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Diary Blog - A Hectic but Kind August

Posted by Shaun Harrison on 8 September 2020 |

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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).
IMG 2458 2Thank 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.

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It was good to be back cooking outdoors over twigs

It was good to be back out I am definitely one that needs my outdoor fix. Just being there in nature, relaxing, cooking and generally watching the natural world do its thing. It’s certainly nice to get away from the 4 telephones that sit on my desk.

First diary entry upon my return to the bank says ‘EL SCORCHIO’. Yes, it was red hot and looked as un-carpy as you could imagine, with backs glistening in the sun not looking like they were in the least bit interested in feeding. The old mud pig sun worshipers were certainly doing that. Or at least a fair portion of them were. Shade was what was needed, a nice cool place to put a hook bait, or a nice shallow area where the fish were likely to pass over close to the bait whilst cruising. I found a swim that offered both, but the downside was that there was hardly any shade or shelter for me. So it was a case of grin and bare it with sweat running and stinging my eyes. At least I was angling.

There was a lovely cool shaded spot of water I had caught carp from before, very close in. Because of this I set up one of the 8 ft 6 in Free Spirit Margin Creepers to keep minimal tip poking over the margin. I lowered the self-chewed/apple-cored hook bait in and deposited just 2 squashed handfuls of moist boilie, particle and pellet which clouded the area rather nicely.

I was set up on a point so that rod was basically fishing the water behind me, whilst my other 2 rods were fished out in the main part of the pit. Obviously I kept movement to a minimum because of the rod fished just inches out with the butt touching the rear of my brolly. The carp creep in close a lot on this water, yet I seldom see others fish close for them. Then again, a similar story could be told on so many other venues too. I baited one of the open water rods on the side of a bar and the other rod I simply fished with a mesh bag with the idea o that being a roving rod should I see anything obvious to cast at.

The mosquitoes were horrendous but I survived the night and must admit to not being over surprised at first light to see the indicators still hanging motionless. It was 8 am but felt like the middle of the day because I had been up early watching and enjoying the relative cool of the morning after a night of no sun. An alarm stuttered into life and being set at a high pitch I immediately knew it was the margin rod behind. The little 8 ½ ft rod wrapped around and battle commenced. It was good to be back.

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It was good to be back - even if it was EL SCORCHIO!

12 noon and one of the open water rods was away and one of the more recently introduced stockies was joining me for a picture.

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Another joined me for a picture

Life felt good as I relaxed and reminisced whilst looking forward to the cooler temperatures of the night. The mornings were okay in the swim but the afternoon was torturous.

Sunday morning and I was out from behind the mozzie screen nice and early and picked up on some bubbling on one of my areas through the binoculars. The ‘Shaun the Sheep’ indicator lifted and dropped a couple of times as fish picked up the line in the area. So long as the line doesn’t pull tight during a liner, I don’t think the fish are worried about it and probably hardly notice with brushing against all sorts every day from cracked off line, weed etc. This is why I always fish with a large travel distance for my visual indicators and purposely fish semi buoyant lines to pick up liners and get a better picture of whether there are fish about or not. Very different to what most others try and teach me.

Eventually the indicator rose, held tight and the line pulled out the clip. It was at range and it seemed all I could do to keep a proper tight line as it kited to the left. After a lot of pumping it was very close to the bank and I was expecting the rod to finally wrench round properly, but instead, a double figure bream popped onto the surface and into the net.

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2 in 7 years is hardly a nuisance

To be honest I was happy to see this fish as it was only the second one I had personally seen there in 7 years of fishing the place and the other was also on my rod and a double too. I was that pleased with this ‘nuisance capture’ I even weighed and photographed it. This was certainly not my largest bream, but at 11.14 a very respectable one for the area. The only downside was that I now had a landing net resembling a teenager’s bed sheet. I thought the mesh was going to snap when I packed away later that day.

Next trip was delayed due to having to fill a skip at my parent’s old place before I could get on my way. Unbelievably I then managing to snap my Land Rover key in my ignition just as I thought I could escape. 3 hours later after calling a locksmith out and considerably lighter in my wallet I was on my way. No rush, everyone else would already be there.

