Category: Bait & Tackle

Gardner Target Barbel Hooks

Gardner Target Barbel Hooks: The Ultimate Choice for Specimen Anglers

The Ultimate Choice for Specimen Anglers

The medium shank and wide-gape Target Barbel Hooks have garnered a stellar reputation among the best Barbel and specimen anglers in the country, proving their effectiveness time and time again. Designed for ultimate performance, these hooks are not only perfect for Barbel but also excel in targeting other specimen fish such as Chub, Tench, and Bream.

Target Barbel Hooks Features and Benefits

  • Design and Hook Hold:
    • The hTarget Barbel Hooks feature a 5° in-turned eye and a beaked point, creating exceptional hook holds. This design ensures a secure catch and minimizes the chance of the hook being dislodged.
    • The beaked point is advantageous when fishing over large stones or gravel, as it is less likely to be turned over or damaged, maintaining its sharpness and effectiveness.
  • Strength and Durability:
    • Constructed from extra strong forged, double tempered, high carbon steel, these hooks are built to withstand the fight of the largest Barbel.
    • The robust construction ensures that the hooks can cope with the strength and weight of big fish, providing reliability and confidence to anglers.
  • Coating and Sharpness:
    • The hooks possess a matt, anti-glare coating, reducing visibility underwater and increasing the chances of a successful catch.
    • The razor-sharp point guarantees efficient penetration and a solid hook hold, crucial for successful specimen fishing.

Target Barbel Hooks Target Barbel Hooks

Availability

Target Barbel hooks are available in sizes 8 and 10, catering to different angling needs and preferences. They come in barbed only, providing a secure hold once the fish is hooked.

Target Barbel Hooks are a top choice for serious anglers looking to target Barbel and other specimen fish. Their thoughtful design, exceptional strength, and sharpness make them an indispensable tool in any angler’s tackle box.

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Gardner HydroSink Braid: A Review

Gardner HydroSink Braid is a fast sinking braid with low stretch and great handling characteristics. It is a combination of Dyneema and Kevlar with a Teflon coating which is certainly a top of the line (pun intended!) combination. Unlike many lines on the market, the breaking strain of the line is rated at knot strength, not some lab test with no knots that can’t be replicated in the real world. This means that you can expect it to actually brake at the stated pound test, which is really helpful in actual fishing situations.

Gardner HydroSink Braid
The 600m Spool can be split up as needed.

One of the main things about most braids is that they float. This is not a problem under many situations, but when boats and wildlife are around (especially at night) keeping your line out of the way is key. This line sinks extremely well, as good if not better than some of the fastest sinking mono lines.

Gardner HydroSink Braid
Sometimes you need a long cast. This fish was caught at very long range – casting is important!

Low stretch is key to good bite detection (or to tell when you have a small catfish on the hook) and HydroSink is around 4%, so you can really tell whats going on at your hook.

Gardner HydroSink Braid
A nice 52LB (side pot winning!) Grass Carp from an Austin Team Championship event that was taken with HydroSink.

Gardner HydroSink Braid
The green color of HydroSink blends in well.

So, if you are looking for a braid that will help you put more fish on the bank, HydroSink is certainly worth a try – I certainly enjoy using it!

To take a look at more of the range from Gardner Tackle head over to Big Carp Tackle here.

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fake food bait

What makes Fake Food Bait so effective?

An in-depth look at our full range of plastic hook baits (fake food bait) and what makes them so effective. The use of plastic hookbaits has had a big impact on carp fishing and are now commonly used by many anglers who want a durable bait with some buoyancy to it.

The Fake Food range from Korda started out with just plastic sweetcorn, which came in several different flavour and colour versions, and has since grown to include artificial maize and dumbells as well.

To complete the range a slow sinking match-the-hatch imitation boilie has been added, and we teamed up with Mainline so that they match the freezer and ready-made baits that they produce. Not only do they match the colour of the real Cell, Essential Cell, and Link boilies, but are also impregnated with the same flavour /attractor, and come in a choice of 15mm or 18mm sizes. So you now have the choice of using either an artificial bait that is bright and stands out, or one that is more subtle and matches your freebies.

These baits can either be fished on their own, such as a single piece of maize in a Solidz PVA bag, or as a topper to add a bit of colour to a real boilie, and which is where the artificial corn is especially popular.

