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Steve at Bitterwell

Coarsefish Torbay Fishing News

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It seems incredible to be fishing in a polo shirt during the last week in October, but such is the modern English climate!
I have never fished Bitterwell Lake before, although I have visited several times to shoot magazine articles. A late afternoon visit for just two hours proved to be a great little stint before the weather really goes downhill.

As ever, the lake was very busy, and I had to squeeze into a corner peg. At least there was plenty of room to the pegs either side.
Using the fishery pellets as feed, I started with a grain of corn on the bomb. Within five minutes, I had a carp in the net, so decided to have a try banding one of the hard feed pellets. Once again, the tip flew round in short order, and it became obvious I should just use the hard pellets.
The rod I was using is a 9' soft bomb rod, that I was testing for Simon Young of Talk Angling. It is a brilliant little tool for the price (retails around 45-50 quid), and handled the carp well.
The rod is for sale through the Talk Angling website at a special first-come-first-served price of £25 + £8 postage, and comes highly recommended by me. You can read a full review of the rod on their site, it includes more pictures from this session.
I finished my smash and grab with a dozen carp, all on hair rigged hard pellets with a very regular pouch of feed.

CLICK HERE to read Get Set for Winter

I also went to...

I have been doing a lot of work preparing films and pictures for Mosella's 2012 catalogue and website. As part of this process, I spent a day at Avalon Lakes with some of their sponsored anglers.
Although the weather had changed from the Indian Summer we briefly had, to a more typical cold nights and chilly mornings, the carp were still willing to come off bottom.
Vince Brown was on peg 40 on the Match Lake, where he could fish to the end of an island.
I always feel happier with a little bit of open water to pull carp from when fishing the pellet waggler. This gap between islands gave the carp some cover over their heads, but also space to back off into if they felt too pressured.
Vince put on a good show, feeding quite heavily with 6mm pellets to pull more and bigger fish in. It was interesting that the fish responded better to the sound of a dozen 6mms going in than three or four 8mms.

Vince Brown with Avalon carp

Like many venues in the Westcountry, you tend to catch bigger carp when fishing off bottom. This 8lber was typical of the stamp of fish Vince was landing. It shows you don't need many bites to put an excellent weight together.

Closer to home...

My trip to Upham Farm was an eye opener.
I fished on pond 5, right next to the car park, where I could see plenty of carp moving in the margins. Needing to test a Middy margin pole for Angler's Mail I was hopeful of plenty of action.
Feeding a Kinder cup of corn down each edge, I dropped in and had this little fellow straight away.

Steve with an Upham Farm pasty

Sadly, it proved to be the only fish of the first two hours.
I had put a full Kinder of corn and hemp in after landing that fish and tried throwing two or three grains of corn only in the other side. I was sure the feeding must have been correct for one side of the swim, but without getting bites, it is difficult to weigh it up.
My suspicions were that as others arrived and threw handfuls of bait in to prime their swims, the carp were spooked. Although the weather was very warm in early October, the nights had been clear and the fish were clearly not happy with lots of grub on their heads.
I did manage to sneak one more carp, and lost one foulhooker, but the other five people on the pond had no fish at all between them. After packing up, I went for a walk around pond 7, the main carp lake and was told that fish were only coming out at night. These fish are tending to be mid-doubles with an odd twenty, to spicy boilies over small PVA bags of pellets and crumbed boilies. It shows that the carp didn't want big beds of bait there, either. They were almost getting in to winter mode despite the hot sun.

Where I'm going next...

The last weekend in October sees the start of the Stafford Moor Winter League.
It will be the first time I have fished this league, which has half its rounds at Stafford Moor and the other half at Milemead. I should make the team for the second round, which will be at Stafford Moor.
We will be fishing Tanners and Woodpecker lakes, so carp will play a big part. Silvers may also be very important then, too, so it will be a case of working two or three lines.
The regulars at Stafford Moor are pretty handy at fishing hard pellets on the deck on the waggler. It is a method which picks up more fish than the bomb if you strike at every indication.

Milemead will take a bit more working out, as I have not fished it in matches for a few years. Both the match and carp lakes will be in, and the match lake now has a load of chub and barbel in it.
I imagine corn will play a part there, but so will chopped worm and caster, and expanders cannot be ruled out. The pole will probably be the most important tool, unless drawn on one of the feature pegs, where you need to cast to an island.

Milemead Carp Lake action

It will be similar on the carp lake, with the pole down the edge late being a key method. Also, the big roach and skimmers in the carp lake tend to get caught on boilies or pellets.
Time to make a plan, I think...

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