THE sun is out, the sky is blue, and it’s carp bag-up time on the commercials. Chuck in plenty of feed, fish the right areas of the lake and you’re in clover.
At this time of year paste, catmeat, double corn and larger hard pellets all have their day, and to present them accurately and as naturally as possible the pole is hard to beat. Areas to target are the margins or a paste line which, on most commercials, is around 5m out.
To get the best out of the paste line, use your plummet to find the bottom of the near shelf going away from you, and fish your bait just a little short of the deepest area.
Chances are that the lakebed at this point will be hard and clean, and ideal for the fish to feed over. If you can find a little flat area here, all the better –you’ll be in for a bumper day’s sport.
Two really simple rigs are all you need. For the margins, a sturdy 0.4g or 0.5g float with a thick bristle is fished with a simple bulk shotting pattern 4ins-5ins from the hook, to keep the bait nailed to the bottom.
Your second rig does require a special paste float with a long bristle. No shot are needed, though – just set it to dead depth and then gently tweak the float towards you a little, using the weight of the paste to cock the float against.
Any weight for fine adjustment should go directly under the float’s stem. Use strong rig lines from 0.17mm upwards, with hooks to match. Elastics – solids, hollows, or Hybrids all work well enough – but they do need to be unforgiving, and I wouldn’t use anything under a No15 at this time of year. Anything above 22-rated ‘laccy is to be avoided, though, as with a side puller system it’s likely to break top kits. It’s not called for anyway.
All of which rather handily brings me on to the subject of this week’s live test. Middy’s new 13m MkII Xtreme G-Pulse Animal Tamer is the second generation of the company’s acclaimed bag-up tool. There are, in fact, three variants available. The M1 is a 4m margin basher that will fit on to both the M2 and M3 models. It’s a little stronger than the top four sections of both poles, and it comes with a shorter top-kit section that makes it ideal for both margin and shallow work. The M2 is much the same as the M3 on live test duty, although at 10m it’s tactically less flexible than the 13m M3.
What all three poles share is bucketloads of strength and power, and these updated MkII models are much improved in terms of action, stiffness and balance. They’re slightly lighter to handle, too, but in the power stakes they’re rated up to a rhino-stopping No30 elastic!
The G-Pulse Fighter carbon fibre build creates a parabolic fish-playing action without compromising weight or the pole’s overall balance. An exceptional Slik-Slide finish makes shipping a dream, while EVA domed protection on the male end of the fourth section helps to avoid damage and wear from constant use.
There are section aligner arrows to get the best possible action and performance, and the M2 and M3 come with with a white 30-rated Power top-2 kit called ‘Shadow Zero’, claimed not to spook fish.
In addition the M3 is also supplied with a black 30-rated Power top-2 kit and an equally sombrely dressed 22-rated Match top-3 kit in the pole, along with a Fighter 8th/9th reversible mini butt extension.
All top kits feature SiC side puller slots – a must on all poles these days when dealing with big fish. Spares options for these poles include reversible Fighter mini extensions and cupping kits – extensions for the M2 are also available as extras.
Now to the live test at Hanworth Country Park, a day-ticket water packed with big fish. I used the two tactics I’ve described – margin and paste fishing – and caught carp of all sizes, including a couple of proper donkeys.
I won’t dwell on any more technicalities, as this pole does exactly what it says on the tin. It’s a proper animal-tamer with enough section wall strength to bang in bivvy pegs, and it will cope with any size of elastic you care to thread through its steroid-laden top kits (but heed my earlier warning). It’s an ideal second pole for the keen match angler, but equally well suited to anyone who simply enjoys catching big fish on the pole.
If you’re an angler returning to fishing and looking for something that will withstand the odd knock or two and is built to last, than this is a pole well worth looking at.
Price: 13m package £599.99, 11.5m package £375 (but shop around)