May 13, 2022 3 min read

Life is busy! But a few weeks ago I managed to spend most of the day with the barbel slayer John McGough and our good pal Wes on a quest to bank some chunky Crucian carp. The day looked absolutely spot on for it! A slight warm breeze and mottled cloud cover painted a perfect picture!
Before I’d even arrived John typically had started to catch early and had landed a near 6lb tench within a few minutes of placing his bait! I set up in my favourite swim and while I waited for the kettle to boil mixed some ground bait with some hemp and flavoured caster. Rolling a few plum sized balls together i lobbed them close to where I knew the beds of the lilies were. I also carefully catapulted 6 to the far margin close to the first few leaves of another set of pads, i then introduced regular pinches of caster and hemp to the nearest spot by hand.
The kettle had boiled and with rods ready to go I made a brew for the lads and sat with them for a few minutes to catch up before I made my first cast. Although conditions were pretty much perfect Johns tench was still the only fish of the day! I made my way back to my swim and double checked the depth of my float, I use a delicate pole float for this type of fishing and fish just over an inch over depth. This allows presentation to be perfect even if there are any undulations in the lake bed.
My second rod was a method feeder, short Hook link, size 16 hook and a small hookbaits. I Tend to use plastic caster or corn that has had a good soaking (for weeks) in Betalin. I pinged the feeder rod to the far margin, and swung the Float close to me above my small bed of feed. I noticed a few shows two rod lengths out from my float so balled 3 small groundbait balls into the rings of the show!
I Expected action straight away, but was made to wait 40 minutes for my first take! A plunging bite on the float which resulted in a ghost take🙄 - absolutely nothing there!!! In the meantime I saw 3 shows over the second spot and nothing on the far margin! Decision made!!
I underarmed my feeder to the second spot and put the kettle on! Literally 2 minutes later and the Bobbin clattered against the blank and the spool spun! ’tench’ I thought! But a minute later and the tell tail jerky fight I knew I was into our target!
A small fish in length but stocky has in frame was soon in my net. She weighed 2lb 1 and was a great start. I quickly replaced the rig and immediately it was off again! This time I bumped it!! But, for me the day got better and better. I ended up with 4 Crucian’s all over 2lb up to 2lb 12, they ended up grabbing selfies with me!
Three on the feeder and one on the float! We all had a great day on the bank and like 3 old ladies chatted about all sorts to nonsense at the bar on the way home.
In the end ‘handsome’ won the day 😂😂 but barbel slayerJohn has certainly made up for it in recent trips!! Catching his body weight in Crucian’s and Tench!!
We both use very similar tactics, especially feeder wise, the only real difference is I use a short supple braided hooking and he uses mono. I use CFood groundbait and he uses Tutti Frutti (he’s more fruity than me) We both use a Betalin too.
Have to say, while we were catching the rest of the lake was very quiet? Might just be the supreme skill of the anglers! More likely to be the quality bait and a bit of luck 😉
Tight lines everyone