10lb+ Carp Blog

This page on the blog is dedicated to my personal pursuit of a 10lb+ carp.  This may not seem like a large target to some but too a amateur carp angler like myself with a personal best carp of just under 8lb it is a massive fish and considering i fish most of the year on the river a big challenge.

I will be targeting this fish on all a few local venues including Rixton Clay pits, Flushing meadows and and other venue local to myself that offers the possibility of throwing up a fish of this size.  So join me on this adventure as i dip my toes into the massive world of the carp angler.


Session 1 -Sunday 22nd April - Rixton Clay pits - Mussel Swim
Arrived at the water for a short afternoon session at 3pm and settled into a swim that was covered in fresh water mussel shells so aptly named the swim the mussel swim.  Received first line bite around 30 minutes in but it was not till 5pm caught first fish a medium skimmer bream.  Plenty of bubbles and tench showing over he baited area but alas next two fish where again bream.  Lessons learned from the session are maybe i need a bigger version of the bait i am using to target the bigger fish and miss out the skimmers but still good to be in the hunt for this 10lb plus carp.  I packed in around 7.30pm happy with what i had learned about the fish activity on this venue.

Session 2 -Monday 08th May – Flushing Meadows Fishery - Island pool

After speaking to an angler on Saturday on Rixton it appears there is only a small head of carp in Rixton so I may have chose a tough venue for my 10lb fish. Bank holiday Monday me and my dad decided to go flushing meadows and I was all out for a big carp and played the waiting game on a big bait in the margins which resulted in around 12-15 carp from ounces to around 5lb in general but on last knocking lifted into a fish that really felt colossal and I was sure I had cracked this 10lb challenge but unfortunately its size and girth was deceptive and the scales went round to 7lb12oz, so nearly 8lb and a Pb fish from this venue for this year.



Session 3 – Flushing Meadows Fishery – Deep Marl pool

Decided to fish a different pool on Saturday and went all out for the carp on larger bait in the margin.  The result was 19 carp with the biggest a lovely linear mirror weighing in at 7lb 8oz.  The boards on this fishery do state the carp go into double figures on here and with the amount of bait that goes into here I can quite believe it I just don’t think there are a high density of these fish in each pool.  This quest really is capturing my imagination and I have a few tricks up my sleeve for nailing this in the next few trips, fingers crossed!! I have also been questioning Rixton as a venue for chasing this target due to the amount of Tench in the venue, a tough call though because I wouldn’t mind a 6lb+ tench!



6th June Update

After receiving a really informative email from a blog follower i have been refining my approach to this challenge in scoping out new waters where my chances of catching this fish are a lot higher.  I was out on the canal this weeks and spotted a large pod of carp and i am currently in the process of baiting up an area where these carp can find free offerings in the form of boilies.  So far this week i have introduced bait to this area twice once on Sunday and once today hoping to draw the carp into the area before targeting them.  I have also refined my tactics when visiting flushing meadows to use bigger baits to try and target the bigger fish as i feel that trying to wade through the large number of 5-6lb carp is not going to work and I have also took the decision not to target rixton due to the vast numbers of tench and bream that live here. So this was just a quick update to blog where i am up to with this challenge and that it is still making up a big part of my angling thoughts.

2013 CAMPAIGN 

UPDATE or should i say BATTLE CRY

Last year was a hard year for me to devote time to both the main blog as well as this mini blog but this Spring and Summer I am hoping to rectify this as the pursuit of my first 10lb carp goes into over drive.  I began thinking about this as soon as the river season closed and had a vision of targeting my local canal, the Sankey canal in Widnes.

The week i was due to pre-bait this venue the weather took a real turn for the worst and the country was blanketed in snow and the venue was covered in a thick layer of ice.  This turned out to be a god send really as during this time i spoke to a few people who informed me about the nature of this venue and really put me off bit time.  I had my doubts about it form day one due to the state of the area but was willing to give it a go as it has so much potential but in reality there is nothing worse than fishing whilst watching your back, not for me i am sorry.

In the past 2 weeks i have been put onto another local venue that has a really old strain of carp in it and some really decent carp up to upper double figures so is right up my street for this challenge.  The venue is called "Curlston Mere" and will be the venue i will be targeting primarily for start of this challenge.  The only problem i can see with this is the fact that carp being in there is only word of mouth although i know it contains small carp the upper doubles will need to be proved, i love a good challenge :-)

Baiting up Session 1 - Curlston Mere Wednesday 03/04/13

With a half day off work on Friday I travelled to this venue late on Wednesday night and introduced a small amount of bait.  I baited up with two handfull's in the main swim i intend to target and also fed a hand full of boilies into a second swim which i see as a back up in case i arrive and someone is fishing there, i only fed a small amount fo bait due to the cold weather and the fact i intend to fish it on Friday afternoon.  I chose to go with the Spicy crab and Garlic Dynamite baits boilie for two reasons really, 1) its a brand i have faith in and done really well using their baits for tench and 2) i will be fishing close to some over hanging trees and i wanted a smelly red bait.  Carp fishing is about confidence and i will be confident using this bait.

