Anglers Paradise Summer 2010

Anglers Paradise, what more can be said that has not been already ? the only venue that has starred in match fishing programs, specimen carp programs and in a plethora of publications. The place is legendary, and as my wife wanted to go down to Cornwall to see The Eden Project, I thought I would combine a few days down there. The lake complex is located near Halwill Junction in Devon and your TomTom will direct you to the entrance gate.
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Nash Trax All terrain Evo – 1st look

Well new fishing locations need new kit and as I had just bought myself a car I was determined to get the one thing I had always wanted.. a barrow. Following some advice from some friends I decided to pop down to Harefield Tackle and found that it was only 5 mins drive from my house. When I got there I was med by friendly staff who not only showed me some new places to fish but also showed me their barrow range.  The shop stocks barrows by Chub, Nash and Daiwa  and after checking all of them I found that the new Nash Trax ALL Terrain Evo was just the ticket.

After getting it home and setting up all my gear on it I can say that it only just fits, I was considering the smaller one and am now really glad that I didn’t and opted for the largest one they do.
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The 6 essential knots for carp fishing

When  you 1st start fishing there are a multitude of knots that you have to learn, indeed when you 1st go out ( hopefully with someone who knows what they are doing) each piece of end tackle seems to require a different knot. Someone people who are “self taught” and seem to go through life with only a few knots using them whether they are appropriate or not. Once in Morrocco I witnessed a local fisherman using nothing more than a series of over hand knots to secure everything… no doubt he had plenty of stories about ” the one that got away”

Anyway I have compiled here a series of how to guides to each knot and a little explanation as to why you would use that particular knot, due to the numbers of images in each guide I have created each knot page as static page in the “Articles” section and each of the paragraphs below links to each of the knots.

Figure of 8 knot

Regular readers will recognise this knot as one that was the subject of its very own article. This knot is the jack of all trades, if you want a loop in almost anything from fluro carbon to soft braid and anything in between go for this one above all others. It forms a really strong loop that will not slipand one that the loop naturally lines up with the direction of tension. Click here to see how to tie the figure of 8 knot

Loop to loop

Any match man worth their salt will know this one as it is the normal way that you will join the pre tied hook links to your main line. When it an essential knot in carp fishing ? well if you use plastic or lead core leaders this knot is essential for linking the leader to your mainline. Some people scoff at linking this way and use a grinner knot however the loop to loop is (in my opinion) stronger than a grinner and can be disassembled without cutting your line. For example, I will often swap rigs and lead systems by preparing a new leadcore leader, lead, rig etc then when I wind in it is just a matter of removing the old system from the main line and replacing it with the new. Easy. Click here to see how to tie loop to loop  knot

Knotless knot

What can I say about this knot that has not been said before ? it is the basis of 99% of al of the carp rigs out there, it simultaneously combines a knot with a method of attaching and positioning the hair on the back of the hook. A word of caution, tie it properly as the instructions show as if you begin the whipping of the shank the wring way you will cause issues. Additionally if you are using this knot with flurocarbon check the knot regularly and do not reuse hook links between sessions ( especially if you have caught heavily). I have never lost a fish with a flurocarbon failure but I have spotted several dodgy knots before I cast out that failed with even moderate pressure.. you have been warned. Click here to see how to tie the knotless knot

Trilene knot

This is the knot that I use when ever I need to attach a line to a metal loop of some kind ie a swivel, a hook ( assuming I am not using the knotless knot) and is is also 100% reliable especially with coated braid as it does not slip. Basically it is a modified blood knot which I am sure that we all know from our youth however by passing the material through the eye twice and then passing the tag end through that loop the issue with slippage is removed. Good for all kinds of lines. Click here to see how to tie the trilene knot

Water knot

This knot initially looks very hard to tie and for years I dismissed it as being an oddity and only useful for mono to mono deployments. This is not the case however, I use it almost exclusively for mono to braid situations whether it is for joining a shock leader to my main line, joining a combi link together or attaching a length of  fluro to my braided mainline for zander fishing.  This knot does it all. A small tip, if you are attaching a shock leader bundle 90% of the leader together as otherwise you will spend your time threading 5m of leader throught the loops when you are tying it. Click here to see how to tie the 4 turn water knot

Stop / marker knot

This knot is an essential to any carp fisherman. Some people use tape to mark their line however as I have no idea what the chemicals in the adhesive of the tape will to to my mainline I will stay well clear. The knot is a very simple knot and can be used not only for marking distances on your line but also as an anchor point on a hook link for putty if you need. When you are tying be very careful that you don’t trap the main line. If you do you could weaken it and if you have just cast out 100 yards, that is 100 yards of line you will be putting in the bin. Click here to see how to tie the stop / marker  knot

In summary whilst there are far more knots out there that I have not covered here, if you can tie all of the above then you are well on your way to becoming a proficient fisherman.  Other knots might do some specialist tasks slightly more efficiently the ones above will cover almost every situation that you will ever experience and by the time you need one of those you are past this guide any way 🙂

Tell me what you think, either post a comment below or if you want to contact me more privately drop me a mail on the “Contact me” tab above. I’m listening !

The Big Carp Hunter, an inspiration for us all ?

Jake Langley Hobbs, his continuing  five year mission to seek out new carp and new carp waters, to boldly go where no carp fisherman has gone before.

It has been a while since I posted about another blog but I just wanted to post about The Big Carp Hunter buy Jake Langley Hobbs. What makes this blog different you say ? well it is a blog written almost entirely from the bank side about a man who is spending five years on the bank. I think that if he has not done so already he should put himself down on the Guinness book of records for the longest session ever. He posts one blog item per day unless he is travelling and covers the trials and tribulations of life on the road in Europe.

