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  1. smufter

    Whoohoo!!😀😉😀

    After 15 months of trying I finally caught my 1st White Cottage carp. Beautiful 27lb Mirror just as I was contemplating packing up and going home as the weather was so dire. To say I'm chuffed is an understatement!!!
    22 points
  2. Ginger9991

    June Catch reports

    My first visit to my new ticket. Took the kitchen sink with me as I had no idea about the lake. Few friendly lads gave me an idea of the lake and its stock (only 40 carp apparently) so I wondered around the lake aimlessly looking for a sign of life. 3 hours later I had picked a swim. Only to see a fish jump a few swims down so quickly moved the gear down and by midnight I was into my first match pit carp. 32.2lb. Chuffed to get one on the first night.
    20 points
  3. Me and my little lad had a good day out today, we caught a few nice carp, scranned a sack full of cheese and ham buttys, crisps and cakes … were now back home watching some episodes of monster carp lol…🎣👍
    18 points
  4. So I've just got back from a long overdue session on my local water which I call zombie sheep lake. It's a spooky place at the best of times, being in the middle of nowhere, in the middle of a farmers fields surrounded by sheep. At night when you look around with a head torch, all you see are the reflections of eyes looking back at you. On my first session, I woke up after a blank night to find a dead sheep in the margins under my rod tips! How it got there without setting 3 alarms off I could never work out. Hence the name zombie sheep lake. Now I've fished it a fair few times and done pretty well, but something usually goes wrong there at some point, I've bogged the car in, slipped on sheep droppings and slid into the lake, had my bite alarms mysteriously stop working despite having fresh batteries, only for them to work fine when I get home... Yesterday I arrived to find the pond perfectly still, Sun shining and everything ok with the world. I made my way to the swim and flicked out the rods on 8 bait stringers, right rod to an island, middle to a hard spot surrounded by silt and left up the margin. Now this lake was an old WW2 gun emplacement with two concrete bunkers set into a hollowed out valley totalling about 2-3 acres. After the war, the guns were removed and the hollow flooded to create the lake. In fact the islands are actually the roofs of the concrete bunkers. With a slight breeze blowing into my face, I set up the 50 brolly with storm poles so I was sheltered from the wind, bedchair and camp all arranged and sat back to enjoy the view. The middle rod melted off, the Neville screaming its high pitched tone demanding attention. I picked up the rod, 12ft of fox torque carbon bending pleasingly into its battle curve, spool on the fox 12000 reel purring like a contended kitten as I did battle with a sprightly 15lbish common. Netting the carp, I slip the hook from his bottom lip and slip the carp back, happy to have caught. Another stringer soon finds its way out to the spot among the silt, and I clamber back in the bedchair. A few hours pass before the bobbin on the left hand rod creeps up an inch with a resounding beep from the neville, my eyes settle on the rod as the rod tip slowly starts to bend round to the left. On striking, the rod is quickly pulled down, I pump the rod and can feel a weight on the end, it was not a spectacular fight, a few gentle plods in the deep margins (6ft under the tips) and the carp quickly hits the surface and is in the net. I estimated it's weight at mid doubles during the fight so when this lump surfaced I was very surprised to see it was a good fish. On the scales, the carp went 31lb 8oz which was the biggest carp in this pond. I went to bed ecstatic and curled up in the bag with my hot water bottle and DSI Steven Fulchers autobiography. As sleep overtook me, I went to sleep happy that I had finally seemed to have broken the run of bad luck I have experienced at this lake, however, the lake had other ideas... at 7am this morning, the gentle wind increased to galeforce, the rain hammered down and the bankside became sodden. With a tremendous gust, the wind whipped round, and tore my storm rods and pegs clean out of the ground, deprived of this stability, the wind, now firmly under my brolly front, continued its path of destruction, tearing out the pegging points and flipping the brolly onto its back, snapping the spokes. My shelter now a write off, in torrential rain, I pulled together my soaked and ruined gear and trudged off home for a hot bath... Seems the zombie sheep lake curse hasn't released me from it's icy grip... 31lb 8oz common
    17 points
  5. muftyboy

    August catches

    I'll start off this month if I may. Went done to my guesting place yesterday armed with a tin of hemp and a couple of pints of maggots and my float rod. Ended up with 2 tench and 3 carp. 21lb and just shy of 25lb. Epic battle on the float rod for over 30 mins with both , got weeded up numerous times. Proper thrilled to land them. The other carp was a small double.
    17 points
  6. dayvid

    May catches

    Its not often I put photos here but here are a couple from the latter part of the week .
    17 points
  7. 16 points
  8. Finally had my first bite of the year. 43lb 14oz
    16 points
  9. 29lb!!!! First fish this year!!! Well made up!!
    16 points
  10. spr1985

    May catch report's

    So as I can't find a may catch reports I thought I would start it off. So I came out for a last minute afternoo/ evening session and finally after sitting here for a few hours thinking to myself I'm going to chalk up another blank to add to the list the right hand delk beeped.....nothing unusual in that but...........it then ripped off like a steam train 🚂 The result being my pb smashed to pieces and a beautiful 27lb 14oz common in the net much to my delight 😁😁 not the best picture as she/he was rather lively anyway picture below......
    16 points
  11. richardf

