Living the Dream James Armstrong
Living the Dream
“There was a freezing fog in the air, but it felt great to be playing a winter carp. There’s something special about the line being stripped from a freezing cold spool”
IMAGE A The sign of success, a carp waiting to be photographed. IMAGE B The boat was imperative for
finding some lovely silty areas and baiting tightly with hemp on one rod. IMAGE C Things were typically tricky as the clear skies made the temperatures freezing.
a little more instant attraction than
likely-looking area. You never know
just boilies on their own. I’d watched
when the carp might move, so I can
our intriguing Underwater film, which
keep an eye on this other spot and
we did at St John’s, and what was
again, it gives me another option.
highlighted was what we now call ‘the buffet theory’. Carp seem much
Other Goings-on This Month…
more attracted to a variety of foods.
Korda have finally released the
Certain fish have a preference for
groundbreaking Underwater 7
corn, while others love to engulf a
DVD. We were the first company
boilie. I now think that it’s important
to show a screening at the Empire
to add more than one type of food
cinema in Basildon, and on a chilly
to your spot. There’s no point in
Thursday evening, hundreds of
putting all your eggs in one basket.
keen carpers from all around the
evening. I warmed my hands on the
Next week when I return I’m going
trade met in Basildon to watch this
barbecue whilst cooking sausages,
to take some casters and corn to add
exclusive premiere. Everyone left
burgers and bacon with some salad
to my mix for even more options.
blown away as we witnessed St
ABOVE A pop-up ensures the rig is
always presented. Fruity bright-coloured baits were my successful choice. LEFT A stunning male common
made it all worthwhile.
(you need a little goodness). The
I opened my eyes at first light
John’s jewel in the crown, The Big
lake was a millpond, and other than
and got the pictures done as the sun
Plated, engulf a hookbait and get
the peacocks squawking in the pen
began to rise. It was a stunningly
caught live in front of the camera.
next door, you could hear a pin drop.
cold winter’s morning. I looked out to
It was incredible. Some intriguing
Having fallen asleep, I soon found
my areas and noticed some bubblers
rig presentations were shown on
myself latched into a quick-moving
over the spot, and I was positive that
the DVD, including Danny’s latest
carp in the early hours at 4.30 a.m.
fish were the culprits due to their
D-Rig, which he feels is the most
There was a freezing fog in the air,
irregular shapes and sizes. They were
effective for that type of fishing
but it felt great to be playing a winter
also coming up in different places.
at the moment. Get yourself a
carp. There’s something special about
Sometimes anglers make the
the line being stripped from a freezing
mistake of confusing gas bubbles
cold spool. I was shivering and my
with fish bubbles, and it can be
writing articles for magazines, as
hands were numb. The hooked fish
difficult to distinguish between the
well as shooting videos for our site:
was quick and surged left to right, but
two, but gas bubbles tend to be
www.korda.co.uk as well as my
before long I had her swirling in the
large and consistently rise and pop in
new You Tube channel, James
moonlight, gulping for air. She was
exactly the same area several times,
Armstrong Carp. Take a look and
in the net and I peered in to see a
whereas carp bubbles tend to be more
you’ll see all my latest diary
glistening common. It was an absolute
irregular. Carp bubbles fizz and move
pieces in video format too.
beauty, so I quickly popped her into
position, with a variety of shapes and
the sling for a few hours until I had
sizes as they blow out their gills or
enjoyed this month’s instalment.
some daylight to take a few snaps.
disturb the bottom. Although there is
Oh yes, I forgot to mention, I’ve just
no written rule, this should help you
had a very nice ticket come through
to try to distinguish between the two.
the door for next year, where I’ll
Before I left for work, I hopped into
be chasing a mega common carp.
It was undoubtedly a male common due to its long torpedo shape, and it looked like he’d been around for years.
copy, you won’t be disappointed. Other than that, I’ve been busy
For now, though, I hope you’ve
What was interesting was the fact
the boat once more and scattered
This year I was lucky enough to
that I’d caught it over the handful of
the remaining boilies over my area.
