Shelley Catches Off The Top In November

Posted at Nov 05, 2010

J Shelley 26lb Surface Carp WEBJim Shelley's been known to have alternative views when it comes to catching carp, but surface fishing in November? He must be mad! You'd better believe it as Jim's proved it's true with a 26lb 12oz carp this week.

Jim Shelley has a one track mind when it comes to catching carp. All he's thinking about is how to catch his next carp. And he won't be resting upon his laurels. A break in the cold weather this week gave Jim the opportunity to do something he knew nobody else would be doing. With the wind easing and the sun shining bright in the clear late-autumn sky it meant one thing for Jim, a day's floater fishing, and it was early November! Here's how his day unfolded.

I arrived at The Woolpack Fishery, Cambridge in the morning aimed with a few items of floater fishing gear. Before deciding where to fish I spent a while walking around the lakes trying to find good, sheltered areas where I could see carp trying to catch the last few rays of the year. After finding the fish, I settled down and started to feed a few Dynamite Baits 11mm Expander Pellets. No sooner were the fish starting to take a few pellets did some seagulls descend on the swim, scattering the carp. I tried to remain in the swim but the seagulls were hammering my bait and it was nigh-on impossible to even present my hook bait in the lake. This forced me to relocate and start all over again!

This happened a couple of times and it was becoming frustrating as I knew the fish were 'ready' to feed but the seagulls were making it very difficult for me and the carp. Every time I'd managed to get a hook bait out and was ready for the take, the seagulls turned up so I felt I was very close to a catch but the seagulls was forcing me to change swims before I could. I decided that I couldn't sit in one swim and I had to stalk the carp to try and quickly catch a fish before the seagulls found where I was! Not only was it me against the carp, I was also fishing against the 'gulls!

I couldn't locate any more carp and was feeling as though the seagJ Shelley Surface Tackle WEBulls had got the better of me when I walked onto one of the hardest lakes on the fishery and found a couple of carp laying right under the surface, it was late afternoon and I didn't have much time before the daylight became moonlight. This lake is usually a very difficult lake to catch on as it has a low stocking of carp but right in front of me were three carp! I couldn't put a weight to them as the ripple was quite fast but they looked to be a decent size. I quickly catapulted out a few floaters to them but seeing the floaters was also difficult as the peg where I was standing was affected by the wind. I quickly poured some Marine Halibut Liquid Attractant on some expanders as this oil flattens the surface once they land. This worked a treat and instantly I had an area where I could clearly see the carp taking my expanders. I cast out my rig, a size 12 Korda Mixa hook knotless knotted to a five-foot hook link of Korda CruiserControl with a small controller. The controller had just enough weight to flick out past the 20-feet and draw it back into the feeding zone.

Throughout the day I'd been trying my standard hook baits in between the seagulls but the usual whittled down Marine Halibut Pop-Up hadn't recieved a take, and neither had my 15mm Fluro Tutti-Frutti Pop-Ups. I pin a lot of faith in these two hook baits and have caught lots of fish on them in the last couple of years. However, on this session the carp weren't taking them. So I tied up a new rig with a lasso on the hair and tightened it over an 11mm expander. I flicked the rig out past where the fish were slurping the expanders down, and slowly drew it back into the area creating no disturbance on the surface. With my polaroid glasses on I could clearly see the fish still in the area when one came right up behind my hook bait and slurped it down. The line tightened and I knew it was on!

It's a weedy lake so the carp put up a good fight and took some getting out but finally it was laying in the base of my landing net. It was a lovely dark, scaley mirror, and when hoisted onto the scales held at 26lb 12oz. Not the biggest carp I've ever caught but one that proves even at this time of the year, you should have a few items of floater tackle with you just in case the weather breaks. You only need a rod, and bag with your floater bits and a bucket of bait.

Two days later I was on a tuition day and there were a couple of carp on the surface. We had a go for them but this time there was no cherry on top of the cake! It again goes to show that even when the temperature is low, it's all about having bright sunshine.

For more information on Jim Shelley's tuition days visit


User comments
  • Gravatar Alf

    Nov 05, 2010

    the best way to catch them well done,,Alf

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