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    16 points
  12. So after banging on about zigs on here last week I got to Thursday and the conditions are just looking more and more perfect for the black foam. I'm sitting chatting with the heavily pregnant Mrs and drop the question: "If you don't have a baby tonight and I can promise to be back within 20 minutes of getting the call, can I do a quick day session tomorrow"? She chuckled at me thinking I was joking then rolled her eyes as she realized I wasn't. "Go on then". BOOM. So Thursday night is spent rushing around setting up the big water rods, re-spool the reels (it's been a while since I've fished this place), new shock leaders, load up etc etc. By 11pm I'm done so get my head down. The place I'm fishing is days only and the gates don't open until 06:45 so no need for a silly early morning. Alarm is set for 6am. This will likely be my only day on the water this year due to the baby so I'd dearly love to make it count. 6am comes and by 06:30 I'm at the gate. The clock strikes and I head up the long track to the lake. It's looking absolutely glorious. The sun is already well up, the water is flat calm, and within 1 minute I've clocked where the carp are. I can see a handful of little black dots peppering the surface between ~130-~170 yards. They look like little leaves or even flies but I know that they tip the dorsals of some of the very cool carp this place holds. I eye up a couple of swims looking at angles but another chap is on which kinda forces my hand a little. I end up in a big open grassy area, plenty of room for the big chucking which is good, no shade at all which is slightly less good but no big deal. There's a sheer 5 ft drop to the water which could be a problem but there's little ladder so I'll worry about that if I get a bite. So I start with 2 @ 6 ft and one at 4 ft in 8 ft of water. I just bang them out as far as I can and sit back to survey the scene. It doesn't take long to see there's a pattern to movements and a couple of the rods need a recast. The 4 ft comes off and on goes a 7. One of the others fell a little short so that gets a recast too, still on 6 ft. They both land perfectly so at this point there's not much more I can do. You'll be wondering why if their backs are out of the water in 8 ft am I fishing a foot or two below them? Simple answer, I find you don't get zig bites off carp with backs out, the bites tend to come a ft or 2 down. So the next few hours are frustrating, it's baking hot and I kinda need a little bit of wind to get these carp right off the surface. The forecast is looking ok with a gentle 7 mph breeze set to arrive in the afternoon. I get a little kip and when I wake the breeze is here and looking PERFECT for it. I have a cuppa and keep my eyes peeled but don't see much which is either very good or very bad news. Either they've dropped in the water or they've done the off. Eventually I spot one milling about not far out in front of me which is defo a good sign. The wind is coming from the NE and has a slight chill to it, you couldn't ask for better zig conditions, and I'm just thinking that these rods have to go when the right hander on a 6 ft rips off. So I hit it and hobble about trying to get the waders on before sitting on the edge and hopping down into the drink. First thing I realize is the net's still up on the bank so after gaining a little line and steadying this fish I have to struggle trying to reach the net. I manage to get it and then I can settle down to enjoy the fight. It kites left and right but with bow string lines at distance it's dead easy to get the fish in without taking out the other rods. It's a great fight at range and I love every minute of it. I'm buzzing my you-know-whats off as it goes in the net, happy just to be out, let alone catch one. It's a common, one I've not had and I don't recognize. I call matey over to help with the pics and I'm glad he's there tbh. Dragging this thing up and down the ladders in a retainer would not be the one so it helps immensely to be able to pass it up to him. On the bank this common is looking cooler, and cooler, and cooler. It's a cracking dark fish with a black head and tail, classic overslung mouth, and a bit bigger than I'd thought it was in the net. I give matey a crash-course in using my camera and I can tell from his first couple of shots that he has the eye for a pic so no need for self takes. Another result. Pics done we put her back and I'm just smiling from ear to ear, over the moon with that result. This is not an easy water and to tackle it with one 10 hour session is a tall order so obviously I'm buzzing. It's still looking class out there and I'm just about to tie another zig to get the rod back out when me and matey spot a fish to my left. We're just staring at this fish when the middle rod gives a couple of bleeps before tearing off. It's a bit easier with matey on hand to help. I hand him the rod and climb down the ladder and he passes it down to me, followed by the net. Good man. This one fights completely differently. There's no kiting at all and it just wants to stay where it is, using it's weight to hold position. This is normally a very good sign so I just carry on trying not to get excited. Slowly it comes back towards me and as it gets near matey from his elevated position tells me it looks a good'n. Eventually it bobs about for a bit 10 yards out then this big black bony head with sunken eyes pops up, telling me it's very possible I have one of the handful of original mirrors on the end. I play it very lightly under the tip with a loose clutch on my 10 lb zig line and it does the trick, within a few minutes it's in the net. A quick check of it's flank and I recognize it straight away. It IS one of the special ones, and one I've not had before, so the session has gone from great to absolutely awesome just like that. I'm even more glad matey is here to help with is one. This mirror is proper ancient and rather heavy too, not the kind of fish you want to be messing around with. I pass it up to him and we check her out ready for the photos. She is AWESOME. Her old bony head looks every bit of its age which is getting on for 45 years now. She has clusters of irregular scaling, the scales being a dull bronze colour. You can tell they would have shone bright gold back in her hey-day in the 80's. She has a humped back and a thick wrist to the tail. Her black and grey skin is old and wrinkly. She's certainly what I'd refer to as a proper one. Pics done and we pop her back. Well after that little episode I'm that happy that I'm prepare to call it day. I bring the other rod in, pack up, get home early to surprise the Mrs, and thank her repeatedly for letting me go. If I don't get another session this year I'll probably not complain. I'd have taken a stocky today so to come away with that absolutely beautiful common and one of the special mirrors is just a fantastic result. I hope you like the pics and my overly wordy catch report. Until next year...... lol.
    15 points
  13. After blanking overnight the weekend before last , decided to fish over night last night ,and ended up with this fish at 6:00am ,which i caught in May 2018 at 29lbs 9ozs , it was substantially bigger this time round ....
    15 points
  14. smufter

