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Euro Fishing: Clint Walker - Fishing for Carp

I don’t mind admitting that over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been struggling to get a bite, never mind catch anything! I’ve had three sessions, all of them completely devoid of any piscine result, and believe me, I’ve tried everything… even Deeper! In mitigation, the first visit saw sheets of ice across much of the venue, after yet another spell of freezing weather, and water temperatures of barely three degrees, so my chances were predictably slim. A second visit also saw no result, as did a third to a different venue in the sleet after hours of rain, so it was a relief to finally visit a venue and put some carp on the scoreboard!

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During the three prior sessions, once I’d finished fishing, I’d whacked out the Deeper sonar to build up a better picture of the lakes. I’ve got used to the myriad of features and have to say that the GPS mapping tool is by far one of the most interesting. Whilst in topographical use, I was also able to note the water temperature. Deeper did return a few echoes off fish, although it didn’t make them eat the bait, but it was intriguing to build up a comprehensive image of the venue within a short space of time; much easier than splashing around with a marker float for hours! So far, I’ve resisted the temptation to put out the Deeper first, and stuck to what I know, but it hasn’t worked very well…

A rise in air temperature made me consider a fourth session, so I duly made my way to a nearby club water and settled into a peg I know very well. It was raining, so I quickly tackled up, and put the rod on the rest prior to adding a rig and bait. I couldn’t help myself, so reached into my bag and swung Deeper out into the lake. I know that this particular peg has a shallow depression to the right, so got Deeper to work over the spot. Within two attempts, I’d confirmed what I already knew, a dip of around eight inches at the base of a shelf, but it was nice to see it in technicolour on screen, especially after a debate with a fellow angler who swore blind it wasn’t there!

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Deeper packed away, I set up a simple Ronnie rig, baited it with a Spotted Fin Classic Corn 12mm pop up, and nicked the hook point into a tiny bag of pellets. The pop ups are designed by Frank Warwick, and I’ve already had plenty of success over the last year or so with them and hoped they would produce my first carp of the year! The pellets had been sprayed with Spotted Fin Pineapple and N-Butyric booster liquid and left to soak it up before I cast out onto the spot and sat back to wait…

Within an hour, a stuttering run had me on the rod quickly, and I lifted into a solid fish. For some reason, at this venue, the carp fight like stink so must be treated accordingly, and tired in the water, rather than fight with them on the bank. I think it’s because it’s a shallow lake, and as soon as they see the lake bed, they try and get into deeper water; either way, it leads to heart stopping runs, and on the right tackle, some great fun! I tend to use a Sonik S3 rod here, employing a through action 1.5lb test curve wand that allows me to really enjoy the fight, but is forgiving enough to absorb any last minute lunges under the rod tip. I lose far fewer fish here than anglers using much heavier rods, and I bet I have more fun too as a result!

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Safely netted, a mid-double common was the first carp of 2018 to grace my net, the pop up hanging limply from the bottom lip, and it was quickly unhooked, treated, photographed, and returned to fight another day. The pop up had stayed on the swivel, so another bag of pellets was attached, and it was cast the twenty or so yards back into the target area. (Yes, I am that tight!). The rod was placed back on the rests, and I brewed another mug of tea… I didn’t get chance to drink it though, as a second run, much faster than the first, saw the bobbin bounce off the line and the reel spool spin as the fish took off. Again, a solid lump responded to my strike, and once more the fish headed for sanctuary. No chance. With a pleasing curve, the S3 quickly tired the carp (a low double figure common), and another fish was then safely returned to the water. The pop up stayed on again, so miser that I am, I just nicked on another bag of pellets, and recast!

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Over the course of the next seven hours, I landed a dozen double figure carp, the best at 15lb 8oz. I’d prepared twelve tiny bags of pellets, each of no more than eight pieces, sprayed them with attractor fluid and used them all up, with each seeing a fish banked. Best of all, every single fish had taken the same Classic Corn pop up, a testament to it’s pulling power, (and the strength of my knot) and had I chosen to continue, it was still on the hook! My visit was a pleasing end to the week, a confirmation that as the water temperatures continue to rise (Deeper measured 7 degrees) then things will get better as fish start to prepare for other things. Each fish that I caught was absolutely freezing cold and covered in leeches, a sure sign that they had been inert for some time, but I’m hoping that the change on the weather will be the catalyst for better things to come… I hope so, I’m heartily fed up of rain and snow, and can’t wait to start my Spring campaign for tench! Now, what did I do with that pop up? I can use it next week I’m sure!

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