A little later than planned, we’re back with the next instalment of Adam Penning’s “Accuracy” series. These articles are proving to be very popular with readers as the series develops into a Master Class on how to apply the different techniques required to fish accurately into your everyday angling.
Over to you Adam …
… Having carefully and patiently located an area of presentable bottom close to where we have seen fish activity, we have now precisely wrapped out our rod that we used to find the spot. You’ll recall from the previous part that I use one rod for both marking and Spombing. On the end of it, I attach a rubber sleeve and a quick link so that I can alternate from a lead to a Spomb. Simple!
Once this has been done, and the information recorded, we now need to mark our fishing rods and get some bait and rigs in the water.
I always wrap out my fishing rods to the same distance as my Spomb rod. Even with a bit of in swing, the rig will only end up on the very near side of the baited patch which is exactly where we want it! Remember that all the rods should be clipped at the point that you hit the clip and finish the cast – ideally about 45degrees (or with the rod pointing at around 2 o’clock).
Finishing the cast at this angle allows the rod to act as the shock absorber (you NEVER want to end a cast with the rod pointing at the lead) and it also allows you to gently track the lead down through the water as it sinks. This ensures it goes down in a fairly straight line trajectory.
Measure all Rods the Same!
Every top angler that I know measures his fishing rods and his Spomb rod to the same distance. Do not worry about making complicated calculations. Perhaps in really extreme circumstances (fishing in 50ft of water and casting 50ft out), then you might need to make a calculation, but for most angling situations, simply clip them all the same. I’ve gone out in a boat and looked at it many times – it all ends up in the same place!
Now we need to wrap our fishing rod(s) out to the same distance as the rod we found the spot with. Remember, the rod we found the spot with doubles as our feature finding rod and our baiting rod. It is ideally loaded with 20lb Whiplash and a 45lb Kryston Quicksilver leader. The length of the leader should be around 5 turns on the reel and with a casting drop from the tip of 6 foot.
Once the spot has been located, we are simply going to unclip the lead and attach a Spomb.
Marker Floats (the Fishing Equivalent of a Very Thick Condom!)
Why don’t we use a marker float? Well, most waters these days are quite weedy and believe me, in weed, a marker float is an absolute liability, acting like a mini rake and making bloody hard work of the whole process! Additionally, having the added encumbrance of a float radically reduces the sensitivity of the set up and mutes the feel with the lakebed. It is the fishing equivalent of a very thick condom! And why are anglers so obsessed with depth anyway – who says what a ‘good depth’ actually is? To me, it doesn’t matter if it is 5ft or 15ft, if the carp are there then that is where I am fishing!
Depth only becomes of interest to me if I can’t feel the lead hit the bottom – this either means it is solid with weed (in which case I will know by trying to pull the lead back), or it means that the water is too shallow to feel the lead hit bottom. This is because it has landed virtually at the same time as it hits the water and it is impossible to react in time. If the water is very shallow then it can pay to know how shallow it is, particularly if there are swans on the lake! In virtually all other instances (except perhaps when you need to know the depth to set up a zig), a marker float is an unnecessary encumbrance, so get rid of it.
The Fishing Rods
Once we have wrapped out the actual fishing rods to the same distance, we need to clip them up. At this stage, if you like, you can add a marker knot to the line so you don’t have to re-wrap after every fish or a recast. I tie it from soft elastic (using a 5 turn water knot), 12” off the tip of the rod. I tie it here for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it makes a nice visual reference and, unlike having it near the reel, it doesn’t get caught in the bite alarm on a bite.
The main reason I like it here (and the reason why I prefer elastic rather than a coloured pen) is because it makes a noise as it comes through the rod rings. After catching a fish, (let’s say at night), I like to recast the rod (away from my fishing zone) and listen until I hear the elastic come up through the rings. At this point I stop the line and put my head torch on as I start winding slowly back in. The elastic marker will quickly appear in the torch beam and I simply wind until it is the correct place (12” off the tip), and I then clip the rod up. Wind it all in, attach a new rig and then off you go – simply cast it back out to the clip in line with your skyline marker. Feel it down and you are fishing again!
In the next part, I am going to talk at some length about one of the most important aspects of your carp fishing: Feeling the lead down. We will examine how to do this consistently and, just as importantly, why we are doing it! Understanding the process is vital and believe me, there are several extremely valid reasons for incorporating this as ‘standard angling practice’. See you next time and until then, do everything as well as you can – as a great man once said, those little percentages all add up!