    August catches

    I don't believe this!! The last time I brought Liddy up here she caught two to my blank... She's now just landed a 30.5 Linear. And it's a named fish. I'm never going to live this down!!
    15 points
  15. smufter

    May catches

    First fish out of White Cottage for ages this morning. 30lb on the nose. ABS Plan b again
    15 points
  16. emmcee

    April catch reports

    Had this 36lb 08oz mirror earlier today, the biggest of 5 fish today. Gone quiet now though.
    15 points
  17. Ginger9991

    June catch reports

    Well I only went and blooming done it! Had the session of my life Thursday night. Arriving at the lake around 5pm Fishing before work the next day and managed 5 carp. A low 20, 25.6 dark scaly mirror, a 27.14 mirror and the biggest in the pond slate grey, down in weight at 37.4lb. I caught it Friday morning and still can’t stop looking at it! Spent the whole of last year about 20/30 nights for 12 carp. A switch of tactics for this season and in 6 (1st one being a blank) sessions I have had 9 carp 5 being over 20lb (didn’t get anything over 18 last year). Absolutely mental it’s all come good. Typically it was only last week on here I was asking about getti a decent camera...
    15 points
  18. First one of the year for me. Only small one at 17.04lb but most welcome. Rod was only in the water for 5 mins.
    14 points
  19. Well I managed to open my 2022 account finally, I turned up at the lake far from optimistic that soon changed tho after about 10 mins when I noticed a fish excitedly swimming on the surface in open water and the first fish I’ve seen show since autumn. Soon after I was chucking two zigs on the spot. Three hours later and four fish had visited my net… these two being the best…
    14 points
  20. After moving on to showing fish three times and losing one in the thick weed, I finally managed to get one on the mat an hour before packing up.
    14 points
  21. Great to be back out fishing again😁 . Certainly a challenging session but I stuck at it & managed to bank a few in the end & always a great social too . lost a few fish but with the weed & the crays messing with my rigs constantly, think that was inevitable. The first 3 days had all the fish stacking up at the other end of the lake , with my mates picking up fish on the zigs , but dropping a high % of the takes in the weed ! . Last night the hot weather broke & with that my chance of a bite or two increased, just felt for sure that it would see a few fish venture my way. Just needed to be able to sneak a bite or two & finish the session off with a fish , so I upped my baiting dramatically thinking there going to get the heads down , was happy with all my spots , so was just the baiting approach I changed . First bite came at 11ish last night which I dropped in the weed !! had fun a games getting the rig back out .... having not fished for ages my casting was a little off 🙄 😅clipped up & sent it into the darkness ( no moon ) listened for the splash but heard a thud !! 🙈 as it turned out it had landed in the perfect spot to spoon out ....couldn't of planned it better 😁 That then ripped off at first light only to drop another fish ... proper gutted at this point . Then I get done on a drop back on my spot on the far margin . Was looking like the fish I had Wednesday morning would be the only one to grace the net . Beeeeeeep a take off a margin spot down my right hand side & after a battle in the weed managed to win this time . Was just sorting out photos in the rain & my far rod ripped off , so just like busses ended up with two on the bank at once . Rain drop on lens ^ turned out to be the common hiding in there ^
    14 points
  22. yonny

