Articles, Blog

Korda Carp Fishing Masterclass Vol 6: No Privileges | Darrell Peck 2019


Check it out. We’re down at Baden Hall Fisheries
in Staffordshire, and we’re following on from
the theme of last year’s masterclass. I’ve come to a day ticket lake
that any of you can come to. Public access, no swims roped off,
no pre-baiting, just going to fish it
exactly like you could. What we’re going to demonstrate
is the rigs, the baits, the techniques that I use
to try and catch these fish. The big one has been on the front page
of Carp-Talk numerous times, and I’ve always thought,
“Cor, that is an absolute clonker.” It could be 50lb, we don’t know. It hasn’t been caught
for 12 months. But what we do know,
there’s a lot of big fish there, and I’m really excited to get going,
so let’s go. First things first when looking at a lake,
particularly this sort of lake, is, I’m looking for,
what are the popular swims? So I don’t know anything, I go to the shop
and I ask a few questions. Generally, people want to be
around the middle of the lake, so I’m looking for those swims,
what water they command, and just trying to pick up
any relevant info. First thoughts when looking at this lake,
obviously it’s fairly open, and it’s not really got too much
in the way of big trees or holding areas
around the edges, so immediately, I’m thinking
angling pressure all around the pond. The fish could be quite often
pushed to the middle. Obviously, when you go
to a new lake there’s regulars to the water
that know more than you do. They’ll have titbits
of information of what has and hasn’t worked
over the years, but really, deep down,
my approach never wavers. it’s fish where they are. So, I’m looking for
where they are, and I use the tactics
that I use everywhere. But sometimes there are
little bits and pieces about the lake that take time to learn,
and it’s always worth listening, but at the same time,
always have your own slant to it. It’s about, it’s just gone 11:00, and you’re not allowed to cast out
until 12:00. I’ve got this swim booked,
but I don’t know anything. I don’t know anything at all other than there’s 13 people on
out of 18 swims, and people are arriving and picking up
these swims and going in them. There’s going to be
five free swims, so I’m going to keep
my eyes peeled. I don’t want to just rush
into the swim, get all my gear out, fire them out there and then think,
“Oh no, the fish are over there.” So if I don’t see anything,
I’m probably going to go in this peg. If I do see something,
then I’ll phone up the office, see if there’s any availability
of those swims, then move round there. But for the time being, keeping my eyes peeled,
see if we see any. Well, we are still in peg 11. I haven’t seen anything,
I’ve been looking. What’s really happened
is loads of people have turned up, and to be honest,
even if I do see something, there’s very little option
to move. So with that in mind, and bearing in mind this swim
has done some fish recently, peg 11, I’ve seen a lot
of casting going on, there’s a lot of people turned up today,
a lot of leading around, a bit of Spombing,
a lot of bait going in, and I don’t really think
it’s quite right for that yet. I think it’s a little bit early in the year,
they’re just waking up, and I think with this much disturbance
going on around me, my best bet of a take
is to go in with zig rigs. Hopefully anything passing through
the swim will be intercepted by this. I’ve gone in with a two-footer. The depth roughly out there
is around 5ft, the distance
I’m going to be fishing. I’m going to talk you a little bit
from top to bottom. Obviously, I’ve got my 15lb Mainline.
That’s Carp Line. I’ve got anti-tangle tail rubber
on there, which is a tiny piece of tubing
coming out of the back. I’ve got a Hybrid lead clip, which I’ve cut
the ring swivel off, and that allows me
to get the anti-tangle sleeve just over the end
of the swivel. That prevents the tangles. 3.5oz distance bomb, and a 2ft zig with a size 8 Wide Gape on there, and a tiny, I say tiny,
12mm pineapple pop-up soaked in Pineapple Supreme. Let’s get it out there. I’ll tell you what there. I know this sounds ***** mad, but I think I hit something there. It’s the end of the first day already,
and to be honest, it’s been… I don’t know, it’s gone by
in a blink of an eye. By the time we’ve done all the bits
and pieces, then got the rods out… Yeah, it’s still spring,
so it’s getting dark quite early. I think it got dark about eight o’clock,
but just on dark, or just a little bit before dark,
I saw a flurry of activity. Three fish showed
in a small window, and shortly after that, the guy
next to me, he had a lovely mid-30, a cracking common, went and done
the pictures for him, lovely fish. Having seen nothing
when I originally set up, to then have them show near me, then the guy in
the next peg catch one, I don’t feel like
I’m too far wrong, and on your first night at a new venue,
you can’t grumble at that. So I don’t know how confident
to be for tonight. I’ve got my zigs out there.
