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    peg101 got a reaction from bivvystreet in Spring Campaign on Japan`s Lake Suigetsu   
    Here is part 9.....

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    peg101 got a reaction from welder in carp on the pole   
    When I matched fished I would often target carp on the pole using boilies; it was very effective on venues like canals where you needed to drop in right next to trees or rushes. There are some very strong cheap poles available now and you can use very strong gear which is more than a match for double figure carp. That said, if there is open water, you will struggle with very big carp as they will bottom out your elastic and then something will let go; usually this will be the hook or line but I once pulled the bung that the elastic is attached to through the pole section! If they are close enough you are better of with a long telescopic rod called a bolognese rod (used for float fishing at range in Italy) with a pole float. I wonder whether a rod builder would make a specialist carp rod of 7 or 8m with a decent TC for fishing like this?
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    peg101 got a reaction from gottocarp in Winter campaign on Japan’s Lake Biwa   
    I’m writing this on day 3 of my first session. It’s now Monday morning; I arrived Friday night (7th December). I got home from working in Tokyo late on Friday morning and got the gear out of the wardrobe (literally – my 2nd floor apartment is tiny) over lunch. After an afternoon’s work from home I picked up the hire car and was on the road by 1745.
    The weather was looking grim with 5 degree daytime temps and -3 over night forecast for the next few days. It was the snow showers that were putting me off the most though. The Edo River in Tokyo was looking like a more sensible option as it was going to be dry and 15 / 4 degrees in the day/night. I had a good session with my fishing buddy Chris on the Edo River over the summer and we got the feeling that we only just scratched the surface. If it wasn’t 6 hours drive away (and through a collapsed tunnel) I’d have been back and would have gone this time. But, you cannot catch a Biwa carp if you’re not fishing Lake Biwa! My mind was finally made up when I checked the weather forecast before getting on the highway….the snow wouldn’t come until Monday. Happy days.
    I arrived at the lake at 2000 and drove north from a few miles south of the peninsular. I was somewhat shocked to find the peg on the south side of the peninsular free! On these massive lakes in Japan you rarely see a fish jump so there is little point sitting there for hours waiting to see/hear a carp jump – you have to use other elements of water craft. Aside from knowing that a local angler set up in this peg for 3 months last winter, the peg is also on a point of a 100m wide inlet to a pond the other side of the road. There are carp in the pond and I figured it was a likely transit point covering a lot of water. A very quick dash to the convenience store across the road saw me armed with enough food to last me a couple of days. I’ve been gazumped a few times in Japan and have learnt if a known good peg is free, just get on it! From my peg I could see the flashing bite alarms of some Japanese guys fishing from the pontoons on the peninsular around 200m away basically straight out (there was a large bay to my right).

