facebook.com/kevinnashcarpangler www.nashtackle.co.uk www.nashtv.co.uk facebook.com/officialnashtackle ISSUE 15 • WINTER • JAN 2014
OLI DAVIES EXPLAINS HIS TACTICS FOR THE COLDER MONTHS.
SNIP & CLIP!
THE AFTERMATH OF GARY’S CHARITY MAKEOVER!
RECIPES FOR SUCCESS NASH E-ZINE
SCOPE FOR THE FUTURE
www.nashtackle.co.uk www.nashtv.co.uk www.facebook.com/OfficialNashTackle www.facebook.com/KEVINNASHCARPANGLER
© KEVIN NASH GROUP PLC. 2014 30 YEARS OF INNOVATION
WINTER // JAN 2014
NASH E-ZINECONTENTS ISSUE 15
In the Mix 04 Watsonâ€™s Angle 34 Jim Paisley - P.A.G
Winter Zigs 12
A Recipe For Success 38 Stacking The Odds
Alfie Russell 18 Mid Water Thoughts 24
Rig Talk 48 Snip And Clip 54
Instant Action 26 Oli Davies 28
Editor: Keith Jones Creative Design: Dan Maslanka Web: Kevin Tucker Photography: Oli Davies, Dan Maslanka & the respectable article names
On The Grapevine 60
With thanks to: Nash Consultants & The Nash Tackle HQ Team.
IN THE MIX BY KEITH JONES
Hello again and welcome to our winter E-Zine! We’ve put together a really interesting mix of winter features this time with plenty of top tips and advice from some of the country’s top anglers. We’ve also taken a close look at some of the products, baits and tactics that have been performing well and featuring heavily in the catch reports this winter. I’ve certainly picked up on a few new ideas that I’m keen to try out and hopefully you’ll do the same. NASH E-ZINE
THE OTTER PROBLEM
Once again, otters have been causing problems on fisheries around the country this winter. One thing that has really worried me over the last few years is that so many anglers seem oblivious to the potential dangers.
The other thing that’s been hard to ignore is how many fish are being caught on Zig Bugs again this winter, they’ve certainly saved a few blanks for me. But even so, I’ve only seen relatively small numbers of anglers using them, which in a way emphasises just how effective they can be. Many of us are still missing out big time on what is a very effective method of catching carp.
We are privileged this month to have Tim Paisley writing about the otter problem. In this very informative piece, Tim talks about The Predation Action Group and also the publishing of the Big Picture document which is something that everyone with an interest in fishing needs to be aware of. The otter problem is likely to be with us for some time and all we can do for now is ensure we protect our precious fish stocks as best we can. So please make time to read Tim’s feature.
BE PREPARED I absolutely love winter carp fishing, but mid winter can be a difficult time to catch consistently, just recently the winter storms and floods have caused havoc on the waters I’ve been targeting and the fishing has often been slow. Navigating flooded fields and footpaths and setting up sometimes in ankle deep water and mud certainly tests the resolve and stamina, but the rewards are there for those willing to take up the challenge. Fishing with a friend is a good idea, I find an element of friendly competition helps to keep me sharp, or camping out with your partner can also be great fun. The new winter clothing, Groundhog Brolley and various other bits and pieces that I’ve been using have certainly performed well and despite the harsh weather I’ve remained warm, comfortable and dry during recent visits to the bank.
SPECIAL HOOK BAITS On a lighter note, Jed Kent has also written an informative piece on special hook baits. Jed is a talented angler with an in depth knowledge and a passion for making his own bait and always has something interesting to say. You may have already met him on the Nash stand at one of the recent carp shows making and talking bait alongside bait guru Gary Bayes. There are lots of edges and tips in Jed’s feature that will help anglers of all abilities to bank a few bonus fish this winter.
INSTANT ACTION Talking of special hook baits, I’ve noticed whilst trawling through the recent catch reports just how many fish are being caught on the new range of Instant Action boilies and Hi-Attract Pop Ups. These are quality baits with potent in-built instant pulling power, they are also proving to be consistent catchers too and very different to many of the brightly coloured ‘carp sweets’ that you’ll find in the tackle shops.
The new Scope gear is also perfect for my short winter sessions, a double rod skin, collapsible landing net, backpack, bait bucket and chair with my unhooking mat bungeed to the side is all I need for a hyperactive mobile session. For overnight visits, the Sleep System, brolley and extra bait are added to the trolley and I’m sorted. Carp tend to be less active at this time of the year and many areas of your chosen winter venue could well be devoid of fish for long periods. Fishing a mobile approach is crucial, I can’t sit in the cold and wait for the carp to come to me, the chances are they won’t anyway. More often than not, if you can find them, with the right approach you’ll catch. During the warmer months, sometimes you can ‘wing it’. By this I mean you can chuck the rods out half-heartedly and if the fish are in the right mood you’ll catch a few. But successful winter fishing requires a great deal more focus on the detail. Every aspect of our fishing needs to be constantly scrutinised in order to stack every possible percentage point in our favour. But looking on the bright side, even if the winter has sapped your enthusiasm slightly, spring isn’t that far away, often during February, if you look very closely you can see the very first signs of nature waking up and the same applies to the carp. I tend to fish shorter sessions in the winter, an hour or two
before first light to mid evening being typical. Unless I’m travelling a long way, camping out for twenty four hours is also long enough for me. When I say long enough, I mean it’s long enough to ensure I’ll be there at bite time which is crucial and I’ll fish an active mobile session and do everything I can to get a few bites. Any longer and I tend to get lazy and just sit it out or even just catch up on some sleep and I rarely catch carp in the winter when I do that. Short sessions of just a few hours can also be very productive, for these it’s important to choose a local lake with winter form. Some of my fishing friends who are hardened long session winter campers think that my short session approach is the easy option. But even so, scraping the ice off my van early morning, arriving at the lake in sub zero temperatures, setting up and attempting to tie on rigs with painful icy fingers can still be a challenge. The inevitable blanks are never a waste of time as I always learn or observe something interesting and looking on the positive side I’ll also be a few hours closer to the next capture. I also like to visit local target waters regularly and trickle bait into margin
areas where I can make sure it gets eaten, a spot of stealthy raking can be very revealing and keeps the spots clean and attractive. Dragging a rake over regularly baited winter spots definitely draws fish to them, often very soon after the disturbance has stopped. I’m also trying out a few new ideas this winter with various additives, some old and well proven, others new and experimental. The idea is to create a winter bug magnet that will draw in the carp’s natural food to my baited spots and add an extra dimension to attraction, and so far it’s working really well. The extracts are blended with a small amount of binder to create a really potent ground bait. The semi died-back weed on the edges of the clear spots that I’ve been baiting with boilies and the ground bait mix are absolutely crawling with bugs. There’s a real diversity of creatures too. Just recently I scooped out some weed with my Refresh Water Bucket and counted five different creatures crawling around in the bottom, that’s impressive for winter.
sometimes be temporarily scarce for short periods in winter. Carp are very much in tune with their watery home and seem to always instinctively know when a hatch of valuable food suddenly becomes available. So a mixture of quality bait and natural food is bound to keep pulling the fish back for more and even when the bait has been eaten by fish and or diving birds, the residue of natural extracts and natural food will ensure the spots stay attractive to carp for long periods. The Squid Extract is a very potent attractor perfectly suited to this purpose but you have to be careful to stick to the recommended levels on the tub, go too high and it’s easy to create a very effective carp repellent – be warned! Green Lipped Mussel Extract mixed with other nutritional supplements is also producing some impressive results but unlike the Squid, the more I put in the better it gets. I’ve caught well from these areas over the last few months so it’ll be interesting to see how things develop. Well that’s more than enough from me – read on and enjoy!
