Dave Lane Carp Fishing Video Diary #3

The fishing has been tough and the weather fairly unpredictable but Dave Lane has still managed to put together another of his Carp Fishing video diaries, showing you exactly what hes doing to try and temp large carp to the bank.

This week his two part carp fishing diary takes him to Big Lakes at Bedford…

Part 1

Part 2

Dave Lane Carp Fishing Diary | Mid September

Dave Lane Mid September

With nothing much happening on the big unknown carp front again I decided to take another trip over to Kingfisher Lake in the Thetford Forest. I enjoyed my days stalking carp the previous week but I couldn’t help but think that there must be a way to crack the problem of the bubbling carp being pre-occupied on natural food.

I had decided that bait must be the key, as it often is so, rather than just chase them around with a handful of boilies; I was going to set a trap, and a big one at that.

I arrived in the early afternoon and picked an area at fairly close range, about twenty yards from the bank, one that had signs of fish moving regularly through it. By simply watching the surface of the water I could identify the most frequently used areas by following the trails of little silver pin-prick bubbles as they hit the surface.

Once I had picked my spot I fed it as accurately as possible with about one and a half kilos of boilies. The plan was to keep everything so tight on the bottom that, once the carp passed through the spot as they filtered the silt, they would be incapable of not sucking up a mouthful of boilies as the entire bottom in a small area would be covered with them.

Although I had great faith in my new method I decided not to fish on it straight away, instead I put both rods under the island where I had had the twenty six pounder last week and just kept an eye on the baited area, watching for any change in the pattern of bubblers.

I did not have long to wait either, within an hour I could plainly see that the trails and lines of bubbles had converged on the baited area and much larger concentrations of ‘fizzers’ were erupting exactly where the boilies were.

Winding in one rod I flicked it out into the epicentre of the disturbance and, within minutes, it was away with a lively little common attached to the other end.

Now I had a method that I knew would work I had two choices, just trickle in a few more baits and try for a second bite or take it one step further and fill it in again, I chose the second option.

Unlike the previous week’s visit, I actually had the whole night ahead of me so I decided to take a gamble and put another kilo and a half on the spot, making it wide enough for two rods as I did so.

Well, the gamble certainly paid off, although I was worried for a while as it well into dark before the second bite came.

After that it was just like clockwork, every time I climbed back into the bedchair and drifted off to sleep anther screaming run from the mag-runner bite alarms would drag me back out again. This went on for pretty much the whole night, approximately one fish an hour with a welcomed break after four in the morning, the last and biggest fish coming along at first light.

I had managed seven takes in all, landing six of them up to twenty six pounds and all commons apart from one small mirror, which was a bit strange really as it’s pretty much an even split in the lake, maybe the commons just like the silty areas a bit more.

I packed up about midday extremely tired but very happy with my results, all I need now is a result like that on a larger scale from one of my main venues and my favourite month of September will be complete.

Dave Lane Carp Fishing Diary | Early September

Early September with Dave Lane

Sorry it’s been so long since my last blog but, what with school holidays and an acute lack of carp there has been precious little to blog about!

I have still been off chasing the unknown, trying my hand on waters that most sane anglers would not look twice at. Unfortunately that is the only way I am ever going to realise my dream of a big unknown carp though, and it is par for the course to have more than a few blanks along the way.

There comes a time however, when I just want to get out there and get a bend in one of my many fishing rods and this time happens to be now.

Last week I decided to re-visit a small and tree lined lake not far from my home. It’s situated on the edge of the Thetford forest and is a picturesque, tree fringed lake with a large and well established island running along the centre.

Because of the surrounding forest it has a fair depth of silt, a build-up of years of fallen leaves that have rotted away on the bottom, forming a thick layer of detritus.

As a result of this the carp can be seen bubbling and fizzing up as they feed in the deeper water and this can lead to some exiting stalking situations.

I turned up on a Thursday morning, just for a quick day session as the conditions looked ideal.

