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Tonford, where we caught them all on the soft spots.
particularly casein. As you probably
k n o w, c a s e i n s h a v e m a n y u s e s
including glue making, which would
definitely cause digestion problems,
and even most of the types used in
baby milks are not necessarily that
good. Most casein is precipitated
with either hydrochloric acid, lactic
acid or rennet, whereas the variety
that I used to use was sulphuric acid
precipitated, which, and I’m not really
sure why, was so much more effective
than any other casein that I had ever
used before or have ever used since.
Now if results are anything to go
by, during the time that I used this
casein results just got better and better as the season wore on, and winter
catches in particular were outstanding, therefore I doubt my bait was
causing the carp any digestion prob-
lems – they couldn’t get enough of it
in fact. The trouble was this casein
became unavailable eventually, and
despite searching the Internet, I
haven’t been able to find anything
that I believe would be as effective,
and certainly haven’t been able to
find any that have been precipitated
using sulphuric acid.
Weedy waters in winter? I can only
go on my own experience, Ed, but I
find that if a water is weedy throughout the summer and autumn, then
even if the weed has died off quite a
bit in the winter it very rarely then
fishes very well. This even used to be
the case years ago – if the water was
relatively weed-free throughout the
warmer months then winter results
were good, but if this very same water
was weedy then winter fishing was a
Cotton Farm where mitten crabs ruled for a while.
waste of time. I have a couple of theories as to why this is... It could be
that the carp get tucked up in the
remaining weed as it’s ‘a coat’ –
warmer, a bit more comfortable and is
instinctively out of the way of any
predators, or it could be that the
dying weed taints the lakebed therefore putting them off of the feed altogether. I suppose if the latter is true
then zigs could be worth a go, but
then again it’d take a better man than
me to be giving it a try – I’d rather be
fishing a water where I knew that I
had a chance of catching them in
winter on the bottom!
I think you were spot-on, Ed, with
your theory as to why fish tend to
attain bigger weights on the continent – in most cases the fact that they
are under a lot less pressure than they
are on UK waters being the main factor. It’s not always the case though;
there are still quite a lot of countries
out there that don’t produce carp as
big as in the UK. It takes a certain
chemistry for a water to produce big
carp wherever it is situated – lack of
angling pressure, volume of water in
comparison to stock density, water
quality, amount of natural food, climate, and probably most importantly,
the strain of the carp in the first place.
With regard to gauging the depth of
weed in my swim, I’m a bit like Sean
really; I prefer to try to find clear areas
in the weed or as close as possible to
the edge of it, as this is where I would
expect most of the natural food to be.
In any case gauging the depth of
weed can be very difficult because it
often varies throughout the day
according to light penetration and
intensity. Obviously, dependent on
the depth of water, if you watch the
water, like most of us do, you’ll usually notice that often there is not a lot
of weed visible at first light, then as
light increases as the day goes on,
more suddenly appears and then disappears again as the light fades into
dark again. This is especially noticeable with weeds such as silkweed
and can be a bit of a nightmare, as one
minute you’ve got a perfectly presented hookbait, but the next you
haven’t because the light has faded,
the weed has dropped down and your
hookbait is now hidden from detection.
Wi t h c o m m o n w e e d s s u c h a s
Canadian pondweed, although this
also reacts to light, it often appears a


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