I’ve caught loads of fish on zigs at night, but at the same time, we have to be a bit more confident
with a bit of bait out there. But this is the time of year for zigs,
he’s caught one on zigs. I’ve got them out there,
I’ve caught on them before in the dark, so fingers crossed they’re going to
pull one out of the bag tonight. If nothing does materialise,
I will be up at the crack of dawn, going to be scanning the water,
looking for any signs, because there should be a turnaround
of people tomorrow morning, and there might be the opportunity
to move swim, or this might be a good peg. At the moment,
the fish I’ve seen are very close to where
I’ve got my zigs positioned, so, yeah, fingers crossed
we’re going to get something. Well, nothing’s happened here. Yesterday it looked quite promising
in the afternoon, a few fish showed out there,
then the guy next door caught one, that lovely 35-pounder, but overnight,
nothing’s happened, and this morning, I was up
really early looking for fish, and they appear to have
sort of moved away from me. Rather than getting close,
they seem to have gone further out, 1and where I’m casting, where those
fish were, it’s really, really shallow. In these conditions, I feel a little
bit deeper water would be better. There’s a swim opposite,
swim number five has just come free. I phoned the office, so I’ve exchanged
my swim for that swim. I’ve got to go and pick the key up,
so I’m going to quickly pack up, get around there,
get in the deeper water, and hopefully,
it will be a good move. Round in swim 11, it feels like
it’s just out of that central zone. The fish were there
on the extremities of the swim, as far left as
you’d want to cast. They seemed to have
pushed left from there, and the closest that I can get
to those fish is to come opposite
and cast further out into the middle. Having moved, I’ve got a freshness,
a more open mind. This swim is more central,
and I feel it’s got more scope. I felt more hemmed in. I’ve got people around me here, but I felt really on the extremities
of the middle zone. Also, I felt like… I don’t know,
I didn’t have much water. In this swim, I feel like
I’ve got more scope, more water. I angle straight at
the middle of the lake, and I just feel that
I can see better. I’m just better positioned
to learn and to catch and I feel. Normally, I always fish
black foam on zigs, and I’ve had my best success
fishing that in clear water. My murky water success
is pretty thin on the ground. Having spoken to Roy, the bailiff,
he said to me black foam normally, but at the moment,
the water’s coloured, and it seems like yellows
and your bright colours, oranges, also with a bit of flavour. So I’ve had some pineapple pop-ups
soaked in Pineapple Goo for ages, and I thought that ticked the box,
so that’s what’s gone out. As these sessions progress, what I would really like to happen
is for the water to clear up. Then I’d definitely be more confident
with black foam, because I’ve had
more success on it, and I might end up fishing
on the bottom more. What I plan to do
when we leave here is probably have a few casts
around in this swim, maybe even go around to a couple
of empty swims if there are any, and just take in a little bit more, because at the moment I’m fishing blind,
just casting out rigs. I want to build up a knowledge
of the depths, where the fish have shown
in certain areas, know what the bottom’s like, so next week, if I come back, if I fish those swims,
I’m better prepared. At the moment, I’m trying to catch,
and I’m not really learning a lot, because I’m not catching,
and I’m not really plumbing. But at the same time,
I don’t want to scare them off, so I’m playing the cautious game
at the moment, but I will investigate further. Here, there’s a two-rod rule
as opposed to three rods, and a lot of people
always see that as a negative. But if the lake’s really, really busy,
I would much prefer it’s two rods, because one rod
in the right spot is all it takes, and a lot of the time, three rods is another
50% more pressure per angler, and angling pressure,
in my opinion, is the single most biggest factor
in the carp’s behaviour. They don’t want to be caught,
they know what angling pressure is, so, by having less pressure
on the water, I feel that the fish
behave more naturally, and the opportunities will arise, and like I said, one rod
in the right place is all you need. I need to be a bit more spiteful. Usually, you can cast out the zigs and
be pretty confident they’re presented, but the first couple of casts
didn’t quite hit the clip very well, and the last one
hit the clip too hard. You can get
a bit paranoid with zigs. They’re probably not tangled, but I’m going to be sitting
behind it for a few hours, and I want to be certain
that they’re out there perfect. See, there’s nothing wrong with it,
but just in my head, I want to hit the clip
with a certain amount of force, just so that I can envisage
it’s laid out lovely. Let’s get it out there.
I’m making a meal of this! I’ve put out 2, 2.5ft zigs,
both with yellow pop-ups, out 104 yards. The thinking behind that is the fish
I saw were this way from that swim, and using that distance pinner app, drawing dots from one side
of the lake to the other, I think the fish are roughly
in the middle of the lake. If I’m honest,
they’re probably a little bit more in front of the guy
on the other side, but I’m not going to go
pushing right out into the middle, because that’s unfair. He’s caught fish,
he’s probably out there 90, 100 yards himself,
and if we both go out 100, it leaves three or four rod-lengths
in the middle, 20 yards between us, which is a good safe area
for the fish. Maybe they might bounce
back and forth between us. I think so many times
on busy lakes, day tickets, syndicates,
any type of water, when you’ve got
lots of angling pressure, quite often, especially this time of year,
the central body of the lake, the widest point
where they can be pushed out to, can be a good place to start,
and that’s what has been displayed. The fish have been in the middle
of the lake in the widest point. The weather’s not really warm. I wouldn’t imagine them
to be really following the wind and getting right
in the edges. So I can just picture
a big pod of carp. There’s supposed to be
a couple of hundred fish in here. I can just picture them, not all of them, but a big group of them
out there in the middle. And those little 2.5ft zigs
with yellows, eventually, curiosity should
get the better of one of them, and one of them
should just have it. That’s the theory anyway,
we’ll have to see how it pans out. The only thing
that’s happened today of note is one fish showed
around in swim 11, which I moved out of, which is far from ideal, and the same guy as before
round in 12 has caught another one
this morning. That happened about 9:30,
so fairly late in the morning, and if I possibly had made
the phone call right there and then, the swim possibly could
have been free for tonight, because he’s just packing up. But before we’ve had
any sort of chance to do that, two other cars have arrived,
and they’ve got swims 11 and 12. So there’s no option for me
to move where the fish have showed, or where the fish
has been caught from, and my only hope
at this point is… I’m close, and two new guys
going in opposite me could mean a lot of casting around
