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Off The Beaten Track No Names, No Numbers
These remained motionless a few times!
The run up to the start of the season saw me baiting an area on the
Middle Level. For nearly two weeks I
was putting a full bucket of mixed
particle and probably around a kilo of
18mm Equinox over two spots every
other night. Nearly every time I went
to bait up there were numerous
bream rolling near to my spots. This
didn’t put me off at all, as I’m sure the
carp would be near if not alongside
the bream shoals. I was unable to
start on the magical 16th but still got
down to bait the area after work ready
for an evening session the following
day. On this last baiting mission, the
area looked devoid, with not a single
roach or anything showing. I stayed
around the area for a good hour
watching, but it wasn’t until I was just
about to jump in the van for home
that I saw what I’d been waiting for. A
mid-twenty common threw itself
clear out of the water yards from one
of the baited spots. This really got me
itching to get down there with the
rods. The next day at work really
dragged, but I was soon on my way
down there full of anticipation after
what I’d seen the evening before. To
cut a long story short, no carp we’re
forthcoming, but two bream were.
I kept on eye on this area for the
next few nights but never saw
another sign of a carp. Not wanting to
put a l l my e ggs i n o ne ba s k e t I
thought it best I try somewhere else.
My attention turned to the Ouse
along a section called ‘Ten Mile
Bank’. This is a lot wider and deeper
than the Middle Level, and I know of
some carp to mid-30s had been
caught from there. The same as the
180 FREE LINE
Middle Level, this section of the Ouse
is also home to large bream and tench
shoals, plus all other coarse species.
This brings me on to the rig I’ve
decided to use on the drains, as I
wanted something simple, but something that would also take a lot of
interference from nuisance species
but still reset and be presented correctly. With the carp in the drains not
overly pressured, they are not exactly
going to be rig shy, so my rig revolves
around a large size 4 Fox Armapoint
SR hook. This is tied to 25lb Fox Cortex Matt, blowback style. But instead
of using a ring for the blowback part,
I decided to use a small piece of silicone to trap the hair. This is down to
the flow of the drains, as I do not want
this to affect the presentation of the
effectiveness of the rig by moving the
hookbait up the shank, which it
would with a rig ring. It’s also pretty
inevitable that the rig will be interfered with by bream etc, so the way I
tie this rig I know it will still be presented every time. I do this by tying
the knotless knot with the coating of
coated braid still intact with only the
hair stripped back. This allows
enough stiffness so the rig lifts and
falls back perfectly every time with a
nicely balanced hookbait, which is a
18mm hard hookbait tipped off with
12mm Northern Special in varying
colours. I decided a hooklength of
around 8 to 10 inches fished on a helicopter rig would suffice.
I found a lovely looking area, just on
a bend with numerous boats moored
nearby, as we all know and hear that
these are carp magnets. Once again I
saw quite a few bream show and the
odd tench. I was soon priming the
area every day for a week with some
particle and again 18mm Equinox.
With work done for the week I was
soon heading down to the Ouse after
work on the Friday, only to turn up
and see someone set up where I’d
been keeping an eye on and prebaiting. Obviously this cannot be helped,
but I was a little disappointed to say
the least. So off to find somewhere
else it was… I knew of a couple of
other areas where carp had been
caught and seen before along this
stretch. The first one I got to someone
was also setting up, and the second
looked really good, but the banks
were just not practical to fish safely
overnight. With it being so close to
the road, I didn’t really fancy a car
driving over my brolly! With that I
thought I would try and find another
spot on another drain, and making my
way back along the Ouse I remembered a section that I used to bream
fish. I was soon pulling the van up to
this area. It looked perfect – on a
slight bend with lilies lining both the
near and far margins. It was decided I
would fish here for the night, with two
rods finding their way to the far margin at the bottom of the shelf and the
third fished to the left of the near side
marginal shelf. With a good helping of
mixed particle and 18mm Equinox
over each rod it was time to relax and
chill out. The night was uneventful,
but to be fair I wasn’t that surprised,
especially after dropping into somewhere on a whim, but you never
know with a rod in the water.
A few days later I had a text from
my mate Jack, saying he was out
scouting a few areas out, and he had
just seen a black as your hat common
show along Ten Mile Bank on the
Ouse. He described whereabouts this
was, and it sounded exactly like
where I had fished a few days earlier.
I arranged to meet Jack the next day
and see if it was definitely the same
area, which turned out it was. This
was the sign I needed, especially seeing as this section of the Ouse is miles
long, and to see one show like that is
very rare. A plan was made between
Jack and me to prebait the area regularly two or three times a week. This
was once again a mix of mixed particle and 18mm Equinox. It was also
decided to scatter the bait along a
diagonal line across the whole river.
This way carp going upstream or
downstream would cross the bait at
some point. It also gives me a good

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