catch my dream linear; next year I’ll
hemp. Maybe that was just what was
I also set sail to look for a few fish
be in pursuit of a huge common – I
needed to kick-start the swim, with
and spread some bait into another
hope my dream comes true! CC
Crafty Carper 099-103_LivingDream_CC185.indd 5
103 06/12/2012 16:44
Most Memorable Ian Stott
We weighed the fish, and at 24lb 8oz I was happy to be off the mark so quickly. After a few pictures the carp was released and I said my thanks to Paul for his help. A fresh Vor-tex pop-up was attached to the rig before getting the rod back out to the area. I was drenched, and made my way to the van to get a change of clothes, leaving the wet ones draped over the inside of the van with the engine running and the heater on full blast in an effort to dry them. Less than an hour later the left-hand rod went off at one hell of a rate. I was on it pretty quickly, but it had managed to go down the back of the bar and get its head down in some weed. I cranked up the pressure on the rod, and after a couple of minutes I felt it coming free of the weed. From then on all I could feel through the rod were steady lunges, which told me that it was possibly a good fish. Once in the margins the carp used its weight to give me a proper battle, and I knew I was in trouble when the indicator on the middle rod started going up and down, with a few bleeps from the alarm. I pulled off the hanger, took the bail arm off the reel, and carried on playing the fish. It was to be a further 10 minutes before the carp made an appearance on the surface, and I think I was pretty lucky to at last be able to land it. As I looked up I could see that Paul’s headtorch was on, so after making sure the fish was safe and secure in the net, I made my way round to his swim to ask for a hand with the pictures once again. We were soon in my swim and I hoisted my heavy prize onto the waiting unhooking
line, everything went solid and I ended
back out to the area, I put another
mat. Once we had the carp in the
up hand-lining in some line before
dozen spods of my mix on the bar.
weigh sling, the scales were attached
everything locked up again. Eventually,
The next few hours were spent
and I watched the needle settle at
after a lot of pulling and cutting my
watching and listening to the lake.
39lb. Happy days indeed! We got a
little finger on the line, it cut off on
few pictures sorted before getting
something, so I lost the rig and about
of carp to the left of where my rigs
the carp back, where it gracefully
20yds of line. The line I regained was
were positioned. This certainly got the
dropped away into the deep margins.
as rough as hell and had possibly been
nerves going and I was pretty confident
pulled through a mussel bed. I made
of another chance. It took a little while
I had to retackle the rod on which I had just caught because I had to
the decision to change over the spool on that reel, but it wouldn’t
Just after 10.00 a.m. I saw a couple
for the next run to come, but just
TOP Another chunk, and at 33lb 12oz the session was turning into a real red-letter day. ABOVE LEFT 30lb 2oz of Elstow mirror, but I couldn’t help but think the previous one I lost was much bigger. ABOVE RIGHT 32lb 3oz – fish number seven in 24 hours and my fifth over 30lb. Was I dreaming? BELOW LEFT It gave a real account of itself, and at 29lb 2oz I was relieved to land it, to say the least.
after 12 noon the right-hand rod was
bite through the main
be the usual Gardner Mirage
away. After picking up the rod, the carp
what was going on and made his way
line when lifting the
line that I would be tackling up
decided it was going to kite a long way
round to lend a hand. We got the carp
with again (that decision was
to my right, so I tried to lead it in on a
ready for weighing, and I watched
to cost me, big-time).
long line. The carp was having none of
the needle settle on 29lb 2oz before
After sorting out
it though, and it resulted in me having
rattling off a few pictures and then
to give it some serious stick in order
letting my prize go back to its home.
carp onto the bank. The middle rod was in a bit of a mess, and after winding in about 50yds of
both rods and getting them
to get it back in front of me. I had to
I have usually wound in the rods and
a bad snag not far out in front of the
given the swim a rest for a few hours,
swim, and every time the carp lunged
but the conditions looked so good
I was concerned and so
that I made the decision to leave the
upped the pressure
rods out. I put another 15 spods of my
on the rod. Things at
mix out to the area, along with a few
last went my way and
spods of the Krill and Vor-tex pellets.
I was relieved to net my prize. My mate had seen
In the past when fishing this lake,
be careful though, because there was
I went back up to the top of the swim to take my seat on Steve’s bench
Most Memorable Ian Stott
and carried on watching the water. An hour after finishing spodding, a
turning out to be a fantastic session.
parted. I knew I had just lost a very big
ABOVE LEFT 29lb 5oz. The fish were still in the area, and within 2 hours I’d had this one…
A fresh hookbait was swiftly
carp and a few choice words followed. I
good fish showed to the right of my
attached and I sent the rig back to
reeled in the slack line, and on checking
spot, meaning they were still about
the spot, shortly followed by a few
it I found it was seriously frayed where
and I hadn’t spooked them from the
more spods of pellet. Less than 20
the weed had been running through
area. Shortly after this the left-hand
minutes later the middle rod was
it. I set about stripping line from the
rod let out a few bleeps, which had me
away. This couldn’t be right!! Things
spool, and before I could get the rod
scrambling down the bank to the rods.
went well and a few minutes later a
set up I had another take. The rod that
As I stood there the alarm let out its
decent-sized carp was milling around
had been recast rattled off, and after a
you’re on them, you’re on them, I
scream as the spool on the reel started
just below the surface. The carp broke
short fight, what looked like another 30
suppose. Lo and behold, the alarms
to spin. I reached down, picked up the
the surface for the first time and was
was safely within the confines of my
were on fire again. I had been joined
rod, and tightened down on the clutch.
