Claire Corlett

Fish Food, Fish Tanks, and More
Korda Masterclass Vol 7: Spring Carp Fishing | Tom Dove

Korda Masterclass Vol 7: Spring Carp Fishing | Tom Dove

This time of year,
everything changes on a sixpence. The weather can change very quickly and that means
their habits change as well. That is an absolute brute of a fish, caught on a single white pop-up
on a Spinner Rig cast to showing fish. Beautiful. My biggest fish out of here so far. In here there’s possibly
eight fish over 40lbs. Well, that is the strangest bite
I’ve ever had. This is a big old fish, this. Spring fishing for me is actually
the best time of year to go. The fish have had the whole winter,
they’ve done nothing, they’ve eaten nothing, they’ve warmed
up a little bit in the sun now. They’re cruising around
trying to look for some food and there’s lots of opportunities
in the spring to catch carp. I’ve heard about this lake
for quite a few years now. A couple of my mates have fished it and the fish have just got bigger
and bigger in here. There’s possibly eight fish over 40lbs,
which is just astronomical, really, when you look at the size of the lake. It’s beautifully clear. You can catch
them on lots of different methods and it seemed the perfect place
to spend my spring. This time of year, the depth of water
you’re fishing in is paramount. You can imagine all winter, it’s been
freezing cold, they’re cold-blooded. They’ve been sitting in the depths
of the winter, freezing cold, then all of a sudden
there’s a lovely bit of sun and it’s warming up them real shallows
on the island. It’s warming up
that top third of the water. So that is
exactly where they’re going to be. Don’t fish in like 19,
20, 25 foot of water when you can fish
in three or four foot, right next to an island
where it’s lovely and warm. I got here this morning
and the first thing to do is have a little wander
around the lake. Three or four swims that were free
didn’t have any carp in and one did
and that’s the one that I chose. I had a scoot up the tree, seen
some fish very close to the surface and some fish fizzing underneath
an overhanging tree on the island. So it seemed a perfect place to start. I’m not too worried
about putting bait out at the moment. Spring fishing is opportunist angling. The fish are swimming around, they’re
not massively into bait at the moment. They’re going to eat
a small amount of bait on the fly. So I’m fishing single yellows, zigs or
even a pop-up with 10 baits around it. That’s literally all you need
in the spring. If you start catching, you can put
a little bit more bait out, but really, the most important thing
is you’re in the right spot with a high attract hookbait on
because the water’s still pretty cold. Their senses are down, but they
are willing to eat single hookbaits. As with all islands, I knew it would be
shallow right up against it, then drop off down the sides. I didn’t want to disturb the carp
already there by using a marker, so I just made three single casts. Most of the activity that I saw this
morning in the swim that I’ve chose has been off the corner of the island. What I’ve decided to do is fish three
single hookbaits underneath there. One very close to the island
and the trees, one slightly further out and one even
slightly further out from that. So I’ve covered all depths of water
and they’re exactly where the fish are. I’ve just got little tiny pop-ups
on Ronnie Rigs, something that I use everywhere,
it doesn’t fail me and I know if I get one I can get them
away from them island snags. This time of year,
everything changes on a sixpence. The weather can change very quickly and that means
their habits change as well. So you have to
keep your eyes on the water and make sure you leave
your options open all of the time. The worst thing you could do
is commit to a swim, put five or 10 kilos of bait out and think,
right, that’s me done for the weekend, because that is just not going to work. A few hours passed without a bleep and with that, I could clearly see carp
starting to gather near the surface. This opened up the perfect opportunity
to fish some zig rigs. Zig rig fishing to me, it’s almost
exclusively a spring tactic. I very rarely cast them out
at any other time of the year. Maybe at the back end of the winter, but then you’re talking
early spring anyway. It’s when the water’s warming up,
the fish are coming up in the water and they’re a little bit dopey,
if I’m honest, they’re still cold, they’re not really sure what’s going on
and they see these bright hookbaits right in their face in the warm water
and that is why they work so well. So, yeah, for me, spring tactic,
do not ignore them. A typical thing to do is for an angler
to cut their zig off in the evening and put it out
on the bottom for the night. But please don’t do that.
