IT’S MONDAY and that means it’s carp blog time here on the Angler’s Mail magazine website. This week we are pleased to welcome the guys from Nash. Thanks to Nash man Keith Jones for supplying this round-up.
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It’s been a busy few weeks for the team at Nash – and the cold weather hasn’t stopped them catching as this round-up shows!
LAURENCE SMART – NASH TACKLE PRODUCT MANAGER
My fishing has had to take a bit of a back seat recently. I’ve only managed to get out on the bank for a few hours here and there, mainly while shooting features.
I did manage to plan a weekend session over the Christmas period but after arriving to discover an otter problem I didn’t even get the rods out, bugger. Hopefully the furry foe will be relocated soon. The Christmas period does tend to have a habit of creeping up on me. Prior to the Xmas holidays I always have a grand plan for my winter campaign but the truth of it is that they rarely come to fruition what with family commitments, catching up with old friends down the pub and of course the obligatory bouts of novo-virus!
The run up to the Christmas gets very busy at Nash HQ and on our return there is always a great deal to catch up on, keeping the wheels of product development going to bring you the best possible products! We have some great new products in the pipeline with some real blockbusters to come this year and I feel proud and privileged to be part of it. Unfortunately I can’t say too much about them just yet but I do guarantee that some will definitely change the way you fish and undoubtedly bank you more carp!
Although my fishing time has been very limited I’ve still made sure to make the effort and keep trickling that bait in. Even if I can’t go fishing I always manage to steal an hour or two here and there and visit my spots to just keep a bit of the Amber Strawberry going in and watch the water. It keeps them familiar with the bait and builds up their confidence in those spots, which are looking really prime now! On my last couple of visits I have actually seen fish on them and with this mild spell we are having I am itching to get out there, in fact, it looks so good I just can’t resist it! I’m off to grab the gear and think of an excuse to get away early!
“The importance of impatience”
Whilst the ‘wait and see’ approach can work in the colder months I find that on the more productive waters it pays to be impatient and what I call chase bites.
If your swim is not producing and you are fishing well then in all likelihood they are not in front of you. Winter carp are notorious for shoaling up and you can sometimes be on a stack of them…or miles from them! Once you do decide on your swim don’t be in any hurry to fully commit to that swim. I tend to fish off my barrow and if fish show elsewhere I can soon move. If I am not getting a take I will keep moving my rods about in front of me certainly every 30 minutes or so. Moving takes minutes….blanking can go on for hours.
It’s amazing but what can work one day may completely fail another. Sure a fluoro pop up may be your bog standard approach but vary those colours to see if you can pinch a fish. White, yellow and pink are my starters but sometimes red, brown or orange will do the trick. Don’t neglect adding a small mesh bag of crumb to boost attraction levels. The Nashbait ‘Instant Action’ range is brilliant for this. Peperami ? Sweetcorn? Maggots? There’s no excuse to just go through the motions with so many good baits to try.
Rigs – My starting point tends to be a Multi-Rig utilising Missing Link to a Size 7 Fang hook but I am always willing to chop and change to look for action. Longer or shorter hook lengths. A 360 instead of a standard hook setup. A Zig Bug or foam? How about trickling mixers or Riser Pellets in to see if you can get one or two taking on top? So this winter don’t sit and wait…be impatient and chase a bite and it could be just the tonic for static bobbins
Good luck and feel free to contact me via twitter @juliancundiff if you need any more help or inspiration
Maybe it’s the good weather we’re currently experiencing, or maybe it’s down to the increased use of social media, but it certainly feels like every man and his dog is having a go at winter fishing this year.
An increased number of anglers on the bank is a good thing and should certainly keep the fish moving, but sadly this also leads to an increase in the amount of bait that the fish are seeing. Don’t get me wrong, regular winter baiting is a great thing and certainly improves results, but if every angler is pilling in bait, then why do they need to take a hook bait?
This is definitely the case on the water that I have been keeping an eye on, and it’s for this reason that my winter plan has changed slightly in favour of a more high attract one bite tactic.
Family and work commitments mean time is once again against me, but I’ve decided that day sessions are still going to be the best chance of a winter 30.