All of these artificial baits come in a choice of pop-up or slow-sinking versions, with the buoyancy determined by an air pocket within the bait, and which means that the buoyancy of it will remain unchanged even once it has been in the water for a prolonged period of time – you could leave it in the water for days and know that it will still be popped up, or will slowly sink in the same way that it did when you first tied the rig and tested it in the margins.

fake food bait
Variety of fake food bait

Aside from that consistent buoyancy, the main advantage with a plastic version of these baits is that they are pretty much immune to the attentions of nuisance species such as crayfish or smaller fish species, which could remove real corn from your rig very quickly in some waters. So, if you do want to fish with smaller baits like a couple of grains of corn or a grain of maize, or even a small dumbbell, then you can do so without having to worry that other species, such as roach, have eaten or damaged your hookbait without giving you any indication.

The durable rubber which these baits are made from ensures that they are able to stand up to the attentions of species such as crayfish, or poisson chat if you’re fishing in Europe, without any damage being done to them, as long as the bait is secured to the rig in a way where it can’t come off – all of the baits in the range are supplied with hair stops in a matching colour, but if crayfish are an issue you will need to secure them in a way where the hair stop can’t easily be removed, as they will still try to eat the rubber hookbait.

During the manufacturing process, the flavour – and colour – are added to the plastic before it is moulded, and this means that it retains its smell for far longer than baits that have just been soaked in flavour, although you can of course do that as well to give it a boost.

These baits are compatible with pretty much any rig or set-up, whether you’re looking to add a fleck of colour to a snowman type presentation; using a small, buoyant but durable hookbait inside a PVA bag; or are looking to imitate a pop-up on a spinner rig on a crayfish infested venue; there are loads of different uses for the range.

So, whatever you’re looking for in a rubber bait, you’ll find the perfect size, colour, level of buoyancy, and flavour within this range.

Pop-Up Corn

This has proven to be a phenomenal fish catcher over the years since it became the first product in the Fake Food range, and replicates a real grain of corn in terms of its size.

This version has a pocket of air inside that gives it the buoyancy needed to pop up most rigs – especially if two pieces are used and comes in a variety of flavours and colours.

 

fake food bait
pop up corn

In addition to the original yellow coloured IB flavour, which has always been a big favourite, that same flavour is now also available in bright pink, which has proven to make a big difference to catch rates on some venues at certain times of the year, when it outfishes other colours. There is also a Citrus Zing flavour which now comes in orange (as opposed to the green colour it was previously available in), a pink coloured Fruity Squid variety, and Banoffee in white.

Each packet contains 12 pieces of pop-up corn plus free hair stops in a matching colour.

Slow Sinking Corn

The slow sinking version of the corn is great for situations when you want to be fishing a bait touching the lakebed, but want it to still have some buoyancy so that it is easily sucked in by a feeding carp.

It still has more buoyancy than using real sweetcorn, plus it has all the advantages that come with being made from plastic and being immune to the attentions of nuisance species, plus the buoyancy won’t alter when it has been in the water for a prolonged period of time.

In addition to the original yellow coloured IB flavour, which has always been a big favourite, that same flavour is now also available in bright pink, which has proven to make a big difference to catch rates on some venues at certain times of the year, when it outfishes other colours.

There is also a Citrus Zing flavour which now comes in orange (as opposed to the green colour it was previously available in), a pink coloured Fruity Squid variety, and Banoffee in white.

Each packet contains 12 pieces of slow sinking corn plus free hair stops in a matching colour.

Pop-Up Maize

Maize is one of those baits which has become popular in recent years and is used by many anglers in their spod/particle mix.

This plastic pop-up version is larger than the fake sweetcorn which we do, and reflects the size difference between a grain of sweetcorn and a piece of maize. It means that it is more buoyant, due to a larger air pocket inside, and is therefore more suited to use with larger, heavier hooks, or with rigs that contain more metalware at the hook end, such as a spinner, as it still has enough buoyancy to keep it all clear of the bottom.

In addition to the original yellow coloured IB flavour, which has always been a big favourite, that same flavour is now also available in bright pink, which has proven to make a big difference to catch rates on some venues at certain times of the year, when it outfishes other colours. There is also a Citrus Zing flavour which now comes in orange (as opposed to the green colour it was previously available in), a pink coloured Fruity Squid variety, and Banoffee in white.

Each packet contains ten pieces of pop-up maize plus free hair stops in a matching colour.

Slow Sinking Maize

Maize is one of those baits which has become popular in recent years and is used by many anglers in their spod/particle mix.

This plastic slow sinking version is larger than the fake sweetcorn which we do, and reflects the size difference between a grain of sweetcorn and a piece of maize. It means that it is more buoyant, due to a larger air pocket inside, and is therefore more suited to use with larger, heavier hooks, or with rigs that contain more metalware at the hook end, and it has enough buoyancy that everything sinks slowly and rests on the lake bed, and is easily sucked in by any feeding carp.