Zigs work very well at night. In reality, I think they’re seeing
the silhouette in the moonlight because people catch on black foam
at night all of the time. Ignore it at your peril. Right, please be good. This is on the zig and I’m hoping… one, it’s not going to get caught
in any snags and two, it’s a carp. There’s a yellow pop-up
hanging out of its mouth. Yes! That is a tickle. I’m happy with that. It’s a nice fish, that. Yeah, what a result. So far,
I think the trip’s going really well, considering
I don’t know the lake at all. To nick one on the first night back
is something really nice. Look at that. A long, chestnut brown,
huge pec’d male mirror of 29.08lbs, and you can see exactly why I’ve joined
this syndicate this spring. There’s probably
70 fish in here of this quality. So it’s mad to think that when I came
for my recce in February, I managed to catch
a beautiful 30.10lbs mirror and that mirror is this mirror. I’ve caught the same fish twice,
back to back, but do you know what,
it doesn’t matter. And ironically enough, I caught this fish on exactly
the same hookbait both times; a Pineapple Supreme,
an Isotonic pop-up, but caught in very different depths. In February, I caught it
in 20 foot of water on the bottom and this time, two and a half
or three foot from the surface on an adjustable zig rig. They work extremely well
this time of year because you’re in the shallow water
and they work both day and night. This one happened to pick it up
at three o’clock in the morning. Thank you very much, old friend. I’ll probably see him
in a couple of weeks’ time. I caught one on a zig,
three foot from the surface. I’ve now put another zig out, but I’m not sure whether they’re going
to start feeding on the bottom because we’ve got this
beautiful low-pressure system come in and it just feels right
for catching them on the bottom. So I’m going to stick
with different methods. I’m going to stick
with the zig rig on one. I’m going to stick on the bottom
with another and I’m going to go slightly lower
on the zig rig with the other rod. So, we’ll see what happens. Here it is, the Zig Kit. Now a lot of people think
this is a fandango way of fishing, but it honestly isn’t. Essentially, it’s a marker float setup
with a hooklink on top which enables you
to fish the different depths and find exactly where the fish are. Now you’ve got a lead sliding
on the line there, on the little boom. I’ve got a 2oz lead on there. I will try and get away
with the smallest lead you can because you don’t really want to be
playing a fish with a lead on with a zig that’s smaller than that, really.
It will end up knocking the hook out. So fish something between 2oz and
3.5oz if you can. That should be about right. You’ve got a little ball of foam
on there, just to make sure that it stays
off the bottom, away from any rubbish. So the float can slide through there
nice and easy. Above that, you’ve got the medium float
which is the smaller of the range and something I’d use
up to probably 70 or 80 yards. If I’m fishing any further out and
you’ve got more line out in the lake, then I’d use the slightly larger one. On top of there as well,
you’ve got a little anti-tangle sleeve that comes with the kit itself. It just pushes the hooklink
away from the float and stops any tangles
when you go to cast it. And on the top of the float there, you’ve got a three or four foot
hooklink of 7lb Zig Line. Now you don’t need the hooklink
any longer than that really because you’re using the float obviously
to get the depth. So you’ve got that tied
to a size 6 Kamakura Wide Gape. That might seem like a bit of a big hook
for a zig but I promise you, it’s not. A couple of my pals that fish zigs
an awful lot use size four and two. So, yeah, get away from
them smaller hooks definitely, especially now the bigger ones
are so sharp. And on the hair, you’ve got
a 12mm pineapple pop-up that’s got some Pineapple Supreme,
and Isotonic Goo on there as well, just to make it super attractive and
it’s extremely buoyant, that hookbait. You want it buoyant,
just so it’s staying out there all night and it’s not going to start drifting
down to the bottom halfway through. I’ve also put a tiny little bit
of a Kicker on the hook, just to kick the line out
at the right angle, just to make sure that hook flips
and turns in the mouth as well when it gets there,
so, yes, there’s a lot to it, but it’s actually very simple
when you get going with it. Mix and change with your hookbaits. Try some different depths
and you can’t go wrong. To put together the adjustable Zig Kit, first attach a small lead
onto the Kwik Link and slide over the silicone tubing. Then place your main line
through the ring above the foam ball. After that, you can thread
the adjustable zig floats. Choose the medium
for distances up to 60-70 yards and large
for anything further than that. Then find the size 11 Quick Change