There are several advantages to be gained from this, for example natural food comes and goes in cycles and can
ZT BODY WARMER
ZT DUO TROUSERS
ZT SECOND SKINS
ZT ALL IN ONE
ATTITUDE TO ADVERSE ELEMENTS
WINTER 2014 www.nashtackle.co.uk www.nashtv.co.uk
FACEBOOK.COM/OFFICIALNASHTACKLE | FACEBOOK.COM/KEVINNASHCARPANGLER
www.nashtackle.co.uk www.nashtv.co.uk www.facebook.com/OfficialNashTackle www.facebook.com/KEVINNASHCARPANGLER
© KEVIN NASH GROUP PLC. 2013 30 YEARS OF INNOVATION
BY TIM PAISLEY (chairman of the PAG and compiler of The Big Picture)
think most carp and specialist anglers are aware of the impact predation has had on pond, lake and river life, but how many realise just how far-reaching the impact has become in terms of intruding on many areas of our fauna ecology? The main impact of predation comes from cormorants and otters. In some river systems, signal crayfish aggravate this situation and are recognised as a growing problem, but for the most part it is the more obvious damage caused by cormorants and otters that is having the greatest damage on the ecology. When we at the PAG started compiling The Big Picture document we have recently published, we decided that to identify predation as simply a fish and angling problem was too narrow a view. Research is being carried out by biodiversity bodies into the broadening diet of otters. Put simply, signal crayfish, cormorants (and goosanders where present) have made, and continue to make, such serious inroads into what is, historically, the otter’s accepted diet – fish life in rivers – that the otter is being forced to forage for food beyond its normal horizons. Big fish have become targets, as have birds and small mammals. In The Big Picture we have published two research documents focusing on the increasing bird content of otters’ diet, one based on research in Norfolk and the other in Somerset. We have been able to include material in which the RSPB reveals that it has been fencing a number of its reserves against ground predators (they don’t name otters), and here are a couple of quotes from that document: 10
increasing threat to birdlife. ‘…a grant from the Landfill Communities Fund is also helping us to install electric fencing (at Belfast Harbour) to protect ground-nesting birds such as lapwing from predators.’ ‘We have also built a large predator fence (at Otmoor in Oxfordshire) that has resulted in an 84% increase in the number of breeding waders.’ The efforts of the RSPB and the results of the biodiversity groups’ research spells out just how serious the impact on birdlife and groundnesting birds has become. In The Big
Picture there is an excellent interview with Ellis Brazier from Shropshire – successful carp and coarse angler, experienced game angler, and a seasoned countryman – first published in Coarse Angling Today, in which he spells out the impact of cormorants and otters on the ecology. The writer knows full well how serious this impact is, not having heard a skylark or lapwing in Shropshire for 10 years now. Yes, farming practices must take some responsibility for the decline of these birds, but the RSPB’s measures aren’t aimed at farming practices, they are recognition of the fact that ground predators are an
The Big Picture includes material focusing on the threat to angling and angling livelihoods. Adam Roots’ excellent article, which focuses on the southwest, first appeared in Carpworld and has been reproduced, as has John Wilson’s exposé of the damage signal crayfish, cormorants and otters have caused to stillwaters and rivers in East Anglia. There is new material from Mark Holmes, chairman of Bradford No.1 AA and a member of the PAG movement, highlighting the numerical and economic damage otters have caused to the carp population of Yorkshire. ‘Coincidentally’, these three areas were among the scenes of the most widespread and earliest otter releases when the scheme to reintroduce this thenthreatened species to the wild was implemented in the early-’70s. There is also an excellent piece by Martin Read, spelling out that the battle against the impact of cormorants started 20 years ago! While some inroads have been made on the cormorant front and a measure of control is possible, under licence, the bottom line is that the cormorant, a non-native species which has only been with us since the ’80s, is still protected. There is a parallel piece by Chris Burt, outlining the specialist political initiatives he was involved in around the turn of the century regarding the otter problem, prior to the SAA becoming swallowed up by the formation of the Angling Trust. There is an Angling Trust contribution to the document spelling out its effort over predation, and emphasising the difficult position we are all in vis-à-vis otters and cormorants, in that both species are protected by European and UK legislation. There has been
some criticism of AT’s attitude to the otter problem, but there is a ray of hope in the contribution to our document in this paragraph: ‘We have formed a working group with the statutory agencies to keep the impact of otter predation under review and… question whether it is appropriate to continue to classify them as an endangered species.’ Endangered means in danger of extinction. Is the otter in danger of extinction? Emphatically ‘No!’, but some of the species they are being forced to prey on are. Apparently there is a new powers-that-be solution to every aspect of predation; ‘Fence it!’ We are told that the solution to protect carp waters is to fence them, on the basis of a pathetic grant of £50,000 per year!? Ashmead cost £25,000 to fence a few years back, and Dave Moore’s water at Ripon (an otter-devastation area) cost £85,000 to fence! Some waters, often the most natural and historic, are simply unfenceable. Are we really going to have to visit RSPB fenced reserves to hear skylarks and lapwings, and see other otherwise non-existent ground-nesting birds? There is more material in this 116-page document focusing on the whole spectrum of predation and its effects. We have been able to publish The Big Picture through funds raised at meetings and through donations (including generous support from patron Kevin Nash). We have sent the document to universities, biodiversity groups, naturalists (including Sir David Attenborough, if anyone who reads this has his ear!) and the national and angling media in the hope that the seriousness of the burgeoning
impact of predation on all areas of the ecology will trigger further research, and a realistic appraisal of the disastrous and worsening situation. We have sent out over 250 copies of The Big Picture, and all we can do now is sit back for a while and await a hoped-for reaction. Sadly, anglers are apathetic. I had my head in the sand over predation until John Wilson read the riot act to me and spelled out the reality of the situation at Five Lakes a few years ago. Trying to do something about it, along with my PAG colleagues, has since been an essential part of my off-the-bank life. I run two unfenceable carp waters in Shropshire, the Mangrove and Birch Grove, which have suffered some otter predation, but we have been fortunate in that there are eels in the waters. (Eels are also in serious decline, and they are a preferred diet for otters, another of those strange coincidences which keep cropping up in the unrealistic defence by those people still in denial over the impact of predation.) Beware! We are entering the time of year when otter predation is likely to be at its worst. If it isn’t already protected, your water may be next on the list. In the meantime all we can do is sit back and wait and hope that the clear warning we have fired out via our document Predation: an Ecological Disaster. The Big Picture provokes a serious reaction from someone who has the influence to trigger a course of action which will see something done about the situation. The Big Picture document appears in full on our website: www. thepredationactiongroup.co.uk
WINTER ZIGS FINE TUNING FOR SUCCESS
relatively small number of anglers have been catching winter carp on zigs for many years, there’s nothing new in that. But the ever expanding range of Zig Bugs and related products are taking an already effective method to a new level. Our extensive tests have proven that carp either hit zig hook baits on colour, or when the hook bait imitates a natural hatch of aquatic life. So we’ve now incorporated an element of movement, colour contrast, phosphorescence and iridescence into the latest ‘hatch’ of bug hook baits, which in turn has created a unique form of aquatic imitation and attraction. Zig Bugs are proven to stimulate the carp’s instinct to investigate any potential food items, Zig Bugs create the ‘trigger’ compelling carp to feed often in conditions when all other tactics have failed.
A FEW THOUGHTS ON WINTER BUG CHOICE The Zig Bug concept is without doubt, natural attraction at its most effective, there are no hard and fast rules when selecting a hook bait
and everyone seems to have their own favourites. The key to winter success is to always take a good selection of bug types, and then fish different options on different rods until the carp respond. The original brightly coloured Attractor Beatles were a big hit from day one and can always be relied upon for a quick winter bite. Some of the team are convinced that the Natural and Attractor Critter variants provide the very best chance of a winter bite whatever the feeding conditions. But it’s also hard to ignore the incredible pulling power of the Glow Bugs. These are made from a material that absorbs Ultra Violet light, Glow Bugs can be charged with a torch, the flash from your mobile phone or camera, or just direct sunlight. They omit a powerful visual stimulus to feeding carp. During trials using the Beetle Spider and Adult Buzzer variants, bites were particularly prolific after dark and also during dawn and dusk. On days with low light levels Glow Bugs significantly out fished all others.
ACTION BUGS Movement and the resulting vibration is an almost universal stimulus amongst fish, whether artificial or real. The deliberately exaggerated features of Action Bugs provide a real edge in winter by encouraging a passing carp to instinctively grab at the hook bait.
FISH FOR THEM WHERE THEY ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO BE Remember - although we think of carp as bottom feeders, throughout the twelve months of the year carp actually spend much of their time anywhere and everywhere but. On cold frosty winter days when the air pressure is high and the temperatures are low, carp can be hard to tempt with conventional tactics. But if you go looking for them, the chances are you’ll find fish sitting or cruising in the mid to upper layers, so it makes sense to fish for them there. It seems that the ever growing number of anglers who are spending time experimenting with zigs and honing their mid water skills are really reaping the rewards this winter. Recent catch reports most certainly confirm this. But it takes time and patience to gain those skills, so if you are new to zigs it’s important not to make the mistake of having a half hearted attempt at fishing a mid water bait and then quickly giving it up if you don’t catch straight away. Confidence is crucial and the best way to quickly gain that confidence is to make time to go fishing with just the zig gear and nothing else. Leave any preconceptions behind, keep an open mind, be prepared to experiment with depth and colour and the Zig Bugs will very quickly work for you. Choose an easy water where you are in with a good chance of catching a few fish, it doesn’t matter if they are small ones, the more fish you catch the more you learn, and time spent perfecting your own approach and methods will pay dividends when you are tackling harder waters.
WINTER ESSENTIALS RISER PELLETS A unique mix of small to micro sized pellets with differing levels of buoyancy. The Risers slowly drift, then rise and fall in the water column creating attraction from the lakebed to the surface. Attraction can be boosted and buoyancy fine tuned by coating and or soaking the pellets with additional attractors. The Bug Juices, Giro Juice and Oil Palatants are particularly effective for boosting mid water ‘eat me’ signals. For any anglers serious about their zig fishing, Riser Pellets are an absolute essential.
GIRO BUG MIX Mixed with the Giro Juice and other attractors of your choice, this purpose designed specialist mix actively disperses dried insects, potent mid water food signals and feeding triggers right where the fish will be sitting or patrolling. In a similar way to a naturally occurring hatch of food, the Bug Mix acts like a magnet to hungry winter carp. The Giro Bug Mix provides almost limitless options to the thinking angler, remember, winter carp are always hungry!
BUG JUICE Designed in the Nash Bait lab and extensively tested in real fishing situations, the Bug Juices contain a complex mix of natural and synthetic attractants and other amino type products proven to stimulate mid water cruisers. Although primarily designed as a bug spray for use prior to casting, permanently storing/soaking Zig Bugs in the liquid is a red hot winter tactic.