swiftly scooped up in the waiting
net. It was another cracking mirror that
by three other syndicate members,
I couldn’t help but start laughing as
net. It was another that broke the
just scraped over the 30-mark, at 30lb
so there was a fair amount of banter
the rod took up its fighting curve. The
30lb mark, at 30lb 8oz. I don’t mind
2oz.This session was crazy, I’d never
going on as I played the fish. Things
carp had once again taken enough
admitting that I was positively buzzing;
had anything like it, and the smile on
eventually settled down, and after a
line to get down the back of the bar.
things had gone absolutely mental.
my face stretched from ear to ear.
bit of a tear-up in the margins, another
I walked up to the top of the swim,
Within just another 20 minutes of
I put on another lead and got it back
ABOVE …as well as this one at 31lb 5oz. BELOW 33lb 13oz – 10.00 p.m. and my tenth fish. To my disbelief it was another 30! When was this run going to end?
decent fish was in the net. With plenty
increasing the pressure somewhat,
putting the rod back out, the right-
out to the area, followed by another
of hands around to help, the carp was
and managed to coax the carp over
hander screamed off. All I could feel
couple of spods. I managed to finish
weighed and came in at 32lb 3oz. I
the top of the bar, which made things
was a steady plodding coming through
setting up the other rod and got that
was in dreamland! As per the other
a lot easier. Once again, as the carp
the rod, but I knew it was a better fish
back out there too. The crosswind
captures, the rod was back out in quick
got toward the margins it woke up
than before. The carp managed to find
was horrendous, so it was taking a
time and the swim topped up with a
and tested the hookhold to the limit.
some weed and I had to really bend into
fair bit of skill to keep all three rods
few spods, hopeful of more action.
It was something else watching the
it to get it moving again. Ever so slowly
bang on my spot, as well as getting
fish twisting and turning in the deep
I started to gain line, and some 15
the spod out there accurately.
crystal-clear margins. I was just happy
minutes after hooking it, it was in the
the carp was tiring itself out to the left
margins. I noticed a small clump of
of the swim because there is a really
weed on the line and juddered the
bad snag down in the depths of the
rod to try to get it to slide down.
right side. Slowly but surely it started
Shortly after this the carp had
coming up through the water, but it
a brainwave and seriously
still had enough in reserve to make a
tried to pull off my arm.
last-minute dash for freedom before
While the rod was
breaking the surface, where I gratefully
bent double, the
managed to safely net it. I had a quick
look in the net, and by the width of the
A few hours passed, with the alarms staying quiet for a change, and it was coming up to 7.00 p.m. I
Over the course of the next 2 hours I managed to put my name on two more carp that went 29lb 5oz and 31lb 5oz. These two were followed by another 30 at around 10.00 p.m., which pulled the needle round to 33lb 13oz. The swim was topped up with a
few more spods because I stayed
that I’d only just
hopeful of some action during the
gone over the 24-hour mark in my session and had bagged so many fish already. When
course of the night. I stayed up until 2.00 a.m. before calling it a day, however, sadly, no further fish materialised. I’d definitely had my fill
fish it looked like another chunk. After
though. Whilst sitting on Steve’s bench
my mate turned up we got the carp
that morning I had found a penny in
into the sling. At 33lb 12oz I certainly
the wood chippings, and had put it in
had a smile on my face for the
my pocket. Was it my lucky charm?
pictures, because this was
Shortly after this I packed up, and by 9.30 a.m. the van was loaded with my gear. The plan was to get home, have a quick shower, and pick up some boilies before making the 100-mile journey down to Wellington Country Park in Berkshire. Would my lucky penny do the business there too? To be continued... CC
Crafty Carper 106-109_MostMem_CC185.indd 4
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The Traveller Mark Pitchers
FISHERY INFO WELHAM LAKE, MALTON, NORTH YORKSHIRE
Excavated back in the 1940s, this picturesque
Welham Lake is a spring-fed fishery, with
fishery is actually situated on the edge of a
the water entering beneath the sandstone
golf course, although you would never know
bridge situated at the top end of the lake.
it because it is tucked away in a wonderfully
Throughout the harsh winter period it’s
secluded mature woodland setting.
this influx of slightly warmer water that
Originally the lake was stocked solely with
A small mouthful of stick mix should be just enough to encourage a bite.
ensures the carp remain active, and also
tench, and until as recently as a decade ago
reduces the possibility of the venue freezing.
it was regarded by many as one of the best
The lakebed is made up predominately of
tench waters in the country. However, at
silt, with depths ranging from as little as
some point in the early-1990s the decision
18ins at the back of the large central island
was made to introduce a number of carp,
to 5½ft towards the dam wall, although
which, not surprisingly, soon began to
the average seems to be around 3ft.
