CARPology 3 Issue Subscription (Worldwide) From £14.25
Subscribe
How to succeed at overnighters
Tristan Peel gives us an insight...
Y

ou’re not going to believe this’ types Tristan on Facebook Messager. It’s only been a couple of hours or so since we left him at the stunning Quarry in Essex, but we’ve got a good idea what’s coming… ‘I’ve had three takes within an hour! I lost one, then had two on the same rod within 20 mins… 24lb 6oz and… I’ve had Raddish again! It hasn’t been out in 18 months and I’ve now had it twice in 10 days!’ For those that don’t live in or around the Essex area, Raddish is a local 50-year-old veteran. A classic looking, almost leather carp, and one which is steeped in history and we missed his appearance by two sodding hours! Still, we did get to spend the morning with the 23-year-old, tapping into his mind to understand how he wins at overnight sessions and what he’s learnt from being a bailiff on both this historical venue and Cleverly Mere which is just down the road.

The Raddish at 33lb 12oz
One from Cleverly Mere

Tristan, can you give us some background to your fishing over the past 12-months? Where have you been fishing and how has it been going?

“The majority of my time last year was on Cleverly Mere, doing a similar thing to this year: overnighters mid-week. I did 33 nights on my syndicate last year, resulting in 15 fish with five losses.

“The key last year as pre-baiting. Getting there after work, even if I wasn’t fishing the day before, putting two to three kilos on the spot and then fishing singles over it the following night. I was fishing mainly boilies, with a few chops in there, fishing the deeper water to try and keep the ducks off.

“Fish-wise I had fifteen fish up to 35lb 12oz and the majority of the bigger fish were commons.

“I am pretty organised prior to the session – you have to be on short, overnight trips, time is of the essence. My hookbaits will be glugged, rigs already tied and all my lines marked up. I actually fish quite similar to Karl King who you featured a few months back.”

On a lake like Cleverly, it’s very busy with a high turnover of anglers, so is there a mutual respect between the anglers when it comes to pre-baiting? Will the others not fish your spot(s) or are you baiting somewhere not many would necessarily think about?

“That was one of the things I did: I chose two swims in particular which most would walk past to head for the more productive swims. One swim is called The Posts and most other anglers would fish the next-door swim which is called The Pads, it’s way more popular. The Posts has got its own little corner which is often quite weedy. I concentrated on this swim first and then moved onto The Car Park swim which, as the name suggests, was right in the car park. Everyone used to walk straight passed this one as it was quite noisy with people coming and going. Again, this area was really weedy.

“If someone was fishing near me or opposite, I wouldn’t bait up; I would wait until the next day or when they had left so no one could see. Plus, out of respect for them, I wouldn’t introduce a lot of bait and then leave.”

Fingers at 31lb
Topping up the spots

I noticed you have a notebook that you record fish captures in, do you keep records of anything else?

“In my book I have a map of all the swims I’ve fished and distances to my spots, i.e wraps on the distance sticks. I’ve also got information on the amount of bait I have caught over, colours of hookbaits, times of captures, lost fish. Literally everything that has happened during a session will be noted in my book.”

You’re a bailiff on the Quarry in Essex. What’s that like? What are the advantages and disadvantages and how can you benefit from these?

“With The Quarry, I walk around the lake three or four times a week. Out of respect for anglers that are paying to fish here I won’t angle if there are five or six anglers on, which is most of the time. I might introduce a little bit of bait in the margins just to keep my bait going in. As you say, I can use this to my advantage, and I will when I’m on. 99% of the time I know where the fish have been caught from; I can see where they are showing; and I gather general information from walking around so much. It does give me an advantage on the rare times I can actually fish the lake.”

I like to give them a mixture of bits, including Crafty’s King Prawn boilies, hemp, oils and some crumb
Always on the look out. Finding them is key

Since becoming a bailiff, has it changed any aspect of your angling approach?

“I am a lot more selective to the areas I will fish. If someone has been in a swim for 72hrs or longer, or the lake has been fished on an ‘exclusive’ I will keep clear of that swim due to the angling pressure. Plus, if I know someone has put a lot of bait in, I know that I don’t need to, so I’ll just fish singles over the top.”

Being at the lake quite regularly, what appears to have the biggest effects on the fish: weather patterns, angling pressure, bait, etc., etc.?

