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Subcategories from this category: Catch Report

Posted by on in Angling
One of my absolute pet hates when I'm fishing is when I see people mishandling carp, whether that be by mistake or because they just can't be bothered to treat the fish with respect. I know that the non-fisher folk will argue that if you respect and love the carp then why do you haul it out with a hook in its mouth? I've got to be honest, I don't really have a valid answer to that question, they are quite right really, I don't suppose it's very nice for a fish to firstly have a hook in its mouth, then to be hauled out of the water and plonked on the bank. I don't suppose us humans would like it very much if we were suddenly dragged into the lake by the mouth. However, we are fishermen and that's just part of the hobby that isn't so nice and we hope that the fish doesn't suffer too much.
Serious carp anglers will take as much care as possible to make sure that the carp doesn't suffer any more than it needs to you once it's in the net. If you are not going to weigh or photograph your fish then if it's possible unhooked the fish while it's still in the landing net and release it immediately by turning the net inside out and letting the fish swim out by itself. If you need to take the fish out of the water then you must be in possession of a . Most carp fisheries have strict rules which nearly always includes using an unhooking mat if you are going to remove the fish from the water. If you are fishing for fairly small carp then you can place the carp back in the landing net to return it to the water. Alternatively, you can get unhooking mats that also act as a sling. Basically this means you can place the carp on the mat to protect their whilst unhooking, then wrap it up safely and place in the water for release, then is absolutely no chance you will drop it on the bank. These type of unhooking mats also enable you to weigh the fish safely.
If you want to weigh the fish then get yourself a good quality pair of . Before you remove the fish from the water then make sure the scales are zeroed and ready to go. There's nothing more frustrating than seeing people take the fish out of the water, leave the poor fish flapping around on the unhooking mat while they mess around setting their scales up. You can leave the fish in the landing net whilst you weigh it if you want, that's probably the easiest and safest way to weigh small to medium-size carp. I normally remove the handle and weigh the fish whilst it still in the landing net. You can either zero the scales with the net hanging off them, or you can simply weigh the net and then deduct its weight off the final reading. A word of warning, if the fish is too heavy and you weigh it in the landing net, you may buckle the frame of the net. That's why it's a good idea to have a for larger fish. 
Carp can live for a very long time. They are also very expensive to replace so it makes sense to do your best to look after the carp that you catch. You can now get that is used to treat wounds and lesions that carp often pick up. It's also a good idea to put a little bit of medication in the area that the hook penetrated. Hopefully by treating the fish like this it will avoid picking up any infections in the wounds. You'll find that carp can injure themselves during spawning time, so in the spring and early summer I would strongly advise carp anglers to keep a bottle of in their tackle box just in case you do catch a carp that needs treatment.
One of my biggest gripes is anglers who use keep nets for no apparent reason. I've seen it so many times, anglers who have fished for 10 hours and have 30 or 40 carp all cooped up in the keep net. Then all they do is tip them back into the water. I might understand a little more if they at least took a photograph of them, but just to keep them all crammed in the keep net during summertime when it's warm to them just tip them all back into the water makes no sense to me at all.
I don't think it's asking too much for anglers to take a little bit of care when they catch a carp. Put it back carefully, don't throw it back in, that's not going to do the carp any good whatsoever. By all means take it out of the water, take a photograph, weigh the fish, but just be aware that you are dealing with a very precious creature that is basically there for your enjoyment. If we do our absolute best to look after these incredible fish then they will continue to help us enjoy our hobby for many years to come.
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Posted by on in Angling
If you like using boilies for bait then there's one little piece of equipment I would highly recommend. It's called theC and as the name suggests it's used to mince our baits with just a few twists of your wrist. If boilies are a favoured bait then you will probably be used to chucking out loads of boilies around your hook bait. A Boilie in its finished form has a fairly tough outer layer. However, once you break through the outer layer you are then releasing all those enticing smells that the carp love. Using the to literally break apart the boilies will ensure that all those lovely flavours seep into the water. I think it's worth mentioning that the Korda crusher will mint stop just about anything you want to use for bait, meats, pellets, you name it.
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Posted by on in Angling
If like me you don't make your own rigs then you can't go wrong with these ready-made rigs. Whoever makes them can't be making much out of them, by the time you for the hooks, the braid and the spikes and then put however long it takes into making them, there must be a few pence left over for your profit. And then they provide them with free postage, you really can't get anything cheaper anywhere else in my opinion.
