It has been a few months since I last ventured out and what a few months its been. As most of you will already know i’m now the proud father to an absolutely gorgeous baby girl. Betty Wren Armstrong, words can’t begin to describe how amazing this dribbling bundle of joy is. I also want to say a huge thanks to everyone who sent goodwill messages and i’m pleased to say that the little one and Mother are all doing great now.
So, the better half gave me the nod to get back out on the bank so I decided to take on a local lake thats known for proper carp. The carp lads are a bit nesh so I knew I would have the place to myself and this is how it worked out. It’s been a few months since I had last visited this water and I was a little gutted… it looked like it had been attacked by a crazed beaver of war, most of the trees and foliage had been removed and a bleaker water lay ahead of me.
During my time away from the water gave me thinking time and a few plans where drawn up to try and test. At the water I picked a peg for comfort more then anything, although spring had apparently sprung the wind was harsh and opted to have it behind me. Plan was to have 4 different lines on the pole. Easy on this water as the depth is constant so one rig could cover a couple of options. A second time in the space of 30 mins my heart sank, the depth had also gone, 3 foot down from 6 months back. Looked a bit low but I would never have said it was down that much but it was and I was poised with a decision to make. Pack up and move over to the opposite bank that was an average foot or so deeper but have the wind in my face or stay positive and fight to bring the fish to me. The Saturday before was the warmest day of the year, it was still warm today (considering it’s the first week in March and how cold its been) and more importantly I was being a right lazy swine so I stayed put.
On the tray…
Dynamite Swim Stim Milled Expander Green
SonuBaits Super Krill flavoured white maggots
Dynamite XL Liquid Worm
Line one was straight in front at 15 meters, any further out and the bottom began to slope upwards. Just touching bottom with krill flavoured white maggots over some green would be the positive plan here. Aiming for anything that swims to start with and if all goes well the lake holds bream, chubb, barbel and orfe so hopefully try and connect with some of these to be honest. Line two would be 11 meter and set off to the right. Here I wanted to try chopped worm and caster with a glug or two of some Liquid Worm. I’m led to believe that the water holds some nice tench although I’m still to find evidence of these and also word of mouth suggests some quality perch. Line 3 would be a mirror of this but to the left, I was going to just drop a single grain of corn here and see how it goes but that plan changed. Last line was a long shot, the nearside tree that used to creep into the swim had gone, my depth had gone but I managed to find a little flat point in-between a couple of slopes. Caster would be my chosen approach here.
Todays rigs of choice:
Malman Floats ST Beech 4×16. 0.10 Preston Reflo Power Line straight through to a 22 Kamasan B611. Ok the float is heavy for the depth but I’m not one for struggling when its not needed. My personal opinion would be to opt for a heavier float to aid accurate presentation rather to struggle with a lighter rig, especially in the strong wind I found myself in. This pattern is spot on for all baits and the tip is visible at every distance. My soon to be go to float I feel.
Margin rig is a Malman Elko. Again a great powerful float. Short in size but heavy enough to control larger baits. Will come into its own in the warmer months no doubt. Line is 3lb straight through to a 18 gamma black.
Kicked of my 15 meter line boldly, maverick like. Some may say stupid and after an hour in with out a fish I was kicking myself. I started of with a large (for the time of year) solid ball of milled expander and half a cup of maggot. I changed my corn line to another maggot swim, but this line I only fed when I went in with a small toss pot of 4 – 6 maggots. I believed I needed a safe zone from my over the top bold line. I left the worm swim till I was going to fish it. The margin swim had a few casters flicked in every 10 mins or so.
My first fish came after 55 mins, taken on single white maggot at 15 meters a lovely hybrid of around 2lb. With this I then used the toss pot to deliver 6 maggots everytime I went out. About a dozen skimmers followed, all around 8 – 12oz mark and the swim died so another softer ball of green went in and left. The worm line then came into play, no big kick off, just a pinch of worm much and a small worm head on the hook and yes, a tiny perch straight of the bat. Over the remainder of the session a string of small perch and a rogue rudd pulled this swim to an end. The margin swim just didn’t ‘feel’ right on the day and although I gave it some time and effort, my heart wasn’t there and nor where the fish.
The last 3 hours became interesting and fun. I decided to experiment. Pouring my maggots into a bigger bowl I added some horlicks to bind them together and decided to go for it. Making little balls of sticky maggots I started loose feeding my left hand swim. It took 10 mins to get my first bite and the double maggot came back battered. A ball of mag went in as I was re-baiting and shipped back out to be greeted by a 3lb chubb. My double 4’s elastic handled the hearty fish well and back in I went. Over the next hour I followed this pattern catching 3 more chub and 3 brown orfe. What was interesting was the fish were feeding, feeding hard. I noticed lots of chewed maggots in my landing net. Not sure if one of the fish nabbed a ball as it hit the water or more likely it hoovered up the maggots. Either way this single bait approach proved to be perfect on the day. I could have possibly caught better had I stepped up my feeding but bait was now at a premium.
I finished the session back at 15 meters on maggot over the ground bait. Some nice roach fell to single maggot and another hybrid appeared on the last of my ‘next go is my last go’ ins. All in all I really enjoyed my day and even more so going home and telling little Betty all about it. I have some new ideas of what I can do with the humble maggot approach, bait prep and presentation, now I just need to work out a way the better half won’t route round the back of the freezer.