Carp fishing has become very competitive due to the fact that most venues are over fished with bait going in all over the place pretty much all year round. Standing out from the crowd and giving yourself an edge is becoming increasingly more difficult. I can only hold my hand up and blame myself and other guys in the media for that. We have an edge, we write about it and then the crowds follow. Don’t get me wrong I gain a huge amount of satisfaction from helping others; after all it is my five day a week job in the tackle shop to offer my advice and give out tips. However in recent times I can’t help but think that I am making the fishing harder for myself by putting it all out there.
The one thing I lack is time. Time is everything and ever so precious for me. Not just time on the bank, but time with family and in particular my wonderful daughter Daisy who is now one year old. Time on the bank has become less of a priority and in all honesty a bit of a struggle to come by in recent months. However it is making the most of your time that is the most important thing. Not just in carp fishing but in life. Let’s focus on time and carp fishing for now and perhaps one of my biggest edges is making the most of my time.
I am always fishing on 100% and will work tirelessly to get myself into a position where I feel confident of a bite. Everything from bait, swim choice, finding a spot and baiting accurately, no stone gets left unturned. But once the traps are set and I am 100% happy that I have done everything possible to give myself a chance of a bite then I will sit back and chill out. The rest is up to the carp as to whether they want to play ball and only time will tell whether I have made the right choices and decisions. If I catch, I know I have got it right. If I blank I know I have got it wrong and the following trip I know I have to make some changes.
The type of venues that I fish I genuinely believe there is always a chance of a bite. Bluebell Swan, Linear, Linch, there is always a bite to be had and even after a blank I will always have learnt something and hopefully figured out where I went wrong. Over time I have learnt from many mistakes and have to confess to the fact my decision making over time has improved and hence the reason I have had an element of consistency in my angling for a number of years.
One of my biggest edges has come about from time spent practicing and perfecting. Plumbing a swim and finding a spot has become second nature to me and fishing it with accuracy I would say is my biggest edge. Whether I am putting in 5 spombs of bait or 25, drumming it down the same hole every time whilst kissing the clip and fishing three rods over the top is a tactic I first employed over 18 years ago. I would say the majority of my angling has been based on my early findings that if you can find a spot where the carp are willing to feed, you give them a bait they want to eat and you fish three well presented rigs over the top then all of a sudden carp fishing seems to be very simple. And believe me it really can be.
Throughout the year my bait changes, I change venues but one thing remains a constant. No matter where I am fishing and what I am putting in, three rods fished accurately on a spot produces the goods. A lot of people don’t understand the theory of putting all of your eggs in one basket but if you have the ability to find the best basket out there where the fish are and where they want to feed then why spread your options?
I would much rather fish three on a spot and put 3kg on the spot than to fish three different spots and put 1kg on each. I firmly believe by condensing the bait in the peg and fishing it accurately is far more likely to instigate competitive feeding and that is the situation I am always trying to achieve.
With regards fishing three rigs on a spot accurately, say your rigs are two foot apart and your bait is spread over a six foot area, when a fish drops down to feed on the bait it is never going to be feeding more the a foot or two away from a rig. Now if a carp picks up a rig and spits it out, it only has to swim another two foot and it will come across another rig. We all know that not every carp that picks up a rig gets nailed but there is no way a carp can feed for a period of time over a baited area with three rigs and not get hooked.
So over a period of time I have honed my accuracy skills, my baiting strategy, my rigs, location, my spot finding and that is what is responsible for some incredible catches. Just last week I put all of the above to good effect, years worth of trial and error and it culminated in another big hit from Bluebell lakes Swan lake. I managed to get a very valuable three nighter on the venue and the conditions were bang on. Everything I had learnt over time was put into practice and it all came together and ended with me slipping the net under 14 carp, a haul that included 6 fish over thirty pounds, each and every one of them a stunner.
Carp fishing and life is all about time, invest your time wisely and you will master the balance between carp fishing and life, waste your time and you will waste your life whilst carp fishing passes you by.
Tight lines, Kev