    July Catch Reports

    Managed to get an impromptu session on Saturday after convincing the Mrs it was a good idea on Friday. Popped over Friday night to put some bait in and got on there at first light Saturday morning. Not much happening and by 07:30 I knew I'd need to get on my toes if anything was going to change that. I spotted one a long, long way away so got the binos out and hey presto; I saw another pop its head out. In come the rods, onto the barrow, off we go for an adventure. Got round there and it was clear there were a few about. I had one chuck with a bear lead to see if the area was clear and unusually it went down with a nice satisfying bump first time. Result. Wrapped 2 rods up and popped them next to each other at just past 40 yards, 4 spombs over the top, sat back for a brew. Half an hour later and something is going on with one of the rods. Up and down the bobbin was going but I couldn't tell if it was a bream on the end or just crazy liners. Five minutes after it started the bobbin stayed up so I hit it. Nothing on the end. Odd. So I'm re-wrapping this rod up to get it back out and I get a beep on the other rod. I'm kinda convinced I have bream on the spot so I'm cursing them as it absolutely melts off. I drop the rod I'm wrapping and jump on the other one. It's straight into the long stringy weed that grows in this area. It actually does my a favour and once it's freed it comes back very easily with weed over its face. I recognise it as it comes closer. One of the odd'n's, an old pug nosed common with a bunch of ghostie in it that get seen a lot but rarely gets caught. Into the net, happy with that one. The carp are still about so I go back to the rod that was being wrapped up and get it back out quickly. Re-tackle rod number 2 and get that out next to it. 4 more spombs and hope that it hasn't scared them away. It hasn't, and the rod goes again within half an hour. This one fights a bit harder until it gets stuck in the weed. I manage to free it and it kites to the right round some reeds. Rod tip down and I manage to drag it back. It's just a stocky but my word the colour of it is immense. Lovely dark shades with a black back, leathery with a massive tail and tiny mouth. I can see how it fought so hard. The carp seem to back off after that. I sit it out hoping they come back but by late afternoon it's clear they've done the off. I'm not that bothered as it's been a lovely morning and I'm more than happy with the result. Already looking at the diary to see when I can get back down. Happy days.
    14 points
  23. Well, it was another work overnighter for me this week. Arriving at the lake the entire surface was covered in fluff and a slight ripple was coming in on a South Westerly breeze. It was warm and the sun was out. Perfect conditions for a floater really but alas, I needed to get sorted for the night ahead as the light was soon to be fading. As always, I began with a couple of laps, baiting up a few spots in the edge with a mix of boilie crumb, pellet and corn. I settled into a swim at the eastern end of the lake and got the rods sorted before cracking on with the important business of preparing Fajitas and a brew. Shortly after dark, I had a few bleeps before the bobbin dropped back. I assumed this was a liner at first but as time went on, I started to think I may have been done. As it was quite an enclosed swim with a tricky cast, I decided not to redo the rod and left it in place until morning. Not much happened for the rest of the night but I was awoken just before first light to a twitchy, Bream like take on the same rod which when I wound down into nothing, confirmed my suspicions. Looking at the rig, the hair was tangled which further confirmed the idea that I had been done the night before as I had cast it out with a mesh bag threaded on. Waiting for the kettle to boil, I looked around and conditions were very different. A cold overcast morning with a gusty north westerly. Not much was showing and with only one rod now in play, I decided to do what I love best and get mobile. Before long, I had found a couple of fish in a bay just off the wind. A small handful of bait went in which pushed them off the spot long enough for me to get a rig in the water. I couldn't quite see the bottom so opted for a short, low multi rig baited with an orange 11mm Scopex, Peach and N-Butyric Proper Job pop up (they smell good enough to eat) and sat back in anticipation. A few spots of rain had just began to hit the water when the rod arced round and it was nearly in the lake when I managed to grab the butt. The fish gave me the run around kicking up huge patches of fizz as it aimed for a snag just to my right but before long, it was safely netted and resting while I prepared the mat and camera. Again, not one of the lake's larger residents but two fish from two sessions on what can be a tricky little venue made packing up in a torrential downpour a little more bearable.
    14 points
  24. kevtaylor

    May Catch Reports

    Just done 48 hours social on a new water to me, a small pond containing carp and cats. There was a rope through the middle with a shallow bar on the other side - I used the baiting pole to get under the rope and onto the bar between the sets of pads coming up. First night I had the first fish - a mid double at dusk of the bar. Then a mid double grassy at 2am on the marginal point rod. Mate had 2 double figure cats. 2nd night I dropped one rod short of the bar into a deeper gully and upped the baiting in the hope of a cat. Soon into dark I had a take from what was obviously a cat, it took some line and tried going round a corner into a bay but I was having none of it and gave it the butt - back in front of me I dragged it back over the bar and got it under control. At 29 and ounces not a bad first cat, might try for a real good-un one day.
    14 points
  25. Did a couple of afternoons at the beginning of the month. 1st afternoon looked barren for Carp so I got the perch rod out. Second afternoon I found a few carp milling about in the weed so put a nice lump of bread in amongst them.
    14 points
  26. Couple of commons this weekend and cats of 35 and 41 lb🤢
    14 points
  27. yonny