and disturbance. Maybe they’re regulars
and they’ll know exactly what to do, but if they’re new to the lake,
they might go out with the marker rod, and might immediately
start Spombing. I don’t think they will, I think
they’ve just spoken to the guy in 12, and they probably know
that he’s caught his fish on zigs, and they probably
will get out minimally. But from my point of view, I’d love to
see them whip out the old spod rod, out with the marker rod
and set about it, and push the fish
over this way, because I don’t think
I’m going too far wrong. I just think the conditions
are cold, the fish are really localised in
that part of the lake at the moment, so fingers crossed. It’s not happened this week, and other than the activity
I’ve seen and the fish show, I don’t really think I could
have done a lot else, really. There’s been very minimal activity and I’ve done the best I could. The weather’s looking better
for next week and I’m hopeful for that. There’s one last thing to do
before we get out of here, and that’s just to make a few casts
with the marker rod, and have a feel around out there. Smells like oranges and pineapple. We are back, and you might have
noticed that we’re in swim five again. The plumbing we did last week
has paid off, really. I know how deep it is out there, and I know how deep
I want to fish my zigs. Obviously, I was very keen
to get in pegs 11 and 12. I got down really early, and unfortunately,
after speaking to them in the office, the swims are taken
for the next couple of days, so five seemed like
the next best bet. And after speaking to the guy
that was in this swim, he said he’d seen
fish out here, slightly to the right of where
we’d seen them last week, and it sounds like they’re
a little bit more over this way. So I’m really happy about it. It’s a good swim, central,
much better weather this week, so fingers crossed
we’re going to get amongst them. The weather has a massive influence
on how the carp behave and how much they feed, and spring is certainly the time
when that really rings true. From my experience in the past,
when temperatures reach 20 degrees, that’s sort of no going back,
spring has sprung. And we are due to get
that during this session. So, really, as the days pass, the chance should get
greater and greater and greater. I’m happy
with the position I’m in. I’m sure we’re going to get
some traffic out there, and with that weather,
we should be catching them. Having plumbed out there
last week, I found the depth to be
7 or 8ft, plus the float, so, 7.5ft – 8.5ft deep. I was fishing 2.5ft – 3ft zigs, and now that I know the depth,
I’ve caught most of my zig fish 4 to 5ft down. So, with that in mind,
I’ve gone out with 4ft, and I’m using
black foam this time. The water clarity has changed, so it’s much clearer
where it hasn’t been raining, and black foam
has always been my go-to, the consistent winner,
day or night. So I’m feeling more confident
this week. Last week,
I was using size 8 Wide Gapes, and this week I’ve gone for
size ten Mixa. The water’s clearer,
so I’ve gone for the smaller hook, and having now
fished it a little bit, I don’t think it’s very weedy
out there, and I’m more than confident in the size ten being strong enough
to land a big fish. I’d only gone in with the eights because I wasn’t too sure
of how weedy it might be. Having been into the tackle shop
and spoken to the owners, they told me,
I think Tuesday and Wednesday, the lake is fully booked so
that means 18 people will be fishing. When a lake’s really busy like that, often the amount of pressure,
lines in the water, that really can force the fish
out into the middle. So peg five, facing the middle of
the lake is perfect for what’s coming. We’ve got really warm temperatures,
lots of pressure coming, and if you’re not going to have
the option to move, I would say being central
is always a good starting point. That’s a take. Well, we’re in. First day on the second trip,
and immediately when I picked into it, I tried to get it back because
when you’re fishing with zig rigs, it’s very easy
to wipe out the other rod as the fish kites through the swim,
and that’s exactly what happened. It’s wiped out that left-hand rod, and obviously, I’m fishing
with fine hook link, small hook, so I’m hoping it’s come off,
because that’s all gone slack. But either way,
it’s a good start. I’ve got a little tree
down here in the edge, which I’m a little bit
concerned about. In fact, I’m just going to check
that out before it comes too close. It doesn’t appear to go out too far,
but I’m going to try and steer it away. No, don’t come in here! Oh, you are joking. You are absolutely joking. It’s done it, it’s in the tree. Does it drop off out there? Here we go, here we go. Do you want to chuck it over
my shoulder this side, if you could? Cheers, Roy. There you are, look at that! Swum into the net!
How about that? What an absolute nightmare,
but we’ve got him. Looks like a 20-pounder. Can I chuck you that? What a palaver that was. To get a take straight away
on the second session, then to have it get straight
into that tree, what a nightmare. Unfortunately, it wasn’t hooked in
the mouth, it was hooked in the tummy, and I don’t think it had pulled
from its mouth. I think it was just a foul hook,
as such. I think it’s a good sign,
there’s obviously fish in the swim. Nothing like that
happened on the first trip, so to have that indication
that there’s fish in the swim, that is a good start. Moving forward from that, we’ve managed to pull the tree
out of the lake, so there won’t be any chance
of that happening again. But I think the zigs
are the way forward at the moment, and I’m really looking forward to
how this session’s going to pan out. I won’t be adjusting the length
of my zig after that foul-hooking. I don’t think it was necessarily
too high. I think it probably was a result
of a fish ejecting the bait, then spooking through it and ending up
hooking itself in the tummy. If it happens again then
I would question it, but at the moment, I’m pretty confident
that it’s at the right depth. Taking the positives
from that foul-hooked fish, obviously, there were some fish
in the swim. Well, could have been just one, but I would like to think that having
spoken to the guy beforehand, he said he’d seen fish,
and then to foul-hook one so quickly, I would say that that indicates
that there are fish in the swim. And with three days ahead of me,
that’s a great start. It’s going to be busy, the chances for moving
are going to be thin on the ground, so to be in a central peg, to have fish in front of me
that’s a good thing. Observation is always a very,
very important bit of carp fishing. Although I was happy
with my rods out in the middle, just keeping my eyes open,
seeing that fish show, is the sole reason
why we’re into this fish. You see something, make a reaction,
and often a change of fortune follows. Looks like it was a wise move
taking that tree out. Well, he’s under the tip,
I’ve not seen him yet, but I’m told the average size in here
is 30lb or just over, and the one we foul-hooked was….
I would say that was a 20. I would suggest this could be a 30. This time you’re going in. And he’s in the mouth. And he’s in! Yes! Finally, after all that graft,
there he is. Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah! That’s 30lb all day long.