In addition to the original yellow coloured IB flavour, which has always been a big favourite, that same flavour is now also available in bright pink, which has proven to make a big difference to catch rates on some venues at certain times of the year, when it outfishes other colours. There is also a Citrus Zing flavour which now comes in orange (as opposed to the green colour it was previously available in), a pink coloured Fruity Squid variety, and Banoffee in white.

Each packet contains ten pieces of slow sinking maize plus free hair stops in a matching colour.

Pop-Up Dumbells

These dumbells can be fished wither on their own or in combination with real baits, such as if you want a snowman presentation.

They come in a variety of different sizes and colours to give you plenty of options when it comes to either fishing a bright hookbait which stands out, or something a bit more subtle, and they come in four different colour/flavour combinations.

fake food bait
fake food bait – popup dumbell

There are three different sizes in the range – 8mm, 12mm or 16mm – so that you can select the level of buoyancy that you require, as well as picking a bait size that suits the rig and hook size that you’re using it on. Each dumbbell features a special recessed slot in the end which the boilie stop fits perfectly into and helps ensure that your bait stays on even if a crayfish has a go at it. A strip of matching colour boilie stops is provided in each pack.

The Pop-Up Dumbells are available in white Banoffee; yellow IB; pink Fruity Squid; or Fishy Beige. Each pack contains ten 8mm, eight 12mm, or five 16mm baits.

These dumbells have been designed to sink slowly and are perfect for use with rigs that you would normally fish a wafter on.

They come in a variety of different sizes and colours to give you plenty of options when it comes to either fishing a bright hookbait which stands out, or something a bit more subtle, and they come in four different colour/flavour combinations.

There are three different sizes in the range – 8mm, 12mm or 16mm – so that you can select the level of buoyancy that you require, as well as picking a bait size that suits the rig and hook size that you’re using it on. Each dumbbell features a special recessed slot in the end which the boilie stop fits perfectly into and helps ensure that your bait stays on even if a crayfish has a go at it. A strip of matching colour boilie stops is provided in each pack.

The Pop-Up Dumbells are available in white Banoffee; yellow IB; pink Fruity Squid; or Fishy Beige. Each pack contains ten 8mm, eight 12mm, or five 16mm baits.

Mainline Slow-Sinking Boilie

These slow-sinking rubber boilies perfectly imitate the Mainline range of freezer and shelf-life baits, so are perfect if you want a more subtle hookbait that matches your loosefeed.

They are made from tough plastic which will withstand the attentions of nuisance species such as crayfish and you can rest assured that you will always have a bait on. They feature a recessed hair stop cavity to make sure that your stop stays in place and can’t easily be pulled off, as well as giving a neater finish.

fake food bait

These baits are impregnated with the same Mainline Cell, Essential Cell, and Link attractors that are used in their boilies, and are also the same colour as those, with a slightly more washed-out look, so that they perfectly match whatever you are baiting up with.

fake food bait
Slow sinking boilies – fake food bait

They’ve been made in a way that ensures that they sink slowly and also maintain the same buoyancy even once they’ve been in the water for a prolonged period of time, and they can be used with any of the normal rigs that you’d fish a wafter style hookbait on.

The slow-sinking boilie comes in a choice of 15mm or 18mm sizes and with nine or six in pack, depending on which size you opt for.

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Inline Leads

Barry Delderfield: Inline Leads Expert

Barry Delderfield talks about why he uses Inline Leads. He excels as one of Korda’s most reliable team members, persistently capturing fish from diverse, challenging waters. Stealth is crucial to his tactics, and his go-to rig consists of small inline leads and extended, rigid hook links.

Barry’s preferred Inline Leads arrangement for weedy, close-range waters, up to around 15 wraps, involves a drop-off inline system. A relatively tight clutch enables the lead to detach almost instantly during a strike, mitigating the likelihood of weed accumulation and facilitating easier fish handling, while minimizing the risk of hook loss.

Inline Leads

Barry’s chosen lead arrangement promotes immediate reaction when a fish consumes the hookbait. Combined with an exceptionally sharp Kamakura hook, this setup significantly improves hooking rates over a season. In high-pressure scenarios with cautious carp, the rig’s split-second faster reaction time can mean the difference between a secure catch and an ejected rig. Inline systems offer direct contact, outperforming Lead Clip or Helicopter arrangements.

Tools for the job are essential. A small inline pear sits inconspicuously on the lake bed, flatter than a distance or ball lead, making it harder for carp to detect, aligning with Barry’s emphasis on stealth.

