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Golden Paws

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  1. Sunrise over the Islands Fishery near Warminster and the new Harrison Torrix's got christened just before midnight with a 19lb 6oz Common.
  2. If you've only been fishing for 9 months, then perhaps a tuition might not be the best way forward as it would be expensive (£200 for 24 hours?) and it might overload you a bit. Best bet I can suggest is to find a fairly easy local water and catch as many as possible and don't be afraid to experiment. There is so much good free stuff on the 'net that you can have some of the best tutors tell you how they are doing it and why. But take a reality check, it's easy to believe that everyone is hauling them in whereas in reality carp fishing in this crowded island isn't as easy as they make out and some video's have been "staged" to a degree, i.e. swims roped off and bait piled in days before hand before the camera's turn up. Another good way to learn is to watch others and if they are catching, ask them politely what they are doing and as long as you don't become a pest, most people are happy to give you a few pointers.
  3. I prefer spods to spombs as you can "lay them down gently" whereas spombs you have to make nose dive to open. I always plug the spod with groundbait dampened with hemp juice or use crumbed boilie.
  4. That's why I favour Combi's, you get the stiffness and resetting properties of the flouro but then have the final half inch that is (relatively) natural. I use wafters normally but presoaked in a flavour and that tends to over weight them so insert a cork plug in them so they are critically balanced. I prefer them to just lift the hook so the point is on the bottom and the gape is vertical.
  5. We get "done" far more often then we think. I've watched barbel in shallow clear water take every grain of sweetcorn - except for one! I've also watched them blow it out with extreme force, the corn ends up further up the river than the 3 foot trace I was using. I was sight fishing so the long trace was purely to keep the end tackle as far away as possible. All you can do is play the percentage game. Ensure your hook is sharp, the rig is good, the line is out of the way and you don't spook them. A friend told me a story of how he watched 2 carp come into a swim and clocked the 22 boilies, 20 freebies and 2 with hooks. One fish went to take the baited hook twice and the other carp "rammed" it sideways on. They left 5 minutes later with the 2 baits left and my mate went home straight away as he couldn't comprehend what he'd just witnessed.
  6. They say it's not a fool who makes a mistake but one who repeats it and so I must be right up there! I bought some X-line several years ago as I was told it was the best one out there. It sinks well (double the density of water) and is near invisible in water (unless you have it coming straight off the bottom and in bright conditions it looks like Darth Vader's light sabre!) I got fed up with the constant coiling of the stuff and it casts like a bag of spanners. I got rid of it and went back to mono (Gardner GT-HD like you which I really rate.) A few years back I bought some Fox Trans Kharki Illusion to use as a leader (about 30 foot) and although it was pretty good, I didn't like the knot on the cast or going through the rings whilst playing a fish. During the lock down and with too much time on my hands I revisited Fluorocarbon and was seduced by Berkley Connect CF600. It appeared fairly limp and claimed to iron out some of the inherent problems of Fluoro (stiffness and coiling issues.) I should have known better. I spooled it up and immediately the stuff started leaping off the spool. I managed to get it in a line clip and hoped that it would behave better on the bank. Wrong! The stuff was unruly and several times I had massive bird nest on a cast mid flight and I was only casting 40 yards. My advice, Fluorocarbon - give it a wide berth. If you are worried about the line behind the trace rising up, I've borrowed a tip from Martin Bowler and put on some matchmans olivettes on the line and they can be slid up and down at will and will easily pop off if a fish goes through weed.
  7. A "Hampstead Heath Moment" seems to be the buzz word for any celeb that has been caught with his trousers down! Unfortunately on Hampstead Heath, it's not likely to be a lady being troubled! I would definitely keep this as a "days only" water.
  8. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Andoer-Orange-Filter-Camera-Camcorder/dp/B01J727A9A/ref=psdc_1330763031_t2_B077VL3DDY Have a look at one of these Highly. It makes night photography a lot simpler. You can still use your on board flash but the extra light does fill in the gaps a bit. For quite a few years I played about with slave flashes. They are small portable flash units that you mount on a bankstick or are placed on the ground and are triggered by the main flash going off. https://www.ebay.co.uk/b/slave-flash/bn_7024918190 Some on here, you only need the sub £20 versions. I had 2 and positioned them at least 10 foot away and angling from the side so you didn't get any visible "flaring" in the shot.