It’s mint. Yeah, boy! Well, how about that as a way
to open the account at Baden Hall? It’s been a tough start. Last week, no fish, then to foul-hook
that one this morning, horrible. But this is what you can catch
at Baden Hall. 38lb of pristine common carp,
taken on the zig rig, black foam, four foot off the bottom,
cast to a showing fish. Just a little bit of that squid Goo,
Squid Supreme, soaked into it. All too much for this one. I am absolutely buzzing with him. What a fish. Absolutely mint! Funny old game,
this carp fishing. This morning I woke up at 4:00
to drive down here to make sure I was the first one
into the tackle shop today to find out what swims
were available, where I was going to be fishing
for the next three days. Obviously, I wanted swims
on the far bank. They’re the ones
that produced last week. To find that they were taken, it felt like a massive anti-climax
to get here, make the effort, and then
to come around into swim five, be told there were fish here,
then to foul-hook one, you start to question everything,
you know? It’s like everything that could go
wrong was going wrong. But that’s carp fishing and
it can change in the slightest moment. One sighting, one reaction,
and then it leads to a capture. Sometimes it only takes one show
and then you catch a fish like that, a 38lb pound common. It was absolutely mint.
A lovely, lovely fish. And whether I catch another fish
throughout this session doesn’t really matter. I was fairly convinced
my tactics were correct. I’ve seen it many, many times
in spring. People think fish are really eating
loads of bait and really feeding, but the truth be known,
they’re generally not. They are moving more
because the water’s warming up, and they’re higher in the water. My style of fishing at this time
of year is to react to what I see, and try and keep the disturbance
down by casting, leading around, all that sort of stuff
that scares the fish out of the swim. I’m round here, not on my own, but
there’s more people over the other side, there’s been quite a bit
of casting going on, and my tactics from now on
will be the same. Look, see, and adjust
the position of my zig rigs as and where I see the fish,
basically fly-fishing for carp. Obviously, I’m not drawing it back,
and stuff, but that is what I’m doing. The black foam is a lure and
I’m just trying to put it in front of them. Black foam in the dark. If you doubt it,
you won’t any more. Well, for all of you
that might have been in doubt about the effectiveness
of black foam in the dark, it is absolutely pitch-black,
as you can probably see, and I’ve just had
an absolute screamer. Black foam in the dark. Well, if any of you were doubting
black foam at night, here is proof in the pudding
that it works. Certainly fish out there,
heard a few showing in the darkness, and it’s looking good
for another one. It’s not the biggest one, it’s probably…
maybe a scraper 20, but a good sign that hopefully
there’s more to come. So, you can probably see
that I’ve moved. Last night after that fish,
I was hearing them out in the dark, and I was catching, those two fish
came casting to the left, and they were in front of a swim
called swim six. I had no choice, really. It’s a full house tonight, so I moved in the dark
and cast out in the dark, and I’ve seen a couple of fish
this morning. They were out here,
they were really showing well. Roy, the bailiff,
he’s had two, as well, so, all in all, this weather,
this wind, seems to have really
turned them on. They seem to be, I don’t know…
Just activated by it. It’s been quiet until now. Last week, relatively quiet, this week,
totally different ball game. We’ve only been here 24 hours
and I’ve seen loads. I’ve caught a couple and I’m feeling really good
for the remainder of the session. Well, a bit of a dilemma. The move into six
looked a good one. The takes have been coming
from this direction, and the wind’s hacking down here,
but as always, carp fishing can throw a spanner
in the works at any moment. A guy right up on the back of the wind,
over the other side, he’s just caught one and another fish
has just shown back up that way, more in front of swim five,
where I was. So now I’m sort of torn. Do I make the call to the office
to say that I want swim six, or do I get back in five and because
the lake’s going to be really busy, five commands a big
area in the centre of the lake. I’m really torn. It’s just gone 8:00. I’ve probably got until 9:00
to make my decision, but it’s a real tough one. Do you go with the wind, do you go
where the bites have come from, or do you go with
what you’ve just seen, and that’s the bite come from the
back of the wind, and a show-up there? So possibly the takes that I’ve had,
the takes that Roy has had, maybe they have forced
the fish away. Really, I if don’t see anything
in front of peg six in the next hour, I’m going to be probably
thinking about moving back to five. OK, perfect.
Thank you very much. Cheers, mate, thank you. Bye. Has he made the right move? Oh, there’s one, I’ve just seen one.
No, no, no, no. Yeah! One of the most common questions
I get asked about zig rig fishing is how to set the line
whether it be tight line, slack line. And in all honesty,
mine are sat there super, super tight, but the real reason
for them being that tight is it’s been really windy today, and any slack that I pay out just ends
up increasing the bow in the line. So I’m not actually sinking the line, not getting it any lower in the water
by slacking it off, it just creates a bigger bow. So in the situation today,
a bow-string tight line, I’m anticipating the fish
are off the bottom because we’ve been
catching them on zigs, so tight lines underneath them
shouldn’t really matter. But if I wasn’t sure
they were off the bottom, and there was the option
to slacken the line off a bit, then I probably would. Anything that helps
with being discreet and keeping the line out of the way
can only be a good thing. So, tight lines on a windy day,
or if you’re fishing at long range, but if you’re fishing short range
and it isn’t too windy, and you can get your lines down a bit,
then I always do that. Another thing some of you
might be wondering is why have I got the rod tips down
like that, submerged under the water. The simple answer to that
is because of the swans. At night, they’ve been
an absolute menace coming through, and if I had the rod tips up, they run the risk
of getting tangled in the line, dragging it back
and pulling you out of position. So hopefully with the rod tips down,
I won’t get disturbed tonight, and if I do, it should be Mr Carp. To get the amazing overhead shots
of the lake, we use a drone, and whilst getting these shots,
in the calm, clear water, we saw fish cruising
just below the surface that we could never have seen
from the bank. Not loads, but there’s a few dotted
around in the middle here and there, and they’re pretty close
to the surface, so what I’ve done immediately
is took that on board. To see those carp there and not react,
that’s just not fishing. I have to react. Having seen them
up high in the water, out in the middle of the lake,
I lengthen my zigs to 5ft then I cast them a little bit
further out towards those fish. On the back of the wind
at the other end, sheltered from the wind,
it’s really hot. And looking down
in the shallow margins around the corner in swim 17, round by the little island
