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Ade Kiddell - April Blog

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Ade Kiddell - April Blog

Seems like we haven't had a spring this year; one day it was cold and blustery, the trees were bare, and only the odd early spring flower was making an appearance, the next it seemed like summer had arrived, the trees were in full leaf and the temperature was in the twenties. This week alone we have had daytime temperatures as low as 12 and as high as 28 degrees. As anglers I think we use the weather as our number one excuse!

When I last wrote, the first carp of the year had been caught, much earlier than last year, which was great news, and with that in mind I put my carp head on and fed some likely spots with a few boilies and particles. I kept up the feeding for a few days and at the first opportunity got the rods out on the baited spot. I had been sent a few tubs of the New Sonubaits Chocolate Orange Wafters, so along with a couple of rods on my favourite Code Red I decided to give the wafters a try. I tend to use PVA funnel web bags rather than free bait to introduce baits when actually fishing; I like the accuracy it gives, having a nice pile of bait with my hookbait bang in the middle. In each bag I used a mix of chopped and whole boilies and Code Red pellets

Within an hour of casting, the wafter rod gave a tentative double peep then an all out single toner, a good fish hooked on the strike, and after a disappointing fight a lovely common lay in the net, not huge at just short of 20lb, but very rewarding and confidence building, my first carp of the year.

Next afternoon, and back on the same spot, this time a much better fish again took the wafter, a mid twenties mirror gave a tougher scrap, and jogged my memory of why I love river carp fishing. Not twenty minutes later and a swift reminder of why river carp fishing is often frustrating, as a well hooked but unseen monster tucked me up good and proper before cutting my 20lb mainline like a knife. River carp fishing can be very frustrating, hours spent locating fish, time and money spent baiting up and then the scrap can be unbelievable, only to end in failure as the carp cuts heavy line with a single flick of its tail.

A few days baiting up but too busy to fish, and with the weather looking good, I spotted signs of feeding fish over one of my baited areas; frustrated I couldn't fish but knew they would be there for a free meal they couldn't resist.

In the meantime I had my son over with his family, and my grandson Sam was keen to fish with me, so out went a rod for the small fish with a heavier rod out in search of a barbel. The little fish weren't playing ball, but, just as Sam was getting fed up, the barbel rod leapt into life, and Sam was soon helping grandad with a decent barbel. A bit too much for him on his own, but team effort and we had a nice barbel to show for it. Later on we had a better fish, and with plenty of help from Sam, a nice photo for the album. The barbel here this year have packed on the weight and look in superb condition.

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Part of what I love about fishing is nature and the flora and fauna we as anglers see, that many people never get the chance to encounter. Over here in France we have a healthy beaver population and often if I am out late or early I can spot them on the river; it's easy to spot where they have chewed trees, and their paths to and from the main river. I took Sam on a beaver hunt one afternoon, and we found lots of evidence of activity but sadly for Sam we didn't see any beavers.

Back to the carp, and at the first chance the baits were out again, and within an hour a decent fish picked up the Chocolate Orange Wafter. This time there was no mistaking; it was a better fish, and a real brute of a scrap of 20 minutes before I slipped the net under a high 20 common. The simple reason these fish are so rewarding, from the adrenalin rush of the alarm screaming to slipping the net after 20 arm aching minutes – bang, success! Only for it all to come undone again within half an hour, as a well hooked fish somehow shed the hook and made the score Ade 3 Carp 2, with the wafters accounting for every hooked fish!

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Last week we were away ourselves, on holiday in Normandy; what a stunning area and also a great area for world history; with the D. Day beaches and all the various monuments and museums, we had a great few days away. An eventful trip back, with the starter motor failing and exhaust falling off of the camper van, meant we were glad to get home.

Since we have been back the weather has turned cooler again and with an expected high of only 12 degrees today, I think I better get some free offerings out for the carp and see if I can get them feeding again. Don't forget those Chocolate Orange wafters they have certainly worked well out here.

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