Days and Ways....


IT is almost time, for New Year resolutions, and I’m wondering what to expect from my angling in 2014.

In some respects, 2013 for me was both a success and a failure: a success, because I really did feel I was “cracking” the secrets of The Other Pool, and a failure because the really big fish were not caught.

In fact, I’m only sure that one really large common, and one only, exists in the pool; but that is a common to die for. There is another long common in there, which I believe was the “scraper twenty” caught by one fortunate angler 16 years ago.

Until 2012, this was the only time the deep little pool was fished, since it was stocked some 31 years ago.

I’ve seen both the immense common and the long common, - a somewhat smaller fish. This was the carp that swept into the narrow bay one May evening, when the area was swarming with tadpoles. I put out a surface bait and managed to catch several of its fellows. But that lean common just carried on doing what it was doing, - harrying the tadpoles in an aggressive and predatory way, and my floating crust failed to tempt it.

I wonder now when I’ll get back to the pool. I managed a few winter carp in November, but by the end of the month the pond seemed lifeless or dormant, and I had the overwhelming sense that the water had switched off for the season.

This is why my recent attention has moved to Clay Farm Pond; but no one fishes there these days in search of monsters.  I miss The Other Pool, because it has the potential to surprise me. I’m astonished that I seem to be the only regular on its banks! It is a members only lake, and at least 15 other anglers have the right to fish it: but I’m always alone there, and – to be selfish – I rather like it that way!

Back to 2014: I’ll set no targets, other than trying to catch at least 100 carp a year: something I have achieved each year since 2009.

Of course, I won’t be getting all of those from The Other Pool. Around twenty or thirty carp in a year seems to be the norm from there, and I would estimate that it holds no more that around 150 carp – including a decent head of doubles. The fish, of course, are mainly commons.

As for techniques, I’m starting to have the sense that my game is “coming together” and that is some cause for celebration, at the close of one more year.

Basically, I think that close-range “sight-bobbing”, as described on the opening page of the Carping Gnome, is the ultimate technique for shy-biting carp, when conditions are not too choppy; and it lends itself very well to the use of particles and soft baits such as ‘specials’. In the nineties at Dudmaston I had some success with tench by using Sensas exploding ground bait as a paste hookbait. Of course, you have to use the watch to time how long the bait stays on the bottom. You have to cast out every ten to twenty minutes, obviously. This also means that you have to be "on" the fish. In other words, it's a stalking technique for unspooked and feeding fish.

 It really worked for tench at Dudmaston, and I’m thinking of going back to the future and using it again, for carp. This time, however, I may add powdered silk-worm larvae as an added attractant. This is an idea ‘borrowed’ from Italian matchmen, and it is said to really sort out the larger fish.

As I understand it, the silkworm powder absorbs very little water – remaining almost dry. Combined with exploding Sensas groundbait it should throw a very tempting cloud around the hook bait while reducing the need for free offerings. Too many free offerings, of course, can scare off the more cautious fish.

When I put this to the test, dear readers, I shall let you know how I get on; and on this hopeful note, may I wish you all a very Happy Christmas, and Tight Lines for 2014.  

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Gary | Reply 22.12.2013 18:16

Interesting, JAA - and strike on the lift as per usual?
I often watch the line, and enjoy seeing it twitch and move away.

A Happy Xmas to you too, JAA.

JAA | Reply 21.12.2013 20:17

For shy fish try free-lining, hold the rod, tin foil over the line, dangled between your feet (stop the wind moving it). Happy Christmas Nome, TL for 2014.

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Latest comments

27.11 | 23:05

We missed you, dear nephew, we missed you...x

27.11 | 19:45

It's Ok, you guys just keep enjoying your little fishing sessions without me...we all know why

07.09 | 21:31

Yes Dave, I look forward to a Three Amigos' reunion at a carp pool. Our fishing sessions together are always a great joy.

07.09 | 20:49

Lovely account of a most enjoyable day Gary.Lets hope that Steven can join us next time.David

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