Inline Leads

Consistency in carp fishing is capturing fish even when they’re not feeding voraciously. Barry believes this approach outsmarts the wariest carp, leading to more bites and increasing the chances of capturing that target fish. His preference for the lightest lead possible, often just 2.5oz, allows him to discreetly position rigs with minimal disturbance.

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40lb UK Catch: Securing My First UK Forty (Hanna Newell)!

40lb UK Catch: Securing My First UK Forty (Hanna Newell)!

In a thrilling tale of triumph, Hannah Newell (supported by Trakker), shares her exhilarating journey to landing her inaugural UK 40lb ‘er.

True to its name, this experience left me utterly astounded. My recent trip to the breathtaking Hacche Moor fishery in Devon was nothing short of remarkable. Accompanied by my husband, we embarked on this adventure alongside some of the Carp Particles UK team, eager for a bit of socializing and, more importantly, some quality angling time after enduring a lengthy summer holiday with the kids.

Departing from Oxford on a Thursday morning, anticipation and excitement filled the air as we braced ourselves for what lay ahead. We were well aware of an impending weather front, heralding heavy rain, thunderstorms, and a drop in air pressure—a perfect storm, so to speak, compounded by the harvest moon weekend. With conditions aligning so perfectly, we couldn’t help but anticipate a memorable outing.

As we neared north Devon, the skies opened up, unleashing a deluge that tested the limits of our windshield wipers. The contrast between this downpour and the sunny journey down the M5 through Bristol was stark, to say the least.

Upon our arrival at the fishery, we rendezvoused with the rest of the group and embarked on a tour of the lakes. Spread across three small, intimate pits, these waters promised exciting prospects. “Jakes Lake,” the smallest among them. It boasted a healthy population of carp, with specimens reaching up to 29lb.

The “bottom lake,” the largest of the trio, housed around 140 carp, including stunning scaley mirrors weighing up to 35lb. However, it was the “Top Lake” that truly captured my imagination, with its impressive roster of 57 carp, several weighing in the 30s, and two behemoths tipping the scales at over 40lb. Naturally, I hoped to secure a peg on this coveted lake—our chances would depend on the upcoming swim draw.

Luck was on my side as I drew the coveted number 1 ball, granting me first pick of pegs on the Top Lake. Opting for a spot at the lake’s lower end, where I had observed some promising activity earlier, I wasted no time setting up my gear. However, a minor hiccup arose—I realized my reels were devoid of line, having just acquired them. After hastily erecting our bivvy amidst the rain, I spooled up the reels and rigged up my rods, eager to get started.

The first rod was deployed near a pipe adjacent to a bed of Canadian weed, armed with a bright pink Hell Pop Up to stand out in the murky waters churned up by the inclement weather. As I prepared the second rod, I was rudely interrupted by a sudden bite on the first, highlighting a rookie oversight—I had neglected to apply putty to my Ronnie rig, jeopardizing the hookup. Despite the setback, I managed to hook a carp briefly before it escaped—a promising start amidst the challenging conditions.

As evening fell, news of Queen Elizabeth II’s passing cast a somber shadow over our idyllic surroundings. Amidst introspection, I was jolted into action by a slow, subtle take on my rod—the same one that had earlier enticed a bite.

With bated breath, Hanna Newell engaged in a cautious battle with the unseen behemoth, which initially offered little resistance. However, its sudden burst of energy transformed the encounter into a thrilling ordeal, as it darted through the underwater obstacles, testing my resolve. Eventually, I triumphed, netting the prize—a magnificent carp that would soon reveal its true magnitude.

Upon closer inspection, it became evident that I had landed the biggest fish in the lake—the legendary Bullet, weighing in at a staggering 43lb 10oz. The sheer disbelief and euphoria that engulfed me were palpable as I shared the moment with fellow anglers, capturing memories that would last a lifetime.

Following the commotion, I sat in quiet contemplation, savoring a well-deserved glass of red wine. Amidst the whirlwind of emotions, one thing was certain—this remarkable 40lb catch would forever be etched in my memory as my first UK 40lb. A testament to the unpredictability and magic of angling. ~ Hanna Newell

Longshank Beaked Hook

Longshank Beaked Hook Enhancements

Danny Fairbrass, known for his innovative approach to angling gear, has refined the already successful Longshank X pattern of hook to the Longshank Beaked Hook, enhancing its effectiveness for catching carp. These improvements build upon the hook’s proven track record of over 20 years, demonstrating Fairbrass’s commitment to optimizing fishing equipment.

