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Articles about VauxSeptember is family & fishing time
Jan 2012 by Chas
My September fishing holiday was also a family holiday for us at the gîte so that daytime was mostly spent with our youngest daughter and youngest granddaughter, plus I continued the usual maintenance work around the lake. The days were warm, but to begin with the nights were very cold, changing to warmer, wet and windy as the holiday progressed.
I had been planning my strategy for some weeks beforehand by watching the fishing methods our anglers were using. Many were using a bland type of boilie, freezer baits, fishmeal based and fairly low on taste attractors. It became apparent over the weeks that the carp were feeding more and more on washed out baits because some carp had been caught by anglers using washed out boilies, but they were boilies which would not last long enough in the water, only some eight or nine hours, before they started to break down and disintigrate completely. Many anglers were fishing over large beds of bait, be it particles, boilies or carp and trout pellets, and although I could see the carp were feeding heavily on these spots, I noted that some anglers would move their rods off them or change their baits and tactics at least twice in a day and sometimes three times. Carp will often feed in areas baited two to three days before the arrival of the next group of anglers; I watch them rolling and crashing on those spots and feeding close to the bank.
My aim was to fish at night; I would put my four main rods out before 5pm and when I had caught on each of the four, I would not put them back out again so that I could get some sleep. Just before daylight I would put some of the rods out again, but only until 11am when on average all but one would be taken out of the water. My priority for the week was to get a quick response. I had already decided to use a very high attract boilie, a Strawberry Jam kindly left by an angler who had had very limited success with it. I washed these boilies out in pond water for up to five days, after which time their integrity was still intact and they were firm to the touch, but their bright red colour had changed to a ghostly white and the original high attract strawberry taste had almost disappeared. My tactics were to drop large quantities of bait onto spots in the lake to create feeding areas, using my roach method mix (wheat and maize incorporated with roach and dace), washed out carp and trout pellets and just a limited quantity of washed out boilies. This was achieved by using large glaçons with hook lengths already frozen in. Before freezing the carp and trout pellets, I had poured boiling water over them which started to turn them white so that they would look as if they had been on the lake bed for some time and the wheat and maize particles after being cooked were left to ferment in a coolbox, then washed out, mixed with the roach/dace and then placed in glaçons so that they also appeared to have been in the lake for some time.
I fished from the platform with all four main rods made up with 12lb fluorocarbon, 2m of 30lb breaking strain fluorocarbon leaders, two rods with distance leads and safety clips, two rods with heavy inline leads 4oz-5oz, hook lengths stiff booms tied to the stiff boom long shank mugga hooks tied KD style. But in addition, I also wanted to use two control rods, made up as near as possible to those brought to the lake by some of the anglers. I used two of my least expensive rods, 2 ¼ test, and two of my least expensive reels, not my normal big pit reels, but each with a different colour, quality 15lb ordinary mono main line. The end tackle was the same as for my main rods. One control rod was on a distance lead and the other on an inline lead. One rod had a 2m fluorocarbon leader attached and the other was tied direct to a swivel which could be attached to a lead clip or to an inline lead. I wanted to fish these two rods one at a time, one in the silt in the middle of the lake and the other to the far bank and I would use washed out baits on just one of them, the same as on all four main rods, while I would use a boilie taken straight from the packet attached to a drilled out glaçon on the second control rod.
It was a slow start. The first night I had only two carp at 37lb and 38lb coming to the main rods, with nothing on the control rod that was out. By 11am all the rods had been brought in except that one control rod which I left in position until 5pm to see if I could catch a fish on monoline during the day, but nothing. At 5pm I attached a new glaçon to the control rod and put it back out with my four main rods for the second night session, when I had fish on all four, plus a 39lb mirror on my control rod.
On the second day, I brought all my main rods in early in the morning, leaving the control rod out and at 11am it produced a 32lb mirror. Alternating the control rods each time, I put one out again, which produced a 28lb common and after that a 34lb mirror. That same night, just before dark, my control rod went again at the same time as one of my main rods, the control rod immediately producing a 46lb mirror and the main rod a 42lb8oz mirror. After that I had another mirror on the control rod, at 40lb4oz. The following morning I brought the control rod in, rebaited it and put it out again. This pattern repeated itself over the eight days; I had at least two or three carp on the control rods during the day, with no difference between the one with the fluorocarbon leader and the one with the main line direct to the swivel. For no apparent reason, one control rod in particular – my ‘hot rod’ or ‘lucky rod’ as I started to call it - produced three forties, as well as other carp, during those few days. I still caught on this rod even when I baited to different spots, but the big carp only came at night, which leads me to believe that they are spotting the mono line during the day, even when attached to the fluorocarbon leader. Out of all the fish caught during this particular fishing session, only two came to the boilies taken directly from the packet, so sometimes it pays to wash out before anglers come out to the lake and using tap water is ok.
I knew I could catch carp during the day on fluorocarbon, but the idea was to try to catch during the day on mono and this session proved to me that it is end tackle, leads and baiting which make the difference. Anglers at Vaux are surprised when a rod goes after 24hrs – 48hrs; there is disbelief that they could catch a carp after the bait has been that long in the water. However, what they are then fishing are washed out baits and the time factor is the time it has taken for the boilies to wash out in the water.