Saturday, 30 June 2007

Carp Fishing - Walton Hall Park

Located in Walton Hall Park in Walton, Liverpool.

Fishing is controlled by Liverpool City Council and is FREE!

There are no bait bans or restrictions on rods, being controlled by the Council, anything goes.

The lake itself is around 3 acres in size, and has two large islands, one at each end of lake. There is a fence and a tarmac path running all the way around the lake, this makes the use of a rod pod a must. Nobody is sure about the stock of carp in the lake, from my own observations of carp on the surface when its sunny, I would say that there are about 50 carp present, of which 10-12 of these are 20lb+. Most of the fish are commons, with there being only four known mirrors present. One of the mirrors is 20+, the rest of the 20's are commons. Biggest fish is a common of 27lb+, which comes out regularly. Most of the rest of the fish are doubles, averaging around the 16lb mark.

Walton Hall Park biggie at 27lb 4oz

Walton Hall Park is not the easiest of carp venues, however there is virtually nowhere in Merseyside were you can catch a 27+ common!. This is definitely one of the top venues around for the scouse carper. The fish are most active 2-3 hours before and 2-3 hours after sunrise. This is the quietest time of day in the park, and you'll probably find yourself alone at this time. One tip I can give is to keep all your gear were you can see it. The park is surrounded by housing estates, and the kids are thieving little so and so's. Having said that, a lot of them have got pb commons over 20lb!!. Should you wish to find out more about 'Wally Park', just ask for info in Johnson's Tackle in Rice Lane, its only a mile or so up the road, just past Walton Prison.

It's been many years since i did any carp fishing on Walton Hall Park. Although the fishing is still free you now need a 'parks fishing licence' which can be obtained from any of the one stop council shops.
The big common pictured above finally reached 30lb+ which is great news for liverpool carp anglers. I understand things have changed a bit and I'm not sure if the council allow night fishing these days?. As I mentioned above, drop into Johnson's Tackle in Rice Lane and they'll give you some up to date advice regarding the carp fishing in the park.

Tight Lines

Wednesday, 27 June 2007

Carp Fishing - Making Lead Weights

Making your own lead weights is quite an easy thing to do and at well over a pound each in the tackle shops you can make a good saving over a period of time. There is an initial outlay of about £12 for a lead mould, but you can soon make that money back and save yourself quite a bit in the long run.

Lead moulds are available from most good tackle shops. Personally, I get mine from Stapeley Water Gardens in Cheshire although Ebay is also worth a look for lead making moulds and accessories. Lead moulds come in all shapes and sizes and cost on average around £12 each. You can also get lead coating powder from Stapeley and Ebay too. For the lead itself, I suggest that you make friends with a plumber, I'm lucky enough to know one and I get bits of scrap lead pipes and bars for nothing. If this is not an option, then you will have to pay for it from a local scrap yard, it still works out a lot cheaper than buying readymade leads from a tackle shop so don't be put off if you can't get it for free.

The lead making process itself is actually quite easy, firstly the lead has to be melted down, I use on old pan on the stove to do this, as you can see in the picture, I just put a small piece of lead pipe into the pan and leave it to heat up, eventually it will melt.

Whilst the lead is melting, I heat the lead mould in the oven for a while, this is for safety, pouring molten lead into a cold mould is dangerous as the lead can 'spit'. If the mould is heated up, this doesn't happen. After this, I set the mould up in a small bench vice, this one has a 'G' clamp underneath and just clamps on the end of a table, it cost me £1 from a shop called 'poundland'!.You can also get a custom lead mould clamp from Ebay. The lead being made here is a 3oz inliner, hence the bar running through the middle of the mould.

When the lead is all melted, I scrape off any excess dirt/crap from the lead whilst it's in the pan, then scoop up some molten lead and poor it into the mould. I have the mould located right next to the cooker whilst doing this, that way I don't have far for the spoon to travel, this minimizes the risk of spilling any lead and makes sure it's really hot when being poured. Some people prefer a pan with a small 'V' type recess so they can just pour straight from the pan, the large spoon I'm using here has a similar recess.

I wait until the lead is set, which is just a few seconds, then remove the mould from the vice and open it. This should be done with gloves on as the lead and mould are both still very hot at this stage. The bar can be removed and after leaving to cool for a while, the 'extra' bit of lead formed by the funnel of the mould can be cut off and the lead filed down to remove all traces of it. Whilst waiting for the lead to cool, I can set up the mould again and make some more.

