2015: Year of the Carp

I can’t believe it’s been three months since my last blog post, where does time go? I haven’t really fished much over the winter, probably 5 or 6 hours in total at my local lake – unfortunately I don’t have any pictures of carp to share as a result! I have though received my night pass for Brandesburton 3&4 which I’m really pleased about, I love the place and being able to do longer sessions should really help me to start unlocking the secrets of the water. You may recall a blog post from last summer about my first ever carp at Brandesburton 3&4, I’ve only fished there once since so I can’t wait to get stuck into the place.

The only fish I’ve ever caught from Brandesburton 3&4 – now I have a night permit though will this be my year?
The only fish I’ve ever caught from Brandesburton 3&4 – now I have a night permit though will this be my year?

As well as fishing BB3&4 I also plan to have a few more sessions at Raker Lakes. The booking system is a bit of a pain but it really is a lovely place to spend a session chasing big fish. I want a 20lb carp this year and I think Raker is my best chance of that. I’d love for my first 20 to be captured at BB3&4 but I also need to be realistic with the time I have available so I won’t be too disappointed if it’s from Raker. I do have other targets and goals for 2015 and I thought I’d share them with you in this post. Some are quite obvious ie ‘catch a xxlb carp’ but some are a little different, see what you think.

  1. Beat my PB of 14lb 6oz – from Brandesburton (update – DONE! Read about it here)
  2. Catch a 20lb fish from Raker Lakes
  3. Catch a fish on my home rolled boilies
  4. Catch a carp on the fly (I fly fish for trout and grayling so in theory should be quite straightforward)
  5. Streamline my gear so that I can be more mobile in my approach – I want to feel like I’m on fish all the time

Now you might laugh and be surprised at my mid double PB but remember that I get to actually fish only a handful of times a year and I haven’t been doing it for long – I’ve been fishing since September 2010 but only last year did I start to carp fish properly. Don’t worry though, come the end of 2015 and I’ll have smashed all my targets and will have a more impressive PB to quote, hopefully!!

Back to Brandesburton, I recently went for a walk around to see how they’re doing with the otter fence that’s being built. It looks like a lot of trees have had to be cut right back to get the fence in and the place looks very bare because of it. It’s such a lovely lake normally so I’m hoping that it will start to grow back soon. I’ve included some pictures below, unfortunately I don’t have any ‘before’ shots but when you were stood in one of these pegs you couldn’t see any of the other pegs. Now you can see all 4 of them. The trees did need a bit of trim as casting was quite difficult in a couple of the pegs and I know that room had to be made for the fence but the place does look much less scenic now.

The fieldside pegs, much more exposed now than before – let’s hope for a quick recovery.
The fieldside pegs, much more exposed now than before – let’s hope for a quick recovery.

DIY Boilies

You’ll have seen that one of my targets for this year is to catch a fish on my home made boilies. I’m a bit particular when it comes to boilies and I can only get anywhere near to what I’m looking for with a combination of Sticky’s Krill range and the Nash Crab & Krill. When I say ‘what I want’ I mean 12mm baits, 12mm popups with matching and coloured versions, 10mm baits and 10mm popups. I like small baits and not many bait firms offer both 12mm and 10mm boilies. SO, the only option really is to roll my own. After some research I’ve decided to use the DNA Baits DIY packs which come with base mix and liquid food. With only eggs to add even I should be able to produce something half decent. I haven’t decided which boilie my bait will be based on but the current front runner is the SLK. Here is what I plan to roll:

  • 12mm natural coloured baits
  • 12mm red coloured baits
  • 10mm natural coloured baits
  • 10mm red coloured baits
  • 12mm natural coloured popups
  • 10mm natural coloured popups
  • 12mm red coloured popups
  • 10mm red coloured popups
  • 12mm coloured popups – white, pink, yellow
  • 12mm natural coloured wafters
  • 12mm red wafters

I need to buy some equipment to get going with this so the cost of the bait for my first season is quite high. Here’s how it breaks down:

boilie making1

To buy 10kg boilies rolled for me and 9 tubs of hook baits would cost around £140 so it will cost me around 50% extra but from the second season onwards I’ll only have to buy the DIY kit as I’ll probably have popups and wafters left from season one.

If you have any boilie making tips for me please let me know via the comments, I’ve never done it before so need all the help I can get!

Anyway that’s it for this post, a bit of an insight into what I’ll be doing in 2015. As always I’ll do my best to keep you updated on progress and come the end of the year I’ll do a post on achievements vs targets to see how successful I was.

Until next time, tight lines…