September 9th-14th 2012 saw me fishing the famous Redmire Pool for the 60th Anniversary of Richard Walkers record capture of a 44lb common carp ‘Ravioli’, later named ‘Clarissa’. Although the pool no longer holds the monsters it once did, any carp from Redmire Pool is an achievement and many of our angling peers have tried and failed to catch the beautiful carp that inhabit the pool.
In the months leading up to my trip I did a lot of research, reading reviews and books, searched the net, watched ‘A Passion for Angling’ a hundred times. It became apparent that there was no set format to catching at Redmire Pool, some people caught, some people failed.
During a telephone conversation with the Redmire bailiff Les Bamford I was told, ‘fish it your style the way you would fish a water back home’ ,great help Les!!!
Whilst researching, it occurred to me that a lot of the anglers fishing the pool were taking 10-20kg of bait and piling it in from the start of their 5 day session. 9 out of 10 of them were using Mainline Cell which Les had told me had been a winner in recent years.
The pool had been fishing hard in the months leading up to
my visit, I decided to go against Les’s only real advice and
fish with Vortex Snowberry. My thinking being that fish could be shying off The Cell due to just being sick of it, I love a fillet steak but wouldn’t want to eat it day in day out. I also decided to adopt a ‘little and often’ approach rather than ‘fill it in’ with bait, so 5kg of Snowberry it was.
I set up for the week in a peg known as Greenbanks, however, I had planned to bait various swims around the pool for stalking during the day and concentrate on my own swim at night.
Three other anglers were on the pool for the 5 day session Olly, Bill, and Anthony. All three had fished the pool before with mixed results and all having plans for the week involving Mainline Cell making me wonder had I been right in discounting the advice provided by Les, time will tell.
I started with tweaked standard bottom rigs on two rods, the main tweak being a long hair with literally a quarter of a 16mm Snowberry mounted on it. I haven t used a whole boilie on the hair for a very long time due to thinking that carp see so many round baits that they must be weary of them, especially the bigger wiser fish. A little piece of tubing on the bend of a size 6 hook, two pieces of putty at the top and bottom of the 8 inch hook link and a 1 boilie PVA bag. Positioned on a clear spot that was easily visible at 15 yards, with the other rod being put just off the clear spot in the chod and weed, strange I know but let me explain to you my theory why.
A few years ago a carp angler said to me “never worry about fishing into the weed with a good quality bait and the way you will get to know if it’s good quality is that you’ll catch. This is due to the fish can taste it, like it, search for it and dig for it”. Also the fish will forage in the safety of a weed bed. With this is mind I always put one of my rods on a clear spot and the other close by it onto the chod that surrounds the clear spot.
A few years ago a carp angler said to me “never worry about fishing into the weed with a good quality bait and the way you will get to know if it’s good quality is that you’ll catch. This is due to the fish can taste it, like it, search for it and dig for it”. Also the fish will forage in the safety of a weed bed. With this is mind I always put one of my rods on a clear spot and the other close by it onto the chod that surrounds the area.
I’m very particular with the bait application breaking every free boilie up into quarters and firing each quarter in with the catapult so I’m actually introducing 4 baits into the swim with every boile used. By not firing a pouch full of chops every time I can distribute the chops around the area, a pouch full can tend to group the loose feed. This way I get odd pieces of boilie all over the area, on the clear spot, on the edge of the clear spot, and in the weed and chod were the second rig has gone. Finally I’ll pop in 3 whole boilies which I use as decoys, the fish see them, associate them with danger and feed much more confident on the pieces, two of which are my hookbaits.
Although I have confidence in the rig on the spot, invariably I get pickups on the rig in the weed so if you should cast just off the spot you can be happy about leaving it in position.
By introducing about 20 boilies over the area broken into quarters means I’ve got 80 baits spread on the spot which will be topped up if I get a bite, a fish, or if bird life is diving on my bait. Diving birdlife on the spot will stir the bottom up and ultimately attract the carp, they tend to avoid the weed areas pushing the carp closer to the spot in the weed and eventually your hookbait. How often do you hear the term, ‘the birds are mullering me’ well if you’re putting out 3kg at the start they are going to, put out 80 baits that’s really only 20 and what does it matter you just keep topping up.
