Dave Lane Carp Fishing Diary

Well, here I am back from my holidays and for the first time I can ever remember I stepped off the plane at Stansted to find it was just as hot at home.

You know that feeling you get when you arrive on your holidays and walk out on the metal staircase into a wall of super-heated air, well that’s what it was like in Essex!

I was fully expecting the lake to have changed a bit over my two week absence but, the next Monday, I was still amazed to see just how much. The weed had gone ballistic in the summer sun and, what were lightly sprouted gravel bars before my departure, now resembled privet hedges running in solid green lines across the lake.

Unfortunately this meant that most of the decent shallow water spots were now unfishable and the only clean bottom to present a bait on would be the deeper marks, not ideal in nearly thirty degrees.

By sneaking about in chest waders though I did manage to ambush a small group of carp that were milling about on top of a plateau, it obviously was made of something too hard for the weed to take root but at least it offered me somewhere shallow to place a single bait.

Before I cast I pulled out my Galaxy phone and snapped off a few pictures as the fish cruised about only a couple of rod lengths away.

Fish found but it was one of these I hooked and lost

It was exciting stuff being so close to them as they milled about next to the hook-bait and then I saw one upend and suddenly shoot off across the plateau as he realised his mistake.

At such close quarters the fight was electric but, unfortunately, very short lived as he managed to wrap the line around a small snag and pull the hook. There was a huge bow-wave as he sped off through the weed taking the rest of the fish with him.

This was to be the pattern over the next twenty four hours, hours walking for a few brief moments when I had a chance of a bite.

I did manage to hook two more fish but the weed was so savage that they both came adrift during the fight.

I hate losing fish, absolutely detest it and, if I think that I have more chance of losing than landing them, and then it’s time to move on in my book. I see no point in just getting bites for the sake of it and it’s not fair on the carp so I packed up and headed for home.

That’s the thing about some of the big gravel pits I like to fish, they are ok up until the middle of summer but, once the weed gets up and the algae cuts down your visibility they can become unrealistic places to fish. With this in mind I started to make plans for where to fish next, maybe a return to the North Met lakes in the Lea Valley?

Fantastic Opening Week On Laroussi – 72lb Mirror

Chris Griffiths had a fantastic opening week at Laroussi banking a stunning 72lb mirror plus back-up fish of 47, 38, 48, 45, 40, 25 plus a common of 25lb.  Chris’s comments;

“A 72lb mirror – wow! I still can’t believe it! We arrived at the lake to be greeted by owner, Mehdi, who took us round the lake, gave us some good tips, then left us to it. We had a fantastic week and we will definitely be back every year… we can’t thank you enough for such a great week. I baited up little and often & bright coloured pop-ups worked well. Like Mehdi says this isn’t an easy lake to fish but work hard and you’ll get good results.“

Carp Fishing in France at Laroussi

Fishabil – The sleeping giant is being awoken!

Fishabils aim is  to make this legendary fishery into, once again, “The Premier” carp fishing venue and establishment of France. Ensuring quality fish stock, a well cared for lake and great value accommodation, Fishabil has what it takes to provide you with the ideal location for a holiday or short fishing break.

This angling centre has incredible pedigree and prestige with over 500 years of history associated with it’s grounds.

In the past it has held: 6 major European matches, 2 World Carp Cup and 2 European Carp Cup Tournaments in recognizing the lake’s excellent fish breeding conditions, Fishabil intends to maintain and nurture the very high standards of previous years.

And what more to entice the most hardcore of anglers than 8 previous world records which have been set and approved by the international sport fishing association. Lake Fishabil is something special.

Website – www.lakefishabil.com

The Carp Society Show

Inside this year’s show there were many leading brands, fishing tackle and bait companies to choose from and plenty of DVDs and books from the big names in the fishing industry.

A few of the names up there were the likes of Martin Bowler, Jerry Hammond, Terry Hearn, and Danny Fairbrass to name just a few. This year was different for me as I was going with the intention of getting a few interviews with the big names.

Martin Bowler

Q. Best days fishing and where?

A. Best days fishing is my next day’s fish, as long as I’m fishing I’m happy. Where? I don’t mind, I love everything from going Salmon fishing, to sea fishing for sharks, to carp fishing.