When the filing is complete, the leads should be ok to use as they are, needing just the inline tubing insert to go through the middle, these can be purchased from all good tackle shops.

I don't like to leave my leads at this stage, preferring to coat them with lead coating powder. To do this, I put the filed lead back onto the bar and gently heat it over the stove. Once heated, I roll the lead round in some of the powder making sure to cover all of the lead.

It's then just a case of putting it back over the stove, as you can see, the powder melts into a coating. By turning the bar, I can heat and melt all the powder. After completing, I can trim off any excess plastic coating from were the bar is on either end of the lead and I'm left with a perfect inline coated lead weight.

That's basically it for the making leads, the only thing I'd like to add is BE CAREFUL molten lead is extremely hot, and you should strive to do this job as safely as you can, have some gloves handy, make sure you are in a well ventilated area and preheat your mould before making your first lead. Basically, use your common sense!.

Everything You Need to Make Your Own Lead Weights
Lead Moulds for Making Lead Weights
Lead Coating Powder
Lead Mould Clamp
Inline Inserts for Leads
Lead Mould Loops


If your reading this via rss feed or email subscription don't forget to visit the Anglers Diary Homepage, most north west fishing clubs are on there and finding a north west carp water from there should be easy!.

Tuesday, 26 June 2007

Carp Fishing - The June Weather!

Well we've had the wettest June since records began!. I can't believe how much rain has fallen over the last month, I seem to have managed to get soaking wet every weekend in June.

As a result of the persistent and heavy rain the fishing in the Cheshire and Shropshire areas has been patchy to say the least. I've personally been without a bite for over a month now, not something you expect at this time of year!.
I seem to recall the weather forecasters saying we'd be in for an exceptionally hot summer...yeah right!.

I'm hoping the rainfall will ease off towards the weekend as I plan to be out fishing on Saturday night and I'd like to stay dry this time. I'd welcome some of those balmy summer evenings sitting in a t-shirt watching the carp cruise around because the constant rain is really wearing a bit thin now.

I'll add a couple of weather links to this site over the next few months, its always handy to check the forecast prior to going fishing, I tend to do this the day before I go fishing as the forecast is a lot more accurate.

Edit - better late than never I suppose! I use metcheck for my weather forecasts these days and I've now added a metcheck box to the navigation structure on the right hand side of this and every page on this site. All you have to do is enter your postcode in the box and click the forecast button. A new page will automatically open giving you the weather forecast for your particular post code, I use this box myself before every carp fishing session.

Tight Lines

Anglers Diary - Welcome

Welcome to my carp fishing blog. My name is Mark and I'm a long time angler from Wirral in the North West of England.
I've been an angler all my life and for the last 18 years I've concentrated on catching specimen carp from waters here in the North West.
One thing I realised very quickly is that our low stocked meres in Cheshire and Shropshire are hard work!. It requires a lot of time, effort and dedication to catch some of our regions big fish and for me personally its a never ending quest.
I'm hoping this blog will become my 'online carp fishing diary', somewhere I can put down my thoughts and share some of the highs and lows that specimen carp fishing brings. No dought there will be long periods of inactivity on the bank punctuated by those mad moments when everything falls right and you get that magic fish thats makes all the effort worth while!.
Inbetween the successes I will share my thoughts about a variety of subjects within carp fishing and fishing in general, tackle, bait, local clubs, waters and the tactics I use to try and catch fish.
Carp fishing in the North West can grind you down sometimes, weeks or months of no fish tends to get you wondering what you're doing wrong, it's easy to rack up the blanks and occaisionally you have to take a rest from it so you may see the odd entry about barbel fishing during the summer months. During the winter I might do a bit of pike fishing so expect the odd entry about piking too.
I'm out fishing at least once a week so this site will hopefully see regular updates throughout the year, I'm aiming to update the site as often as possible so please feel free to bookmark the site and return.
Fishing is a great hobby, there are so many different things involved in trying to catch fish and everybody has their own way of doing things, you're more than welcome to add any comments or hints and tips of your own to this site via the comments feature, no matter how long you've been involved in fishing you'll find there's always something new to learn!.

Tight Lines

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