Great start for Wesley!

IMG_3715Belgian angler Wesley Mast had a great start on his first visit to a tricky, highly pressured venue in his home country. Good angling Wes, here’s what happened:

It’s the end of April as we speak and for the last two weeks the weather was pretty mild after months of rain and cold temperatures. A busy little lake somewhere in Belgium would be the hunting grounds for a day so I left home at 5.30am and arrived at the carpark at 6.20 and still I wasn’t the first, 2 other carp anglers were waiting already ‘on the gate’ but I stepped up the pace to load the trolly and ensured 2nd choice of swim.

When I arrived at the gate I had a little chat with the other lads and asked them where they wanted to fish (already knew the answer, but wanted to be sure).

They opted to fish the spot I fancied so over to plan B. Credit to them of course, they arrived first at the scene. With no other anglers arriving I took a walk around the pit, searching for signs of carp and I found some under and next to a wooden platform. Enough for me i thought to myself and secured the swim with my trolley.

I was ready in no time but before I made my first cast I wanted to see more of those fish I saw earlier. Slowly and in stealth mode I crept to ground zero and for the next hour I was there, flat on my belly, watching, learning there patrol routes and how they reacted to the few freebies I put in.

When I made up my assault plan and like I said an hour later I tied up 2 multi-rigs, both made of 20lb ESP Two– Tone (green) and size6 Stiff Rigger hook. A combination I have 100% confidence in. Close to the deck with a washed out 16mm Monstercrab pop-up from New Bait Designs and critically balanced with some tungsten putty I walked that particular rod out and placed him right next to the ‘obstacles’ and flicked the other rod to a hard spot I had found on the other side of the wooden construction.

Two hours later my alarm from the left hand rod gave 2 bleeps and I saw the rod tip bend. A short but powerful strike followed and I was into a fight with an angry carp who wanted nothing more than to get under his safe zone.

Several minutes later I had the mirror in the bottom of my landing net and I was a happy man. First blood for me this year. The scales said 32lbs and soon after I had some photographs and a short video footage for my Carp Movement video’s. The rest of that session nothing happened but I went home a happy carp angler! To be continued…

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Ben bags belting common from tricky pit!

Ben Tipney had a right result last week from a demanding gravel pit which does not give up its prizes too easily. Well done Ben!

Ski Pit 30.09, 22.04.15 (2)

An intense battle resulted in this lovely old common for Ben

One of the waters I’ve been fishing on and off for the last 8 – 9 years is a tricky low stock pit — gin clear with about 40 original fish in its 20 acres.

It’s never easy, but for some reason has been particularly tough going the last 2 years with very little coming out, so I was over the moon with this cracking character — 30.09 of gnarly old common!

I got down for a short overnight session and dropped into a swim that I’ve been trickling bait into for the last couple of weeks. I had 2 rods on the baited area at 50 yards but also knew a spot at longer range (9 – 95 yards) that I’ve had fish off in the past, so put one on that with a light scattering of bait.

At around 10pm the long rod belted off at a rate of knots and I knew it was a decent fish straight away. Once I’d stopped the first run the fish came in fairly steadily, hugging the bottom. It got weeded a couple of times but steady pressure kept it on the move.

Then about 30 yards out it did exactly what I was afraid it might and kited hard to the left towards a set of marginal snags. I couldn’t see how far out it was so just kept pumping and hoping it didn’t make the snags, until I felt the dreaded grating coming through the rings and then it locked solid.

Straight away I stripped off and jumped in (waist deep margins), wading across to the snag tree. Luckily, once I could get the rod in front of the fish it popped out of the snag and then proceeded to lead me a merry dance under the rod tip as I stood in the waist deep water, heart in mouth, playing it rather gingerly and praying the hook didn’t pull.

Eventually the fish rolled on the surface, beaten and I felt a massive sense of relief as it slid over the net cord, as it’s my first one in over a year from the venue and it doesn’t give its prizes up easily. As I got the fish on the mat I saw the size 5 stiff rigger absolutely nailed in the bottom lip and thought “That was never coming off!”

It’s only my 3rd night on there so far this year, so hopefully a sign of things to come!

The fish was caught using 12lb ESP Syncro Loaded mono, with 20lb fluoro shockleader, hinged stiff rig utilising a size 5 stiff rigger, 20lb Bristle Filament and ESP Leadcore Leader. Bait was a 15mm Pure Pellet ‘Morning Glory’ pop-up (white blackcurrent/n-butryic) over a scattering of 15mm/18mm ‘Blaze’ boilies, a new bait on test from the Pure Pellet stable’.

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Martin’s Hinge Rig

Martin Bowler is especially confident in his version of the hinged stiff rig. Its simple but very effective. Here’s how he ties it:

IMG_9984

Martin with a cracking linear caught on the hinge rig

For pop up fishing the wonderful chod covers many a situation but occasionally I need an alternative, especially when fishing between weed beds. Here the line can get caught up and this in turn can lift the chod off the bottom rendering it useless.

Stage 1 - Ready prepared rigs can be combined with Striptease or you can make your own chod section

Martin uses Strip-Teaze for the boom section and Stiff Rig filament (of course!) for the hook section

Cue the hinged stiff rig that puts an extension on the chod and sees the lead arrangement altered to an ESP clip and 12 inches of 1.75mm anchor tubing. Connected to the size 9 swivel snugly sitting inside will be an anti tangle sleeve and 6 – 8 inches of Striptease. This coated material knots best with a moistened 3 turn blood and the tag blobbed with a lighter for extra security.

Stage 10 - Tie Striptease to unilink swivel with a wet 3 turn blood knot

The Strip-Teaze connecting knot

Along its length I will place a piece of tungsten putty to keep it tight to the deck. At the other end comes the chod arrangement, which can be a ready tied one from ESP. However if I have time I will create my own by threading 25lb bristle filament through the eye of a size 5 Siff Rigger before wrapping it up the shank 5 times, passing the tag back through the eye to create a knotless knot. A small ring is then placed on the tag before it is once again passed through the hook eye to create a small loop before securing with a lighter which causes the bristle filament to blob.

Stage 5 - once a loop has formed blob with lighter to secure

The business end of Martin’s hinged rig

So far all very similar to the ready tied chods but at the opposite end I use a figure of 8 knot to create an additional loop which I’m sure gives extra movement, helping to snag in the carp’s mouth.

Next I run the bristle filament over my thumb to create an aggressive curve, tie on an Atlantic Heat pop up from Baitworks with bait floss and add tungsten putty to balance as required. You now have another of my tried and trusted go anywhere rigs.

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