Q. Most memorable catch and where and why?

A. It’s hard not to say the two British Records I’ve had because they are British Records. I think the 5Ib 4oz perch from catching the Impossible which I had on a pole using a flat float and I taught myself that method and employed a match fishing method to catch a huge fish under the pressure of a camera.

Q. What do you think has been the biggest innovation in fishing since you started?

A. Hair rig, its allowed people to go to sleep, use alarms and made the sport a lot easier.

Q. What are your pet hates on the bank?

A. Noise, other than angling noise and you’d be amazed when the cameras start rolling a Helicopter fly’s over your head and god knows what else.

Q. What are your plans for the coming season?

A. Making a film at the moment called ‘Chasing Shadows’ which will due out next November, other than that just enjoying myself

Gaz Fareham

Q. Best days fishing and where?

A. That’s a tough question, a couple really. The Hampshire syndicate I’m fishing, a couple of weeks ago it was an amazing day, I had two beautiful thirty pounders but I would have to say catching Heather the Leather and then going straight to Glastonbury after.

Q. Most memorable catch and where and why?

A. Again id have to say Heather, I spend three years on the Car Park and to be honest I never thought I’d actually catch it.

Q. What do you think has been the biggest innovation in fishing since you started?

A. I don’t know really I’m not one for innovations but I would say the boilie.

Q. What are your pet hates on the bank?

A .Turning up to a lake and knowing you can’t get anywhere near the fish because there are people in the swims doing five days a week.

Q. What are your plans for the coming season?

A. Carry on at the Hampshire syndicate and fish a few lakes in the woods, fishing with my mates and just enjoying it.

Joe Morgan

Q. Best days fishing and where?

A. It’s got to be the big common I had recently from Spitfire pool to be honest with you, it’s such a special fish it’s only been caught twice! And not a mark on it so yes a real result.

Q. Most memorable catch and where and why?

A. In France a couple of years ago at Mazon, I fished four nights and had four forty’s, five fifty’s and one sixty, incredible really it was one of those sessions.

Q. What do you think has been the biggest innovation in fishing since you started?

A. Modern baits and dead sharp hooks.

Q. What are your plans for the coming season?

A. Probably have another go in spring on the Snake pit to try and even up the score.

Ian Moore of CC MOORE 

Q. Best days fishing and where?

A. 1995 at Somerly in Ringwood on a Sunday at the last weekend of the season. I had my first twenty in the shape of a 26Ib 6oz mirror then braced that with another mirror of 24Ib 14oz.

Q. Most memorable catch and where and why?

A. My first carp was a 7Ib 6oz mirror which I caught at the age of fifteen at Longleat lakes on the float with lunchmeat. I started late because I was playing a lot of tennis at the time and competing.

Q. What do you think has been the biggest innovation in fishing since you started?

A. Bait in general, the quality is better and the range is greater. On its own I would have to say the spomb.

Q. What are your pet hates on the bank?

A. Etiquette, and litter, in my opinion when you go fishing you should leave no trace.

Q. What are you plans for the coming season?

A. Fishing, grabbing whatever time I can and take my son fishing for roach and perch. Also I’m going to Zwolle in Holland and Montlueon in France for the first time to continue to build our non-uk trade.

Team Korda

Danny Fairbrass

A1. Night fishing on a midlands syndicate, I had 2 thirty’s and 2 forty’s.

A2. The Mrs. But don’t tell her.

A3. Boilies and bait in general have come on leaps and bounds.

A4. I think everyone hates bad etiquette?

A5. Wellington in spring, filming in France in the Summer and then my own fishing in autumn.


Neil Spooner

A1. Catching Single Scale at 40Ib 8oz after 3 years.

A2. Gaz my first thirty at 33Ib 8oz. I love how we give regular fish names.

A3. Korda Krusha – for an easy way to mash baits! Saves plenty of time.

A4. Bad Etiquette. It doesn’t take a lot to be curtious

A5. Fishing for a linear on a water in Essex.

Ian Bailey

A1. Midlands clay pit I had seven fish to 35Ib, what a place.

A2. Cambridgeshire linear 40Ib 2oz. Remember it like it was yesterday.

A3. Chod rigs – Probably the biggest innovation in the last 10 years.

A4. I despise Jealousy and bad etiquette.

A5. Carrying on in Bedford.


