freeline-21 - Page 173



River Carping’
F
ishing a river is something a lot of us have
had the experience of
as an outing as kids,
and brings back memories of nets, buckets
and minnow catching. For me it
expanded to night fishing and being
able to stay up much later than your
parents would allow as a teenager.
We would go about Sellotaping nightlights onto the end of our rods for bite
indication and did not have a clue
what we would be fishing for. Maybe
a large chub would snaffle up the bait
or more likely a bream, until one summer’s misty morning a rod wrenching,
back-winding, line stealing moment
occurred and a golden, scale-perfect
common of 11lb turned up to put a
delighted and amused look on our
spotty, adolescent faces. Hooked!
People have asked me how to
tackle the river before, so I thought I
would let you know what I have
found over the years. The editor has
asked me to keep it interesting – a little difficult when a river only flows
one way! So here goes...
In the last few years I have been
fortunate enough to be able to fish for
carp on a river that I visited a lot as a
child and now live close to. As a
plumber, and now due to circumstances a part-time dad, time became
more available, and I started on a
quest for river carp.
The Great River Ouse is the fourth
largest river in England at 143 miles
long. With miles and miles and miles
of water, to pick a place to begin fishing must seem daunting, but with
many back channels and weirs that
navigate flowing water away from
lochs for boaters you are able to find
slower moving stretches of water,
which are preferable for bait presentation. I have found that where two
rivers meet there you can find an
eddy formed on the inside leg of the
slower moving section. I have baited
these areas and had good results from
them. Also if there is an overhanging
willow, abundant along riverbanks, I
have found these to be feeding areas.
I think maybe it’s because of the
insect life, and I can imagine bugs
falling off all the time due to the vertically facing branches of the willow.
Also they are well-shaded areas that
contain less weed.
I have walked miles on sunny days
searching for fish in June/July but
seem only to find them in marinas
away from the main flow of the river,
milling about on the surface, holding
up in weedbeds safe in the knowledge that the moored boats offer
sanctuary. I can only assume that during daytime on the main river sections they find deeper areas to hold
up in due to all the boat traffic. This is
also significant when fishing for
them, as bites seem to come late
evening to early morning so they are
well suited for the quick overnighters.
When finding them becomes a little
tricky, a baited area is usually how I
would form my attack.
One of the most successful parts of
a river I have found is where two
rivers meet, as before, but when there
is an overhanging tree on the adjacent bank. Flow is directed around
the tree forming slack water for debris
to build up – crucial for all your little
goodies like bloodworm, and a perfect
silty area for fish to feed. These I have
found to be excellent areas for baiting.
Boats also are carp attractors and
there are many marinas along the
Ouse, cut off like giant basins and
filled with boats that are moored stationary for years. If you have ever
seen a narrow boat out of the water
you will recognise how much of the
Scaly river mirrors don’t get more stunning!
FREE LINE 173

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