The trick for me is to be mobile and keep all my kit down to the bare minimum. I’ve recently switched over to my 10ft Nash Scope rods as well as substituting my large carryall for a small rucksack. I’ve also dug out my light-weight indulgence chair and stripped my hog brolly back to the bare shelter in order to ensure that if I’m carrying something, it’s going to get used.
The banks are awful at present and you only have to look on the social media sites to see various pictures of boggy muddy banks, so my Trax barrow has also had attention, switching the standard wheel to the thin mud wheel, to make it easier to stay on the move.
Tactics wise I’m keeping it very simple, fishing single bright White Amber or Instant Action pop ups over a few chopped freebies and a few good old fashioned stringers, in an effort to be different!
Rain, rain go away, come again another day! It seems since Christmas it has not stopped raining and my plans have all gone out of the window. My winter water is flooded so much you can’t even get to it and my other syndicate has not done a bite since the end of October! That said, we are now officially half way through the winter and I think we are all surprised as to how mild it’s been.
So I find myself with some rather precious days off work and can’t go angling, sacrilege. This does though give me the chance to get organised. I know if I am being honest I have been guilty in the past of not being as prepared as I would like. I have cast rigs out that were not my number one choice, just because I had them in my Softbox. So sitting down now and tying plenty of rigs and variable ones at that, will put me in good stead for the rest of the cold(or not so cold) periods. If I analyse my angling I have only really used four different rigs over the last ten years. I also use leadcore leaders with a helicopter rig so these too can be tied up in advance. The Nash Stiff Rig Box is ideal for storing rigs, it doesn’t take up much room in your tackle bag and this week will see me sat at home tying up my favoured presentations.
Rigs are a personal thing. But it pays to find one or two you are happy with and stick with them. My favoured rigs comprise of: A fluorocarbon hook link tied D-Rig fashion for straight bottom baits, or if I am fishing over gravel, the same but tied with The Missing Link braid (not stripped back) as the fluoro’s can get damaged over gravel, a multi rig with a Fang X for pretty much any bottom, with pop ups, wafters and even bottom baits and my current favourite, a hinged stiff link incorporating a chod section tied to a Missing Link boom via an Albright knot. With that lot I am covered for any situation!
There would be nothing I would love more than to be catching carp on every trip of the year, but it does seem that from the end of December to late March, depending on water temperatures, the carp really shut up shop. This is especially so on the difficult low stocked syndicates I usually fish. Therefore I tend to spread my wings and try out a variety of day ticket venues that are more heavily stocked as it gives me a chance to keep tweaking and experimenting with different rig presentations and bait to try to entice a bite even in the harshest of conditions.
If there is one person I know that is more excited to get on the bank than me it would be my 7 year old son Riley. Just to give you a typical example, myself and Riley set out on New Year’s Day to one of our local day ticket lakes for a quick day session. Fish at this time of year tend to congregate in a small area where they will feel comfortable and happy to feed. Unfortunately with no signs of fish or feeding we decided to target the deepest part of the lake with zigs as it’s often a place where the water temperature is most consistent.
So we placed mine and Riley’s rods over the area at four different depths to try to locate a depth that would produce a bite. After just under an hour one of Riley’s rods was away on the three-foot zig and after a mental battle a 15lb catfish was in the net. A great result for Riley as that christened his new Scope rods but not really what we were after! During the battle we heard a fish crash under the brambles on the island directly at the opposite side of the lake.
Within 10 minutes all the gear was packed onto the barrow and we were off to the island swim. As we arrived, another fish gently rolled, I knew from previous trips the depth by the side of that island was only 2-3 feet so a zig probably wasn’t the right tactic. So we decided on single Amber Strawberry pop ups presented on hinge stiff rigs to combat any debris around the island margin. I believe this rig more than any other is the best for hooking slow moving fish in the cold weather; it certainly works well for me. The first fish came after only 4 minutes and in the following four hours we managed 15 carp to mid doubles.
The location of carp is so important at all times of the year, if you stay super mobile and are willing to move onto any signs of fish there is every chance you will reap the rewards.
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