    August catch reports

    Having done next to no fishing this year I was very excited to begin my autumn campaign on Friday. I was actually due to start this week but conditions were improving so rapidly last week I just had to take the Friday off to get down there. I've only been baiting for 2 week so wasn't really expecting much to happen. I got down to the lake at 04:30 and spent the first hour or two just looking and saw very little. I decided halfheartedly to get the rods on the baited spot but it was clear that it wasn't exactly kicking off down there. I kept my eyes open and by 7am I'd seen some activity way out up the pit. I went for a walk up there and as soon as I arrived in the swim a couple of carp head and shouldered a long way out. That was good enough for me so I legged it back to my swim and chucked the gear on the barrow. Ten minutes later and I'm stood in the swim sorting the rods out. These carp were miles out and there was a pretty brutal cross wind so on goes couple of chods and I hit them full whack as far as I can. They land right in the zone and while I'm not expecting much to happen I now know there is a chance. I see two or three carp show over the next half hour before the right hand rod gives me a bleep as the tip pulls up and it's away. It's a long way out and with a number of weed beds between me and where I hooked it, it takes a while to get it in. I fished this place last year and really struggled to get through the stockies to the old originals this pit contains, so I was buzzing to see that the first bite was indeed an original. This fish was stocked in the 70's making it older than me. A leathery old character and a rare'n to boot (not been out in 3 years I'm told). At 32 lb 10 oz it's not small either. The rod goes back out but the shows I'm seeing are getting further to the right. So basically I start staggering the rods so the left is recast and becomes the right, and I carry on doing this every 15 mins for an hour. That hour passes quickly as I also sort the self takes out and not long after the fish is returned the right hand rod is away again. This one feels smaller from the start and so it proves, but size isn't everything and this 23 lb stocky common still puts a smile on my face. The action slows down after that, the sun comes out big time which kills the activity but hey, I'm not complaining. I keep my eyes open but nothing much happens so I end up going home a little early, more than happy with the result. Really happy with the start and hope it's a sign of things to come over the next 2 months.
    14 points
  28. I'm glad to say Alton Water has reopened again. Doing my first night on there since pike fishing. RH KMG still working, got woken up at midnight by a 15lb scamp
    14 points
  29. 10lb, Hopefully something bigger to follow.
    14 points
  30. muftyboy

    June Catches

    had my 1st fish out of the secret lake about an hour ago. A few fish were breaking the surface so cast to them , within 5 minutes it tore off.
    14 points
  31. yonny

    May catches

    Best of a 2 fish catch on my one day session of the spring on a reasonably low stock res. Buzzing with that.
    14 points
  32. I’m absolutely buzzing with this one!! Couldn’t find a spot for this rod in a new swim, so decided to bang a bare lead over to the far margin on a whim. It goes down with an almighty crack. Gravel found. After a little less about the spot is surrounded by a wall of weed 4-5ft high and dense. A mix of parrots feather and Canadian. A 1 inch chod was the best way of presenting on here at the range with the crosswind. It took 10 casts but I was finally happy with it. Half a kilo of boilies sticked out and time for a beer. I never expected anything from this rod but just as the light was going it pulled up tight. I lifted in to it to find it had weeded itself solid instantly. 5 mins of constant pressure with the rod at full compression and it longs free and the weedbed starts moving. The fish frees itself now it’s on the surface some way out. (Thank god for high banks behind me) it decides to do the same in the next two weedbeds between me and the spot but soon I’m leading it in whilst in the waders. I assumed it was a large tench from the pretty uneventful fight. A ball of weed caught on the leader knot appeared and I went to strip it off when I see a carp swim past my feet with my pop up blowing out it’s mouth. Immediately going to a bag of nerves I quickly rip the weed away as it goes off on a powerful surge back out in to the lake. A bit more angry antics from the fish and it was in the net. I let out a huge YEEEESSS as I looked down at a lovely dark fish. A celebratory beer sprayed around the swim as one of, estimated 8-10 fish in 5 acres, is in my net. 26.12lb of unreal common carp, but weight is irrelevant. It’s the history of the fish that means everything. My third from the lake (I had two last year), all different fish too.
    14 points
  33. I see a lot of confusion over mainlines. Guys seem to compare lines that are intended for completely different uses. There are numerous different types of lines and each have different advantages/disadvantages, and I'm only referring to mono here.... not fluoro, braid etc..... Pre-stretched lines: These are your casting lines like Fox Exocet. They obviously have very low stretch and fine diameter vs. BS and they have a super smooth finish. The result is a line that casts really well. Unfortunately the abrasion resistance is what suffers. Hence in a weedy lake you want to avoid pre-stretched lines. Semi-stretched lines (I made that name up, not sure what they're actually called): These are the latest in line tech and include Gardner GT-HD and Shimano Technium. They are pre-stretched but to a lesser extent than the casting lines. This means they cast very well but maintain other qualities (so they can sink well for example). They beat the pre-stretched lines for abrasion resistance yet still cast a long way. All-rounders: These are the more traditional mono's, the meat-and-two-veg carp lines. they include stuff like Gardner Pro and ESP Synchro. Just because they're not high tech lines doesn't mean they're not very good indeed. They'll not cast as well as the stretched lines but they are hands-down stronger, with better abrasion resistance. If weed is an issue I'd not look past this group of lines. Snag lines: Brute lines, thick with immense strength and serious abrasion resistance. You'll struggle to cast these past 100 yards without casting lessons but if there's snags about this is what you want. Stuff like Gardner HydroTuff and Rig Marole SLS Specimon Tough. ***** Now I see guys comparing lines from different categories all the time. Just the other day I saw a thread on another forum asking if GT-HD or HydrTuff was best. They cannot be compared imo - the GT-HD would be best in a lightly weeded lake requiring big chucks, but with snags or heavy weed in the water the HydroTuff wins hands down. Therefore you can only decide what is best for your angling situation. You need to look at how far you need to cast and what kind of challenges your water presents (weed, bars etc) and choose a line to suit. I always err on the side of caution i.e. STRENGTH. What I mean by that is I would rather be a few yards short of the carp and be in with a chance of landing them, than being able to cast on their heads but lose them all to snags/weed. I have used pre-stretched lines on French trips to huge silty waters with no weed/snags, waters where you need to cast 150, and they've been great. But there is no way I'd choose to use them on the weed choked waters I fish in the UK. I think a lot of guys pay to much attention to castability. If you need to cast 150 then fair play, go for pre-stretched lines, if you don't (and most don't), go for a proper carp line, an all-rounder or semi-stretched line at least, one that will land you everything you hook. So next time you see a "what's the best line?" thread we need to stop and think before we go shouting out the name of what we're currently using. What is best depends entirely on the individual and his/her angling situation. If the angling situation varies, then it is logical that the all-rounders are best (the best of which imo is Gardner Pro). I'm currently suing HydroTuff due to a minimum diameter rule on my syndi, which is normally very weedy. It's been great, never let me down.
    14 points
  34. Got down after work today and saw a few fish topping at range so launched a single hookbaits as far as I could and within a couple of minutes the rod rattled off resulting with this 23lb 04oz mirror.
    14 points
  35. emmcee