I have to thank the boys above for giving me their time and making the effort to answer my questions. It was great speaking to you all and I hope to see you next year!

Well I must say that it has been a fantastic day and yes I even spent some money, and if you didn’t make it down this year or haven’t been then I recommend that you make an effort next year, you won’t be disappointed.

Dave Lane Carp Fishing Diary


Sometimes you just have one of those sessions; a red letter day that just arrives out of the blue, well my last trip was exactly that.

I had been so keen to get back into the big bay after having caught two nice fish the previous week but, for some reason, once I arrived I wasn’t too convinced that it was the right choice. I don’t like having a pre-conceived idea about where I am going to fish anyway so I took some time out and went for a walk around.  It didn’t take me long to find an area that looked a lot more ‘carpy’ out the middle of the lake between two islands.

Although I would have to fish over the top of a lot of weed I had the use of my boat to help me mark up the clear areas and I had recently constructed a glass bottomed bucket that would aid in this process. By pushing the bucket through the surface layer and peering through the glass it removes all reflection and glare from the surface and it is absolutely amazing when you can actually stare down in eight feet of water and see every stone and strand of weed on the bottom.

After an hour of boating about and fixing garden canes on heavy leads to mark the better areas I was ready to cast out and sit back to await events. I didn’t have to wait too long either as the first carp rods tore off within an hour or so.

Unfortunately the weed between me and the spots I was fishing was so thick that the boat was needed of its  straight away as there was just no way I could guide the fish back over the top, even with a strong braided mainline. That first carp weighed just over twenty three pounds and was just the tip of the iceberg.

Over the next forty hours I managed to hook and land eight carp in total which is a crazy number from a venue as challenging as this one, I suppose it was just a case of being in the right place at the right time. It was, however, one of the most knackering trips I can remember because, between baiting, finding spots and landing fish I reckon I must have had at least thirty trips out in the boat, even in the middle of the night I had to go out and land fish. The biggest fish of the session was, unfortunately, my first repeat capture from the lake but at thirty seven pounds it was still a hell of a fish, even more so because it was a common. It was the last fish that was the most interesting though as it came at three in the morning in the thickest fog imaginable, not usually good conditions. It was so foggy that I had to leave a very bright light on at the front of my swim so that I could safely boat me and a twenty nine pound common back to the bank without getting lost!

So what triggered such a crazy feeding spell then?

I’m not sure I have the answer really, especially as, when I finished my session and boated out to retrieve my markers there was still bait laying on the bottom over all the spots, even the one I’d just caught from. Whatever happened I certainly wasn’t complaining because I reckon it will be a fair old while before I get another trip like that!


Due to the Indian summer we seem to be having this year there has been an explosion of weed and, in more recent weeks, silkweed or blanket weed has grown in abundance. On my trips out in the boat I had started to see this stuff appearing all over the clear spots on the lake bed, covering everything in green slime. Over the last week or so it has also started to grow in huge clumps on top of the existing Canadian pondweed and this is when it can become really troublesome. Once it gets a hold and forms strips right across the top of the weed it can make a lake almost unfishable. What happens is that your line lies across the top but, as soon as you hook a fish, it gets pulled tight into the silkweed which then wraps around your mainline and sticks like poo to a blanket! The weed will not slide down the line and, consequently, it just keeps bunching up in the tip ring making the playing of fish an absolute nightmare. Hopefully this will be a short lived thing and a couple of sharp frosts might knock it on the head but, looking at the forecast, I can’t see this happening in a hurry.


With the night’s drawing in like crazy now we spend more and more time in the sleeping bag, so it’s important to be comfortable and warm, not all fishing tackle will keep you warm and cosy.

I have been working on a new sleeping bag for the ‘Hardcore’ range and it’s now available. It uses micro-fibre technology and a crushable outer shell which means, basically, that it is extremely light and can be compacted down to a fraction of the size of a standard sleeping bag. Due to the way the fibres work they trap the warm air from your body and swell up the bag around you, a bit like a puffa jacket.

It has attachments to hold it in place on the bedchair and, unlike a lot of bags; it can be left on the bed and does not stop you folding it totally flat.

There is also a neat little expander panel on each side of the bag, behind the zip and this allows you to make the bag wider or narrower to suit your own size.

