Monday, 2 July 2018

Surface Carp fishing, Rudd, Tench, Bream and not sure what that is?!

After the rivers close it always leaves me feeling a little deflated. I enjoy river fishing the most, but it is refreshing to switch to the lakes for a new challenge.

As you will probably know I am slightly obsessed with Rudd?! I decided to target them in a Cambridgeshire gravel pit I had been intending to fish for a few seasons. The pit was perfect for my feeder tactics and so I set up with great anticipation for my first evening on the pit. Two spots were found by casting around and feeling for the drop. One spot was in around 5 foot of water at the bottom of the shelf and the other was slightly shallower coming up the shelf. Feeders were baited with my usual mix of Dynamite baits silver x carp method and frenzied hemp groundbait. Several feeder fulls were cast on each spot to get a bit of bait on the spots straight away.

The action started surprisingly soon and a good Bream of 5lb was netted. The action continued into the evening with four more Bream around the same size and two hard fighting Tench to 6lb. I was buzzing with excitement, but started to wonder if the Rudd would feed at all? It was now way past sunset and my rod was a way again. This time the fish felt very different with lots of head shaking so I knew it was a Rudd. I hoped it would stay on as it felt like a good fish! The weed was not bad so early in the season so no drama was had as the fish slipped into the net. It was indeed a good fish and before I could even get it out of the net the other rod was a away! Again the tell tale shake of a good Rudd was transmitted up the line and was netted a minute later. From experience I knew this was going to be a short and sweet feeding spell so I placed the fish in the keepnet so I could get the rod out again.

As I thought, the feeding spell continued and it was an action replay of the previous two fish with both rods going at the same time! I didn't have time to weigh and photograph the fish separately as I wanted to make the most of the opportunity. The hectic spell saw me catch around ten Rudd in a 20 to 30 minute spell with one or two fish standing out in size from the rest. The action dried up and it was now time to do the weighing and photographs. The biggest fish looked like it would easily beat my pb and sure enough it did. At 2lb 15oz it did so by 3oz. The second biggest fish went 2lb 8oz and another two went over 2lb. I had just bought a nifty bit of kit to help me with my self take photography and now was the perfect opportunity to try it out. It was difficult to say the least to get a brace shot but I'm glad I tried. The pictures came out fantastic and I was very happy with the outcome for a change.

It was now early May and I had to scratch an itch had for surface fishing for Carp. My local club lake was the perfect place for this as the big shoals of fish make for exciting fishing. My mate Giles was joining me for a guest session and we were hoping one or two of the bigger Carp would make an appearance. There was one fish I told Giles about that had been getting bigger over the years and was out the previous season at over 35lb. I joked it would be great to get that out on light floater gear!

We had good conditions for the day with warm temperatures and a slight breeze. We saw some fish show in the middle of the lake so decided we would start baiting that area with mixed dog biscuits glugged in the Dynamite baits Crave bait soak. The fish were not in the feeding frenzy they can be, but we soon got some fishing feeding. It was time to get a hook bait in the mix and I soon had my 40g rocket controler flying out 60 yards or so to them. A fish took instantly and was taking line steadily. As always in this lake the fish was fighting hard, but didn't feel heavy. After what seemed like ages a lovely mid double common was netted. It looked stunning in the mid afternoon sun and even better sliding back into the clear lake margin.

We kept spodding the biscuits in on a regular basis and the Carp would come in on smash and grab raids. They are wary as they do get surface fished for much of the spring/summertime. But they do slip up and I was again holding on for dear life as the water exploded with a violent take and what felt like a better fish was tearing off down the lake! A good hard fight ensued without too much drama with the fish staying deep and plodding around in front of me. With a smallsize 12 wide gape hook there is no point to bully a fish if you don't have to. As I gained on the fish and drew it to the surface, sure enough one of the lakes better fish came into view. Giles expertly netted it and a fat mirror rest in the margin for a few minutes while the mat, sling and sclales were made ready. Hook out and anti septic applied the fish was weighed in at 29lb 8oz before a few snaps were taken and returned safety back.

