Well, what a month this one has been. It was a little tricky at the start of the month with the scorching weather we have been having but taking that into account, I was able to adapt my approach accordingly and kept the baiting to a regular trickle, rather than putting a feast out there and expecting the carp to stop by and feed. I’m sure from what I see, many anglers just have their one main approach, that works - sometimes.
Yes, spring is in the air, everywhere I look around, but winter doesn’t seem to want to let go just yet. I took some days off over Easter, my birthday fell on the eve of Good Friday, so, beings as I try and catch myself a birthday present on my birthday I ventured to my favourite venue, hopefully for ‘a special one’. I caught but failed to catch on my actual birthday. Some of you may want to take note that April 6th is usually a day that the carp really can be stubborn. In all the years I have tried to catch a birthday carp, I only remember twice having a ‘special catch’. One of those was last year which I put down to my father watching over and ‘having a word’ for me. He had passed away just two days before.
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.
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.
What a month that one was!
At the start of the month I was in Italy chasing carp far larger than I usually get the chance to fish for and success was indeed sweet. I came back to catch up on work, caught 3 more nice fish back home, then got called out to France and managed to fit in a couple of days angling there with again a rather pleasing result. Finally the end of the month I was once again rewarded by the carp gods. The following blog covers some of those captures and the different bait approaches I used between Italy, France and the U.K. One baiting approach will never suit every situation.
The frogs have returned in volumes to my garden, which always means that I no longer need to work so hard to catch carp and now is the time to start moving on from my various cold water winter approaches to the methods that have caught me so many spring fish in years gone by.
With the daylight hours stretching on so much longer and the sun rising so much higher, the carp increase their activity and start to cover a lot more ground than they perhaps have been doing these past 2 ½ months.
So, how do I approach spring fishing?
I have just come back from an interesting week on a lake in the Champagne Region of France, with my brother David. The weather forecast for the week and the catch reports I had been reading suggested that the week wouldn't be an easy one and that a large catch of carp was probably going to be out of the question as there had only been 3 carp caught from the whole lake on the week prior to our visit. But, careful baiting was to work a treat.
After my six month obsession with Paradise Pit which had culminated in me landing another lake record from there, I felt I was ready for a bit of a change of scenery and fresh challenges.
I fish a small river in Berkshire which holds some very big Chub and Barbel.
The question is Shaun, what is the best way to approach barbel with this type of bait?
I have pre-baited a couple of kilos in three swims, should I be using pellet as well?
One thing I have noticed is the paste is a bit dry, how can i make it a bit more tacky, I think the chub love and just pulling it off how ever i mount it.