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Maybe it was just that I planned a baiting campaign?


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Well, hopefully, you guys were all out fishing last night and have tales to tell. Anybody?

 

Now that I'm planning my fishing trips around the lunar cycle for serious nights out, I had the option to do some slightly more serious pre baiting on the selected area.

 

I figured this time that I'd give the locale a serious distribution of the various intended baits in fine particulate form a day before, then come back at lunchtime the next day.

 

This would be for a closer concentration of particulate and ground bait in the right area. Then of course, the normal high percentage of groundbait in the target areas right at the start of the fishing session after work the same day.

 

I've never bothered to be so detailed before, but with creamed corn, sardines in oil and tuna oil soaked chook pellets being so cheap at the local supermarket, I figured it was a fair investment in time and money.

 

Even if nothing happened, it was worth having a go as a learning experience.

 

I know that at there are a few people that fish our favourite spot as sometimes they leave rod holders cut from sticks there. We've also had a Chinese lady come up and tell us about her fishing. On the previous day, I found two Vietnamese guys with a medium sized carp heading towards their car. After a brief chat, we realised who each other were and I asked them how they'd been doing.

 

They eat their carp... (Blerk!) and had also caught two koi there the previous day. These were now at their home in a tank. So Chris_the_lad was right. That's twice he's said that things are the way they are and I've found it to be so.

They also told me of getting broken off an hour or so previously and also having lost a rod when it got pulled in... hmmmm... this could be fun.

 

 

The next day during lunch, I went back and spombed the intended line distance radius after setting up the gear to the right distance.

 

There was another guy from NSW there, with his hammock set up, just snoozing.

He turned and watched with interest as I made a delicious looking creamed corn, chicken pellet and pureed sardines in oil milkshake.

 

Then again, he was downwind, so he might have just smelled it and decided not to vomit in his hammock.

 

Once I filled the spomb and had several deposits out, he must have twigged what was going on.

 

"VERY CLEVER!" he said, and then got out of the hammock. I basically explained what was going on and he was very interested as he was a retired engineer and didn't really "get" fishing.

When he realised how much information I was incorporating, his attitude towards it was significantly changed. He might just buy himself a rod...

 

It was rather entertaining to see a small bit of sardine get pushed across the top of the water by the surface tension being disturbed by the oil coming out of one side. No wonder that stuff works so well.

 

Everyone here must know what it's like waiting for a day of work to finish before a session starts. Particularly if you're wondering if you'll rock up to find that you've done the work for someone else....

 

This was not helped by an SMS arriving from my fishing buddy who had started at 3pm that he'd caught a Koi!

 

I asked him to keep it in a bucket for me. So after much dumping of his fishing gear on the ground, I now have my private koi collection at home..

 

Regardless, I got sick of being at work pretty quickly and explained my lack of motivation to my supervisor. He's an understanding sort of chap and just said "Goodbye"

 

Turning up at the spot, I put the final mix of heavier groundbait into the target areas. My fishing colleague was apparently two up with the Koi and another banking. I hadn't asked him about the weight.

 

I did have thoughts about being seriously geeky and updating things on here as they went via my new netbook and 3G connection, so had it on my chair, waiting for an opportune moment.

 

Quickly, rods were set up and I, having chosen the prebaiting mix, went instantly to corn. My companion was campaigning bread with cheese. He was having a bit of interest, but no big takes or anything you'd be tempted to strike at.

 

Thanks to loop to loop settings and pre tied hook links, I was rigged and in reasonably quickly.

And this was where the fun began. One of my lines still had the distance marker on it which corresponds to the spomb distance.

 

Whenever that line hit the water and got wound in to the mark, it started getting hits. I felt them even as I put the custom line hangers on.

 

The action was fast and furious for the next few hours. With no wind, there were copious amounts of line bites and takes.

 

On a few occasions, I had one carp on and the bite indicators were chirping away on the rod in the pod. Eventually, I actually considered taking the third rod in as it was getting a bit silly.

 

Details are a bit fuzzy but some of the highlights included feeling hits on the bait while I was trying to untangle a big birdsnest. There were some rather emotional associations with that. What if a big carp latched on while I'm playing cat's cradle with braid? Which of my fingers are my favourites?

