CLAWFORD VINEYARD HOLIDAYS.
Bill & Virginia Rushmer.
We have been regulars at Clawford for over five years. Originally we were sent to Clawford by David Hall's "Coarse Fishing" magazine to write a feature on the ghost carp of Clawfords "Fletchers Lake'. This turned out to be one of the easiest features that I had to write. We were so impressed with Clawford that we have been back at least twice a year ever since.
Although many anglers do well at Clawford using traditional carp tactics with bolt rigs and boilies, we use s more mobile stalking approach. To be honest, space is limited in our Ford Fiesta and there is no room for sets of 12' two piece carp rods, bivies, bed chairs and all the accessories associated with long stay carp fishing. We are also on holiday and want to enjoy the facilities that Clawford has to offer. We like eating in the restaurant, drinking in the bar and getting a good nights sleep in our bed rather than rough it on the bank.
Our rods are mainly multi-jointed powerful float rods with test curves of between 1.5 & 2.25 lb. However, any standard carp rods of similar power will do as we use multi-jointed rods, purely to save space in the car. Our reels are normally 'Young's Purist' centre pins that are loaded with 12 lb. b.s. on the specimen carp lakes with lighter line used on some of the other lakes.
We tend not to use optonics with bolt rigs, instead we concentrate on the humble, old fashioned float. Under ideal conditions we use Preston Innovations 'Tyson' pole floats as they are robust yet sensitive. They can take the pressure of being dragged through weeds and reeds without falling apart. I once had 100 doubles on one of these floats without any visible sign of damage. Other companies are now also producing robust pole floats with thick carbon stems that appear to be man enough for the job, but I have not used them.
A large hook tied directly to the main line with as little weight down the line as possible. The hook has to be large as we are using big baits. These are normally paste or meat baits.
I do not think the actual bait is as important as pre-baiting with whatever you are using. As a guide I will often bait up to four swims before starting to fish. You can do this at Clawford as the number of anglers are strictly regulated. You will often have a whole lake to yourself. Although we rarely cover the four swims in a day, we have pre-baited the other swims for future use.
John has a good supply of carp pellets on site and these are an excellent feed as Harry has baited up for you during the Winter. Harry makes sure that plenty of feed is introduced into the fishery when it is cold and there are fewer anglers about. This way, they maintain high growth rates during the whole year. I understand that some of the bigger carp put on well over 7 lb. last year as a result.
Naturally, it is wise to capitalise on Harry's work and use a paste made out of carp pellets over a carpet of carp pellets. This can really work. Just add a little hot water to your pellets, leave to cool and work into a paste.
Why not give our simple approach a try next time you are fishing at Clawford? I think you will be very pleased with the results. On our last visit, Virginia had a mirror carp of 29 lb. and I had a male Tench of 7 lb. 8 oz. on these tactics.
Bill & Virginia Rushmer.