The enhancements to the Longshank X pattern likely address specific aspects of carp behavior or hook performance, such as increasing hooking efficiency, improving durability, or enhancing bait presentation. By incorporating these tweaks, Fairbrass has elevated the hook’s effectiveness, ensuring anglers can achieve even greater success in catching carp both domestically and internationally.

Longshank Beaked Hook

Anglers can anticipate improved hooking capabilities, increased confidence in landing carp, and enhanced overall fishing experiences with the upgraded Longshank X pattern. Fairbrass’s dedication to refining angling gear underscores his commitment to advancing the sport and helping anglers achieve their goals on the water.

The original Longshank X pattern drew inspiration from popular fly hook designs of its time, which were renowned for their shape and hooking efficiency. However, this pattern was modified to be more robust and sharper, specifically tailored for hooking and successfully landing large carp. The elongated shank and inward-turned eye were key features that facilitated the hook’s effectiveness.

Longshank Beaked Hook

The extended shank provided several advantages. Firstly, it increased the hook’s leverage, enabling it to penetrate deeper into the carp’s mouth upon striking. Additionally, the elongated design minimized the risk of the hook becoming dislodged during the fight, maintaining a secure hold on the fish. The aggressively in-turned eye further aided in hook setting, ensuring a firm grip once the carp took the bait.

These design elements were carefully engineered to address the challenges of carp fishing, where the fish’s size and strength demand robust and reliable tackle. By combining the attributes of traditional fly hooks with enhancements tailored for carp angling, the Longshank X pattern emerged as a versatile and dependable choice for anglers seeking to hook and land big carp effectively.

Longshank Beaked Hook

Indeed, the pursuit of innovation and continuous improvement is intrinsic to the world of carp fishing. Drawing upon his extensive experience and insights gained from observing carp behavior through underwater cameras, Danny Fairbrass recognized an opportunity to refine the Longshank X pattern further. This dedication to refinement has led to the development of the new Longshank Beaked hook pattern.

The Longshank Beaked hook pattern represents the next evolution in carp fishing tackle, promising to be even more lethal than its predecessor. By analyzing how carp interact with rigs in their natural environment, Fairbrass identified areas for enhancement, refining the hook’s design to optimize its performance.

The introduction of the “beaked” feature likely addresses specific nuances observed in carp behavior, enhancing the hook’s ability to penetrate and secure a hold once a fish takes the bait. This adaptation reflects Fairbrass’s commitment to staying ahead of the curve and providing anglers with the most effective tools for landing carp successfully.

Anglers can anticipate that the Longshank Beaked hook pattern will offer heightened hooking efficiency, increased reliability, and ultimately, greater success on the water. Fairbrass’s dedication to innovation underscores his passion for the sport and his ongoing efforts to push the boundaries of carp fishing equipment.

Longshank Beaked Hook

Danny Fairbrass’s decision to make two major changes to the Longshank hook, based on his extensive experience and testing, reflects his commitment to improving anglers’ success rates in landing carp. The first significant alteration involved replacing the straight point with a beaked one.

Through rigorous testing, Fairbrass found that the beaked point design offered distinct advantages over the straight point. Specifically, it led to more secure hookholds, ensuring that once a carp took the bait, the hook remained firmly embedded, reducing the likelihood of the fish shaking loose during the fight. This improvement resulted in a notable increase in the ratio of fish hooked to those successfully landed, demonstrating the efficacy of the beaked point in enhancing hooking efficiency.

Fairbrass’s decision to incorporate the beaked point into the Longshank hook underscores his dedication to refining tackle based on empirical evidence and practical experience. By prioritizing hook performance and reliability, he has succeeded in elevating the Longshank hook to a new level of effectiveness, ultimately empowering anglers to achieve greater success on the water.

Danny Fairbrass’s decision to further enhance the Longshank Beaked hook by increasing the angle of the in-turned eye from 20 degrees to 40 degrees demonstrates his meticulous attention to detail and commitment to optimizing hook performance. This adjustment accelerates the hook’s flipping and turning action upon entry into the carp’s mouth, significantly increasing the likelihood of a secure hookhold. When combined with the beaked point, this feature ensures that once the hook takes hold, it remains firmly embedded, minimizing the risk of losing the fish during the fight.

Maintaining the original pattern’s stepped-up wire gauge for added strength, the Longshank Beaked hook is engineered to withstand the rigors of angling in both domestic and international waters, as well as challenging fishing conditions and encounters with large fish. Its forged construction further enhances durability, while the PTFE coating provides maximum protection against corrosion and wear, ensuring longevity and reliability in prolonged use.

