freeline-24 - Page 76



Rotary Letter
Lee posed the question, has the
abolition on the closed season
allowed our fish to get bigger? I know
a certain degree of prebaiting went
on when the waters were closed, but
I dare say that it isn’t the amount that
goes in now that we can fish for them
in spring. I suppose that’s not just
about the close season; it’s a change
in times. Pre-rolled freezer bait is a lot
more readily available now than it
was 20 years ago, and I know that I for
one didn’t like the idea of chucking
bait in that had just taken me three
hours to roll! I think the quality of the
bait is better now too on the whole,
which has certainly helped the fish
pile on the weight. But I do think the
extra bait that is used now that we
can fish the spring has certainly
helped fish pile on the pounds.
I thought Sean wrote an interesting
piece on how koi owners and dealers
use salt to kill parasites and increase
the health of their fish. Lee touched
on it too. I don’t know how/why but I
have a strange feeling that info will be
useful to me at some stage in the
future.
Sean also talked about braided
main line bans. In my opinion it’s not
the tackle that’s at fault, it’s how it’s
used. A fish was found on one of my
syndicates in early March that was
tethered to a weedbed by a braided
main line, and there is a very good
chance it was tethered there all winter. As Sean points out it takes a lot to
break braid so quite how this chap
snapped off several rod lengths of it, I
don’t know. Another worrying thing
about the rig is that it was braid
straight through to the hook with no
leader of any type or tubing. I’m not a
big believer in mono causing damage
to a fish’s flanks or lifting scales,
because I have had plenty of fish on
zigs and off the top with no issues.
But a thin braided line straight
though could cause issues, especially
if it was tethered. A lot of the fish in
there have developed tail damage in
the last couple of years; they have lost
a top or bottom lobe – could this be
down to fishing a fine braid straight
through?
Also I have seen inexperienced
anglers “giving fish the butt” with a
powerful rod when using braid. This
isn’t too much of an issue with a
weeded fish because the braid can
cut through the weed and free it, but
when in direct contact with a fish it
76 FREE LINE
can rip the hook out and cause mouth
damage. None of this is the fault of
braid; like many things it’s who uses
it! I think braided mainline is very
good in certain situations, so I agree
with what Sean was intimating. If I
were a fishery owner, I wouldn’t ban
braid; I would just be choosey about
the anglers I let on the syndicate.
It is interesting we have slightly
different theories on how and when a
fish is hooked and how our rigs perform in the fish’s month. It’s very difficult to tell for sure, but as long as our
rigs are doing the job, I suppose it
does matter.
On to this month’s questions...
Question 1.
What you have just explained
about casting tight to island margins
sounds like a sight/perception issue,
which is something I can do nothing
about. But if you are asking how to
fish tight to an island there are a few
ways to achieve this. Probably the
most practical is to spend a bit of time
to get an accurate clip sorted out. By
this I mean put a bare lead on your
marker rods, and with trial and error
get it as close to the island as possible. If you hold the rod vertical when
it hits the clip, you can lower the rod
tip rapidly once the lead hits the
water so that it sinks straight down
and doesn’t swing back whilst it
sinks. You can check this by popping
a float on and seeing how close it is
from the side angle you mentioned
earlier. Once you have the clip set
right, place the lead on the ground
and walk the line out down the path
and mark the point.
This way you can clip up the fishing rods to the same clip and you will
always know it for future reference.
But be careful not to hit the clip too
hard with your fishing rods if you are
using mono, or the stretch in the line
will allow the lead to overshoot and
hit the island. I’m assuming there are
overhanging trees on the island. If
you want to get under these (providing there are no snags) then the best
way is to time a perfect hard and low
cast and just let the lead go, no feathering down or stopping it. It takes a
lot of judgement and balls to do it, but
it can get the lead in a position where
no one else can fish (unless they have
a toy boat!), because the momentum
of the lead will keep propelling it forward after it has hit the water to get it
right under the trees. The other way is
to use a row boat, if your lake allows
them.
Question 2.
I have seen carp show a few times
and then immediately fizzing bubbles
without going near the bottom. In my
opinion it is simply the carp expelling
the air they have just trapped in their
gills when they stuck their head out
of the water. It’s pure and simply that
and nothing to do with feeding. The
only thing we as anglers can learn
from this is the direction the fish are
travelling in.
Question 3.
For me this is a hard question to
answer because I don’t know what
you are trying to achieve by using
tiger nuts and hemp. I’m a believer
that a good quality boilie is by far the
better bait in 99% of carp fishing situations. But if you are trying to do
something different from the norm or
you want to bait heavily on a budget,
then it could pay off. I haven’t fished
tigers for a few years, but I know they
do catch a lot of fish and I see no reason to add any artificial colour to
them unless they have seen normal
tigers a lot before. My rig choice for
presenting a tiger nut would be a
standard coated braid rig of 6-8ins,
with the last inch near the hook
stripped back. I would used some
shrink tubing and a blow back effect
on a size 8 wide gape hook. I will add
(although I feel very patronising to the
high calibre of the Big Carp readership) please make sure that all particles and tiger nuts are prepared correctly.
Question 4.
I have never used mealworms and I
have never spoken anyone that has,
but I see no reason they wouldn’t
work. However I will question how
cheap they are. Would a gallon of
mealworms cost less than a gallon of
maggots? Or a few kilos of boilies?
Question 5.
75% is a very high loss rate. I have
fished waters and only landed 75% of
the carp I hooked and I thought that
was quite extreme! Maybe the club
needs to look at trying to control the
weed or shutting certain swims. But
I’ll answer the question about what
you yourself can do. I assume, Mr.
Roberts, that by fish losses you mean
hook pulls? If not, you need to beef up
your main line to something really
robust. I use the Korda Subline in 15lb,
which actually breaks closer to 20lb,

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