Sunday, 30 November 2008

Frustrating Times

It’s nearing the end of February and I haven’t been fishing since the first week of January. It’s been work, work and more work since the turn of the year. My carp fishing sessions throughout the winter only total 5 hours per week but despite this, I still miss them when I can’t get away for a few hours. At the moment, I know I’ll be fishing again from the middle of March onwards, simply because I’ve got two and a half weeks off work then. I had a lot of holidays left over and being unable to carry them over into the next tax year, I opted to take them all as late as I possibly could. March is a good time to be out, it’s still regarded as being too cold by most fair weather carp anglers yet the carp on most north west lakes will be starting to stir around this time and I thought I’d try and make the most of the fish beginning to switch on after a long winter.

No fishing for an active carp angler like myself is frustrating, one thing I’ve kept going over in my mind these past few months is my plans for the year ahead. Through the carp fishing forums I’ve kept in touch with happenings on the bank and one thing that keeps getting repeated over and over again is the sheer amount of carp anglers one of my north west fishing clubs have let in. Every angler I’ve spoken to has reported large amounts of new members walking round waters asking questions about lake stocks etc. A few of the waters have actually been rammed out with no swims left and this is in February, a time when traditionally, only dedicated anglers are sticking it out.
The constant reports of busy north west carp lakes has been playing on my mind for the last month and at the moment I don’t seem to be able to make any firm plans for the waters I’m going to fish this year. If things are as bad as some of my mates are saying I may well find myself river carping again come June.
At the moment I plan to fish several north west venues this year. I tend not to target one particular carp water and fish it through thick and thin. I prefer to target certain venues at certain times of the year when I know they will fish well and with this in mind, I’ve divided my fishing up and plan to spend the old close season on one water, then move onto another water which still observes the old close season and will open on June 16th. Fishing like this I’ll get the best time on both waters and when we reach late summer and things have got harder, I’ll move again onto the rivers where I know the carp won’t have been subject to any angling pressure.

I’ve a few things I’d like from my fishing this year, strangely enough neither of them relate to the carp that seem to take up all my time. I’d quite like to catch a north west wels catfish and I do have access to one particular water that can help me achieve this aim. I’ll make some time for a couple of wels catfish sessions when we reach high summer and I know the temperatures will be plenty high enough for this species of fish to feed. The other aim I have is to catch a personal best barbel and I intend to save this one until I start my river carping later in the year as I can combine fishing for both carp and barbel when the time comes.
My 2008 fishing plans are flexible, obviously if my fishing clubs waters turn out to be a busy as some angling friends say they may be then I can always move on to somewhere else, at the end of the day, I like a bit of piece and quiet when I go fishing and I need swims to be available if I’m going to be able to locate and move onto fish with a view to catching them. If I find I can’t do this then I’ll change my plans and find a new venue rather than put up with crowds of anglers.

Free Spirit Rucksack, I was lucky enough to win this in the raffle!


I’ll end this weeks diary entry by mentioning the Bromborough carp show that happened on Friday evening (22nd Feb). Danny Fairbrass and the korda developments team were at the show and the talk Danny Fairbrass did was very good. The microphone broke down a couple of times during his slide show and to his credit, he carried on and didn’t let it phase him. There were plenty of hints and tips for people beginning carp fishing, I didn’t agree with everything Danny Fairbrass had to say in his slide show but I enjoyed it none the less. I managed to pick up one of the free korda dvd’s too, it’s called ’carp, tackle tactics and tips’ and although I haven’t had time to watch it yet, I’m sure it will provide me with a few hours viewing during my absence from the bank.
The Bromborough carp night was in aid of macmillan cancer support and being a good cause, I always have a tenners worth of raffle tickets to show my support. Up until this particular carp show I’d never actually won anything but I got lucky this time and came away with a nice free spirit rucksack. My new rucksack is like a box and has extending legs, the top of the rucksack actually converts into a table and I’m sure it will come in handy for overnighters in the summer. If I find myself fishing out of a bivvy again I certainly won’t have to do my cooking on the floor like I usually do. I’d just like to say thank you to Peter and Kirk for organising the event and thanks for the nice prize, I hope I’m as lucky when I finally manage to get out fishing again.

Tight Lines
Mark.

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