dominate their new environment. So much so, in fact, that following this stocking the tench declined dramatically, and today only a very small number remain, and only a handful are reported each season. The carp, on the other hand, have flourished, and the fishery now holds in the region of 150-200 carp in just 3 acres of water. The stock is made up almost solely of commons that average around the 1015lb mark, with 20lb+ fish reported each season. In December 2011 Welham was stocked with 52 small Leney-strain mirror carp, which are among the best-looking fish available in the UK, and these have already shown promising growth rates. Facilities
Tickets and Prices
There is an eco toilet and flushing ladies/
Tickets run from midday to midday. Price
children’s toilet, plus shower facilities.
for 24hrs is £20 from 1st March to 31st
Although there is no drinking water tap
November, or £15 from 1st December to
on site, the fishery does provide bottled
28th February. Day ticket and evening
tap water at no charge. There’s also a
tickets are available on request.
charging point for mobile phones or bait boats, which accommodates both mains
Directions and Contact Info
and car chargers. The fishery also keeps a
Heading towards Scarborough on the A64,
selection of essential tackle items on site.
leave at the slip road to Musley Bank onto
Welham is within easy reach of the
the B1248 for 1.6 miles. At the crossroads
shops should any long-stay anglers
turn right onto Castlegate. Go over the
need to stock up on supplies, and the
river and level crossing, and then turn right
local takeaways deliver food to the car
onto Welham Road. After 0.6 miles turn
park. Breakfasts are also available on
right into the golf club, and carry on down
site, and these can be eaten in the log
the track heading towards the woods,
cabin area or delivered to your swim.
where you’ll find the fishery car park.
The lake is sponsored by Nash Tackle, who have provided six furnished swims kitted out
Welham Lake/Malton & Norton Golf Club,
with bivvies, bedchairs, chairs, mats, slings,
rod pods and weigh tripods, all permanently
set up ready for use at no additional cost.
North Yorkshire, YO17 9QE.
• Barbless or micro-barbed hooks only
For further information contact
• Minimum 10lb line
Gary Howard on:
• No braided main line
Landline: (01405) 869815.
• Minimum 42ins landing nets
Mobile: 07769 201368.
• Maximum of two rods to be used
• Padded unhooking mats must
be used at all times • No fixed rigs (rigs are subject to inspection) • No retaining of fish • Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult • Bait boats must be used sensibly!
ABOVE A Reverse Combi coupled with a Clockwork Orange pop-up was the order of the day.
The Traveller Mark Pitchers
The main section of
in the gin-clear water, I incorporated a
mix with a wonderful fruity aroma. To
buoyant mix; this would raise the rig
the rig is constructed from
6ft leader of Fox Illusion Fluorocarbon.
this I added some finely-crumbed MK1
and hookbait above the lakebed before
25lb Gravitron Pro Braid, which is the
This stuff not only sinks
perfect material for the job. Not only
like a stone, but it is
does it sink incredibly well, it also has
a slight degree of stiffness to ensure
in water, which
a balanced hookbait is always pushed
makes it virtually
& Banana ready-
did feel they were perhaps unlikely to
away from the lead, yet it’s still supple
mades, which really
stay in this same area for very long. So,
boost the visual
with that in mind, I decided to unpack just the bare minimum of kit from the
enough to follow the contours of the
boilies that had been blitzed in a Muncha, along with
gently coming to rest over the silt/ debris once the PVA mesh dissolved.
some crumbed HighLeakage Pineapple
The carp were
Having been able to witness firsthand just how lively the carp were, I
lakebed, even if the lead sinks into the
appeal of the mix.
silt. The braid is then attached via a
present in the
My reason for using
leader knot to a small 1½ins section of
swim so there was
15lb Rigidity hooklink, which is then
no need to introduce
tied to a Size 8 Fox SR hook. I then
any loose feed. I opted to
use the Chod/Withy Rig Bin to steam
fish simple high-attract
the short rigid section, which enables
PVA sticks, because in
me to create the perfect curve for
this instance a well-
enhanced presentation and maximum
placed mouthful of food
hooking potential. Hookbaits are then
is all that is required to
fished D-Rig-style, with my preferred
induce a take. The stick mix
choice being Mainline’s Clockwork
consisted primarily of Mainline’s Cloud9
optimum attraction levels. All the
off to ensure I would be
Orange 10mm pop-ups; I just can’t
Groundbait, which is a highly-active
ingredients were used dry to create a
audibly alerted to a take.
a groundbait-style mix
Due to the shallow silty nature of the water, a light lead and lead clip setup was the one.
barrow, which would make moving swims so much easier should the need
instead of a pellet mix is
arise. With just the rods and landing net
due to the fact that it offers
at the ready, a small PVA stick of around
instant attraction, even in
1½ins was attached to each rig before
low water temperatures,
being cast into position amongst the
whereas pellet-based baits
group of fish. Instead of unpacking the
may take a few minutes,
buzzers and banksticks, the rods were
or longer, before it starts to break down and reach the
simply laid on the wooden platform and the clutch on the reels slackened
seem to fail with them at the moment!
