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Except for the Novices Pool, every lake has double figure Grass Carp. The largest on-site is around the 20lb mark, and the smallest around 6lb.
The Main lake has about 4 Grassies, and the House Pool 2. Of the Trout Pools, Pallen and Derwen have 3 each. The best method to fish for them is to use floating baits, such as Bread or Chum Mixer dog biscuits.
However, they have been caught on sweetcorn and waffles. Use light line, around 6lb or 8lb is ideal with the line floating on the surface would be perfect. Tip: To ensure that your line floats on the surface grease the bottom 3ft from the hook, use vaseline, butter the oils from either side of your nose anything to make it greasy.
During the summer months the best times are definitely early morning and from late afternoon (around 4pm it is as if their inner dinner bell has rung for food) and the Grass Carp, like all Coarse fish, will be mooching around looking for food. They like to take bread off the surface and many other floating baits such as floating Boilies, Bagel and dog biscuits just like ordinary Carp. Maggots while being an excellent bait will also provide Roach and other non-carp species too.
In Winter time, The tackle needed for catching grass carp is similar to that which is used for general carp fishing.
However, ledgering is a most effective method for catching grass carp. The bait should be presented popped-up just off the bottom. Bites are similar to bream bites than other carp species and dropbacks are common.
Grass carp are wily and are easily scared, so caution and the utmost stealth is required, especially when surface fishing for them, and is the only way to specifically target them. Other methods will definitely mean other types of fish will also be caught.
Don’t be fooled when playing grass carp, they can appear to put up a boring fight and follow you in as you wind in the line. Often going around in a figure of eight as if saying to themselves "somethings wrong here but I don’t know what it is?" However, once under the rod tip or if they spot your landing net (which should be a big one) they will power away and start fighting furiously.
You can prevent this by giving the fish some extra line if it starts to react in this manner, otherwise you risk a break off or the hook pulling out. So care is needed when it’s getting closer to being netted.
Also, it doesn’t end once the fish is in the landing net. Grass carp will often thrash fiercely around in the water and can even jump out of the net itself! Tip: drape any loose part of your landing net over it’s eyes top calm them down before attempting to un-hook them.
Fishing for Grass Carp requires patience and stealth, especially when trying to stalk them.
In an article in Improve your Coarse Fishing during 2006, on surface fishing for Carp, Nine Oaks was chosen as one of the best 6 fisheries in England and Wales.
If you like the adrenaline "buzz" of hard fighting fish where even the smaller fish think they are bigger than they really are, then Nine Oaks is definitely worth a try.
Tip: With any surface fishing it is most important that your line, from the float or bite indicator, to your hook is not under the surface. Your line must be on the water, not in it. The solution is simple - grease your line, Butter, Luncheon Meat fat, the oils from around your nose or behind your ears; all help to keep your hook length floating on the surface. When it begins to sink it will spook the fish. Think about it, when the fish are swimming around, inspecting your offering, what is likely to happen when your sinking line draws across their dorsal fin?