Orchid lake has been producing fish steadily including two thirties one of 35 and one of 33lb, meanwhile Dorchester is showing fish of up to 28lb, these fish are only six years old and were only 1.5lbs when introduced.
Some waters have suffered the usual spring losses, but not many as badly as South Cerneys Wick water which has lost almost all it's carp. Well over 100 twenty pound fish as well as a few thirties were found dead, the reason at present no body knows.
Napton Reservoir has produced quite a few twenties, Napton is a good fishery and available on a club book from any tackle shop around the Coventry area. Sulby reservoir has also produced a couple of thirties recently, no wonder this is becoming such a popular water.
My own fishing will start on local canals using a float rod and sweetcorn in the evenings, there are some surprising carp in these small canals. Locally the carp are spawning so hopefully they will be ready to fill up with bait by the time the 16th of June arrives.
It will be interesting to see if the waters which closed this year for the old close season produce early or if the sudden influx of anglers make them keep their heads down.
This year here in the UK will be the year of the pellet, every company appears to be selling them in all sorts of sizes and flavours, I think on the big waters the people who can get them the furthest out into the lake will be the ones who catch most, if you can't use a bait boat a good spod rod will be the answer, and the best in my opinion is "BIG BERTHA" made by Century makers of the famous Armalite rod range. This rod will cast 12oz a very long way in deed. Don't forget you will need a shock leader, big reel and a finger protector to use it properly.
I guess that the 80's were the golden era of carp fishing for me, I spent more time fishing where there were big fish and loads of time spent in Holland. I did less and less short sessions but more longer sessions which appeared to find me more big fish.
The hair rig was really doing the business wherever I fished and hard to catch fish suddenly were becoming easy, and twenties were starting to show in all sorts of waters locally, it was no longer necessary to travel long distances to catch a big fish.
I spent my time fishing local waters and waters where the carp stocks were
relatively unknown quantities, I enjoyed this type of fishing where the
carp didn't have names and every fish was an event.
Slowly I was coming to grips with Holland, finding my way about without
becoming hopelessly lost and starting to recognise what Dutch carp liked in
the way of bait and swims. I also made some good friends who kept
me in touch of recent catches.
We fished in and around the West lands area of Holland (between Rotterdam and the Hague) for several years fishing canals and park lakes. Several catches are still vivid in my mind, 53 carp over 15lbs between two of us inside of 36 hours, the biggest over 35lbs. Catches of over two hundred fish in a weeks trip again between two of us.
We fished in and around Brielle where on three trips I caught the same big common each time, as it was over thirty I didn't object either. This water is unfortunately lost to us now because of the bad behaviour of a few anglers caused the limiting of tickets to all but locals, a pity I like Brielle as a place to visit as well as fish.
Not far away from Brielle is the Voorne Canal, not too long and an easy cast across which was to produce just two fish for me after over thirty days and nights fishing, a 37 and a 39, there was also a very big fish lost at the net on my first night on the water. This canal I just couldn't really come to grips with, I always thought that I should have done a lot better there than I did, is there any Dutch anglers reading this who would like to mail me about this water?
Meanwhile back in the UK I was steadily catching fish but no monsters, but
I was getting an itch to go back onto the big fish waters which were busy
and hard. I approached Duncan Kay and somehow managed to get a
ticket on the Mid Northants carp Fishery home to fish over 40lbs. I was
being told by many people that the few years I had been away from hard
waters had seen me miss some changes in fish behaviour, in other
words they were harder to catch now?
For a while I found this to be true but I kept on ringing the changes in both bait and presentation until I caught on a regular basis. The carp had seen it all including the first place to produce a carp to a hair rig and all sorts of boiled baits as Duncan was in the front line of bait development. Eventually I found a winning formula, a HNV boilie and a plum flavour which included a new experimental enhancer, the trick was to put all your bait in one go, which was about a kilo per rod as soon as I got there and then cast in and wait without disturbing the swim, the runs started after about six hours and on this water it was usually a twenty pound plus fish. One August day I ad a perfect result, a well known fish called Two Tone and it was 40lbs on the dot. This was the first fish over forty pounds caught at the Ringstead fishery after the fish were moved from their original home a few miles down the road. I was to catch this fish again an ounce lighter one Sunday deep in winter time the only fish of several months fishing.
In the season and a half I fished there I caught seven thirties, forty one twenties, sixteen doubles and of course a forty, this from a water where many anglers thought four fish a year to be a good result.
meanwhile over in Holland we were moving further afield and although still catching plenty of carp the lure of some really big fish swimming about in France called and we set of for Southern France, more of which next month.
Also don`t forget to visit the New Dawn
website if you get the chance.