    I cast around with a lead and found it to be shallow (around 3 feet, which was expected) and with only a little weed (unexpected). The bottom felt softish with the lead holding up a little but not sticking or banging on gravel. No weed came back on the lead apart from the time when I pulled through a weedbed. I put my pod up nice and high around 10m from the corner so I could put 1 rod in the main lake, 1 rod up the inlet towards the bridge (about 50m to my left) and the remaining 2 rods would go basically in the middle straight out in front. I kept my fifth rod in the bag with the intention of getting it out on Saturday facing into the main lake with a bright pop-up.
    All the rods were attached to solid PVA bags. 2 rods had the amazing Essential Bait’s shelf life Shell Fish B5s; both were 20mm / 15mm pop-up snowman rigs presented on a size 6 long shank blow-back style. There was an aligner to create some more angle, the coated braid was striped back about 1 inch and a big blob of putty stuck on this hinge. 3oz leads fished helicopter style on 6ft of leadcore finished it off. 1 pop-up was a traditional B5 pop-up, the other was a flouro orange B5. The solid bags contained Mainline’s bloodworm extract stick pellets, crushed boilies and whole 15mm boilies.
    The other 2 rods were on Dynamite Baits Monster Tiger Nut. I would much prefer to use Trigger Ice which I have great confidence in but I can’t get any! The excellent Tackle Box (in Kent) where I get the majority of my tackle from – truly excellent service and delivery in less than 5 days to Japan! – haven’t had their order fulfilled by Nutrabaits in a couple of months. The guy in Japan who stocks it has none either. Essential Baits B5 can be a little like this sometimes. Business must be good for those guys if they can afford to keep the customers waiting! Presentation was the same as the B5 rods with 1 of the tiger nut boilie rods. The pop-up was very white which I thought would be fairly eye catching to a carp. The other rod had a 20mm bottom bait fished KD style on a soft braid. The PVA bags had a god handful of monster tiger nut bag mix, a few tiger nuts, crushed boilies and whole 15mm boilies.
    All the rods were out by 2130 and I started to get a few indications. Great start I though until all the rods were going off at the same time and sometimes in sequence (left to right or right to left!). I went out to take a look and called the wife to say good night. It was at this point that I noticed a red light in the water in the corner next to the bridge stanchion. My immediate thought was ‘oh dear’, one of the idiot night fishermen has come down from Mikata and is casting over my lines! This also explained the other car in the car park. Something wasn’t right thought and a closer look revealed a lure angler sat in a floatation ring! The light was on the back to stop boats driving into him. Apparently the bridge is a good spot for black bass as well. The guy turned out to be OK, confirmed there was no weed (his flippers/feet were on the bottom) and showed me photos he took for a carp angler from this spot 2 weeks ago – it was well over 30lb!! He got out of the lake and my bleeps continued; being flat calm I could only conclude that it was bats or birds flying into my lines. I put the hangers on the ‘wrong’ side of my alarms and went to bed.
    To cut a long story short the wind got up early in the morning and all my rods got wiped out with weed rafts. Basically, the weed is dying and blows into the bank where it catches your line. Some gets blown up your line to the rod tip and some hangs halfway up – this is all helped by the 2ft waves! The majority of the weed just gathers where your line enters the water until it has enough mass to either move the lead or to take line from the baitrunner. The end result is the same though, eventually the ball of weed reaches the big rocks in the margin and your line gets caught up in the roots / branches / rocks. I pulled the rods out first thing on Saturday morning losing 2 complete set-ups in the process. The left hand rod had been pulled into a snag and the center-left rod’s lead got caught in the boulders in the margins as the ball of weed was too heavy to lift, forcing me to pull for a break.
    The weather forecast said the wind would drop in the evening / night so I put out 1kg of 15mm B5 with the caty and about 100 monster tiger nut boilies to the right hand side. I retired to the car to watch movies on Hulu. My logic was that I would rest the peg a bit and would have more of a base to boilie fish over once the wind died down; I figured out I could just clear any weed off and recast as required without tying a new bag. The leads were all swapped for 5oz’ers and I was back in around 1900. Unfortunately night 2 proved to be a re-run of night 1 and all my rods were wiped out again. Due to the weather (temp. and wind; also consider that half way up the lake 1ft of snow had fallen and the hills on the opposite side were now white….the snow hadn’t got to me yet) it just wasn’t practical to carry on fishing that peg so I pulled off around 9am on Sunday morning and drove north.
    The symmetrical peg on the north of the peninsular was about to become free as the old boy fishing there was going home. There were still 2 other guys fishing from that car park though with 7 rods spread over 70m of bank. The north side of the peninsular is significantly sheltered from the wind / floating weed and due to the shell fish pens placed at 300m there was a barrier even if the wind blew directly into the bank. This looked like a good option. I carried on north and found a peg that I fished last year to be free unfortunately all the weed blown up onto the bank suggested that there would be problems fishing there. A little further north and I found myself at the pond with the pontoon in it. There were 3 guys fishing to the left hand side of the pontoon who had about 10 rods out. The pond is connected to the main lake by a long channel and you can imagine that the carp would retreat into it if the main lake was too rough. It is also quite deep at around a uniform14ft; the pontoon is basically a T shape with the main section being over 100m long (basically 1/3 of the pond). The right hand end of the pontoon is in 14ft as well but it rapidly shallows up to around 5ft off. It is a long way from the fishing bank and I’m not sure the locals know about this feature as they don’t really feature find.
    I decided to defrost at a local hot spring, get some hot lunch and then get back on the bank. The right hand side of the pontoon appealed to me but I’m not sure if a carp caught from there would count as a genuine Biwa carp or not! As the north bank of the peninsular was still free I decided to go there but put half a kilo of 15 monster tiger nut boilies off the pontoon just in case. Whilst I was on the pontoon one of the guys had a run a caught a 2lb’er! Whilst I was talking to them (apparently we met last year…..) his other rod went off and he nailed a 15lb’er. This was looking like a good fall back option!
    I checked my facebook as well and Sasaki-sanm the owner of NG-Carp Japan (same as NG-Carp Europe), had landed a creature from the main lake on his last session of the year. Surely it is looking good?!

    I set up on the north side of the peninsular with basically the same set-up but nearly got gazumped as I started to set up next to the car and didn’t get my pod in the peg quick enough. Luckily the guy was reasonable and said ‘you were here first’ allowing me to take that peg.. I put the fifth rod out into the bay to my left with a pineapple pop-up. The rods didn’t get wiped out this time (success!) and whilst not getting a run over night I was happy to find that all the rigs were clean of weed and were not tangled when I reset the traps in the morning. I did get a few bleeps in the night which didn’t seem to be wind and I was worried that I’d been done by ducks but it looks like I got away with it.


    The only thing a changed on the recast was to swap the single rod stick for a double bar so that 2 rods could go into the bay. 2 of the remaining 3 rods on the pod were then directed towards the left. Basically the bay to the left is half full of lotus plants (you can see them in the photo of the single rod, the other photo is facing the north) and so I’ve now got 4 rods spread along the edge the dying back plants, its mid-morning and the snow has just started!
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