Giles was getting in on the action too with some lovely Carp ranging from beautiful scaley mirrors to bigger leathery mirrors to mid 20's. The action was not as hectic as it can be, but it made it easier to appreciate the quality fishing we was getting. The day was getting on but the fish were still smashing the mixers.

I soon had another victim hooked and from the off this fish was in a different league. Even 60 yards out it felt heavy and I could not do much with it! When it decided to kite right towards the snaggy margin there was not much I could do except not to panic. It was only 30 yards away now, but unfortunately for me it was under so many marginal snags! I could feel the line ping occasionally until I managed to coax it under them towards me. When I got the fish under the rod tip it was still 20 foot down so I could not see it just yet. Rememberingthe small hook and possible line damage I was a nervous wreck whenever it made a run! As I gained on it and brought it up in the water I saw the fish and recognised it straight away. It was the fish Giles and I were talking about at the start of the session! So now I knew it was a mid 30 the nerves were even worse! When after what seemed like an eternity, the fish was netted and I let out a cheer of relief! She looked big resting in the net and felt heavy as I lifted her onto the cradle. She weighed in at 36lb 8oz and was my biggest surface caught Carp ever! After she was slid back I did not have any energy left to fish on. I sat down and just took in the whole experience for a while until it was time to leave.

Bream are not a species I target too often, but on light gear there really are a pleasure to catch. I had fished a Cambridgeshire gravel pit a few times over the Spring and caught a few nice ones to 7lb. I had an afternoon spare so went to the same venue with them in mind. Tactics were my usual feeder tactics with the same Dynamite baits groundbait mix. I went to a swim I knew from previous trips so dropped the feeders in the same spots.

The Bream were obliging from the start and a fish of around 5lb gave me a good fight on my soft rods. With the first fish returned a second soon made an appearance. Another Bream around the same weight. Several more fish fell to the same tactics with the best one going 8lb 4oz. This was the biggest I've had from the pit, but I know they go into double figures so will definitely be a target again at some point.

Once again Rudd were my target and so I found myself back on the Cambridgeshire gravel pit. It was to be a short evening session, but as I knew from previous experience the action could be crazy! I cast the feeders out to the usual spots and sat back for the sun to dip behind the tress and mayhem to break out! Like clockwork the Rudd came on the feed like expected and the first Rudd of the evening was shaking it's way to the net. It was a good fish and certainly over 2lb so in the net it went so I could cast out and make the most of the action.

It was action packed and intense for a short period of no more than thirty minutes! Around a dozen fish fell to my rods with around half of them looking 2lb plus in weight. This was confirmed when the weighing was done and I had six 2lbers from 2lb 4oz to 2lb 12oz! Short and sweet and shows if you can get to know how your target fish behave in your chosen venue, the rewards can be had without sitting behind motionless rods all day.

The moment I had been waiting for all season was almost upon me and it's safe to say it did not go as I had hoped! It was June 15th and I was on the River baiting up for the Carp. I got there early and heard a splash not far from the baited area. I was at first excited to see a Carp, but then realised it was in a group of fish spawning! Not what I wanted to see just before the opening! But as I could not change the situation I just enjoyes watching them and checking if there were any biggies among them. There were some lovely mirrors to mid 20's among the smaller commons. Definitely encouraging even though I knew they would not be on the agenda this trip.

We set our camps up anyway and just took in the atmosphere. The bbq was lit, burgers ate, cider drank and all was good. Midnight came around and as the Carp stopped spawning the previous day we dropped our rigs in hoping rather than expecting. Sure enough the next morning the rods were as we had left them. That wad until late morning a cracking Tench ripped off after taking a monster tigernut pop up hook bait. At 6lb it was by far the biggest River Tench I had caught.

