Who am I?

An individual, of no great importance, who is unable to see the natural world as a place for competition. I catch fish, watch birds, derive immense pleasure from simply looking at butterflies, moths, bumble-bees, etc - without the need for rules! I am Dylan and this is my blog - if my opinions offend? Don't bother logging on again - simple!


Sunday 15 July 2018

Jungle warfare - an ongoing saga!

The season is almost a month old and still I await my first bite! This is not me moaning but, instead,  just stating facts about my results, thus far. I am fishing in a very remote spot, way out on the Levels, completely new to me, where I have located a small group of carp, one of which is bloody huge! My baiting strategy remains very particle biased, with pigeon tonic seed mix providing the base. Hemp is always an essential in any "party mix" that I use and it's seen me in good stead over these past few years. Originally concocted for use during the R.Stour barbel campaign in order to reduce the bloody eel problem, it has proven to be a first class fish attractor, with one or two tweaks along the way. Liquidized sweetcorn is always a decent addition, to any mix, as are Tuna flakes (in brine) if eels are not a consideration. In all honesty, there is very little difference between my "party mix" and the majority of other carp anglers "spod mixes" except I don't use boilies in mine!

12th July 2015 - the journey begins. My first carp from the East Kent marshes and, back then, I still didn't own a
split cane Mk IV. An awful lot of water has flowed under the bridge since then. Seven twenties and umpteen doubles
have graced my landing net, yet still I seek my target fish in order to draw a line under this particular challenge.
My real issue is with hook baits. I know my attractor is well proven and I have seen carp feeding over the spots where I've introduced it, what I am failing to do is get these fish to pick up my baited hook. If the bungalow wasn't in such disarray, I'd be able to prepare some fresh Maples, Chick Peas or Black-eyed Suzies, as I felt necessary, thus being able to ring the changes. Alas, it is not possible and I must struggle on with the bait I have at my disposal.

Not my current swim, but an insight into the set-up I'm employing with my line
entering the water directly under the rod tip, dark matter rig tube/lead core leaders and back leads
ensuring my bait presentation isn't compromised by fish coming into contact with my mainline.
That original section of this post was written on the 13th July, after a run of four consecutive blanks at my original spot, The chance to get out whilst the England v's Belgium nonsense was underway allowed me opportunity for a bit of fish spotting. What a result, I managed to relocate that big fish, about 500m downstream from the original swim, and had the camera to hand which allowed me to grab a few images of my target carp. I returned home, a niggling desire to get straight back out, plaguing my thoughts as I drove home. I knew where it was, so I really needed to cast a bait in it's direction. Bev wasn't overly happy, but I went back and got two rods out in the general vicinity, hopeful of a change of fortune. Nick and Tom were also afoot on the marsh and stopped off for a chat as they headed homewards, as the late evening light started to fade away. They couldn't have been gone more than ten minutes when my right hand rod was away and I found myself playing a lively little wild common of around five/six pounds. So my first carp since 16th June and a sure sign that I'm doing something right. Confidence boosted, I was back out this afternoon, whilst Bev watched the Men's Final at Wimbledon and France were beating Croatia in Russia. Nothing to report, although Tom rang me with a sorry tale of a missed chance. Later we were to spend a while watching some carp moving around the drain and made plans for further experiments as our season progresses. Sadly, Nick - the gamekeeper, is moving to Sussex in order to further his career, so it will be just the two of us for the remainder of the summer/autumn.

Bloody huge carp - very tricky location to get bait presentation spot on.
Tom and I have very similar aspirations, although we are chalk and cheese in our approaches. He is very much a modern carp angler, aged 27, I'm at the opposite end of the spectrum as regular readers will be well aware. Tom is firmly convinced that the boily approach will yield him the result, whilst I have to stick with my tried and trusted particle tactics. What is not up for discussion is our unfailing belief that every fish in these waters are very special carp, each one to be cherished as if it were your very first.

