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Caught on a zig fished six inches under.
set it 6in under the surface. Even
though I had the sensitivity set on full
on the alarm and I was fishing a
braided main line the bite indication
was terrible. In fact it took me a few
seconds of rod tip plucks to realise
when I had a bite!
Jon made some interesting comments that made me think last month.
First he spoke about carp eating fresh
weed growth in early spring. I like to
fish up close to it too, if I find it, and I
have always done well. I assumed
this was down to the aquatic insects
being attracted to it as a food source,
but I see no reason why the carp
wouldn’t eat it; I’m sure it is a good
supplement to their diet. So maybe it
is the weed itself that they like.
Jon also mentioned his liking for
fishing single hookbaits. I think that if
I had adopted this principle last winter then I might have had more
action. I’ll certainly be rethinking my
winter approach next year (wherever
I end up), because my usual regular
baiting approach that worked on
Christchurch didn’t have the desired
effect on the waters I tried it on this
year. Lee mentioned whether it would
be better to have a blanket ban on
introducing bait except maggot, etc,
in the colder months. I’m not sure
108 FREE LINE
where I stand on this because I have
been in a position where some people
have over-baited with the wrong bait
and spoilt the chances for the rest of
us, and I have also used regular
amounts of boilie and low oil pellet to
get a spot going.
However Jon’s experiences of how
much salt the koi keepers use really
took me by surprise. A 25kg sack in
even a large garden pond sounds
excessive, never mind multiple sacks
per week! I would have thought that
would have turned it into the Dead
Sea! But these koi enthusiasts know
their stuff and it is obviously good for
the fish. So if quantities like that are
used in a garden pond then there
probably isn’t going to be any major
issues to the carp’s health by putting
it in our bait, after all the koi will sure
enough ingest it from the pond water.
Although I’m not sure what side
effects of very large quantities of salt
there will be on the weed and other
aquatic life in our lakes. Maybe we
will stop worrying about milfoil and
crayfish, and start thinking more in
terms of kelp and langoustines!
Dave made a very interesting point
last month, and I have never considered this before. He suggested that
there is a direct correlation between
the demise in the otter populations
and the increase in numbers of carp
and more importantly, big carp. Now
that otters are being reinstated, are
we going to see a massive decline in
the numbers of big carp? I don’t think
anyone believes that otter numbers
are the sole factor in carp numbers,
but as Izaak Walton mentions in his
book, “Hops and turkeys, carps and
beer, came into England all in a year”.
I think that year was around 1520
(and what a good year it must have
been!). So carp have been around for
a very long time, and it’s strange how
the numbers have taken all this time
to flourish. I know it’s all about the
right strains getting into the right
waters, but it does seem to me that
carp have seen a dramatic rise since
the 70s as the otter population took a
dip. Very interesting, and worrying!
Dave also talked about getting up
at first light to watch the water. This
is something I used to religiously, but
I must confess I have slipped a bit
lately. I suppose a combination of
becoming a dad and being woken up
by baby a few times a night and my
work. This has meant that I had to get
up at 4.30am when on day shift and
then not get to bed until after 6am on
nights, which both happen in the

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