Attending an event and then writing about it afterwards feels like a very ‘blogger’ thing to do, unfortunately I had to buy a ticket like everybody else and didn’t receive a guest invite so my stature as a carp fishing blogger clearly needs some work! One day eh, one day…
When I read on Simon Crow’s Twitter feed about the Erics Angling Carp Night in Doncaster I just had to get a ticket. Crowy is one of my Northern carping heroes, I’d never met him in person and he was launching his new book which I’ve been reading the odd tweet about over the last few months. To top it off Rob Hughes was doing a talk on the findings from his diving sessions on carp waters around the UK. I read his articles in Carpology but to see him talk live would be awesome. The night seemed to come around fairly quickly after booking the tickets and before we knew it we were driving down the M1. We set off at 6pm which was the earliest time possible because of work, the doors opened at 6 but I’d Tweeted Simon earlier in the day and he said that the talks would start around 7:30pm so I was happy that we wouldn’t miss any of it.
The first thing I noticed when we arrived was how busy it was, absolutely packed! We got a raffle ticket on the way in which we exchanged for our entry tickets. After a drink and a quick walk around we took our seats and waited for the first talk – Crowy’s. Northern carping just doesn’t seem to get the coverage in the monthly mags that the Southern scene gets so anything that is specifically about the Northern scene interests me greatly.
Being a member of Hull & District Anglers Association I was particularly interested in the slides on Tilery and Motorway. Although I don’t fish them because of my love of Brandesburton 3&4, I plan to give them a go eventually once I’ve cracked Brandes (which could be some time…) I loved Simon’s description of Tilery “a real man’s water”, I understood what he meant when he said that it can be a 45 minute walk to your peg lugging all the gear – ouch! He covered 6 or 7 venues, some in Yorkshire, some in North Lincolnshire and we got to see some stunning carp along the way. All the venues he covered were open access, either syndicate or club waters. One which I’d love to join one day is Tyram Hall although I think I’d probably struggle to get value out of it with the limited time I have available to fish.
At the beginning of the talk Crowy said that the talk wouldn’t be a technical one and there was only one picture of a rig in the whole presentation which was actually quite refreshing! He keeps it simple which was something that was hammered home in Dan’s story of the Les Genets lake record; he caught the 59lb 9oz monster on a standard knotless knot and some maize on the hair. One thing that stood out throughout the talk was that actually there are some lovely looking carp in Yorkshire and some big ones at that, also that if anyone can catch them Crowy can! After the talk finished I bought a copy of his new book which he kindly signed, it looks like a great read and there’s even a section in there about the Brandesburton ponds – bonus!
In the last few days, Carp Talk have uploaded Simon’s talk to their YouTube channel, enjoy.
Up next was Rob Hughes and his underwater slides. He interacted well with the crowd and asked a few questions which got everyone thinking. There were some real gems in the presentation. Did you know that red boilies actually look grey in deeper water or that the realtree camo outfit you bought in certain light conditions make you stand out like a sore thumb? No I didn’t either! One key takeaway for me was the colour of silt; I have to confess that I use black leads, clips and tubing when fishing over silt but Rob said that the colour of silt will vary depending on what the colour of the local stone. There are two layers of silt and it’s the bottom layer that is black, the top layer will be the colour of the local stone. In some regions this stone can be almost yellow, couple this with the fact that during the day the water takes on a light green tinge and with added weed, that bright yellow pineapple popup you’re using might not be as visible as you think…
After Rob’s talk was the raffle draw. I only had one ticket which I was given when I first went in. Erics Angling were giving away 20 winter tickets to their Willows lake, a water I’ve read a lot about but never got round to fishing. Anyway, guess what – I won one! Ticket 207, lovely stuff. A couple of days later I received a call from Tom at Erics and I booked my first session on the lake which is in the next couple of weeks. With winter truly in force I felt I needed to upgrade my Trakker Big Snooze for something a little bit warmer so as we speak I’m awaiting delivery of a Fox Ventec All Season bag.
So, the Willows – big, muddy, weedy, spotty but full of monster carp. I don’t think I have much chance at having the big un’ (58lb!) or even one of the 13 x 40lb’ers but I’m not bothered, a single 20 will do me just fine and I’ll see that as success. It will certainly be a learning curve and I’m looking forward to getting stuck in.
Until next time, tight lines…