Some suggestions and Tips that should help you become a better angler and catch more fish - everywhere!, and especially here at Nineoaks‘
Nineoak’s has 3 Coarse lakes holding a mixed head of quality fish. In the autumn of 2011 a number of small barbel, Chub and other fish were stocked in the Main Pool. These have since grown well and are providing some surprisingly good sport, even though they are not fully grown. Their power and speed is fabulous. Like Carp they like fresh or frozen mussel, prawns and cockles in the margins and Luncheon meat too; These baits can be fished on the bottom and with a method mix too.
Note: NOT not mussels in jars of preservative, pickles or sauces etc. Preferably, fresh or frozen ones. Just plain, unflavoured fresh or frozen mussels. If you’re not sure how to put them on the hook, see Bill (owner) and it will be a pleasure for him to show you.
Before we start, just remember that when you have caught one, you are handling a live animal - so treat it with care and consideration. A little story of what one boy did, when Bill (the owner) started fishing again after he became a Dad. He caught a little Perch which was deeply hooked. He struggled to get the hook out as he was trying to be careful with it, and not damage the fish, as he struggled. Near to him was a young lad fishing, seeing that Bill was struggling he called over.
- “Are you struggling mister?”
- “yes, I’m having difficulty getting this hook out”
- “Oh, I can do that”
- “Can you?” thinking he knew of some special way of carefully removing the hook.”
- “there y’are!”
- “The little lad came over, took hold of the fish and without further ado, literally yanked the hook and pulling the fishes guts out in one swift movement! He had absolutely no idea what he had actually done! As the fish swam away (dying) he thought all was well with the fish.”
- “He had turned the fish completely inside out, and was totally oblivious to what he had done!”
So, please don’t repeat the unhooking method of this young lad? Think about it, when you’re poking a disgorger down the throat of any fish you are technically operating on it without anaesthetic. If you can’t quickly and easily remove the hook, cut your line as near to it as possible and let the fish swim off. It may have a tummy ache for a day or two but it should still live. While you’re digging down it’s throat or stomach with forceps or a disgorger, remember you’re actually operating on it without anaesthetic. To the fish, your tool is nothing more than a broom handle being stuffed down it’s throat - would you like it done to you? So, please be considerate and careful with your capture. We want you to come back again and re-capture that same fish but a bit bigger, and you can't do that with a fish that you have killed, accidentally or otherwise!
What about flavourings?
The thing about flavourings is to entice the fish. But, when most angler’s use them they don’t catch at all and wonder what’s going wrong!
Think of your flavourings like this! If you were standing in a line of fellas and one had too much aftershave, cologne or whatever on and it was overpowering - what would you do? You would give them a wide berth wouldn’t you? Anything to get away from the overpowering smell! It’s the same for fish. What they want is a hint of something to entice them to have a looksee, not overpowering them with stench. So, when using flavourings - less is better, so go easy, just a drop or two not half a bottle!
What’s the Point of it?
Found hanging in a bush was a large, heavy method feeder, attached to it was about 20 yards of ½lb monofilament line. The business end had a large, heavy hook suitable almost for Shark fishing. The point of the hook was almost blunt!
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What is the point of a hook (pun intended) but to penetrate the bony area of the mouth of a fish? Fish have soft, tough and rubbery lips and especially tough bony mouths. A blunt hook will provide them with feed but it won’t provide you with any fish in the net - fact! A sharp hook helps when the fish picks up your bait and you strike in to the bite for it aids the hook to penetrate and gain a hold. So, for your fishing you will have spent money, time and effort stalking or waiting for a bite, so what is the "point" if you lose the best fish of the day all because your hook is blunt? Hooks need to be needle sharp otherwise they can not work properly. Hooks do not necessarily need a barb but they do need to be sharp.
Frequently, check that you hook remains sharp and doesn’t have a little bur (or bent tip) where the point should be. If you keep on losing fish then it is highly likely that your hook is blunt - and that includes new hooks straight out of the packet. So, if you’re losing fish either sharpen your hook or swap it for a new one.
Why do you go Fishing?
We believe that fishing is about having a “brain dump” session - unwinding and enjoying nature, and having an adrenaline rush when a fish takes your bait and puts a good bend in your rod and gives a good scrap. Fishing is about fun, about enjoying yourself and catching a fish, any fish. Otherwise, fishing can be boring.
Enjoy the fish but also have care and consideration for them. Don’t treat them carelessly and literally “throw” them back, release them carefully back into the water ideally using a landing net to do so;
Now, where’s the fun fishing with an ultra stiff, thick rigid rod, when all you do is wind in when the fish has taken your bait? That’s not fishing that’ hauling them out, without sport, without a scrap and without any fun to it.
To have some sport, put a bend in your rod and an “adrenalin rush” what you really need, for most anglers, is a rod that almost every fish can bend. Not a sloppy rod but a forgiving rod. When a fish puts a bend in the rod and gives you that adrenaline rush as it puts up a scrap. No fight equates to no real enjoyment. When you’re fishing you may as well enjoy it! Here in the UK we don’t usually have 60lb Carp so why tackle and equip your self to catch a 100lb fish?
A fish can not give a good account of it self if caught on a rigid rod, with no feel in it, so that all you do is wind or winch it in. That’s not fishing! You need to feel the fight and see the bend in your rod.
How good is it when you’ve had a good scrap, with the rod bent nearly double only to find that you’ve been led a merry dance by a 3lb carp, or a 2lb Roach, a 1lb Tench - but had a terrific time, that’s proper fishing!
When you start fishing you don’t need these thick heavy rods, buy and use a good match rod or a good ledger rod. A rod that bends and allows the fish to fight - that’s what fishing is all about - having some sport.
Why do you go Fishing?
At Nine Oaks, we believe that the best methods are the simple ones. Don’t over complicate your fishing gear, keep it light and simple. Don’t succumb and follow the crowd with heavy rods, overly complicated tackle. A light rod and simple gear. That way you should avoid unnecessary tangles and expense through lost gear, and you should catch more fish.
What’s the point sitting all-day not having a bite or a fish, you want to catch and enjoy yourself so tackle up accordingly.
Those anglers that come here with heavy, big pit gear rarely catch many Carp. Big Carp don’t become big by being stupid, they become big by being canny - how to get fed with out being caught. So, you will need to outwit and out think a smart animal. If you think they’re stupid then you’re not going to catch many fish. They know what you’re there for, that they’re your quarry. So start thinking about you’re fishing, about your tackle. After all it is the thinking angler that catches more fish. If you’re not catching then the fish in their own way are telling you that they don’ like what you’re offering them, the bait or the line or something else is wrong. Like I’ve said you will have to “out smart” a smart animal.
Fish with a light rod (for maximum experience, an adrenaline rush, and plenty of fun), ideally a maximum of 6lb bs line, or thereabouts we think is best. A fine-wire hook and fresh bait, not some old mouldy stuff. As they say “Tight Lines” and have a great days fishing.