I always think if you have a lake nearby and a bit of time on your hands, it got to be worth a trip out, even if it’s a quick one, as it only takes a few minutes in the right spot to catch a carp.

At this time of year, as the air temperatures drop and we get a few low pressure systems moving in, the carp can suddenly go on the feed and the lethargy of summer days can seem a thing of the past. September is actually one of my favourite months of the year and it has provided me with countless personal bests and memorable captures over the years gone by. In fact, I would go as far as to say that September, April and possibly February can be the best months of the carp fishing year.

On this particular trip I found the carp, as expected, bubbling up in the deeper siltier part of the lake and I spent a fruitless couple of hours chasing them about, using light leads and long nylon hook-links, a method I have a lot of faith in when the bottom is soft and silty.

On this occasion though, they seemed to be totally pre-occupied with whatever was crawling around in the detritus and I had to employ a backup method as time was ticking away and I had to pick the littlest one up from school at four o’clock.

About two in the afternoon the sun made an appearance and, within minutes, I spotted the first carp cruising along the sunny side of the island. This area is a lot firmer and I knew, if I could get a bait tight enough to the island, that I had a shout of a bite.

It’s exciting stuff when you have a bait cast into just eighteen inches of water and you can clearly see the backs of carp as they pass over the spot.

I think there must have been at least three near misses before the bow wave of a carp lined up perfectly with the exact spot of my single bait and then, suddenly, there was big swirl as he sucked it in and realised his mistake.

A lot of people will advocate the method of ‘locking up’ when fishing up against islands, fishing your line as tight as possible with no clutch or free-spool set and the bobbin right up against the rod but I totally disagree. The way I see it is this; a fish cannot actually take any line anyway, not unless he is going to climb out over the island and the usual result is that they shoot sideways along the island margin until they find a snag. As long as you have a small drop on the bobbin then you will know instantly when the bait has been picked up and, with a tight clutch, it takes just two paces backwards to pull the carp away from danger before he even realises what’s going on.

With the fish safely in the clear channel I had time to enjoy the fight as he plodded up and down over deeper water, putting a healthy bend in the rod as he did so.

Under the tip was a different matter and there were a few tense moments as he realised he was losing the battle but everything held firm and the forgiving action in the top section of my TF Gear Nan-tec rods easily absorbed all the last minute lunges.

Once he was beaten and lying on the mat I had a chance to relax and appreciate how well a few hours in the right conditions can go, instead of being stuck at home working I was holding up a heavily scaled twenty six pound mirror for the camera. With the fish safely returned and the gear hastily thrown in the back of the truck I just made it back to the playground in time, although I did get a bit more room around me than usual and a few wrinkled noses at the distinct odour of fish slime!

Dave Lane Carp Fishing Diary | August

Dave Lane Carp Fishing Diary

Well I’m back from this year’s MNDA charity bash at Linear Fisheries and it all went ok. I say just Ok because the fishing wasn’t spectacular this year, but that’s just the way it goes sometimes. It fished alright, it was just that the area we were in was a bit patchy and, unusually for me, I decided to stay put rather than go off hunting them. On previous years we have been very lucky with the weather, there has always been at least one full day suited to floater fishing and it’s been on this day that I have usually spent my time trying to ensure a decent fish or two from any of the other many lakes on the complex.

This year’s event coincided with quite a brisk North Westerly wind throughout and the conditions actually looked perfect for the swims we had been pegged in. Along with myself there was Paul Forward and Ian Stott and we had a trio of guys between us, all friends and all on their second visit.

Despite a slow start we soon had the lad’s spodding and casting accurately and in time the fish started to arrive. My swim was particularly tricky because of some snags out in front but we were situated on the causeway between Brasenose one and two so at least we had options.

Of the six of us carp fishing there was only one dry net at the end but, to be fair, he did have to leave a night early for a prior engagement and, because of this, he missed the most productive period of all.

One of the lads, Jack, had about six fish I believe, so he went home with a big smile on his face.

