Carl Smith (below), one half of the Carl & Alex duo, works as part of the team at Nash. He's back here with a blog here for the Mail asking: how much time do you spend getting your rigs in exactly the right place rather than just ‘close enough’?
A number of sessions on local waters resulted in some scenic shots, plenty of carpy dialogue but completely lacked any action. It was late November and catching a carp to order was proving very tricky!
A friend of Alex’s recommended a ten acre gravel pit on the South Coast, at first glance we thought it would be a struggle but we grabbed the cameras and rods and gave it a go anyway.
We watched the water for 30 minutes or so from an area where we could see most of the lake, the wind was strong and there was a substantial ripple on the surface making fish spotting very tricky.
Just as we were beginning to think nothing would give away the carp’s location a fish stuck its head out tight to the far margin in a small snaggy bay.
That was all we needed to get set up in that swim and set to work casting our rigs tight to the far margin.
By casting short of the fish-holding feaure, paying off a little line and clipping up we edged our leads closer to the overhanging branches until we were casting exactly where the fish showed.
Once happy with our distance we wrapped the line round our Spot On Sticks and counted how many wraps so we could cast exactly the same distance again later in the day.
It’s such a simple technique but makes the world of difference to how effectively you can fish to carpy features.
Hook bait choices were TG Active bottom baits on simple braided hair rigs with 10mm Citruz pop ups on stiff hinges in case the fish were not up for feeding heavily.
We always find it can be worth fishing one of your rods on something bright because it can sometimes produce a quick bite when the carp are not really in the mood for more than a titbit.
To our surprise we had only been fishing an hour when the rod tore off, followed by another bite before the first fish had reached the net!
An immaculate common and an old mirror were held up for the camera before sending them on their way followed by a few Spombs of maggot, corn and pellet to try and keep the fish interested.
The bait really did the trick as shortly another rod was away resulting in a beautiful dark common.
The filming all went to plan and we ended the day with 11 bites and nine fish landed – a fantastic result considering it was our first session on the lake.
I returned a month later with Nash cameraman Oli Davies and fished similar tactics in a different swim.
This time I only managed two fish, but one was one of the rare mirrors and the other was a better than average common. Another great session on a rainy, windy and otherwise miserable day!
It just goes to show that landing those rigs absolutely on a sixpence can be the difference between an odd bite and lots of action or on a more difficult day the difference between getting a couple of fish or nothing at all.
Distance sticks – don’t leave home without them!