Shorts and Vest weather, even at night

Shorts and Vest weather, even at night

Summer time is well underway as I write this article with the last two weeks giving us over 8 days of 90 degree weather. While most of you no doubt love the warm weather and the opportunity to sunbath and hang out at the beach, personally I am counting down the days until the Fall Season arrives!! Being born and raised in the North of England I am most happy with 50-70 degree temperatures and love the New England Fall weather which brings magnificent foliage and more importantly the right conditions to target large carp.

AN AMAZING SPRING

The past spring was my most successful to date and one which will be hard to top next year. I had made a conscious decision to target only big fish venues, which as a rule usually have a much smaller stock. I knew this would reduce my numbers and catch rate but it would also give me a much better chance of catching 30lb+ carp. The fishing was not easy by any means, as tactics had to be refined, location of the fish determined and at least a few thousand extra miles logged on my car. In the end it was worth it as I caught over ten fish over the magical 30lb mark with a new PB Mirror thrown into the mix as well.

Releasing a40lb+ mirror

Releasing a40lb+ mirror

SUMMER WEATHER PATTERNS

Now I don’t want to get into complex weather patterns and give you a list of all the things I look for, suffice to say that in the hotter and humid conditions of the summer you will be dealing with long periods of high atmospheric pressure. This is not condusive to the carp feeding with any regularity and on many occasions the fish will spend the majority of the time higher up in the water where they feel most comfortable. They may also hang out on the surface, soaking up the sun’s rays. One way to try and target these fish is with Zig Rigs or floater fishing and both will bring good results if you persevere with them. I usually spend a few afternoons floater fishing in the summer with either floating trout pellets or dog biscuits and it is a very addictive way to fish and exciting to watch the carp at close quarters. However, there’s only so much sun I can take and for the most part I will either look for a break in the weather (rain and storms) or concentrate solely on night fishing.

Surface feeding carp - truly awesome way to fish

Surface feeding carp – truly awesome way to fish

NIGHT FISHING

I am truly in my element when fishing at night. For the most part I don’t even bother with a head torch anymore as I generally have rigs made up to go and can even tie them in the dark if needed! I also find the head torch alerts everyone else to your location and as I like to go under the radar I only turn it on if I really need it. My general procedure is to turn up to the venue a couple of hours before dark, bait up my spots and slowly set up my equipment so I can have my rods in position before dark. Some waters fish well the last few hours of light so if that’s the case I will arrive earlier, but on my local summer water the fish usually feed in earnest after midnight, so I do not rush to cast out. Take into account that if your chosen venue has a lot of bank and boat traffic then the bite time may be later, once all of the noise and disturbance has died down for a few hours. I usually fish until 9 to 10am in the morning or until the boat traffic picks up, but another way to beat this is to fish week days or a Sunday night when everyone else is tucked up in bed preparing for the work week!

A self timer helps avoid sacking fish overnight

A self timer helps avoid sacking fish overnight

A recent night time capture in the hot weather

A recent night time capture in the hot weather

A CHANGE OF PACE

As well as doing some surface fishing in the summer I also like to take a few mornings or evenings to float fish. Generally, this will be for smaller fish and may not even be solely for carp. I’ve managed two such sessions so far this summer, one an early morning affair where I caught plenty of carp, some cracking common goldfish as well as several other species. The second session was for a few hours in the evening and a few carp made an appearance amongst many bluegills and chub, as well as a particularly nasty case of of poisen ivy, my third such outbreak of the year!

The float fishing focuses the mind and simple tactics work best. In both cases I used corn and hemp and the fishing really took me back to my roots. It really is fun to watch a float for a few hours and hopefully see it regularly disappear or appear (when fishing my favorite Lift Method). All I need now is to find a water where I can float fish for larger fish.

Corn and Hemp - A truly classic combination

Corn and Hemp – A truly classic combination

Great fun on the float

Great fun on the float

FOX CONSULTANCY

I was recently afforded an opportunity to work with FOX Tackle and have to say there was no way I was going to turn it down. Over the last 8 months I have used several Ashima Products and have been very happy with them. I would not hesitate to recommend their hooks and terminal tackle and did not join Fox because I was unhappy. The main reason is that I have more range to publicize my articles and the US Carp Scene as Fox are one of the biggest, if not the biggest carp and course fishing company in Europe. The fact that I join an illustrious group of anglers is also good for the ego, as I am not ashamed to admit I do get a boost from seeing my captures highlighted on a global scale.

One thing I have tried to do is to pick items of tackle to use that are readily available to the US market and also within a decent price range. Over the next few months I will pass on my own impressions and the odd review on what I am currently using and one thing I pride myself on is my integrity. I will not give a positive review if I do not like the product and while a few of you may see me as just another sponsered angler pushing products you can be assured that if I recommend something I will be using it myself. I have used Fox products many times over the last 20 years and one thing I can say straight away is that the standard and attention to detail is excellent. All of the items are well made and thought out and I look forward to putting a bunch of new gear through it’s paces.

An  organized tackle box - a rare thing for me!

An organized tackle box – a rare thing for me!

A brace of carp well contained in the Fox Deluxe Unhooking Mat

A brace of carp well contained in the Fox Deluxe Unhooking Mat

FISH CARE

With the increased heat it is important to recognize that the shallower water will be much warmer and less oxygenated. If you are retaining fish, then look for at least several feet of water and if in doubt retain the fish only long enough to organize your weighing equipment and camera gear. Unfortunately, I have witnessed some very bad carp care recently from more that one angler. Fish being sacked in 2 feet of water for several hours on a hot day, unhooking fish on dirt areas or concrete, the lack of appropriate nets or no net at all! I’m sure we all have seen our fair share of such cases and I encourage you all to try to do what you can to educate the younger or newer anglers and not waste time berating such offenders as generally it is a lack of understanding. The more seasoned anglers who practice bad fish care aren’t worth the hassle, as at best it becomes a slanging match or argument. Like everything carp are a resource and if you do plan to practice Catch and Release then it is important that we try and return the fish in the same condition as they were before we hooked them (minus the hook mark of course).

A retaining sling is an excellent choice for keeping carp safe for short periods of time

A retaining sling is an excellent choice for keeping carp safe for short periods of time

FINAL THOUGHTS

We have a month or so left of the summer and I will continue to try to beat the worst of the heat and maybe get out for a few more overnight sessions, if work allows. I’ll be waiting for storm systems and the drop in pressure that ┬ácan offer some of the best fishing of the year. I’ll also be looking at trying to tempt a 30lb+ fish by either float fishing or stalking (still a long time goal I have yet to achieve) and if all else fails I’ll get back out for a few short sessions with the float, targeting smaller fish. My real goals are to stay out of the sun, stay away from the mosquito’s and most importantly recognize exactly what poisen ivy looks like!!

Early morning summer common

Early morning summer common

Chunky scatter scaled mirror, another early morning summer capture

Chunky scatter scaled mirror, another early morning summer capture

 

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