TIE MARK’S REVERSE COMBI RIG
Due to the shallow silty nature of the bottom, a light 1.75oz Flat Pear
If you want to fish over light bottom debris or silt, but don’t want to use a Chod Rig, then this is the way forward.
swivel lead was employed and this was fished on a lead clip setup. To keep the main line concealed and pinned down
1 Take some Rigidity, thread through the eye and tie a whipping knot, like so.
2 Now loop back the Rigidity and thread some Gravitron braid through it.
3 Take the braid twice through the loop formed with the Rigidity, like this.
ABOVE The absolute minimum of gear was unpacked; rods out and landing net at the ready.
4 Pinch the braid, start at the bottom and whip upwards 12 times before taking the braid back through the loop.
7 Take a pair of scissors and trim off the tag end of Rigidity.
10 ABOVE With a small stick attached, it was time to get the rods out.
Pinch the braid, start at the bottom and whip upwards 12 times before taking the braid back through the loop.
5 Carefully tease down the braid whipping and you should have something like this.
8 The Hook Ring Swivel can now be threaded onto the other tag end of the Rigidity.
11 Attach a small piece of putty to the knot between the Rigidity and Gravitron, this will counterbalance the hookbait.
6 Now thoroughly moisten the knot before pulling it down tight.
9 Loop the tag over and back through the eye before blobbing in place to form a ‘D’.
12 Attach the pop-up by pulling a doubledup length of bait floss through it, and then blob the floss to secure it.
Crafty Carper 013-016_Traveller_CC185.indd 3
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The Great Debate Team Crafty Carper
Ian Poole says: “If I remember correctly, the original line-aligner was developed by Jim Gibbinson. It was a safe alternative to the ill-fated bent hook rig, which quickly disappeared once doubt was cast on how ethical it was due to possibly causing excess mouth damage to carp hooked on it. I didn’t try the bent hook rig, but did get on the line-aligner, and it formed the basis of my go-anywhere rig for several years. The idea behind the hooklink coming out of the side wall of the tubing was to simply create an angle to match the mechanics of the bent hook rig, which although flawed in carp safety terms, was a tremendous hooker of carp. The line-aligner was developed several years before the Knotless Knot appeared, and since then it’s not been as popular, probably because when tied with the right hooks and hooklink, the Knotless Knot can give a very similar effect. However, just recently I have seen a number of versions of the line-aligner, with curves added to the tubing and all manner of other adjustments. To be honest, I have a feeling that a lot of these changes are made just to be different, so I still prefer the original, which, as it happens, is also extremely simple to tie.”
I prefer the original, and it’s a go-anywhere rig for me.
Nigel Sharp says: “My most successful season on the line-aligner was during the 1993-94 season when I fished the Match Lake at Yateley. That year things came together after several years of fine-tuning, and it became apparent that exiting the tubing from the side did make a massive difference compared to just running in line. The tubing I found best at the time was 0.75 thick walled silicone tubing; it had to end critically opposite the point of the hook, and the top of the bait had to line up with the barb of the hook, which happened to be the Size 4 Super Specialist hooks. As per usual with all good things, this came to an end and that particular tubing became nigh on impossible to get hold of. Around about the same time, shrink tubing suddenly appeared in the carp-fishing world, and rigs started changing due to the way you could extend the shanks and shapes of the hooks. The greatest example of this was the famous Withy Pool Rig, which became the basis of most hooking arrangements. Whilst all this was going on, the simple line-aligner got forgotten until more recent years, when Bernie Loftus and Rob Maylin developed An old warrior being returned to Yateley Match Lake after falling to a line-aligner.
the Mag-Aligner Rig and proved that exiting from the side is far greater than not. Having used both, I’m convinced it does anyway.”
