ANDY LITTLE, a legend of Angler's Mail magazine pages, enjoyed a memorable session at The Nunnery last year. Here's how Andy fished it, to give you insight into floater fishing for carp .

THE Nunnery is a six-lake complex run by Paul (Tinker) Taylor and Jason Davies of the Norfolk and Suffolk Fisheries. I have known these waters for some 25 years now and it is just remarkable how they have progressed during that period.

Predominantly a carp fishery the lads have graded the lakes to suit all clients from beginners to dedicated specimen hunters. With carp now approaching 50 lb it bears little resemblance to the early days when we were looking for the first twenty.

It is always a great pleasure to visit this venue and I had chosen to have a crack at what is known as Bob’s and E Lake where the carp run to over 30 lb but also have a high average size of good doubles and twenties.

With settled weather and high pressure expected it looked as though there may be a chance of a fish or two off the top. And I just love this mobile approach and prefer wandering from swim to swim rather than sitting behind buzzers and boilies.

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Andy Little adopts a roving approach just with the bare minimum of gear. He scans the surface at the top end of E lake at The Nunnery for signs of carp.

With a mid-morning start conditions did indeed look favourable and I was surprised that there wasn’t more fish showing on the surface.

After a circuit of the lake I decided to have a bit of a dabble at the top end around the islands where the water warms up the quickest. I could see the odd shadow moving around but they looked quite deep in the water and I wondered whether I had made the wrong call.

Rather than catapulting loads of Mixers out which I know from past experience would inevitably attract every duck, goose, swan and gull in the area I presented the free offerings in just a small PVA mesh bag attached to the hook on the cast.

This is a great little trick for many reasons. Obviously it is less likely to attract our feathered friends but more importantly it concentrates just a few offerings around the hook bait.

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With not a great deal of fish showing on the surface Andy doesn’t want to over feed the swim. He just uses small PVA mesh bags of Mixers attached to the hook.

Slowly but surely a few of the shadows started to get higher in the water eventually sampling some of the freebies. I love this style of fishing so much as the anticipation of a take is not only exciting but also very visual.

With each free offering taken a couple of the carp started to really gain in confidence. I was able to gently tweak my bait to intercept one of the taking fish… straight down the hatch first time.

One of the most important points I try to remember is not to strike too quickly making sure the carp has turned and moved away. Ideally I like to see the controller slide across the surface if I can be patient enough!

A real ding-dong of a battle commenced and I had a right old tussle with what turned out to be a cracking looking mirror of 17 lb 3 oz. The hook was a good inch inside the mouth… perfect.

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First action of the day. A really hard fighting mirror eventually succumbs to steady pressure.

All the disturbance in what was a relatively tight swim had the rest of the carp exiting stage left so it was time for a wander.

Further down the lake towards open water the warmth of the sun was now starting to see more signs of carp cruising just below the surface. With much more space in front of me I felt I could probably get a few more fish interested. Three casts later and three more small bags of freebies saw at least another four or five carp confidently taking the odd bait.

I hadn’t bothered pre soaking any Mixers so I used them dry straight from the bag. It is important just to dampen the Mixer with saliva to remove the dust and allow the Superglue to adhere if you are sticking them on the back of the hook.

Fishing towards the centre of the lake several more fish were soon hooked and landed including a very long common around upper doubles and another immaculate looking common just short of twenty pounds.

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This is when you know you have got the rig right. The hook hold is a good inch inside the mouth.

Saving the best till last I found myself attached to a very powerful fish that roared up the centre of the lake on what was seemingly an unstoppable run. Fishing with just a 9 lb hook link and a size 10 hook I took things as easily as I dared but at the same time at least tried to keep in control.

Well that was the plan! The carp had other ideas and kited into my own margin a good 50 yards to my left. All I could do was force the rod tip under the water as far as possible, keep the pressure on and pray.

I gradually started to gain a few yards at a time but I could feel the line pinging against some of the underwater branches. Suddenly I was aware that the controller was nearly in the rod tip and then the fun really began. I could see I was latched on to another lovely common which after giving me another few anxious moments eventually slid over the landing net cord.

The big framed fish weighed in at a very satisfying 27 lb 1 oz (see top of this blog). Although I could have carried on and caught a few more fish I was happy to call it a day whilst I was on a winning streak.

This was a true testament to the quality of fishing that’s available at The Nunnery and made the long trek to Norfolk very worthwhile.

Andy Little’s TOP FLOATER FISHING TIPS

I like to keep my floater set up quite simple. Although there are many ways of mounting the hook bait my favourites are a bait band for close range, a Superglued Mixer on the shank of the hook for longer range and a hair rigged cut down 12 mm pop up for a bag-up job

I like to keep my floater set up quite simple. Although there are many ways of mounting the hook bait my favourites are a bait band for close range, a Superglued Mixer on the shank of the hook for longer range and a hair rigged cut down 12 mm pop up for a bag-up job

 

Surface Floater Line was used on the reel whilst Andy’s preference was a 9.86 lb Zig and Floater hook link. The length of the hook link is adjusted to how the fish are feeding. A short hook link of around 30 cm is fine for confident feeders but it could be up to a metre for more wary carp.

Surface Floater Line was used on the reel whilst Andy’s preference was a 9.86 lb Zig and Floater hook link. The length of the hook link is adjusted to how the fish are feeding. A short hook link of around 30 cm is fine for confident feeders but it could be up to a metre for more wary carp.

 

VENUE FISHED: The Nunnery, near Thetford, Norfolk. The Nunnery is part of The Norfolk and Suffolk Fisheries who can be contacted via their website at www.nsfisheries.co.uk

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