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Ade Kiddell- July 2019

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Ade Kiddell- July 2019

I have to be one of the most superstitious anglers out there, I believe that luck plays a huge part in fishing and if lady luck is going to help me then everything has to be in place. When I was match fishing I felt it unlucky to put my keep-net in the water before I caught a fish. I don't like my landing net being in the water unless I am landing a fish. When I fish 2 or 3 rods I will individually mark the rods so I know which is which and one will become the lucky rod. Many times over the years the “lucky rod” has been the one to catch the biggest or the most fish.

Lucky mascots I know play a big part in some anglers armoury, take for example Neil Spooner from Korda, part of the team that bring the series Monster Carp to our TVs, Neil always has his lucky monkey resting on top of his rods, does it make any difference, well in Neil's eyes I am sure it does.

I know plenty of anglers who like to take their dog fishing with them and in many cases feels it brings them luck. Years ago my wife had a Jack Russel that absolute loved going fishing, I have seen first hand this dog had a knack of knowing if you were going to get a bite and even to the extent of what rod would get the bite. The dog would be off running around and for no unexplained reason would come and sit behind a rod, which would more often than not produce a bite within a few minutes of the dogs attention. The worse thing was if the dog decided to go off and sleep somewhere as you could be pretty sure no bites would be forthcoming.

We don't have a dog but do have an aptly named cat called Lucky, if I am out in the garden fishing then you can be sure lucky will join me at some point, sitting close by or in my fishing bag or if I am out for an all night session she will curl up on the bed-chair with me. I am sure she brings me luck.

The last time I wrote the fishing had been slow with odd good days, bearing in mind we have had some unbelievable hot weather, including temperatures over 40C the fishing has been improving all the time. Plenty of multiple catches of barbel, with the river low and clear then certainly in daylight small baits have been the most effective and the stand out bait for me has been the Sonubaits Robin Red Pellets in 8 mm  with either 1 or 2 on the hair, these pellets have a much better flavour and oil content than any Robin Red baits I have used before. Using a Robin red based groundbait laced with a mixture of pellets of the same flavour as feed I am have had some nice bags of barbel and chub.

For me the River carp have not been kind so far this year, but I don't give in easy and the chance to spend a few days with an experienced local carp angler Dav, in pursuit of the rivers big carp couldn't be turned down. The local approach to the river is much different to how I had fished before, I rely on using spods and PVA bags to get feed into the swim and accurate casting to get the baited hooks on the spot. That's all well and good when fishing up to 100 yards or so, but we would be fishing distances closer to 200 yards so casting was impossible. An inflatable boat is an essential part of a European carp anglers tackle, equipped with an electric outboard and a fish finder. The boats are designed specifically for angling and along with a decent motor, battery and fish finder will be used to firstly find likely spots then to bait the area before finally introducing the baited rig onto the baited spot. I do get concerned when I see anglers regularly using boats without a life jacket, the modern instant inflation jackets are comfortable to wear and offer a life saving action should it be required, I certainly don't go out in my boat without mine.

Fish finders or to give them a better name feature finders are playing a bigger and bigger part in the modern specimen anglers armoury, the Deeper range for example offer the very latest technology, linking with smart phones and tablets or laptops allowing an angler to map the contours of a swim and find hidden underwater features that might never have been found with traditional marker float leading around. I know many anglers who hear the words fish finder and shudder at the thought but having initially being the same can now say I am a convert, Fish finding  is a bit hit and miss but for finding the contours, hidden features  etc they are brilliant.

Dav used his to find us 4 areas to bait and fish for the next couple of days, we introduced a particle mixture over a wide area to pull the fish in and then fed a mixture of broken and whole boilies in a tight area before lowering the baited rig over the free offerings. After lowering in the rig the rod is brought back to the bank by boat and placed in the pod. Once all the baits are out on the spot, as always with the carp it's a waiting game. The boat thou is on stand-by as often when a good fish is hooked the boat may have to be used to net the fish.

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We didn't have to wait long for action, with Dav landing a barbel over 10lb whilst I had 3 decent catfish up to 20lb that took a liking to our Code Red boilies. The carp didn't show over the 3 days we fished but I learnt a lot form Dav which has increased my confidence when targeting the carp on the river.

A busy few days meant i couldn't get out to put into practice some of Davs tactics for the carp, but when I finally did it paid off well with the first evening producing my best carp of the season so far, a mid twenties common. Early the next morning I suffered a hook pull at long distance from what felt like a huge fish, I needed to get out in the boat to get to the fish, but just wasn't quick enough.

I made up for the lost fish when just into darkness that evening a mirror of just short of 34lb took a liking to the boilies and shot off, fortunately it went away from the snags and into mid river, no need for the boat and safely in the net after a hard scrap under the rod tip. A cracker of a fish and just rewards for weeks of baiting up and looking for signs of feeding fish and a confidence boast from Dav. NEXt step that forty I have been after!
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