Besides the fishing though we all had a terrific time and there was a live band on the second night, and a hog roast (Paddy the carp dog’s favourite part of the whole three days) In fact the food was amazing across the whole three nights we were there, egg and bacon in the mornings and a nice hot meal at night with plenty of cold beer and socialising. The whole event is geared towards enjoyment and it has no competitive atmosphere whatsoever, the main criteria is to make plenty of money for the charity and for everyone to go away happy, having had a time to remember.

I believe that this year’s event amassed more than £24,000 pounds in total so a big well done to everyone that freely gave up their time to make this happen and a big thank you to everybody that donated, from the paying anglers to the many tackle companies and individuals who gave towards the raffle. The biggest applause must, however, go to Len Gurd, Fran, Roy Parsons and the whole of the team who helped to organise the event, man the bar, make the food and keep everyone involved happy and content throughout, well done.

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?

Carp rod salute: famous fish of the past

There are carp and then there are famous carp. Some fish have risen to take a place in the hearts of carp anglers everywhere.

And it’s about more than just size. To be a real star, a fish has to be a little bit different…a character. Here we celebrate the lives of just a few of the most famous fish ever to be captured by carp rod.

Benson (1984 – 2009)

Known as, ‘the people’s fish’, Benson was a common carp without equal. At 64 lbs she was simply enormous – but her gargantuan proportions never made her easy to catch.

In fact, during her 13 years in residence at Bluebell Lakes near Peterborough, she is reported as having been brought to the bank 63 times – less than five times a year.

Her death at the age of 25 was suspicious since carp can live considerably longer than that. A quantity of uncooked tiger nuts was found at the scene, prompting speculation that Benson was inadvertently poisoned by thoughtless anglers.

The Black Mirror (deceased 2010)

To capture the Black Mirror was regarded as one of carp fishing’s greatest prizes.

A denizen of Colnemere, a former gravel pit near Heathrow airport, Black Mirror was first caught in 1992 by Jason Hayward. At that time, the fish weighed 46 lb – not far shy of the British record.

A classic looking fish, Black Mirror enjoyed wide regard as one of the hardest carp to catch – particularly after the water became a SSSI and a SPA (Special Protection Area), making fishing illegal. It was last landed just a few weeks before it died – at a whopping 51 lb 12 oz.

Black Mirror was found floating amid a large number of dead fish. Cause of death was thought to be as the result of an algal bloom or possibly a disturbance to the thermocline.

Two Tone (deceased 2010)

Over 50 mourners attended the memorial service and unveiling of a plaque to commemorate the life of the irreplaceable mirror carp, Two Tone.

The name was a reference to the fish’s distinctive colouring, rather than ska – but the mere mention of the moniker was music to the ears of many a carper. Indeed so special was this fish that some spent years in pursuit of the elusive giant.

Two Tone was one heck of a fish. It was last caught at 67 lb 14 oz – a specimen and a half – this fish was fiendishly difficult to catch. Many tried and most failed. Two Tone was generally brought to the bank just once or twice a year.

At 45, the carp is thought to have died of old age. RIP Two Tone.

Heather the Leather (1960 – 2010)

She has her own headstone and memorial bush – a fitting tribute to a fish often regarded as the most famous carp in all the land.

At 52 lbs, she was a big old girl, but it was her wily way of avoiding being caught, and her great age that rendered her one of the most desirable catches of all time.

Thought to have succumbed to old age, Heather was found at the edge of a lake in the Yateley fishery in which she lived. The press claimed at the time that Heather had been landed over 1000 times, but the claim is a heresy. Heather was far cleverer than that – the real figure is closer to 75.

Are there any other legendary carp that we’ve missed? And which is the most famous living carp? We’d love to know.

Dave Lane Video Diary – Big Pit Mirrors

Just before Dave set off on a family holiday to Sunny Spain he managed to put together this carp fishing video diary of his most recent carping trip. Packed full of carp fishing hints and tips on how to choose the right swim depending on the wind, Dave’s knowledge and experience is not to be looked past!

