Choose life. Choose a lake. Choose a swim. Choose a bait. Choose a rig. Choose sleepless nights under the stars. Choose the nocturnal music of branches creaking in the wind, leaves whispering, and the eerie night-calls of owls and wildfowl. Choose bright moons shattered in the rippling surface of lakes, and purple skies at sunset perfectly mirrored. Choose silent mist-shrouded pools at dawn. Choose visions of white-flowering waterlilies turning green-gold in the half-light. Choose the flashing bronze flanks of carp, twisting below the surface, on the edge of visibility. Choose a heightened heart-rate. Choose an emotional rollercoaster. Choose the psychological assault-course of planning, watching, locating, preparing, casting and waiting. Choose the endless hours of strung-out anticipation. Choose the rush of striking, hooking, fighting, and landing (or losing) the fish. Choose to walk the tightrope between desperate failure and the adrenaline-inducing, life-enhancing triumphant high of success. Choose life. Choose obsession. Choose Carp Fishing.
"Greg Freestone, Carpspotting 2011"

Sunday, 31 March 2013

Carp fishing is turning me gray

Its still that time of year, water temperatures are dropping and the carp are less inclined to feed. A lot of carp anglers hang up their rods for the winter, WHY???
Winter carp fishing is a pastime that sorts the sane angler from the insane...
I love my winter carp fishing there are far less anglers on the bank indeed on some of the waters that I fish I can nearly guarantee to have the water to myself. Its true that with the lowering temperatures the fishing does drop of for a few weeks but once the temperatures have stabilized the carp will start feeding again, and with less anglers on the bank you have more chance of catching them.

With my trip to Spain feeling like a lifetime ago i headed back out to the Folly lake for a two night sesh. On arrival the lake was dead with pick of the swims i had a walk round to try and spot signs of any carp.
After watching the water for a couple of hours and with no fish showing I decided on swim 1 (The Bog Swim) which gave me access to an island to the right and a nice silt patch i like to fish down a middle channel. I think that one of the hardest things to decide on in winter is how much bait to use, too much and you could kill your swim before you start. I have caught carp over big beds of bait in winter but I do feel that the conditions have to be right, for this reason I will usually start by using hook bait only on one rod and perhaps PVA bags on the other rods for the first hour or two and then decide whether to use any more bait.

A couple of hours in and no signs of any carp movement and no indicator movement so I decided to bait up along the right hand channel with a couple of  handfuls of monster squid and a few 10 mm boilies, the other rod was fished in open water with a PVA bag and no freebies.

After a few stressful days fishing my net has stayed dry, the weather has really messed up my fishing and has put the fish back into winter mode.
Blanking and losing fish really gets to you sometimes and you end up thinking what am i doing wrong? is it the bait? rigs? swim? over the last few months I've noticed quite a few more gray hairs and i need things to change before i turn into a silver fox.
I'm lucky enough to fish at a stunning lake and i always like to admire the views, catching fish is always my main target when i go fishing but just being there is the main prize.
As I'm lacking in fish photos here are a few views over the past few weeks

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