and the willows there, there is a massive pod of carp. Over maybe 50, 60 yards of bank, there is a lot of groups of fish,
lots and lots. I would say the bulk of the fish
in the lake are there in the margins, and they’re just probably
too far out to see from the bank. Having seen that from the drone,
it’s crazy to know. When you’re sitting here,
you don’t know exactly what’s going on. You see the activity
and you make adjustments, but when you see that footage
and you see them there, to be honest,
it’s totally blown my mind. Hindsight is a wonderful thing
in carp fishing, and in hindsight, you can make
totally different decisions. But the clues in carp fishing
are quite often there, and the fact that last night,
I didn’t really see a lot, this morning,
I didn’t see a thing, that should have told me enough
that with the amount of carp in here, I probably wasn’t exactly
in the right area, and I should have gone
for a look. And now, having seen the fish
on the drone at the other end, it’s proved the point. Sometimes you don’t need
to see something to make a decision. By not seeing something, that can tell you as much
as seeing them. if you haven’t seen
them in the area, there’s a good chance
they’re somewhere else, and I’m guilty of the lake being busy
and not going for a look. But there have been swims
change hands over there, and if I’d have been right on my toes,
I may have seen them up there. So, yes, I’m disappointed in myself for not making a reaction
from not seeing anything, but that’s fishing, and hindsight,
again, is a wonderful thing. I haven’t caught any more. Obviously, we’ve seen
the drone footage of the fish in the swim
cruising around out there, and they’re not just sitting still,
they’re moving around, and we saw a lot of fish
up the other end so it’s not like the entire stock
is down here. But I still feel that
I should have caught more than I did. The first night, we obviously
got it right by catching the fish, and the two nights since then,
we haven’t got it quite right. If I had to put my finger
on why that was, I would say it would probably
be most down to length of the zigs. The fish were much higher in the water
than I initially anticipated, and catching them in 4ft gave me
the confidence to continue with that, but the weather has changed. The first day was overcast. Since then, having seen
the fish on the drone, to see that they were
near the surface, I lengthened my rigs to 5ft,
but in hindsight, I think the water’s a little bit
deeper here than it is in peg five. I think we’re probably
looking at 9 to 10ft. I think I should have had 7 – 8ft zigs
out there last night, possibly even the night before, because the fish have been here,
they’ve topped, I’ve recast to them, and I’ve just not managed
to get that pick-up. It’s really frustrating
to look back on it and think you’ve not been doing it
to the best of your absolute ability, but again,
hindsight’s a wonderful thing, and if we all had that,
then it would be easy. So it’s given me encouragement. We’re off the mark, a 38-pounder
is certainly not to be sniffed at, a beautiful fish, and next week, especially having seen those fish
at the opposite end of the lake in the bay on the drone,
the wind’s going to blow that way, and I’m thinking I would
like to try fishing on the bottom. If I can get in the swim
on the right-hand side that fishes to the willows
on that bank, there’s a lovely gravel shelf there,
and I just think this time of year, it would be a great place
to intercept them. Passing traffic, little-and-often baiting,
little bit of sweetcorn, maybe some pellets
and some yellow pop-ups. We’ve been doing the zig thing,
and it’s worked, but we will see what happens
next week, and that is definitely
on my mind. Because last week,
we could see the fish, they were getting close to
the margins in the shallow water, and we all know big fish,
they eat bait, my idea was to come to this swim,
put a little bit of bait out, and hope that they come. The wind is due to push this way,
it’s not quite as warm as last week, and if I’m honest, the majority
of the fish I’ve seen showing have been down the other end. But lots of fresh anglers, lots of
casting going to take place today. Hopefully it will disperse the fish. I think if I do
my marking and plumbing, and have a feel around here now,
that disturbance, get it out of the way, when the fish turn up,
I can fish really, really efficiently. There has been
a match on this week, and what that means is loads of people
on the lake, loads of bait going in, and the swim that I’ve taken
has done fish, but also, there is quite a bit of bait
left on the bottom. So that’s going to influence
my tactics. I probably won’t use
that much bait to start with. Probably go with a bag, and maybe a little handful of corn
or crushed boilies over the top, but going to go minimal tactics
to start with, get the plumbing done,
get the rods out, then when this wind picks up,
hopefully, the fish will come. Right, I’ve put my marker out
from the other side, and there’s no point
in Spombing across when I can come round here with
my bucket and catapult, and just… Hardly anything,
just a couple of pouchfuls of corn, and probably the same again
of maggots. Let’s do that quickly. Come on, then. Oh, not bad. Right, one more in here, then I’m going to go back
and collect my marker rod, bring it around here, flick it out,
find another bit, and then cast to the other side,
clip it up, bait up exactly the same. So, tactics for this session.
I’ve gone in with a spinner rig. I’m using the size 6 Wide Gape X,
and a really small pop-up, fished really close to the bottom. I’m feeding sweetcorn. Hopefully they’ll be looking
for the yellow, and then that little yellow pop-up
stands out, hopefully enough to draw the attention
and get that pick-up. You might have noticed
that I went for really big leads. I’ve got 4oz and the reason for that
is the fish aren’t here at the moment. I want to cast out really accurately,
fill the drops really well. And also,
if the fish pick them up, they’re going to be
in a whole world of trouble. Sharpened size 6
and a 4oz on the end. That’s going to set the hook
really well. So I’ve gone in with heavy leads
to start with. If the fish turn up,
then I’ll recast. I may change that,
especially if the wind drops off. I’ve got various size leads
in my box. So for now, spinner rigs,
yellow pop-ups, big heavy leads. Let’s just hope they turn up. Right, spring hook bait prep. I’ve got two different types
of baits here. One’s pop-ups, these are the IBs
and I’ve got them in 12 and 14mm. They’re obviously pop-ups,
and I’ve got some wafters, and they are the Peppered Peach
that I use. I use them on the bottom when I’m fishing over sweetcorn
and particle mixes, and these more as single hook baits
to cast at showing fish. Infuzas, you’ve probably
all seen these. I’m using the smaller ones. What I’m doing is
I’m taking out the insert, and that means
I can get more bait inside. I can’t get it out. That’s it, pop that out like that,
get more baits inside. I can carry more
different pop-ups with me, but not taking up
too much room in my bag. It’s so easy to carry
stupid amounts of pop-ups and fill up your whole bag
with them, but these little shallow pots
hold more than enough, and they don’t take up
too much room, either. So, I’m going to do
the pop-ups first. I don’t want to go
absolutely to the top, because if you do that,
they don’t shake very well. I’d say that’s enough.
