Nathan Flatley, Learning Curve
Posted on 28th August 2017 at 12:50
It was finally time to get back down my Nene Valley syndicate for a quick 24 hour session. Bait preparation started the night before. My approach on the lake so far had been to fish an out and out boilie approach using the throwing stick and catapult. However, due to some tricky sessions this hadn’t been as fruitful as I was first expecting, so it was time to modify my approach. I was still going to use my chosen boilies but I was going to use them in various different ways.
With the help of my old food processor at home, I went with 2kg of left over Scoberry, dusting this to a fine crumb. I’d then chosen to blitz a kilo of CalaFruitti and a kilo of my favourite VNX+ but ensuring I had bigger bits of boilie in the mix, before adding a handful of whole baits of each on the boilies. Finishing off the mix with a helping of hemp oil. I made the mix the night before to allow the hemp oil to soak through the bait and last longer in the water.
7am arrived at it was time to get the car loaded and head off on the 50 mile journey to the lake. Ordinarily I would've liked to get down to the lake for first light, but due to working late the night before I was unable to do so. I arrived at the lake with the idea of fishing the main lake on the complex only to find that the lake was completely stitched up. With the lake slowly doing more and more bites everyone seemed to have had the same idea as me. After a walk around the 38 acre main lake and talking to a few anglers, it was clear that I wouldn’t be fishing that particular lake this session. It was time to think of a new plan! Luckily for me I had purchased a ticket that included a small intimate 7 acre lake next door. With this in mind I decided to have a couple of laps of the lake, ready to keep walking until I saw signs of fish. As I walked around the lake there were already 3 anglers, but they were all within one small bay at the far end of the lake, which seemed strange to me. Because of this I felt sure that the fish would be in one of the small bays at the opposite end of the lake where there was no angling pressure. True to form it wasn’t long before I stumbled across a large group of fish sunning themselves in the tree lined margins in a small shallow bay. This was enough for me and it was time to grab a couple of rods and set about catching one of the numerous fish residing in the bay.
Having been at the lake for around 3 hours and now into my second swim of the session, I was feeling more confident in the area. With a wider expanse of water I was sure the carp would be more comfortable to stay here as the session progressed. After being up the tree and watching their movements I located a couple of spots to place the rigs, using the same approach as earlier it was a case of a handful of chops over each spot.
With fellow team angler Calum joining me for the 24 hours, I was reluctant to set up in the area I had seen fish. So it was time to get the rods out for a few hours and try fluke one before he arrived.
The swim I had chosen was on a small island on the corner of the lake, accessible by a small wobbly bridge, with water both sides it was a great place to start and keep my eye out for fish movements. After watching their movements, it was clear to me that they were visiting two areas more than most, so these were the two spots I knew I was going to try. After finding the two smallest leads I could, armed with two hinge stiffs, it was time to place the rods as quietly as possible. With both rods out at the first time of asking with a small handful of chops over each, it was time to sit back from the water’s edge and quietly watch and wait.
Shortly after casting out it was clear to me that the fish had upped sticks and moved on. Being a confident climber I selected the perfect tree and attempted to try and spot some carp. It wasn’t long before I spotted some behind me in a bay known as Summer Bay. They were here in numbers, including the big common which this time of the year should go to around 34lb. This was enough for me to quickly re-pack the little kit I had already un-packed and head round to this new spot.
After a short while Calum finally arrived at the lake having been stuck in traffic due to a road closure.
It was time to formulate a plan for the next 24 hours! Having seen a good percentage of the lakes stock in Summer Bay it was clear where to fish for the night, with me staying in my second swim, Calum was going fish the swim next door and target the opposite side of the bay. With rods placed and lines as slack as possible we were set for the evening. Usually I tend to avoid too slack a line because of bite indication, but with everyone on the lakes fishing bow string tight lines I was sure having a slacker line would only increase my chances.
The next couple of hours passed quite quickly and watching fish in the area I wasn’t confident that they were visiting the spots with only a handful of chops over each rod. It was time to get the spomb out and introduce some of the boilie mix I had prepared the night before. It was a tough decision to make as I knew spombing the area would disturb the fish, but I was confident that they would return and with the hemp oil over the mix I would be able to keep them in the area. Only 8 medium spombs over each spot and I was set for the night ahead. The night past uneventfully for me with only a couple of liners through twilight.
4am and the kettle was on ready to watch for signs of feeding carp. Sure enough, as daylight broke it was clear the fish were feeding on one of my spots with fizzing over the area and the whole side of my lake flattened with the hemp oil slick. However, this feeding spell happened for the next 3 hours without so much as a pick up for me. This has to be the longest 3 hours of carp fishing I’ve ever experienced with the excitement and frustration all in one. I eventually made the decision to reel the rod in as all sorts of scenarios were going on in my head; maybe the rig wasn't sitting right; maybe the rig was tangled; maybe the hook point had been nicked. All of which were dismissed as I retrieved a perfectly presented hinge stiff with everything where it should be.
It was time for a rig change, I was sure that the fish, being preoccupied with the fine crumb, were reluctant to rise and take the blatant pop up. I quickly tied up my faithful blow back rig and attached a Scoberry Wafter, something that I have great confidence in! With a small PVA bag of crumb made up with the last of my PVA mesh to alleviate tangles, it was time to replace the rod. With fish still feeding on the area I chose not to re-clip the rod and to cast 25/30yards past the area and draw the rig back across the water to slowly lower the rig back onto the spot. At first it looked as though the fish had moved off the spot, but after around 30mins the fizzing started again.
With only a few hours left of the session it was time to get the kit broken down and on the barrow with the rods the last thing to put away. This next 2 hours past uneventfully and it was that time again to reel in and lick my wounds, with the long drive home to contemplate what went wrong.
For me it’s these times in carp fishing that make me fight and work harder. I will have my Nene Valley carp and I can’t wait to tell you all about it! Just remember that effort = success!!
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