The Great Debate
Team Crafty Carper
Iain Macmillan says: “As with most
bait with a longshank hook pattern, or
to get into the line-aligner, I would
Dave Magalhaes says:
rig developments, the line-aligner (or
indeed any hook with an in-turned eye
suggest trying both variations until
“Personally, I haven’t seen a line-
versions of it) is a personal thing. I
to allow the silicone tubing to follow
you’re happy with the one on which
aligner used in this fashion since I
have my own take on it, and I don’t
that angle, then I’m happy to use it
you receive more bites, and then
was a kid. Whether that’s because
have the hooklink coming out of
as described above. On the flip
stick to it. Carp fishing is a lot about
we’ve moved forward since those
the side of the shrink tubing. What
side, I know that lads like
I do, and have done for a few years
Crowy, Ian Russell and
now, is actually use silicone tubing
Frank Warwick swear by
to create the kicker coming off the
the original line-aligner,
eye of the hook. I suppose that if you
and just look what
want the real truth, it’s far easier
they catch. If
to create the desired angle on the
confidence, so once you’re confident
days, or simply because it’s not in
in a particular method, it will
vogue any more, I’m not sure. To
serve you well for years.”
be honest, I’m not a particularly
BELOW Why make things more difficult than they need to be? Be simple and confident.
riggy person and I wouldn’t have a clue why you would pull the hooklink out of the side of the tubing. I like to keep things simple,
tubing by simply sliding it down the
except for a few additions which
rig and forcing it over the eye of the
I feel make the rig do what I want
in-turned hook, rather than having
it to do when sucked in. I am a
to thread a latched baiting needle
fan of using shrink tubing, but
through it. In my opinion, you still
I guess the sole reason for its
end up with the same turning on the
addition is to extend the shank
rig once dragged across the palm of
of the hook and make the whole
the hand. Whether
thing like a claw. Also, as a general
it results in
rule I like to use big hooks when
fishing on the bottom (Size 6 or
bigger), so when a piece of shrink
you actually use
tubing is attached, it’s a fair old
the line-aligner how
mouthful and I think it makes
it was originally intended
it more difficult for the fish to
– who knows? All I know
eject it. I know people like to talk
is if I’m using a bottom
about scaling down and balancing out everything, especially in the winter, but I think this makes it easier for the fish to get away
Myles Gascoyne says: “The
Regardless of the tubing’s length,
is certainly an improvement on
with it. I still use the same setup
quicker a hook catches hold in the
making the hooklink exit from a
the silicone that was originally
even through the depths of winter.
carp’s mouth, the better, so I do
hole in the side of the shrink tube
used to make a line-aligner. It is a
The only time this would change is
everything I can to make the hook
creates a more aggressive angle
refinement that was forgotten for
if I were fishing for much smaller
turn as soon as possible. I have
and turns the hook quicker in the
a while when shrink tube replaced
fish, say under 15lb, which is
found it interesting that with a
palm test. It’s worth noting that
silicone, but it’s a refinement
quite rare for me because I like
longshank hook, a short piece of
I use a line-aligner with bottom
that I believe might just put an
to target specific bigger fish.”
shrink tube angled in aggressively
baits and a small length of silicone
extra one or two on the bank.”
turns the hook the quickest. With
opposite the barb of the hook. It is
a wider gape hook or something
important to use a good shrink tube
like a Solar 101, a longer length
that reduces in diameter nicely and
of shrink tube works better.
keeps its shape well. Shrink tube
BELOW I opt for the version that I find turns quickest to give me greater hooking potential
This is my version. I haven’t seen the original used in a long while.
Editor’s Comment There are a few different opinions here from the lads; all of them seem to use the presentation they are most confident in using, or which has caught them the most fish. Give it a try for yourself and see which one gives you the best results, and which version you think is the most efficient when it comes to actual hooking potential. It’s worth giving it a go and forming your own opinion, even after the opinions of six of our experts. NEXT MONTH: We ask the panel about leader material. Which ones do they prefer
to use, and why? Leadcore, lead-free leaders, or fused nylon leaders?
Crafty Carper 033-035_Debate_CC185.indd 3
35 07/12/2012 16:26
My Take On Winter Carping Kevin Nash
LEFT Nailed! One of
Alan’s January Attractor Beetles-caught carp. ABOVE The Glow Bugs will
definitely be something to look out for. RIGHT The Gyro Bug Mix is extremely active – experiment with making your own. BELOW The Ball Maker alongside handy sized balls of Gyro Bug Mix that it produces.
banks, with my four bottom bait rigs
particles would rise and fall through
and gyrating in the water column,
this method, the bottom rigs are out
spaced out so that Alan could put a
the water column and attract fish
so I named it the Gyro Bug Mix.
with boilies to nail them on the bottom,
Zig in between each one. That way
into the area, pulling them down,
we covered all the water from bottom
or conversely, pulling them up. We
as part of my bottom-to-top baiting
the Gyro Bug Mix, which either remains
to top; it’s a really effective way of
blended this groundbait with all sorts
and fishing concept. I was baiting with
on the bottom or drifts back down, and
winter fishing, because between us
of goodies, including proper insects.
