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Rotary Letter
own home made maggot clip if you
In the film, I used mealworms and
waxed grubs, about four or five different ones that I’d picked up from the
local pet shop, and they all caught
fish. The one problem I found with
mealworms is that they die so easily –
virtually as soon as you put the hook
through them they’re dead, unlike
maggots. If you put the hook through
the right part of a maggot, it will wriggle around for quite a while out there
in the water, whereas mealworms are
they’re very fragile and they die quite
quickly. Something dead on the bottom is never as good as something
alive like a nice wriggly maggot or a
nice lively livebait. Well I hope that
helps you anyway. It’s certainly worth
a try, and they look great. If you get a
chance to watch this, I’m sure Rob
Hughes has got a DVD with it on
somewhere, so contact him. By the
way, the lake was Mayfields, the one
that Steve Briggs fishes quite often
and lives close to. It’s a nice little lake
and it’s got some good fish in it these
days I believe, probably some high
And the last question for this
month… They are good questions
this month by the way, from a variety
of people, and please keep your questions coming in. There must be loads
of questions out there from people;
little problems that you’re getting on
your own syndicate waters or club
lakes or day ticket waters so don’t be
shy... We would never judge anyone
for the questions; nothing is too
stupid, if you know what I mean. If
you’ve got a problem and we can help
you, that’s what the Rotary Letter is
all about and we’re here to help, so
please email your questions to
So Mr Roberts from Royston is fishing a weedy lake… I wonder if I know
that weedy lake you’re fishing at
Royston? I fished a couple of places
over there myself years ago when I
was fishing with Dave Thorpe, and
then down at Arlesey, probably 30 or
40 years ago. It’s probably the same
lake but there are a couple of weedy
ones over there. In fact I had a guy
write in issue 191 about river fishing,
and he’s fished a couple of lakes over
at Royston. He’s doing an article on
those lakes now, so you’ll be seeing
that in Big Carp pretty soon.
Anyway, he’s fishing a weedy lake,
and he’s losing three out of every four
carp that he’s hooking. He asks what
suggestions I could give him to move
that percentage more into his favour.
Well, my top tip, and again probably
most people reading this will know, is
to get rid of the lead – that will help
you no end. The lead is the thing most
prone to get stuck in the weed, and
there are various methods to make
sure it falls off.
There’s what they call the rotten
bottom method where you use a bit of
lighter line to hold the lead, just
enough so you can cast it and reel it
back in again, but should it get
snagged up it will snap off. Another
way is if you’re using a flat lead, you
can wind your leadcore just around
the outer points on the plastic tube
that goes through the middle, and
that way the lead will drop off. Then
there are lead clips from just about
every company you can think of, so
that would be my top tip.
My second tip is use adequate
tackle. You’re not saying why you’re
losing them. If it’s hook pulls, I would
suggest using a meatier, larger hook. I
used to use a size 2 or 4 in the Drennan Continental boilie hook on some
of the weedy lakes that I’ve fished.
These are very thick wire, heavy duty
and very strong, and once they’re in
they’re not coming out. Now if it’s line
breaking, you’re going to need to step
the breaking strain of your line up.
There have been several other
things written about this over the
years. Albert Romp, whose book I’ve
just finished doing for the Legends
series, in his first book, A Romp with
Carp, had a method that he used at
Savay. It involved fishing a nylon line,
but then every couple of feet up the
line, he was using a sliding slipknot of
braid, making a little knobbly braid
bobble on the line. He found that by
doing that, he could sort of seesaw
his line backwards and forwards and
it was cutting through the Canadian
pondweed. If you can get yourself a
copy of A Romp with Carp; I think it
was rereleased actually, as Another
Romp with Carp a few years ago, and
there’s certainly a chapter on that. It’s
something I haven’t tried, but Albert
is no fool. I think a few of them did it
down at Savay, and it ended up catching them a few fish. If you’re allowed
boats, it’s the final piece of the jigsaw.
Very often if you can get above the
fish in a boat, and you’ve got a much
better chance than trying to haul it
back through the weedbeds.
So I hope I’ve helped you this
month, and I’m looking forward to
hearing what the other Rotarians
have got to say. I’ll be dissecting a
few of their answers next month, and
I’ll also be back with some of your
pending questions that have already
been emailed over to me.
Thanks a lot, guys.


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