TOP WINTER TIPS 1. Don’t expect winter carp to come to you – find them first!
6. Use Giro Bug Mix, Riser Pellets and Bug Juice to permeate the water with food signals.
2. Spend time on a runs water experimenting and perfecting your tactics.
7. Bug choice can be crucial so take plenty of options.
3. Fishing at the right depth is crucial.
8. Use as many rods as allowed by the fishery rules.
4. Use adjustable zigs to search out the layers.
9. Zigs will catch well after dark.
5. Don’t sit and hope – you need to really angle for those zig bites!
10. Sometimes you have to fine down for bites, but make sure your end tackle is up to the job – fish to land them.
ATTENTION TO DETAIL Depth is crucial, sometimes six inches either way can make the difference between success and failure. Say for example you are fishing three rods in 10 feet of water, you can start by fishing one zig at just over 5 ft and the other two 6 inches higher and lower. If you are on fish but you’ve received no action in half an hour you can move the second and third rods a few inches either way and see how the carp respond. If that doesn’t work you can repeat the process nearer the surface. Even when you’ve caught a couple, if the action slows or stops you must be prepared to again start searching the layers for more bites. PAY ATTENTION: TAKE CARE & TIME IN ZIG FISHING, IT WILL PAY OFF!
If you catch well at a certain depth, the next time you go fishing even if it’s in the same swim, it pays to keep an open mind and don’t assume the same depth will produce again. When fishing at range, in poor water clarity or in any situation where you can’t be sure what depth the fish are at, the adjustable zig floats will allow you to quickly and easily search out the layers for a bite. It’s by no means a lazy man’s method but those anglers prepared to make the extra effort during the winter are regularly rewarded with bonus fish and multiple captures.
BUG BOX ARSENAL: NOW YOU CAN STORE ALL YOUR BUGS IN OUR OWN BUG BOX
THERE’S SOMETHING FOR EVERY OCCASION IN THE NASH BUG RANGE!
If water clarity enables you to accurately estimate the depth that carp are cruising at, a zig positioned just below them will often produce an instant bite. Also if the fish are ‘going down’ on the hook bait rather than rising up to it, there’s a greater chance that the hook will do its job and nail one. There’s also less chance of the carp being spooked by the hook link. When fishing extra long hook links its important to lose the lead after a bite, this makes the fish much easier to bring under control and land. A Weed Safe Bolt Bead is an effective way of achieving this. Adding one of the Tungsten Zig Tails eliminates tangles and also introduces an element of movement when a carp attempts to suck in the hook bait which in turn improves hook holds. Getting in tune with nature will also give you an edge. It pays to keep a close eye on the margins and use your Refresh Water Bucket to scoop out water and take a close look at what’s swimming around in the bucket. Even in winter you’ll be surprised what natural food will be on offer to the carp. Fact - Mastering zigs will catch you more winter carp – get on it!
NASH BUG JUICE: AN EFFECTIVE ADDITIVE SPRAY TO YOUR ZIGS!
SIREN stay connected
c o m pa c t s i r e n p e r f o r m a n c e i n t h e pa l m o f y o u r h a n d
www.nashtackle.co.uk www.nashtv.co.uk facebook.com/officialnashtackle facebook.com/kevinnashcarpangler
IN THE DEPTHS OF WINTER BY ALFIE RUSSELL
As all carp anglers will know, winter is by far the toughest time of the year to catch our chosen quarry. The lakes that I have targeted during the spring, summer and autumn have generally offered me a number of different challenges. This could mean a lowish stock of carp or maybe a larger target fish. They are not ultra tough waters but even so I’ve had to be on top of my game to catch. As the autumn fades and the temperatures start to drop, the carp generally become a lot less active than during the warmer months, they feed less and as a consequence are much harder to tempt. I started thinking and planning my winter fishing back in the autumn and I eventually decided to move onto a smaller higher stocked winter water that would give me a realistic chance of a few bites. I’m pretty lucky to have just such a water close to home that pretty much ticks all the boxes as far as winter is concerned. It’s a London park lake around two acres in size, with a good stock of lovely old carp that are more than catchable even in really low temperatures. Best of all it’s only ten minutes from home.
I decided to move onto the lake when the bites really started to slow up late autumn. As well as the chance of a winter bite or two, the lake also provides the chance for me to bank a low thirty, the smaller fish are real stunners too so there’s plenty to keep me focussed throughout the winter. So I’m never going to get bored!
for pulling fish down to my baited traps. I know if I can creep up on some winter feeders and then drop in one of my simple rigs without putting the fish on edge, there’s a good chance I’ll catch.
For me, the most important key to my winter campaign is location. A lot of the lake’s stock of carp will shoal up during the winter in areas where they feel comfortable. These areas offer shelter and may well contain natural food at certain times so there’s a good chance the fish won’t need to move around too much. As the carp don't tend to feed that much when it’s freezing, I tend to use small amounts of bait when fishing.
Knowing what baits work best on your chosen water or at the very least using one with a proven winter track record is important, Monster Squid has caught well for me wherever I’ve taken it. Prior knowledge of my chosen water and having a good idea where the fish are likely to spend most of their time also gives me an edge. I’m not saying this will make it easy but it definitely stacks the odds in my favour. Seeing as I'm a full time student I rarely can do nights in between school. I will only do weekday overnighters when its spring or summer and a lot warmer as I'm able to sleep on my unhooking mat and travel light.
I like to keep my rigs simple, a small PVA bag of liquidized bread, normally the size of a 20 pence piece, with a snowman hook bait is one of my favourite presentations. I prefer to use a hook bait with plenty of pulling power in the winter that will leak out lots of attractive food smells. We all have our winter favourites but I’ve found high levels of Strawberry Oil and Sweetener works well for me, it’s a well proven tactic
But during the winter, I do manage to fit in a fair number of short 'after school' sessions. Whenever I’ve planned to go, it’s really hard to concentrate. The afternoons drag and all I can do is look out of the window at the weather and try to think where the fish will be feeding and how I’m going to catch them! I get home as soon as I can, grab my tackle and then it’s just a ten minute walk to the lake and I’m fishing!
This is when having local knowledge or past experience of a winter venue really pays off. I often get bites very quickly if I'm accurate and keep noise and disturbance to a minimum when setting my traps. If all goes well, which it often does on this venue, I usually catch. In the past I’ve had up to 5 fish in 4 hours after school in the middle of February! The area of the lake I favour in winter is the north end, as it’s sheltered by a garden wall which runs along the margins. There is also an old sunken willow tree by the wall that the carp love to hide up in. Although the average depth is only about 3ft in that area, the fish seem happy there throughout the colder months, so that’s winter location pretty much sorted!
There are a few different strains of carp in this lake, everything from quite pale ones to some jet black wood carvings but the good thing is they will all be catchable at some point during the winter regardless of the temperatures. Interestingly, different sessions or different conditions seem to produce different strains of fish. Sometimes I’ll just catch the smaller, darker fish, the next visit might produce just scaly dumpy ones but I always feel I’m in with a chance. So, that’s me sorted for the colder months, whatever your plans are this winter I hope you enjoy plenty of success – I’ll let you know how I’m getting on next time.
THE MOST COMPACT COLLECTION EVER.
H-gun dwarf Range:
9ft 2.75lb & 3lb rods 10ft 2.75lb & 3lb Rods 9ft single & double rod skins 10ft single & double rod skins Landing Net
Dwarf rods feature a revolutionary retractable butt section, enabling a significant reduction in the overall pack down length of your rod, opening up new horizons in compact tackle transportation and storage, as well as a fishing lifestyle.
www.nashtackle.co.uk www.nashtv.co.uk www.facebook.com/OfficialNashTackle www.facebook.com/KEVINNASHCARPANGLER
ÂŠ KEVIN NASH GROUP PLC. 2014 30 YEARS OF INNOVATION
MID WINTER THOUGHTS B Y G A R Y B AY ES
y usual mid-winter tactic over the past few years has been to change species, roach, perch, chub etc, this year at the moment it’s pike but I’ve just started prebaiting my syndicate lake to have a go all winter for my carp. There’s an outside chance of a 50 and it would be nice to be the one to catch one first out of my own water. It might be hard but last winter it did one of the better fish and on some of the harder waters it can be the big ones that come out. The Manor did 3 fish one winter but one was a 50, at its best weight ever and many years ago 2-Tone came out in February, so the rewards are there.
already feeding the best 3 area’s. The dip leaks off upwards, into the upper layers and will be trailing through the water currents so is far reaching and lasts several hours if the pellet is left to soak it up for a few days, so the attraction isn’t going to wash off too quickly which is important, especially in the winter when the carp can take longer to respond. Also the pellet once broken down doesn’t end up as duck food so will be there when the carp want it. There’s a lot of wildlife on my syndicate lake and any pre-baiting that gets eaten by our feathered friends almost immediately is a waste of time and money.
“DIVING BIRDS CAN ATTRACT CARP TO AN AREA SO IT ISN’T ALL BAD”
I could have a go on my day ticket lake, next door which fishes well all winter, mainly on maggot, Monster Carp Pellet and small food items but the big ones swim in the lake next door. With the lakes being so close, similar tactics should work but I want to use boilies more on the syndicate, to me my fish are special and maggots in particular are not healthy carp food, certainly not for fish with the capability of still growing some more so I’ll limit any maggot fishing to hook baits and a mix of maggot, pellet, sweetcorn and crushed boilie in swim feeders.