Swivel supplied with the kit and secure it onto the main line
using a knot that you’re confident in. Make sure the knot is fully tightened
and doesn’t break under tension. This can then be pulled into
the rubber insert inside the zig float. Then take around three foot of Zig Line. Here I’m using 7lb
which is thinner in diameter and will usually get more bites, but I would go up to 11lb Zig Line
if it was weedy or snaggy. Create an overhand loop which will hold
the hookbait later down the line. Using a size 6 Kamakura, pass the
material through the back of the eye and whip down the shank
between 13 to 14 times, then again,
pass through the back of the eye. It’s very important that you exit
the eye on the point side of the hook. This helps it flip over
and catch hold in the fish’s mouth. If you do the opposite, you’ll have
the opposite effect and lose carp. Next take a medium Kicker
and cut down a few millimetres. Thread it onto the hooklink
and pass it over the eye of the hook so it sits at 45 degrees when in water. Check it in the edge, just to make sure
it’s sitting exactly right. It really is these small details
that make a big difference. At the other end of the hooklink,
tie a figure of eight loop knot. This will be used to attach the rig
to the Quick Change Swivel. As you’re using
extremely light hooklinks, this is the weakest part of the rig. So be extra diligent
when tying this knot and ensure that it’s tightened down
absolutely perfectly. Once you’ve done that, thread on the anti-tangle sleeve
that comes with the kit, clip the loop onto the Kwik Link
and push over the anti-tangle sleeve. Next add your chosen hookbait. Here I’m using 12mm pop-ups infused
with Pineapple and Isotonic Goo which really is my favourite combination
during early spring. A small but very, very important tip for
fishing this method is grab a little bit of dissolvable
rig foam like that, give it a nice old lick and then slide your hook halfway down
onto it just like that and then what you’re going to do is stick the foam
onto the side of the float. Now this won’t look very aerodynamic,
but it does cast okay. You’ll still get it
out there 80 or 90 yards. You need to hold it on there
for 10 seconds or so and then what you’ll have
is a little loop of line underneath which is your hooklink,
make sure there’s no twist in that. If there is any twist, then simply
grab the anti-tangle sleeve, spin it around so it’s sitting
like that, perfect underneath and that will stop you getting tangles,
I promise you. If you don’t’ do it, you’ll get tangles. So if you’re going to listen
to anything, please listen to that. That’s ready to go out,
absolutely beautiful. When casting out on
an adjustable zig, make sure you still trap the line
before it hits the water. Feel the lead down
and hit the bottom as normal, then slowly tighten up the lead
before placing the rod on the rest. Ensure you’re perfectly tightened
to lead without any bow to ensure complete accuracy. Then steadily pay out line until you see
the hookbait reach the surface, followed by the float shortly after. Using a set of binoculars,
you can precisely tighten the clutch until you see the float disappear
under the surface, shortly followed by the hookbait. Then it’s a simple case
of pulling down a foot at a time until you reach your desired depth. The best thing about this method
is when you’ve put it out like that and you’ve seen it all go down,
you know it’s not tangled and I’ve just seen two or three fish
show right next to it. So I’ve got a rig out there
that’s absolutely perfect. I’m hoping it’s at the right depth because I really feel like
I’m going to get one. It feels good. The night soon disappeared
and I quickly woke up to that dreaded feeling of sunlight
without having had a bite. As I was previously so confident
the fish were definitely in the area, I expected to catch and with the fact that being in the
right place was out of the question, I decided to make a hookbait change. Your hookbait is so important and
as I knew I had everything else right, I had an idea to try and trigger
a response – the wormy zig. A worm attached by a bait floss
to a cork stick which I then hair-rigged
to a size 6 Kamakura Wide Gape. Surely they couldn’t ignore that. With zig hookbaits,
they need to be extra buoyant. You can use boilies
with added cork inserts. Different coloured foam
soaked in Goo for extra attraction or even come up with your own. A mix of live bait and cork,
and hopefully, this natural-looking hookbait
will prove too tempting for the carp. Only time will tell. I can’t believe this has gone
at the very last moment. I was just about to pack away. It’s powered off
out into the left-hand side of the lake. It’s on that ridiculous
worm hookbait I put out. There’s been so many fish
around that all afternoon and I couldn’t believe it hadn’t gone. It must have been sitting
