Home in time to finish the housework…

I’d joined this lake in 2022 but as I had to wait for the ticket renewals on June 1st I ended up fishing for a different target early last spring and became totally obsessed as you do, with this lake sort of put on the back burner for a year. I had focused on a water that I now know has terrible spring form and doesn’t really kick off, if it ever does till summer comes around so I knew spring 2023 my time would be dedicated to Outwood and pursuing 2tone, giving it my best shot until I knew my other target water had woken up and then head back on there for the rest of the year.

It was late February and with weather much warmer than expected I decided to go down for my 1st session of the year it was very mild for February and the sun was out in force within minutes I had clocked a few basking in the sunshine, I couldn’t believe it “wow that was easy” but knowing how cold the water temperature would still be I knew I was going to have to target them up in the layers with zigs.  I always fish zigs in the spring as they are deadly but anyone who does knows that while they are mega effective you also have to take a few losses and this session was no different – 2 takes for one loss and one 26lb common in the net, buzzing with that on my first night in February. I continued with the zigs for a few weeks but the temperatures had plummeted again and bites were rare although I did land (and lose) a few more along the way.

Finally as we entered May the temperatures started to rise and I started to get bites off the bottom, I wasn’t feeding heavily instead casting to the far bank then running around and scatering a hand full of cb4 and tigers over the rigs. I had the feeling the big ‘un was due as she is quite a friendly carp and I was definitely feeling the pressure as I’m leaving in June back to my other ticket and targets, anyway 1 of my mates who has already had her decided to come and have a bit of a social with me I told him where I’d been getting the bites and he left my little area free for me but when I got there I just wasn’t feeling it after climbing a tree on the other side of the pond and seeing a few congregating around an inlet I thought I can’t ignore that and went round the there for the night, some social! I told my mate I’ll do the night here then move round next to him tomorrow night for a curry whether I caught or not.

Next morning he woke me to break the news he had just repeated the big ‘un and she was sulking in the net waiting for me to go get some shots of her,  that’s fishing sometimes though and  I knew I was going in 2 weeks anyway and was starting to accept the fact I’d probably have to come bk for this 1 next spring.

Three weeks passed since and I was back on the other lake now  and had renewed my ticket for next year knowing I’d have it for a back up if I managed to get the other target out and would return in the spring for the big girl regardless, with a day off work and some cracking weather though I thought since its local and I’ve renewed anyway why not have a couple of hours stalking. The big ‘un had been out again since so wasn’t even in my head at this point I was just there to hopefully sneak a bite and be home for tea, It was roasting hot and didn’t take me long to find the entire lakes stock basking in the shallow dog leg.

My first thought was a bit floating crust would do the job but they were totally uninterested and as I sat watching them I noticed that they were smashing into the bushes down to my right so went to see if I could work out what they were doing, that’s when I saw the biggest mass of tadpoles I’ve ever seen and the carp were absolutely hammering them in 18 inches of water right in the margin. I placed a little combi rig with a cb4 wafter just off this spot and within minutes the tadpoles had completely engulfed the hook bait I just knew it wasn’t going take long, the spool went into meltdown and after a short fight I had 1 in the net! Only a stocky but a mega bit of angling right in the edge so I was happy to have scratched the itch and headed home for tea.

Next day the weather was the same, however my Mrs told me there was no fishing today as she had plenty jobs for me to do in the house! I took my daughter to nursery at nine o’clock and I still had all the gear in the van from the previous day so thought I’ll just go for a couple hours get back in time to finish the jobs…she’ll never know (famous last words).

Got to the pond for half past nine and headed straight back to the spot convinced they would all still be there gorging on tadpoles but when I got there not a single carp in sight, I headed round to a shallow bay on the opposite side of the lake hopeful that it might just be holding a couple of fish.

Sure enough there were a few small ones milling about and it looked bang on for a bite, I had to get this right because time was short but I had no waders so stripped down to my boxers to hand place the rigs exactly where I wanted them in 2ft of gin clear water.  The little ones spooked as soon they saw the 1st rig and headed back into the main body of the lake, so I took the opportunity the get the 2nd rod ready and out I went again.

