Braving the elements on Upper Tamar – Rich ShawPallatrax Angling
Of recent weeks prior to Christmas I had not been able to get out fishing much due to work commitments along with the severe weather conditions we’ve been experiencing meaning the rivers were too extreme. The opportunity arose however to get myself off to the South West Lakes Trust’s Upper Tamar, a venue that will see me getting involved with a little more this year. Upper Tamar is quite a vast expanse of water, somewhere in the region of 80+ acres which contains a good stock of carp and coarse fish.
Having finished work at 07.00 on a Friday, I loading the car with most of the stuff I would need and traveled the few hundred miles to the venue. Upon arriving I was greeted by high winds that seemed to change direction every hour, driving rain which was swapped for bright sunshine and then back again, it was not easy to read at all and clear it would be a tough session ahead. I do however take a view that despite this, fish will be doing something somewhere! Although I had not done myself many favours by ensuring that being totally mobile wasn’t possible, the idea was to make the most of what’s available and apply the Pallatrax “system” to catch a few fish.
To some it may seem a little uncomfortable, strange or even downright daft to fish the same way for any species; it is however something I do quite regularly. I’m not breaking records by any means, but on the other hand I’m happy achieving a pulled line frequently despite my photos sometimes saying otherwise. Generally speaking, a fish caught makes me smile. The first step for me was to pre-bait night spots and areas to fish with some prepared particle, which included a mix of Jungle, Crave and Multiworm of various sizes and some Hidra Snail mixed in. Rigs are short and very uncomplicated; four to five inches of braid with a pop up Squab of either 10 or 14mm, along with a Stonze weight which is used to carry my prepared groundbait (which in this case was the straight out of the bag Maggot and Bloodworm Crush).
I’ve not fished the lake before or know much about it, so decided with a few visible features that caught my attention to fish. These spots would be ranging from 60 to 80yrds andndepths varying from 12 to 20 feet of water. So far so good, although the lack of showing fish and general fish activity on the lake wasn’t inspiring!
As I got into the session, I was still confident in my approach. Being confident is always an extra percentage in your favour, with all of these little percentages adding up towards a result. However on this occasion I didn’t manage to trip any of the lakes carp up; I felt I needed another plan. I decided to scale everything down and brought out the feeder rod and small 4000 reel, something that usually gets its use on the river. Mainline with no stretch (almost like a braid) to 10ft of 8lb mono, fished with a ounce in-line Stonze weight, short 6lb mono hooklink to either a size 10 or 12 barbless hook depending on bait.
During the next few days I managed a couple of sessions lasting a few hours each, which was probably enough sat out exposed in the conditions we were experiencing. These sessions saw a mixed bag of Bream and some fine Roach come to the net, ending up with somewhere in the region of 45 fish. I did however manage something a little special when one of the other prepared areas delivered one of Tamar’s stunning carp, falling for the Pallatrax “system” approach with a Hidra Snail. By no means is it the biggest of fish, but at a time where things were seemingly not easy a stunner of a low double was very welcome!
The work had paid off, again the system and Hidra delivering for me when needed. I’m not sure it’s coincidental as it seems to be a common theme for me when using the Hidra; one day I will recount the events that led to my two biggest UK carp which were also caught on the Hidra Snail.