Carp fishing with football star Bobby Zamora
ANGLER’S MAIL magazine (cover-dated July 10, 2012) has a special report on a new 38 lb 12 oz personal best carp caught by Premiership football star Bobby Zamora.
Here, online, we bring you Bobby’s Blog, a special bonus report where the QPR striker recounts what happened on his next session.
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BOBBY’S CARP BLOG
THE prospect of two nights fishing on my Essex syndicate water was a real luxury I hadn’t enjoyed for over two years.
To say I was excited would be an understatement, especially considering that my previous session resulted in me landing my new PB at 38lb 12oz.
To add further fuel to the fire, the weather for the two days looked good: warm, overcast and very carpy. I just hoped the weatherman had got it right for a change!
The plan was to meet my mate, Steve Cole, at the lake at around 6pm on the Wednesday and pick our swims for the 48 hour session.
The lake doesn’t get too much angling pressure, particularly in the week, so we fully expected to be the only anglers on the lake!
The excitement was too much so I arrived at the lake at 4pm, planning on spending a couple of hours walking around the lake whilst waiting for Steve to make the two hour drive from Peterborough.
You can only imagine my surprise when I was greeted by four anglers on the lake, occupying (as expected) the best swims on the lake.
Four further swims were unfishable due to weed, meaning Steve and I really had to fit into the remaining swims and hope for the best.
Time for a walk
Anyway, I had two hours to kill so I went for a walk to the far end of the lake which is thick with weed to see if any fish were showing in the bright, sunny conditions: they were! I ran to my car, grabbed my surface gear and went in search of a sneaky early carp.
First cast I managed to cast a dog biscuit right on the nose of a large, cruising carp which couldn’t resist the bait and took it almost instantly! Playing the fish in the thick weed was hairy, but I soon managed to slip the net under a dark 28lb mirror! I made a quick call to Steve who responded with the expected tirade of abuse!
Apart from another sneaky 15lb carp off the top (which I am sure was the same fish I landed off the top a week earlier. A ‘mug fish’ as Steve described), the first night was extremely uneventful for both of us. There was no wind, it was extremely mild and the bright sunshine in the evening and following morning meant no carp were showing. I also think the 18 lines in the water added to our problems with the fish no doubt taking refuge in the angler-free weedy end of the lake. No-one landed a single fish that night. We needed to re-evaluate our session!
Too hot, too sunny!
The daytime weather looked great for sunbathing but horrendous for fishing. Bright sunshine, 28 degrees heat and no wind until late evening meant we were less than confident of catching. Our only saving grace was that two anglers were leaving, vacating the plumb swim (which I jumped into) and a good swim to my left (which Steve went for).
Whilst waiting for these swims to become free we spent hours trying to catch a huge number of cruising carp in the weedy end of the lake. There must have been 20 fish showing (from 20lb to 40lb), but not a single fish attempted to take a dog biscuit after around three hours of trying! The midday heat had made fooling a carp look impossible!
To pass the time we decided to have a cruise around the lake on a boat, searching for any clear gravel bars in the clear water. This is when we realised just how hard it would be to catch a fish. There must have been 50 big fish, slowly cruising around just under the surface all around the thick weed. These fish weren’t at all bothered by the boat and had absolutely no interest in doing anything other than sunbathing!
It really was an amazing sight, but further confirming our fears that conditions needed to change before we would get a take. The only plus point was that should the fish decide to move into the main lake to feed, my swim would be the first they would get to and Steve’s was second!
It was at around 8pm that the wind started and cloud cover moved in. The temperate dropped by a few degrees and the lake started to come alive. The mass of fish in the weedy area disappeared, giving us new-found confidence that we had a chance of catching during the night!
Just as we decided to get some sleep, my right-hand rod screamed off and fish number one was hooked. My swim was quite weedy close in, with one small channel clear from when we went out in the boat so imagine my surprise when the fish came straight through the channel into my waiting net! Steve said I was lucky (or words to that effect!), I’d like to claim it was skill! The fish pulled the scales around to 29lb!
The rest of the night was surprisingly quiet. Both Steve and I were confident of catching in the night, so when the sun rose at 5am we were amazed not to have seen more action. The wind was pretty strong, it was mild yet cloudy… perfect fishing conditions! Then, at 7am the action started. I landed a 28lb and a 24lb carp in quick succession, one of which required Steve to boat out to free it from the heavy weed.
Then, at 9am Steve finally landed a fish at 24lb 4oz – the lake just came alive in a frantic two hour spell, and I’m pleased we managed to capitalise on it!
Just after Steve’s fish went back the wind dropped and the bright sunshine came out… it looked like our chance of more fish was gone!
We packed up so pleased that we caught, yet frustrated that the conditions were against us for half of the session. That’s fishing though I suppose.
The weather for the week after our trip was perfect for a few fish with stronger winds and overcast skies – typical. I’m now hungrier than ever to get back on the lake and hopefully enjoy some better conditions. I’ll let you know how I get on!
The business end…
It’s strange, but having not fishing seriously for so long has actually made me more confident in the rigs I have decided to use. I have spent so many hours reading books and magazine features, examining the various rig combinations used by the sport’s biggest names so I could make up my own mind as to which rig to use.
I eventually decided on a simple, yet effective rig: a blowback rig with a snowman bait arrangement. Everything about the rig seemed to work for me; the way the rig ring turned the hook point down when a fish would try to eject the rig, resulting in carp hooked in the bottom lip (hopefully!). I was confident that this rig would help me catch carp on all types of waters.
Tackle wise I needed total confidence once more, opting for a Fox Coretex 25lb Silty Black Hooklink material, a Fox Arma Point SSC size 6 hook, a small rig ring and a piece of shrink tube to exaggerate the hook’s curve even more! The lead was a 3oz Fox Flat Pear, using a leadcore leader and a Fox Safety Lead Clip to ensure the lead comes off in the weed, encouraging the fish to the surface whilst playing them.
Big carp bait
When 99% of anglers on a lake are using the same bait (and catching!), you simply can’t ignore that bait! Especially when the bait in question is one I have used to great effective in the past: Mainline’s Cell.
The lake is an out-and-out boilie water so I went armed with 10kg of 14mm and 18mm Cell.
I would feed a mixture of both sizes, but the hookbait would be an 18mm Cell bottom bait, tipped with a 12mm Mainline Hi-Visual Pineapple Pop-Up. I used this hookbait on all three rods.
- Carp angler Bobby Zamora plays for England
- Football star Lee Bowyer’s big carp
- Goalkeeping legend David Seaman’s big catch
- Angler’s Mail columnist John Bailey plays for Man United
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