Using your loaf for carp (Entry 1)

With some heavy rain predicted for the afternoon I decided that todays session would be a quick morning one, starting early and finishing by mid morning. My chosen location, a tranquil estate lake about an acre in size. One of its inhabitants, the powerful carp, would be tackled using one of the best, if perhaps not the most fashionable of methods and baits. I’m talking of course about surface fishing with bread.

I arrived at the swim above at 5:30am and whilst setting up my avon rod with a suitable controller and hooklength, I began to trickle in thumbnail sized pieces of crust, feeding them to the right of the picture and allowing the gentle breeze to drift them slowly to the left. I have circled the area in the swim where fish eventually started to show. It didn’t take long and by the time I had set up my rig, the fish were feeding relatively confidently.

Second cast of the day resulted in the first take which I duly missed. It’s all part of floater fishing I guess, its certainly one of the most exciting forms of fishing, being able to see a fish approach and take your bait is great, but with this comes a unique frustration when things dont quite go to plan. A few more free offerings were fed and the fish soon started to feed confidently again.

The very next cast produced the first fish which is pictured above. It weighed 8lb bang on the nose but the fish in this lake sure know how to fight and on a light avon set up they are tremendously enjoyable.

Things obviously go a little quiet after all the commotion of a take so a little patience is needed. I usually hook up my rig, put the rod down, and pour out a cup of something warm. I then begin to feed the swim in the same manner as when I start the session with the only exception being I feed less pieces of crust. And I don’t rush, I’d much rather feed for 30 minutes and get the fish confident again, than risk casting too early and ultimately spooking the fish. This patience paid off once again as 30 minutes later I was landing my second carp, nearly identical to the first, a mirror at 8lb 3oz. I didn’t take a photo of this fish as it had clearly just spawned and looked a little worse for wear, as they often do at this time of year, so I quickly returned the fish and started my patient ritual, hook up rig, pour warm drink, feed the swim.

It was a little longer this time before the fish were confident enough for me to cast but in amongst the dark shapes of the mirror carp I could easily see a similar sized ghost carp happily feasting on the crusts I was supplying. By a stroke of luck this was the fish that ended up taking my bait and was a colourful change from the mirror carp. It also fought strongly as ghost carp often do. Why they fight harder, I do not know, but I really enjoy catching them. They are truly beautiful fish and even in fairly coloured water take on beautiful metallic hues. The fish turned out to be a little smaller than the others at 7lb 7oz.

This proved to be the final fish for this session as I made a quick exit as a storm blew in from the horizon and I didn’t want it to dampen an otherwise thoroughly enjoyable session. Carp everywhere love bread. Its cheap and convenient. And most importantly, if used correctly, can be devastating.

Until next time,



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