 

Having to strike two rods at almost the same time. Passing rods around and under others while both trying to get fish in. Being broken off by something that REALLY didn't want to visit the scales. It was like an audition for the Biggest Loser.

 

 

One interesting occurance was the gentlest of takes that I wasn't sure about. I figured to do a bait check and reeled in. I thought that I had a weed or something until it got within about 4 feet of the bank. Then it took off like a Heavy Metal fan at a Justin Beiber concert.

That was the biggest of the night at about 3.8 kilos. ( I have all the weights and rough times that they were caught, but sometimes it got a bit frantic..)

 

There was one bantam weight carp that fought like a heavyweight. Six times he stripped line against the drag and headed for the rocks that had broken off the apparent mini submarine I'd hooked earlier.

There are branches that overhang the water to one side and although it was dark, I was sure that I was clear of them. After hanging on to one reasonably long run and holding the rod tip as close to the water as I dared to avoid the branches, there was suddenly a snap of slack line.

*$^@#&! A second break off!

I swore as I heard something go "plop" into the water and then the tension came on again... just as hard. WTF?

 

Then I realised that the braid had actually sawed through a small branch that I'd hooked over.

 

Oh well. Less shrubbery to have to avoid later.

 

Previously our best combined total was 21kg of carp.

 

When I had got to 22 kg by myself, I was only slighly ahead of my fishing buddy. I was helped by two rather fat ones. The suprise express train carp looked the biggest and I was sure that it would clock in at at least 5 kilos to deliver a killing blow in my total clocked in at 3.9k.

 

I felt seriously robbed. The smallest fish was mine. It was 750 grams.

 

I'm thinking of starting the carp in the lake used to eating pizza and chocolate icecream. If I can get this food into the water in sufficient qantities and combine it with a large lounge chair and satellite television, I'm sure I can pile the kilograms onto those carp in no time. They'll be bigger than two Oprah Winfreys in less than six months.

 

I know what you're thinking, but it happened to my friends wife as soon as they got married.

 

HEY! Maybe I should just feed them wedding cake?

 

It seems that carp stay reasonably skinny until they get to around 70cm or so and then start to pork outwards at a faster rate than they grow lengthways.

 

Normally I find it nice to be able to run a tape measure beside them and record that as well, but there was a blue light disco on over at my rod pod for most of the time and I wasn't game to do anything that took too long past getting a the digits on the scale to lock and write it down.

 

Odd things: An early capture was an odd looking carp. At first I thought it was a perch. We looked at it closely and it appeared to be more blue than the bronzy / green/ silverish colour of the commons. It also had a more pronounced dorsal bulge although it was only about a foot long. It didn't have the dorsal fin leading edge spike that so often fouls the net though.

 

Any thoughts chaps? I had to give my fishing buddy extra points for his capturing the mutant. So now I've seen it all from this spot. (Or all that I think I could see. Koi, Mirror and blue mutant weird ass carp)

 

There were three occasions when I had very energetic takes. Hard enough to pop my rod up to the next eye into the V of the bite detector. Luckily, I wasn't trying to update facebook at that point but eventually I had to give away all thoughts of getting online.

 

In all, we caught 55kg (122lb) worth of fish. There were none caught twice as they were all different weights except for two of 1.5kg caught at pretty much the same time. 29kg in 14 carp for me. 12 carp, one koi and one mutant blue variety for my offsider. Given the energy of the two (or maybe one) that broke both of us off on the same spot, we probably easily could have broken the 60kg barrier. My offsider was keen to stay, but at 10.30pm, I couldn't handle it any more.

 

Plus, he's self employed.

 

He did say that it was likely to disillusion us for any future fishing trips and I'm sure that it will. I've certainly never experienced anything like it, even when fly fishing crappies in Florida.

 

Pretty much constant harrassment of the tiny bits of corn.

 

It actually got to the point where was pre-threading our home made bait needles (Made with the big needles from Woolworths nicked across the eye with a dremel disk) with four bits of corn so that I could be back in again quickly.