I am extremely pleased with the way it has turned out and if you do decide to treat yourself you can be safe in the knowledge that I have fully tested it over the last year, in all conditions, and it has performed perfectly. I’ll certainly be spending a second winter in it anyway.


Since my last feature, I’ve been back for one last session at Horseshoe Lake, reverting to one of my favourite swims, Choppy’s on Winter Bay. Once again, though, my timing was poor. Why is it that I’m always told that, “you should have been here last week etc?” I know I couldn’t have fished any more effectively, having carefully located a nice clear gravel bed in the middle of silkweed and baited it accurately. Although I did catch a couple of tench, they again were only average fish up to just over 6lbs. My searches for a really big tench have been constantly thwarted this season.

I’ve also been back to my local carp fishing water for a day session, taking seven more lovely carp, all good doubles and had several exploratory sessions on the upper Warks Avon, which is close to my home. The signal crayfish situation on my beloved Great Ouse has now reached plague proportions and I have to say that the fishing is no longer enjoyable at times. Summer fishing is now a real trial, the damn crays are on the baits in minutes. Even the usual tricks of encasing in mesh or trying to lure the crays away with tins of cat food or tethered fish are not working very well. There are simply too many crays. What the river needs is an injection of a few catfish in each affected section. They will soon thin down the crayfish population!

On the Avon though, I can still find peaceful fishing. I’ve been on the extreme upper reaches, which have no real form for anything other than average chub and barbel, but I do feel that there may be a big fish or two to be discovered. Apart from one very accessible section, the river receives little pressure and I’m very hopeful of uncovering something exciting. So far, barbel to only 8-12 and chub to 4-10 have rewarded my efforts, but I do know of genuine 11 and 6 pounders respectively. so, the search continues, which is great fun in itself.

Early August saw me back on the Ebro system in central Spain, fishing the river’s tributary the Segre at Mequinenza with Catmasters Tours. The fishing was as much fun as ever, although a little slower than previous trips. Apparently, a combination of an extreme heat wave and late spawning had resulted in many of the bigger fish not being in the usual areas. Fran and I were joined by two father and son combinations, Paul and Patrick Reed and Paul and Zach Sparrow. Patrick, who is 21, had never before landed a catfish and on the first night landed one of the biggest cats ever caught by a Catmasters customer, in fact one of the biggest cats ever caught anywhere, at 224lb. For good measure, Zach, 15, also had his first ever cats, his biggest being 182lb! Both lads were teased about their golden appendages for the rest of the week!

Compared to those two monsters, my catches this year were quite modest. My best was 126lb, well short of my personal best of 186lb caught last November. I also fluked a 28lb common on a catfish rod, as well as dropping a carp in the margins that looked every ounce of 40lb plus. That was the only 100lb plus fish I had this year, although I did manage two very hard fighting fish of 83lb and 84lb.

If you get the chance you must give it a go. You do not need to be an experienced big fish angler, as the guides do all the important work of selecting the swim, rowing out the baits, baiting up and so on. They also are on hand to advise on playing these immensely powerful fish and landing them for you. As Pat and Zach proved this year, anyone can catch a monster, even the most inexperienced. So you cannot take it too seriously as it is certainly no measure of angling skill. What it is though is bloody good fun and I can thoroughly recommend it.


Samantha’s fishing tackle choice

I was peacefully staring out onto my local lake waiting for a bite a couple of hours ago now, when a group of younger lads appeared in my swim. They were asking all the usual questions about the lake and what fish had been out, when one of them noticed my set-up.

I then spent the following half hour explaining my choices to them and why I had opted for these rods and reels etc. I even ended up reeling one of them in for them to have a go casting! Now I have put my rod back out and re-baited the others I thought I would put this little blog together explaining why I have opted for the setup I have. After using 3lb x-flites + for a couple of years, which I know many people have their own opinions on, I highly rated them and they served me well.

I wanted my carp rods to be just as effective for me so I opted for the TF Gear TSI 12’ 3lb rods. I have used them now for about 2 years and they’re still going strong, it would take some amazing new rod to make me change them. What impresses me most about these rods is how thin they are yet how much control I have when both casting and playing a fish. I have also noticed an increase in my casting distance since using them with ever increasing accuracy.