I’m pre-baiting with a mixture of Monster Carp Pellet, crushed and whole boilies. The Monster Carp Pellets are heavily glugged up with Boilie and Food Dip pre-blended 50/50 which steadily leaks off the promise of food. This is a very effective method for attracting carp into the immediate fishing area. Hopefully I’m
Boilie wise I’m using 50% Scopex Squid on the All Season base mix, a bait I’ve caught well on in the winter months so that’s my banker. The Scopex Squid has caught a lot of fish out of my lakes and although I know it has a very long life on any water, in the back of my mind I’m always a little wary that the odd fish might be suspicious of something they have been caught on many times so I’m also going to use another bait alongside the Scopex Squid All Season.
This bait contains the Tandoori attractors that the new Instant Action Tandoori Spice bait has but I’m using it in a new base mix I’m developing, at the moment code named 2014. My mates Steve Sinclair and Jim Crump have used this bait on the Manor a little bit and both had 40’s on it so I know it’s a big fish bait. Some anglers don’t realise or believe the theory that some baits are better big fish baits than others but if you keep your ears and eyes open the proof is there. And if you know the makeup of the baits then it’s obvious the All Season Squid and the 2014 type base mixes have the monopoly on generally better average weight captures. Generally in the winter smaller baits work better so I’ll be crushing 15mm boilies into half’s and quarters with a modified meat mincer and also using a few 10mm baits mixed in. This will attract the birds more than the pellet but I’ll mostly be feeding the lake in the dark. So some should be eaten by fish before the birds have too much of a look in and the smaller more numerous food items will take the wild fowl longer to
clean up. Diving birds can attract carp to an area so it isn’t all bad and the birds won’t get the broken down Monster Carp Pellet or the residue attraction washed out of the crushed boilies so the areas will always remain fish attractive. In the event that I don’t get action on one or more of the areas I’ll stop baiting it and find an alternative area. I need to try to bait 3 spots up so I can get on at least one of them if other anglers are fishing but I don’t want a build-up of dead food on the bottom. There’s tench and rudd in the syndicate and last winter quite a few tench were caught so there’s a possibility that the food will go even if the carp are not eating it and if the tench do get on it carp should follow. I won’t mind catching tench as I want them out so any tench and carp under 28 pound are welcome and will end up in the stock pond as part of my lake management. To pre-bait I’ll have the spod rod accurately marked up but will mostly use a boat, electric engine and fish finder as it’ll be quicker. Hook baits and methods will vary, I’ve mentioned swim feeder maggot with a mixture of bait in the feeder, this will be fished running paternoster. I’ll also use boilie only rigs but really need to see how it’s going before I commit to any one method. Session wise it’ll be as many nights as possible and some 24 hour sessions. I’d rather fish several short sessions per week rather than one long one, hopefully so I don’t miss any better feeding spells. Last winter there wasn’t that many bites to be had but 3 of them were all on one day so it would be good to catch a day or two like that!
PREPARE FOR INSTANT ACTION! At first glance, the new Instant Action baits might seem like just another range of brightly coloured Hi-Attract boilies. In fact if you take a look in any decent tackle shop you’ll find the shelves are lined with them! But Instant Action is different. In our experience, many baits of this type are little more than ‘carriers’ for flavours and offer carp very little in the way of quality food or nutrients. Yes they might trigger a fast bite or two when you first try them but over time, results often prove inconsistent, and on pressured waters high attract low food value baits often have a limited effective lifespan. But like all baits in the Nash range, Instant Action boilies, pellets and peripheral products have 26
been designed to provide carp with a valuable all season’s carp food. The attractor recipes used in the new baits have proven incredibly effective during testing, there are sweet, fishy and spicy options available capable of producing bites even in the trickiest conditions. Carp are drawn to Instant Action baits like a magnet, complex feeding triggers and enhancers also encourage enthusiastic and competitive feeding which in turn maximises the chance of a fish making a mistake with that all important hook bait. FOOD FOR THOUGHT You might be thinking that if I’m angling for a quick winter bite with a handful of bait or fishing with a single hook bait that a carp won’t actually
eat why the need for the food content? Real food gives off signals that are different to artificial flavours and attractors, tests over many years in the Nash Bait lab, in our test ponds and also in real fishing situations have proven that combining artificial and natural attraction in a bait is far more effective than using one or the other. Combining the two also creates a more complex form of attraction or food signal which means the bait will be a more consistent catcher in a wide range of angling situations. Spring, summer, autumn and winter, during an exhaustive development programme Instant Action baits have comprehensively out fished the more ‘one dimensional’ products that we have fished them against. A COMMON THEME When fishing with a conventional groundbait and or fish feed pellet and boilie combination it’s not uncommon for carp to become focussed or even completely preoccupied on the back ground feed and there’s a danger that the hook baits will be ignored. Instant Action pellets, ground baits and liquid boosters contain the same key ingredients and attractors used in the formulation of the boilies and pop ups. Experiments in our test ponds and in real fishing situations have proven that fishing a bait mixture with a common theme virtually eliminates the potential problems of preoccupation. Instant Action – serious baits for serious anglers! NASH E-ZINE
ITS A FINE LINE AS A LITTLE PREBAITING CAN BE THE KEY TO SUCCESS 28
WINTER BITES B Y OL I D AVIES
tâ€™s a time of year when many anglers have hung up the rods and are waiting for warmer weather before they dust them off again. It is true that carp become trickier to catch during the colder months as their metabolism slows but it is by no means a waste of time, this year more than any other in recent years. It has been one of the mildest winters for a long
time, and without the prolonged periods of freezing weather we have suffered in previous years they are very much still catchable. All you have to do is get out there and have a go. Of course venue choice is important, and so in the winter I like to spread my wings and keep the action coming by fishing a
variety of venues as well as my usual tricky syndicates. Rivers, canals and shallow venues can fish as well in winter as they do in summer, and I like to be rewarded for venturing out into the elements with a bite or two. However, as I mentioned conditions havenâ€™t been better in recent memory. Taking advantage I managed to bag my first December carp from the deep NASH E-ZINE
and moody Horton Boat Pool in several years of trying in the shape of an upper 20 Ghosty. Unfortunately, it’s a recapture with me having banked it previously this spring, but seeing as it’s such a rare visitor to the bank (mine are the only captures of it in the past 3 years) I’m not too disappointed. I can only hope that one or two more slip up over the next couple of months while the lake is quiet and the fish are in their best condition. Although I have been trickling in a bit of bait over the winter in an attempt to keep them feeding as with many carp at this time of year, this fish slipped up to a single hook bait. It’s nearly always worth being sparing with the bait, both when prebaiting and when actually fishing. The idea is to put in just enough to get them interested and moving around. Any more can cut down your chances of getting a bite when the fish are just picking and may only want to pick up the odd bait. It’s a fine line, as a little prebaiting can be the key to success. This is even more important when the pressure is on to catch one for a live feature. This was the case for me in December, when I was charged with bagging a canal carp for the ACF cameras. I wanted to be in with the chance of a reasonably sized fish, but often the more prolific sections of canal only contain smaller fish. In order to maximise my chances on a trickier stretch I made the effort to go up the night before and trickle in a handful of bait. Now by a handful I mean a handful. I put just 40 10mm Amber Strawberry boilies in spread over two spots. I wanted enough to attract the attentions of the resident carp, but not too much that there would still be piles of bait compromising me when I returned in the morning, especially if there were only one or two fish present. On my return, I fished two tiny scaled down chod rigs with 10mm pop-ups and just a few minutes after casting out I was rewarded with a bite that resulted in an upper double common nestling safely in the net. I’m sure that he had mopped up the small quantity of bait, stayed in the area and when he came across another one ate it with no hesitation, having been conditioned to do so. Pressure off, and showing that sometimes the cost of prebaiting is not the bait itself, but the time and effort that goes into applying it. While there are no guarantees, a little effort goes a long way. 30
Classic Carp Books Now On Kindle The Carp Strikes Back
Just For The Record
This classic early 80s’ book The Carp Strikes Back is acclaimed by carp anglers as the best carp book ever. It tells the story of a season in the life of a carp angler and his friends. Much of the book is based on Rod’s fishing of the famous Savay syndicate water.
The book that the whole carp world has been waiting for ‘Just For The Record’ follows Lee’s own personal story as he sets about conquering the ‘Brook’ as it is referred to, and follows his sevenyear campaign, ending in the capture of ‘Two-Tone’.
From the Bivvy
An Obsession with Carp
One of Tim Paisley’s most in-demand books, it records a season’s fishing where in almost 120 days and nights doing what he loves most, carp fishing. The season was his most successful ever and this book chronicles his sessions hour by hour, day and night.
Regarded as one of the greatest carp books ever, you can’t help but get drawn into this inspirational and timeless read. From Dave’s early carp fishing exploits the reader is taken on an incredible journey to the big fish meccas of Harefield, Pit Four, Horton and the incredible Wraysbury.
One of Tim’s earlier writings, this is a very special book and contains the one and only Jack Hilton and Redmire interviews. Beautifully written, and well produced, it covers the highs, the lows, the blanks, the big fish.