right in front of their faces. It’s a nice mirror. Let’s just try and get this in the net. Slowly go over the net. Yes! What a touch. Last gasp. It’s a beautiful looking fish. It’s not ma-hoo-sive, but it shows
that method’s definitely the one. Well, what an absolute pearler that is. 24lbs of hard-fighting mirror carp,
caught three foot from the surface on an adjustable zig rig, and I come here not really knowing
how this session was going to go, but I’ll leave armed with a method
that I know works. So if I turn up next time
and they’re in a similar mood, I will be putting zigs out. But I would love to find a shallow spot
closer to that island because they are patrolling that
an awful lot. But we’ve learned a lot and
we’ve caught a couple of lovely fish. The biggest challenge at this lake at
the present time is the depth of water. The fish are obviously
really close to the surface and in the swim I’m fishing, there’s
no shallow water that I can fish in. I think for next time, I’m going to
scope out some shallower water and try and find a shallower spot
to fish in. It’s only been four days
since I left after my last trip and in-between them times
the weather changed massively and I’ve had some information that fish
have been caught on the bottom. Now do not ignore
that sort of information. There’s a huge difference between
fishing two foot under the surface or in 15 foot of water. Really, I hoped they had started
coming out of the bottom because I prefer to put a little bit
of bait out and get something going. Well, that is the strangest bite
I’ve ever had. I’m fishing to the left-hand side
of that island where I saw a fish show this morning. Cast a single pop-up out to it
while I was waiting and then I’ve just had
a jittery sort of bite. Picked up the rod and the fish had already travelled
sort of 30, 40 yards to the right. It made me think that it might have been
a trailer first of all. If this is a carp hooked in the mouth
off the bottom, it’s a massive touch because it means
we’ve picked the right swim. We’ve got slightly shallower water down
here which is exactly what I wanted and I’ve already got a spot that
the carp are feeding on on the bottom. We’re in a swim called the Bog which is the first swim
next to the car park actually. The weather changed massively
over the weekend and I heard that a few fish had come out
on the bottom down the other end which is in deeper water as well. So that was one of the reasons
that made me put out a bottom bait and not just three zigs. It seems like it’s worked. Come on… Yes! How about that? That is such a good sign for this trip. Very early on, off the bottom,
single white pop-up. That is bigger than it looks. 34.08. Yes! Well, that is an absolute brute
of a fish, caught on a single white pop-up
on a Spinner Rig, cast to showing fish and it’s such a good sign because it means that I can commit
to a little bit of bait now and see if I can get something
going on the bottom instead of just fishing the zigs. It feels so good out here. The weather is right
and my biggest fish out of here so far. Beautiful! The Spinner Rig is my go-to rig
when fishing on the deck and it’s caught me countless carp
from all over the world. It’s reliable, incredibly simple
to set up and never ever lets me down. Here we have the business end. I’ve got a Spinner Rig,
or a Ronnie Rig, depending on what you want to call it,
on a helicopter rig with leadcore. Now the reason this is so popular
at the moment is because you can literally
move that bead up the leadcore and fish it on any bottom you like. If you’re fishing
on something very soft, you’d slide that No-Trace Bead almost all the way out to the top
of the leadcore which means that
this hooklink section will just land on top
of any rubbish on the bottom and you’ll be fishing no matter what. I’ve got about three foot of leadcore,
I suppose, any longer than that
and it won’t cast very well and any shorter than that, you haven’t
got the length to slide that bead up if you’re fishing
on something very soft. On the bottom there,
I’ve got a 3.5oz lead. I’m not casting too far,
but I like three and a half ounces just so I can feel the lead down
really well on the bottom and that’s connected to a Heli-Safe
which I’ve got set to drop the lead. There’s a little bit of weed in here
and a few snags, so I’d just rather be in direct contact
with the fish when I get one. On the leadcore
I’ve got a size 11 Quick Change Swivel that I’ve connected my hooklink to
and over the top of that I’ve just got a little section
of an anti-tangle sleeve, just to neaten it all up and make sure
that I don’t get any weird tangles or anything up that end. I’ve got seven inches of 25lb Boom there
that I’ve crimped a loop in either end and on the hook end I’ve crimped
the swivel directly onto it. And I’ve cut the ring
off of the Spinner Swivel, just so I haven’t got
so many metal items down that end, just makes it
a little bit neater, really. I’ve put a little bit of putty as well
