Rumours, don’t you just love them! (carp article and video, entry 376)


As an all-rounder I don’t have time for the irrelevant rivalries and petty squabbles that are prevalent in the angling world. Although like everyone else, I have my opinions, the bottom line is that I’m not really interested in arguing them through with people. For me the internet is an excellent tool for promoting the wonderful world of angling not a platform for attacking others, whether that be on a personal level or collectively. And this week I joined the ‘bivvy boys’ as I became a carp camper pitched up beyond the bank sticks waiting for a run. Often the object of much derision, the bottom line is if you don’t want to fish that way, then don’t. If others do then that’s up to them. Quite simple really!

I’ve done a fair few carp sessions already this year but all on the local canal, where in relative terms I’ve had success. But an opportunity to fish a new lake definitely caught my attention – and not just new for me, but in general, as this venue has only recently become available for coarse fishing. And that’s where the headline for the article comes from; rumours ranged from massive uncaught monsters to someone coming in the night and netting them all. Plus everything else in between. As I say, don’t you just love rumours. And I don’t mean Fleetwood Mac!



My first session was an overnighter and I arrived at the lake not knowing what to expect other than it was a decent size. I liked the look of one part of the venue and so decided to do some casting around with the marker float in that area. A sharp drop-off took me immediately into six feet of water, this becoming eight feet and then considerably more as I lengthened the cast. There was also a lot of weed around and so I eventually settled on a section I had found that was relatively clear on the bottom, which saw me fishing into the six-eight feet of water that was around three rod lengths out.

I had brought my pod just in case (I didn’t know what the bank would be like) but I was able to get the sticks in easily enough and that was my preferred way of fishing as I could position the rods exactly at the angle I wanted them to be. In all types of fishing confidence is important but even more so when you may make one cast in the session. You need to know that everything is just right.




If you’re a regular reader of my Angling Journal you will be aware by now that the accompanying video format has changed considerably. Instead of the previous one that was pretty much on level terms (and considered more so by those that don’t like to read but watch) with the article, now the video is more of a trailer. It is still meant to be informative though, rather than just simply a tempter for people to read the article.

In this week’s I covered some of my bait approach for the visits to the new lake, from the seed mix through to the boilies. One of the rods was fished with an SBS M2, which in such a short time has already become a confidence bait for me. One of the things that I find attractive about the mixed bag that you can buy is the versatility they offer. With both size and shape varying you can change the bait very quickly. On this occasion I fished a 14mm dumbbell shaped boilie.




It was quite late by the time I eventually settled back with everything sorted. My overnighters have been quite limited for a few months now due to hospital commitments involving my father-in-law. Earlier in the year he was diagnosed with cancer and so I find myself tied in to a number of visits each week. Not that I am complaining of course, in the slightest: far from it. It’s actually at times like this that everything falls into perspective. And as someone who lost his father to pancreatic cancer just a few years ago I know all about the effects of this horrible illness. (Note: since writing the article, Tom has passed away.He will be missed very much.)

Anyway I enjoyed myself on the new water even if I failed to get so much as a single bleep on the indicator. Maybe the rumours of no fish present were true, maybe they had all been eaten by otters, Eastern Europeans, netted and auctioned, caught and sold, not there in the first place etc. (Believe or delete as appropriate!). Or maybe they were there and I had just hadn’t found them yet. Just as one swallow doesn’t make a summer then one blank is hardly the basis on which to build a doctrine of doom, gloom and despair. And on that argument I wanted to get back as quickly as I could, which meant if I got my act together could be that very night.



It was a wet and miserable evening as I pitched up. In fact it was so bad that I walked to the lake and got the shelter in place before returning to the car and getting the rest of the gear, thus ensuring stuff was as dry as possible. I was thinking to myself how this was the weather to sort out the anglers as far as committed and maybe not-so was concerned. But would my dedication pay off? Into darkness I had a screaming run on the M2 boilie rod that saw me playing a lump for a couple of minutes.

But then suddenly all went slack and I found myself bringing in a hook-pull rig. Would I get another bite of the cherry? The answer to that was a resounding yes as not much later I found myself not only playing a carp but also netting it as well. As you can see from the photograph on the left it was a decent one. I was a very happy man as I posed and reflected.





I had to wait until the morning till my next piece of the action and the result of that was the fish on the right. The Common had succumbed to the M2 bottom boilie but this one was tempted on the left rod by a 14mm lobworm pop-up. Both baits were cast over a bed of seeds and encased in a PVA bag of pellets with loose offerings inside. I also threw out a few boilies as well from time to time. You have to try and gauge what’s going on beneath the surface.

You don’t want to put too much feed in, that’s a killer, but you don’t want to cut yourself short either. That’s where experience of a venue comes in handy, but failing that head start you have to tread carefully and build up an estimated picture of what’s going on based on actual action as well as line bites, fish crashing, bubbles of feeding fish etc. Once the rods are out you don’t just lie back and wait for a run, you have to stay alert, always on the look-out for fish movement.




The following night was a complete blank, even though the conditions were so promising. But that’s fishing for you isn’t it. However, I made full use of the day by seeing how many flower species I could find around my shelter. I didn’t venture further than a couple of steps from base, yet I counted a total of 17 varieties growing either on the grass or alongside the lake. These included the gypsywort (left) and the marsh pennywort (right) with both of these native British flowers often found growing near water. The word ‘wort’ is common and comes from the Old English ‘plant’.



Pushing my barrow back to the car I was already trying to work out in my mind when I could fit my next visit in. Now that’s a good sign when you’re already planning a return and you’re still on the site. And isn’t it a good thing that I didn’t listen to the rumour mill? Otherwise I wouldn’t have even bothered fishing a day session never mind giving it my best shot. My advice to people is to listen to what others say but then find out for yourself. Sometimes people give misleading information because they want to do exactly that – put other anglers off the scent. Other times it’s just stuff that gets repeated and passed on to the extent when one man’s blank becomes a world-wide declaration that there are no fish in there or whatever. There are times when there is good counsel in numbers but others when we have to find out for ourselves. By knowing which, we can not only save ourselves a lot of wasted time, but we can also ensure we don’t miss out on golden opportunities. Be wise! (Article published September 18 2010)







Click above for the trailer video for this article (43 on the list)




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