Carp Angling at Harefield
In a recent carp angling blog I mentioned my old fishing friend Terry. We fished together for a few years. Before that I’d always fished alone. Meeting Terry at Nickolls, we immediately got on. He was just starting out on his carp fishing and keen to learn more. He was also a great organiser and cook, something I hadn’t got to grips with in my fishing. Packet of Hobnobs,tea bags and milk was my staple diet for most of the fishing I was doing at the time.
Carp Angling Infancy
Terry had only fished locally, The pit and Hythe canal. He was interested in fishing further afield and to try to catch a thirty pound carp. I invited him to come along to Harefield where I’d just started to fish. We arranged a weeks trip on the 18th July 1986 to Harefield. Terry organised the food for every day, ensuring we didn’t go hungry. This was the early eighties, so carp fishing was still in it’s infancy from today’s standards.
Carp Angling with Barrows
We didn’t have barrows, so we carried everything we needed on our backs like pack horses. We wonder why we’ve all got bad backs now! The first person I saw with a builders barrow was Dave Lane on Harefield. The penny soon dropped. Our first session saw us plotted up down the left hand bank with our backs to the famous Savay over the road. The lake seemed to be fished at long range by most anglers that fished there. One area being what they call “the causeway”; fishing from a high bank at long range to very rough gravel bars. So much so that we heard tale of getting takes and then being cut off before you even got to the rod. This certainly wasn’t my idea of fishing sensibly, I did overcome this problem on other areas of the lake: I’ll explain later.
Carp Angling From the Edge of the Lake
So back to our first session, I found some great close in marks behind the marginal trees that didn’t looked fished. So that was our plan: fish in the edge and not out in the lake. I’d done this before at Fordwhich where most anglers fished long range with rods in the air and lines not touching the margin areas. We decided on Tigers and SBS milk protein baits – don’t think they are still trading. They always managed to get great ingredients for home made baits. Along with the Hutchie range we had all we needed to put some fish on the bank.
Two Rod Rule
With only a two rod rule we made the best use of the margins to the left and right of our respective swims. Not much was caught elsewhere on the lake, so we were pleased with our results. Terry had a lovely mirror, a personal best 29.6lb just short of our target of thirty pounds. Pleased was an under-statement.
Chinese Common Carp
I had what I believe they called the Chinese common at mid twenty and a mid double mirror. The margin tactic paid off with our balanced tigers nuts soaked in Hutchies sense appeal. We fished a couple of seasons on Harefield catching some lovely fish from the margins all round the lake. I did try the bars out in the middle a couple of times with my cunning plan: Sliding a large lemonade bottle down the line holding the line up above the rig and away from the bars. This did catch me a couple of bonus fish with this method, when the margins didn’t produce. I did go on to catch a thirty pound common from the lake. Terry unfortunately couldn’t go that weekend.
Carp Angling in Fresh Areas
I decided on the works area by a big patch of Lillys, an area I’d not been able to get on in the past. Two carp: 32 pounder and a 25 pounder and a nine pound tench. Again to the tigers came to my rods that weekend. I was inspired by Paul Foreward a few days before catching she from the school pool. I went over and did photos for him, sometimes you know when it’s going to happen. We did have some winter sessions on Harefield, it was hard going but we did catch a few again in the margins on home made Tuttie boilies. By this time everyone was using the tutie from Richworth and getting a bite on any other bait apart from the good old tiger nut was hard going. Not wanting to use a ready made in those days, I made my own with the flavour they used in the ready made.
After Hairfield Terry moved on to Fordwhich, I’d been banned from there as I no longer lived within the area allowed by the club. We never really fished together after that. Paul Forward and I moved on to Murston lakes in Sittingbourne. Mainly fishing the second and third lakes. My first year I caught a lovely 28 leather from the second lake winning the clubs carp trophy for the season. After that capture I moved on to the third lake where Paul was mainly fishing. He had also caught a similar carp of 26 pounds. But we both felt there was bigger fish to be had in the third and bigger lake.
Maple Cream Bait
Tigers soaked in Hutchies maple cream was our going bait on both lakes. The cherry tree swim, the longest walk from the car park was our most productive swim on all the lakes catching some lovely mid twenty mirror carp. These always looked bigger in the photos with their depth but no width to them. That lasted a couple of seasons until the gypsy camp was located by the entrance to the lakes. I never quite felt at ease on overnight sessions after that. The only place with any number of thirties in those days was the school pool. Unfortunately I couldn’t get a Faversham ticket so only ever fished there on day ticket.
Carp Angling During the Day
The good thing about the pool was the carp did get caught during the day. I did manage a few from there up to 29 so feel my short time there was quite successful. Mostly catching from what we use to call the dining room in the middle of the lake mainly during the early part of the winter. Tigers and fishmeal boilies both worked to equal effect depending on time of year. During the eighties, rigs were fairly simple with rig tubing lead clips and normally used either a Cris ton or 15lb big game nylon hook length with size 6 drennan super specalist hooks. The most successful rig was the helicopter with the big game hook length. This was and still is the most tangle-free way to fish. Wavelock umbrella with two sewn in storm sides was the norm, just big enough to get a Woolworths sun lounger under without getting your feet wet.
That’s all for now. Tight lines, Trev