    October catch reports

    here's one i had at the start of the month, 40lb 02oz happy days.
    14 points
  36. I caught this Yorkshire beauty at 6.30 this morning, a heavily baited spot with SLk doing the trick…
    13 points
  37. I can start for a change. 23lb from the syndi
    13 points
  38. Highy

    March catch reports

    1st fish of year.... Its a weird 1, Sling weighed 2lb 12oz zeroed, 16lb 2 with sling.... This isn't a 14lber....11/12lb maybe.... (they were my mates scales though).
    13 points
  39. My little lad managed to open his account yesterday. 😁🎣
    13 points
  40. Well blanked the whole of April so decided to have a bash with the floater kit on the local park lake to remind myself what it feels like to catch a kipper, caught a few low doubles this one being the prettiest.
    13 points
  41. yonny

    March Catch Reports

    Seems a bit silly to start a thread for March on the 29th but hey-ho. Managed 2 days on the bank this weekend which a rarity for me nowadays. It was clear they weren't exactly having it which is standard for March so it was singles and zigs all the way. Had some crazy conditions; massive winds, brutal rain, freezing cold and blazing hot sun, pretty much everything bar snow! Had a little cricket-bat common on the zigs and a slightly better mirror on a pub-chucked pop up. My first carp this year and did see a few so it looks like winter is finally over.
    13 points
  42. I managed to nip down for a cheeky midweek day sesh yesterday. My pre-baited area is still not happening which is really disappointing but that didn't stop me doing whatever I could to catch one of those old originals. I managed to keep track of the fish as they clearly reacted to a brand new south westerly. A well placed pop up with about 30 freebies did the trick and I was very happy to land another old'n. Really nice long fish. A repeat, but I could never be disappointed with a carp that's older than me.
    13 points
  43. After 4 blank sessions on the more difficult one of my club waters I had this at 1,30am this morning. Packed up at 5, 30am to go to work so made it worth while.
    13 points
  44. Just the one today 9lb 8oz. 😁
    13 points
  45. finchey

    September catches.

    Two fish today 6lb and a new pb 17lb 8oz well chuffed, ignore the daft smile. 😁👍
    13 points
  46. Dave Hedgehog

    May catches

    Managed this lovely one on Monday night. 22lb and stunning scale patterns. Caught early at 6.30ish then just one pesky tench. Lovely fish and a great nights sleep. Success for a school night!
    13 points
  47. emmcee