We reeled in and decided to target the Rudd that were hopefully going to visit the baited spots. Bread crust dipped in Dynamite baits XL liquid strawberry, fished zig style four feet up was the chosen method. It wasn't long before a Bream was in the net! It wasn't what I was hoping for, but it was action none the less. The Rudd were obviously not in the area as the Bream continued to take the bait instead. One fish was different and when I saw it in the water I thought I had hooked a massive Roach! When it was netted however, I could see it was a hybrid of some kind. It has been suggested it could be a s Silver Bream/Rudd hybrid due to it's very silver body and reds fins? It was a lovely fish to catch either way.

Some Rudd did move through the swim, but most were small. A better one did eventually turn up and was a cracking 2lb 4oz specimen. Although the Carp were not in the feeding mood we caught other fish to keep us entertained. We left without catching our intended species, but did have the rare chance to see them spawn and see what special fish are there for us next time we get on the bank.

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Late winter in the Fens. Zander, Pike and Rudd fishing.

The Winter just gone has been a bit of a grueler for me and many of my friends. A colder one then recent years mixed with warmer spells in between must have played with the fishes minds. To find consistent action from the predators in particular was very hard indeed! Towards the end of the Winter though, the action certainly increased noticeably which is usually the case given the longer daylight hours.

With the birth of my beautiful daughter in January it meant that fishing around this time was thin on the ground. I did manage to get a midweek day out on my local River to kick off my Pike fishing season. I started on a section that was kind to me the same time of year the previous season. I got there before first light eager to make the most of the limited time I had. Three rods were soon spread out across the River hoping to locate some fish. Every 15 to 20 minutes I would re position the rods to try and drop a bait in front of a Pike. After an hour or so it looked like my effort was not getting me the reward so a move was in order.

There was an area I wanted to try but it involved a long walk with a loaded barrow to get to it. No pain no gain I told myself as I made my way to an area with moored boats that just screamed Pike! 15 minutes later I reached my destination and just stood there for a few minutes to get my breath back! The 1st rod was soon in place and swiftly followed by the 2nd. As I was getting the 3rd rod ready the sweet sound of an alarm was ringing away after a fish had pulled the line from the clip. The fish was pulling line steadily from the spool so I engaged the bail arm and hit into it. After a short but spirited fight a lovely Jack Pike of around 8lb was netted. The bait was probably in the water 2 minutes max before it was taken. I was covering the baits with a generous helping of Dynamite baits XL predator liquid and it must have been triggering a feeding response as over the next four hours had several more Pike using the same tactic. Nothing bigger than the first fish came along but great action when it was looking so bad in the original area.

I was suffering from Rudd fishing withdrawal and the River season was ebbing away too rapidly! Waiting for perfect weather was not an option because I did not have time on my side. I planned a morning session before work and pulled up to the River to find the field in front of it not only flooded but frozen too! It was not going to stop me so gingerly I stepped onto the ice and hoped the water below would not be deeper then my Skee tex wellies. It was touch and go but I made it to the River and deposited my gear in the swim that had been kind to me a year earlier. Bait was good old bread used as flake on the hook and crumb in the feeder boosted with Dynamite baits XL liquid strawberry. Not long after casting I had a good fish on but it fell off not long after. This happened a couple of time and I was not happy about it! I assumed with the water being so cold they were not feeding hard. I didn't want to lose another good fish so I changed to a beaked point hook from a straight point hoping this would hook the fish better. Sure enough this did the trick and the very next fish stayed on all the way to the net! It pulled the scales round to 2lb 10oz and I was over the moon to eventually land a good fish. Several smaller Rudd fell to the same tactics before it was time to pack up and onto work.

