LEWIS READ

Carpworld - - THINK TANK -

Well known in the an­gling world and em­ployed by Gard­ner Tackle, Lewis has fished many south­ern wa­ters, in­clud­ing Yate­ley and Frim­ley. The 53-year-old has sev­eral iconic UK 40lb-plus carp to his credit, with his PB be­ing the fa­mous Heather the Leather at 47lb 12oz. Spon­sored also by the Carp Com­pany, Lewis’ favourite venues are Wellington Park and a Hert­ford­shire club lake.

The spring can be so hor­rif­i­cally sketchy can’t it! Well, cer­tainly in the early stages, we can get far too ex­cited about a bit of warmth in the sun and a few buds ap­pear­ing on the shrub­bery, and for­get that the wa­ter tem­per­a­ture is ac­tu­ally creep­ing up a lot slower than the bur­geon­ing bank­side growth can some­time sug­gest. Con­se­quently, I tend to err on the side of cau­tion when it comes to bait­ing and set­ting traps, liv­ing by the old an­gling say­ing: ‘Once you’ve put it in you can’t take it out.’ Lit­tle and of­ten has worked well for me in the past, trick­ling a cou­ple of eggs’ worth of bait in to an area when I’m pack­ing up in the morn­ing – just enough to keep fish that are vis­it­ing an area mooching and look­ing, but not enough to fill them up and have ex­cess ly­ing about for the birds to get fo­cused on.

The very last thing I want to do is over­feed an area and ef­fec­tively re­duce my chances of a pick up be­cause there is loads of bait build­ing up in the swims I’m fish­ing.

Now, I know the counter is that the carp are go­ing to have an ap­petite when the con­di­tions are spot on, so I use my grey mat­ter and carry a lit­tle bit more bait when the mer­cury is drop­ping and the warm, hu­mid air feels alive.

A lit­tle bit of bait ap­plied in var­i­ous key ar­eas around the lake makes the bait avail­able to ‘pre-aquatic weed growth’ no­madic carp pop­u­la­tions, and suits my ‘drop­ping into any­where I see fish’ mo­bile ap­proach.

I like to keep with a bait for the du­ra­tion, and if I know the carp in a lake eat it that’s what they’ll get for the rest of the year. Some wa­ters I fish the carp hap­pily ‘troff’ Carp Co. Ice Reds, whilst on oth­ers they pre­fer XTC or The Nut Mix. What­ever bait com­pa­nies fares you use, it doesn’t take long to work out what’s what if you find a sunny bush on the back of the wind that they visit reg­u­larly. Just don some Po­laroids and have a look, as this is re­ally crit­i­cal to con­sis­tent an­gling through­out the year...

In re­al­ity the spring is the per­fect time to start to es­tab­lish baits with a view to long term use. De­cent food baits do that – they work bet­ter the more they see. Even if we add a bit of juicy par­ti­cles or a smat­ter­ing of germs (mag­got) get­ting them feed­ing on ‘your boilie’ as early as you can is never go­ing to be detri­men­tal – so a few whole/crumbed/chopped baits will go out with what­ever I’m feed­ing and wher­ever I am fish­ing.

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CAPTIONS 1 - Frim­ley Pit 4’s Tatty Tail – a new lake record when caught in the spring a few years ago 2 - Lewis with a 43lb 12oz Wellington Coun­try Park mir­ror caught in April 3 - Lit­tle and of­ten, us­ing some­thing you have the ut­most con­fi­dence in 2

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