I arrived slotted in and went through the motions in a swim I knew well but one I didn’t really fancy although it gave me a lot of options compared to the other swims that were still available.
116156712 3150891894947694 8023411638284095555 oFriday night passed with no action and Saturday afternoon after feeding myself I decided to pile in all the bait I had with me.
Up until then I had fed little but suddenly got the urge to Spomb for Britain! Plus the guy next door had just left. He had landed a fish in the night and I felt due to the nature of my swim and increasing wind a fair bit of bait in one of the narrow channels between the long bars would send a long scent trail and hopefully drag a few fish closer as I was seeing odd ones at range.

Sunday morning a 3 bait stringer among the heavily baited area and among a load of tufties was found by a carp. After a spectacular ‘angry’ type of fight I was looking at a fish I had not seen before, a lovely clean dark one with silt stained lips.

25.08 16th Aug 2020

I'd not seen it before

That was my only action of the trip, but I left most content with what had started to look like a disaster of a week-end. With the amount of bait I’d fed the swim, the carp were obviously enjoying it and this actually included quite a lot of a new one I have messed with for a while – Rock Pool Rahja is a bait I wanted to add to the range a couple of years back but it still needed a bit more ‘playing with’. To see this coming out of the vent of the fish was most satisfying as there had been 3 other different coloured boilies in my main feed. It looked like this particular fish had been selecting the new bait. Probably why I had not seen it before, some fish are turned on by some baits and others aren’t. This is the reason I always mix my baits and rarely ever feed just one.

Next trip I went on the end of a real big wind, but the carp never did. Other than 2 small bream I blanked. These must have got in during the floods of last winter, as apart from a couple of doubles I have never seen bream here before and the way I like to fish with small baits. I should have picked up bream of that size before. Hey, ho, a constantly evolving world.

Due to lots of small jobs at my parents new place I had been unable to escape for any short evening sessions after work which I like to do on various venues to keep my eye on them so to speak. I had to satisfy myself with just the weekend sessions. They had gone well though as the water I have been fishing can be rather tricky to say the least and any capture is a result on there as others keep reminding me.

Final session of the month was the Bank Holiday weekend and for 2 nights I had once again, swim wise, chosen wrong. It looked right as fish were out front but too far over. I waited too long but finally upped sticks and moved directly opposite where I had been sat. It the mountain won’t come to Mohamed...

A couple of hours after moving the first fish slipped up on a Rock Pool Rahja Pop-Up.

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"the first fish slipped up on a Rock Pool Rahja Pop-Up"

It’s rare I fish pop ups myself but having decided to release the Rock Pool Rahja for 2021 I had needed to make sure I got the pop-up mixes right. Similarly I have decided to do a larger range with these including wafters (I have always used half a boilie and half a pop up or differing ratios depending upon the size of the hook), hardened hook baits, pellet and so on. It was a nice start, my first cast with a freshly rolled pop up had produced a fish.

Again as per a couple of weeks back, I decided to empty the remaining contents of my bucket in one area, I heard fish on it in the night and as the sky started to lighten, a carp finally made a mistake. The rod was wrapped around in a real healthy battle curve and I could see why when I realised the carp had picked up several weed beds on the line during the fight. I hate this scenario when you are playing them with the line at right angles through the weed. It is always a worrying scenario knowing you aren’t keeping a constant pressure on the hook. I need never have worried though, for the size 8 PB Products KD Curve shank stayed well embedded and the carp was mine. A “thank you” left my lips.

August 2020

A thank you left my lips

With the self take stuff being prepared whilst the carp got its breath back I lifted the fish from the water for my first glimpse and was so pleased with what I saw, a gorgeous linear. The move had more than paid off and as I slipped her back I wondered what September would have in store for me. August I felt most fortunate to have caught what I did considering my mind being far away from the usual focus I have.

Best wishes as always

About the Author: Shaun Harrison

shaun profile pic

Quest Baits boss Shaun Harrison has put over 40 years of experience into developing his range of carp baits ” This bait range is the culmination of the bait knowledge I’ve gained throughout my carp fishing career, a journey which started in the 1970’s. It has truly been a long and winding road – frustrating at times, fascinating and rewarding at others….. Our range you’ll only find proven baits, the ones I use myself 

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