over the crimp to counter-balance the pop-up. A big size 4 Krank and it’s being
held on by a Small Hook Bead. The pop-up itself is a 12mm
Pineapple and Isotonic pop-up and I take these everywhere,
they’re my favourites really, but I know that on clear waters like
this, pink and whites work really well. So I’ll certainly be
having them on the other rods. And this rig itself
just does not tangle. It’s very, very stiff and that’s what gives you so much
confidence when you cast out. I never ever cast out and think, am I
sitting with a tangled rig out there? I feel very confident with it
and that’s why I use it all of the time. To tie the Spinner Rig, first take
a length of Boom material in 25lb. Then using the small Krimp,
crimp together a small loop. This will then be attached
to the Quick Change Swivel. Using the Krimp Tool,
find the small slot and place the Krimp within the groove.
Squeeze tight and remove from the tool. Next, cut off your desired length. I like to use around seven inches as after testing longer
and shorter hooklinks, I’ve come to the conclusion that this
gives me the best hooked to land ratio. It means presentation and hook
movement is at its absolute optimum. Then take a Spinner Swivel and use
the Krimp Tool to remove the ring, as this will be formed using the Boom
material and keep metal to a minimum which means
there’s less clutter and weight. Pass the material through one side
of the 0.6mm crimp. Then take the material and
pass it through the Spinner Swivel. Once you’ve done that, go back through
the Krimp and squeeze tight, creating a loop
the same size that the ring was. For maximum breaking strain,
use the 0.6mm with 25lb Boom and 0.7mm Krimps with the 35lb. Next, take a size 4 Kamakura Krank and attach it to the crook
of the Spinner Swivel. Then, using a medium
cut-down Kicker, slide the hook point through and pull
it down so it fits snug over the crook. Add a Micro Hook Ring Swivel and slide
on a Hook Bead to hold into place. I usually place the bead
directly across from the barb. This means the hook sits
in exactly the correct position when being held up
by the pop-up in the water. Now all you need to do
is take a short length of Bait Floss, thread through the swivel
and slide on your hookbait. Finally, cut off the excess,
leaving a small tag. Burn with a lighter and blob down,
preventing the bait from falling off. Last but not least,
to counter-balance the pop-up, take a small blob of Dark Matter putty
and mould it around the crimp. If I’m on clear ground,
I’ll have the hookbait sinking slowly. If I’m unsure of how clear the bottom
is, I’ll have it sinking faster so it doesn’t get caught up
on small bits of debris. One of the main reasons
about going in this swim, apart from seeing the fish this morning, is that I knew that there was slightly
shallower water in front of here which is ideal for this time of year. I wanted to find shallow water that
was nice and clear on the bottom. So what I decided to do is get my marker
float out and give it a proper autopsy. The first bit of information
you want from marker floating is how hard the bottom is. So the first thing to do is to cast out,
feel the lead hit the bottom. If you get a soft drop
as if it’s landing on a pillow, you don’t want to fish there. If it’s falling down and it lands on
something like it’s landed on granite, or something hard,
that’s where you want to be fishing. Something nice and clear,
not something soft like weed. The second thing you want to do
is find out how big the clear area is if you’ve found the clear area. So once you cast out,
you feel the lead hit the bottom, then you drag the lead
and the marker float across the bottom to see how clear it is. If you get no tension on
your rod whatsoever and it slides along
as if it’s on glass, then the area is lovely and clear. If you feel it
pull off of little small things or it feels like
there’s lots of tension, then you’re either pulling through
big bits of silkweed, lots of silt, or something you don’t really
want to be fishing on. Once you’ve found a nice clear area,
the lead’s going down hard and it’s pulling back smooth, the next
thing to do is find out the depth. Pop up the marker a foot at a time until you see the marker float
hit the surface, it’s as simple as that. And once you’re happy with where it is
and where it looks like it should be, reel the float back down to the lead,
pop the line under the clip, reel the rod in
and wrap it around the marker sticks. In this case, it’s 16¼ wraps
which is 65 yards. I’ll just write that down and note it
for the rest of the session and I can clip my rods up accordingly. I get lots of questions about
how far the lead swings back to how far
you should have your spod out. Now the best way
of getting rid of all that worry is just to pop the marker float up
exactly on your spot and just cast your spod next to it
and clip up. That’s the best way of doing it.