The chronicle of 15 years of fishing for carp, a fantastic and thought provoking read, still relevant to today’s carp anglers. Carp fisherman will not only learn a great deal about how to catch carp consistently by reading this book, they will also be hugely entertained.
FREE KINDLE APP READ KINDLE BOOKS ON APPLE, PC, ANDROID OR SMARTPHONE MOBILE & DESKTOP DEVICES.
Find hundreds of other carp-fishing books at
www.thecarpstore.com For telephone orders call 0114 258 0812
S ’ N O S T A W GLE N A K MAR
HAR ON S
NTER IS WI
y winter tactics do vary from summer but the principles stay the same. These being I need to put a bait the carp want to eat on an appropriate rig in the right place at the right time. Bait wise, I use a lot more small bits and pieces than I do in the summer such as maggots, sweetcorn, crumbed Amber Strawberry etc. In the summer, nuisance fish can be a pain and can wipe out particle and bit type baits in no time but in the winter I want them active in my swim. Once my hookbait is in place I’ll continually feed over it on a little and often basis. There may be little or nothing occurring around the venue so I try to draw what activity there is to my swim. I don’t bother fining down my rigs and here’s why. Being cold blooded, the carp’s senses are not as efficient in the cold so in theory we could get away with even cruder tackle. Also when I hook a winter carp I like to land it. To match the smaller hook baits I’m using I do use smaller hooks. I find a size 10 Twister covers many situations from 10mm pop-ups to a couple of grains of Mutant sweetcorn. Using them with my twisted rigs it almost seems unfair on the carp! More important than bait and rigs are location and timing. Even the best bait and rig won’t catch carp that aren’t there. On many waters carp will become very localised and only a couple of areas will produce. Doing a bit of research on previous winter captures can save a lot of time and blanks. One venue I like to have the odd day session on through the winter is Ravenfield, a small intimate club water which has a lot of carpy history in the South Yorkshire area. The fish may only go up to mid twenties but it’s a fun place to fish and produces right through the winter.
A small island with a good depth of water around it is a spot I favour through the cold and it is close enough for me to feed steadily to get the carp’s attention. If your venue has any margins with snags, I’d certainly investigate them with a bait in the cold. Once carp are located there’s a good chance they can be caught from there until the spring. One thing I’ve done in the past to find them is to walk around the venue after dark with a powerful lamping torch. Give it a go and I guarantee, you’ll be surprised what you can find. It illuminates more water than you can see with Polaroids in the daylight and as long as you keep the main beam off their eyes, carp don’t usually spook from the light. Just make sure there are no other anglers fishing because this is a sure way of annoying them!
WINTER BITE INDICATION It’s always nice to get a belting run or to see the rod whack around but the reality is that it isn’t always the case in winter. In fact I’m sure many of us miss chances all year round by ignoring single bleeps and waiting for that screamer which is a big mistake. Firstly, this current trend of fishing with lines so slack they hang limp from the tip ring is ridiculous. There is no logic to it whatsoever unless you are fishing right in the edge. If this is your way of fishing then I urge you to do some experiments on the bank and see how far you have to move the lead before you get any indication compared to a tight or even semi tight line. You’ll never see a matchman fishing his quiver tip with a slack line as he won’t see a single bite. Also, a slack line is free to sink into any snag or obstruction on the bottom which may be plentiful after the gale force winds we are having to endure this winter.
generally fished semi tight with a heavy-ish bobbin on a drop of at least a couple of inches. I have the rod tip about a foot above the lake surface and every single bleep is investigated by watching the line between the tip ring and the water for any movement. If there is any movement I pick the rod up and strike, I’ve caught a decent number of winter carp doing this. I do like to switch to running leads in the winter where possible. I’ll not use them where there is weed, snags or any obstructions because the lead can get caught up and cause problems. On a clear bottom, a running lead can provide very sensitive indication, but for this type of set up, the lead needs to be at least 3oz to ensure it stays put allowing the line to move freely through the run bead on a take. Attention to detail such as this is crucial and helps to stack the odds in our favour.
I rarely use buzz bars, instead opting for single bank sticks so I can point the rod directly down the line to remove all angles. Any movement is transmitted straight to the Siren which I usually have on maximum sensitivity. My line is
I CAN REMEMBER WHEN I GAVE A BAIT THAT I HAD MADE TO MY BEST MATE THOMAS ADAMS AND THE FIRST TIME HE USED IT HE CAUGHT A NEW PB
JED KENT 38
It was around about the tender age of 3 when I started helping my dad hand roll his own bait concoctions, his philosophy and views on bait have helped mould me into someone with a fascination with the subject. I love making hook baits and messing around with new ingredients and mixes as it’s all part of fishing for me. You can change and tweak things so much with homemade hook baits, for instance colour, texture, size, shape, buoyancy and break down rates can all be fine tuned. It’s like tying a fly to catch a trout, there is such a sense of satisfaction when you catch a fish on your own creations, and it’s the same with home made boilies. I can remember when I gave a bait that I had made to my best mate Thomas Adams and the first time he used it he caught a new PB. The personal satisfaction that I got from that news was nearly as good as me catching it myself; I was well pleased for him. Making hook baits seems to be a dying art these days with the increase of readily available quality baits and the vast array of ready to use hook bait options such as pop ups, wafters or hardened bottom baits. But even so, I still feel that a major edge can be gained when making your own hook baits. Little tweaks and extras can be added to an already top notch bait to increase attraction and give your bait a unique label.
ROLL YOUR OWN Now let’s start talking about how you go about rolling your own hook baits at home. The first thing is to ask permission before using the kitchen or better still, get yourself organised in the garage or shed. Although the baits you intend making might smell pretty carpy to you, non fishing members of the household will probably be less enthusiastic! The basic ingredients required are, a good base mix or pop up mix, fresh eggs are important, plus flavourings, and sweeteners and maybe some dye. Although not essential, you will also find the job a lot easier if you have available a bait gun and a rolling table. Having the right tools will save a lot of time, mess and hassle. Other pieces of equipment you will require are a mixing bowl, a fork, a syringe for measuring liquid, kitchen scales, saucepan, metal sieve and an air drying tray. Being organised and having everything required to hand will also help you to complete the job more easily.
CORK BALL POP UPS For fans of the chod or the hinge stiff link an ultrabuoyant pop up is essential. For many anglers, cork ball pop ups are the number one choice as they offer a more consistent level of buoyancy. METHOD • To ensure the mix will role nicely and stick to the cork balls, firstly sieve your chosen base mix and remove the larger particles. • Crack a fresh egg into a mixing bowl and add your chosen liquid attractors and then whisk until they are evenly dispersed. • You can now add any additional powders, GLM, liver powder, Squid Powder being typical examples, powdered dyes can also be used to boost visual attraction. • Thoroughly whisk and then start adding in small amounts of your pre sieved base mix, keep mixing and adding the base mix and when it stiffens up, knead the mix until you achieve a firm, pliable, non sticky paste. • Next, gun the paste out or cut into pieces roughly the same size as the cork balls that you intend to use. • Mould the paste around the cork ball and hand roll until an even sided round ball is achieved. The paste skin needs to be around 2 – 3mm thick, you might have to add or pinch off small amounts to achieve this. • Boil up some mineral water (cheers for the tip Sharpy!) then add your cork ball pop ups to the water, keep them spinning to ensure the baits are evenly cooked. Depending on the recipe and ingredients used, a cooking time of around 45-90 seconds will be required. If you are experimenting with something new a small amount of trial and error may be required to perfect the bait. • Now air dry them for a week or alternatively once cooled you can mesh them up to create a more reactive or attractive hook bait.
AIR BALL POP UPS The Air Ball Mix can also be used to make alternative shapes, sizes, colours using your choice of attractors and flavours, I particularly like experimenting with different textures which allows me to fine tune the way the bait breaks down and leaks out attraction. I’m a big fan of the Air Ball Mix, I know from experience that I can create mega attractive baits with it. To get the best from this mix and ensure you achieve the required toughness and a consistent buoyancy, rather than boil, you need to simmer the rolled baits on a low heat for a longer cooking time. More detailed instructions can be found on the tub. It pays to break open a couple of finished baits just to ensure they are cooked as intended. I then air dry them for specific times depending on what type of bait I’m looking to create. This could be anything from 36 hours to 2 weeks, the longer you air dry the bait, the harder it will be, it’s worth remembering that a harder bait means a slower leak off of attraction. So if you are looking for a quick bite, 36 hours makes a good starting point, coating the hook baits in something like a Food Dip also boosts attraction and will ensure they don’t deteriorate if stored in your bait bucket. Alternatively you can freeze them and just use a few at a time. As for attractor levels, using the recommended amount of flavour for a 4 egg mix in a 1 egg pop up mix, will create a very effective instant hook bait, but again there’s plenty of scope to experiment. Obviously there’s plenty of scope to experiment with attractor levels, sometimes higher or lower levels will 40
work in your favour. By combining different attractors you can build your baits in ‘layers’. By this I mean, some attractors leak out quickly, others tend to remain in the bait longer, so you can layer the attraction creating a more prolonged leak off or permanent label. This winter I’ve used a pink pop up over my white food bait. The recipe contains 6 different attractors and only two of these are found in my food baits. Using my specials alongside food bait hook baits fished over a scattering of food bait freebies, the pink pop ups have consistently produced faster bites.
