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Joe Chappell

Stalking Carp Using the Lift Float Method.

Over the past month, I haven’t had the time to go fishing or write any blogs because I’ve been revising for my A levels. My last exam was yesterday (Thursday) morning. I got home at about half past eleven and enjoyed some lunch before my mum to drop me off at my local park lake. I only packed light. 1 rod, a bit of bait and a selection of hooks, floats and shot.

The tactic of the day was the lift float, the presentation you get with this method is fantastic and it’s hard to miss bites. With the lift float, 99% of bites will result in either the float rising up or completely disappearing from view. I like to fish the float about an inch under the water, when the bait is picked up, the float will rise to the surface. The float may often knock from side to side, as tempting as it may be to strike, DON’T!

Here’s how I set up for this method.

Now to the afternoon’s fishing.

I arrived at the lake at about half past 12 and immediately started looking for signs of carp. I baited up around 10 marginal spots around the lake. On my second lap, I spotted some bubbles coming up below a small overhanging tree. At this point, I think I should add that polarised sunglasses are a must when doing this type of fishing. They make it much easier when staring at a float for hours but more importantly, they make it so much easier to spot sings of fish such as coloured water.

I stealthily set up my rod, opting for sweetcorn on the hook. I usually like to use worms, however I had no time to dig for them in the garden. I lowered the float into place, sat back and waited. After a few minutes, I saw the flash of a tail just to the right of my spot. I received a few twitchy bites but struck into nothing. I had a feeling that maybe some roach were picking up my corn and running off with it. I decided to swap out my hook bait for a small bit of bread, just to check weather they were roach. The float twitched from site to side but after 5 minutes without any proper bites I decided to check the bait. It was gone. I decided to opt for a larger ball of bread on the hook in the hope that it would temp the carp I had seen 15 minutes or so prior.

Sure enough, after just a few minutes using the bigger hook bait, I was hooked up to a carp. Unfortunately, after only 20 or so seconds, the carp spat the hook. I caught a glimpse of the fish and it only looked a few pound (or so I told myself) so I wasn’t too bothered.

Thinking I had spooked the spot, I trickled a bit more bait in and continued walking around the lake, looking for signs of fish. On my third lap, I noticed that the water over one of my spots was ever so slightly coloured up. After standing back and observing for a few minutes, I noticed the odd bubble too. I baited my hook with corn, cast in, stood back, and waited. I waited for about half an hour, however unfortunately the fish seemed to move away. I put a little more bait in, before continuing my walk.

After failing again in another spot, I noticed some bubbles coming up from under the disabled fishing platform. I wasn’t sure how deep it was here, so set my float about 3 ft deep. I dropped my bait just past the spot and dragged the float into prime position. The float sunk and I presumed I was fishing too shallow. As I brought the float in, something pulled back and I was into a fish. The bite was literally instantaneous! The fish was only about 2lb, one of the smallest in the lake however it gave me confidence. I decided to stay in this spot for about 20 minutes in case any fish returned to the area, unfortunately they didn’t.

I continued walking around the lake, and after a while found a fish absolutely going crazy in the corner. I could see it tail up, leaves and chod were rising to the surface and the water was noticeably murky. I think the excitement got to me because I ended up spooking the fish. Undeterred, I continued my laps. On returning to the previous spot, the fish was back feeding. I decided to switch over to bread on the hook since the sweetcorn had been proving unsuccessful. After just a few minutes, the float shot up and I was in. After a fantastic fight, I netted the fish and what a beauty it was. It wasn’t massive but it was a beautiful scaly one which was a perfect end to the afternoons fishing.

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