    May catches

    Biggest of 3 fish so far at 28lb 14oz.
    13 points
  48. On Saturday I managed to get out for an impromptu overnighter which turned out to be a right laugh. Drove down to my syndi on Sat afternoon, mainly to say hello/congratulate a mate who landed something very special on Friday. Wasn't too excited tbh as I was convinced on the busiest night of the week there'd be no chance I'd get on fish. Had a wander round and couldn't find much to fish for, not looking good. Was chatting to a fellow member and saw a lovely big common nut out in the swim next to him. I had a quick peek down the bank and matey in the swim had his stuff on his barrow. Legged it down there, had a chat, he's just leaving. Result - and I'm in a good mood all of a sudden. I wait for matey to leave and get my gear round there sharpish. I know the swim well and have an area in mind, not far from where the common showed. Out comes the spod and I load it up..... 4 or 5 kg on the deck which might sound a little excessive for an overnighter but for some reason I'm thinking they're gonna get right on it. With the baiting done I go and see my mate way over the other side to congratulate him on his capture. We chill out and have a beer and he points out where my spot is from here. Over the next hour we see a number of carp directly between us and it's looking promising. Eventually I see one show quite close to my spot which is the sign it's time to get back to my swim. The rods are already baited/clipped up ready to go. Just as the light is fading, out they go - plop, plop, plop. I chat to a mate in the next swim and don't really see much so I end up getting an early night. At about 1 am I get up for a wee and have a quick cuppa just to listen for carp when the lake is at it's quietest. Over the course of an hour I hear several fish breaking the surface. It's tricky to tell where they are but they can't be that far away so now I'm mega, mega confident. Back to bed. As we approach dawn I'm woken by a liner on the middle rod. I turn on my side and watch intently as the sun prepares to breach the horizon. Ten minutes later and I get a tiny drop back, again on the middle rod. I'm out of the bag and just putting my waders on when it absolutely rips off. Game on. The fight is immense, a proper tug-of-war with the fish kiting left, right, all over the place. It takes me a long time to get it anywhere near me but when I do I see it's quite a big fish, so I turn the head torch on for netting, don't want to screw this one up. As it surfaces I see it's a big grey common and I'm pretty sure I know which one. It goes over the cord and into the folds and I have a better look at it, it is indeed the one I thought. I secure the net, get the rod back out and make a cup of tea and a roll up. I look over at the spot and a carp sticks its head out bang on the money, this is looking awesome. Then the right hand rod rips off! I get the waders back on but by the time I get to the rod (literally 5 or 10 seconds) the bobbin has dropped back and is swinging in the wind. I hit it and there's nothing there, no carp, no lead, just a rig. I've been well and truly done, big time. I still have 2 rods on the spot so leave this one out for now. Matey from next door pops over to do the photos of the common and it's weighed at 33 lb, not quite as big as I expected but I'm certainly not complaining. It's an unusual colour for a Nene Valley common, all silvers and greys. The length is impressive but you can tell there's room in the belly for several more pounds at the right time of year. We put her back and I relax, happy that I've caught a big old common, but annoyed about the missed take. With the rods on the right and in the middle having been picked up I'm now thinking how awesome it would be if the left hand rod did a bite. An hour later and I haven't seen much but I'm still confident. Matey from next door is with me and we're drinking tea and chatting when the left hand rod let's out a bleep. I walk over to it and there's a tiny drop back, similar to the first take. There's then a tiny lift, so I stare intensely at the rod tip. I see it nod once and the line lifts slightly as it enters the water. That'll do me i think as I lift the rod and bend into what is clearly a fish. Not just any fish either, as the resistance on the end of the line suggests it's another decent carp. This fight is completely different, it doesn't really want to do anything other than just stay put some 60 yards away, almost like it's locked up in weed but it's not. Eventually I get it moving and it head over to my right and I begin to get worried it's heading for a snag I'm aware of. I clamp down and turn it and it goes through my other lines. Luckily my buddy is on hand to lift, lower, and weave the rods around, and eventually I net the fish. I recognise the fish, a long sparsely scaled mirror with a pretty little birth mark on its shoulder. I've seen pics of this carp before and have to say I'd not really been too fussed with it, I thought it looked a bit plain, but now it's in the net I'm absolutely blown away by its INCREDIBLE colour! We get her out and the colour and condition of this fish is just mental, its back is a rich dark brown, like a conker, and its flanks are a ruby red wooden/copper colour. It is in absolutely perfect nick, like a brand new penny, it's long and lean and just about as pukka as carp come. We weigh the fish at 31.08 and get some really nice photos before putting it back and watching it swim away strongly. What a result. By now it's gone 8 am. I'm hoping for one more bite but I'm pretty sure I've been cleaned out and they've down the off. I pack up with a big old smile on my face and am in a great mood on the drive home. Overnighters can be hard work when you can't get on fish or worse, have to leave when you're on fish at bite time. A brace of thirties reminds why I do them though - sometimes you just have to keep the faith. I have a proper session this weekend and I'm buzzing for it!
    13 points
  49. nigewoodcock