the PMS and putting two bottom bait
then there are all the bits rising up
we had the carp covered, whatever
I was well impressed the first time I
rigs out, then putting out two Zig
and down, attracting and stimulating
depth they were at. In fact, it was
took it out and watched it breaking
rods left and right of the two bottom
carp to feed midwater. I have to smile
from this experience that I got the
down. The insects were spinning
bait rigs, and with the help of our
when I think about some of the hits
idea of how to move forward with
awesome Ball Makers, firing out balls
I’ve had this year when using this
Zigs into the season, and it proved
of the Gyro Bug Mix. The results were
approach, especially the video day
so effective that I will carry on the
amazing and my take rate consistency
in April, when Alan dragged me out
approach through this winter.
went through the roof; with this
to a new lake that I knew nothing
approach you’ve gone a step further
about to film and demonstrate my
than getting the location right – you’re
Zig techniques, and, of course, show
also covering the depth at which
what an expert I was by catching
the fish are sitting and/or feeding.
some carp. Me – an expert? Yeah right!
So, let’s move on from last winter and into my spring and earlysummer fishing, and you’ll see what I mean about how relevant this could be for your Zig fishing this winter. By April I had the first batches of a groundbait which I had been working on with Gary Bayes. The theory was that as it broke down,
“With this approach you’ve gone a step further than getting the location right – you’re also covering the depth at which the fish are sitting and/or feeding”
I was now using the Gyro Bug Mix
A lot of the time, and particularly in the winter, carp sit in a certain
and a feeding stimulus is created by
Well, that was the theory anyway. It is no secret that I hate being in
place and move up and down the
front of the camera, and I certainly
water column, depending on sunlight,
wasn’t confident on that freezing
temperature and air pressure. So with
spring day. When you are filming it
My Take On Winter Carping Kevin Nash
has to be scheduled. You can’t look
one metre apart from each other, so it
out of the window and think, ‘Wow!
was pretty tight fishing. Then I set to
Conditions are great, I’ll grab the
with the Ball Maker, making compact
and I enjoyed some great winter fishing.
rods.’ On this particular film day the
balls of Gyro Bug Mix. I put out 30 of
conditions were far from great. A
them, trickling in a few every hour, and
lovely mild low-pressure weather
22 hours later it was job done – I had
front had been replaced with a mega-
the lake’s big common on a Glow Bug.
supposed to be sunny, it didn’t feel
is another product that we won’t be
like spring with the bitterly cold wind.
launching until the spring, but for those
“Kevin Nash is one of the most successful carp anglers in both business and carp-catching, and his new book is a must for all readers of Crafty”
of you who want to try the approach
high one, and while the days were
I just couldn’t imagine the carp being
Unfortunately, the Gyro Bug Mix
on this wind, so I decided to move to
this winter, do what I did. Start with
calmer waters off the back of it. After
some Riser Pellet and other floating
plumbing around, I found the bottom
elements that take your fancy, play
was covered in gooey dead blanket
with some groundbaits to get a suitable
weed, so I elected to fish two Chods,
consistency and breakdown, and you
“Endlessly fascinating, funny, and full of the trials and tribulations that carp angling presents to all of us”
spreading 50 PMS boilies around the
may be surprised at the end result.
area to get the fish moving as they
Holding up any carp in the depths
searched for baits. I then put out two
of winter is immensely satisfying,
To read full reviews of Kevin Nash’s excellent
Zigs, one with a black bug set midwater
and you will be even more made up
new book Memoirs of a Carp Fisher: The Demon
at 4ft, and the other with a Glow Bug
if you catch it on your own home-
Eye, visit our website: craftycarper.co
set at 5ft. All rods were spaced about
made Gyro Mix and a Zig Bug. CC
Crafty Carper 037-041_NashWinter_CC185.indd 5
41 06/12/2012 16:37
Multi-Range Challenge Dave Springall
and is virtually indestructible.
One thing I have learned over
However, for a rod of this nature
the years is that when the need
it is amazingly easy to compress,
arises to fish at range (which I
regardless of casting ability, and
personally class as distances of
will, without doubt, put yards
100yds+), then having the right
on the casting of anyone with
kit is of the greatest importance.
even a reasonable technique.
There are a number of
Next is reel choice. I always
fundamental changes that I make
opt for a Shimano Technium
when faced with this situation,
reel when fishing at range, for
and the first and most obvious
two main reasons. Firstly, the
one is rod choice. Working part-
impeccable line lay that this reel
time for Century means I am
boasts, which I truly believe
extremely lucky in that I have
aids in casting distance, and
access to arguably the best
secondly, its super-fast retrieval,
casting rod on the market today
making reeling in from big
– the 13ft Century FMA-2. If it’s
distances much less of a chore.
distance you are after, this is the ultimate; with 50mm ringing and huge reserves of power, this rod handles 5oz leads with ease
RIGHT The big guns were well and truly out for this challenge.
