What a hectic few months this summer has consisted of and just like all those before it, it ended in a blink of an eye! Although I had many plans to go in search of my chosen quarry, my time behind the rods was very limited (which it has been for most of this year) although it hasn’t been all work and no play! I have got a couple of very interesting and exciting things in the pipe line which I cannot say too much about except watch this space.
Each year normally consists of a family trip to the famous Anglers Paradise and this year was no different. The week was spent catching fish and generally having a great time. The thing I love about AP is that it’s the one time in the year where I managed to put the carp rods down and reach for my light tackle while I chase the many weird and wonderful species that inhabit the many lakes of the complex. What’s the one thing that they all have in common? Their love for Pellets and a bucket full to the brim of Skretting pellets goes absolutely nowhere as in some of the lakes the fish literally crawl up the bank to get every last tasty morsel! This leads to some great arm aching action. While having fun chasing the smaller species it doesn’t take to long for big scaley carp to creep into my thoughts and I was soon having a go for the stunning creatures that reside in the Specimen carp lake. The glorious sunshine which we were treated to this year had the carp basking in the upper layers which meant that pouches of 11mm expander pellets were catapulted out into the vicinity of the big black shapes. It didn’t take long before a pair of lips broke the surface film to engulf said freebies. I continued feeding as the carp’s confidence grew and every pellet that hit the surface soon disappeared into one of the many mouths of the awaiting carp. It was now time to cast. My first cast landed a good 10yards past the feeding fish and I gently drew it back into the hot zone. Only minutes passed before my little trimmed down pop up was snatched and the water erupted as a good fish powered off at a rate of knots resulting in a lovely carp of mid doubles which was covered head to tail in golden scales and definitely had me smiling. A quick lunch break and stop to top up the bait bucket with more expander pellets and was once again sat beside the speci carp lake trying to rise the carp from the depths. This didn’t take long as once again the carp done their best pac man impressions as one by one the expander pellets disappeared and once again it was time to cast. With my hookbait in place I watched as a dark shadow edge towards it until a big pair of lips rose around my little yellow popup milliseconds before my clutch hissed violently as the carp headed off into the distance. After a very good battle I had a low 20lb speci lake cracker sulking in the net.
The weather took a turn for the worse with heavy rain and strong winds, and with it went my chances of any more surface action. This meant it was time to head off to the main carp lake and a more static approach was the plan of action. After fishing the venue for a number of years I knew my spots fairly well and put out a good bed of bait. What I hadn’t planned on was the number of tiny spawned on carp that demolished everything in their pat. The more bait I put in the more the activity increased. Now you don’t hear this very often but the pellets were working too well as an attractor and a rethink was in need. In the end I had to drop the pellets and any small food items out completely and baited with just boilies, which didn’t stop the small carp but did definitely slow them down and give the bigger residents a chance to get in on the action and my next bite was certainly a much better fish. After a very spirited battle the fish found some sanctuary within a set of pads and unfortunately the hook pulled and I was left defeated. After a little sulk I was called back into battle and this one wasn’t getting off and soon I was holding up a gorgeous leather carp of 22lb which I am pretty sure is my largest leather I have ever caught. Certainly a reason to celebrate in the safari bar that night.
As you may know I am a level 2 angling coach and have a huge passion for getting new comers into our fantastic sport especially children and had the perfect place to get some kids involved while at the Anglers Paradise complex. After some last minute planning with Zenia we soon had a kids day arranged at the Eldorado Lakes. The weather was pretty poor although we didn’t let that dampen the day and all those that took part were full of excitement and passion - especially when the fish came calling from Catfish to Rudd with personal bests to first ever catches. Tactics ranged from ledgering with carp rods to delicate floats on the whip and once again all of the fish willingly fed on our loose feed pellets. I would just like to say a Huge thank you to Skretting Fish Feeds for stepping up and helping out with, not only bait but for also supplying clothing and other items that helped make the day even more special. With some great fish caught by myself and others it was certainly an enjoyable trip, as it always is, but the highlight of my week was spending a few hours with my daughter Summer fishing the margins of with her whip catching small carp, golden orfe, roach, rudd and rather impressively a little baby catfish. There are not many 3 year olds that can say they have caught a catfish and the fact she wasted no time in getting her hands dirty and carefully held her catch without batting an eye lid made me one proud dad indeed.
Until next time remember, if its not happening then stay positive and