripper leads as an additional method of carrying the paste. The rough coated flat pear leads with a hole in the centre are my favourites. You can rub the paste into the textured surface and mould paste around the lead and into the hole. Quest Baits pastes are ideal for this being just the right consistency for moulding and having a fairly slow dissolve rate. The paste can be lost from the lead on impact with the water but always remains in the hole dissolving more slowly than the wrap on your hookbait. The particles of paste lost on impact are all located around your hookbait and that has got to be a good thing. This is a method that requires you to cast more often to replenish the paste as it dissolves.
I fish on a water where lead size is limited to three ounces. This can be a real problem when the fish are showing at range. My solution was to wrap a three ounce gripper with paste moulded into an aerodynamic shape. The three ounce weight becomes a four and a half ounce weight and is capable of being cast far greater distances. Again the paste explodes from the lead on impact; but provides that much needed attraction when you are fishing at ranges where normally you would be relying on the attraction of a single hookbait.
It’s a method that has certainly put extra fish on the bank for me. Give it a try, you won’t be dissappointed.