Cefn Mably is perhaps one of the most established fisheries in South Wales, a complex consisting of 8 lakes with the needs of the specimen hunter and the humble tiddler basher a like; it should also be noted that the on site tackle shop is simply to die for. Situated just off the M4 between Cardiff and Newport, location ain’t too bad either.
On the day I fancied a mix bag and I had been drooling ovler the Horseshoe lake online for the week leading up to my little excursion. Home to some enormous perch, carp to just under 10lb, the odd barbel and match man’s favourite the slab. The lake itself is very nice indeed as I strolled along it’s banks I pondered which tactic I should employ. There was plenty of marginal activity and I am sure classic float fishing tactics would coax more than a few of our finned friends bank side. Whilst unpacking my trusty old Wilson barbel rod I couldn’t help but notice the gentle stirring of water around the lilies in the centre of the lakes. At around 5 metres range, with a bit of a breeze blowing across the water, I decided that some classic method feeder tactics might be more appropriate.
One thing that has really improved my catch rate in the last few months when fishing these packed commercials is my rediscovery of the line clip. To really maximise your catch I really would suggest giving it a go. One thing to consider before deciding whether to clip up or not is that it can be slightly risky when not fishing tight to an island. If you are fishing open water there is every chance that the fish will pick your bait up then try to get away in the exact opposite direction of you. In this situation you have no shock absorbency from the rod, if you are a sporting gentleman then your suitably light line, matched to your quarry will be no match for an angry lump of a carp. In the perfect situation, an island will provide the perfect barrier to force the fish to scamper in a direction which will not overload the line directly.
So the clipping up process, stage 1 is to have a “lead about” with an unarmed i.e. hook-less rig which could be just your feeder held on by swivel but without your hook link attached. Once you have found your range and a good spot which you have ascertained to be the underwater equivalent of a carp dining table, introduce a few feeders worth of bait to the swim, then lock and load a baited hook and recast and you have my virtual word that your bait will be all wrapped up in a neat little package sat atop a pile of freebies. Just be careful when a powerful fish takes they can give your rod a really good tug hehe.
Bait wise you can’t go far wrong with any of the usual suspects, on these venues I personally think that the humble Robin Red pellet takes some beating. For my feeder mix I tend to go for a mix of Dynamite Bait 2mm Halibut Pellets, some cooorrrn, the cooooorrrrn juice and of course ol’ faithful Marine Halibut ground bait. Season to touch with some lake water. You want a mix which squeezes together into a nice ball but doesn’t sludge up and will easily crumble if rolled in your hand. I try to go as dry as possible, the best indicator that you need more water is when upon the cast the feeder flies for miles and launches a cloud of ground bait high into the air which will then gently patter back down on you and your friends head. Or in my case just my head. Solo.
Anyway to prove that sometimes I kind of know what I am doing here’s the fish in a handy little gallery. Click through for some surprisingly feisty carp, a great fight on 4lb line. Tidy!