So I’ve done exactly that. Cast my spod right next to the marker,
clipped it up and no worry. You should always wait
at this time of year for the fish to tell you
when they want to feed and that’s what’s happened this trip. I’ve had a bite off of the bottom, so I’ve decided
to put a little bit of bait out. Now it would be madness for me now
to go and put five kilos on the spot and I’ll probably catch nothing
for the rest of the trip. What you want to do is
just tiptoe in a little bit, put five spods out, put six spods out,
something like that. If you get a bite off of that, then you can think about
possibly putting more out. You’ve just got to think to yourself, all you want
is just one more bite each time. It’s not the time of year
to be putting five, 10 kilos out. You want it little by little. This time of year,
I tend to go for things like corn and bright little yellow boilies, something that’s really smelly
and sweet because it means that you can put it
out, especially in this clear water, the fish are not going to miss it and there’s not lots of bait
out in the swim. So they don’t have to go through
loads of food until they get to your hookbait. I woke the next day
with no action to report. The fish had clearly done the off. Later in the morning, I found them all
held up at the bottom end of the lake, hiding in a corner
away from all the angling pressure. With the morning now over, I decided
to reel in and make my way down there. When I got down there,
I noticed a small group of fish quite close to the margin
at the far end and I knew
from speaking to the other anglers that the carp
love the floater in this lake. So I grabbed my floater kit
in hope of a quick opportunity. An Interceptor float
with pre-tied zig hooklinks. I opted for a chopped-down
Cell hookbait and was quickly ready to flick out. I catapulted out some floaters
to see if they would take them and sure enough, they did. I then cast out past the fish and slowly teased it back to the feeding
zone before putting more mixers out. Despite my efforts and
having come extremely close, the odds suddenly stacked against me as typically
the gulls made a swift entrance, spooking some of the fish from the area. And soon after, we encountered
a sudden cold rain shower. The temperature started to plummet
and the fish started to drift down. The small window of opportunity
had gone so I decided to make my way back
and get ready for the night. I kept white hookbaits on two and on
one rod, I changed over to an orange to see if a different colour
spurred on a change of fortune. The rods lay quiet all night
and the following day I was greeted with more rain. But towards the end of the day
the fish had turned up in numbers. Maybe there was hope yet. We’re coming to the very end
of a frustrating but good trip. I caught that one in the beginning
and then nothing since. But I have learned quite a lot. First of all, I’ve learned
that they love floaters in here and I’ve also learned really that
I caught that fish on a single hookbait and since I’ve put bait out
I haven’t had another chance. So it might have been that the fish
were in the swim and they were feeding and I just timed it right, or it might be that they’re not going
for a lot of bait at the moment. So I’m going to give it another hour
just to see if I can get one. Time had run out and I had to go, but I had one more session planned
in a few days’ time. I got here this morning and I could see
straight away that it was mega-busy. Lots of cars in the car park,
lots of people in the swims and the only thing you can do
in them situations is either squeeze into
one of the swims that are left but they were little tiny corner swims,
not worth fishing in, or wait until someone leaves in one
of the swims that are worth fishing and that’s exactly what I’ve done. I’m in a swim called Roy’s Swim
which is down the deep end of the lake. In reality, nothing’s changed, really,
from the first trip till now. I still want to be presenting my baits
in shallow water. I’ve gone all out on the zigs this trip. The fish are up in the water so it would
be mad to put them in 20 foot, but what I’ve done is, I’ve fished them
at slightly different ranges. Maybe 45 yards with my left-hand rod,
40 yards with my middle rod and then 35 yards with my right-hand
rod, scattered from left to right. I’ve got the same hookbaits
on all, though, because I have such confidence