Longshank Beaked Hook

By integrating these enhancements, Fairbrass has elevated the Longshank Beaked hook to a versatile and robust option for anglers seeking to target carp effectively in various fishing scenarios. Its combination of strength, durability, and enhanced hooking performance makes it a formidable tool in the pursuit of big fish, further cementing its reputation as a top choice among discerning anglers.

The Longshank Beaked hook has surpassed expectations, proving to be superior to the original design. Danny Fairbrass, along with numerous other anglers, extensively tested and utilized this hook, resulting in the successful capture of numerous big carp from challenging venues.

One of the key strengths of the Longshank Beaked hook is its versatility. It is compatible with a wide range of rig setups, including spinner rigs, combi rigs, and PVA bag rigs, making it suitable for various bait presentations such as bottom baits, wafters, and pop-ups. This adaptability ensures that anglers can confidently use the Longshank Beaked hook across different fishing scenarios, maximizing their chances of success.

Longshank Beaked Hook

Moreover, the Longshank Beaked hook is available in both barbed and barbless versions, catering to anglers’ preferences and adhering to fishery regulations. It comes in sizes 2, 4, 6, and 8, with ten hooks included in each packet, providing anglers with ample supply for their fishing expeditions.

With its enhanced performance, adaptability, and availability in different configurations, the Longshank Beaked hook has established itself as a go-to option for anglers targeting big carp in various environments. Its proven track record and widespread adoption among anglers testify to its effectiveness and reliability on the water.

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early spring session

Early Spring Session with Iggy

Solar Team Member Ignace de Roeck, fondly known as Iggy, recently embarked on an eventful early spring session in France alongside his friend Bart. True to form, Iggy made exceptional use of our baits, showcasing his angling prowess. Here’s the full story from the Man himself…

After a prolonged absence from fishing, I finally had the chance to indulge in a week-long fishing trip in France. However, this wasn’t your typical fishing excursion—this time, I was joined by one of my closest friends, Koen Machielsen, and, believe it or not, our girlfriends. The idea was sparked when another dear friend and Solar team member, Wes Lagaert, contacted me with an enticing proposition: an opportunity to go fishing at a lake in Mid France. Unfortunately, Wes had to cancel his holiday due to work commitments, so he offered us the chance to take his place. Without hesitation, we eagerly accepted the offer.

The lake we were headed to was approximately 5 hectares in size, with shallow waters—a promising fishing spot. What’s more, the best part was that we had the entire lake to ourselves. On the premises, there was a luxurious bungalow, spacious enough to accommodate a whole family. Inside, the bungalow boasted all the modern amenities one could ask for. While such accommodations weren’t typically my preference for a fishing trip, they proved to be a convincing factor in persuading our girlfriends to join us on this adventure.

After a grueling 7-hour drive, navigating through traffic jams around Paris, we finally reached our destination. The initial impression of the entire domain was nothing short of breathtaking. With temperatures soaring to 28 degrees Celsius, a clear blue sky, and the serene backdrop of the lake, it felt like the perfect haven to unwind and reconnect with nature. While this type of setting was somewhat unfamiliar to me, we were determined to embrace the experience.

As we began unpacking our gear, something caught our attention in the periphery. At first, I dismissed it as a trick of the light, but upon closer observation, it became evident that the carp were spawning. It was an unbelievable sight to behold.

Despite it only being mid-April, I needed confirmation. I reached out and dipped my hand into the lake, feeling the temperature of the water. There was no mistaking it—it was indeed their spawning season. Though our spirits wavered momentarily, we resolved to make the most of the situation.

early spring session

The first night passed uneventfully, prompting us to explore the shallower bays at the back of the lake. While the water clarity was lacking throughout, it was particularly murky in these shallow areas due to the presence of carp. Without exchanging a word, we silently acknowledged the opportunity before us and began setting up our gear. Our plan was to stalk the carp for a few hours using single pop-up chods.

By late afternoon, we had successfully landed our first carp using this method. However, we couldn’t shake the feeling of uncertainty regarding the way they were hooked.

It became evident that our initial method wasn’t yielding the desired results. Determined to crack the code, the following afternoon found us once again stalking carp in the shallow bays. This time, we opted for the ronnie rig paired with different pop-ups, experimenting with color and scent to see if it made any difference. While we did manage to hook a few fish, it still fell short of our expectations. There was a sense that we were missing something crucial.

early spring session

Even during the night sessions at the bungalow swim, where we caught fish weighing up to 15 kg, the issue persisted. The carp weren’t being properly hooked, despite using the reliable ronnie setup, which had never let me down before. It seemed to be related to the way they were feeding. As our last two bites were also lost, it was clear that adjustments were necessary. We needed to carefully strategize our approach to overcome this challenge.