Preparing for the first Session - Keeping it simple - Thursday 04/04/13


I am a firm believer in keeping things simple and only changing things if the simple way does not work so for now it will be simple bottom baits and pop up rigs using strip teaze and shimano antares line for rigs, if i feel they are not working or doing the job fully ot i feel the rigs are not working then i will look to change things.  The bait will be presented in a PVA bag with a number of freebies so i know the bait is fishing properly the whole time i am fishing.  Am i confident for a fish on Friday, well all i can say is i never go fishing expecting to blank so i expect a bite on Friday but i am also very realistic and the temperature is going to be a major issue but i am hoping by arriving in the afternoon it will have warmed up a bit.

This is the start of this years adventure so join me as we set off into the dark :-)

Curlston Mere - Friday 05/04/13 - 2pm till 7pm

With a half day off work on Friday I set off for my first session of the 2013 quest i was full of anticipation as i left for the bank.  I arrived at the pool to be greeted with a howling northerly wind blowing over my shoulder and pushing to the far side of the pool.  I decided to go with a double bait set up with a single bottom bait fished with a pop up to let the bait just lie on the bottom of the pool as i thought the area i was fishing had a bit of dead leaf litter on the bottom.  The session resulted in a blank and i was not really surprised as the whole place was dead with no sign of the good head of silvers this place holds, even during the last of the days light.  I learnt a lot form the session, firstly i think the double boilie set up is too big of a bait so next time i will be fishing a single pop up of bottom bait and i also learned the swim i am fishing is in a decent depth of water for when the warmer weather comes and the fish move up the shelf into the margins.  Before i left for the day i had a good feel around with just the lead on and the bottom feels a lot firmer than i imaged and a few drags through the swim saw the lead come back clean with no silt.  As i left i threw in two small handfull's of boilies and waited to see if the coots moved in over the area, which they didn't but i suspect they will be taking some of the bait.

Curlston Mere Wednesday 10/04/13 - baiting up 

I nipped through after work tonight and introduced two more handfull;s of bait in and around the main baited area and also one hand full of bait into the secondary swim i am baiting up on a low level in case i arrive to find my main swim with someone in it.  Left feeling really optimistic as it seems the warm weather has had an impact with loads of fish topping all over the pool and the odd few bubbles coming up, fingers crossed for this warm spell to continue into the weekend and i will be on there for a session this weekend.  The coots again where not in the area but i am thinking of introducing a few balls of liquidised bread and corn so i know there is some food for any feeding fish there all the time and also it will get the other small fish which i hope will perk the interest of the carp to this free bounty of food.


Monday 15/04/13 – Curlston Mere – Main swim – 17.00 – 19.30

The title of this update if it had one would read either 2 swallows don’t make a spring or “Time Wasted”.  After catching my first proper carp of the year on Saturday and the noticeable rise in temperature I ventured out to curlston mere full off anticipation and I have to admit there was a little sense of expectation as well.  The wind was a strong gusting Westerly wind but unlike last week it was a lovely warm breeze.  There was plenty of activity across the whole place from roach and the odd bigger swirl which at least one was a carp.  I fished from 5pm till 6.30 feeding only a small amount of boilies and then prepared for the last hour and half with a recast and sat back.  I
must say I expected a run and it all felt right for a fish but alas the buzzer remained silent the whole time and it wasn’t till I reeled in it all became clear as my line was stuck solid on the bottom so from a fishing point of view it was a wasted few hours on the bank but it was made up for by the stunning wildlife around this quiet pool, my first two swallows of the year, a fox coming down to drink and a owl working the farmers filed behind me all made this trip worthwhile.  Before i left i introduce a few more baits to keep the swim topped up while i am away and hopefully get these carp seeing this as a free source of regular safe food.


Friday 19th April - Curlston Mere 3pm till 8pm
Arrived around 3pm and was treated to a warm evening on the bank, fished Crab and Garlic boilie on a pop up rig on spot one with 7 freebies scattered around the bait, not a knock!!.  Was sat there alone with my thoughts thinking about what could be wrong, are there even carp in there of a size to eat a boilie?? is boilie the way to go on this natural venue?? is my rig working??  Luckily around 7pm a local lad called by and answered question 1 and 2 for me, carp and big carp are in the water I am fishing with a few upper doubles and one around 24lb with high numbers of smaller carp and also was given a pointer that boilies are not the way to go and this very helpful lad gave me a few pointers on baits and locations.  This has meant a new game plan for me, this weekend we will be going flushing meadows so its time to test out these rigs on a place with a lot of carp and also from now on the boilies will be used on other WAA waters and this pool will be getting a whole new baiting approach, i am more determined than ever to crack this venue and get some bites.