The first night passed with a few liners and at first
light I had wildlife diving down on the spot which
could have been the cause for the liners in the
night. Having topped up the spot with another 20
chopped boilies spread loosely over the spot and
30 minutes later with the ducks still diving, the
rod on the clear area was away, due to a pretty
stockie of about 5lb. The rod was put back out, 20
more chops over the top and no more than an
hour later the rod in the weed was melting away.
Before lifting into the fish I believed it was a
proper one, it came to the surface and fought
hard. The other lads came round to help with
weighing and pictures and I couldn’t believe that
less than 12 hours into my session I’d got a
stunning 25lb 2oz Redmire Zip Linear.
remained in my swim for the full day as I thought the fish might be on it, unfortunately no more action coming. At teatime I reeled in and went for a wander to refresh the bait on the spots around the pool.
I’d found a nice spot at the head of the pool along the Dam wall, allowing a view of most of the water, another baiting with 20 Snowberry chops was applied, my plan was to bait the spot every 4-6hrs and fish over it later in the week. I put a little more bait in a few other spots around the pool and headed back to the swim to put the rods out for the night.
The second night went by with only a few liners, at dawn I had another small linear from the rig just off the clear spot. I fished until mid-morning and as the temperature increased a few fish started cruising near the surface towards the far bank. I reeled in and optimistically went round to see if I could winkle a fish from the surface. After several hours of near misses I was finally rewarded with an immaculate 9lb common, surface caught on a cut down ‘pop up’ ..mission accomplished.
That night the weather report indicated a mild conditions, I decided to spend a night under the stars on the Dam Wall fishing the spot I’d been baiting for the last 24hrs. I moved minimal gear around just before dusk and put a rod on the spot and a rod just off the spot. I lay on the bedchair soaking in the atmosphere till about 10pm before drifting off to sleep. I was awoken at around 3am to one of the rods melting away and after a spirited battle I was soon netting a scraper 20lb common.
The lads came over to do pictures again and as they all went back to their swims I sat there in the dark feeling content and thinking how well the session had gone. Within ten minutes the other rod burst into life and I found myself connected to another good fish tearing its
way up the pool. After another intense fight I put the landing net under another pristine common of 18lb. The lads came round once again and were just as happy as me at my success, we had a beer and it was handshakes all round.
A few hours later and Bill was in from Willow pitch, I went round to do the honours and was made up for him as he’d never had a big common from Redmire in the 6 times he’d fished there. Success this time though… 22lb of common carp was his prize.
For the rest of the session the carp decided we’d had our fill, and I did feel for Anthony and Olly who pulled out all the stops but it just wasn’t to be. As I was packing my gear away on the Friday morning I was given one final chance on my initial spot in Greenbanks, but lost a good fish soon after hooking it. Cursing I soon realised I had nothing to curse about 7 Fish had been caught and 6 of them were to my rods, two of which were 20s, maybe due to tactics, maybe due to bait, or maybe just pure luck whatever it was I didn’t t care…..
returned to Redmire unexpectedly just a few weeks later due to a last minute cancelation that I was offered. Due to my own work commitments I could only fish 48hrs of the 5 day session.
Everything was similar to before with me adopting the same tactics and baiting strategy, I was once again on Vortex Snowberry, but I did choose a different swim . I fished a swim called ‘The Stumps’ purely due to the fact I’d seen fish in front of it and needed to get quicker action with it being a shorter session.
I started with a small common on the first evening and that was it till the following afternoon. I sat chilling wishing I’d got the whole week to fish when the alarm burst into life. From the off I knew this was a special fish and the battle was intense ending in the biggest fish to come out of the pool in nearly 3 years. A stunning common of 27lb 12oz and a new PB for me, I was buzzing.
That was it for the session, and packing away the following morning was torture, I’d more than had my share of action. Redmire is such a special place to be and catching is more than a bonus, I’d done so on both occasions and couldn’t t ask for more…. I can’t wait to return…