“Angling pressure seems to have the most effect. Where I’m fishing today has been closed for two weeks because they were spawning. As you can see, there are a lot of fish down here, possibly 60-70% of the fish just in this corner because it’s been quiet and free of lines.”

The Quarry: stunning
Angling pressure has the biggest effect on the carp

One of your strengths is fishing to snags. Why do you enjoy this style of fishing and why do you believe you excel in this area?

“I believe it’s the most accurate way of fishing. Fishing to the far margins, if you can walk around there, you can see the fish in the area, you can see the clear spots and introduce as many baits as you want to. If I want to, I can go around and fill it in with a bucket of bait by hand or a spoon, or if I want to feed a few chops on the top of a few feeding fish I can do that very accurately. If I was fishing at 130yds on this lake, which it is a possibility, it’s very hard to bait accurately from the swim.”

Fishing across to an out-of-bounds bank often presents you with loads of fancy looking features. How do you pick out ‘the one’ which just looks ‘right’ to present a bait to?

“Generally speaking I will bait along that margin or that bank, I will look at the features and try and keep an eye on which features they are visiting. I will tend to try and go for some gravel or clean areas where I can get a good presentation. If I can get away with it, I will look for a clearer spot that the fish have been on before so that I can present a hookbait nicely and all your baits aren’t going to smell of silt.”

Time stood still
Brute!

Are you fishing to that far, out-of-bounds margin now?

“No, as it’s very weedy over there at the moment. I did wade out across there last night but it’s not fishable, so I’m fishing 11.5 wraps and one at 14 wraps to slightly clearer spots.”

What’s your set procedure when it comes to snag fishing?

“Before I get a rod out I will go around to the area and have a good look. Once I have found some fish, I will cast to it and try and get as tight as I can. I’ll then measure the wraps, whether it’s in feet or even inches. If I need to wade out I will place a bankstick in the water so I know exactly where my feet need to be for casting and as it’s snag fishing, as soon as my line is sunk, I keep a tight, very direct line towards my lead and if I can get away with fishing it semi-slack, I will, if not then it’s bow-string tight and locked up. As soon as I see the rod tip bounce or tighten up, I will hit into it. The key for me is to try and be as accurate as I can be, literally to the inch, and that’s where distance sticks win.”

You’ve made the perfect cast, you’ve got your hookbait inch perfect, but how long are you prepared to leave it in situ for?

“If it’s perfect, I would like to think it won’t be out there for very long! If the fish are on me, I will leave it out there as long as necessary. If birds have been diving on me, or I think I should’ve had a take, I will recast whether that’s an hour or two days.”

The old ones seem happy to feed with the young ‘uns on The Quarry
Distance sticks are essential in my fishing – they allow me to fish inch perfect

How will you bait and what is usually included in the mix?

“If I was coming down for an overnighter, I would introduce a handful of bait, maybe 8-10 Crafty Catcher King Prawn baits on a rod. If I was down for a longer session and I hadn’t seen many fish in that area I fancied, I would put two- to three-kilos out. In that situation I would probably fish chops with a bit of corn, a general mix with a few nuts too. The birds can be a pain so I try and put out other stuff, not just boilies to hold them back from wiping out an area.”

Where do anglers go wrong when it comes to this form of angling?

“Fishing slack lines and being off their rods. I take the time and watch the fish, where they are moving and where they get their heads down. If there is a spot an inch off the bank that they are regularly visiting, I want to put one there; if there is a clean spot near that and I haven’t seen fish visiting, I will avoid it. It’s as simple as that.”

To you, what are the key aspects when targeting big carp on pressured venues?

“Finding them. As we have covered, being a bailiff on here, I walk about a lot, talk to a lot people and soon learn where the fish have been caught from. The originals do get caught a lot of the time with the stockies. I had a hit of fish recently which included a couple of stockies and then I will be fortunate enough to catch one of the 50-year-old originals, so the older fish will feed with the younger ones. On this lake in particular, if you’re on the fish, anything can slip-up, whether it’s a 20lb stocky or a big original, they all feed on the same spots. There are, of course, certain spots that produce more originals than others, and in time I am sure I will find those areas, but for the time being, from my experience and others as well, if people are catching fish it could be anything – big, small, old or young.”