Saturday 27th April -  Local Commercial Fishery – 07-00 till 15.00
As planned I visited this fishery armed with my bite alarm and carp rod and also took both variations of the rig I have been using of late, one using monofilament and another coated braid.  The results where really reassuring with me putting a few fish on the bank and also missing a fair few runs due to not concentrating and missing runs where the fish came towards me.
  All the fish came on the monofilament hook length and where all nailed good and proper so the good news is my rigs are working which leaves one question, Why have I not had a single touch on Curlston Mere using these rigs? Can it be that the lad I met was right and boilies just don’t work on there? My next trip for the quest is a trip to curlston Mere on different bait but at least I know the rigs are working. 

And finally we have a few carp on the bank in this carp quest with the biggest going 5lb 4oz it was some good fun and a good confidence build to build on.

few more pics from the trip:
  

Saturday 11th May Rixton Clay Pits

My second trip to this venue in two weeks with the fist being mentioned in this weeks main blog update and me taking one tench.  I returned this week with the same tactic and took 4 tench up to just under 5lb so the rig is certainly working as it the bait.  I know this venue is predominantly populated with tench hence me getting so many but served as a great confidence boost to let me know rigs are doing the business and working. 


Monday 13th May - Grey Mist Mere

With the success of rixton's tench session still running through my veins i thought its a bout time i bit the bullet and visited a proper carp venue and they don't come much more pressured than Grey Mist Mere.  I have never even set foot on this venue before so i kept my tactics simple for my late afternoon session.  My reward was a single tench at 5lb 10oz i as made up that my rig was working but another tench!! i am fast becoming MR TENCH, being a complete carp novice but trying to think like a carp angler its got me thinking now as i know rigs work but am i doing something wrong why i am only getting tench or is it only a matter of time before i bump into a carp? i must say seeing the carp roll on Grey Mist mere got my blood pumping.


Wednesday 15th May 2013 – ‘Checking out new ground’

I had planned on grey mist being my new venue to target in this quest but after hearing about the lad robbed at gun point I was well and truly put off this venue and began putting the wheels in motion to find a new location

Tench have made up most of my catches so far in this quest and it is about time I changed that pattern and with this in mind I set about finding a local venue that held a good number of carp and more importantly carp in the weight bracket I am targeting.  Wednesday night I began scouting out the new venue armed with only a catapult and two good handfuls of boilies I made the journey and basically just sat and watched the sun go down with my eyes glued to the water looking for signs. 

3o minutes passed before I got a glimpse of anything and then right out in front of me a good carp lifted itself clear of the water and in a spot that looked well out of the way of any angling pressure as well.  In the next hour I only saw one more show, it was a different fish but in the general area so I made my mind up to target this area for my campaign on this water and in a went a good spread of bait to get their taste buds going and I left them to dine.

Friday 17th May 2013 – Toppin’ her up

The working week finished and on the way home I nipped onto the new venue and fed a good handful of bait in and around the area but with only the grill to go review section of the weekly blog wrote I had to nip home and make a start on it.  I saw no signs of fish moving on the venue but in my mind I was already beginning to think this venue is going to be an early morning/late evening venue.

Saturday 18th May 2013 – Fishing Rixton forces rig changes

As mentioned in this weeks’ main blog I only managed to get out for a few hours but managed a nice fish but I also lost one to the hook length snapping on the take and another with the hook length snapping under my feet.  The rig line I was using was the 10lb shimano Antares so it looks like this line has gone so I spent Saturday evening tying up some new rigs using ESP striptease.   The evening saw me introducing a handful of bait and watching the new pool into the last hour of light and boy did the blood start pumping as I saw a decent fish top right where I had put in the bait, should I had taken my rod? In my eyes no, I felt confident that feeding it and letting them feed without fishing for them would pay dividends when I did come to fish it and I knew that day loomed large.

Sunday 19th May 2013 – ‘Be Prepared’

The time had come to fish the venue and in the pitch dark I loaded the car with just the bare essentials, a rucksack with rig bits and the all-important scales, an unhooking mat, two bank sticks, a landing net and my fishing rod.  I arrived at the venue put the bite alarm in and baited up the rig and cast it out onto the spot, gently I placed the rod on the bank sticks and reached for the catapult to put out a few freebies but before I had even reached my catapult the line started shooting out into the pool and I lifted into a fish that felt solid and made a steady run to my left, I have to admit I was in all kinds of trouble as my landing net was set up but was not extended so I had it all on to land this fish.  I played the fish with the rod between my legs whilst extending the landing net and when I got back in contact with the fish it was close in the margin add hell bent on making a margin snag I quickly applied some side pressure and turned the fish only for the hook to pull and come back towards me!! I have to say I was gutted!! All that hard work had paid off and I have messed it up big time! That could have been the one I was after.

