Rhys Taylor – Covid Carping

Before we go any further let me quickly introduce myself, I have been a team member at CR baits for around 5 years and have taken care of the companies Instagram account for the past 2 years. Moving swiftly on to the fishing…

The pandemic has brought vast changes to all our lives and our angling, the luxury of visiting to a desired venue was no more. Thus, forcing many to revisit their local childhood haunts, angling doesn’t have to stop only adapt. My first return to the local “Ash Pit Pond” was early summer, the weed was high and the rushes tall, it was evident the only way you would stand a chance of landing fish in these conditions was off the surface adopting the “hit and hold” approach. The lake is small finding the fish at this time of year is not difficult, groups of 5 or so fish would appear, cruising in and out of the weed beds. The approach was simple, get them feeding without hesitation then introduce the floater gear. Armed with mixer biscuits soaked heavily in the Liquid Cloud I went about my first “session” the liquid clouds ability to produce a massive slick on the surface meant you could see exactly what the fish were doing – over a few evening sessions I had built up a routine, and could almost guarantee a fish every evening. Once you’d caught one it was time to go home, the fish in this water are rarely fished for and the lake is so small any disturbance pushed the fish straight back into the rushes and weed.

The cooler months soon pushed in and the fish were not responding to the surface methods as well as they had been, with the weed slowly dying back the hunt for a clear spot had started after many post work visits with the marker rod and waders I had found a clear patch, a massive 6 wraps out! I had no intention fishing the spot till the fish would not take of the surface. In the background I was slowly introducing bait to the spot, crushed up and whole CR1 and UN Test Bait. 4 weeks later the surface fishing had truly died it was time to fish the newfound spot, all my eggs were in one basket as it was the only spot I’d been baiting over a 4-week period. The first session on the bottom saw me net my biggest from the lake to date – not massive or even big by modern day fishing standards but at 16lb 4 from an evening session after work, I was more than pleased. The fish was caught on the newly released “The Whites” pop up on a short choddy, not my usual rig preference but a reliable and versatile approach was needed, the spot has since produced a few fish into late autumn until the water temperature dramatically started to drop. Although we haven’t be able to pursue our fishing plans this year I feel it has shown that if you are willing to adapt and change your fishing habits there are still venues and fish well worth pursuing on your doorstep.