Well it’s been a while since the first test and the weather has picked up with temperatures in sunny Bude up to 20 degrees on good days. I’ve done some tuition sessions and along with work commitments it has been difficult to get out. As with most people work comes first and fishing second, even if it is fishing tuitions or my day job in an engineering factory.
This has resulted in my plans for this second test changing a little. First of all I decided I had to get out, even if it was just a few hours. I’m lucky to work with a few carp anglers a couple of whom suggest I give the Bude Canal a go after work one evening. Canals are often neglected and Bude is no different with few all out specimen carp anglers fishing it. Word is that it holds some decent carp to high 20’s and a possible 30 pounder. That being said I would be happy to make double figures as this is my target for this stage of the testing.
In order to maximise my fishing time all the gear and bait was prepared the night before. Including making several rigs and PVA bags ready to go attached to fluorocarbon leaders.
I chose to use the Anchor Bait Delivery System leads with the hard inner removed but retaining the rubber that holds the swivel. This way the lead will slide off easily should I break the main line. The rig is exactly the same as in the first test other that being one inch longer at 5 inches long. This was a Korda Kurve size ten hair riged to 18lb Korda Super Natural braid with a small section of silicone tube trapper the hair near the point of the hook. The bait was changed for a 15mm Marukyu Protein ABR Boilie tipped with plastic corn. The whole rig goes into a PVA bag filled with a dry bag mix.
The dry bag mix is very interesting and brings a new element to my carp fishing, sound. The mix is really quite simple only having three ingredients. Crushed up ABR boilies, 1mm SDP Protein Pellets and EFG 151. The three are mixed dry in approximate equal quantities.
EFG 151 has many colours and some of the large particles in this ground bait are actually a lot bigger than the 1mm SDP pellets. The reason the mix is left dry is for the sound effect, snap crackle and pop once it gets in the water. This was the edge I hoped would work to attract quick takes if I was able to locate the carp.
So with everything checked and double checked I pack the Land Rover before 7.00am and went to work watching the clock for a swift exit at 4.00pm. Heading down to buy a day ticket at the local Post Office in Bude then onto the canal after collecting the wife from work at 5.00pm I was on the bank at 5.15pm. Only one rod is allowed and this along with the limited time I had was playing on my mind in my quest for a carp over the 10lb mark.
Bude Canal is one of the few remaining in the UK with a Sea Lock, and I set up in a swim where I could see the sea and the surf crashing onto Summerleaze beach. It was quite an odd feeling, being right next to the sea but fishing for carp. The weather was blowing a hooli, 30 – 40mph South Westerly and a fair bit of rain so conditions were good for a bite or two.
In front of me I had a few boats moored up and I hoped they would be holding area’s for the wandering Canal Carp. I was set in minutes and initially I thought I may see some boat traffic so I decided I would fish the near margin at the base of the shelf. The first of my pre-tied rigs was dropped in about six feet from the wall and I carefully set the rod on the rests.
The first fish came to my workmate Daryn who was fishing almost under one of the boats opposite, a nice mirror of 11lb 9oz. Just after we dealt with his fish I noticed that my swinger was on the deck, on closer inspection the line has pulled out of the clip and was bow string tight, not slack as I had left it. A little puzzled I reeled in to find the silicone sleeve trapping the hair was pushed round to the eye of the hook, a sure sign that something had picked up my hook bait and got off the hook. That horrible feeling that disaster has struck was starting to sink in. I check the bite alarm only to find it was not working; everything was working except the roller didn’t cause the alarm to sound.
Fish 1 Colin 0.
Daryn was kind enough to loan me spare alarm he had with him and I decided to give the same spot another go for a while. After half an hour or so Daryn had another fish, a small Common, and the gremlins had started to set in. I was thinking that the hooked fish may well have been hooked for a minute or two and spooked any carp away from the area; also I was watching fish being caught near the boats where I had fancied I should have fished in the first place.
Lessons learned I set up a third pre tied rig and put in a near perfect cast near to a moored boat on the opposite bank. 20 minutes or so later the rod was away and a powerful carp took line as it motored up the central channel on the canal. It turned and came into my feet at a considerable pace and then managed to take out Daryn’s line before being bundled into the net. The Half Linear Mirror looked stunning on Daryns unhooking mat. All of the Bude Canal fish that I have seen so far are in mint condition and this one was also fin perfect. Into Daryn’s weigh sling and it went 12lb exactly and my mission was accomplished in just under 2 hours fishing.
Given my early incident with a faulty bite alarm I was happy with the result. Bude Canal is not a runs water by anyone’s estimation so a combination of swim choice, bait and bait application worked for me on this short session.
So far so good for bait testing Marukyu bait for specimen carp fishing. The next test will be on another even tougher venue that I have only fished once before. I have a week off work coming up as the factory is shut for the week at the end of May. My target will be a 20lb carp, however tactics are yet to be finalised for this venue and also may change as the session progresses. I hoping it will be at least a 24 hour trip this time and not three hours.
Tight Lines, Colin