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Thursday, 14 March 2013 09:53

Short Session Carping

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A short session trip made bagging over thirteen fish to 15kgs possibleA short session trip made bagging over thirteen fish to 15kgs possibleGetting out onto the water for one of those last minute, lock and load trips is one of life's real treasures. Suddenly a gap in your schedule appears and in no time it is filled by an opportunistic excursion. It is trips like this which often produce better results than the one which over the past 6 months you've planned to the last detail.

The reality is that my own quick trip illustrated here turned into an extremely short session, but for about 90% of anglers their usual fishing trip is also fairly short. A 24/48 session is probably the average trip an angler will embark on, with perhaps a longer, single week thrown in perhaps once a year with a maximum of twice a year.

Therefore the following tips will apply to most of your fishing.
I'd thought I was on the ball as the previous night all the gear was loaded and all
I had to do was buy a new fitting for my fishfinder, which I'd adapted to fit tightly on the boat's transom. The venue's thick weed has a tendency to wrap around the transponder very quickly, so I needed a quick method of removing the unit from the water, but by the same token, once over the beds be able to return it to the water just as quickly. My closest place for fitting it was just off the highway, so I'd be in, out and away - no problem. One small niggle did grind away though, namely the highway would perhaps be a little busy, but hey, I was buoyant and sped though the first interchange - no problem. That was until the fast lane became the slow lane, and my last hope to escape on an off-ramp appeared in the rear-view mirror, which meant that only after an hour did I manage to pass through the bottleneck of five lanes into one, followed by a mere 3km and another 30miniutes and then I was past Alberton. A little frazzled I met with Neville Alexander who was joining me on the trip - after a 2- hour journey - with still a further 40min still to cover. My short session was turning into one of the shortest ever!
Time and Venue Choice are the two most important factors – it's no good spending the time travelling any more than it is fishing a venue where it can take you a week to get a bite.

Neville returning from netting a fish deep in the weed Note the fish movments back in the swim The marker can just be seen a few meters to the right of the fish feeding.Neville returning from netting a fish deep in the weed Note the fish movments back in the swim The marker can just be seen a few meters to the right of the fish feeding.My set-up included just a couple of rods, an overnight brolly and & bed-chair and the inflatable, an item usually reserved for longer trips but would be invaluable in placing bait, netting fish and navigating weed.
For Neville it was his first time back to the venue which he'd grown up fishing with his brother over 25 years ago. I'd fished it a week or two before with some success, so full of expectations I ploughed on with a pre-determined plan. It could have worked, but didn't, so now I had no choice but to sit it through.
I could have re-positioned my hook-baits, but night had fallen, the swim was tight for all the lines anyway, so the risk picking up line which lay on the weed beds just inches below the surface was just too great. The main mistake was too much feed. In the bigger picture, it wasn't a lot, but for such a short session there was plenty out there to lower the odds against us. I'd fed around 6kg of feed along the edge where a drop-off ran parallel to the bank.
I'd picked up one of Neville's lines on one of my return trips to place my baits just before dark. Although it came free we were sure it must have moved the hookbait, and after some thought he decided to re-position it. When he returned we both agreed that we thought this was the one to go.
It always seems like that - a little more effort, and an extra half an hour spent for re-positioning will not only remove any doubts which can niggle and eat away at you, but for some reason also prompt the fishing gods to always reward that extra effort. It was indeed this rod that went - not a big fish, but a good looking mirror, and more importantly it bridged a gap of over 25 years and Neville was reunited with the water's inhabitants.
The take had come some way off the feed, so when it was replaced I made a mental note - if this goes again, my rods are coming out to be re-positioned off the feed as well. This didn't happen and in the morning we retrieved the lines only to find some tangled or tightly hung up in the weed beds. We were unsure how it had happened and reckoned that the surface wind may have caused the weights to move position, but the long and the short of it though was that they had been in the wrong position for most of the time.

Had there been too much bait in? Who knows? There were plenty of fish showing over the area, so perhaps the hook bait movement had been the cause of our good night's sleep. Either way, the lesson was learnt, namely that if you are unsure, with some rods are getting action and others not, the chances are that there is something wrong with them.

Read 3448 times Last modified on Friday, 15 March 2013 11:34

John is a specialist Specimen Carp Writer who was instrumental in establishing specimen carp angling in South Africa.

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