I had unfinished business with those Rudd and another trip soon came around. I was to be joined by friends Giles and Chris who were arriving by boat a little later. Using the same tactics as before I soon had the rods out and was into a fish straight away! I wanted to make the most of this feeding spell so popped a hefty looking Rudd into the keepnet ready for pics when Giles and Chris turned up. Another two bites came in quick succession seeing two more nice sized fished popped into the net. Not long after I could hear a boat coming from up River and Giles and Chris soon made dry land ready to join in on the action. After the guys had got settled and started catching it was time to check the golden beauties I had waiting for me. One fish stood out due to it's size compared to the others. On the scales the fish went 2lb 10oz and I was very pleased to have such a good fish early on. The other 2 fish didn't quite make 2lb but who cares when you've just had a lump?!

Giles and Chris were getting into some fish and a flurry of 2lbers fell to all of our rods before the action got slower around lunchtime. That was a good time to sit back and relax for some much needed lunch. Giles and Chris headed off to the pub for a good feed but I stayed back to make the most of my time. I had a fish or two while they were gone but no biggies. The action was very slow for the rest of the day but there was still time for a surprise or two! I had a drop back bite and as I hit into it I was met with a solid resistance. I thought it might be another sizable Bream as I had several earlier in the day? This fish however started running upstream and taking line! Not many Bream do this so I suspected it was a Carp? Well it was not stopping so I shouted for Giles to follow me up River while I held on and hoped the fish didn't snag me up or break me off. Although it tried it's best the Carp was still in Winter mode and didn't give me too many heart attacks and was eventually expertly netted by Giles. A high five or two followed to celebrate before the stunning low double common was unhooked and safely returned.

The best was yet to come and the odd big Rudd slipped up to find their way into our nets. Chris carried on leading the way and netted a big fish. I could see from a distance it was something special and when I saw it i knew it. Chris weighed a very plump looking Rudd which pulled the needle to a weight of 2lb 14oz and was yet another PB in a day where he broke it at least a few times! It was a pleasure to not only share that experience but the whole day with two like minded angling friends. If memory serves I think we had around twenty 2lb plus Rudd that day. For me personally it was a day that took me to just shy thirty 2lb plus Rudd for the season. With the best a PB of 2lb 12oz what a season it was.

It was now the last day of the River season and and predators were to be the targets. I was joining Giles for a day afloat on a local River where Pike and Perch to specimen proportions lurked beneath moored boats. As you know the end of the season was a very wet one and the chance of the River being in bad condition was playing on our minds. Sure enough the River was up high and pushing hard! It was not fishable so we payed a quick visit to a Marina for a smash and grab raid. Giles was first into action on a hard Jerkbait lure. The fish was strong and put up a good fight and we were not surprised to see a mid double figure Pike pop up and duly netted. I had a small Jack on a big soft plastic lure and before the local residents could get on our case we decided to abandon the River in favor of a Lake.

We were not kitted out for bank fishing so we made a detour to mine to grab the vital bits of kit and of course bait. With the car loaded we set off to our chosen venue. It was a lake with a chance of Pike and Zander so Roach was the bait of choice. To give them a boost of attraction a good covering of Dynamite baits XL predator liquid was applied to the Roach. Another way to boost attraction was a few balls of the Dynamite baits silver x Roach groundbait over the top to attract prey fish into the area. It was quiet for a couple of hours but eventually one of my rods had the line peeling off the spool but as I pulled into it I was met with no resistance! Typical of a Zander bite but it was a good sign feeding fish were in the area. Within seconds of winding the rod in my other rod was away! This time I pulled into a fish and after a short tussle a Zander was in the net. It was a fearsome looking schoolie of 6lb or so and looked fantastic with it's dorsal fin standing up in defiance.

The activity went as quickly as it came and it was sometime later as the light levels were dropping another take occured. From the off I knew it was a much bigger fish. It was stronger and less erratic in the fight which told me it was most likely not a Zander. Sure enough a lovely low double figure Pike proved to be the culprit and was netted by Giles. As I was getting the mat ready the fish was trying it's best to escape. It actually made it half way out of the net before I dived onto the floor to scoop her up and catch her for the second time within minutes! We laughed our heads off for minute until we were composed enough to take a couple of pictures. That was the end of the action so it was time for home. Although not the end to the River season we wanted it was a great days fishing none the less.

