Fishing through the summer months can be notoriously difficult, high temperatures make the carp lethargic and stocks of natural food can be at their highest meaning that results can be patchy for long periods. But if my recent trips are anything to go by then I would say that for a lot of the time our fortunes are in our own hands much more than we realise and it’s how we deal with the conditions that matters more than anything.
I fished two different waters in the Limoges region of France recently, firstly a week on the small Badger’s Holt lake. News was that things hadn’t been going well with just four fish banked in the previous three weeks and those had come by fishing small PVA bags and setting small traps.
What would you do in that situation? The light baiting method had worked but not very well it has to be said and as I’ve found in the past, it is possible to change a situation by the way you use bait. I decided to feed heavily from the start with the idea that introducing more bait might help focus the carp on my bait rather than just turning to the plentiful naturals because there wasn’t much else for them to look for. Lots of quality in the shape of 15mm Monster Squid Red along with plenty of pellet and plenty of hemp is a proven combination.
From the outset I baited each rod with 3 to 4kg of bait and to be honest I was expecting to have to wait a little while for the fish to turn on to it but by next morning I’d banked my first fish, a mirror of 47 lb. From then on the action was very steady throughout the week with around two runs per day and some very good fish amongst them. In fact only one fish was under 40 lb (a 37lb mirror). I banked the biggest catfish in the lake at 66 lb but also landed three mirrors over 50 lb. The icing on the cake was landing a fish I’d wanted to catch for many years, Jo Jo at 72 lb 4 oz!
It was a fantastic week’s fishing and it shows how you can make things happen by a more positive approach – especially when you have baits with such proven big fish pedigree as Monster Squid at your disposal. From four bites in three weeks I managed 14 bites in one week, including the biggest fish in the lake.
The following week I moved just up the road to Echo Pool another small water in the region, which again had been steady but fairly slow. With the confidence of the previous week behind me I didn’t hesitate to go in heavy with the bait from the start which was in contrast to what other people had been doing by all accounts.
In this situation I always feel that it’s the bait and the baiting which accounts for the fish. Rigs play a lesser part but I started off with a small Monster Squid snowman set up with size 6 Fang Uni hook, 35 lb Combilink hook link and a full metre length of the Cling-On tungsten tubing. Later on I did change over to an air dried 20mm Scopex Squid bottom bait hook bait when some baits were getting nibbled by crayfish.
Once again the fish didn’t take long to get their heads down with mirrors of 52 lb, 44 lb and 20 lb coming the first day! But there was no doubt that once more bait was going in, the fish were turning on to it and the action increased every day. Again it’s testament to the sheer quality and food value of Monster Squid. The first big one came on Wednesday, a fish called Barrel at 64 lb 8 oz, while later in the week a better one came along in the shape of Gordon the mirror at 65 lb 8 oz as well as two more 50-pounders and three more 40s. It was the best the lake had fished since May and I feel it was all down to the baiting.
At this time of year the carp have a lot of natural food at their disposal and they will soon concentrate on that if there are no alternatives. By putting more bait out - and top quality bait, I gave them an alternative and they were happy to move on to that. There are times when you have to sit back and wait for something to happen, but there are other times when you can make things happen and this was definitely one of those occasions!