  9. Unfortunately most Committees are run by old farts who like to impose their will on us, despite the fact most of them haven't picked up a rod in years! Several years ago I went along to a Committee meeting of my local club with the idea that I wanted to give something back and get involved. I left shaking my head in disbelief. It was all so well scripted the Communist Party would have approved and any suggestions from the floor were rubbished and the 'old boys brigade' on the fringes were quick to establish a return to the status quo. Have a look at some Club's rule books and you'll see how they like to have every base covered and it just goes on and on and gets more ridiculous the further down the page they go. Some rules are purely to generate revenue such as only boilies or pellets bought on site. I can appreciate that you have to have some rules, for example not fishing next to electricity pylons or starting fires but others are more dubious.
  10. Sounds like line bites, which are common when you have a pile of attraction in a small area. Slacken the line right off after casting and look at back leads or add some drops of rig putty to the line behind your rig. Blunt hooks are another common cause of bites not developing. Carp have leathery mouths and can pick up baits and not get hooked. Check how sharp the hook is by (gently) checking it against your thumb or running it along your thumb nail and seeing if it "digs" in. Hook sharpening is a bit of an art and there are companies that sell filing and polishing stones that can make even "sharp out of the packet" hooks that little bit better and restore hooks that have dulled a touch.
  11. Yorkshire’s stolen fortnight Before some clever Yorkshireman emails in, the old rivers boards that were formed in the early 20th century were allowed to vary the close season provided it comprised a set number of days – 93 to be precise. Therefore, for a period 'Yorkshires stolen fortnight' allowed them to start coarse fishing on 01 June, though to be fair the whole of March was lost to fishing. These were their original proposals put forward in 1878 and somehow they crept back in, I think as part of the 1923 review of the Act. (Source: https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/enjoy-the-waterways/fishing/angling-histories/angling-history/history-of-the-coarse-fish-close-season) Many years ago you could fish in Yorkshire on the 1st of June, the so called stolen fortnight. Even though being further North and colder then most Southern area's and common sense would say their season should have finished and started later. I had a mate who is a very experienced river angler and went on the last day of the season which that year was on a Friday night. He commented to someone that he couldn't believe the car park was empty when he got there late afternoon. His mate looked a bit stunned and then told him the season finished on the Wednesday which was the 14th, not the 16th on Friday and the Penney dropped!
  12. I think that you'll find most camping gas canisters are a mixture of propane (C3H8) and butane (C4H10). In an ideal world, it would completely combust in air with the Oxygen present and form Carbon Dioxide and Water. Unfortunately things are never perfect and you'll always get a percentage of Carbon Monoxide. The older and more blocked the nozzles are, the greater the chance of CO formation. You might get away with it for a while as CO is a silent killer (doesn't have a smell and the effects creep up on you). It's like loading a revolver with one bullet and playing Russian Roulette 6 times!
  13. Ordered some Berkley CF600 Fluorocarbon in 18lb from Angling Direct a week ago for sub 50 yard fishing. I know I should have used a local shop but they want you to jump through hoops with the Corona Virus, 'phone first, wait at the door, plastic payment etc. etc. Never had a problem with AD before but despite it showing in stock, they still haven't dispatched it. E-mailed them and had a polite letter back but no indication as to when they will send it. Should have jumped through the hoops! I did hear that AD were overstretching themselves and won't be in a hurry to order again.
  14. I disagree but agree with you! The worst thing you can possibly do is go to sleep with one on as you could possibly never wake up. I remember a while back Pete Reagan wrote in Carpology that he went to sleep with one burning during a cold spell and awoke a few hours later and was violently sick and had the mother of all headaches. He survives to tell the tale but hasn't used one since. Even if you use one just to warm up the bivvy, Carbon Monoxide poisoning causes drowsiness which is likely to make you sleepy. Don't do it!
  15. There was a discussion on them a while back. My advice, don't!
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