After a successful start to his North Met campaign, the fishing has only seemed to get better, but the only thing lacking at the moment is the wiser, larger specimens which inhabit the lake. With plenty of carp ranging between 15 and 23lbs, Dave’s still searching for the elusive 30lber…. Are they in there?

See all Dave Lane Carp Fishing Videos here

Dave Lane Carp Fishing Diary | July

Dave Lane Early Twenty Carp

What a wonderful week to be British!

The British and Irish Lions have won the tour in Australia; and had me leaping all around the room like an over excited schoolboy, Andy Murray has become Wimbledon champion and, hopefully, we will win the ashes as well in a few days’ time to ice the cake off nicely.

To top it all off the sun is shining and it looks like staying that way for a week or two, I am off on holiday to even sunnier Spain and everything is at one with the world, well my little world anyway!

The carp fishing hasn’t been exactly fantastic though and, in true British style, I think we can blame a lot of that on the weather leading up to this current hot spell.

I think this burst of summer however, will be exactly what the doctor ordered and I am expecting to return to lakes that have finally seen a proper spawning and are full of hungry carp.

Now is the time to be out there looking at what the lakes contain, getting to know your quarry and, hopefully, nicking the odd fish out of the edge or, even better, off the top.

I love surface fishing and I hope there is still a bit of nice weather in store for me to try my hand at it this year.

Nothing is quite as exciting as watching a set of lips close around the hook-bait and feeling that wall of resistance as you set the hook. The explosive nature of a fish hooked at close quarters off the surface is awesome and I can’t wait to give it a try.

I have been getting amongst a few lately though, mainly from shallow water spots in the margins or on bars as the carp have seemed reluctant to feed at all in the deeper water, although I am sure this will soon change.

I had a close encounter with a couple of bigger fish on my new pit the other day, not monsters but still a better stamp than I have been seeing although it didn’t end the way I had planned.

I had just spent hours getting my carp fishing baits into position without spooking the fish and I was pacing the banks waiting for the inevitable bite.

When it did come however, it turned out to be a small mirror that had somehow impaled the hook in its flank. Needless to say he then managed to spook every decent fish in sight and I was left right back where I started.

I moved the next morning and managed to find a few more carp to fish for but, unfortunately, they were not of the same ilk, although I did bag my biggest so far at 23lb pictured above.

The previous week was also an exciting trip when I spotted a group of carp milling around a weed-bed next to a small island. A shallow bar connects the bank to the island so I was able to put on my thigh waders and wade right out to them and place bait with deadly accuracy. Back on the bank I could sit there in total confidence that I was fishing as well as I possibly could.

It’s so hard not to keep checking a spot, even when you know everything is spot on, I just need to see the fish and know what they are up to at all times.

Luckily I didn’t have to wait too long, although it seemed like days at the time, and by the time it grew dark I had managed to land three carp, two twenties and a nineteen pounder.

So, even with the weather keeping the fish in a strange mood, it is still possible to trick the odd one into feeding; it’s just a matter of finding the right spot on the day.

Keeping the bait to a sensible level also helps, if the fish are lethargic for most of the time then there is no reason to assume they will suddenly eat ten kilos of bait just because it has grown dark. Quite often when it is as hot as this they hardly move from their daytime haunts throughout the night and can often be found in the same spots as soon as it is light enough to see.

Anyway, I am off to lay in the sun for a while so tight lines while I am gone and, hopefully, stalk yourselves out a few monsters while I am away.

Dave Lane Carp Fishing Diary | Early June

Isn’t it funny, a few years ago we would have all taken this week off and crammed the lakes to capacity for the glorious 16th of June and the start to a new season. After an enforced lay off of three whole months, we would have all been champing at the bit to get back out there and wet a line.

I know a lot of carp fishing waters still hold fast to the old rules but, even so, there are very few anglers who don’t find somewhere to fish in the meantime.

Personally I am all in favour of a close season, I would just like it to be for three weeks in January so that I had a decent reason to stay at home in the warm.