The loss of the fish was totally my fault I should have set up properly before casting in so I could give the fish my full attention as with all aspects of this quest I am learning all the lessons the hard way.  I had one more run before I left a 9am which on reflection I think was a liner.  I left today dejected and really annoyed with myself on the loss of this fish but as I came to terms with the events I realised I was doing it all right I had baited up right ant hit a possible target fish on my first visit.

Tuesday 21st May 2013 –  feeding my friends

With time of an essence I managed to nip to the venue and put in a good handful of bait on the area and was pleased to see a small carp roll in the vicinity and the wind piling into the area I had baited the signs are good for tomorrows session.

Wednesday 22nd May 2013 – “The End of a long hard road”

Wednesday evening and I sat in work looking at the wind hammering into the trees across the road and thought twice about that evening s trip to the venue but the warmth was there it was not a cold wind and that swung it for me. 

We arrived on the bank at 6pm and it wasn’t till 7.43 we saw the first fish jump, it was straight out in front of me but a long way out of my casting range, at least in these conditions.  My dad has joined me on so many of these trips in pursuit of this carp and he was there again by my side taking the full brunt of the now gale force wind that was blowing straight into our mushes, the picture below of my rod showing the height of the swell caused by this strong wind.



I was struggling to reach the baited area to be honest so I decided that the next time I recast I would start attaching a PVA pag with a few freebies in it as at least this way I would be guaranteed of a few baits around my hook bait.  When I first started this quest I my rig consisted of a free running bomb down to a hook with a weight in place stopping the bomb from reaching the hook I like to feel the past year I have learnt and improved my presentation as you can see the rig I now use is a far cry from that simple rig I used a year ago.



The evening rolled on and the lake began to settle down as the sun sunk behind the far tree line and the whole place seemed to be preparing for the night ahead.  The temperature cooled a good degree or so and the light levels dropped I knew this was the best time to be on the bank and this was the time of day I had seen most of the activity on the lake but I knew my time was nearly up as my dad was beginning to ask what time we were going home lol.   I stood up and began scanning the lake and wondering what I may have done wrong on the session not to get a run and I felt I was facing another blank straight in the eye and with that very real feeling of failure still running through my mind the alarm screamed off!! 

Straight away I knew this was a good fish as it kept deep and made a slow solid run to my left but unlike last time I was in prime position to play the fish and knew full well the fish would make a run for the snag but I was ready this time.  The fish moved slowly into to margin and made the run for the snag but I was on it and turned the fish before it made too much ground and that run seemed to annoy the fish that then started really flapping around on top and I was sure at any moment the hook was going to pull but it held firm and after turning the fish from the snag one last time the fish came up and took a gulp of air and slid nicely into the waiting landing net.



Onto the unhooking mate for its picture to be taken and I knew just by looking at the fish on the mat it was the biggest carp I had ever caught so was going to be a personal best.   I have had may day dreams over the past year about what my double figure carp will look like but never did I think it would be such a battered fish, its mouth had a lot of damage as did its dorsal fin but it was all irrelevant in my eyes she was beautiful and will live forever in my memory as I don’t think I have ever worked so hard at something in angling in my life.

Onto the scales and as they settled on 10lb 3oz I must admit I put the fish back into the net and rested her in the margin while I took a second to take it all in.





I regained my composure and set up the camera for a few pictures as you can see the light was not the best. What a moment and just looking at the pictures now brings it all back, what a buzz I still remember the feeling of all those blanks and lost fish and hours spent looking up new venues falling away from me as a massive weight lifted from my shoulders and settled perfectly in my palms, quest completed! What a journey.



And I leave this quest with the fish having the last word as she slips away silently back into her watery home, thank you girl.


9 comments:

  1. Good luck with that Danny, I have fished Curston Mere a few times and always had good results, look forward to hearing how you get on.

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  2. Good luck mate I started my quest for doulble figure carp 2 years ago, with mixed success lol.

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  3. cheers max, fingers crossed mate. Thank you for commenting huntsman it is really hard getting it all right isnt it, location i am finding the hardest i want it to be from a natural non commercial venue busy carp venue but naturla venues with 10lb plus carp that are not pressured are hard to come bye. this venue after my first session on friday os a magical venue i just hope the fish are in there as at the moment i only have word of mouth.

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  4. cheers andy mate, thank you.

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  5. Well done Danny on bagging your 10lbs Carp. Its a great sense of achievement when you set yourself a target and come up with the goods! Really well done! Is a 20lbs Carp the next quest?

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  6. Some of your blog records now need an upgrade ;-) Nicely done.

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  7. Well done! What a journey!

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  8. Danny, can I have your social page?

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