WAFTERS Single wafters can be a great little edge and provide a very effective alternative to a more blatant balanced snowman set up. METHOD • Start by blending together 80% boilie base mix and 20% Air Ball Pop Up Mix • Crack one egg into a mixing bowl and whisk in your chosen flavours and liquids. • Stir in small amounts of powder to stiffen the mix, and again knead into a non sticky paste. • Next comes the clever bit, roll one bait to the required size, attach the paste bait to your chosen rig and drop it into water to see how it performs. The buoyancy can then be fine tuned by kneading in either more pop up or base mix and then re tested. Once perfected you can role and boil the complete batch ready for use.
Most of the very best carp baits are attractive to just about everything that swims. There are several advantages to be gained from this, for a start the bait is never likely to remain uneaten, fester and ruin a productive spot. The feeding activity created by other species can also attract carp to the baited area which also works in our favour. The problem is, there’s nothing worse than reeling in to find the hook bait has been stolen, I don’t know about you but it drives me mad! So in situations when you need to leave your rigs out for extended periods, overnight for example, a hardened hook bait is an absolute necessity. Ingredients such as blood plasma and or egg albumen make very effective bait hardeners. Personally I use and highly rate Doctor Oetker egg white powder, it comes in small sachets stamped with a sell by date which also ensures quality and freshness. When adding the powders to the eggs and liquids, a certain amount of experimenting will be needed to create the exact hardness required, remember, a harder bait will tend to leak off less attraction so you can also play around with flavour levels too if needed. Take my advice and create yourself an edge by spending a little time experimenting and perfecting your own personalised specials, there’s nothing to lose and much to be gained.
• Lastly always keep records of your recipes and mixes and log any changes or tweaks that you try, this will ensure that if you do happen to stumble on something extra special you can be sure of replicating it again! • Hardened bottom baits NASH E-ZINE
STACKING THE ODDS IN OUR FAVOUR SEE WHAT THE BIG GUNS HAVE TO SAY ABOUT GETTING THE BEST OUT OF YOUR WINTER FISHING.
ITS A WINTER MONSTER JULIAN CUNDIFF
Whilst I think the advice about not firing out lots of boilies is sound enough, after all, once you’ve put it in you can’t take it out, I do think that many of you are missing out big style. Imagine you've been fishing with say Monster Squid boilies all summer ( and thousands of you do! ) and the carp are confident eating it, wouldn't it make sense to take advantage of that? Of course it would!! And crickey, even if you have not been baiting up, others have for you, it makes double sense to do so if you get my drift. Monster Squid ( and my choice is the original Red) is a great bait full stop and although you might not need to pile it in, with a bit of common sense you can really do well on it in the cold ! So here's a few pointers... 1. Unless I really do know that a water fishes very well in the winter, I don't fish over boilies in the cold. Sure I may spread some about when I leave (as long as it does not ruin other anglers fishing) but when the rods are out the boilies are not. 2. The only boilie I would put in will be crumbed. This has the added advantage of creating loads of attraction and not much substance, a bit like some women I have dated. My usual trick is to crumb up
2 kilos of Monster Squid and add to it liquidised sweetcorn and hemp the night before. When I get to the lake I add hot water to the mush and create as sloppy a mix as I want. This can be delivered with a baiting spoon or spoded further out if needed. The attraction is immense and carp love it, I can't speak too highly of it’s effect in winter. That warm water really pushes out the attractors to draw the carp in. 3. Although you can fish readymade pop ups or bottom baits I prefer to make my own. I simply use 66% base mix and 33% pop up mix ( and 1% luck !!). Sieve the Monster Squid base mix to get rid of lumps, mix well with pop up mix by shaking the two together in a plastic bag. Crack 1 egg into a bowl and add 8ml of the Monster Squid Top Rod Formula. It’s a complex mix of attractors so ensure you shake the bottle first. Add powder to the liquid and form a non sticky paste. A) For pop ups I roll the paste around a 10/12mm cork ball, boil for 60 seconds, I allow to dry for 3 days and add a light glaze of Monster Squid Boilie Dip and freeze B) For bottom baits I just use the paste rolled to the required size and shape, boil for 60 seconds, harden for 2 days and again glaze with the dip and freeze.. Despite temperatures dropping well below zero my Monster Squid pop ups over mush have kept producing the goods and still will I am sure this winter. Don't miss out on this , winter is NOT just hi-viz pop ups and maggots..
DONT IGNORE THE ZIGS RICH WILBY
You just can’t beat catching a decent carp at this time of the year. Big fish are nice but even a pretty double or two through the toughest months of the year give me a huge buzz and great satisfaction. I’ve spent a lot of time on the bank in mid winter and without any question, using the right bait is a huge part of the puzzle. With freezing water temperatures, long nights and short days you need to be on a bait that is very soluble and leaks off plenty of food signals from the minute it enters the water. With the carp’s metabolism being very slow it requires feeding triggers to react to. Colour can simply be a trigger and that is why bright or even fluorescent baits can be an edge and induce a bite in the cold. The water clarity on each lake will effect what colour is best, but pinks and oranges on coloured venues are my favourite and white on clear waters. I’m definitely a big fan of fruit 44
attractors at this time of year I’ve been using flavours like strawberry, peach and tangerine for over 20-years now. Other good winter anglers I know swear by spicy baits or cream blends. Each water will be different so I always carry a small selection of boilies with me to give some options during the session. The new Instant Action boilies are perfect for the job. The Tangerine Dream and Tandori Spice have produced bites for me from a number of venues this winter. I can’t mention bait, without talking a little bit about the Amber Strawberry. It has to be recognised as one of the greatest cold water baits of all time and if I am planning a winter campaign on a venue I would be on this, making sure it regularly goes in. In fact the more they see on a little and often basis the better it gets, even with ice on the water it will trigger the fish to feed. I love to use crumbed up Amber Strawberry boilies in
PVA bags, it is such a visual and attractive little taster for carp they usually fall for that trick. With the clarity of water improving on most venues in the winter, zigs can also be a big part of my winter fishing. I have found fishing at just over half depth to be a consistent area and white Glow Bugs seem to work best for me in the cold. In the spring and summer I prefer dark, Black Zig Bugs, but white or even yellow baits suspended in the cold water have produced some bonus carp for me this winter. One thing I have noticed about bait in the winter on my own fishery is the over use of pop-ups. I can honestly say that the most consistent anglers on my day-ticket water are using bottom baits. Yes, pop-ups are great, but on lakes with a very clean bottom I don’t think they give you the best edge. Simple rigs in winter with good, soluble attractors in my baits are best.
TIGHT LINES WORK FOR ME SIMON CROW
Attention to detail and sticking to a proven formula is important in winter. For example I set my rods up in the same way I have for the last twenty-odd years, no matter what the time of the year. I accept that slack lining works in some situations, and do use it from time to time, especially when fishing very close in, but for the majority of the time I prefer to tight line. I want to know as soon as something moves my lead or pulls on my rig and the best way of knowing that is to make your lines tight.
as soon as I get a bleep something is developing and the rods need inspecting, and 99.9% of the time the bleeps I get result in hooked fish. Weather dependent (so long as it’s not too windy), I generally set my Sirens on the most sensitive setting in the winter. As the weather becomes colder, the activity in the water slows down so you can get away with this more, ensuring that any sound on the Siren is more likely to be fish than false bleeps. So how do I actually go about setting up my rods?
The physics of angles and pulling best shows this as the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. My old mate Rob Hughes has also shown it works best in his underwater diving tests, so my advice to anyone saying slack lining results in better indication for most fishing situations is to get off the bandwagon and really think again because science suggests otherwise. In the colder months water clarity becomes better but I still have no problem fishing with tight lines. In fact, I fish like this 99.9% of the time and catch plenty of fish whilst doing it. I like to know when something has picked up my rig and I like to think I’ve perfected my set up over the years so it is extremely accurate. I get very few false bleeps on my Sirens, even in windy conditions because I use the heavier 18gm Slix indicators which are perfect for the 3oz or 4oz leads I tend to use for most for my fishing. I like to know that
Firstly I will usually point my rod rests directly at the rigs to create as small an angle in my lines as possible to ensure sensitivity is as its best. I will then cast out my lines and ever so gently sink the lines with the tip. I won’t reel any line in as it’s important to be very careful at this stage as you’d be surprised how little weight or force is needed to move the lead. Usually it is very little at all. Once I have my lines sunk, I will then ever so slowly let line off the reel or retrieve it by gently twisting the spool until the rod can be placed in position on the rest. I will then add the rod to the rest and gently tighten any slack up by twisting the spool only. I will then attach the Slix to the line, ensuring the 18gm indicators create enough angle to be able to register lifts as well as drop backs. To do this, a drop of around 3-inches minimum is necessary. I’m now all done and ready to sit back and wait for the fish.