I have recently opted to team these rods up with the new TF Gear Delta GT 10000 reels. I love the design of them and they certainly look different on the bank. Many people have quizzed me on why I have chosen them. I was instantly impressed with how well the line lay on them and the smoothness of casting with them. Being big pits they are perfect for the big lakes I often choose to fish, I have even been influenced to take them down to my local beach to give them a good old test.

Glimmer Bite a

I decided it wouldn’t be right unless I completed the look with a set of TF Glimmer bite alarms. Now those that fish with me would back me up when I say that I am extremely fussy when it comes to alarms. The first things I take into consideration are the look of them, the ease of use and how effective the bite detection is on them. I love the way I can alter these alarms to suit different situations especially between the day and night. Having a receiver with these alarms is also a big plus for me as I like to keep my alarms down low and use the vibrating function only at night.

Well that is just some of my reasons for using the fishing gear I have with me today. I’m still waiting for a bite and hopefully now the weather is cooling down a bit the fish will be on the feed. Hopefully next time I write a blog I will be able to report news of a fish or two from Linford Lakes when I compete in the BIG FISH 2011.

Tight Lines Samantha

Butt ringers, fluff chuckers and other carp fishing phrases

Perhaps you are a ‘fluff chucker’, or a ‘noddy’. Do you use your ‘swervey dog tactics’ to get a ‘butt ringer’?

It seems that carp fishermen love nothing better than a good bit of banter – but what are they talking about?

Here we do our best to interpret the language of the lake, to make some sense of the slang and bring you the low down on the lingua franka of the carp pond.

Fluff chucker
Once the sport of kings, fly fishing is a sport often shrouded in mystery.  Fly tying is a dark art and the cast – well, that’s something that you can learn the basics of in a day but that will take a lifetime to master.  Understandably, carpers out there like nothing better than to poke fun at – well more or less anyone and that includes fly fishermen – after all they do just chuck a bit of fluff in the water don’t they?

Bosom buddy of Big Ears in the classic children’s stories by Enid Blyton.  Noddy has been driving his friends around toyland in his red and yellow taxi since 1949.  In carp slang, a noddy has various connotations but most often refers to a non-serious or novice angler.

Swervey dog tactics
How do you tell whether or not you’re a swervey dog?  Well it has nothing at all to do with your ability to catch rabbits with your bare teeth, and everything to do with your ability to use your skill and ingenuity to outfox your prey.  Simply put – it’s boxing clever.

Butt Ringer
Sounds disgusting doesn’t it?  But if you’re a carp fisherman it would certainly get your pulse racing!  A butt ringer occurs when a carp takes the bait so fiercely that the ‘bobbin’, part of the bite alarm system, slams into the first ring on the rod – known as the butt ring.

The staple diet of Cornish miners the pasty was held by the crust to stop dirty hands from contaminating the food.  One half of the pastry delicacy would contain meat and potatoes and the other, a sweet filling like apple or autumn berries.  A pasty to a carp fishing fanatic is anything but warm and tasty – it’s an undersized carp – and would make a thoroughly unpleasant lunch.

The first teabags appeared in the early part of the 20th century.  Originally they were made from silk or muslin and were intended merely as a form of packaging with the intention that they would be opened and the tea taken out before use.  But it wasn’t long before people realised how convenient it was to leave the tea in the bag instead.  In carpers terms a teabag isn’t nearly so useful – it’s a leaky bivvy.

Green maggot
Have you ever taken a bite out of an apple and been repulsed by the sight of a pale green maggot waving its tail at you?  Far better than chewing on a mouthful of fruit whilst looking at the remaining half a pale green maggot.  Beside the carp lake, a green maggot can be an equally revolting sight, being the term used to describe a sleeping bag – usually containing the yawning remains of a sleep deprived angler.

Normally the word refers to a law breaker who rejects convention, during times of war, renegade generals change their allegiances to suit their own interests.  But how on earth does that apply to carp?  Simple – non native species that have pond hopped into foreign waters.

Barney Rubble
Loyal friend of Fred Flintsone, Barney is the more laid back of the two only taking part in Fred’s barmy get rich quick schemes out of friendship.  In carp speak – the turn of phrase has nothing to do with the popular American cartoon character, it’s pure rhyming slang; Barney Rubble – Double as in a catch of double digit weight.

