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Rotary Letter
ing budget; he’s not in the monthlies
and the weeklies, but word of mouth
means that he’s got quite a good little
company there, churning out some
good quality bait and lots of it, and
plenty of consultancy type guys on a
cheap bait deal doing the legwork for
him. There are lots of companies like
that out there.
Then you’ve got what I suppose I
would call the normal carp angler.
He’s a guy who works; he’s a family
man, and he might have one night a
week or if he’s really lucky a couple of
nights. He might get some of his
weekends as well, but the missus is
going to want him to go shopping on
some of them, the kids are going to
want to see him, and so he’s limited
for time. He’s got some disposable
income, so he’s buying quite good
tackle and quite a high quantity of
bait. Some of these guys have even
got the money for a top of the range
gold card at nearly £2,000 or syndicate tickets at £500 or £800 a go.
Money is an object to him because
it’s his sole hobby and the thing that
keeps him sane throughout the year,
but he’s willing to put a bit of money
into it.
Going now to the other end of the
spectrum you’ve got the real pleasure
carp angler, or “pleasure angler
hyphen carp angler”. He’s not doing a
lot of night fishing although he’ll do
the odd night; it’s really a social out
there with his mates to have a few
beers. They’re going to waters where
they’re getting plenty of action – runs
waters, day ticket waters. They’re not
really buying syndicate tickets for
l o a d s o f m o n e y b u t d o n ’t m i n d
shelling out £20 for a day’s fishing on
a good day ticket water as long as
they’re getting plenty of action.
Again, they are spending a fair bit of
money on bait and tackle, but it doesn’t have to be top of the range rods
and reels like your top of the range
Daiwas that are £400 apiece. They’re
going to make do with a reel for a
£100 or less, but still good quality
stuff, and they are still out there doing
I suppose another category is the
match fishermen who are fishing for
carp these days, although they don’t
really fall into the category of carp
angler – they’re match anglers. No
disrespect to you guys, but you don’t
really care about the fish and protecting the fish. No disrespect to you, but
I’ve seen keep nets full of carp being
tipped out, and we wouldn’t dream of
doing that, although we did years
ago. I’m first to admit it that in the
70s, I’d put two or three carp in one
sack; we didn’t know any better. You
had no unhooking mats either, but
these days the care of the carp is a
priority to the proper carp angler
whereas to the match angler, it’s not
about the fish, it’s about the money.
What they’re going for really is to win
money, and much like the American
fishing scene (although it’s not carp
out there; it’s bass), again they don’t
really care about the fish; it’s all about
the money.
So, the point I wanted to make
about the current carp scene is that
whereas once in our early days there
was only one sort, and he was the
secretive, no one knew he was there,
matt black type carp angler of the 60s
and 70s, once the boom came in the
80s and there were more carp waters,
more carp being stocked and more
carp anglers, that all changed, and
now there’s quite an array of different
types of carp anglers out there.
Whether it’s better or worse, who am
I to say? People are enjoying it, and
that’s all that matters. As long as you
remember that it’s all about enjoyment at the end of the day and to
keep the politics and the jealousy side
out of the sport completely – that’s a
priority as far as I’m concerned.
So there I was not going to say
much about last month’s answers,
and I’ve waffled on quite a bit, but
anyway, let’s have a look at this
month’s questions… The first question comes from Mr Williams about
determining the height of weed in
your swim. This is quite a difficult
one, obviously made a lot easier if you
can use a proper boat and a glass bottom bucket, and go out on a calm
sunny day. If you know you’ve got a
depth of 5ft of water, and then look
down in the water and see that the
end of the weed is 2ft from the surface, that’s one easy way of determining the depth of the weed. Of course
boats aren’t allowed on the majority
of waters, but if it is allowed on your
water, always remember to have a
lifejacket on.
When it comes to plumbing with a
float, weed often makes it very difficult to get a small float to the surface,
as it becomes trapped in the weed. A
larger float might find its way
through, but in most cases you won’t
get your float to come to the surface if
it’s weedy out there, so you can adjust
the length of the tail on your lead if
you have a lead and a length of nylon
and then a large ring. If for instance
you’ve got 3ft of weed in front of you
and you can set this at 4ft, you’ll get
your float up every time because your
float actually isn’t going into the
weed, it’s at the end of your tail. But of
course that’s not practical if you’re
fishing in 30ft of water with 25ft of
weed. I’m not sure I know a way
really of finding how long weed is in
deep water like that. Obviously if
you’re pulling strands up on the hook,
those can be measured. If you’re
pulling lumps of weed in that are 10ft
long then you know that the weed is
10ft deep in your swim.
I’m not quite sure why Mr Williams
wants to know how deep it is in his
swim. Maybe he wants to fish a bait
just above the weed like a zig-rig or
something, in which case use one of
those extending zig rigs or just keep
lengthening your hook link until it’s
not getting caught in the weed. More
importantly, I’d been steering clear of
any weed like this and making a concerted effort to find a clear area so
you’re dropping down hard on the
bottom. If there aren’t any clear areas
then making some for yourself by getting some sort of groundbait out in an
area and letting the fish do the hard
work for you. I’ll be interested to hear
what the other Rotary Letter contributors say about this one.
Question 2 from Mr Scott is about
foul smelling baits in silt, and a question that’s come up I think even in the
last couple of Rotary Letters we did.
It’s a real problem on some places,
but logically speaking, these fish must
be feeding in this foul smelling silt if
it’s all over the lake. I mean, if there
a r e a r e a s t h a t h a v e n ’t g o t f o u l
smelling silt then I’d be fishing in
those or on gravel bars or something
but, let’s assume the scenario is that
the whole lake bottom is covered in
several feet of foul smelling silt. Well,
commonsense will tell you that the
fish must be feeding in it and be used
to eating food that’s tainted with this
foul smelling silt. Again with rigs like
zig-rigs, if you’ve got 3ft of foul
smelling silt then a 3ft hooklink with a
little buoyant bait over the top will
keep it over the top and stop you from
tainting the bait too much. Of course


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