I’m glad that things have changed though, the spring is such an exciting time to fish and, even though this year was not so good, we get to see everything waking up and the fish starting to feed once again.

More often than not the middle of June is spawning time and the beginning of the season often used to be marred by the carp starting their rituals just as we all turned up to fish.

I saw a little attempt at spawning a week or so ago, on a new and extremely large pit I have just started fishing.

The lake itself is roughly two hundred and fifty acres and location is obviously the main aspect of success on a place like this. I am not entirely sure of the stock in there but I know it could possibly have a few old original carp left somewhere in its depths, mixed in with two sets of stock fish, both of which are at least six or seven years established and could also be a fair size by now.

I was over the moon to find a group of carp within a couple of hours of my arrival for my second session; they were cruising around in some shallow water next to a huge reed-bed that stretched along a hundred yards of bank.

Within half an hour of watching I had seen at least six or seven different fish and that was all the incentive I needed to haul my gear up to the top end of the lake and get a couple of rigs into position.

Big pit angling is my favourite form of fishing and, if you add the fact that I had no real idea of what I might catch, you have the perfect water in my book. The excitement when that magrunner bite alarm screams out its battle cry is electrifying and I still visibly shake when I am playing fish from a lake like this, even though I have been carp fishing since god was a little lad!

The first take came mid-afternoon and was a double figure common, looking a bit on the plump side.

The next fish managed to hold off until the early hours of the morning but then it all seemed to go a bit mad. By the time I packed up the following day I had managed to up the tally to seven fish, most of them were male mirrors in the eighteen to twenty two pound bracket, obviously ganged up before spawning as this constituted a real red letter day on a pit this size and with not a huge stock.

All of the carp I banked were in mint condition and stunning examples of what a carp really should look like, huge scales and fantastic colours and every one of them fighting fit.

On my last morning they started to show the odd sign of getting a bit ‘jiggy with it’ and, although they didn’t actually start to spawn, there was the odd little thrash about in the reeds.

I did hear from the bailiff that, a day or two after I left, they absolutely smashed the reeds to pieces in a wild sexual frenzy, lucky buggers, and I am sure that the fishing will now return to a normal state.

I am under no illusion that it will get a lot harder as the fish start to split up into smaller groups and I will be walking my legs down to stumps in an attempt to keep on top of them but I am looking forward to every minute of it and, who knows, maybe I will be lucky enough to hook a long forgotten monster one day soon.

Dave Lane Mirror | Fishtec

Fly of the Week – Zig Bug

Fly of the week | Zig Bug

Zig bugs have been the downfall for many carp over the last few months, specifically designed to look like natural insects or bugs, these flies have the power to seduce carp from almost any lake. Tied to represent beetles, grasshoppers, tadpoles and more, you won’t use anything more realistic than a zig bug. The Zig Rig – which this fly is fished on – lets the angler set the depth very accurately, putting the fly exactly where they want, hopefully in front of feeding fish.

Tying a zig bug couldn’t be simpler, simply take a hook which will withstand the pressure from a large carp, here I have used a Kamasan B980 size 6 as it has a large gape and a very strong hold. Run a layer of thread down the hook to create a solid thread platform, a strong thread is recommended for pulling down onto the foam back.

Take a booby eye cylinder and cut at a 45 degree angle from the one edge, creating a tapered cut along the length of the tube. Tie the the ‘shallow’ side ensuring to securely trap the edge under the thread.

For the body I have used FlyBox.co.uk Small Crystal Hackle, remove some excess fibers to reveal a bare core and tie in at the back end of the hook. Run the thread back towards the eye of the hook and form the body. Wind the fritz along the length of the body, here I have doubles back over the fritz to give it more volume. Tie in and cut off when you’re happy with the mass.

Pull the foam back over the fly towards the eye and simply tie in where you’re happy. Cut the excess foam into a ball shape so it resembles a beetle more closely. Whip finish the thread off and the fly is now fishable.

Written by Kieron Jenkins