Mag and Waging the margins

I’ve recently rediscovered the joy of fishing a little rod with a little float in the margins, its a very different cup of tea to launching out a pva bag with a big old broomstick of a rod. Watching a float bob under is perhaps one of fishing’s biggest clichés but it really is jolly good fun.

I recently fished a session at Trinant Fishery which is usually quiet and the fishing is usually excellent, the tactics were simple mag and wag and I enjoyed a really nice mixed bag throughout the day. The bites were instant throughout the morning with a few good roach bagged. I slowly upped the baitsize and with it the stamp of fish increased. See results below: as usual a top day fishing at Trinant.

A Carp Fishing Quest – Jack Greener

For all you carpers out there, my old partner in crime Jack Greener is on a quest for a 30lber, top notch production values from the offset ……. is Dorset Carper the next big carp blog?

 

Roach Rumbo Jumbo

As the name implies, errr kind of implies, this post is a report of my recent attempts trying to catch some roach, a pursuit in which I have always enjoyed very limited success. With this in mind I set my sights on a real “bagging up” water, Tri-nant Fishery’s mixed lake really fitted the bill. Fishing at Tri-nant Fishery in Llantrisant is always a real pleasure, last time me and Ben enjoyed a good short session on the carp lake. The lakes are situated amongst some lovely fields and best of all its right next door to a pub!

So onto my session, i really fancied fishing a float, it is so soooo much more intriguing watching a float drift and bob on the waves instead of waiting for a feeder tip to pull round or even worse waiting for a ghastly electronic bite alarm to beep beep beep. Many fisherman have said it before me and many will say it after but there is something magical about a float dipping below the surface.

Of course, floats do have their downsides, you have to use abit more watercraft, plumbing the depth is essential and a stiff breeze can cause some serious presentation issues. You could probably write a book on shotting patterns but this is something i am sure would make tiresome reading (even more than usual), as I consider myself far from an authority on the subject I suggest finding aforementioned book and reading it cover to cover.

So finally onto my session, I initially fished the island margins at about 15 foot range but I really struggled, the wind was blowing back towards me and pulling the float out of position. Casting closer to the island resulted in a lost float and getting snapped off in a few submerged snags. I did eventually hook into a fish or two but all these takes resulted in me getting smashed up trying to bully fish away from the snags.

I eventually wised up and moved to the margin to my right; fishing under the rod tip. I had been trickling in freebies to my back up area whilst fishing the island, and it seems fish had been attracted to these offerings as i was instanlty having a few enquiries relayed to me by a wibbly wobbly float after a minute or so the float tanked under and i had a fish on. After playing the fish for a minutes or so I was convinced it was an eel. mainlybecause of the unusual fight of the fish, on my light 4lb gear it was a proper battle, and I didnt see the fish until about 10 minutes into the fight. After about 20 minutes a beautiful mirror was sliding over the rim of my net. A cracking fish on the light stuff!

I was interchanging between some krill soft hookers and single sweetcorn on the hook fished over a bed of mixed pellet and some sonubaits groundbait. I did change hook size a few times to match different baits but I eventually settled on a size 14 guru waggler hook. Combined with my little Drennan reel on my avon style quiver I eventually homed in a decent set up, and I started to connect with some good fish. The trouble was they were all carp full of spawn and the biggest was easily into double figures. Unfortunately, The closest I got to a roach, was a beautiful little rudd which was a new pb, as I can’t recall ever catching one.

It seems this trip, will fall amongst my pile of failed roach trips but I must say it has definitely been one of my  one of the finest failed trips I’ve ever been on.

Cold Weather Coarse Fishing

These days if I’m lucky enough to get a fishing session authorised by the other half, I really want to have the best chance of catching. This means I need to find somewhere that is fishable and I have confidence tht at least some kind of fish are present. This normally means a few hours of scouring through forums and the Enviroment Agencys website checking river levels, which are inevitably unfishable every time I have a session planned. If anybody out there is a domesticated father, like myself, with responsibilities limiting your fishing time follow this strategy.

With flashbacks of nearly drowning fresh in my mind during my recent outings on the River Taff. The descision to avoid running water was easily made because of reports of high water levels at all my local fishing spots. The low water temperatures also crossed a lot of still waters off the list of proposed hunting grounds. Eventually, me and my fishing companion for the day Jack, decided to fish Cefn Mably Lakes close to Cardiff. I have fished the complex once before on Horsehoe Pond and somewhat uncharacteristically I really bagged up as well.