TIGHT LINES WORK FOR ME SIMON CROW
I suppose the first thing I’d say is that I’m more choosy about my winter venues than I am in summer as some generally fish much better than others through the colder months. I worked out a long time ago that all waters will fish during the summer. But when it comes to winter some venues will carry on fishing whilst others just seem to shut up shop. And no matter how much effort you put in, the chance of a fish can be almost zero and although I like a challenge I’m past the stage where I will sit for weeks on end knowing that the odds are stacked against me. Of course there are obvious changes at this time of year like using less bait but it goes much further than that. I’ve found to my cost in the past that using the wrong bait in winter can mean a long list of blanks where in reality fish are there to be caught. It’s no surprise that many people turn to the Amber Strawberry as it has a proven track record in the winter and that is the sort of direction I tend to go in myself. But although I have caught well on that bait the first one I’d turn to is the Purple Monster Squid as in the short time it’s been available, I have caught through every winter month on it from a variety of venues in all sorts of conditions. For most of my fishing I tend to use either bottom baits or snowman set ups. I like to use something
close to what I’m putting out as freebies as it makes sense to me that if you are putting out bait to try and get the fish feeding, why then use something different on the rig itself? For instance, last winter I found that the Purple Squid worked well in conjunction with sweetcorn so the hookbait I used over the top of those two was a 15mm Purple Squid bottom bait and one piece of fake maize and one memorable result was two lovely linears on a chilly February day. The exception to the rule is if I’m using single baits and then I will most often use a pop up on a hinge rig. I find the single pop up scenario works best when other people are putting out bait regularly and the fish are used to finding boilies all over, but if conditions are really tough and chances of a bite are low then I feel that a heavily-flavoured fruit pop up is going to give me the best chance. It’s the one time when I would go for an over-flavoured bait. I’ve always liked making my own hook baits and watching Gary Bayes making pop ups with the Airball mix at one of the shows recently got my mind working overtime and so over the next few weeks the plan is to lock myself in the shed and come up with one or two winners that might just give me the edge on a cold winters day!
THE PREDATION ACTION GROUP WHO, WHAT AND WHY? T
he PAG committee has been formed to research and report on the effects of predation on fisheries and angling in Great Britain. The balance of nature is being destroyed and angling is under threat. The spread of imported signal crayfish means that all fish’s food sources are being depleted and their spawn preyed upon in both rivers and lakes. The seas are being stripped of fish, a phenomenon which has resulted in cormorants being driven inland for their prey. The effect of cormorant predation on inland fisheries is well documented, with John Wilson rationalising that they account for up to 58,000,000 irreplaceable small fish per annum. Against this background of increasing small fish predation, in the early-’70s a programme was put in place to rear otters in captivity and reintroduce them to the wild. The EA Otter Survey of 2010 reveals that the spread of otters has been far-reaching and they are now present in most areas of the country. Because of the impact of signal crayfish and cormorants destroying the small fish food chain, otters have had to learn to look elsewhere for their normal prey. As a result, their impact on specimen fish has been alarming. They have all but totally wiped out the specimen barbel population, and have been responsible for serious damage to, and the destruction of, an increasing number of carp fisheries. Fishery owners, controllers and fish farmers are in a difficult position when it comes to protecting their interests and livelihoods because otters and cormorants are protected. The authorities are in denial over the predation
issue. Notwithstanding the fact that we spend £25,000,000 per annum on licences, anglers are looked on as the poor relations compared to such bodies as the RSPB, English Nature, and so on. The Angling Trust is there to look after anglers’ interests but they are underfunded and have their hands full. The PAG has been formed to research the predation issue and put together a convincing case for some measure of control of predators. In the first instance the PAG’s brief is to report their findings to the Angling Trust. If that doesn’t have the desired effect then it may become necessary to lobby the government direct, a very expensive procedure. All the committee’s work on behalf of the PAG is voluntary and no one claims expenses, but some areas of research and reporting will cost money. We need a stand to extend the lobby to shows, and if we do have to make a direct approach to the government then the estimated cost is £50,000. That is why the PAG needs funds: not to pay anyone for their voluntary efforts, but to be prepared to move the battle onto another level, if necessary. If you think you can help then send your money to Pip Dean, The PAG, Regent House, 101 Broadfield Road, Sheffield, South Yorkshire S8 0XH. Cheques to be made payable to ‘Predation Action Group’. Further details about the PAG and predation will shortly be available through our website: ThePredationActionGroup.co.uk
FIGHTING FOR THE FUTURE OF ANGLING
NEW WEBSITE NOW LIVE: NASH E-ZINE WWW. THEPREDATIONACTIONGROUP .CO.UK
RIG TALK STEALTH + CONCEALMENT GAINING A WINTER EDGE
When it comes to end tackle camouflage, Nash Diffusion technology leads the way, our ground breaking light and colour reactive terminal components provide unrivalled levels of concealment. In the depths of winter, water clarity can make end tackle concealment a real challenge. Many multicoloured silt, weed and gravel options available in the tackle shops stand out horribly in gin clear water. Even if you can colour match solid coloured end tackle set ups in the margins you can never be sure how they will blend when cast further out in the lake. But Diffusion is different, drop a light and colour reactive Diffusion end tackle set up onto weed and it’s virtually impossible to detect, move it onto silt or gravel and again it changes and just vanishes.
NXT D-CAM MONO When samples of D-Cam Mono first arrived at HQ it caused a real buzz around the office, sometimes you just know when a new product is ‘very right’ and the D-Cam has proven to be just that. De-Cam is supple and loads onto the spool with minimum fuss with none of those frustrating line twist issues. D-Cam casts extremely well, abrasion resistance and knot strength are exceptional, it also sinks like a dream. Even in gin clear water and against a multi coloured lakebed, D- Cam quickly sinks and just melts away. This really is a line for all seasons and all situations, totally reliable, Diffusion technology also ensures the ultimate in camouflage and concealment, once tried there’s no going back!
NXT BULLET BRAID Bullet Braid is a specialist product and a main line with a difference. For ultra stealthy slack line fishing in the margins or for any situation where you require everything nailed to the bottom, Bullet Braid is unbeatable. It sinks like a brick, its also literally bomb proof , zero stretch also maximises bite indication and provides the ultimate in strength and security when fishing hook and hold tactics.
NXT ZIG FLO It was the ground breaking Zig Bugs that triggered the development of the new Zig Flo Line. Whilst testing the new Zig Bug hook baits it soon became apparent that many of the popular lines used for zig tactics fell well short of our expectations and requirements. So the search was triggered for something stealthier that would also provide improved abrasion resistance, knot strength and reliability, the new Zig Flo line provides all this and much more. NXT Zig Flo – it’s an absolute tackle box essential!
NASH TEXTURED LEAD COATINGS Getting leads to blend effectively in winter can also be tricky, shiny coated leads can be particularly difficult. Our much copied textured coated leads have been purpose designed to provide maximum concealment, if you take a really close look at the coating with a magnifying glass you’ll see it looks rather like multi-coloured rough sandpaper. Based on advanced military camouflage technology, the unique multi flecked coating creates a kind of chameleon effect which blends exceptionally well against any colour or shade. The shape or outline of the lead also seems to somehow blur, all of which combine to make the lead difficult to detect on the lakebed. There are two colour options, lakebed silt and crud can be easily rubbed into the surface, so with a little preparation the leads can be made invisible to carp. Stiffly mixed ground bait sticks to the coating like glue and will remain intact even with a hefty cast. Before casting single hook baits in winter, dropping a textured lead in Nash Bait Boilie or Food Dip for a few seconds is a top tactic that will significantly boost 50
attraction. The dense liquids become locked into the porous texture which creates a more prolonged and consistent leak off of food signals in the area of the hook bait. The leads cast superbly and there are inline and pear type variations in a range of sizes to suit any angling situation likely to be encountered.
NASH FANG HOOKS Using the sharpest possible hooks will give you an edge when fishing for cold lethargic winter feeders. Nash hooks are super strong with a durable sticky sharp point. All four patterns have been designed to really grab hold in the carp’s mouth. Providing that the rig mechanics are sound, when a hookbait attached to a Nash Fang is sucked in by a feeding fish it’s unlikely to be blown out.
HOOK CHOICE • Four radical patterns purpose designed for advanced rig construction • Low friction stealth coating • Cutting edge design and technology
Straight point-curved medium length shank - designed for cutting edge rig construction. Perfectly suited to both bottom bait and pop up presentations, the Fang X is also a very effective Zig hook.
In turned point-wide gape-radical short straight shank - a sticky carp hook in the true sense of the word, perfect for out smarting pressured rig shy carp and a superb chod hook too.
• Exceptional sharpness strength and durability
In turned point-medium length straight shank - strong, versatile, dependable, a classic carp hook, a particularly effective barbless pattern.
Straight point-radical square bendmedium length straight shank-30 degree down turned eye - Kevin Nash’s favourite hook - The Twister is considered by many top anglers as the best carp hook bar none.
STRIP OFF IN THE COLD Missing Link is an extremely versatile coated hook link, the Silt version is the first choice colour for many top anglers for winter fishing. Fished over died back weed, a barren silt patch or clear area, Missing Link isn’t invisible but somehow it just looks as if it belongs there. Short combi rigs fished with a Nash Run Bead are particularly effective for tricking cautious winter feeders. Some of our top consultants have been catching well recently by stripping the coating off completely and using the ultra supple inner core combined with a lightweight inline lead.
