Dave Lane Carp Fishing Diary

It’s that time of year now, when the nights start to draw in and the mornings are always damp and soaked with dew, the time of year when carp start to feed again. Gone are the long and sweltering days when all you can do is watch them lazing around on the top or pugged up in a weed-bed somewhere, its fishing time!

I love September and October, it’s still nice enough not to be classed as winter but carp fishing over a decent deepwater mark and a pile of boilies can produce fantastic results. I tend to fish in clear areas on the actual bottom of the swim as oppose to bars, plateau’s or shallower features at this time of year, preferring to place my offerings down in the silt where all the natural food items are. It’s not uncommon to see huge sheets of bubbles hitting the surface on a calm morning as the carp root around in the silt, feeding on anything and everything they can find. I have just arrived back from a particularly successful session over in Northampton, the first day of a new south westerly wind, a drop of ten degrees in temperature and nice overcast skies; it was never going to be anything but good really.

I arrived on the Monday morning at first light to find a totally deserted lake and, rather than my customary walk around, I headed straight up onto the windward bank, rushing to get the carp fishing rods out while it was still nice and early, convinced I would be in with a chance straight away. Although the lake is still choked with weed I knew where the clearer areas were so it was only a matter of minutes before I had two rods fishing properly. Before I had a chance to get the third one out though, the first one was away and, after a bit of a tussle and a net full of weed, I found a beautiful thirty four pound linear lying in the bottom of the mesh, what a way to start. That fish let me know I had picked the right area and, given the conditions, I really stepped up the baiting, making sure I had at least a kilo over each rod, topping it up after every fish.

The plan worked perfectly and later that evening one of the other rods was away, this time the weed gave me a lot less hassle and pretty soon a twenty nine pound mirror was hoisted up for the camera. Two good fish before I’d even done a night and, over the next forty eight hours I managed to add a thirty three pound common, and three more between twenty and mid doubles. The fish came at all times of the day and night which a good sign that they are happy down there on the bottom. Throughout a lot of the year they only spend small amounts of the day actually near the lake bed and this leads to very short and precise feeding times.

During the summer it can be too hot and the oxygen levels are so low that they lay just below the surface and again, during the winter, the temperatures are so low that the air pressure seems to affect them more and leads them to lie in mid water for most of the time. During the autumn however, everything is just perfect so, don’t just sit there reading, grab your rods and get out there fishing, you know it makes sense!

carp fishing Dave Lane fishtec

Chalk Stream Delight | Fishtec Blog

Finally after some time away from the river I’ve managed to get a day on the banks, normally I’m on the banks at midnight on June 16th but due to a heavy work load it’s not been possible to visit any of my favourite rivers to wet a line up until now. The River Stour starts in my home town of Ashford, Kent and runs through the city of Canterbury which is where I intended to fish for Dace, Perch and Chub. With the lack of rain in the past few months the water level on most rivers are at their lowest for some time so it wasnt going to be easy.

My fishing tackle setup was simple; being a small river I needed a fishing rod that could cope with the trees and cabbage on the ground. I opted for the 10 to 8 foot TFG Nan-Tec All-rounder matched with the TFG match/feeder reel with 4Ib line. A size 16 hook was tied straight through to the line with two SSG’s as weight attached via a float stop to the main line. Bait was just as simple, good old fashion maggots and bread.

The fish on the Stour don’t seem to shoal up and hold in packs but tend to be more spread out, probably due to the abundance of ‘fishy’ looking water. Starting off at the Westgate section I came a crossed a shoal of Dace. Positioning myself just above them and trickling in a few maggots I cast just behind my feed and left the bait roll through them. Right away was in contact with a silver dart, a beautiful PB 1Ooz Dace was in the net. Unfortunately the shoal had spooked by the commotion so it was time to move to the first weir pool. Perch after Perch continued to take the maggots along with the odd Eel which was nice to see. The Chub seemed to be elusive and on a bright day I wasn’t surprised, a thought came to mind that they may have moved to the bridge by Sainsbury’s to seek cover so again I made another move in search of fish. Just as I thought there they were and also what looked like some good roach and bream, to keep the small fish at bay I switched to bread flake, watching through the clear chalk stream water I could see the roach moving towards the bait and with my heart in my mouth the biggest one in the shoal was going for the bait. Typically a bream came torpedoing in and snatch the bait from right under the roachs nose, still it wasn’t a bad bream so no complaints but a nice Roach would have been great. The Chub were still there but didn’t look like they were in the mood to feed but persistence pays off as a small chevin scooped up the bread flake and went on a bit of a mad spat.