Semi slack when out in the middle
The traps are set

What are the most common mistakes you see anglers doing here, as you have a real cross-section of people?

“Obviously being a day ticket, you get a big contrast of anglers, but feeling the lead down and finding the right spot are the biggest two. Oh, and a lack of accurate baiting is another. As long as you can find that spot and present a sharp hook and a good bait, you’re halfway there.”

How meticulous are you when it comes to rig tying and rig/bait placement?

“My rigs are tied perfectly at home. I tend to not tie the swivel knot so I can vary the length of the rig once I’m at the lake depending on the situation. If I’m using a Hinge Stiff Rig I will vary the length of the boom and the hook section dependent on the lakebed and what’s around the spot. In terms of rig placement, I may make 30 or 40 casts if I need to – it has to be perfect.”

Always a welcoming sight first thing in the morning
This is how carp fishing should make you feel!

Can you elaborate on the rigs? What version of the Hinge Stiff Rig do you use?

“I use a coated braid for the boom section with a little bit stripped back on the hinge end. At this time of year, the bottom will be weedy and silty, so I want the soft section to sit over that nicely. If I’m fishing a cleaner, firmer bottom, I will use a stiffer material, especially if the birdlife is particularly bad. If I get picked up by a bird, it’s imperative that it will reset itself perfectly and it’ll do that with a stiffer boom section. I also use a rock hard hookbait so I can get away with it being picked up a couple of times. I have my hookbaits set to be very, very critically balanced, so when the pop-up lands in the water, it will take about a minute to drop to the lakebed – that’s how balanced I have it.”

Finally, Tristan, what are your plans for the rest of the year?

“Cleverly Mere will remain my main target. Although I’ve had a few fish this year, I haven’t had any of the target fish apart from Tatty Tail at 35lb+. There are up to five forties in there at the moment, and I would like to catch them all. With The Quarry, I will try and squeeze in when there’s room, but in the long-term, Cleverly will remain my main target water.”

Tristan Peel
Also Recommended
Become the king of overnighters
28/03/2017
Features
Become the king of overnighters
Work full-time, get one weekend a month, get your fix on an overnight session with limited success? Change that last part thanks to Carl King
28/03/2017
Features
Roach Pit
24/03/2017
Features
Roach Pit
Gaz Fareham enjoyed some incredible overnighter success on the tricky Roach Pit
24/03/2017
Features
9 simple steps to catching more at night
14/07/2017
Features
9 simple steps to catching more at night
How efficient is your fishing at night? Does your catch-rate drop with the sun? If the answer is yes or you’re simply new to night fishing then here’s Oli Davies with some pointers
14/07/2017
Features
Target achieved
10/01/2017
Features
Target achieved
12-months on from when we first met up with Carl King, we find he's still smashing his work overnighters
10/01/2017
Features
How to make the most out of 24 hours
17/10/2016
Features
How to make the most out of 24 hours
Jerry Hammond has 24hrs fishing ahead of him, but with a snap of cold weather on its way can he do the business in his allotted time?
17/10/2016
Features
Why you should watch your bobbins
10/04/2017
Features
Why you should watch your bobbins
Ellis Brazier offers his thoughts on fishing for liners, and what those lifts and drops on the bobbin actually mean
10/04/2017
Features
How to find the fish this spring
10/04/2017
Features
How to find the fish this spring
One of the key elements to spring success - get this bit right and you’re laughing
10/04/2017
Features
What matters more? Hook size or pattern?
07/04/2017
Features
What matters more? Hook size or pattern?
We ask our team of experts...
07/04/2017
Features
Do you know your Simmos from your Leneys?
05/09/2017
Features
Do you know your Simmos from your Leneys?
Here's your guide to understanding each strain of carp you'll find here in the UK courtesy of fish expert, James Anderson
05/09/2017
Features
Do slack lines cost anglers fish?
07/04/2017
Features
Do slack lines cost anglers fish?
We ask Terry Hearn...
07/04/2017
Features
How to take the perfect self-take
06/04/2017
Features
How to take the perfect self-take
Follow these simple steps to take the perfect self-take every time
06/04/2017
Features
5 essentials for early spring fishing
04/04/2017
Features
5 essentials for early spring fishing
We ask four experts what their top five items are
04/04/2017
Features