I really wanted to fish the float during this trip, I was even armed with a couple of pints of maggots, but the wind and low temperature lead to a really so start so I copped out a set up a simple method rig, as modelled by Jack below. As usual the key is to hit the same spot time and time again, although when it is cold you do not need to recast any near as frequently as a warm summers day. On the day though, I was chucking bombs all over the place, it seems that the media stereotype is true and now that I have a child, I have become the spasticated dad that can’t complete menial tasks like casting a method bomb at least within a few feet of where it has just been retreived from. Despite my casting inaccuracies I did manage to bag up a few nice bream but all the carp where had by Jack who had built his swim much more effectively throughout the day and really cashed in as the sun set.

Tri-Nant Fishery

Unknown to most the Royal Mint where all coins are crafted nestles in the South Wales Valleys, a stark juxapose between the rich and the poor. Perhaps, the Royal Mint was set in the Welsh hillside to create jobs and industry after the decline of the pits. Perhaps it was a good ol’ fashioned “Fuck You!” from England to Wales, both of these options appeal to me as a well natured southerner.

The untold wealth of the English and the miserable existence of the Welsh was not the only set of opposites in the valleys last week for there was also a show down between perhaps the finest coarse fisherman and the worst. Jack v Ben round II.

We fished at Tri-Nant Fishery just north of llantrisant, a small complex which was empty on the day. We fished the carp only lake, both opting for different methods. As any true sportmans will tell you the nature of the pursuit amounts to much more than the weight of the bag. Hence, I loaded my rod with a subtly balanced float rig, the thinking mans approach.

Of course, Ben opted for the all together less rounded, knuckle dragging method feeder. The easy way out, if anything. Below are the results, Ben had biggest bag and biggest fish….. but he basically cheated.

Cefn Mably Method Feeder Madness

Cefn Mably is perhaps one of the most established fisheries in South Wales, a complex consisting of 8 lakes with the needs of the specimen hunter and the humble tiddler basher a like; it should also be noted that the on site tackle shop is simply to die for. Situated just off the M4 between Cardiff and Newport, location ain’t too bad either.

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On the day I fancied a mix bag and I had been drooling ovler the Horseshoe lake online for the week leading up to my little excursion. Home to some enormous perch, carp to just under 10lb, the odd barbel and match man’s favourite the slab. The lake itself is very nice indeed as I strolled along it’s banks I pondered which tactic I should employ. There was plenty of marginal activity and I am sure classic float fishing tactics would coax more than a few of our finned friends bank side. Whilst unpacking my trusty old Wilson barbel rod I couldn’t help but notice the gentle stirring of water around the lilies in the centre of the lakes. At around 5 metres range, with a bit of a breeze blowing across the water, I decided that some classic method feeder tactics might be more appropriate.

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One thing that has really improved my catch rate in the last few months when fishing these packed commercials is my rediscovery of the line clip. To really maximise your catch I really would suggest giving it a go. One thing to consider before deciding whether to clip up or not is that it can be slightly risky when not fishing tight to an island. If you are fishing open water there is every chance that the fish will pick your bait up then try to get away in the exact opposite direction of you. In this situation you have no shock absorbency from the rod, if you are a sporting gentleman then your suitably light line, matched to your quarry will be no match for an angry lump of a carp. In the perfect situation, an island will provide the perfect barrier to force the fish to scamper in a direction which will not overload the line directly.

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So the clipping up process, stage 1 is to have a “lead about” with an unarmed i.e. hook-less rig which could be just your feeder held on by swivel but without your hook link attached. Once you have found your range and a good spot which you have ascertained to be the underwater equivalent of a carp dining table, introduce a few feeders worth of bait to the swim, then lock and load a baited hook and recast and you have my virtual word that your bait will be all wrapped up in a neat little package sat atop a pile of freebies. Just be careful when a powerful fish takes they can give your rod a really good tug hehe.

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Bait wise you can’t go far wrong with any of the usual suspects, on these venues I personally think that the humble Robin Red pellet takes some beating. For my feeder mix I tend to go for a mix of Dynamite Bait 2mm Halibut Pellets, some cooorrrn, the cooooorrrrn juice and of course ol’ faithful Marine Halibut ground bait. Season to touch with some lake water. You want a mix which squeezes together into a nice ball but doesn’t sludge up and will easily crumble if rolled in your hand. I try to go as dry as possible, the best indicator that you need more water is when upon the cast the feeder flies for miles and launches a cloud of ground bait high into the air which will then gently patter back down on you and your friends head. Or in my case just my head. Solo.

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Anyway to prove that sometimes I kind of know what I am doing here’s the fish in a handy little gallery. Click through for some surprisingly feisty carp, a great fight on 4lb line. Tidy!

 

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