Sort of half-fill the tub. Then we go in
with the Pineapple Supreme first. One of the first Goos
that we brought out. Absolute classic. Not go too mad, just a little bit. And the same again
of the new Orange Supreme. This one’s only just come out hence why
I’ve still got the sample bottle. That’ll do of that. Put the lid on. Bear in mind when
you’re doing this, a lot of people want to do it
as and when they go fishing. Ideally, I think you need
one week to get it in there, sort of deep enough, but anything more than two weeks
is absolutely perfect, and indefinitely. The longer they’ve been soaked,
the better, but a week minimum, two weeks is ideal, and then as long
as possible after that, really. That’s enough. A lot of people go
absolutely mad with it, and they have the bottom
of the tub swimming in Goo. What happens is the pop-ups
at the bottom suck up too much Goo, and then there are different
amounts of Goo in each pop-up, so just glass them,
and if they need a little refresh after three or four days or a week or so,
you can put a little bit more in, but I like to do it like that,
little and often, and quite often when I’m fishing,
they’re actually dry to touch, so you’re not getting it
all over your fingers. These are really pale initially,
you see they’re almost white, but they’ll go that nice egg-yolk
yellow when we put those two Goos on. I might get the whole tub
of these in there. Just about. Again, the old
Pineapple Supreme. And the Orange. Remember, you can
always put more in, but I always edge
on the side of caution. I don’t want them
absolutely swimming in it. Oh, yeah,
that’s the colour I like. I really like that
egg-yolk yellowy orange. It’s a really rich, vibrant colour, and you just know
that’s going to catch. Most people would say that I’m known
for using really simple or basic rigs, and to my mind,
that’s not entirely true. The main thing that I’m trying to do
when thinking of constructing my rig is the bottom that I’m fishing over,
the bait that I’m presenting, and also, how easy
it is for me to use. Anything that’s really complicated
and takes ages to construct hinders me in my time
on the bank. I want to use my time
for looking for fish, so I’m looking for things
that are simple, quick and easy, but also effective. Obviously, I spend quite a bit of time
fishing with Danny these days, and he’s always
on the latest wonder rig, always trying to push things
further and find new stuff. So having seen him
use the spinner rig, initially I looked at it and thought,
“Yeah, it’s not a bit of me.” But when you break it down and see
it’s anti-tangle, it’s very quick, all you have to do
is change the hook, I can see the benefits of that
in my fishing. Just by sharpening
a few hooks, then having them ready just to clip on
as and when I catch a fish or as and when I want to recast. It’s so quick, so easy
and so effective. So it’s a rig that I probably
wouldn’t have used, but having seen Dan use it,
it’s something I’ve added to my game. It’s just a very good rig for presenting pop-ups
very close to the bottom. If it’s easy to do and strong,
reliable, anti-tangle, then I’m all over that. With the rods
across to the far margin quiet, the fish started showing
in the open water to my left. It was time to get the zigs out. Right, this needs to go out.
Out, out. It appears that setting up
away from them has actually worked for once. The wind’s pushing down here. It looked grim all day, and I was pretty disappointed
to get my rods out, but they’ve just suddenly
started showing, and it’s not just one,
it’s absolutely loaded. One after the other after the other. It appears like they’re taking stuff. I would say they’re on
some sort of hatch. It’s really sort of a subtle show. Rather than leaping out
in excitement, it’s more like
they’re breaching the surface as they’re chasing after stuff. I’ve just cast the zig rig
right in amongst them, 5ft. I don’t know how deep
it is out there, but I’d hazard a guess it’s 8ft,
something like that and if this is at the right depth, then there’s a very, very good
chance of a bite, I’d say. Oh! You are joking me! It’s the first evening, and they
just descended on us like locusts, just came out of nowhere
on the wind. They were showing
over the deep rather than the shallow area
where I’d put the pop-ups, so I changed the tactics. Both rods have gone
out on zigs, and not long
after I’d put a 4ft out – the first one was a 5ft,
I put a 4ft out afterwards – it’s gone almost straight away. The fish we’ve been seeing showing,
if I’m honest, they all look small, which is odd considering
the ones we saw on the drone, they all looked huge especially
the ones in the middle of the lake. I’ve got a feeling we’re on a pack
of the small ones, but… Oh, God, I’d better concentrate here. There he goes. Well, that’s a nice start. I’m going to leave him there
just a second, reel in my other rod
that’s got the 5ft on, take a foot off that
and get it back out there, because that was only in
the water a few minutes, and I think we need
to get down to 4ft. Right, that’s one back out there. I’m going to get the other one
straight back out there as well. It’s really important, you know. I don’t know how many times
during this session I’m going to be on the fish, and you need to maximise
the moments when they’re in your swim, when they’re topping,
you need your rigs in amongst them. First evening,
would you believe it? All the fish were up the other end
of the lake this morning, and I was, I don’t know,
I was despondent. I was worried
that they weren’t going to come. But the wind has blown. They started topping,
we changed the tactics, and although he’s small, he’s given me that tell-tale
piece of information 4ft up, in roughly 9 to 10ft of water, and the fish are still about,
they’re still topping, the rods are in position, so, yes, things are looking
really good for the night ahead. Get in there. Bosh! Got him. Well, he’s only a tiny one, but there’s loads of
big fish in here. I’m going to have to get the rod
back out there as soon as possible and just hope there are some bigger
ones amongst these smaller fish. Mate, mate,
they’re lunking out there. Right, OK, right. Well, here’s the second one, to prove getting the rod
back out there was very important, and I don’t want to mess
around with him too much. Literally, just as I’m picking him up,
they’re still showing out there. I’m the only one
at this end of the lake and it looks really good
for the night ahead. There you go. Right, I’m going to talk you
through my zig rig and the components used for it. First of all,
