Tuesday, 20 March 2012

You’re talking the Mick?

Well I thought I would post a blog, something I don’t do enough of?
Anyway I was due to go to the Carp society horseshoe lake to spend an weekend with Mick Brown in February, but due to the lake being frozen this was cancelled and re-scheduled for the weekend of 16-18 March. I had already paid, so thought what the heck I would attend still rather than get my money back?
The trip sound came round, and I spent the week before hand planning and preparing for the weekend?

After I had packed the car of tackle, change of clothes, bait etc it was time for me to set off. Making good time, well I thought so until I came across the A429 being closed and a massive detour. A 1 hour 15min journey was to take me 2 hours?
I arrived at the lake at just after 10 on Friday where I was greeted by the head ranger. He pointed out the different sides of the lake, winter and summer bay, with winter bay being the deeper of the water and my choice for the weekend? The whole lake was closed and the 15 anglers that weekend had the choice of swims?
On approaching the side I was going to set camp up, I walked up and down a few pegs, I settled on a swim that was deep right in front of me, the water was gin clear and I could see down to the bottom to 12ft. The signs were good cause whilst standing at the top of my chosen swim, I saw a small rudd or roach swim away from the bank, a sign that if the bait fish were here then hopefully the pike wouldn’t be far away either.

My plan for the weekend was to fish my swim Friday, and then hop swims on the Saturday up the lake hopefully locating more pike along the way?
I set up two rods, one on a roaming sliding float rig, and a second on a ledgered paternoster rig. Both were fished with sea baits as course baits are banned for the meantime. The legered rig was cast to about 35 – 40 yards, and baited with a popped up mackerel tail. The float rod was cast to about 10 – 20 yards and allowed to drift around in the tow to hopefully cover some water.
The mackerel tail rig was getting constant single bleeps which I wasn’t sure if it was fish interest or simply lines bites or the line on weed which was moving about. The float rod hadn’t seen any interest so was broken down and changed over to an identical rig to the other rod? I had been watching a grebe fish very successfully just beyond my rigs, and doing very well too, so my hopes were there on getting a fish or two?

Anyway about 4:30 Mick came round to introduce himself and have a general chat? A chance for anyone to pick his brains or just talk waffle? Anyway whilst talking away the line starts to pull off the bait runner, very slowly, but a definite pick up? A chance for me perhaps to catch a fish in front of him. No I picked the rod up, felt the line and the fish, then lifted into the strike. All I got was nothing, but now I had chance to show my rig and bait?

Well, when I lifted the bait out, Mick eyes nearly popped out, I was using a whole Joey mackerel on this occasion, his first comments were on how big the bait was and it really should be half the size? He then looked at the length of my lead leader and said it was too short and the lead was possibly pulling the bait into the weed? A bit more of a chat and he said his goodbyes, leaving me with a suggestion of pre-baiting in front of me with fish chunks and fishing over them?

I took his advice and pre-baited, then placed one rod over them? Both rigs were altered to have longer ledgers leaders, never one to dismiss any good advice? Well as the light started to fall at about 6:10, I was talking on the phone whilst watching the rods? All of a sudden the margin rod tip bounced twice, I was up quickly and on the rod. I lifted into the fish which sped off at speed; this fish was netted after a good battle and plenty of spirit. The fish was quickly unhooked and was the length of the mat, she looked perfect and well stocked up?

That was it then, I was now ready for the tea that had been laid on along with a talk from the man himself? A very interesting talk, and an eye opener to what’s going on beneath the water where we cannot see? One thing was evident, not many fish were showing, and Mick himself had come to the conclusion that I had a massive roach shoal in front of me so was in the right place. Lucky or what!!!

After a nights kip (well sort of) I was up at the crack of dawn to start fishing for a few hours before the breakfast was served? Both rods were cast to just short of where the grebe had been fishing (and came back to once the mist had disappeared). Within 10 minutes the right hand rod indicator dropped back and I struck and landed my second fish? Again a fine example of a pike, fighting hard all the way to the net. Three runs two fish, I was happy with that. Time for breakfast?
After breakie I decided to get mobile, I set one rod back on the float and set my lure rod up? Moving up the bank I decided to fish a swim which was further up, approx 80 yards away. Quite a few anglers had the same idea, and I think after Mick pointing out the roach shoal being this side of the lake had made them make their mind up?

Second cast with the lure rod, and a jack of approx 4lb was in the net? What was pleasing about this fish it was caught of a savage play lure, again I had plumbed for a roach looking bait, my first on this lure?

After a while I decided to go back to my base and have a few hours there again? Baits cast out and the wait was on? Anyway whilst distracted and not watching my rods I hadn’t notice and run till it was too late, I picked up the rod and again a fish was on? The fish landed and the biggest of the weekend of about 13lb. unfortunately for me the fish was deep hooked a thing that has only happened once before. Only one set of trebles were taken, but with the help of the guy on the next peg, all the hooks were retrieved and the fish returned safely. The fish had a sulk for 10 minutes in front of me before going on her way. Lesson for everyone here, always be on your rods, I normally strike early as possible, and I would rather lose fish than run the risk of a deep hooked fish.

After this episode I decided to go for a walk and see how others had been doing? Again a few fish had come out, some to wobbled smelt and others to static dead baits like me? It was a chance to view the lake and generally chat to other anglers? With one angler very keen to show me his 42lb pike on his phone!!!
Well I went back to my swim to fish, but the afternoon proved fruitless apart from one lost fish that was hooked but shed the hooks soon after. I decided to fish up until 7 o’clock when again it was time for evening tea?

Again a fine meal was had, and Mick again gave a talk, this time about his 2011 year of fishing / life? Very interesting, as he is not just a predator angler, and it was evident that he enjoys the other aspects of course fishing too?
I retired to my bivvy at 10 and decided against fishing through the night, I really could do with a night’s kip rather than be on edge like it always is when you have bait and alarms on?

I woke up early Sunday morning wanting the loo, so a quick water of the bush behind, the kettle on, I was ready to cast out and start fishing? It was a misty morning again, but I had the measure of my range now, so casting to the correct distance wasn’t going to be a problem. It didn’t take long (well actually 10 minutes) for the indictor to fall back and line start peeling off the reel, again an early strike and fish was on. This fish was soon landed, unhooked and returned, she sat in the edge for 15 minutes sulking before swimming off no doubt to keep on hunting.

That was it for me then, I decided enough was enough I was to pack up and go home.
All in all it was a very enjoyable weekend and some good useful tips picked up along the way. The fish count was 5 fish, 4 of them doubles, 1 lost fish and a few missed dropped runs? Think lady luck was with me this weekend because that large roach shoal never seemed to move away from in front of me (the grebe proved this) and the pike carried on feeding?

Sorry for the long blog but I haven’t done one in a while!!


  1. Sounds like a great weekend Gary, with some good fish caught too

  2. Holy $hit! You're wearing shorts in March!

  3. Nice blog,am following.
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