You can buy on eBay for a really reasonable price, have done before and I really love using them. The bait spike is simplicity in itself and it means that you can use it with large or small boilies, you don't have to worry about how long the hair is.


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Posted by on in Angling
Hemp seed is an absolutely brilliant loose feed bait for carp, they absolutely love it. I always imagine carp looking upon hemp as small snails that they love crunching up. I've been using the for many years now. It comes in tins or larger plastic containers. Hemp works great straight out of the tin, however by adding a few little extra ingredients you can make it work even better. You can buy a which carp absolutely love. Alternatively if you don't want all the hassle of mixing it yourself, you can buy already prepared in packets. Whichever you use, I promise you that the carp will be mooching around in your swim not long after you put some in.
If you're fishing at distance then the only reliable way of getting hemp out to where your hook bait is is to use a spod, I wouldn't bother trying to use a catapult with hemp, it will just spray everywhere and you're just waste it. You could use a PVA bag, just make sure you choose one that doesn't dissolve too quickly, also you probably won't be able to use a very wet mixture if you're using a PVA system.
You can also mix lots of other goodies with hemp. I particularly like a mixture of hemp sweetcorn and various sized pellets. Remember you want to keep the carp in your swim so give them a reason to stay.
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Posted by on in Angling
Maggots are fabulous as a bait for fish. I started off using maggots nearly 40 years ago, but back then I was catching small roach and perch. However, even though maggots are quite small, they are still a very good carp bait.
If you are a match angler then you will be used to hooking one single maggot onto a very small hook. However when you are fishing for slightly bigger carp then we tend to use more than one maggot on the hook. I prefer the no-nonsense approach of hooking maggots, take a size 12 or 10 hook and cram as many maggots onto it as you possibly can. In the more techy age of carp fishing people are now using hair rigs more and more when using maggots as a hook bait. One may ask how the hell you put maggots on a hair rig? People started off by using a small piece of wire that they threaded the maggots onto and then added that to the hair. Korda have actually come up with a purpose made that you incorporate into our rig. Then it's just a case of threading the maggots onto the clip and you have your maggots perfectly mounted on a hair rig. I've seen people use dead maggots as hook bait, what they do is they thread them onto the hook, in a similar way you would a worm.
I don't tend to use maggots as hook bait much myself, I prefer to use them as loose feed. The problem with lots of commercial waters is they contain lots and lots of small silver fish which also love maggots. The only slight problem I found of using live maggots is they wiggle. You know what happens if you put some maggots on the ground, that gone in no time at all. The same thing happens if you chuck maggots into the water, if there's any silt or pebbles then the maggots will just crawl into the little crevices, or under the salt. If I using maggots as a loose feed that I want the fish to be able to find them properly. So the easiest way to assure this happens is to use dead maggots.
Killing maggots isn't quite as complicated or gruesome as one may imagine. The easiest way to kill them is to actually deprive them of oxygen. Get yourself one of those freezer bags, the ones that are a sealable. Put your maggots in to the bag and then squeeze all the air out and seal the bag firmly. Eventually the maggots will stop wriggling. There is a chance maggots will come back to life once you take them out of the bag. Some people freeze the maggots which will kill them outright.
Now when you sprinkle maggots into your swim they will stay there for the fish to find, instead of disappearing. A lot of people like to use red maggots as the colour red seems to attract fish. If you can't buy red maggots then the easiest thing to do is use a and colour the maggots yourself. Another way in which you can add attractant to your maggots which makes them even more appealing to the carp is to add chopped worm. Any garden worm is good, but if you can get hold of big juicy lob worm than that's what I would probably go for. You can use a knife to chop the worms up, alternatively some fishing manufacturers make special that have several blades incorporated that make it easy to chop the worms up into segments.
Maggots are particularly good in the colder months of the year. A lot of people stop fishing in the colder months so the carp are not getting their normal fill of pellets, boilies, bread etc. The carp then resort to looking for natural foods which they will root around in the soil. I believe that maggots are probably the next best thing to larvae and other little critters that they may come across.
Catapulting maggots is quite difficult, as you though they will probably only go so far. There are several products on the market that enable you to basically buying the maggots and make them stick together. One such product is called and is basically a white 
powder that you sprinkle onto dry maggots. After a few minutes you will find that you can gently squeeze the maggots into a ball which can then be thrown a fair distance.
If you have your own method of using maggots for carp then please leave a comment below
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