    Zig masters

    ZIGS As I mentioned before, I am no expert but I do use zigs a lot of the time in my angling. I have lost count the amount of times I would have blanked if I didn’t fish with zigs. I have also had lots of big hits using them. If I could only fish one tactic all year; zigs or standard bottom baits/pop ups, there is no doubt in my mind that the zigs would heavily outscore the standard set up come the end of the year. I have had a good think about how I could go about writing some information on how and why I use them but don’t want to bore you all with paragraph after paragraph of ramblings. There are so many variables to zigging, just like fishing on the bottom, if not more so. If I was to tell you that a capture of mine was caught on a zig, this could have been one of many guises that my zig fishing comes in. From one foot off the deck to 4 inches over depth. From feeding over the top of them to a one rod, single approach. Maybe even stalking or sat ‘twitching’ an adjustable zig by pulling the line back and forth a couple of inches! I will try to break things down into sections and will try and find some photos that I can illustrate things with. These may need adding later though, as and if I find them. Why? Where? When? It is well documented in the media and videos that carp spend most of their time ‘off’ the bottom. Great news for standard zig tactics and over depth zigs for surface feeding fish. But there are times when carp are feeding on the bottom that zigs can still be the only way to get a pick up. One of these is on a weedy lake like horseshoe. Fish love to feed in and amongst the weed but presenting a bottom bait or even a pop up, can prove almost impossible in some cases where the weed is just too thick or moving around. These feeding fish will move in and out of a spot that they are feeding on numerous times throughout the feeding spell. This is where a strategically placed zig can catch them off guard. Either placed on an entrance/exit route or even sitting just above the weed. I’ve had fish from Horseshoe on zigs that are only 8 inches high. My standard zig set up is a size 8, short shank hook mounted knotless knot on the fox Zig line. I have tried several different lines and most fall short in one way or another. The Fox line is by far the best and I use it in 12lb. I always start with a little 10mm foam ball that is half black and half white. The black sits underneath to form a silhouette against the brightness of the sky and the white on top so fish above it can pick it out easier as it shows up against the deep dark water or bottom. It is mounted tight to the hook but with the use of rig tube so that the bait can be sat slightly above the bend of the hook whilst still being tight against it. I also use a tiny piece of clear shrink tube to form a slight kicker. This allows the hook to be sat in a claw like position, ready to prick the bottom of a fish’s mouth if picked at. These are almost exclusively used in conjunction with lead clips so that I can quickly change between zigs and more standard rigs in double quick time. One exception of this is if I am using adjustable zigs. These are set up just like a marker rod. If you imagine the marker float as a fox clear bubble float and the hooklink coming off the top of it. On the subject of adjustables, I don’t just use these in very deep water. As Phil has eluded to earlier on, I have been known to stalk fish using adjustable zigs. Sometimes, the fish need that bait to be right in front of their mouth to get a take. I have watched this in very clear water and even ½ inch difference in height can mean getting take or not. Fishing an adjustable lets you make these minute changes in an instant. If all the fish are swimming around with their backs just touching the surface, every one of their mouths will be at a different height due to the shape, size and type of mouth they have. Another thing an adjustable can allow is ‘twitching’ of the bait. A little bit of movement will sometimes provoke a bite when a static wouldn’t rouse any interest. This is especially useful in the spring and early summer when the fish may be feeding on fry! Back to a standard set up. I see people advocating the use of the lightest lead possible. I go completely the other way. You could be fishing with say an 8 foot zig. There is a lot of play in that hook link and I want the weight of that lead to really pull the hook into the flesh. As soon as this happens and it has done it’s job, I want the lead gone. This is another reason for using lead clips. A chap on my syndicate was saying he will only use a light lead as he doesn’t want the fish pivoting on the lead giving it a chance to shed the hook. As I explained to him, the fish are already moving so having that heavy lead pull down will generally see them bolt off and dump the lead, giving you one hell of a screamer of massive drop back at the same time! This leads nicely on to bite indication and line lay. I think it’s pretty obvious that a tight line are the order of the day when zigging. The majority of takes I get are, as said, screamers. These normally come with no prior warning. The fish are already moving when taking the bait. That could be away from you or towards you, hence the tight line allowing the biggest range of movement on the bobbin during a drop back. Another ‘non standard’ way of fishing them is over depth. This can give them something different to deal with other than a floater, with line all over the surface. I will only fish them around 4 inches over depth. This will give contact with the lead in the shortest space of time/distance. The more over depth (longer amount of line on top), the more aborted takes I seem to get. 4 inches seems to be the best option although sometimes, the bait just breaking the water will score more. Again, this is another time I would use an adjustable. Even casting six inches left or right of the same spot can be 4 or more inches’ difference in depth. That could be the difference in having a bait on top to having one 6 inches below the surface. I can honestly say that I have never spodded over zigs (other than Barston in the BCAC semi finals). If they are feeding mid water, they are there for a reason other than your sloppy spod! If I was to fish a very heavily stocked lake, as said, then I may change this and feed over them. There is a way that I have fed over them though. This is with Nash riser pellets. These are the best surface feed that I have ever come across. They can get the fish taking far quicker and with more confidence than bread or dog biscuits. As some of the pellets slowly sink, a zig placed just under the surface is a killer method. Most the time though, I will be fishing amongst a hatch, in a shoal of fry or, say in winter, fishing at a depth were the fish are comfortable. No need for bait in these situations. To finish, I will give you a few tips as bullet points. · Look for hatches. These can be given away by simple things like ducks supping the surface or birds swooping down to take the immerging creatures · Commit all three rods to them. If you think the fish aren’t on the bottom, why just fish one rod for them. Increase your chances by having 3 out there. · Keep busy. Changing depths, colours, areas you cast to etc etc. · Use a heavy lead. I favour 3 or more ounces · Bow string tight lines · Don’t ignore ‘twitching’ an adjustable · If your struggling to get a bite on the bottom but you know fish are there feeding, put on an 8 inch zig. · Don’t go too small on the hooks or too light in the line breaking strain. I hope this helps a few of you convert to using them and I will gladly try and answer any questions you may have or expand on bits if required.
    13 points
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    13 points
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