IFD: The Lough in Cork, is where many Irish carpers will catch their first carp. It has held the Irish carp records in the past and is somewhat unusual in that it is right slap bang in the middle of urban Cork and has a long history of fishing. So we thought we would catch up with local expert Martin Heaney to see how he got on in 2015…
Martin will you be making any changes from last year for this years fishing?
As 2016 is yet to start for my fishing what I did change towards the end of 2015 was basically Baits and tackle end bits.
Firstly the Baits, throughout 2015 I had what I believed was great success on a particular flavour, that being the (squid and orange from Simply Baits).
Had used this flavour right through the year from January up til the start of the winter and only changed over from it right near the end of 15. This bait had accounted for around 70% of my catch for the year which totalled close to 90 fish to almost the 20lb.
2016 will see the sole use of simply Baits flavours, alongside particles depending on situation.
2015 season was when I started to properly test out and apply the Range of end bits from GW Rig Solutions, a quality range that has increased my confidence in my fishing with a lot fewer losses through the year. Throughout the year I increased my use of this brand from the brilliant camo mono to the lead, and everything between.
In all my years at this caper I’ve never been happier with the equipment and this was prior to becoming a member of the test team. Since then the advice and additions to the Range have only improved my Angling further.
Did tactics have to change much over the seasons?
Tactics changed throughout 2015 only in the way I fished rigs or type of rigs i used. Main changes were in the end bits I used as mentioned.
My Baits switched from oily fishy flavours to sweeter, or meaty flavours and I played around with particles, corn or maize with tigernuts. And fake Baits also.
Did baits have to change much and how did you usually bait up?
Bait flavours changed through choice more than anything else as I wanted to use more of the Simply range. Being part of the bait consultant team I wanted more experience with other flavours. Usual baiting up was no more than a handful of free baits sticked out to where I fished using either bottom baits with pop ups fished as snowmen or I used the “grub” fished with mini dumbbells, again popped up very slightly. These were always fished with a PVA bag of broken or crumbed boilies with pellets soaked in matching glug.
More often than not these rigs were wrapped in a paste.
Did locations around the lake vary much during the year?
Choice of swim depended on the session, I have my preferred swims I regularly fish and a change was usually through somebody being there before me or if it was a more social session where we stayed relatively close for important stuff like coffee and a bit of craic. I tend not to take it too serious and enjoy my bank time more that way.
Your most memorable session?
My favourite session of 2015 was definitely in may I think it was, fished it for 4 and a bit days with various people, mostly with Darren Small. Being more of a social coffee session with some fishing I managed 31 fish to 19½ lbs I think was the biggest. Enjoy these social sessions more as its a way to compare ideas and share info on rigs, tactics, and also had the time to promote the GW brand to other anglers.
Best fish of the year?
Best fish is tricky, my biggest at 19+ or many of the other high teens to the smaller better looking fish I had through the year.
Had a few new to me fish with beautiful scale patterns that really stand out, even had a few fish in very low single figures that are memorable just in the thoughts that ” these fish are gonna be gorgeous when the get older and heavier “.
The size doesn’t mean a whole lot to me as this is just my favourite hobby and something I really love to do regardless of weather or catch rate. I’m happy sitting there watching and waiting. Spent one session sitting on rods in a horrible storm late in the year to wait 50+ hours for a run and drop it on the take or missed it completely only to get a fish a few hours later at 17½ or so. Best fish of the year? Any of them.
Will you change your approach in anyway for 2016?
Nothing I do this year will be very different from last year.
Im attached to a bait company that I have every confidence in its product, this year I’ll use three different flavours I have from them a lot more instead of mixing other Baits on other rods.
Being a tester for a company has led me to use a totally different set up and pattern of hook than I favoured in the past that being a curved shank hook called CRV instead of straight hooks. The advice I received from other anglers in this company has helped immensely as has conversations with the network of friends I’ve built here over the years.
My approach changed in late 2015 and I don’t think it’s broken so I’ll stick to what works for 2016.