It was nice to be back on the river even if only for a few hours but it’s coming up to autumn so big Perch are on my brain. You can also see what happen by watch my latest video By The Waterside 9. Keep your eyes and ears peeled as on September 15th there a fantastic new YouTube fishing channel coming which you guys can get involved in too.

Till the next time, tight lines and best fishes

Scott Cordingley

Upper Thames Chub

A couple of times a year, and far too infrequently, I get to fish with great mate John Kemp.  It’s something I always look forward to.  I think we both have the same outlook on fishing, which is basically enjoy the surroundings, the friendship as well as the fishing.

Anyway, we had another trip planned to the upper Thames in pursuit of large chub.  It’s a spot I particularly like and still holds some stonking chub.  A couple of years ago John caught his Thames monster here, a magnificent chub of 7lb 2oz.  So we know it still holds the potential to throw up a real whacker.

Upper Thames

The forecast was pretty grim and yet we seemed to miss the worst of the weather, which is exactly what happened last time.  The only thing this time was the wind.  It must have been gale force at times.  Nevertheless we fished on in brave fashion.  As always we started in the big weir.  John tends to fish a small cage feeder with liquidized bread and flake on the hook and I use a large piece of crust anchored a few inches off bottom.  If the swim allows, I will throw in a few balls of liquidized bread as an attractant.

My fishing tackle collection is very simple.  I fish 6lb line straight through to a size 6 hook. I slide on 2 Drennan Grippa Stops and then loop over a piece of line and attach the appropriate amount of shot that’s required to just hold bottom.  I use the size 2 or 3 ssgs.  I vary the distance from the hook but generally its 4 or 5 inches.  If its really cold then it will be just a couple of inches from the hook.  I then use a big piece of crust.  The crust helps to balance the setup, so that it’s easy to move the bait with a twitch, in fact often the bait will move of its own accord.  Once you have cast out, keep a nice bow in the line so that if the bait does move, it will travel downstream in a straight line and act far more naturally.

After a couple of casts to get the weight right, I flicked the crust out into the weir pool and put the rod on a rest.  It was a tight swim but a good angle to attack the pool.  The bait bumped a couple of times and then that tell tale knock on the tip indicated a chub.  One more knock…..yes then the tip pulled right round.  This is a typical chub bite on crust.  The strike was good and the fish on the other end felt heavy as it plodded upstream.  For a minute I thought maybe this was not a chub but then it headed for the snags on the inside and I thought, yes it’s a chub.  It finally broke surface and I could see it was a decent fish.  Once in the net I realised it was even bigger than I thought.  I called JK and he came down to assist.

I though it looked a good five but inside I was thinking it was bigger.  Well it turned out to be a good fish and weighed in at 6lb 1oz and is my first 6lb Thames chub.  I jumped up and down a few times and shook John firmly by the hand.  This was one of the highlights of my season.  I haven’t caught a 6lb chub for some years.  I used to fish for them almost exclusively and now rarely, so I was absolutely chuffed to bits and so was John.

6lb 1oz Thames Chub

John wandered upstream and I followed a couple of bite-less hours later.  We opted to move upstream where there were lots of enticing marginal swims with deep water and loads of cover.  We slowly worked our way back down towards the weir.  During this process I managed 2 more chub, which both weighed 4lb 13oz, despite being caught a few hundred yards apart.  John also tempted a couple of fish, including a good 4lb+ fish before we ended up back in the weir.

