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Nine Oaks Angling Centre - time is precious, use it fishing!

About Carp Fishing

A Nineoak's Mirror Carp

Nine Oaks has 3 Carp lakes, a Main lake of about 1 acre, an ½ acre House pool and a small Novices pool. There are Carp into the mid-20’s but we are not a "big Carp" water; If it is big Carp that you are after then this venue is probably not for you.

However, if you prefer a good day’s fishing catching plenty of Carp around ½lb and over then this place would be hard to better.

If you preference is fishing with heavy "big pit" gear and 10lb+ lines then this venue does not fish well with this approach. Light gear, small float, floating Bread, floating dog biscuits or other baits or fishing on the bottom can produce some spectacular sport.

Luncheon meat, paste, pellets, small boilies, dog biscuits (floating or sinking) and maggots are also good baits.

Other excellent baits include cockles, muscles and prawns (not in preservative), spiced baits including luncheon meat with turmeric or curry powder fished on the bottom or ledger style are tremendous. Late summer, fish with black slugs as bait!

One visiting angler using the top-three sections of his pole and "Go-Cat" biscuits bait banded with no float truly had an outstanding day. Regularly loose feeding Go-Cat biscuits close-in he caught Carp all-day, from ½lb up to 14lb, with a total of 109 Carp - fantastic!

Picture of a Nine Oaks' Mirror

While we have Carp into the low-20’s we don’t claim to be a "BIG Carp" water because we're not! What we have is some of the hardest fighting carp pound for pound anywhere, in excellent condition. With the average Carp being around 5-6lb. We have all varieties of Carp - Fully scaled Mirrors, Mirrors, Commons, Koi, Koi hybrids, Mirror & Common Ghosties plus Grass Carp.

The anglers that do well all use light tackle, not big heavy hooks or thick heavy line like "anchor rope", a medium weight size 10 or 12 hook, 6-8lb main line and the clutch set properly on their reel. Not sure how to set your clutch, ask Bill and he will show you?

PS: A little tip: If you want your reel to last a life time; release (or unwind) the clutch on the reel after every fishing session. That way the clutch shouldn't stick and fail to work, especially when you need it!

Some of our regulars can produce unbelievable days fishing, one who fishes with fresh sausage in the margins, a poor day for him would be 18 Carp caught within 12" of the bank! Another, only surface fishes with floating bread.

He cuts the crust into small pieces and uses them as attractors. His best day was one that after 1 circuit of the Main Lake one early morning, he caught 36 Carp and most of them were doubles! This is awesome fishing anywhere. Other anglers use fly-rod, fly line and floating leader with a Black Fly, Bread Fly, Dog-biscuit Fly or bait-banded dog biscuit for some fantastic sport off the surface. Check here for a little more on fly fishing for Carp.

A Nineoak's Carp

We don’t recommend using heavy weight rods of 2 ¼lb test curve and above, however it is your choice. For the best fishing with the "adrenaline rush" feeling when your rod bends like you never knew it could; use a quality match rod, light tackle and your clutch set and just wait for some spectacular action; That’s good fishing!

In 2006 an article in the fishing magazine "Improve your Coarse Fishing" on surface fishing for Carp, Nine Oaks was chosen as one of the best 6 fisheries in England and Wales. No mean achievement for a "small fishery"? If you like the adrenaline "buzz" of hard fighting fish where even the smaller fish think they are bigger, then Nine Oaks is definitely worth a try?

At Nine Oaks, the best methods are the simple ones. Those anglers that come here with heavy, big pit gear rarely catch many Carp. We say that big Carp don’t become big by being stupid, they become big by being canny.

A Nineoak's Common Carp

They know they’re your quarry, what and why you’re there, and so you will have to "out smart" them. Fishing with a light rod (for maximum experience, an adrenaline rush, and fun), a maximum of 8lb bs line, 6lb or thereabouts is best. Early mornings, in the afternoons and evenings surface fish with bread, dog biscuits etc. Soft hookable, floating dog biscuits like Baker’s Beef or Chicken or bait banded dog biscuits like Chum Mixer, size 10 hook with a Fly rod, Fly line and leader, it should be really good.