I could not get Zander fishing off my mind for a couple of days after this. Knowing the conditions were yet again turning cold any day I soon found myself back at the lake. It was 16 degrees centigrade when I got there and I worked up a sweat getting to the swim. I got three rods spread out in front of me using the same tactics as the previous trip. I could now relax and enjoy the lovely warm evening. Well not for long because not long after the sun went down the temperature had dropped to 4 degrees centigrade! Not only that it also started raining then snow! Well as I sat there feeling sorry for myself I had a take out of the blue. I struck and felt a solid connection and quickly netted a schoolie Zander of 5lb or so which put a smile on my face. Now trying to take self take pictures in the windy, rainy and snowy conditions was next to impossible so the result was a blurry Zander. It was a new camera so it was good practice I suppose?!

I did not have to wait too long until my next take. I could feel this was a better fish and it had the typical head shake of a Zander. I drew the fish closer to the net when out of the blue the fish went crazy and refused to go in! After what seemed AGES in it went and it was certainly the biggest Zander I had caught in a long while. Much to my delight the needle settled at just over 10lbs. Again I attempted to take some self take pictures and managed to get a couple of half decent shots. The fish was soon back in it's cold watery home and I wanted to get back to my warm dry one! This was one of those sessions where it was worth the effort and discomfort as the end result was more than worth it.

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

River Carp fishing to Reservoir Perch.

It's been sometime since I last wrote a blog so this is going to be a re-cap of the last six months fishing. As always with my fishing it's been all about variation. From River Carp to reservoir Perch and everything in between. I have enjoyed every second of it and that's the way it should be!

I started the season on the hunt for Carp on my local Fenland River. There had been lot's of hard work clearing swims and pre-baiting with Urban Bait Nutcracker in the close season and it was now time to hopefully reap the rewards. I won't go into too much detail as this will be written up in a fourth coming issue of Big carp magazine. On the opening day of the River season myself and angling buddy Giles were camped up ready to cast in at midnight. With that done all we had to do was wait and see what, if anything came our way? Early morning saw me hit into a savage take and after a strong fight land a stunning 17lb Common Carp. It was just the start I hoped for and it was to get much better the following morning! I had a drop back bite and duly wound down into a Bream. Well that bream soon turned into an angry Carp and made off down River! After several runs Giles did a great job netting a very special fish. The most stunning Mirror Carp I have ever caught was soon photographed and weighed. At 29lb 8oz it was a pb River Carp for me and will always be one of the best fishing memories i'll have!

It was a few weeks into the season before I started Rudd fishing the River. The Carp fishing had taken priority and it was now time for a change. As I live so close to the River I could maximize my fishing time and target the Rudd for the last couple of hours of light. This is prime time and much better than killing yourself in the heat of the day fishing at the least productive time. My first evening out saw me sat by the River trickling in bread crust to get the Rudd feeding. As the sun started to dip behind me the fish started taking crust off the surface. They would only take the bait in the most awkward place possible. It was a muddy cattle drink with thick Reeds and a further Lilly bed in front of that. I had no choice but to cast where the fish were even if it meant a wet foot! I dipped my crust into the Nutcracker dip for extra pulling power and cast beyond the fish and dragged it as close as I dare! Within seconds a fish slurped down the crust and I hit into it. I held the rod tip high to keep the fish out of the Lilly's and managed to pull it close to the Reeds. Sure enough one wet foot later I managed to scoop the fish up into the net! It was a good fish in mint condition and weighed in at a new pb of 2lb 12oz. Well worth a wet foot hey?!