 

Today I'm sore across the back, but I have a fine appreciation for my trusty hook of choice. The #10 Mustad Viking 540. It's sharp, tough and bends instead of snapping.

 

Surely someone else must have done something also last night, or did I have all the planets in alignment?

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My fishing buddy was so enthused with our night's poundage, he took his brother the next day and they seemed to be still on the boil.

 

He convinced me that I should go back today as he'd peppered the area again with his own concoction of carp confectionery.

 

We have always joked about nothing happening until at least three oclock, so I got to sit down and make some hooklinks. I'm a convert to those little sprung holders for $3.75 from Big W.

 

It seems that some fish can't tell the time. At 2.45pm, my rod closest to the snags went off. It wasn't big, but seemed to be pretty fast.

When it got close to the bank, I saw a flash of golden red colour.

Yeehaa! My first Koi!

 

My bankside companion got his first mirror of about 2.7 kg. This was a fully scaled mirror without the bare patches that my little one had.

 

And then the biggest surprise yet.

A redfin on corn!

 

Even my girlfriend was convinced to come and sit by the water. Having never caught anything that she can remember, even after being on quite a few fishing trips, she bought in her first fish. A lethargic 3kg one which didn't give much snag hunting trouble.

 

So it's been a good indication to us that a bait campaign is worth the few minutes of effort and cost of preparation.

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I've seen the blue coloured Mirrors a friend of mine (steve_bok) had a keep net full of hand sized ones once, they would make for a very attractive addition to any pond, the rotund one might possibly have been a Common/Goldfish hybrid but I'd have to see a photo.

 

This time of year before spawning can be really busy I remember having a session that started with a Carp taking my lead plummet and getting hooked, I think I finished with close to 100kg the action was constant and I only stopped because I was so knackered, it was like they were queuing up there were boils every time I catapulted in loose feed, another session my best by far saw 11 doubles smallest 16lb and biggest 23lb, you never forget sessions like that :lol::lol::lol:

 

Make the most of it as once they spawn mid-end of October that will be it for a few weeks then the heat will start to set in too, which usually see's them go off the bite until you get a good dose of rain.

 

cheers,

 

Chris

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Well, I'll make the best of it.

We've hit the same place since again and I scored my smallest carp ever. A micro at 350 grams.

Things weren't so fast and furious but I got broken off on the strike three times. It was very unusual as the hooklink broke in the same place, about a cm underneath the top loop knot each time. Maybe some further analysis required.

 

Today, I scored two mirrors. The first one looked like it was in a bad way. Covered in the irregular scales of a mirror, but they looked like chewed fingernails. Also it had red blotches all over it like someone had spent time swatting mosquitos on it. It didn't look healthy at all.

 

The second mirror was the closest I've ever come to losing a rod. The rear supports are machined to close over the rear screwed portion of the rod seat and occasionally we've had them jam during the pick up for a strike. So I seat the butt of the rod forward ON them and not IN the

Without the bait runner engaged, it took a leap forward and climbed over the bite alarms.

 

So back in the designed position from now on.

 

Corn has been the big provider. My colleague had started in the morning on worms as he was trying to target the occasional redfin as well. The worms stopped working about midday.. Odd how that happens.

 

Oh, the second mirror was more of a scaleless one. First one we've seen like that from the lake.

 

 

mirror2.jpg

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I wonder how easy it is to get decent quality, safe carp gear in OZ??? Perhaps thats why Gaz? Still, your right, its worth looking for a better net mate. You would be gutted to have ripped the scales from the flank of your PB carp just cos your net isnt up to it..

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The market for safe carp gear in Oz is non existent. That's why there is a large replacement net for a triangle set up right next to me at the moment. I thought that I'd be able to use the fiberglass spars from a tent to spread it and get the spreader bars made up. Unfortunately, the tent spars aren't long enough.

Looking at it though, the sides appear to be slightly smaller than the one we already have. The base is very fine mesh.

It might come down to getting a huge open mouth one from the local supermarket and stitching shade cloth into it. :)

 

At least I can make it to what I want. There won't be any fast netting movements and I'll probably pick sieve krill from the water...

