Fortunately the fishing has not and since I last put finger to keyboard for Carp Corner I have taken quite a few decent fish. Lac de Madine has been my centre of attention really with the forthcoming World Carp Classic at the front of everyone’s minds. I went out there with the Hutchy Dream Team to make a video and between the team we managed five different forties, nine thirties, the majority of which were between 37 and 39lbs, and eight twenties for good measure. Keep your eyes peeled for the video when it is released at the Carp Society winter conference at Luton. Madine really is a fantastic place and has been described by the French as ‘The Cassien of the North’. I’m out for a few days in the next couple of weeks so if you’re into continental carping look out for next months feature which will be an in depth look at the lake that is currently taking the carp world by storm. I’ll include a report of this years World Carp Classic as well as details of how to fish a private section of this fantastic big fish Mecca when it opens it’s doors fully to the public next year. For now though, take a look at this beauty, just one of my recent captures from Madine

Competition News

All of the eliminators of The British Carp Angling Championships have now taken place and the finalists are getting ready to do their stuff at Horseshoe on the 1st to the 3rd October. The doors are open to the public on the Saturday and Sunday of the event so if you want to see the top boys in action get yourself down to Horseshoe to see what it’s all about. For the first time in the history of British carp fishing there will be legal gambling on the participants. Well known angling bookie Billy Knott is coming along to give a bit of his old tic tac and take bets on the boys and the odds have just been released. In favourite spot at 6-1 are well known Horseshoe anglers Mike Winston and Tim Fromant. These boys spend a lot of time down at Horseshoe and know the lake like the back of their hands. A good draw will mean that they will be hard to beat, but on their tails will be the Angling Publications duo of Tim Paisley and Simon Crow. Tim, a regular at Horseshoe is a real grafter and has won an event at Horseshoe in the past. Simon, my usual angling partner is the current reigning World Carp Cup winner and is certainly a thinking angler, so their skills are reflected in their odds of 8-1. Someone worth a flutter is John Doody and Drew Thompson. At 16-1 a fiver on these boys could bring a result as Dood won his eliminator and also came first in the recent Pool Hall Challenge at the Midlands day ticket water. Another pair to look out for are the smiling couple of Pete Holehouse and Ian Huntingdon from Lancashire. These boys are two of the most serious anglers I have ever seen fish but my word, do they put a few on the bank. Known locally as ‘The Secret Squirrels’ they do not give an awful lot away and may just do something special on the day. Couple all of this with the fact that you’ve got such names as Terry Hearn, Martin Locke, Andy Murray, and a host of other anglers known and unknown, and the first weekend in October will be one to remember.

September Tip

At this time of the year many anglers make the mistake of thinking that winter is just around the corner and that the fish will be starting to get ready for their last ditch feed, but one of the best places to catch fish at the moment is off the top. It is so easy to ignore the surface of the water throughout the autumn and winter months but on no end of occasions have I seen fish on the surface taking baits even in the depths of winter. Now, more than ever, is the time to get the surface baits out, as others neglect the mixers and just chuck out bottom baits. One word of advice here though. The old Pedigree Chum mixers that used to be so good for surface angling are now pretty poor. Unfortunately the boffins at Pedigree have decided that the old dry biscuits are not as good for poor old Fido as they should be and the constitution has been changed. What this means as far as we are concerned is that the mixers absorb water a lot quicker than they used to and tend to sink fairly soon after casting in. Indeed, it often takes two mixers to keep the hook afloat, but do keep an eye on it as a double mixer on the bottom of the lake is not as good as a floater. Incidentally, I was down at Pallington Lake recently to shoot a video with BBC Big Catch man Liam Dale. The owner Simon Pomeroy and I were having a little bit of a competition between us to see who could get one off the top the quickest. Old Simon knows his lakes like the back of his hand and within minutes had got some low doubles taking mixers off the top. His challenge was to get one with a fly rod before I could get one on the controller. The fish were tight to a tree-lined island and were confidently taking near to the bushes but didn’t really want to move out of their safe haven. Simon was getting the fly out to the trees but it was being blown quickly away so I edged closer and closer to the tree line. Eventually the inevitable happened and I cast into the tree and lost my one and only controller. Bad angling on my part only to have one with me, but I could not be beaten by the guy with the fly. Quick as a flash I put a Korda half ounce bomb and zig rigged a cork ball just below the surface. Within 10 minutes it was off and I landed a cracking double despite both myself and Simon spending nearly an hour thrashing the water to foam trying to get them to take off the top. If they do get in a frenzy but seem to wary to take one off the surface, quickly plumb the depth and get a length of Suffix Invisiline about a foot less than the depth of the water present a mixer or cork ball just under the surface. It can be absolutely deadly.

Bait Focus

To close this month I’d just like to say a thing or two about baits. Going around the country as I do, I see plenty of baits and many different ways of fishing them but there are a couple of baits out at the moment that really do seem to be "doing the business" wherever they go. For example Mainlines Active 8 is absolutely deadly, and Kevin Maddocks new Carp Nuggets seem to be a slightly different slant than normal boilies and have certainly put a few good fish on the bank for him. One of the best ones that I have used recently is Hutchy’s new Secret Agent. This isn’t meant to be a cheap plug but as a bait soak it is absolutely deadly. I take equal quantities of Secret Agent, Shellfish Sense Appeal and Kryston Ambio and mix them in a jar. Then get your favourite pop up (I currently use Hutchy Monster Crabs in 18mm as they stay popped up for ages) and drop a load into the jar. The liquid will filter into the boilies like a sponge and if you leave them in there long enough they will saturate the bait completely so that instead of popping up they turn into critically balanced bottom baits. They reek to high heaven but the carp love them and, as a single bait fiend, I have had some cracking success on large lakes just by slinging out a single smelly balanced bottom bait. Once again, give it a try. It’s just a little bit different, but often just enough to give you an edge.