June 01, 2018

Carp Fishing Is Easy - Apparently.

I frequently view and comment on a forum for traditional anglers. I am, in essence, a traditionalist and although I no longer use heavy cane rods due to knackered shoulders, I do stand for an approach to the sport that, to me, encapsulates all that fishing should stand for. However, I am constantly having to come to the defence of carp anglers.

Quotes like "The bivvy brigade" spat with pure venom by somebody who has never fished under more than an Efgeeco brolly whilst sat on a folded army blanket. Or, "It's just a case of casting out boilies and waiting". "I've never seen the need to use an electronic bite alarm especially during daylight" and on and on and on....

Many of those that comment by the way, do their 'traditional fishing' in pools where they seem to catch an enormous amount of fish 'before the nuisance carp moved in' - or commercials/over stocked club waters, hardly Trad is it.

Well, here follows an account of me 'casting boilies and waiting' and what I endure in an average session by my carp lake.

Let me first mention an ailment of some embarrassment that I am currently suffering. I know of several regular readers to this blog that seem to revel in my mishaps and injuries and this one is a doozy. I have a cyst growing on one of a pair of sensitive dangly bits about my person. Whilst you ponder about the location I shall mention that physical work, especially lifting is, shall we say,  uncomfortable. I had it scanned today and it has reached one inch in diameter and may require future surgery - bet you can't wait for that blog update eh Tim?

I emptied the car and gingerly lifted my stuff into the swim and set up. My bivvy is a doddle to erect (no further comment having used that particular term), but when I was trying to fit the pole that holds the peak I found extra pressure was needed. Again, as gently as I could I pushed and was far from my usual Hulk like maximum when the resistance yielded and the pole was engaged in the appropriate slot. Then the bivvy collapsed.

The main rib/pole had snapped at a ferrule rendering the entire frame useless and me without a place to sleep. Having once been a Browny (I lied about my age), I set about a repair with a tent peg and half a mile of insulating tape. It almost worked but needed me to hang the weight of the frame to a tree with a bungy cord before I had a shelter.

All of this lifting, holding and taping would normally be tolerable but, for somebody so encumbered - Ow!

I had chosen one of the widest spots on the venue and was going for the long chuck. Distance fishing is an area of my carping that needs work so what better time to get the bugs out of my technique. I loaded my Spomb up and bashed it out about 85 yards or so. I did first try a new style 'Air Bomb' thing that opens before hitting the water thus giving a wider and quiet baiting up but it was heavy and, with my cack handedness, left bait everywhere from almost my chosen distance to behind me. I relented and got out a little Spomb and set about casting and retrieving copious grains and bait offerings. It was hard work but I felt the conditions needed a bit of bait going in.

My rods followed and I slumped into a chair for a drink crossing my legs and doing something rather painful in the meantime.

I'll summarise the rest of the session by saying that I did not sleep well despite the trappings of modern carp fishing. It was hot, my bits were nagging, the dog let me know If I snored and nudged me or barked and the bream played about with my large baits despite having no chance of eating the damned things. I had some fish but nothing large, I also lost two on a snag that was far larger than I had anticipated.

Neil managed a nice one

I tried to quickly release a small common at night but the hook was lodged and needed the pliers, having sorted that I found it's dorsal entangled in the landing net. I hate it when this happens but it occasionally occurs and requires a spot of scissor action on an expensive net. The biggest problem though was the amount of insect life on the wing. Despite having my head torch on red they came in their droves but when I was sorting the net I had to switch to main beam and I was squinting through a cloud of midges, mozzies and crane flies that went up my nose, in my mouth..... I slumped back onto my bed and dislodged a slug which landed on my right eye and stuck there. Bloody charming.

In the morning the dog had snuck onto my bed and was led lengthways effectively trapping me in. I had a bite and told him to 'Move'. He didn't, I told him again with several expletives and eventually threw him off. He stood groggily in the doorway still attached to his lead - that I promptly tripped over and rolled down to my rods where I found the second snagged fish had 'done' me.

Exhausted, I packed and loaded the car, stopped at the chemist for some Antihistamine and returned home to bathe the many, many itchy bites that covered my body.

A big thumbs up must go to Angling Direct. A quick phone call and a new rib pole will be on it's way to me within a few days. See, that was easy - just like all my carp fishing.

The fruits of my labours