in that crazy worm hookbait. It worked really well for me
on that first trip and I just can’t imagine them swimming
past that worm in mid-water and not sucking it in. So I’ve real confidence in that,
so I haven’t put anything else on. The depths, I’ve gone between
four and a half foot and two and a half foot
from the surface and what I’ll do is I’ll just move them
up or down accordingly to where I think the fish are
in the water column. Going into the night, I couldn’t have
felt any more confident. The fish were there
and I just had to play the waiting game. Well, it’s 1.30 in the morning
and one of the zigs has busted off. This one was four foot
from the surface exactly. I had a three, a four, and a five
and the one in the middle’s gone. So we’ve pretty much
got the distance from the surface right. One of the dangers with fishing
zig rigs so close together is them picking up the other lines
when you’ve got a fish on and this is exactly what had happened in
this situation. The fish looked big
so I played it gently and hoped
it went into the back of the net. Yes! What a touch. That’s quite a big fish, that is.
Definitely a 30-pounder. It wasn’t long until daylight
so I safely put the carp in a sling so we could wait and see it
at first light. I prefer to use retention slings
these days over a carp sack because they keep the fish
near the surface where most of the oxygen
enters the water. It’s a big old fish, this. Come on… Look at that. I am so happy. This is actually one of the fish
I joined for, one of the big ‘uns. Martha, at 43.08lbs. Caught on a zig rig at night,
four foot from the surface. Just look at that. Beauty! Absolute cracker. Thanks, old Martha. With Martha safely back in the lake,
later in the morning I noticed the fish appeared to have
moved closer to the island. Well, I’ve decided on a move
and it is only next door, but it’s a step closer
to where the fish are. The fish are currently
around the back of the island but there’s people in the swims,
it’s still busy. So I’m moving really
in hope that the fish are going to move around the island. I’m in the shallow water and
hopefully we get a chance here. I’d spoken to the angler next door
before he left. He had told me about some
of the great clear shallow spots close and around the islands
that he had caught several fish from, including the lake record, the Pig. So that was information
that I just couldn’t ignore. One of the things I like to do
when I get into a new swim is cast the old rig that I had on
out to likely-looking areas, just to see if there’s weed on the spot. Now this time of year, there’s weed
on most spots, if I’m honest. That’s when it’s starting to grow, but the best way of telling
whether it’s fishable or not is just casting a rig to the spot,
instead of casting a marker out there because sometimes
it feels much weedier than it is and if you cast a rig out there,
you reel it back in and there’s no weed left on the rig, then you know
that you can present a rig out there. I’d made one more cast to the spot to make sure
I’d present my rig effectively before finally
popping the line in the clip. Well, there you go. There’s a tiny little bit of weed
around the lead there which means that that lead
is plummeting into the weed but because I’ve got that bead
slightly further up the leadcore, that hooklink is going to slide up
and sit on top of it out there. So that little tiny bit like that,
I’m not worried about at all. That’s completely fishable
and I’m happy to cast out there. Now that I’m happy with my spot, I’ll need to find out
how many wraps it is, and for that,
I’ll need the Distance Sticks. Okay, so that’s 16½ wraps. What I’ve done there
is I’ve found the spot, I’ve cast to it multiple times until
I’ve got exactly where I want to get. I’ve put it in the clip and I’ve walked
to the top of the bank and wrapping it around the wrap sticks. The wrap sticks are four yards apart,
which is 12 foot, which is exactly the same length
as your rod. Distance Sticks help you to fish the
same spot easily over and over again. The sticks I’m using here enable
that process to be swift and agg free. The grooves ensure no line
slips off the sticks during the process and the auger point ensures
they’re stable in any ground. I knew the spots on this side
of the island were pretty shallow, around four to five feet, so I opted to fish on the bottom
