Monday, 18 June 2012
Free-lining for Carp
Do you ever get the feeling your fishing is getting to techy for its own good? Sometimes, with carp especially, you try so hard to trick them you end up outsmarting yourself in the process. Daft rig bits, changing baits, hair brained plans. Sometimes it's best to take it right back to basics- which is why I love free-lining. At least 50 years ago, that king of carp fishers Richard Walker wrote that "sometimes the best rig is no rig at all" - a philosophy that still rings true today. I love overgrown, wilder ponds especially for my summer carping. Places that crawl with weed and the carp can be observed in intimate detail. Today I watched carp tearing through the weed for food; carp shadowing one another through shady channels or just basking in the sun. Creedy Lakes' top pond is just such a spot- absolutely beautiful yet usually deserted because of the wilder banks and lack of specimen carp on tap. I couldn't care less. The carp here are dark gold creatures- wily and powerful. By adding small quantities of bait, mainly mashed bread and pieces of crust, into pockets in the weed I spent much of the day walking around quietly and just watching for activity. The real thorny issue was getting takes in such clear water- you will get more bites on fine 8lb line, but fearing a wrestling match with dense vegetation thrown into the bargain, I didn't dare go below 10lb straight through. Some carp were prepared to stoop down and pick off the bottom; others started sipping off the top. Slowly but surely the takes arrived. The best of two was this 12lb common carp- as lean and powerful as I've hooked in a while. The raw power of the first run was hair-raising stuff. Another reason to go really simple, with no floats or weights to get stuck in the weed. Leathery gold, ridiculously strong, what's not to love about a wiry common carp from a summer pond?