Crap photo - my first "flatland" carp of 2018
Not everything is about the fishing, these East Kent flatlands are home to some wonderful wildlife and it can be no surprise that I require bite alarms to ensure I'm not distracted by some other encounter when I finally get that bite registration. Beavers are now well established right across the "Levels" with anglers able to recall sightings along The Stour, Wantsum, Westbere, Stodmarsh, Ash and Worth Marshes. I saw three on Thursday evening in a tiny little side drain. We might not have any Otters (yet) but plenty of these unwanted inhabitants around the area  - there are farmers applying for licenses to shoot these creatures due to the damage to waterside trees (willows). Lord Northbourne has needed to have a willow, made safe, after the attentions of our furry friends, at one of his flight ponds out on Worth Marshes. I can't recall any consultation process which asked the inhabitants of East Kent as to our opinions on the introduction of these sizable beasts into the local ecosystem. It is no longer of any consequence, Beavers are here to stay and we have to live with this situation.

Another flatland sunset - only by being there can you appreciate the ambience and the vibe.


  1. Replies
    1. BB - no chance of quitting now mate. There is light at the end of the tunnel, although I'm not working to any deadline. That fish will be a visitor to my landing net, in due course, just not too sure when? Work and the building project are a real pain, ensuring that I have very limited fishing time, at present. Obviously this will change with the passing of time and I will be able to commit myself to the challenge with better focus. What I find most frustrating is that I know where it is, but can do nothing about it.
      Keep smiling, stay safe and tight lines - Dyl

  2. I did start with a particle approach and found that the fish were more than happy to feed on it. Only difference being is upon returning after putting a bit in there was always one ingredient missing more so than the others, the one you leave out. Don't get me wrong alot of the other particles were missing ,maples, corn, tigers, hemp etc. I have put it down to that they can't see alot of anglers bait and that a highly attractive, nutritional boilie bait is a welcome change to their regular diet and is seen more like a treat so to speak. Hopefully this will get them to lower their guard when coming across their next treat. The one atatched to my rig! (Just my thoughts). As we we all know with angling nothing is set in stone and there is no real right or wrong when approaching such ideas as each one has it's pros and cons and also they both work! It's just finding that next edge and getting the next piece of that never ending puzzle. My recent thoughts lead me to believe come winter a boilie approach may be the more effective tactic as their natural food resources decline. However I shall persist with my current methoods and see what it brings. I think it will be very interesting to see how the differences in our approach play out along the coming season. Great pictures Dylan.


    1. Cheers for sharing these thoughts Tom. These fish are difficult enough during the warmer months, sod fishing for them in winter! I have accidentally taken carp in March, whilst using halibut pellets for tench/eels. Using your logic makes these captures a little more understandable. Hope to see you next weekend? Tight lines - Dylan

  3. Exciting stuff Dyl!... do you reckon that fish is "THE ONE"?... Fingers crossed for you brother!... That’s the sort of angling that makes me tick, and keeps me awake at night!

    I well remember some 15 years ago or so, whilst on "covert operations" noticing a tree on an island that had been "apple cored". After some brief head scratching, it dawned on me that there could be only one thing responsible.... Beaver! I discussed this finding with several close friends and my theory was duly poo-pooed. Anyway, weeks later, arriving at the lake one evening, I was aware of several people positioned along the boundary fence with long lenses. Enquiring as to their presence, I was informed that a beaver was in residence. LOL! "Well shit in my hat and punch it, those twats said I was delusional".. with that and still chuckling to myself, I popped over the fence to enjoy my extended "guest ticket".

    Tight lines mate!

    Andy (beaver fan)

    1. Hi Andy,
      Yes; I do believe that the fish is the ONE I seek. There are two historical records of "thirties" from this drain complex, I've recently seen photos of both and the smaller, Common, weighed in at 32 lbs 6 oz! Quite what this individual weighs will only be discovered if I'm lucky enough to stick my landing net underneath it.
      As for the colonization of European Beavers across the East Kent marshes? I'm really not a fan, although admit that every sighting makes me smile. Knowing that there's another side of this argument, allows me a better understanding of why there are opponents to this situation. I know that these Beavers don't build dams, but they do make lodges and also undercut the banks with their home building antics. A problem? Not for me, but when a cow falls in a drain because of subsidence, then farmers have every right to question the wisdom of this animal being re-introduced into the UK ecosystems. As for "guesting" - I'm sure I don't know what you mean. Covert visits to venues has been part & parcel of my entire angling adventure. I first met John Roberts, in the early 80's, after getting caught at Westbere on Boxing Day.
      Please let me know when the next PAC meeting is - I'd love to get over for a catch up! - All the best - Dyl