The evening sessions continued and the Rudd kept coming. In about half a dozen evenings I had another dozen or so 2lb plus fish. All falling for waggler fished bread crust on a size 8 hook and 4lb line. I dipped the crust in the Urban bait Nutcracker dip every time as the extra attraction i'm sure gave me an edge over plain crust. One particular trip didn't really go as planned but some cracking fish were still landed. Carl and Alex of of Youtube fame came up for a session hoping to bank a Rudd or two and maybe a River Carp at night. The weather was far from ideal with strong winds, rain and cool temperatures! I managed to bank a nice 2lb plus Rudd early the first morning just before the lads arrived. I was fishing good old bread crust but suspended three foot off the bottom on a running lead almost zig style. The lads were very happy to see the fish and get at least one nice fish on film.

As predicted the Rudd fishing was very hard going through the day and we could not buy a bite from any specimen sized fish. We hoped the evening would bring on the fish activity and sure enough Carl saw a fish top in the swim and duly caught a nice Rudd about 1lb 8oz in weight which was a new pb for him. Alex also got in on the pb action and bagged a 2lb stunner on the "bread zig"! It was however the action at night that really made the session one to remember. Through the night we caught another five 2lb plus Rudd to 2lb 9oz and I even managed a mint little River Common Carp to cap a very enjoyable session off.

I had been intending to have a trip to Pitsford water for a Perch session since it opened for lure fishing in May. It was now late July and a day afloat on the reservoir soon came around. The water level was low and it had not been fishing well prior to now. That was not going to put me off so I was soon anchored up at the first spot ready to cast in various drop shotted rubber lures. It didn't take long before I started getting taps on the lures on a slow retrieve. A solid bite came along and I struck into a hard fighting fish! As I got the fish to the boat and near the surface I could see it was a big stripey. At this point it decided to make a surge under the boat and towards the anchor rope! Well I was forced to pile on the pressure and sure enough the hook slipped and the fish gained it's freedom! Gutted but not deterred I carried on chucking rubber and was soon in with another take. This time all went to plan and a lovely Perch was my reward. Several more good sized fish were boated by me and Giles but the monsters did not want to make an appearance. But there is always next time.

It was now early October and I had not done much lake Carp fishing up to now. My local club lake was the perfect place to go and get some action so I was soon there looking for fish activity. Soon enough the fish gave me the nod and I scattered a kilo of Urban bait Nutcracker boilies about 40 yards out to hopefully get them feeding. The boilies were glugged in the dip to pull the fish down to the bottom of the deep lake. Rigs were my ever reliable Ronnie rigs with size 4 wide gape hooks fished helicopter style and 15mm Nutcracker pop ups. The action was almost instant and I was soon bent into a very hard fighting fish that was stripping line and kiting to the right making it a nerve wreaking fight! Eventually I had the fish in the net and it was a leathery lump. At 28lb it was a fantastic start to the session. Scattering the Nutcracker little and often throughout the day kept the bites coming and several more Carp succumbed to the tactics including another two 20lbers to 24lb. A great session to see my Carp season out.

Now we were into early Winter and it was prime predator time. A day afloat with Giles was soon organised on a Fenland River where Pike and Perch were the targets. It was a cold and windy day but when we started casting big plastic lures for the Pike we soon warmed up. The Pike were obviously not on the feed as many casts were made with no response. Eventually I had a hit and was into a fast fish zipping around in the shallow water. As is the hazard with boat fishing the fish zoomed under the boat and the severe angle saw the hooks thrown from the Pikes mouth! It was a low double fish and would have been nice to boat but I enjoyed the fight at least. It was clear the Pike were not on the feed so we turned our attention to Perch. Drop shotting worms was the chosen method and with lots of moored boats along the River there was lots of cover for the fish to hide. We located some large Perch under two boats. A flurry of fish came to the boat with several good 2lbers with the best fish being just short of 3lb. A couple of jack Pike took a liking to the worms too and gave great scraps on light tackle!

