Page 1

Living the Dream James Armstrong





Crafty Carper

099-103_LivingDream_CC185.indd 4

06/12/2012 16:44

Living the Dream

James Armstrong

“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 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

Crafty Carper

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07/12/2012 14:04

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

line suddenly

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

couldn’t believe

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

109 07/12/2012 14:04


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Jason Rider and Friends


Rob Maylin




10/12/2012 12:32

The Traveller Mark Pitchers


The Venue

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,

Welham Road,

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.

Crafty Carper

013-016_Traveller_CC185.indd 2

06/12/2012 10:21

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

practically invisible

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

clearly already

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!


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

15 06/12/2012 10:22

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.”

Crafty Carper

033-035_Debate_CC185.indd 2

07/12/2012 16:25

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

you’re going

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

more carp

fishing on the bottom (Size 6 or

hooked if

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

Team CC.

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

Crafty Carper

037-041_NashWinter_CC185.indd 4

06/12/2012 16:37

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

Julian Cundiff

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.

Carpworld magazine

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:

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

What’s Needed

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.

Line Choice

End Tackle

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.

Crafty Carper

077-080_Multi-Range_Challenge_CC185.indd 2

07/12/2012 10:52

Multi-Range Challenge

Dave Springall

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.

The Session

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

bailiff’s reports, so it was going to be

in the main body of water. Again,

invaluable to have the lines marked

I hadn’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

Crafty Carper January 2013  

In this months issue: Kevin Nash, Long Range Carping with Dave Springall, The People's champion Julian Cundiff and Master Day sessions with...

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