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COMMON AS MUCK?
THIS summer, common carp have been following me around like that smell coming from my ‘barrow bag (turns out it was a couple of long-forgotten bananas fermenting away) which is great, as I reckon they’re the king of cyprinids.
Mirrors are fine, but they’re really a fast-food version of a common; bred to be easy to prepare for whoever is (or was) unfortunate enough to be served a muddy old carp for dinner. Commons seem that bit wilder, more cunning and less concerned with filling their bellies. That can make them pretty challenging to catch, which in turn makes them interesting.
For example, a water I fish on and off is relatively small but is home to a real monster of a common. I can’t tell you what it weighs as it’s not been caught for over seven years, but it’s still regularly seen with a slightly smaller mate. I’ve been lucky to watch it for a while and it’s well over 40 lb. The 50 lb-plus Burghfield Common is another seldom-banked scaled monster, and the apple of many a carp anglers’ eye. See also Benson, Clarissa/Ravioli and numerous other past and present semi-mythical commons dotted around the country.
But then again, there are monster commons that seem to love a visit to the bank; Eric’s Common of Rainbow Lake in France is a photo that regularly appears on my Mac, and the monster 100 lb-plus resident of Etang de Saussaie was another who might as well have had his own private unhooking mat. But ask most experienced carp anglers and I reckon that they’d agree; commons are usually a degree more cunning and tend to feed slightly differently to mirrors.
So why all the commons this year? Well, having been lucky enough to fish with some really good anglers over the past few years, maybe some of their talent is eventually rubbing off or, more likely, I’ve been a bit more selective about the venues I target and the methods I use.
Interestingly, my two biggest commons this year have both fallen to a particular bait that I know the amazing commons of Lake Bolsena – home of the currently-running World Carp Classic – absolutely tore through during last year’s event. Richworth hauler Pete Wilson is out there at the moment, no doubt armed with a few dozen kilos of S-Core , and they’d be a good bet for a top three finish if they drew OK.
One company that will be represented strongly over in Italy is Nash, and it was great to see some of their new kit at their Essex HQ last week. Check out this week’s issue for the low-down on some cracking pieces of kit, including what has to be the cosiest range of bedchairs on the market – the Indulgence SS3 and SS4. In full winter mode, you could be by the rods on the rankest of Fenland nights and not miss your kingsize at home one bit. It’s on my Christmas list.
The Scope range also sees some interesting additions in the form of 3.5 lb and 4.5 lb models, which will handle some serious fish. One is being tested in the Florida Keys shark fishing this week. They certainly look the business and could be a good option for overseas catfish anglers.
Another story in this week’s must-read Angler’s Mail magazine features some sportsmen who usually earn their plaudits through chucking pointy things at a board rather than casting them at fish.
The annual JBD Fishing Championship read like a who’s-who of world darts; Adrian Lewis, Ronnie Baxter, Chris Mason and numerous other pros plus sports promotion legend Barry Hearn made up the field to raise thousands for children’s hospice Haven House.
Although the fishing was tough, Adrian Lewis was unlucky to lose a few fish that would have seen him emulate his title success on the oche. All-in-all, it was a great event and the darts boys are as fanatical and passionate about their ‘arrows’ as we are about ours and they are all keen, competitive anglers.
That said, two expensive-looking poles met a sticky end during the match. One Garbolino butt section was remodelled by a member of the darts team who was, as his mother might say, a growing lad, and a number five exited proceedings with loud crack with a fish on and a small crowd gathering. They took it in good humour.
See our story in the magazine, and check out Sky Sports Tight Lines this Friday evening for a report with the ever-amiable Nigel Botherway.
FISHING STREAM – Live streaming of the World Carp Classic is brilliant – I watched a very nice blonde lady catch a 30 lb carp whilst I was eating my breakfast in my lounge. They should have their own year-round cable channel.
WARM GEAR – The fleecy Fladen thermal long-johns and long-sleeved t-shirt are my new second skin. You’ll have to surgically remove them from my body in the spring. See the New Gear section soon for a full report.
NOT MUCH! The batteries in my head-torch might need replacing sometime in the next week or so. Other than that, there’s not a lot to moan about at the moment with the long summer just about continuing, another great AM issue on the stands and people catching lots of species around the country. Long may it continue.
VIDEO OF THE WEEK
Our latest tackle trade show reports include a look at a bivvy with a difference. It’s only got one rib, and it’s from Korum. Find out more on this and other new products in Angler’s Mail magazine, and watch Korum’s demo video below…
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