SHORT CAN BE SWEET – Blog entry 637 (CARP)

In terms of catching fish you could say that carp angling has two extremes. On the one hand there are places that you can go to where you can often net something every few minutes. Then there are the ‘rock-hard’ venues that will maybe produce one monster in return for thousands of hours of your time. Many anglers – in fact I would say most – are somewhere in between in where they are personally at.

A nice place to spend an afternoon
A nice place to spend an afternoon

They have fairly busy lives and so can’t spend long fish-less hours bank-side chasing that carp of a lifetime, and probably if they are honest, they don’t want that sort of fishing either. Then again, they do want a challenge of sorts and that’s where the venue in this blog entry comes in. It’s not ‘easy’, you can’t just turn up and guarantee fish. You have to do some thinking, employ water craft and plan your session.

Off the mark with this fish
Off the mark with this fish

I think it’s also important to bear in mind, whatever venue you’re on, that you can only catch what’s in there. On some lakes, a 10lb carp might be a very good fish, while on others even a ’20’ isn’t that special. The pool I fished in this week’s blog isn’t a big-fish water and that’s crucial to where you set your benchmark in terms of catch-fulfilment.

Ready and waiting for some action
Ready and waiting for some action

As it happened I banked six commons and also had the unusual situation of three hook-pulls. These can, and do, happen anytime of course, but to get that number in a short afternoon outing is certainly something to think about. The obvious first place is the hook itself and the sharpness, followed by the rig, presentation etc. As it happened, nothing came up and I drew the conclusion that it was just one of those things.

Another common on the bank
Another common on the bank

I fished with pop-ups on both rods – black squid on the left and soluble cranberry on the right. Two of the hook-pulls were on the former, so I did have action of sorts, but all the fish caught were on the fruity boilie. It is also brightly coloured as well which compared to the squid does stand out. On some venues you don’t want a bait that announces itself but on others that’s exactly what you need.

Cranberry did the business
Cranberry did the business

I guess that’s where experience comes in and of course the insight to take on board information and process it correctly. Without doubt, as far as I’m concerned, the thinking angler will regularly out-fish the one who just turns up, casts out and waits for some action. It will also help you to make the most of limited time. Short can be sweet! See you next week. (Published September 26 2015)