Mitch Hammonds takes us through his step by step guide on how to avoid nuisance species and catching carp
Pinge Pearlers - Text Only
Marcus has had a great year on his Berkshire club water, catching some truly special carp in his pursuit for one of the oldest in the land.
I decided to target a real old history fish this year. I was a little bit lost last year, and after much deliberation, I opted to go back for The Brute. A lot of these old fish are not going to be around for much longer.
I had it in my mind that the big ’un looks like a boilie-muncher. It’s a big carp and had gone 50lb, so in my mind it would be looking for boilies. I am a huge fan of fishmeals when fishing for big carp, and there was nothing better than the Krill. I wanted to concentrate in the middle of the pond, as she was known for getting caught out there, so I applied bait onto a spot for a few weeks, gradually upping the levels as the weeks went on. I had all the bait in soak in the Pure Krill Liquid, making it really hum, and the fish just love it.
I found a really small spot and settled in a swim known as The Lawn. It was just big enough for one rod, but was the only area of clean bottom. I baited with 5kg of 20mm baits and a few chopped boilies. Nothing happened the first session, but the second session was different.
The fish had smashed it right up, but I stuck to fishing with one rod. I got settled and applied another hit of Krill-infused boilies, and at around 2.00 p.m. the following day, the rod tore off and I bent into a real hard-fighting fish. After a real scrap, I netted a large common. She was a real rare one and went 36lb, which was such a huge buzz.
Nothing happened the following night, but on my last night of the trip, I managed a lovely mid-20 common. It was the second bite off the spot and the plan was coming together nicely. Just before I packed up, another spot produced a nice little common of around 17lb.
I left a happy man, and was gagging to get back down to the lake. I went down the following week and there was someone in the swim, so I fished a swim that gives a good view of the lake, which is also a known area for the big ’un. Nothing happened that night, but the chap left The Lawn Swim. I decided to get back in the zone, so put 4kg of Krill straight out to the spot. It had got even bigger and the fish were clearly visiting it. I had a bite in the morning, but unfortunately the hook pulled. It was a savage bite and I couldn’t stop it. I left a bit gutted, but happy I had the bite.
Nothing happened the following week, but I kept the bait going onto the spot. I went down for my next trip and found a load of fish down one end of the lake, on a spot I had baited in the edge. They were all over it, so I quickly ran back and got the rod. I could see the big mirror down there, and I was shaking like a leaf.
Within moments of the rod being in the lake, I hooked one. Unfortunately, it was one of the little commons, which actually fell off near the net. I was glad it wasn’t the big mirror, but still a bit annoyed I had lost one.
I did the night to no avail, but could see a few fish showing close in off a swim. It was around midnight before I got the rods out and spread around 2kg of bait over them, and at around 7.00 a.m. the left-hander was away with a cracking 25lb common. I had a bite the following morning on the same rod, which turned out to be a cracking 30lb mirror.
For the next trip it was warm, and the fish were milling around on the top. I had done the night and had nothing, so wanted to give the floaters a go. I found some fish on the other side of the lake and I could see a few cruising round. It took a little while to get them going, but eventually they began to take the bait.
It was in the evening when they really started taking, so I flicked the rod out and drew it back over them. A mirror was smashing them and took my hookbait without any hesitation. It gave me a right scrap, but I eventually landed a proper old-looking mirror of 30lb 14oz. I got the rods out for the night and managed another small common in the morning.
That was it for that trip, but I went back the following week to proper carpy conditions. I went in The Lawn and it looked prime for it, so I got the rods out and gave them another hit of bait. I had a bite in the early hours and it was a cracking 29lb common. I got the rod back out but had to wait until the following night for the next bite. At first I thought it was a tench, but after a very odd fight, I realised it was a carp. It turned out to be a real rare one, a common known as One Pec at over 35lb. She hadn’t been out for over 2 years, and I was buzzing to catch such a special fish.
It had been such a great year, and with every capture, the dream of catching The Brute was getting closer.