For me, June 2020 has been a rather mixed month seeing me switching my week-end angling between 4 different venues, all down to the carp spawning or trying to spawn and me not being able to bring myself to fish for them during the time they really need to get this out their systems and then rest whilst left alone to get over their most important part of the year.
It really does sicken and disappoint me to see anglers continuing fish for the carp whilst they are at their in their most vulnerable and delicate state, particularly the older fish. Why on earth the fisheries don’t totally close is beyond me and extremely foolish (or perhaps brave) in my opinion when they are reliant upon good health of their fish to keep filling swims and selling tickets.
Some waters do nothing and just let everyone get on with it, whilst others unbelievably just close off the swim the fish are spawning in. This really does amaze me as protection is required after spawning in order for the fish to get over the most stressful time of the year. Some of the old females get absolutely battered by young males and can take a while to recover to anything like the norm. Closing a swim only stops people fishing at them whilst they spawn it does nothing at all to protect them after spawning, when they are in their worst state. Post spawning the carp drift off to other parts of the lake/pit/pond/river where people can be fishing for them. My mind boggles as to what good closing a swim can do.
I received this question via Facebook to-day and decided to share it as well hoping it helps a few more out in their swim choice etc...
Question: I’m going fishing tomorrow it’s going to be 29c would you say it’s a waste of time on the bottom with a rig or better to go to a float pond and fish on the top with a dog biscuit?
This is a very good question that deserves a little more than ‘forget the bottom bait rigs’. The fact that it was from an old mate Gary Marlow, someone I knocked around with all through school days, we were even in the same punk band for a short while before I found myself taking a different route in life needing my time on the bank much more than I needed to be in band practice. Naturally I was moved on and must admit to feeling a little envious once they started to play gigs. Ah well, I became much better with a fishing rod than I ever was on bass guitar.
Following on from yesterday’s ‘Coming out of Lock Down’ blog, I have received a couple of questions about my bottom bait reverse combi rig, in particular the components as well as asking what I mean by the ‘cluster of baits’ I had referred to. Hopefully the following will be pretty much self-explanatory.
The lock down period for me was very hard, just as it was for so many others. I live alone, I have a health issue, so I had to self isolate. Sadly I lost friends which really hit home that this invisible war is for real and not just figures quoted on the television. As much as I am happy in my own company, it took me until this isolated period to realise I actually missed people watching. If it wasn't for the fact that I was still able to take my daily field, wood and hill walk away from everyone else, as well as being fortunate enough to have developed a mini nature reserve in the garden to hide away in. I don't think I would have coped. I really did feel for those who live in city centre flats. It was bad enough working, living and isolating within the little plot of land I have, I couldn't imagine being trapped indoors as well, not having any outdoor space.
Finally, once allowed back out the carp gods smiled upon me.
I am often asked what baits I would use on a venue I had not been to for a long while, or a new venue I know little about. What would be my starting point in terms of bait and presentation?
Once again, nature and in particular the frogs, gave me a clue as to where to go and angle.
In my last end tackle blog, https://www.questbaits.com/blog/pb-products-hit-and-run-system/ I explained why I like small or running lead set ups which then prompted quite a lot of people to contact me asking my advice on other rig aspects. During the rapidly developing years of rig evolution in the early to mid ‘80’s I was really into rigs. Tweaking, testing and developing different ideas. I was rig mad and was convinced (still am) that some of the things we were doing back then, (we being Baz Varney and myself) gave us one hell of an edge on the waters we fished. Baz was the only one at the time I discussed rigs with. He had an incredibly ‘tuned in mind’ back then and came up with some pretty amazing ideas and between us down the ‘Bass House’ our favourite drinking joint, we would fine tune them after eventually finding the right bits to actually make these rigs up. One rig in particular, we were looking for the right sort of tubing for the best part of a year. It was worth it though when we were finally able to put the rig into action.
Yesterday I re-posted on social media a short video I did on the P.B. Products Hit and Run Safety Lead System https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q2P-xrlYAak and overnight a couple more questions have come through to my inbox about them, so it only seems right to go into a little more detail about them.
I was first introduced to these brilliant bits of kit in March 2012 by John Caeyers, whilst we were out in France for a Free Spirit Fishing video shoot. It took me all my gentle charm and persuasion plus sad puppy eyes to convince him that he should let me have one to try.
Now then, what a journey these past few weeks have been in my life. Emotions leaving me feeling as low as I have ever felt in my life, but fortunately periods of total joy too. I have always been a big believer in Karma and Karma appears to have stepped in a couple of times along the way including a new PB U.K. common.
We are now just over 3 months into the 2019 river season and I have only just started my barbel fishing. For one reason or another, I had hardly wet a line for over 3 months (apart from the very odd float fishing trip), so was looking forward to getting out and having a go. Although reading the various forums (such has Barbel Adventures and BFW) concerning the Upper Trent (they were hardly inspiring), as it would appear in recent seasons most anglers are blanking more often than not. Looking at the size of the barbel on the Upper Trent (average 9lb+), I personally believe (that with virtually no small fish coming through, plus the increase in predation), we may have as little has 3 years before the Upper river becomes very much like the Dove and there are next to no barbel there (it will be a great chub river though).
It always makes me smile looking at the various social media forums and Angling press concerning the Trent, the catches from the Middle and Tidal Trent can be 'ridiculous' (such things as 8 doubles or more in a night etc), leading people to think the whole of the river is one big barbel swim!
This really is not the case, the Upper Trent may as well be a different river as it is nothing like the middle, with large area's that only hold the odd fish. I know of many an experienced angler that have had plenty of blanks on the Upper Trent and Dove, that have then had a go on the Middle or Tidal Trent and ended up 'bagging up' with 10 plus fish in a session. Personally if the fishing was such that you are almost always guaranteed to catch, I would soon get bored, after 45 years as an angler, it's more about the surroundings, the solitude and the sense of mystery that low stocked venues like the Upper Trent still have to offer. I do feel though that the current situation with some of the huge catches of barbel, from places like Collingham really do give a false impression as to the barbel fishing across the rest of the country.
Anyway enough of my ramblings!