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Diary Blog - A Hectic but Kind August

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July ended and I had to hang the rods up for a short while. My parents who have both entered their 80’s were moving into their new bungalow and with 60 odd years living in the same house, they had naturally accumulated a lot of possessions. It was a big job clearing it and whilst doing so I found several bits of mine from my childhood growing up on Carpfield Avenue (It was actually Carrfield but one of the ‘r’s turned into a ‘p’ at some stage). Thank goodness for the help from my sisters’ side of the family, everyone mixed in without the need for removal companies etc. Between us we managed to get my parents safely into their new home.

I must admit I felt a little ‘out of touch and out of sync’, after only a couple of weeks away. Usually I am noting the weather constantly in the areas I fish and my bait is usually being prepared through the week with liquids starting to be added to boilies on the Tuesday ready for the following week-ends fishing. This time of the year I usually have a small bit of seed or veg’ cooked and added to the main feed too. I have always been in a bit of a routine doing this, just small 5 minute jobs each day but amazingly I found myself running around like a headless chicken with nothing done prior to my next chance to get the rods out, then I remembered a bucket of feed bait in the freezer that had not been used on one trip, problem solved. 

Posted by Shaun Harrison on 8 September 2020 | Comments Tags: , , , Read the full post

Water Birds – the Dreaded Bait Thieves?

Leaping Carp and Swan
Do the water fowl drive you mad?

Every lake I currently fish I find myself hounded by water fowl all wanting a share of the feast intended for the carp. It’s hardly surprising though as our target species shares a very similar diet to that of the bait thieves. Many years ago I learned to live with simply accepting that diving birds were going to take advantage of an easy free meal, just the same as the birds in the garden will. Yes, they are a total pain, picking lines up and every so often slipping up good and proper.

It was many years ago, way back last century when I realised how important the bird life can be and can actually speed up the capture of carp. As I touched upon above, bait robbing birds and the carp share a very similar natural diet, so, find the birds feasting upon naturals and you can be pretty sure the carp will be close by too and if they are not there at that particular time, you can be sure they will be visit.

 

Posted by Shaun Harrison on 18 August 2020 | Comments Tags: , , , , Read the full post

My Marker and Spod Reel Set ups.

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I would welcome a free drink for every time I have watched anglers cast a marker float out and not be able to get it to rise, then repeat the process again and again whilst spooking anything that may have remained there after the first cast.


Some real experienced anglers I see suffer this problem as well and the biggest cause is braided line or braided leaders. Yes, all the magazines tell us we need braided line for marker work, but for many years now I have used a Co-polymer or a fluorocarbon leader on the end of my braid to stop the frustrating habit of the marker float spinning around the soft braid on the cast and temporarily tangling, which prevents the float from rising. Using too small a lead can cause this too, but this can be seen during the cast as the float separates from the lead.

Posted by Shaun Harrison on 11 August 2020 | Comments Tags: , , , , , Read the full post

I'd rather forget July 2020

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Another month passes and if the truth be told, it was a month I would rather forget.

I finished last month’s piece on a bit of a high after tracking down, stalking, hooking and landing a ridiculously long common on the float and centrepin reel. At the time it was a fish I had not personally seen before, which made it extra special.

So, June passed and into July I ventured with what I though was a back problem. Although I have suffered with a bad neck and shoulder for 25 years, my back has always remained strong. My bloke brain just told me to get on with it and to expect more aches and pains as I get older.

Goodbye Spawning Carp and Hello to a New ‘Old Carp’.

spawning carp

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. 

Posted by Shaun Harrison on 1 July 2020 | Comments Tags: , Read the full post

During this Hot Weather

Shaun Dog

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. 

My Reverse Combi Rig Update June 2020

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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.

Into Lock Down and Back Out Again

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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.

Leading out of winter - Bait and presentation choice for a new venue?

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?

Frogs = Carp

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Once again, nature and in particular the frogs, gave me a clue as to where to go and angle.

Posted by Shaun Harrison on 11 March 2020 | Comments Tags: , , , Read the full post