with Spinner Rigs. I also added some cork to my pop-ups to ensure they remained really buoyant
throughout the night. Simply drill 5mm into the pop-up, then add a sliver of 6mm cork
to help aid buoyancy. With all the rigs now set, I began casting the rods to each
of the areas I had chosen to fish. The first rod was cast inside a small
gap between the trees on the island. The second rod was cast a rod-length
to the right of that, closer to the overhang. And the third and final rod
was cast around two rod-lengths to the right of the middle, but this
time, tight underneath the overhang. With all three rods now out in the lake, hopefully, Martha’s friend
would pay us a visit. You’ll notice for part of this trip
I’ve been using the Stow bobbins and that’s because I’ve been using
the adjustable zig rigs. Now if you can imagine the float’s
out there pulling up nice and tight and if you’ve got something
extremely heavy this side, that’s going to move that float
down a little bit and you do not want that to happen. You want to be fishing
extremely precisely and if you’ve got a too heavy
bobbin on, that will get in the way. So these are absolutely perfect
for that. I’ve now changed over
to the medium Black & Whites, which is what I use
for 90% of my fishing. I feel like they’ve got enough weight in
most situations, whether you’re fishing
extreme long range, or whether you’re fishing up against
an island like you are here. I don’t want to be fishing
with something extremely light because if I get a drop back, I want to be on that rod
as soon as I possibly can. I don’t want it getting caught in the
weed and not getting any indication. So, for me,
these seem absolutely perfect and also, because I’m fishing
up against an island, I’ve got relatively tight lines. I’ve probably pulled four
or five feet off of the clutch before I’ve set my bobbin and that’s to make sure that my leader
isn’t just sticking off of the island. It isn’t pin-tight. So you’ve got a little bit of slack line
out there to hide it, basically, so the leader
isn’t sticking out from the island. And the line I’m using is 12lb Kontour
which is a fluorocarbon which is extremely heavy
and invisible which makes it perfect
for fishing at this lake. I’ve got them clutches
set really tight as well. The fluorocarbon
has got hardly any stretch. The clutches are set really tight
so nothing can run into that island if it decides to go into the snags, and my Delkims
are set extremely sensitive as well. Any sort of movement,
I’m going to be on that instantly. No matter what I’m putting out,
what colour it is or what type of bait, I’m not putting that much out. If it’s boilies, I’ll be putting out
20 or 30 around each hookbait, just enough to get a bite. With all the traps now set
for the final night and the fish only over
the other side of the island, I felt relatively confident. But the morning came around
and it wasn’t meant to be. I think overall, the last few sessions
have gone really well. I’ve caught some brilliant fish. Martha at 43.08lbs – that’s one
of the fish I joined to catch. So to have caught that,
especially on an adjustable zig, is really special for me. But I’ve also learned a real lot
since I’ve been here as well. Fish spend an awful lot of time
up in the water and I knew that anyway
because it was spring, but here, they’re up in the water
an awful lot and they move an awful lot as well. One bit of advice
that you should definitely take into your spring fishing is to be
adaptable, do not go with a closed mind, thinking that one method
is going to work because things just change so quickly,
on a sixpence. So you need to have
everything in your armoury. Take your zig kit,
take your floater kit, take everything you can possibly use
on the bottom because it will all come in handy. If you do that, go to the lake with an
open mind, you will catch more fish. Well, they were a lovely first
few trips to my new syndicate and a brilliant way to start off my
spring. I really can’t wait to get back.

22 comments on “Korda Masterclass Vol 7: Spring Carp Fishing | Tom Dove

  1. Liking the look of these coming up. By the looks of things your about to release every season. Can wait to watch all of these. Tight lines to all at korda 🎣🎣🎣

  2. Hi tom have the Ags 13ft rods got a nice tip playing action as I’m looking to get some bud I don’t want a broom stick? Thanks

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