FL12Sept - Page 115



North Carping
tation. I will tell you what that was –
initiative thinking back then.
And now we come to cube-shaped
baits. I must say the carp went
bananas on these little babies. With
the cube baits you could overdo it a
bit with the flavours, making them
quite strong, as they would release
the flavour very quickly making them
true instant baits. We had some good
fun using the cubes, and we had a
great season with these baits. Both of
us learnt lots of tricks and methods to
trip up those ever so wary carp in the
Paddock. Ever since I have more of
less fished the Paddock at springtime
and in the winter. It’s a cracking
water to keep you nice and sharp for
other ventures.
Like I’ve said, I only fish it mainly in
the spring and winter, but this season
I’ve decided to have a little break from
my main water, staying off it for the
summer, and going back on for the
start of autumn. So throughout this
spring and summer I’ve been having
a good go at the Paddock with a mate
of mine, Mally. We’ve been doing a bit
of time and been slightly surprised by
some of the carp we have caught.
Going back to early March, I was
fishing Peg One in the corner – this
area has a set of pads that come up
every year. I love fishing in this area,
just as the pads are starting to shoot,
as the carp get in there and spend a
good few weeks very preoccupied in
here. I know they are picking off all
the natural food that’s available to
them, bloodworm, small snails and
also the new growth of the pads must
be a great attraction for them. Maybe
they are excited about the growth
and can feel the spring in the air just
like us.
I was using a pop-up rig for my
fishing in the pads. I don’t usually use
this method at all; I always put my
faith in the bottom bait approach, but
this style of fishing warranted a bait
just off the bottom. A nice 1oz ball
lead finished the job nicely; a perfect
rig for the pads and very effective. My
setup was simple really, fishing both
rods fanned out in the area with no
backleads at all – everything was well
locked up, fishing both lines really
slack using light bobbins.
I watched both lines like a hawk
waiting for them to tighten up. More
often than not you would see a flat
spot and a big boil first before the line
tightened up, and by this time I was
on it straight away. I caught some
cracking carp from this peg before it
became unfishable. I caught a gold
bar at 18lb 8oz, a beauty of a fish if
I’ve ever seen one. Next to Peg One
lies Peg Two, another very good swim
that the carp use at certain times. I
was saying to Mally at the time that
the bigger fish had to be feeding after
the long hard winter, and maybe one
of us would catch one soon, as I
thought the water was fishing pretty
well.
I would say that there could be at
least three 20lb-plus commons up for
grabs, so that was definitely the goal
to go for. Knowing these fish very
well, they can be really hard to tempt
at the best of times but I was thinking
our chances were very good indeed.
So it was all systems go in pursuit of a
Paddock 20lb+ common.
It was early May and Mally and I
were doing a three-nighter. Mally
caught a lovely 18lb’er off the Point
Swim but I didn’t have a bleep until
the third morning of the session. I had
a rod up the roadside margin on one
of the spots. I’d been up early that
morning watching the lake, and it was
around 9.30am when I got a slow
dropback. I got up off the bucket and
walked to the rod, looked at the spot,
and saw a mass of bubbles – sweet as
sugar. I picked up the rod like you do,
Matty (local angler), 12lb-plus
common, Paddock.
and I just knew it was one of the good
common – it felt like all quality fish
feel, quite heavy and slow in the fight.
It went in the net and then on the
scales – 22lb 8oz of immense beauty.
It was a very dark looking fish with an
almost yellow underneath, a very special carp and a lake record too. I can
remember looking at it on returning it
to the water, and I glanced at it as if to
say, “You crafty bugger.” It looked
back as if to say, “Not as crafty as you,
mate.”
So I was very pleased after that, as
these fish don’t come out very often,
but they do have a weakness for the
boilie. For all the natural food that
they eat, now and again they just cannot resist a bit of quality meat. So I’d
achieved my first target so to speak,
and now I was planning my next mission to get a fish that had not been on
the bank for sometime – for at least
three seasons, maybe four, this fish
had escaped capture. The fish I’m
writing about is one we call TwoTone, and another common that is
always around the 18lb 8oz mark.
There were various rumours flying
around that it must have died or gone
for walkies, but I know what these
carp are like; they just switch off the
boilies and go on the naturals for long
FREE LINE 113

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