I have said so often before how much I absolutely love this time of the year, my favourite season by a country mile. The cooling weather for me makes me feel much more comfortable. It suits my grabbed moments of outdoor life between my mostly indoor working life. The fresh feel and smell of the often-damp early morning air, the biting insects are almost none-existent, and my pre-work walks more comfortable with an extra layer on that can be removed if required. As for the fishing, well, so long as I can get on them, I know I can really catch them.
A question I am asked every year is what bait will I be using this winter?
Although still rather mild out there, I thought I would tap these words out to hopefully get you thinking as well as potentially saving a few more from asking.
have just got back from a very hot week on a small lake in the Champagne Ardenne region of France. It was originally booked in 2019 for May 2020, but with all the madness in the world, was delayed until now and on a different lake to the one planned.
According to Tony (the lake owner), the lake had a stock of around 50 carp up to around 47lbs. Having a quick look through the catch reports it appeared that the average catch was around 5 or 6 carp per angler / per week (probably due to the really hot weather). With an average weight of over 30lbs.
The fishing was typical of a lot of these types of French Lake, fishing to the gaps in the trees on the far margin. This meant accurate “marking” of the line (and a skyline marker), was critical to prevent casting into the overhanging trees.
With the weather how it is, I urge you all to read this. But, before you start reading this, I must stress that the following are not my words. All credit goes to Bernice Brewster who posted this on a Fishery Management page. The information is so important and accurate, I urge you to spread it around anyone with an interest in the well being of their fish.
What a month that one was, here in the U.K. Temperatures hit record levels and our ladies football team did so incredibly well in the football. I am sure the whole nation must be so proud of our amazing Lioness’s. I even packed up fishing early to be able to get home to watch them win the final on a proper screen, rather than the telephone screen on the bank. Oh yes, I also caught a load of carp!
With these record-breaking temperatures running over 40 c we have been experiencing here in the U.K. Along with the news last night showing fires spreading out of control, it got me thinking immediately about my outdoor cooking.
Anyone who follows me on social media will know I love to cook over real fire or BBQ coals rather than use gas etc. I have been doing this for around 10 years now, ever since I decided to see if I could get by without gas stoves. I have managed this easily, but it did hit home watching the news of fires spread from barbecues, just how easy it is for people to get things wrong when playing with a lot of heat. Just not thinking things through is the biggest problem.
Well, I just seem to have carried on from where I left off in May. Both April and May had been particularly kind to me with some great carp slipping up to my methods.
April had been a month of real mixed emotion after the passing of my father, but some incredible fish graced my net. This month started with Dad's funeral; the non-religious service was conducted in an excellent manner. Yes, I had written most of it, but it was delivered very well. John commented that at around 45 minutes it was the longest eulogy he had ever read out and had told me before the service that he was really looking forward to this one, which I took as a pat on my back. We had corresponded a fair bit over the weeks leading to it. There was the odd chuckle in the right places from those in attendance as well as the odd bout of tears. I was proud that those who turned up had turned up to say their final goodbyes to Dad. Finally, our lives could return to some sort of normality, despite the huge hole left for those closest to dad.
Is it really what they want?
At times, this is something we all need to ask ourselves to make sure those fish keep ending up in the landing net. It is all so easy to keep banging away with the same methods, baits and baiting strategies simply because they were working so well a few weeks back. It is all too easy to keep doing the same thing and simply accepting blank sessions because the fish which showed, just weren’t up for it. I fall into the trap myself, when I get things right and seem to be catching consistently, I sometimes find it difficult to know when to change things again. Comfort zones will always be zones difficult to step out of.