Mitch Hammonds takes us through his step by step guide on how to avoid nuisance species and catching carp
Manilla Madness - Text Only
Roy Allen has had a phenomenal spring by fishing on Tipping’s Lane syndicate. He’s caught over 70 carp, and here he details his most successful trip to date.
I find it difficult to find a more rewarding way of fishing than catching carp using ‘nuts and bolts’ tactics, and if I get the baiting right, the bites become almost predictable. Fortunately for me, this is my current state of affairs while fishing at a private syndicate in Reading, known as Tipping’s Lane. I started a baiting campaign on there in the early part of March, using the New Sticky Baits Manilla in a mixture of sizes. I run through the entire range, including 16mm and 20mm freezer baits and 12mm shelf lifes. The bites came from the off, and during my first 2-night trip I had three carp, proving to me that the Manilla certainly worked during the colder weather. I decided that I would bait up heavily and take 10 kilos of boilies with me on every trip, putting in what I didn’t use at the end of each visit. I returned to fish a couple of weeks later and had another five carp, so things were looking up.
Every year I try to book a couple of weeks off work to get a few extra sessions in, and this year was no different. I had planned on doing a few nights, fishing during a week in April and a few nights in June. The week in April went well and I had seven carp, including a fish which I wanted, known as Spike, at 32lb+. I kept on doing my usual 24- or 48-hour sessions every couple of weeks, and I continuously caught until the June holiday. I still hadn’t had a blank visit. My missus had agreed that I could fish the Sunday and Monday night, going back for a third night on the Friday if I wished. I checked out the BBC weather and could see that there were some amazing conditions rolling in for those days, wet with a brisk southwesterly.
After a nightmare of a journey due to an M4 closure, I eventually arrived at the lake on Sunday evening at around 8.00 p.m. There was only one other angler present, and he was soon packing up from the weekend session, having caught a 17lb mirror. I could see that there were carp fizzing long out in front of the swim he was vacating, which is known as The Middle Dugout. This was an area I knew well, and it had seen plenty of Manilla throughout the past few months.
Getting the rods into position went smoothly. I used a bait boat to position a rod at range with a hopper full of Manilla, plus a good scattering with the throwing stick. The first take came the following morning in the early hours, followed by another soon after. I had started to double up on a few captures, and luckily, these two were a pair of stunners known as the Sergeant, plus another proper scaly one. The action picked up thick and fast from there, and by lunchtime I had managed a further three carp, including one I dearly wanted, The Original, weighing 30lb 8oz. The action was fast and frantic as the day progressed into night. At one point during the evening, I was sitting there looking out from the bedchair, thinking that the rod was going to go soon, when moments later, the middle rod held up tight before pulling the line from the clip. They had been fizzing up all over me. While playing the carp back, as it approached halfway, the right-hand Delkim went into meltdown as a powerful carp surged off with my rig in its mouth. I had a double take!
I got the first one into the net as quickly as possible, and could see it was The Pretty Fully. Foolishly, I only had one net properly set up, and as the second fish came over the net cord, the hook pulled. To cut a long story short, I ended the session with 22 takes in total, with two double hook-ups, which was incredible fishing for a lake that can be very tricky at times.
I’ve caught hundreds of big carp from some difficult venues over the years, on a variety of baits. The Manilla really is a standout success story for me, and I’m excited to see what else this amazing bait will help me catch in the future.