We finished here about 7pm.  John took another nice chub that was in the region of 4.8lb and I sadly couldn’t tempt another fish.  Still what a great day.  Beautiful scenery, I saw a wild deer, plenty of bird-life and great company and all the chub were fat and healthy and in mint condition.  Oh, and we never saw another angler as usual. Lovely chubbly

Iain Barr – Fish deep in February

With an icey blast hitting the UK I still ventured out to do some well earned fly fishing on Farmoor 2 Reservoir in Oxfordshire. Despite the cold I wasnt disappointed. With ice jamming the line in the rings of the rod, feet feeling like lumps of ice, I was catching fish!

The fish were lying in very deep water, over 30 feet, so I needed the right kit to get there! With my favourite Enigma MIII #8 rod, I tackled up a #9 Di 7 Airflo 40+ fly line. you may note the line rating is one above the #8 rated rod. This helps load the rod very quickly and the whole 40 yard line is launched with one false cast, its amazing! I was using 10lb  Airflo G3 fluorocarbon. No need to be shy on tippet material when fishing this deep with Boobys and the weight of the water at such depths and a full line out, anything lighter may break, especially on an aggressive take.

I wanted to keep my flies as deep as possible for as long as possible and there is no better way to do this than casting as much of the Di7 as you can and fish two boobys. I wanted to fish a variation of Boobys, so opted for a straggle Cat Booby and a Cut Throat Cruncher Booby. The Cut Throat Cruncher was a revelation in 2011! I fished a leader shorter than normal. only 13 feet, with 5 foot to the first dropper and 8 to the point. This keeps my flies relatively close to the bottom.

Several casts in I miss a typical booby take. Tap, Tap, BANG!! When fishing boobys you may feel ‘interest’ in your flies but wait for it all to lock up before striking. Having spoke to the rangers at farmoor, they advised we fished at least 60-80 yards from the bank where the natural clay lake bed begins. here the bloodworm are plentiful and this is where the fish were.

A very numb Pete Gathercole lifted the anchor and we dropped the anchor some 100 yards out which would be alien on most places this time of year. We weren’t disappointed. I was soon in to fish after letting the boobys drop for a timed 60 seconds with the very slowest of retrieves and long pauses in between. Both the Straggle Cat Booby and Cruncher Booby take fish. I kept changing the Boobys and the fish kept coming, a Blue Eyed Cat Booby, Black and White Humungus Boobys all took fish. They seemed to come at range at the end of the cast or almost vertical beneath the boat as the flies came up off the bottom. This proved the fish were lying almost on the lake bed!

We watched grebes diving and coming up with small fish so dedided to drift 200-300 yards from the bank and I continued to pick up fighting fit rainbows. What was amazing was that we were in 35+ feet of water, along way off shore and around no features and we continued to catch fish with plenty of offers too. The place must be stuffed with fish as this certainly wasn’t the hot spot. The hot spot was on the far shore with the wind pushing in. But, with frozen feet, ice jamming the rings and finger tips only warmed by a pulling trout, it was too cold even for a double world champion!!

Keep your flies as deep as possible in these conditions and fish as slow as possible, a team of boobys on just 13 foot of leader is perfect. The fishing in this cold snap can be fantsatic so wrap up warm and venture out.

Iain Barr Fly Selection Choice

Essential Boobys

Minkie Boobys

UV Dancers

Fishing tackle fantasies

Traditionally, fishing takes you back to hunter-gatherer basics and helps you re-connect with nature.

However these days many fishermen have opened the doors, err flaps of their bivvies, just a bit and welcomed inside the benefits of technology.

See, technology has to be pretty special to be accepted by the nature-appreciating fishermen, though the following fishing tackle fantasies should pass the test.

Beer pump jacket

beer fishing jacket

Fishing jacket + beer = Beer pump jacket

To the untrained eye it looks like a cosy, waterproof fishing jacket more than capable of keeping its wearer snug in all weathers. Inside it is lined with a layer of beer, which is conveniently transported via a flexible tube and a pump to the nearest dry throat. Beer can be substituted with cherry pop for those too young to consume alcohol.

