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.
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.