An­gling Ad­ven­tures Martin Bowler re­veals his ‘one rod’ ap­proach for carp

Less is more, as I proved on this lovely lake

Angling Times (UK) - - WELCOME -

THERE is an ob­ses­sion in carp an­gling to use ev­ery rod avail­able.

But while three or four rods do al­low you to search out extra spots, more lines in the water don’t al­ways equal more carp.

Maybe fish­ing for a va­ri­ety of species helps me to feel more at home with one rod, and I cer­tainly don’t have a men­tal block about fish­ing like this for carp. It fo­cuses your mind and pos­si­bly im­proves how you fish, while a re­duc­tion in dis­tur­bance def­i­nitely makes the fish less aware of your pres­ence. With wily carp this can be more im­por­tant than any bait or rig.

So on my lat­est ad­ven­ture, when all but one of the buzzers stayed in their cases, it was a con­scious de­ci­sion to fish just the one rod.

It was still the mid­dle of the night when I set out – this is ac­tu­ally my favourite time to travel. There’s only the odd car or lorry with which to share our won­der­ful road net­work, and the cats eyes flicked by at some pace.

My trip drew to a close as the nearby newsagents opened, and by then I no longer needed torch­light to see. On open­ing the gate a cat dived into the bushes and an an­gler load­ing his car af­ter a quick overnighter be­fore work greeted me. It was a relief to get the miles over and done with – I pre­fer to watch for signs of carp than the tail lights of traf­fic.

For once the first heads of carp to rise from the placid sur­face, leav­ing rip­ples in their wake, didn’t tempt me. These were, I knew, play­ing on the sur­face over very deep water, and given the tem­per­a­ture I knew the mar­gins would be the place to win a bite.

Ei­ther end of the pit of­fered a cor­ner and an undis­turbed mar­gin on the far bank, so I only had to de­cide to turn right or left out of the car park. I chose (or rather guessed) left, and be­gan the five-minute walk with all the para­pher­na­lia deemed nec­es­sary for catch­ing carp.

From my se­lected pitch I did what I al­ways do and took stock of the sit­u­a­tion. It’s amaz­ing how ea­ger­ness to fish can blind you into mak­ing a mis­take, and once made it can some­times prove ter­mi­nal for the rest of the trip.

I was cer­tain the undis­turbed mar­gin to my left of­fered the best chance of a bite, but what of the other rod I had at my dis­posal? Deep water in front of me didn’t in­spire any con­fi­dence and the mar­gin to my right wasn’t far enough away from the next swim

down to pro­duce.

In my opin­ion the ben­e­fit of hav­ing a sec­ond line in the water didn’t out­weigh the neg­a­tives of extra dis­tur­bance and the prospect of my pro­duc­tive area be­ing cut off.

Far bet­ter to fo­cus all my ef­forts and at­ten­tion on a sin­gle spot and leave the other rod in the

sling. Then, as if to tempt me into chang­ing my mind, a carp rose up to the wrist of its tail be­fore fall­ing back into the pit with an almighty splash, send­ing rip­ples far and wide. It was a mag­nif­i­cent sight in the grow­ing sun­light that bathed the water in shards of gold, but I turned my back and got on with the task in hand.

“A carp rose up to the wrist of its tail then fell back with an almighty splash”

I teamed a Terry Hearn carp rod with some in­cred­i­bly ro­bust 15lb E-S-P Syn­cro XT line. This was con­nected to a lead­core leader, safety clip and swivel. The rig didn’t have to be fancy, merely dis­creet, so I opted to use a bot­tom bait due to the clean sub­strate I would be fish­ing over.

My hook­length was 8ins of 20lb Brown Tung­sten Loaded with a size 5 Cryo­gen Grip­per knot­less knot­ted to it to cre­ate a hair for a 16mm Sticky Krill boilie that sat di­rectly off the bend of the hook.

To hold this po­si­tion and cre­ate an acute an­gle from hook­length to hook were two pieces of shrink tub­ing – all in­cred­i­bly sim­ple and very easy to con­struct.

Be­fore cast­ing the rig out I took time to walk along the bank and ex­am­ine the area it would be land­ing in. The shelf was very steep, so the lead would have to al­most clip the bank if I wanted it to land in less than 10ft of water. Any fur­ther out and the only bites I would get would be from tench, which I knew from pre­vi­ous ex­pe­ri­ence were will­ing to feed in deeper water.

Re­search over, it was time to ring the din­ner gong so out went a kilo of 12mm and 16mm Krill boilies. I took care that these landed in a spot most likely to pro­duce a carp.

Be­fore cast­ing I had one fi­nal com­po­nent to add to the rig – that a nugget of dis­solv­ing foam. This was proof against tan­gles, highly un­likely any­way but nec­es­sary for my peace of mind.

Rather than squeeze it di­rectly around the hook I pre­fer to shroud the foam in PVA mesh and nick the hook through this. Not only is it guar­an­teed to come away from the rig quickly, but no white residue is left be­hind on the hook shank.

Happy with my prepa­ra­tions, I

made the cast and held the lead on a taut line on im­pact with the water in order to check the depth. I con­cluded it was 8ft and hap­pily set the bob­bin, con­fi­dent that a bite would be forth­com­ing.

Time to set up camp, but be­fore all the legs on the bed­chair could be un­folded the alarm shrilled out. I swung round to see the rod tip bend­ing as a carp de­cided that shak­ing the hook free was no longer pos­si­ble.

First to fall for my plan was a mir­ror carp over 20lb, and it wasn’t to be the last. A fresh kilo of bait was enough to pro­voke an­other slip-up within the hour. Slowly the size of the fish grew

to a best of 31lb, a rather plain look­ing mir­ror.

The same could not be said of the carp that came at the end of day one – it was the closest I have come to a full leather in a long time and weighed over 36lb.

Many an­glers would have said it was a leather, but a sin­gle scale on the wrist of the tail made me ques­tion it. Never mind, I was as pleased as Punch!

Day two wasn’t so in­tense but a 30lb com­mon gave me an im­pres­sive trio of carp, more than enough re­ward for my ef­forts. Would I have caught more with extra rods? Cer­tainly not, I’m con­vinced of that.

Three buzzers, but only one in use to­day. Feed was 12mm and 16mm Krill boilies.

Best fish of day one, a rather plain 31lb mir­ror.

The lake at dawn was a beau­ti­ful sight.

My lead­core lead­ers ready made-up.

The lake had its fair share of lily pads.

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