In the blog he covers he doesn’t just cover the fish he has caught but also the ramifications of fishing a 36 day blank. Lets just go over that again, he has a 36 day blank… some anglers don’t do 36 sessions per year and yet he still remains up beat after 36 days with no fish. I think it is also worth pointing out that unlike the rest of us ( well me) his European sessions are not to over stocked puddles but mainly to what could be considered to be an inland sea to most. Due to the stock densities it might take 30+ days before the carp can even be found and to keep you enthusiasm up after all that time with out a fish is admirable. Only last April I was a little depressed after spending 1 week with out a fish ( well loads of poisson chat). He also  has several posts going over the finer points of how to survive long term on the bank, to anyone who is considering fishing even one over night session it is essential reading.

Anyway head on over to and give it a read, the humor he injects and his upbeat attitude even in the face of massive adversity is heartening and a lesson to us all. The next time you are doing a session at your home water , 30 mins from home and it gets a little cold, have a thought for Jake on the bank through out the winter with only his laptop and his 2 dobermans for company.

Review – CCmoore Meteor

A wise man once said, “bait is unimportant compared to watercraft, any bait if palatable will be eaten *if* the carp can find it”. These words have been the foundation of my carp fishing, however that is not to say that quality bait does not matter, it does matter and matter a great deal. My philosophy behind bait choice is that the bait must possess one of two qualities,
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Amsterdamse Bos

Fished 24 Hrs on the Amsterdamse Bos on the weekend. Not a bad session fish wise considering it was my 1st night session on the water


Had a really bad experience with a bailiff this weekend, here is what happened

was fishing a new water that I had never night fished and it was only the 2nd time I had really fished it. There was one other angler ( that I heard from his bite alarms) about 250-350m further along the bank. The banks were very over grown with forest right up to the water. My swim was very tight to the water with only 1m between the entrance of my bivi and the butts of my rods with the back of my bivi against the tree line.

About 23:00 I saw car lights in the direction of the other angler which was strange as there are no roads on that side and I thought nothing of it. Suddenly I saw a car coming straight along the bank (note not on the path) with it headlights on. I thought that they were on full beam but it turned out that the car was an SUV and so they were just high. The car kept on coming (at speed) and eventually I had to run towards it waving my arms shouting as I was afraid that if he kept on driving he would run over my rods or my bivi, or indeed me.

The car stopped and a bloke got out, by this stage I thought that I was about to be robbed or that there were a load of drunken miscreants in the car intent on trouble. The man has a torch which he shines in my face. By this stage, to say I am a little concerned is an understatement. I am really worried that I am about to be attacked and I don’t do violence, you could say I am allergic to it.

I shouted “who are you” (in english my dutch had failed me) and he shouts back “controle” ie license check. Anyway turned out he was a park ranger checking licenses.

Whilst I am showing him my licenses he sees my shaking hands ( i am not embarrassed I was scared, I was alone a loooong way from help, a car had just driven up at speed and someone had just shone a torch in my face) and he had the audacity to say “you shouldn’t fish here at night if you are afraid of the dark”

What an idiot….. I know that the dutch have a strange sense of humor but he made no friends that night. I am not afraid of the dark. I am afraid of groups of blokes in cars and of being run over.

With that he then left driving his suv along another path 30 years behind me at an estimated 30-40 KPH ( it is a foot path), if he had met a dog walker….

oh well on only the 2nd time I have ever seen a bailiff in 4 years so I suppose I would be greatful that someone is checking licenses.

If you are a bailif and you are reading this, think before you approach people late at night. You might cause them a lot of stress as they have no idea who you are and will think the worse.

Successful session at Bosbaan

Just back from a successful session at the bosbaan, was meant to be a 2 day session but after catching 7 carp through the night topped by a 21lb mirror I decided to cut it short. For a weekend the baan was very quiet and even the rowers were strangely absent.

Anyway all fish were on CCmoore Meteor with a small stick of meteor and milkimin pellet complimenting the presentation,

baan-21trust me it did weigh 21, but sometimes it is the way you hold them 🙂

Nice Common at 24lbs

Went fishing with a mate from a while ago, Mark who is a Fox/ Mainline man to a super secret fishing spot in Holland. I didn’t know quite what to expect but I had been assured by mark that he had baited up and that he had put plenty of Mainline “pulse” down. Never having used Pulse at all I didn’t know what to expect ( I normally fish CCmoore meteor) but I was pleasantly surprised to small a rich spicy fishmeal bait with plenty of robin red.

session start

well after the start I was 1st off of the mark with a small chub, however this was a small one and the second one was nudging 5lbs, Mark had one that if we had weighed it I suspect it would have gone past the 7lb barrier which as I understand now is fairly good for chub. Continue reading “Nice Common at 24lbs”

Rigs, Simple or complex ?

A lot of thought goes into modern carp rig, some have little rings in them, some have slidey bits. All are intended to do one thing – catch carp. I have noticed in my years carp fishing ( for I have been doing this for a fair number of years) that rigs on the whole have become far more complex and I am not sure if it helps. I am certain that one of the greatest discoveries after the hair rig was the knotless knot and it is certain that it has put a lot more fish on the bank. However I am not certain if all of the other rig components that we buy really make a difference. ie

baiton rigThe above rig is just a simple SSBP pattern hook on 15lbs flurocarbon with a loop at the other end to attach to a quick link. Simple and effective.

I am sure that the really complex rig patterns that we see so have a use but to anyone considering ” what rig shall I use” you can’t go wrong with the above.