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Ian Merriott's Carp Diary - July 2015

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Last Updated: 5th August 2015

For the next couple of nights my luck didn’t improve. Plenty of fish were passing over my spots and the spots were becoming cleaner by the day, so they were feeding. I was either ‘getting done’ or they were feeding after I’d left.

With a couple of blank nights under my belt I decided on a change of tack. I would normally try introducing small particles to get the fish feeding more confidently, but the number of tench in the lake put me off… for a while at least, but I was catching tench anyway, so I gave it a try.

I put out 10 spombfuls of pigeon conditioner with boilile chops, 14mm and 18mm Seafood Take-Away boilies a handful of Candy Floss boilies, all glugged in Marine 17. My aim was to achieve a cloudy feed with lots of different sized food items, which also gave me a choice of hook baits.

That night I sat there with renewed confidence. I didn’t have to wait long for the first tench to hang itself on the left-hand rod, ten minutes later anther tench on the right-hand rod. I was starting to doubt my plan!

It was all quiet for the next couple of hours, so just before dark I topped up each spot with 5 more spombfuls of the same mix.

In the next hour I had three takes on the left rod. A 2lb 8oz rudd, an eel and another tench. Very nice, but not what I was after.

Five more spombfuls of bait went out and then I retired to bed. At 1.30am and the left-hand rod melted off, startling me out of my slumber. The fish had dumped the lead and was on the surface early on in the battle. This one was definitely a carp. After a short, but spirited, fight an upper double, scaly mirror was soon in the net. “This is more like it,” I thought. That was the last of the action and at 6am and headed for work.

Three days later I was back thanks to a very tolerant wife. Ten spombfuls of bait over each rod on the same two spots I’d fished previously and the rods were soon in position. Due to a much later start it was dark soon after I’d got everything sorted.

The first tench was landed on the right-hand rod at 10:30am. I put 10 more spombfuls of bait over each rod and went to bed.

All was quiet and I got a good few hours sleep. That was, until 3am when all hell broke lose. In just over an hour I landed three carp. A small stockie of around 12lb, a 20lb 6oz common and a stunning old linear that was a low twenty. Job done, I packed up a very happy angler that morning.

The following week I headed for a social at another local lake called Broadlands. The fish stocks in Broadlands have recovered very well from previous, well-documented problems, with most of the stock now averaging upper doubles. There is now a growing number of 20lb+ fish with a handful of thirties to upper 30lb in the lake.

Arriving at the lake we were informed that the fishing was very slow indeed, with only a couple of fish being caught in the last three days. On walking round we discovered that most of the anglers were in a big bay up one end on the back of the wind. We stood there and gazed over the water for over an hour and only spotted three or four fish, all of which were tucked up right in the lily pads.

There was a lot of fish somewhere in this 20-acre lake and I was pretty  sure they weren't all in this busy bay. Of the five anglers fishing there they were all blanking.

Strolling up the bank we saw a fish show as soon as we got to the other end of the lake, which was enough for us and we quickly plotted up. The lakebed at this end was mainly gravel  with no weed at all, but on my second ‘exploratory’ cast I found a softer, silty bottom on the back of a large bar at 70 yards. The bottom was smooth and about 1.5ft deeper than the top of the bar.

There are lots and lots of bream in Broadlands, so particles were out of the question. As my area was out of catapult range I spombed about two kilos of Candy Floss and Seafood Take-Away boilies over the area and put two rods close together. My two hook baits were an 18mm Seafood boilies topped with an 11mm Top Banana pop-up and a double, 14mm bottom bait on the other... with bream avoidance in mind. 

I had four takes in the night. Lost one and landed three. Mirrors of 18lb 2oz and 10lb 8oz and a ghosty of 17lb 15oz all ended up in the folds of my net.

None of them were the twenty that I had hoped for, but very satisfying all the same, even more so given that the lake ‘wasn’t fishing’ and the other guys were blanking.

Until next time, good luck all.



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