The next morning, our strategy led us back to the bays, where we intended to test Solar’s new rig material and the latest Solar wafters, specifically the red herring variant. I had prepared these wafters two weeks prior, soaking them in RH Max Attrax. The thick liquid had infused the wafters perfectly, rendering them irresistibly fragrant. Their buoyancy remained optimal, ready to entice the carp into action.

It didn’t take long for our adjustment to pay off handsomely. Within fifteen minutes of casting out, a magnificent 40lb mirror carp lay on the unhooking mat, a testament to the effectiveness of the new setup. Furthermore, our choice of bait, the RH/Quench boilies, received resounding approval from our piscine companions. This discovery proved to be the key that unlocked success—consistently baiting the area and presenting the RH wafters along the margins proved to be a winning combination.

It quickly became apparent that our success was not limited to just one fish. Over the course of five hours, we landed an impressive total of 8 fish, including several 40lb mirror carp. Encouraged by this success, we applied the same technique to the bungalow swim overnight, once again yielding positive results. However, the pinnacle of our adventure occurred in the early morning hours when I had the privilege of landing one of the top fish on Koen’s rods—a magnificent 53lb specimen.

early spring session

As the weather took an unexpected turn with the onset of rain and a significant drop in temperature, we made the decision to focus our efforts solely from the bungalow for the remainder of our trip. We were mindful that the changing conditions might prompt the fish to roam more, but our determination remained unwavering.

With precision, we continued to fish the Cuttings, refining our approach even further. Once again, our tactic proved to be the right choice, as numerous fish found their way into our nets. On the final night, the action was so intense that all six fishing rods were in motion by morning. Koen finally landed the catch he had been hoping for, while my rod proudly brought in a stunning 49lb mirror carp.

In the spirit of settling the score, we concluded our adventure feeling tired but immensely satisfied. Looking back, it was undeniably a highly successful holiday. The memories we created will linger, and we are already contemplating a return trip someday. Our success was rooted in a few key principles: remaining vigilant, adapting tactics as needed, and most importantly, closely observing the water surface for signs of carp activity.

These fundamental rules guided us to success throughout our early spring session.

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Crucian Carp

Exploring Crucian Carp Fishing Tactics and Bait

During the spring and summer, targeting crucian carp ranks high among my angling pursuits. Their mesmerizing golden scales shimmering under the sun’s rays create an irresistible allure.

Traditionally, crucians were deemed cautious feeders, prompting anglers to employ delicate float fishing techniques during the tranquil hours of dawn and dusk. While these methods hold their charm, modern specimen fishing has ushered in refined tackle and tactics, offering new avenues for pursuing these elusive fish.

Venue Selection

For those seeking hefty true crucians, the Marsh Farm complex managed by Godalming Angling Society stands as a premier destination. Renowned for its sizable crucians, this venue attracts anglers yearning for a shot at landing a personal best. While other waters boast crucians, Marsh Farm’s abundance sets it apart, drawing top specimen anglers seeking golden treasures.

crucian carp

Location Insights

In crucian fishing, astute location scouting is paramount. These fish often signal their presence with telltale rolls during the twilight hours. Spending evenings observing potential hotspots along the margins can provide invaluable clues. Areas with depth and marginal features are prime crucian territory, especially during dawn and dusk.

crucian carp

In instances where shallow margins are absent, targeting distances of 20-30 yards during daytime proves fruitful. However, transitioning to close-range setups at dusk or to evade pesky tench becomes strategic. Crucians thrive in marginal zones, making depth secondary to suitable cover.

Hook Baits and Feeding Strategy for Crucian Carp

Small hookable pellets, corn, mini boilies, or casters serve as ideal hook baits for crucians. I favor fishmeal-based groundbaits with minimal feed, relying on their potent scent to lure crucians. Hookable pellets dominate my arsenal, complemented by backup options like corn and 10mm boilies.

Feeding tactics vary, with some anglers opting for light baiting approaches. Conversely, I embrace a more assertive strategy, heavily baiting swims to entice crucians. Employing a spod to dispense groundbait at 20-30 yard ranges garners attention, as crucians are drawn to the sound of feeding. This proactive approach challenges traditional notions, often yielding favorable outcomes.