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The market for safe carp gear in Oz is non existent. That's why there is a large replacement net for a triangle set up right next to me at the moment. I thought that I'd be able to use the fiberglass spars from a tent to spread it and get the spreader bars made up. Unfortunately, the tent spars aren't long enough.

Looking at it though, the sides appear to be slightly smaller than the one we already have. The base is very fine mesh.

It might come down to getting a huge open mouth one from the local supermarket and stitching shade cloth into it. :)

 

At least I can make it to what I want. There won't be any fast netting movements and I'll probably pick sieve krill from the water...

 

Why don't you just buy one of the internet and get it shipped to oz, the way the dollar is its cheap as. Homemade never compares to the real deal.

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The old landing net quandary, I've been through this I've had a few fish stuck in nets and had to cut the net in the end, its not so much nets as the way the Carp are in Australia with their dorsal and anal spines and their tendency to go ballistic in the net!

 

The best one I've found here in Australia was the environet but even then I've had one get stuck in that and they only have a short aluminium handle which makes it difficult to land a fish on a pukka Carp rod, the worst one by far was a Daiwa Rubbanet that thing was a bloody nightmare and it cost me quite a bit to get it over here and had a fish friendly award! I've got a Drennan Specimen & a Grey's Prodigy which have been as good as the environet in that they've only had one fish stuck incident each, if you can get the biggest size available in the environet and then get the handle extended you'd be onto a winner, otherwise its a case of importing a Carp landing net and the freight will cost you more than the net and handle :shock: as I found out.

 

cheers,

 

Chris

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I wondered why nobody else on the videos seemed to be having trouble with spine hookups.

 

Sounds like regardless of what I get, I'm going to have trouble with the spines. At least two thirds of the carp I catch require untangling. It looks like the shadecloth net is a idea that I might have to experiment with.

 

The second biggest problem is that if it's not the fish, it's the sinkers wrapping themselves through the netting. With millimetre size netting, the only thing that will snag up is the hook..

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Yes its a problem you'll have at one time or another no matter what you do but it can be minimized with micro mesh like on an environet, I've had the same problems with keepnets and Carp here, I stopped using a keepnet for them when I was float fishing and now only use it if I get a haul of nice Goldfish or a Koi I want to photograph.

 

I think as a general rule the smaller the mesh the better, it minimizes the chance of damage to the fish, the net and you, its a risky business trying to cut a flapping spiny Carp out of a net with knife or scissors, the last thing you want is a gaping cut full of Canberra lake water believe me. :wink:

 

atb,

 

Chris

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  • 3 weeks later...

After a bit of thought, I obtained a snapper net from Kmart and some black shadecloth from Bunnings.

 

The plastic joiner that connects the net loop with the sliding handle is getting replaced with something custom made. It looks like it's the fusible link in the entire setup. Solid delrin or alloy. We haven't decided yet.

 

With a stapler to tack the net together prior to sewing, the netting goes together quite easily. Finishing the bottom was straightforward as well. Leaving it in an envelope edge ensures that the fish will line up easily with the bottom of the net. (Well, at least anything as big as 85 cm or so will be kept straight.)

 

Lake Ginnindera provided some 4 kilo carp to test it out.

 

With the minimal hole size of the shadecloth, there is noticeable resistance in the water. This is good because it will discourage bad netting technique. Being so wide means that it's just a case of getting the fish's center of gravity over the inside edge and lifting it up.

 

Not one fin hookup or dropping a sinker through the net for some impromptu braid/net macrame dreamcatcher construction.

 

The mesh is reasonably thick too and you can unhook without taking the fish out of the net most often with access being so wide. The less slime layer damage, the more likely the fish will stay healthy..

 

There are some disadvantages though. It retains water like a sponge camel on it's monthly cycle. Great for keeping your fish wet, but not so good for getting rid of the smell! Beating it on the grass gets rid of a lot of it, but not enough.

 

I'm going to have to transport it in a garbage bag..

 

Other than that, I'm extremely pleased with this home made contraption.

 

Thanks for the suggestions, chaps!

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