colinmitchellcarpsmallIT’S time for our must-read Sunday blog. Every Sunday we welcome coarse fishing all-rounder Colin Mitchell.

For many years Colin was a senior Angler’s Mail magazine staff man and he has enjoyed a long, interesting journalism career. He understands match fishing, pleasure fishing, carp fishing – the lot.

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THIS is the time of the year when plumbers find themselves exceptionally busy – and it’s a task you should be looking to take up too.

But instead of servicing central heating boilers and repairing leaks the plumbing you should be doing is with a plummet from your tackle box. Plumbing the depth is always an important factor in fishing. But at this time of the season with temperatures fluctuating – and gradually getting colder – it’s vital part of an angler’s armoury.

General speaking, fish hunt down the deeper water as the weather gets colder. But warm spells will also see then venture onto shallower shelves where the water heats up faster. Finding depressions in lake and river beds can often bring instant rewards – as I proved to myself just last week.

Careful use of a plummet can make all the difference to finding the fish.

Careful use of a plummet can make all the difference to finding the fish.

I’d plumbed around my swim at Newdigate Fisheries near Dorking, Surrey, but as it turned out I’d not done the job properly. I’d put on a rig, added lengths to my pole, gone left and right, and thought I had a good picture of my swim. Wrong!

I’d been a bit lazy and not gone far enough to my left and out a little bit. If I had during my few minutes’ of depth finding I would have discovered there was a patch around four inches deeper than the rest of my swim. And this was to prove vital.

As we had arrived at the fishery the owner told us he thought it could be hard fishing despite fish bubbling and showing. Hailstones and a sudden drop in temperatures in the area made him wonder just how well the stocks would feed. I thought he’d got it wrong but just minutes into our session I realised what he meant as a biting cold wind brought the microfleece straight into action.

I could get bites on virtually all baits but only from small roach. Pole and feeder were both a struggle and the only definite sign of a proper specimen was the one that nearly ripped the rod from my hands – it could have been a liner.

Out came the plummet again and I found that slighter deeper hole. In went a cup of light groundbait, a bit of meat, dead maggots and a few grains of corn. Then I left it to settle. A drop in with the meat then brought a big skimmer…followed by three more. The swim died. Was that it, day over? Had the bream had enough and were they spooked or had a bigger fish pushed them out?

The answer was the second thing – after a hard-battling common carp (below) with beautiful colours snatched the piece of luncheon meat and made my day all on its won.


This colourful carp made the day worthwhile for Colin

A few more skimmers followed in patches but I couldn’t get a rhythm going. The reason became clear near the end of the session as pike started to show themselves, gorging on the small roach and spooking everything in front of me.

Next door my mate Mike had also struggled and I suggested he had another plumb around. Sure enough, just six inches out from where he thought he had found a nice spot there was a deeper hole. He had a few roach before a pike decided to leap over his pole!

By now the weather was slightly warmer and he moved to the far side of the lake where there was a bit of lily pad cover and the water was just over a foot deep. Sure enough the fish had moved instantly into the shallows as the temperature went up.

Two big carp and a catfish were the result…although sadly all of them were mighty lumps and it was 3-0 to the fish!

Ah well there's always next time. But the chances of getting this pole-bending catfish out will still be remote!

Ah well there’s always next time. But the chances of getting this pole-bending catfish out will still be remote!



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This brilliant new issue of Angler's Mail magazine is out today - be sure to get your copy!

This brilliant new issue of Angler’s Mail magazine is out today – be sure to get your copy!

















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