We think it you will find it the most fun, fully fressed, standing up that you’ve ever had! Try ledger fishing a dog biscuit as a "pop-up" which is an excellent bait and method. Other good baits include sweetcorn, luncheon meat, paste, beef tongue (in tins), fresh or frozen cockles, muscles or prawn in the margins (not those in preservatives) , Worm and Maggots will catch plenty of good Roach and Bream. Most anglers fish the margins, and quite a few regulars stalk the Carp throughout the day.

Why do we see carp splashing or rising up out of the water? It is nice to see the fish, that way you are certain that there are some around, which is comforting and reassuring to know. When Carp fishing, our favourite time is when we have caught a decent fish, and then seeing it in our landing net. A close second, is when we can see the fish topping and being super active. This is a great motivator. However, a Carp’s surface activity can indicate that they are actively feeding and knowing this is to your advantage.

But, back to our original question, why do Carp splash? There are a few reasons for this behaviour:-
#1. Especially during early spring, having been sedentary during the winter period where the Carp lie close to the bottom of the water, the carp splash themselves onto the surface to clean themselves off of leeches and parasites. The ‘smack’ of landing on the water is often enough to dislodge them off their body.
#2. The other reasons are far more interesting and can help with our knowledge and understanding. Particularly during warm periods, and especially during the summer and then again in the autumn,
    #2.1. In the autumn Carp can often be seen inspecting floating leaves on the water’s surface; When you see this they are looking for insects that have probably fallen out of a tree or bush and are using a floating leaf as a "lifeboat". One "slurp" and they’ve had another tasty morsal.

    #2.2. During the summer they can be seen either ‘sipping’ off the surface or splashing, especially in the summer months, there is a fair chance they are eating things off the surface. Flies, moths, seeds and other creatures feature heavily in a carp’s diet. When you see them indulging in this behaviour it should be worth trying a floating bait, such as a dog biscuit, bread, bagel, a marshmallow or other such floating bait, either freelined on the surface of fished with a controller float.

#3. However, jumping or rising up out of the water doesn’t always mean the carp are feeding on the surface.

Carp are serial ‘grazers’. If you want to know how a carp eats, look at a goldfish (which are in fact small carp).

They repeatedly suck in and blow out their food, and with each cycle they ingest a little of it. Often you will see their gills flapping. When bottom feeding the Carp uses it’s pharyngeal teeth (the small teeth at the back of it's throat) to filter food out of the mud from the bottom of the lake. But the mud is blown out through its gills.

When feeding in this way they accumulate grit and muck in their gills. A good way for the Carp to flush or clean them out quickly, would be to rise out of the water or jump. The force of the water as they ‘torpedo’ out helps to clear their gills of any accumulated sediment, before returning to the bottom to continue feeding. So, if you are reasonably sure that they aren’t taking food on the surface, try a bottom or ledger rig, often a method feeder works wonders in these situations.

Picture of a Nine Oaks' Common Carp

Another good sign that carp are feeding by sifting on a muddy bottom is rising air bubbles in your swim or seeing rising clouds of differently coloured water. As Carp ‘feed’ they release pockets of air and gas trapped in the sediment or mud causing bubbles. If you are getting jumping and air bubbles it’s almost a certainty that they are bottom feeding.

Learning and observing their behaviour is a good way to become a more successful angler.

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Quiz this is just for fun, with answers at the bottom of the page.   21st Dec. 2019

1) In what year was the first ever England vs. India Test match played?

2) The construction of what wall began on this day (13th August) 60 years ago?

3) Name one of the three grapes predominately used for making champagne

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Quiz Answers

1) 1932 at Lord’s where England won by 158 runs

2) The Berlin Wall

3) Chardonnay, Pinot Noir or Pinot Meunier