Coster catches double-figure carp on light tackle at Ancaster
Although anglers who target carp tend to use strong tackle, such as beefy rods and jumbo-sized reels, these big fish can be landed on light line and small hooks.
Carp will often muscle in on tactics aimed at other species, the only problem then is trying to land them.
This has happened a few times recently to Journal angling correspondent Dave Coster at Woodland Waters, Ancaster.
The double-figure fish in the accompanying photograph was caught fishing shallow with a delicate tipped waggler, feeding casters with a catapult on the north bank of the Specimen Lake.
Dave had been catching quality roach, some big hybrids and plenty of rudd, before the large intruder grabbed a single caster on a tiny hook attached to extremely fine diameter line.
Dave would not deliberately attempt to catch fish of this size on such light gear, but it is surprising what a well-balanced 13ft float rod and matching lightweight reel can do when tested to their limits.
On this occasion it only took 15 minutes to land the carp, the only problem being it would not fit inside Dave’s landing net. He had to ask a couple of passers-by to seek help from a nearby carp angler, who duly obliged with a specimen-sized net.
Fish of this size can be landed on light pole tackle too, which happened recently when Dave switched to the Match Lake at Woody's. He had been catching some cracking roach and good-sized skimmers on a short pole, when suddenly everything went solid.
On this occasion, a tiny size 20 hook and just 0.09mm mono was being used with a single maggot, however a vital component that stops light tackle being smashed is the modern pole elastic anglers now use. The elastic is threaded through the hollow tip sections of the pole, before being connected to the rig. This set-up allows the elastic to come into play when better sized fish surge off.
There are several types of these colourful shock absorbers, but the latest type that makes a huge difference is called hybrid elastic. It is super stretchy in its finer diameters and helps to prevent big fish from breaking thin fishing lines, or straightening out fine wire hooks.
Pole anglers also use clever gizmos called puller bungs with pole elastic, which can be used to tension it up while playing fish. This invention makes a big difference and helps to tame big carp much faster, especially when tackle is on the lighter side.