Fishing will be on the back burner for a while as it's just a matter of days until my second child is born. I think that will keep me busy for a while! I have some great fishing planned for the new season including more River carping. Hopefully I will have some more blogs coming out in the not too distant future.

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Fenland Lake Rudd, Tench, Bream and Perch. Plus club Lake Carp.

Since the end of the river season I have carried on in my search for a big Fenland Rudd. I have been fishing a Lake I have fished on and off for getting on 20 years but mainly for the predators. I had known for some time the Lake held big Rudd but had mainly been concentrating on the Rivers.

My first trip to the lake came in late March. It was unseasonably warm for the time of year with temperatures of 19 degrees centigrade. The area of the lake I was fishing had lily pads starting to reach the surface next to an island. I cast one method feeder to this spot in the hope the Rudd would be patrolling there. The other method feeder was cast about ten yards to the left in open water between two islands. It took only a few minutes to get my first take from open water and as soon as I pulled into it I knew it was no Rudd. The first of MANY Bream was netted, unhooked and slipped back into the Lake.

It was now heading into the evening and the sun was getting lower in the sky. Just as I was thinking the were not Rudd feeding I had a take that felt very different to the Bream. I knew it was a Rudd when it popped to the surface and those golden scales glowed in the evening sun. I was so happy to net the fish and get a result the first session on the Lake! It weighed in at 2lb and I was happy enough to pack up and go home right then. But I was soon attached to another fish when the alarm sounded and the bobbin slammed the rod blank! This again I could tell was a Rudd and when it splashed on the surface I could see it was a bigger fish. As I suspected the fish was indeed bigger than the last and weighed 2lb 5oz. It was definitely a good time to pack up and leave for home. A brace of twos on the first trip left me grinning from ear to ear!

I had a few more trips over April/May and caught many more Bream. I would not be surprised if I caught well over 100lb of Bream in the half dozen trips I had. The action was crazy! I always caught Rudd too which was fantastic but nothing quite as big as the first trip. The biggest was just short of 2lb. I also had the odd bonus Tench which were very welcome as they put up a great fight on the light gear I was using. I plan to carry on having the odd trip there in the summer but I will be fishing from my boat. It will give me access to so much water that cannot be fished from the bank.

After a few trips to the lake Bream bashing I needed a change. I left the feeder rods at home and took my predator kit with me as I fancied chucking out a couple of dead baits for the Pike and Zander for an evening. I also took a light jigging set up to chuck around if the ledgered baits stayed static. A guy had just left a swim where he had been fishing for the Bream. I went in the swim after him as I know the bait he used will have attracted the smaller bait fish the predators like to feed on. I decided to cast a small crayfish type jig around to see if my reasoning was well founded. On my first cast I felt something grabbing the jig but when I struck nothing was there. This happened a few times so when I felt a hit I left it a few seconds to let the fish get the hook in its mouth. It worked and I was soon into what I thought was a small Zander. Much to my surprise it was a nice sized Perch that came angrily to the surface! At 2lb 2oz it was a welcome surprise and I will definitely be targeting them in the future to see if there are any bigger ones in there.

Carp were another species on my Spring target list. Not having vast amounts of time at my disposal I needed a water with a good number of fish with the chance of a good 20 or 30lber. My local club lake fitted that need so it was there I would have a few day sessions. This lake is large and deep so my main method of attack would be zig rig fishing as the fish have so much depth they can be feeding in. Up to 32ft deep in areas and an average of 25ft! Over 3 day sessions I had several Carp per trip. Most of the fish were caught on zigs fished around mid depth of 12-14ft. I did have a few fish on bottom baits but the zigs out fished them five to one! Most fish were mid to upper doubles but the best fish went over 24lb. The action on this lake can be crazy and keeping one rod in the water can be hard sometimes let alone two!

Now I am getting ready for the new River season in the hope of tracking down some of the stunning dark Carp that roam my local River. And while i'm there it would be rude not to do some Rudd fishing too!