Tackle Tart
Unfortunately, nothing to do with pastry or pretty women. Perhaps you know someone who spends hours poring over fishing tackle magazines, catalogues and Internet listings?  If they’re more interested in buying the latest gadgets and gizmos than catching carp – that makes them a tackle tart.

Dave Lane’s Fishing Diary

On The Bank

After my results the previous week in my new swim I couldn’t wait to get back in there for another try. The big, clean, gravel strip I had found produced two fish for me last time and I had given it a fair dosing of the Mainline New Grange bait before I left, so I was brimmed full of confidence. Usually I spend a few hours wandering around and looking for fish but I was sure I could get bites by sticking to my plan and waiting to intercept any carp that moved through the gap between the two big islands that split the lake in half.

It was a lot hotter this time around and, with a lot less wind, the baits sailed out to the 125yrd mark and cracked down on the gravel with a resounding thud.

Baiting up was again an easy enough exercise as I had my big inflatable boat with me, I just whacked out a marker rod and then paddled out with a couple of kilo’s of boilies, making sure I spread them right out to ensure I would land the rigs somewhere near at least some of the bait.

Because of the amount of yachts and canoes using the water I had to really pin the lines down to the bottom, using back leads and keeping the tips as low as possible. The weed didn’t help either and any loose strands that were floating about soon attached themselves top my line and started lifting up, into range of the sailboards below the yachts. Luckily it was quite a short day for the boaters and, by about half seven in the evening, everything was quiet again and the park took on its other guise as a tranquil and lovely place to fish, although I knew that by nine the next morning it would be mayhem again!

Throughout the evening a few fish started to roll out along the bar and, at about nine pm, the rod fishing a yellow op-up ripped into life, this was an early bite and it took me by surprise a little bit as most of the recent action had been during the night or early morning.

It wasn’t a big fish though, a common carp of about seventeen pounds so I slipped him straight back and , after checking my hook was still nice and sharp, I whacked a fresh bait straight back on the marks for the night.

More true to recent form, the next bite had me tumbling out of bed at four o’clock in the morning; it’s always such a shock no matter how many times you do it. One minute you are sound asleep, immersed in some mad dream or another, and the next thing you know you’re playing a fish with no real idea of where you are or what’s actually happening. By the time I came to my senses the fish had kited right around to the right and managed to pick up one of my other lines so there was a few moment of panic as I desperately tried to unravel the ensuing knitting. Somehow, with more luck than good judgement, I managed to free the other rod and played the fish out in the right hand margin with no other real dramas.

Because they fight so damn hard in here it’s often a scary time at the net but this fish was in no mood to muck about and I guided him straight into the waiting mesh and, as he slid in, I could see it was yet another common although a bit bigger this time, pulling the needle around to just over twenty three pounds.

You would think, what with two fish under my belt on the first night that I would have been happy to stay put, while the day away and, hopefully, bag another couple on my second night but no. For some bizarre reason that I still can’t quite fathom I decided to pack everything up, push it about a mile on the barrow and set up on the other side of the lake, where I blanked totally, unless of course you count a tench as a result!

Quite what drove me to relocate from a productive swim I don’t know but, unfortunately, that just the way I am, I have absolutely no patience and never have had and I always think that the grass must be greener on the other side. Over the years it has caught me stacks of extra fish but, sometimes, I wonder how many it has cost me as well.

Carp Kit

Over the past six months or so we have been busy developing a new range of leaders called the ‘Lok Down Leaders’ which, at first glance may look like any other Poly-urethane coated leaders but, believe me, they are completely different to everything that has gone before. The new leaders have a braided line running through the core whereas all the others have 35lb monofilament and the difference in suppleness is massive. Obviously a thick length of mono is going to be stiff and have the tendency to coil up off the bottom whereas a braid on the other hand is totally soft and hugs the contours of the lake bed. Also, by using different colour braids we have been able to create leaders that match into the lake bed you are fishing over, whether it be weedy, muddy or dark silt. The leaders come in three different lengths of 20”, 36” and 48” and two styles. The first style is a swivel ended leader that is ideal for the addition of a lead release clip or an inline lead while the second style is aimed at helicopter or chod rigs.