I’ve got my 15lb main line. Obviously I’m fishing
up to sort of 100 yards, and it’s a general-purpose line
I use for just general fishing. It casts well, it’s strong, it’s reliable,
it sinks well, it’s supple. It just ticks all the boxes for me. Moving down,
I’ve got a tail rubber, but rather than just have that
just onto the back of the lead clip, I’ve got a tiny piece
of Dark Matter tubing. It could be normal rig tubing,
it doesn’t really matter, but I just think
it helps to prevent that sort of catching point
on the hook link. So just a… probably…
it’s probably 10mm in length. Half of it’s pushed
into the tail rubber, half of it coming out the back. And that’s then… the main line’s
directly tied to the Hybrid lead clip with a four-turn grinner, and that tail rubber
just pops on there. You want to try and get it on there
as gently as possible. And as you see,
I’m using a big lead, that’s a 4oz there, and that should help
the lead to come off and make playing the fish
that much easier. You’ll notice
that on the Hybrid lead clip, I’ve taken the ring swivel off and tied my hook link
directly to the main swivel, and then the anti-tangle sleeve
just pops on there, and that just keeps it away
during flight. These two parts,
they’re working together, and that will stop
any form of tangle. Most people aren’t using zig rigs
because they’re paranoid of tangles and they just can’t quite
get their head round it. Trust me, if you use it like this and you feather,
hit your clip on your cast, you should get
good separation, and so far, over the three trips,
I’ve not had a single tangle. The hook link,
a lot of people use different stuff. I like to use 8lb Carp Line.
It comes in 1000m spools. It’s a really, really cheap
and effective way to do it. There are specific
Zig Lines available that are probably
slightly less stretchy, but I really like this. It’s really cheap, really…
I like the green tint as well, and, yes,
I’ve caught a lot of fish using it, so I’m just confident in it, and confidence is one of the biggest
things you can have in carp fishing. Moving down to the important bit
as such, the hooking section, and again,
it couldn’t really be much simpler. I’ve got a size 10 Mixa hook, and that’s knotless knotted,
it’s a size 10 and I’m using. 11 turns of the 8lb. And that just brings the hair to exit
just lower than the point, and I’ve got a really short hair
to the black foam there, and that, basically, that silicone
that you see on the eye, the sole purpose of that
is to not close the gape up. A lot of the time when you tie
a knotless knot with mono, especially with a hook
with a downturned eye, the line comes out
at sort of a funny angle. This tiny piece of silicone
traps the line to the eye and keeps it all neat and tidy. And I try to just kink the hair
over the back of the knot, and then I just push that tiny bit
of silicone down like that, and if you see,
that just looks really neat and tidy, and it does actually catch
in the palm as well. So a really simple, very basic
but effective zig rig that’s caught me a lot of carp
from a lot of places. I’ve still got quite a bit
of free water around me. There’s no one sort of to my left
or in the next swim, and then the four swims
opposite me are free, so I’m hoping
that the fish are still about. And four o’clock in the afternoon
has been a really good time. For some reason,
they just sort of come alive from that part on
into the evening and into dark. So I spent the down hours
sharpening hooks, getting a few rigs tied so I’ve got ten sharpened hooks,
four tied zig rigs. If anything should happen, all I’ve got to do is cut the line
or clip a hook on and then
I’m straight back out there. Those minutes
when you’re in the bivvy, or in the shed in this case,
sharpening hooks, looking down,
looking through a magnifying glass, taking my eyes off the water, and that is stopping me
locating the carp, looking where
I might be casting. So be prepared, I’m ready
and anything should happen, I can get back out there
really, really quickly. The fish started to show
in the open water again. It was the perfect opportunity
to get the marker rod out, refresh the margin spots
with bait. I’ll probably fish two zigs
for the afternoon and then put one rod
back on the bait tonight. 22lb. Well, here he is,
the first victim to the spinner rig. Well, this session, should I say. All the fish until now
have come to zig rigs, and this one has come to
the IB pop-up on a size 6 Wide Gape X on the faithful spinner rig. And I think
it just goes to show that spring
is really, really underway now. They’re not just up in the water
trying to warm up. They’re getting up and down
through the depths, and they’re eating,
they’re hungry. Now I’ve got something
to work with, I’ll get a bit more bait
going on that spot and hopefully a few more, including some bigger
brothers and sisters, might turn up later
in the session. Well, having had the take
in the dark, it’s really important that you can
get your rods back on the spot, and normally we do that
by wrapping up round distance sticks, clipping up
and casting to a horizon marker. But on a night like tonight,
it’s very, very dark and my horizon marker
is non-existent. I’m literally just looking out there,
I can’t see a thing. And especially
when I’m fishing to islands, I like to have
a really powerful head torch. I know it’s not very carpy
and it may spook the fish, but I’m also casting across there
with a big, heavy lead, so I’ve put the torch on,
light up the tree, and I was able to see the lead
land perfectly, exactly where it needed to be, and then when you couple that
with the clip and then feel it down
to the bottom, I’m 100% certain
it’s exactly where it needs to be. Hey. Got him. Here he is,
the second fish of the second night. And they’re getting bigger,
this one just under 30lb, 29lb, and taken on the IB pop-up
and the spinner rig combo again. And the fish are feeding
and the fish are getting bigger, so you never know
what could turn up next. I think this is a male, and I think we are on a gang of males
in this part of the lake, but fishing is so unpredictable. Any moment you never know
what the next one could be. And keep pressing that reset button,
keep catching, and hopefully
that big one will come. A productive night last night. Two more fish, both falling
to a rod cast to the far bank where I’ve been fishing the old
spinner rig and the yellow pop-ups. That IB pop-up
over the maggots and the corn has proved to be very effective. It seems like a bit of
a traffic point there. They can just cruise round