Tackle box grill

fishing tackle box grill

Fishing tackle box + grill = Tackle box grill

After all the hard work drinking it’s only right to get involved with some nosh — hmm, if only you had a barbecue … Well actually there’s no need for a barbecue when you have a tackle box grill. When stomachs are full, it’s a tackle box, but when they’re empty, the metal lid of the tackle box transforms into a grill and there’s even a gas supply inside. Amazing — it just needs a green light from Health & Safety.

Radio fishing hat

radio fishing hat

Digital radio + fishing hat = Radio fishing hat

Well-fed and lubricated, the sounds of birds and insects singing and buzzing — actually flies can be annoying. Good job you brought that fishing hat then. Not only does it keep the sun and rain off your head, but stores a handy digital receiver under the rim complete with two small (waterproof) speakers. Tune-age!

Automatic fishing rod

self casting fishing rod

Fishing rod + powerful arm = Automatic fishing rod

Casting off is one of the fun parts of fishing, but even so some fishermen out there will appreciate a rod that has the power to cast the hook further than Fatima Whitbread’s javelin.

Kamikaze fishing bait

kamikaze fishing bait

Mad maggots + irresistible hook = Kamikaze fishing bait

Bait can prove tricky to get onto the hook at the best of times, so it’s going to be even harder if you’re wearing your beer pump jacket. But, imagine if it attached itself to the hook and saved you all the fumbling work. Maybe the hooks could contain an aroma so irresistible to maggots that they pierced themselves on the hook. Hmm …

Self-assembling bivvy

self erecting bivvy

Assembled and equipped bivvy + easy packing = Self-assembling bivvy

Erecting a bivvy in gale force winds with cold fingers can prove extremely difficult, and so can dissembling it when you’re tired or lazy. Maybe the self-assembling bivvy is the answer? It could pop out its bag like a jack-in-the-box and be instantly ready – with all your fishing gear inside ready to go. Getting it back just as quickly may need some more work.

Luring a Pike..

I’ve been fishing now for longer than I can remember and still get excited when fishing on new waters.. The water im fishing this weekend is the Mid Kent Fisheries Lake the Conningbrook, noted mainly for its rock hard Carp fishing. Anglers who have wet a line there believe the late holds the British record carp, Two Tone. As well as some superb carp there are also some impressive pike in there too, that’s what’s on my agenda.

The weather that day was a cool 6 degrees c with a westerly wind and a pressure of 1004 mb so I decided to fish with the wind on my back. I set up my 3Ib Tc Delta XS rod (which by the way is great for general pike fishing) and coupled it with my V8 reels with 15Ib main line.

The rigs I kept fairly simple, a running ledger with a 2oz lead on one rod and a standard float setup on the other both with 7 Strand Drennan size 6 snap tackle. For bait I decided to give them two options, either a mackerel tale on the ledger or a small roach on the float which I think is a good starting point if you’re on a new lake. Fishing tackle set up and ready to go I cast my rigs out around 60yrds and waited, and waited, before I knew it 2 hours had already gone so I decided a move was needed and settled on a swim on the opposite side of the lake. With the baits in I again waited and thought to myself, this isn’t any good and thought about my options.

What interests me is how the fry try to leap free of the water – as I looked up a spray of fry hit the surface about 30yrds in front of me. I took off the lead and fished the sink and draw method with the roach. Three casts later and nothing and to be honest  I was getting pretty tired but on the fourth cast just as the bait was nearing the bank I felt a slight pull on the line and without hesitation I struck. CRASH out jumps this scatty little pike and tears away thinking he was bigger than he was and soon gave up and was in the net. At 5Ib 7oz it’s not the biggest pike I’ve had but boy was it welcome all the same and with only minutes to spare.

So looking back on the day I’ve concluded on three matters

1 – No matter how bad it looks keep trying and keep changing, it can and will pay off in the end

2 – With the bite mark on the fish it would appear there are bigger fish in the lake

3 – I’ll try popped up bait next time as the weed can be a real problem

I’ll keep going for that bigger one throughout winter!

Till the next time tight lines and best fishes

Scott Cordingley