I carefully lowered the rig into position and slowly headed back to the bank placing the rod on the rest and as I clipped the bobbin onto the line I looked over at the 1st spot, the big ‘un was there! Her head down and tail breaking the surface I saw her suck in the hook bait then the tell tale shake of the head as she felt the hook before bolting off the spot!

Exhilarating is the only way to describe what followed – knowing which fish I was attached to as it lunged and battled on the other end of the line, steering her around a vertical scaffold bar sticking up from the lake bed it was a tense battle before her head cleared the surface and the net slid underneath.  Absolutely made up with it, what a carp!

Another historic creature to tick off my hitlist and a mega way to catch it…and I still made it home in time to finish the housework 😉

Big up the boys at Core for providing me with this mega bait for catching the mega fish. Cb4 no debate….. f*&%#n doin’ it


Taming Angry

This year I have decided to fish a venue that has been on my peripherals for a few years, but to be honest I’ve never really had the bottle to fish it because of its notoriously hard nature. Approximately 20 acres, around 35 carp and only 5 of them being originals left in the lake. [...]

Charity Carp Night

Core Baits are delighted to be supporting the Charity Carp Night on the 14th of March in aid of The Yorkshire Air Ambulance. Simon Crow, Julian Cundiff & Mark Holmes will be in attendance doing various talks and Q&A’s. Other special guests will be in attendance. There will be a raffle which has some fantastic […]

Choosing a Boilie for the coming season

When it comes to choosing a boilie we, as anglers are inundated with options. If you believe half of the marketing employed by various companies, you could be forgiven for thinking the Carp will be jumping out of the water just to get a sniff of the bait!

There is no magic solution when it comes to bait. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking there is a ‘wonder’ ingredient – or rig for that matter – that will transform your fishing. The most important aspect of your Carp angling is location. Find hungry Carp looking for food and instantly the odds are stacked in your favour. Give them something they want to eat and put an effective rig into the equation and you will get takes.

The location and the rig won’t be addressed here but, bait – specifically boilies, will be.

CB4 Boilies
CB4 Boilies: Packed full of attraction and nutrition

What should I look for in a bait?

First of all lets get one thing straight. Carp will eat, or at least try to eat all manner of things. You can buy one of the greatest Carp baits of all time for about 19p a can down the supermarket. If you find fish on the surface, a handful of dog/cat biscuits or good old bread are all devastating.

“Aren’t you meant to be selling me your boilies here?”

Oh yeah I forgot! Buy our bait and the fish will be jumping out of the water as soon as you enter the venue…

The number of companies producing boilies (or at least marketing them) at this current time is staggering. There seems to be this notion that the ‘small garage/shed bait companies produce shite’ while the bigger companies produce quality. Here is an idea I’d like to sell to you however. I believe that some of the best boilies in the UK are being rolled by anglers that make their own bait or by small to medium sized companies.

Why do I think this? It’s simple really – cost! Take Core Baits for example. When Matt and myself start designing a bait the last thing we consider is how much it will cost to produce. We start by looking at we want from the bait, get the nutritional value right, the amino acid profile right and so on. Then we start to panic when we calculate the ingredient costs at the end! Most of the big companies are working to a price first. Consider the normal retail price of a well recognised boilie brand down the local tackle shop. For this article let’s say £11 (£10.99) for 1kg of the latest lake emptier’s. Tackle shops work on 100% profit which means they buy that 1kg of boilies for £5.50. So that means the bait company has to produce that kg of boilies and make profit on £5.50. Now who you choose to believe is your business but, figures of anywhere from £1 to £3 are regularly quoted as being what the big firms bait costs to produce.

When it comes to sourcing ingredients the big firms have the buying power to buy in huge bulk which does make a big difference to what they pay for something like LT94 fishmeal compared to a humble little operation like ourselves. But to produce a quality bait for somewhere around £1? Nah!

So to address the first question of “what should I look for in a bait?” if you can’t (or can’t be arsed) to roll your own bait, look for a company that tell you exactly what’s in their baits. Look for a company who are open and will let you visit their premises. Don’t expect them to give you the exact recipe to a bait but they should be comfortable telling you what’s in there.