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Surface fishing in April.


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One of my local venues is a 10 minute walk from my house. It's an idyllic 1 acre lake actually owned by the club and set in woodland. There's a good head of carp, as well as some lovely bream and a shed load of tench. On Thursday I had a deadline alas. I was off work so my job was to get the house and car ready for our Easter trip up to Reading. I reckoned I could get all the housework stuff and packing done and then reward myself with a couple of hours fishing. I then decided to reward myself first and worry about packing later. 

I rocked up to see fish cruising near the top and wondered whether, despite the water being really chilly, they'd take off the surface. I always have a few dog biscuits with me, so rigged up a lob-and-leave feeder rod on an alarm for...anything that turned up, whilst I targeted the fish cruising up and down the rope that anchors the aerator. The set up was dead simple: dog biscuit on a hook, tiny controller, 1.75lb test curve rod and a fixed spool reel loaded with 12lb line. 

A few missed bites showed they were prepared to have a go at them - a couple of times I struck so hard I sent the rig clean out of the water and straight into the bushes behind me: I was out of practice having spent too long chasing pike with jerkbaits!

After an hour or so I got the first clean take I could hit and was rewarded with a fish of 16lb on the dot, 8oz short of my best off the surface. The carp are absolutely stunning, particularly the commons.

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I let the swim calm down and recast my feeder and stared at a float for a bit, both to no avail. Soon the carp returned. They seem to enjoy picking off the bits of food that get caught on the aerator rope. They were spooking easily, but happily I could cast a few metres away, then used the wind to drift the bait into the rope, mending the line to prevent it overtaking the bait on the drift, almost like trotting a stick float on the river. A few casts later and another carp came up and slurped my biscuit. A longer fish, but only 8lb 2oz

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I returned to wasting sweetcorn and pellets over the feeder and float mark, and was acutely aware of my rapidly diminishing biscuit supply. And rationed my feed. The carp returned to the rope and I had a couple more chances. One produced a 7lb fish, the other I hooked and lost, and that was all she wrote.

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Three fish on the surface on a mid-April morning was quite a surprise. I think if I'd not rationed the biscuits and tried to get them really feeding, I could have picked up another fish, but it's hardly a complaint worth making! As a surprising note, I've found a dog biscuit the ducks refuse to eat! several times they saw the loose ones and turned their bills up at them. Great session and I even managed to pack the car and clean the house in time!

Edited by chrisjpainter
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9 minutes ago, oldypigeonpopper said:

Hello, have you tried fly fishing with an imitation  dog biscuit, ?? 

Ah I'd love to and a few people on the lake do, but the tricky thing is only a roll cast would work because there's no room for a back cast behind with trees and steep banks. I've never really learned to fly fish well, so it'd be a tricky thing to learn!

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10 minutes ago, chrisjpainter said:

Ah I'd love to and a few people on the lake do, but the tricky thing is only a roll cast would work because there's no room for a back cast behind with trees and steep banks. I've never really learned to fly fish well, so it'd be a tricky thing to learn!

Hello, it's not to difficult , a nice flexible 9 ft rod and a 6 maybe 7 double tapered float line, my son goes to Buscot park lake near Lechlade,  nice fishing on a summer evening, 

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 16/04/2022 at 16:11, oldypigeonpopper said:

Hello, have you tried fly fishing with an imitation  dog biscuit, ?? 

Jesus if you'd said that 50 year ago the men in white coats with green van would have taken you away LOL

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2 hours ago, steve s×s said:

Jesus if you'd said that 50 year ago the men in white coats with green van would have taken you away LOL

Hello, 😁, that's about the  years I have been fly fishing, ,  son's best carp at Buscot is 14 LLB, 

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Nothing beats creeping up a small stream in early May, with a 6ft split cane rod and #2 floating line or even a traditional silk line light leader and a size 18 dry fly. Flicking it under willow branches just sprouting their new leaves and sudden exhileration as a trouts nose breaks the surface and sips that lightly tied Greenwells Glory. The imediate thought is strike but  wait let it turn, then the fun will start.......

Edited by Walker570
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On 11/05/2022 at 16:23, Walker570 said:

Nothing beats creeping up a small stream in early May, with a 6ft split cane rod and #2 floating line or even a traditional silk line light leader and a size 18 dry fly. Flicking it under willow branches just sprouting their new leaves and sudden exhileration as a trouts nose breaks the surface and sips that lightly tied Greenwells Glory. The imediate thought is strike but  wait let it turn, then the fun will start.......

used to do alot of that when i was on contract in cornwall.............caught 100's of fingerlings largest one must have been about 6" long...great fun..

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