The bead on the helicopter/chod leader is one that I have been working on for some time now and my main concern throughout has been the safety element. Far too many helicopter beads have hit the market without enough thought into how easily the fish can detach the top bead and then, how smoothly the bead and rig can pass over the loop at the top should a breakage occur. By increasing the internal diameter of the bead and using a custom made sleeve to house the bead in use I have ended up with a perfect solution that stays exactly where you want it during normal fishing situations but detaches easily when needed. The sleeve is also fully adjustable to suit whatever depth of silt or weed you are fishing over, give them a try and I guarantee you won’t be disappointed as they really are a top piece of your fishing gear.

A session to remember

Every now and again you just have one of those sessions, the sort where everything goes exactly right even though, at first, you haven’t got a clue where to fish or what to do to get a bite.

This was my most recent trip down to a tee. I had decided in advance on the area I wanted to be fishing which is something I never do and would always advise against. After all, how can you know from the comfort of the living room exactly where the fish are going to be, metcheck, that’s how!

I had been watching the weather online all weekend and I’d pretty much formulated a plan before I even loaded up the motor but, that old adage about ‘the best laid plans of mice and men’ was to come true, I hadn’t allowed for four other anglers already being in my top choices of swims. The whole area I fancied was stitched up so I loaded up the barrow and went off on a long walk around to the other side of the pit. There I found a swim I really liked, nestled in the bottom of a bay and looking very good indeed but the main thing I liked was that there was nobody else anywhere near. Surely all the disturbance on the other side of the island, in the big sailing club bay I had originally fancied, would push some fish through to this nice quiet area, at least that’s how I comforted myself as I set up my carp rods and flicked a couple of baits out under the big overhanging trees on the adjacent bank.

Because of the traffic on the M25 I had left home at 3am so, even after a walk round and a slow set up, it was still quiet early when I sat back for my first cup of tea and to take stock of the situation around me. I could see the odd fish drifting in just under the surface and, by the look of the sky; it was going to be a very hot day ahead. By midday it was boiling so I stripped one of the rigs off and cast a zig rig out, fishing it two feet under the surface in the mouth of my bay, hoping to intercept a fish on his way in.  It turned out to be a good move because, only half an hour later the tip whipped around and I was in.

It was the strangest of fights really, but zig battles often are, the result was good though as a nineteen pound scaley mirror rolled into the net, I was off the mark.

As evening rolled in I scrapped the zig and concentrated on the far bank tree line for the night, and what a night!

I had takes at, half past eleven, half past one, and half past three in the morning, meaning I got practically no sleep whatsoever but, with two mid twenties and a stunning thirty four pound zip linear to show for it, I was not in the slightest bit worried about tiredness.

As I expected the fish didn’t hang around for too much more punishment but I did manage one more twenty pound common before the swim died on me, and the best thing was that, during my stay, the bay I had fancied only produced one fish.

Weather check

As I’ve said before, wind direction and weather conditions can be crucial during the summer but it’s important not to become a slave to the conditions as this last session proved.

Sometimes the swim you pick purely on wind direction may not be the right choice on the day. Obviously if you can see no evidence of carp anywhere then the weather is an edge to be used but don’t forego a quick look around because of it. I would favour bagging the swim that looks the best by parking your barrow or a water bottle in there and then go for a good look about, safe in the knowledge that you already have the best swim but still willing to swap it if the fish are evident elsewhere.

Along the same lines it’s important to know when a swim has had it, dried up as it were. I think in hindsight I should have moved out after the first four fish of my last session rather than sat put and waited for a repeat performance on the second night.

Tackle Talk

On the subject of tackle and bits that have been recently released I must just tell you about my new jacket.

Summer nights can drop dramatically in temperature and a cold wet wind can cut through you at times, particularly if, like I recently was, you are out there for half the night re-casting and setting traps. I hate carrying clothes for every eventuality but I have now solved this problem with the Thermo-Tex survivor jacket, it’s a pull-on style, showerproof top, filled with micro fibres that puff up as you wear it and form your own mini-sleeping bag. It really is as warm as toast and totally windproof but, the best part about the jacket is that it crushes down really small into its own little stuff sack and you can just leave it on the barrow with the other fishing gear, for whenever it’s needed. I probably only wear it once every other session during the summer but, when it is needed it’s a real life saver, instantly warming me up and making me ready to battle the elements once more.