that shallow water and then move in
and out of the bay. And the thing
that I am thinking about that, I’ve had four fish
from this area now, and all of them have been males,
and all of them have been small, and I just get the feeling
that the males are just here waiting for the warmer weather
and waiting for spawning. It’s very due. As soon as we get
some good weather, they could literally
be going at it. And having looked at
that drone footage from last week, all of the fish
that we saw in the middle, they all looked like
30-pounders. They all looked really wide,
they looked big, and my thinking for this final night
is I need to move. I can probably catch fish here, there’s still the odd one around, but I think there’s a lot of
the bigger ones out in the middle, and I think swim five’s
coming free today and I’m going to try
and get in there, put my rods out
in the middle on zig rigs and just hope on the final night, we can pull that day-ticket monster
out of the bag. Predominantly for my general
carp fishing, big carp fishing, I’m using Carp Line, and the reason for that is
I just find it so, so reliable and it ticks all of
the boxes for me. Some people have said to me
in the past that it can be a bit wiry, and I find that
when I first arrive at a lake and I take it out of my rod bag,
it is quite wiry, where it’s dried out
from in between sessions. But as soon as that’s gone
in the lake and it’s been in the water
for ten minutes, if you were then to recast, you’ll have noticed
that it’s totally transformed. It’s absorbed a little bit of water, it goes ultra-limp,
it sinks amazingly. It’s not overly stretchy,
so it’s good for feeling the lead down, and yet it’s tough,
really, really tough. Last night I had a fish
kite round the back of an island. The line was grating
and grating and grating. No problem. 15lb Carp Line 0.40mm.
It just came through. Yes, it was frayed
and I had to strip a little bit off, but that toughness,
that durability, that landed me that fish,
no doubt about it. If I was using a thinner line,
a less durable line, that could have broken
and I could have left a rig in a fish and not even known
what I was attached to. So, yes, Carp Line, bulletproof,
strong, reliable, sinks well, and it’s the cheapest line we do. So don’t think
just because it’s cheap, it’s not up there with the top lines,
because it really, really is. We’re in swim five and I’m in no rush
to cast out immediately. I think the fish are out here,
exactly where I’m not sure. Obviously I’ve been looking up
at the lake from peg one. So this swim’s mine,
I’ve got it reserved, I’ve paid for my 24 hours
in here as such, and I want to make sure that when
I make my cast on each of my rods, that it’s correct
and I don’t have to adjust it. So I’m hoping to see fish.
I’m going to hang it out. Activity’s been in the afternoon,
sort of anywhere from three, four, and getting a little bit later
into the evening. So I’ve got spare rigs all tied.
I’m all ready to roll. I just want to see those fish show
so I know exactly where to cast, and then, fingers crossed,
we should be getting them. And in no time at all the fish started to
show opposite towards peg 12, I cast both my rods in this zone, and at that point
I was really confident fish out there jumping,
rigs in amongst them. Surely it was only
a matter of time. Unfortunately,
this was all to no avail, and the following morning
the rods had remained quiet. So what have I learnt
from these three sessions? The thing that really
sort of sticks in my mind is the behaviour of the fish
at the times of day. Usually I would always say first light is the best time
to see carp showing and often the best time
to catch fish, whereas here that hasn’t been
the case from what I’ve seen. The activity has been from
four o’clock in the evening into dark. At that time it sort of seems
everyone comes on at 12, makes their cast,
makes a bit of disturbance, fish move into an area
where they’re comfortable and then they go
about their business. So I’m not sure if that’s
sort of coupled with hatches because of the second
and the third session when there has been sort of swifts
and swallows diving on the lake and the activity
has picked up with that, and also when we’ve had
a bigger wind come onto the water, that seems to have
stirred the fish into activity. Yes, I would definitely say
the thing that I would take on board if I was coming back
for, say, the following week would be to really be looking
in the afternoons and sort of trying to
catch them at that time, because that is
when the activity has been. Hindsight is a wonderful thing
in carp fishing and I’ve far from got it right every single day
and every single session. There were certainly times,
especially in the second session, where I think if I’d had higher zigs
on in the second and third night, I would have caught fish, and if I’d have stayed put
a couple of times, I think I made moves
that might have cost me fish. But, all in all,
you have to fish to what you see and make decisions
to the best of your ability with the information
you have at the time. If you keep making decisions,
eventually they’ll come right. But, yes,
there have certainly been times… When I moved out of 11
round into 5 in the first session, I think there was potential that I could have caught
out of 11 that week, and also I think
if I’d have stayed put last night, when the wind
swung round in the night and the fish really sort of
came on strong down at the far end, the guy in the furthest bay,
he caught one, and I think fish would have passed
over my pop-ups and that bait that I had on the far bank. So, yes, there’s been mistakes,
but that’s fishing. You have to live with it. Having caught a 38lb common that is not to be sniffed at. That was an immaculate fish,
one of the bigger fish in the lake, and, yes, I was really, really pleased
to catch that on my second session. It was a beautiful carp,
a big fish for the north, and, yes,
I’m really, really pleased with that. If I was to give anybody advice when
sort of tackling this type of venue, a busy, big-fish day-ticket water, it would be to concentrate on that. So if you can string
a few sessions together, you can really learn. And that is the key. It’s information using your eyes,
listening to what the lake’s telling you, what other anglers are telling you,
what yourself is telling you. If you can piece together the pieces
of information at every trip, you’re just that much closer
to catching that fish of your dreams.

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