Crucian Carp Tackling Techniques

Rig simplicity reigns supreme in crucian fishing. While traditional float tactics hold merit, employing modern flatbed method feeders offers versatility. Paired with short hook lengths, this setup enhances bite detection, converting subtle movements into confident strikes. Accurate casting, facilitated by stop knots and line clips, maximizes effectiveness.

crucian carp crucian carp

A robust main line like Gardner Tackle’s 6lb Hydro Flo ensures durability during feeder casting and fish handling. For hook lengths, Gardner Target fluorocarbon in 5lb strength strikes a balance between stealth and resilience. When employing groundbait sticks, masking the hook bait from debris optimizes presentation.

crucian carp

By implementing the tactics and bait strategies I’ve discussed, I successfully landed 15 crucians, with the largest one nearly hitting the elusive four-pound mark, weighing in at an impressive 3lb 14oz. This achievement underscores the effectiveness of fine-tuning your approach and maintaining a positive mindset, which can lead to significant success in carp fishing.

~ Alan Stagg

Top 5 Crucian Carp Fishing Tips:

1. Ensure precision in feeder fishing by using a stop knot marker alongside the spool’s line clip. Consistent accuracy increases your chances of success.

2. Cast your line regularly. Fish often respond quickly to recasting as they home in on the feeder or groundbait stick.

3. Maintain a steady supply of feed in your swim. Crucians and tench consume ample bait, so topping up regularly ensures sustained activity. A quiet swim signals the need for replenishment.

4. Opt for small pellets, whether real or imitation, as effective hook baits for crucians.

5. Allow the swim time to settle. Allowing a period of rest after baiting encourages fish to confidently gather in the area.

 

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Carp Fishing Winter Tactics

Carp Fishing Winter Tactics (Video)

Carp Fishing Winter Tactics by Gardner/Carl Udry. Carl Udry is a Team GT-Speero angler and he shows how his tactics change as we start to enter the winter season. Winter poses unique challenges for carp anglers, but with the right tactics, success is still within reach.

Opt for slow-sinking baits and adjust your presentation to match the carp’s lethargic behavior. Target deeper waters where carp seek warmer temperatures, and consider using smaller, highly flavored baits to entice wary fish. Patience and attention to detail are key in mastering winter carp fishing and with the right Carp Fishing Winter Tactics success is possible.

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subbraid

Introducing SUBbraid For Carp Angling

For anglers exploring new braid options or seeking a change, delving into the realm of SUBbraid offers insights into its virtues.

While braided main lines have a longstanding presence, particularly in spod and marker rod setups, their potential in carp fishing remains underexplored, leaving anglers unaware of the benefits they could reap.

angling with subbraid

THE SUBTLE ART OF SUBBRAID

A standout feature of SUBbraid lies in its exceptional sinking capabilities, akin to a brick plummeting through water. Upon initial encounter, one might notice its relatively thicker diameter compared to similar breaking strains of braided lines like Apex braid or Marker/Spod/SLR braids.

The reason behind this lies in the design philosophy: while other braids aim to repel water to maintain buoyancy and enhance casting, SUBbraid stands out for its ability to absorb water. This unique trait enables it to sink effortlessly, a boon in various UK fishing scenarios, where it gracefully settles atop weed beds.

Furthermore, SUBbraid boasts a slender profile coupled with zero stretch, facilitating enhanced bite indication. Even when fishing with slack lines, any subtle movement at the rig end is promptly conveyed.

TACTICAL EDGE IN WINTER WATERS

Navigating winter waters demands finesse, and SUBbraid delivers with its supple nature. Unlike stiffer, wiry braids, it hugs the lake bed contours with finesse, minimizing the risk of fish encountering it and spooking. This attribute proves invaluable in pressured lakes where carp are wary of visible lines, ensuring a stealthy approach.

Despite the absence of stretch, it enhances angler control, offering a direct connection with fish movements. This aids in discerning subtle nuances during the fight, contributing to a more responsive angling experience.

subbraid

Moreover, its durable composition withstands encounters with weed or snags, ensuring longevity and resilience on the reel spool. The absence of memory eliminates the frustrating tangles associated with mono, enhancing its usability over prolonged periods.

VERSATILE APPLICATIONS FOR SUBbraid

SUBbraid finds its niche in varied fishing scenarios, offering adaptability and performance. Its compatibility with leaders or tubing further enhances fish safety, mitigating the risk of damage during fights.

While Apex braid may dominate when casting to extreme ranges, SUBbraid shines in snag-free environments, where its sinking properties and reduced visibility reign supreme. Anglers like Darrell Peck utilize it strategically in conjunction with Apex, capitalizing on the best of both worlds for optimal performance.

subbraid

CONCLUSION

Available in 15lb or 20lb breaking strains with diameters of 0.30mm and 0.34mm respectively, it comes clad in a dark green hue, blending seamlessly with the lakebed.

In essence, SUBbraid emerges not just as a fishing line, but as a strategic asset, offering anglers unparalleled control, stealth, and durability across a spectrum of angling scenarios.

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