GET ORGANISED SOFT BOX AND SOFT BOX XL Rummaging through a myriad of small boxes and bags searching for that crucial item can be a real pain, particularly when fingers are cold and time is limited. Being organised is important during those short winter sessions and over nighters, the Soft Box provides a practical and flexible alternative to conventional plastic boxes and ensures that everything is kept to hand. The Soft Box takes up minimal room in a rucksack or carry- all, but the cavernous tardis like capacity can accommodate a comprehensive range of terminal tackle items and ready tied rigs. The larger Soft Box XL also allows for larger items to be stowed away ready for use.
KEY FEATURES • Neoprene soft touch carry handle • External mesh zipped pockets • Dual compartments accessed by central zip • Removable rig board • Compatible with Box Logic storage systems • Maximum flexibility and storage - minimum fuss
Airframe Sleep System 3 Leg Airframe Sleep System 3 Leg Wideboy Airframe Sleep System 4 Leg Airframe Sleep System 4 Leg Wideboy Airframe Sleep System 4 Leg Emperor
Airframe Air Shield Underlay Airframe Air Shroud Airframe Luxury Pillow
ÂŠ KEVIN NASH GROUP PLC. 2014 30 YEARS OF INNOVATION
Gary Bayes and Nash Tackleâ€™s big money makeover for local charity
rom a stained, unshaven and mop topped baitmaker Nashbait’s Gary Bayes was snipped, clipped and sprayed into a new man to raise over £1300 in his charity makeover. Gary, a renowned carp angling scruff, endured (and perhaps enjoyed?) cosmetic treatments from barber’s scissors to fake tan to his feet being sanded down to help support local Benfleet charity Little Havens Hospice that provides respite care for terminally ill children. Drawing a great crowd of onlookers to cheer him on at Hudson’s Barbers in Rayleigh, Gary was transformed from a fluoro tinted, flavour impregnated figure complete with ingredients in his hair to a handsome tanned and trimmed Gary Barlow lookey-likey, bringing wolf whistles from the assembled ladies. Mark Hudson, responsible for the work with the barber’s scissors said: ‘Gary was a star. I’ve never in 30 years met someone with that amount of hair, not that walks upright anyway,’ he laughed. ‘He had more hair in his ears then I have on my head! and those toe nails must have been a real advantage climbing trees!’ Debbie Payn from ‘Pamper 4 All’ based in Canvey Island had her work cut out with Gary too: ‘Grating the dead skin from Gary’s feet was like grating Parmesan over a bolognaise, and I’m not surprised his toenails made holes in his socks.’ Debbie filed Gary’s nails, soaked the bait dye away then manicured with a glossy varnish and oil finish. The finishing touch for Gary was a lovely dark 16 % sienna x spray tan, with the bait guru just in his boxers. ‘
‘The end result looked like Gary had been to Barbados for a fortnight. Gary was an excellent model and although I faced over grown toenails, stained hands and a fisherman in his undies I would do it at the drop of a hat any time for such a great cause,’ said Debbie. ‘Please, please, please donate if you can.’
‘It was a fantastic way to fundraise for the seriously ill children we look after. Whether we care for a child for years, months, weeks or even just hours, we make a real difference, but this wouldn’t be possible without the support of businesses like Nash Tackle. So on behalf of all of our children and families, thank you!’
Little Havens Corporate Fundraiser Lydia Plews commented, ‘A huge crowd from Nash Tackle turned up to cheer Gary on and we think he looks amazing after his makeover.
Little Havens is one of only a few dedicated Children's Hospices in the UK offering respite breaks, symptom control and end-of-life care to youngsters not expected to reach adulthood. Registered Charity Number 1022119 NASH E-ZINE
A BIG THANKYOU TO EVERYONE THAT WAS INVOLVED! ESPECIALLY TO HUDSONS BARBERS OF RAYLIEGH AND PAMPER 4 ALL IN CANVEY ISLAND. You can see more pictures and video footage of Gary’s transformation at: facebook.com/officialnashtackle Donations can still be made at: https://www.justgiving.com/garybayesnash
NEW COMBI-LINK With terminal tackle, no company can afford to stand still, our philosophy is simple, if we’re not continually testing and developing new ideas we’ll simply be going backwards. There’s been some intensive development work going on at HQ over the last year which is producing some exciting new products for the TT range. The soon to be released Combi-Link is just one of several new innovative products in the pipeline, the new coated braid comes in a range of breaking strains and well researched low viz no spook colours. Combi-Link has become an instant ‘tackle box essential’ for the lucky few involved in the development programme and I wouldn’t mind betting it will for you too.
NEW DWARF RODS The Dwarf concept has spawned a unique, innovative and ever expanding range of tackle, it’s almost as if Dwarf is becoming a ‘fishing lifestyle’ choice. It’s easy to see why anglers who are looking for a second set of light weight easily transportable tackle for stalking or short session fishing find the range so attractive. The rods in particular, which are keenly priced with an impressive specification and capability, are becoming a firm favourite with anglers of all ages and abilities. This year sees the launch of the heavier 3.5 and 4.5 test curve models, during testing and development the new rods performed extremely well, winning a number of hard fought boat battles and extracting monster carp from difficult weedy situations. The rods are also capable of chucking a heavy lead a long way too. If you are looking for an easily transportable marker or spod set up these could be the rods for you.
NEW H-GUN 3.5LB TEST CURVE ROD The brief for the new 3.5 test curve H-Gun rod was to deliver casting potential that was previously unattainable at this price point and I’m sure that anyone who puts the new rod through its paces will agree that we’ve done it. This rod is very different to similar priced ‘broom sticks’ that you’ll find in the tackle shops and benefits from a progressive forgiving action with plenty of reserve power. As well as being an impressive casting tool, the H-Gun 3.5 is a delightful rod to a play fish on, whether it’s a hard fighting double or a much heavier fish that’s hugging the bottom at range. For anyone new to our sport, or perhaps someone on a tight budget or looking for an occasional distance rod, the H-Gun 3.5 ticks all the boxes 60
ON THE GRAPEVINE NASH PRODUCT TALK
THE ELEVATOR CRADLE As a company, Nash has always taken carp safety and welfare very seriously, as far as product development and design is concerned we are market leaders. The Elevator Cradle is a very popular product and a typical example of Nash innovation at its very best. The simple hinged design and sturdy yet lightweight construction combines ease of transport with a rapid set up and breakdown time. The Elevator makes the ideal choice for both the long stay angler and also for those travelling light or fishing a mobile approach and there’s no compromise on protection for a banked fish. There are Standard and Deluxe versions available plus a sturdily constructed carry bag that will house the cradle and other related safety items – top product!
NEW CAMERA BAG A camera bag is a camera bag and not really something to get exited about, right? Well yes, to a point. The thing is, more and more anglers are getting serious about their photography and not just those all important trophy shots. Many of us now spend serious amounts of money on photographic equipment and it makes sense to look after it and that was pretty much the thinking behind the new camera bag from Nash. Life on the bank is a harsh environment for any kind of electronic equipment and this is particularly so with cameras. As with all our high quality luggage items, the new camera bag is a sturdy, hardwearing, functional piece of kit that provides a high level of security and protection and it ‘looks right’ too. And as you’d expect from us, the design offers some useful features, built in lens wipe, external mesh pockets, carrying handle, shoulder strap and a belt loop option all add up to an impressive specification.
INSTANT ACTION I’ve been really impressed by the number of catch reports I’ve seen recently featuring the new Instant Action range of high attract baits, I’ve even managed to catch a few winter fish on them myself. Gary would probably say that means they must be really good! There’s nothing new about brightly coloured high attract hook baits, but having a range of matching freebies, pellets and other peripheral products to hand really does take the concept of fishing for a bite to a new level. A pop up fished over a small bag of crumbed bait or pellet is a top winter tactic and again nothing new but even so, the number of fish caught recently on a single Instant Action pop up combined with a bag of crumbed matching boilie is quite staggering! Most anglers think of pop ups when single hook bait fishing is mentioned, but often doing something different from the crowds provides an edge. Maybe that’s why the new Instant Action bottom baits have also been catching so well when fished in isolation.
GREAT PRIZES EVERY WEDNESDAY AT YOUR LOCAL NEWSAGENT
REPORT YOUR CATCH ON NASH BAIT TO CARP-TALK AND BE IN WITH A CHANCE OF WINNING ONE OF THE FANTASTIC SIX MONTHLY TACKLE PRIZES
www.carptalk-online.co.uk then click on catch report form
FROM KORDA, GURU & DEVON BAITS
Tel: 01430 440624
OUR FREE ONLINE NEWSLETTER... GIVING YOU XTRA...
LATEST NEWS, REVIEWS & CATCHES STRAIGHT TO YOUR INBOX... VISIT carptalkxtra.co.uk FOR YOUR FREE COPIES
OTHER GREAT MAGS...
FANTASTIC MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION SPECIAL OFFERS... FREE GIFTS
GO DIGITAL... MORE WAYS TO ENJOY YOUR FAVOURITE WEEKLY
something for everyone something for everyone
© KEVIN NASH GROUP PLC. 2013 2014 - 30 YEARS OF INNOVATION www.nashtackle.co. www.nashtackle.co.uukk www.nashtv.co. www.nashtv.co.uukk www.facebook.com/OfficialNashTackle www.facebook.com/OfficialNashTackle www.facebook.com/KEVINNASHCARPANGLER www.facebook.com/KEVINNASHCARPANGLER