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ANDY MURRAY BLOG E04 Posted by Mainline Baits,

Veteran Mainline carper, Andy Murray is back with another blog to keep you updated with his angling...

Hi all, I managed a few trips since my last blog, settling for one night sessions on the big pit, fitting my sessions in between Sals treatment, which is now daily. I’ll just talk about one of the sessions, although I will digress a bit as I do. I arrived at the lake just before lunch on Sunday, which is when most anglers are leaving. I do like to have time to have a look around for a couple of hours rather than diving into a peg that’s free. I know it’s stating the obvious and it’s always the best thing to do, it hasn’t always been an option this year though, due to the number of anglers on the bank. It is getting a bit quieter now though. I sat in a few swims and watched the water for a while, I ended up on the ‘split bank’ between Pit 5 and 6, as I had seen carp showing along that bank in Pit 6. I was just in time to see an angler landing a nice looking common, he asked me to do some pics, which I duly obliged. We had a brief chat, he wasn’t going for a few hours, so I carried on having a look round, it was clear there were a lot of carp down this side of the lake, although a lot of the carp I was seeing, were some of the smaller ones. I decided to wait for the swim to come free, where I had witnessed the carp landed. I spent an hour or so with one rod on the ground in one of the corner spots to see if I could nick one while I was waiting, it didn’t happen, so once the other angler had departed, I set up in the ‘Gap’ swim he had vacated.

Image © Mainline Baits

I haven’t fished this swim before, so I decided to have a few casts with the marker to check if the carp showing were over the second bar that runs along this bank. The departing angler had told me how far he had been fishing, but I still wanted to check for myself. I decided to fish two rods on bait at 110 yards, the bait being my mix of Essential Cell chops, pellets and corn. The other rod I didn’t cast out, I have started leaving one or two rods ready prepared to cast once I see something to cast to. This has two advantages, the first being that there aren’t lots of lines going out, which might put the carp off a bit from moving around in the area. The second is that even when looking round, whilst I might see carp about in the area, I don’t always see the exact spot I want to fish. I think I have been guilty of this in the past as are a lot of anglers, just setting up and casting into favoured spots, or even worse, taking pot luck. Once I’m set up and sat and watching the water intently, the little grey cells start to work and what I then see are more subtle signs of carp activity, it may just be a couple of swirls where they are only just breaking the surface. It’s just like the little voice in my head then tells me where to cast to. This is what happened, as the light started to fall, I found myself watching an area to my right 80 yards out. I had seen a few disturbances that were out of place, so I dropped a rig on it along with a small bag of Cell Response Pellets. I’ll come back to rigs shortly, during the night, the right hand rattled off and after a short but straightforward fight, I netted a double figure common. It’s always nice when a plan comes together, especially after thinking it out and trying something new that has come from reacting to previous trips. I recast that rod and had another carp just before dawn, another common, this one went 22lbs, excellent, I was more than happy. As it was nearly light, I put that one on the sling to get some daylight pics. I was going to try and get a water shot, but the carp was too lively, after a short juggling act, off it went.

Image © Mainline Baits

Now, here’s the thing. I didn’t catch off the baited area and this is the third trip I have felt I have had carp over the bait but not caught, certainly not the bigger carp. The reason I was seeing this as I had put braided line on one rod and every so often I would get a rattle on it, that tells me that carp are about but not feeding but not hard enough to get caught, being wary on the newer baited area. There are a lot of long session anglers on here, who can wait a few days for a bite. The Bailiff has said to me a few times that my sessions are not long enough for the carp to come onto the bait. On a recent session, another angler moved in a swim after me and had one of the big carp from my baited area after another couple of days. There isn’t much I can do about this, I don’t have the luxury of being able to fish for 4-5 days, that is just how it is, no point in moaning about it.

What I have been doing though is changing my presentation on a more regular basis. My usual favourites are the Stiff Hinge Rig pop-up and the little mesh bag rig, which I have spoken about before. I have recently been leaning towards fishing a wafter on a Combi-Rig as opposed to a pop-up, using 6-8 inches of stiff material and 2-3 inches of soft hooklink. This has now produced me a few carp in the last couple of trips, so it’s something I’m looking more at and maybe even making longer booms, leaning towards a style of confidence rig fishing. Interestingly, I am fishing less over bait and catching more on the roving rods. I still plan on setting up a baited area, as I want the carp to be getting a taste of the bait for future trips, even though someone else may be benefiting. So, this month has been quiet kind to me, limited time but catching on every trip, that’s how it goes I guess, the blanks are part of fishing and learning, the catches show that the learning is happening, and sometimes you can be plain lucky in discovering something, now I just want one of those bigger carp! Maybe next time because there is always a next time… be lucky yourselves.

Catch you then.


Image © Mainline Baits

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