My usual 18lb E-S-P Syncro
My usual long leadcore leaders
XT mono is swapped for a
are substituted for shorter ones,
12lb version, which is kept on
which fly a lot better and also
my spare spools and is a far
give superb presentation when
thinner diameter than the 18lb
coupled with the fast-sinking
equivalent. Many anglers opt for
shockleaders. As far as leads go,
10lb line when fishing at range,
I like a 4.25oz distance-style lead
but I prefer to have as strong
on a lead clip setup wherever
a setup as possible, and the
possible. I always use the Lead
Syncro XT in 12lb enables me
Shed distance leads with the
to fish at ranges of over 150yds
mucky coating option; these are
with total peace of mind. It also
nigh on invisible on the lakebed
sinks superbly for a 12lb line.
and without doubt the best I have used. A lot of big casters like to use a 5oz lead, but I find that I can move a slightly lighter
RIGHT A change of spools is called for when fishing at distance. I opt for 12lb main line rather than my usual 18lb breaking strain.
lead a lot faster. I have always felt that a 5oz lead slows me down a little, and with speed of movement, and tip speed in particular, being paramount, the Leaders To avoid crack-offs and line
4.25oz is the one I recommend. Rig-wise, I think it is important
breakages, and due to the powerful
to use a rig that offers minimal
nature of the rods, I incorporate an
risk of tangles. Tangles can
E-S-P Tapered Shock Leader into the
happen at any time, but are
setup, which I tie on with my version
even more likely to occur when
of a back-to-back Grinner Knot.
fishing at long range. The longer
This knot has never let me down
the rig is flying through the air,
and is the only one you will ever
the more time and opportunity
need for this particular job. These
it has to tangle. Chod Rigs are
leaders sink superbly well and will
great at range, as are solid bags
take a huge amount of force. Just be
if tied correctly, but my favourite
sure you check the rules regarding
is a Hinged Stiff Link with an
shockleaders on your chosen venue
anti-tangle sleeve fished off
before you cast out because they are
a lead clip. This is a cracking
now banned on many waters, usually
single hookbait presentation
due to improper or unsafe use.
which rarely tangles, and the lead clip enables you to lose
LEFT Leaders are a must when fishing
long range to avoid crack-offs, and the tapered ones from E-S-P are my choice.
the lead should you need to – which, for me, gives it the nod over the Chod Rig.
Top Tip Once the aforementioned setup is ready to go, it is also important to wet the rings on the rod and the spool of the reel before making the cast, to reduce as much friction in the line as possible. I have recently started, for the first time in years, to keep my rods in sleeves which, although is a bit of a pain carting them around the lake with the added weight, does seem to hold in the moisture and stop the line drying out between trips. This means that the line is ready to cast and sinks a lot better from the start of my next session.
RIGHT Wetting the rod rings and spool helps minimise friction and adds extra yards.
This stuff actually reduces in
For this particular session at Thorpe
diameter as you tighten down the
Lea, I chose a peg with a huge
knot and stretch it, meaning that the
amount of water in front to give the
knot is tiny, thus reducing friction
rods a good thrashing. First of all, a
and catching on the cast. I knew
nice gravel patch was found using
the takes would more than likely
the marker, at around 135yds on
come during the night, going on the
the shallow shelf that is situated
bailiffâ€™s reports, so it was going to be
in the main body of water. Again,
invaluable to have the lines marked
I hadnâ€™t had the marker out for
up for accurate night-time recasts
some time and usually only use
in the event of catching a fish.
one to find depths when fishing
All that was left to do now was
Zigs, but for accuracy at range I
to attach the rigs and cast them
think they are an invaluable tool. I
to the spots, one on the Stiff Link
use the exact same FMA-2 rod as
and the other with a solid bag of
a marker rod as well as my fishing
T1 Pellets and a yellow 10mm
rod, because I know that nothing
Baitcraft Juicy Fruit barrel hookbait
casts further than this beauty.
to try to mimic the corn in the mix.
Next, it was time for a bit of long-range spodding, and I spodded out around 10kg of hemp, corn and maize, as well as 5kg of Baitcraft
BELOW Marker Gum is essential for ensuring I hit the same spot time and again.
T1 Pellets across the entire area. Many anglers like to keep their spodding super-tight on a certain spot, whereas I have always preferred to spread my bait out a little and get the carp moving around and searching, much like I would with my more normal boilie angling. With that in mind, a few stray spods were fired out slightly laterally off the spots. Once this was done, it was time to cast bare leads to the spots, clip up at the perfect distance, and mark my lines with some of 4.25oz distance leads and a lead clip setup are perfect.
the new E-S-P Marker Gum.
Crafty Carper 077-080_Multi-Range_Challenge_CC185.indd 3
79 07/12/2012 10:53
In this months issue: Kevin Nash, Long Range Carping with Dave Springall, The People's champion Julian Cundiff and Master Day sessions with...