I planned a return trip to Kingfisher, on the Bluebell Complex, back in November 2016. It’s a lake that I dearly want to catch from and it is known for some great winter form so i chose to visit in the last week of February.

I was joined by James. He had got in touch with me about having tutorial and I suggested he came with me to Kingfisher. It’s not an easy lake by any stretch but the rewards are there to be had. At 8 acres its a nice size water and with around 100 carp swimming within its depths we knew we would have to find them. Kingfisher is also well respected for its big carp, plenty of thirties and a good handful of forties.

We arrived at the complex at 10am on Monday. After getting our tickets we drove to the lake. James was aware that it wasn’t going to be easy but he jumped at the challenge.

We walked round the lake slowly, watching the water like hawks just looking for any carpy activity.

The wind was pushing hard into the river bank side. Blowing westerly and not set to change much we concentrated on this bank. One particular corner was much warmer than any other area of the lake and James agreed that this would be a good area to investigate.

I grabbed my marker rod and popped a bear lead on to try find a nice looking spot.

Kingfisher is rather weedy and, although it’s winter, it is sitting up to 3ft in places. I set about finding a nice clear area within the weed for James to present a couple of rigs on.

One of the key things, in my opinion, when doing marker work is to find your horizon marker first. I explained to James that if you choose a nice visible horizon marker then chances are another angler will have chosen it. There was a very clear tree with a birds nest in that looked prime and so i cast the lead using this as my marker. Kingfisher has casting limits on each peg so you can’t cross into other anglers waters. The lead was cast to the limit at 50 yards. I pulled the lead back slowly, it was getting caught in something to start off with but then it became very clean at around 40 yards so i clipped up to explore this area a little more.

On the second cast the lead hit the clip and I gently felt the lead down. On its decent it hit off a fish before hitting bottom, they were in the area then. I was explaining to James the importance of feeling the lead down and how accurate you need to be with these small spots in the weed. I handed the rod over to him so he could get used to feeling the lead and what to be feeling for when pulling the lead back.

After around 15 minutes I was happy we had found an area that was perfect for a couple of rigs. It was a firm spot within some weed. It had a scattering of silk weed on but we could certainly present a rig over it.

Next up was to get some bait on the spot. James wrapped the marker rod out at exactly ten wraps (40 yards). The water was around 15-16ft so i explained about how the lead falls through the water and that we would need to clip the spomb up a little shorter. For every 3ft of water I clip the spomb up 1ft shorter than the marker. The spomb was clipped up five feet short to account for the lead drop. James set about putting a kilo of 15mm Sticky Krill on the spot.

James then set his home and rods up for the session.

Whilst he was busy setting up I went to the next peg to try find an area for myself. I was going to be there for three nights so I took my time finding a similar sort of spot to James’s. In my swim the max distance was the same and at the same amount of wraps I found a firm clay spot within the weed. I was going to feed the spot for 24 hours but not actually fish it. I deposited 2 kilo of CC Moores Pacific Tuna soaked in matching liquid and flaked tuna onto the area.

I returned to James swim and we looked at rigs. For this spot i explained how we would be using a hinge stiff rig to present our hook bait. James knew about the rig but had never tied one before so i went through it with him. I also explained how the bait needs to be perfectly weighted for the pop up for it to slowly sink and rest on any debris that is on the bottom potentially. I also went through a DF rig with him as i wanted to fish a wafter on the area too. He wrapped the rods up and put the rigs on. He was using a lead clip system with anti tangle tubing. James had mentioned that his casting accuracy wasn’t always on point, so i went through a few techniques with him and he was soon hitting the mark perfectly and feeling the lead down too every time.

James and I got chatting about his fishing and I answered any questions he had to ask. We also went through tying up combi rigs and chod rigs. There were a few materials that James hadn’t had the confidence in using before but i went through how easy they were to use and we tied up some rigs for future use.

Before long it was dark and we were both hungry so i returned my bivvy for some grub and to put some more bait on my spot. Another kilo went out for the night. Even though i wasn’t fishing whilst with James i wanted give the carp a free feed and hopefully build up confidence. Soon it was time for bed.

The next day i awoke bright and early to watch the water.

At around 8am a carp rolled about 10 yards to the right of my spot, hopefully they were on the bait a little.

I walked over to James’s swim. We chatted about the nights events. He had been getting liners through the night but nothing else. I talked to him about how to fish for liners and how to act upon them.

We had some breakfast and we devised a plan for the day.

We kept his rods on the spot until just after 11. There is a smaller lake to the right of Kingfisher called Bluebell that can be good for a bite. We baited a few margin spots in a quiet corner of the lake and gave them an hour. Whilst we waited James wanted to learn distance casting. He soon picked it up and although it wasn’t a massive way he was soon hitting the clip at 80 yards with ease.

It was time to get a few rigs on our margin spots so we put two rigs on two different spots and sat back for an hour in hopes of nicking a fish or two but this wasn’t to be.

James had to start packing up soon and wanted to go through zig fishing before he left.

We opted to fish a Fox black zig alligner with black foam on a size 6 SR hook to 10 feet of 12lb zig line. This was cast onto his spot on Kingfisher whilst he slowly packed up. Next thing it was 3pm and James needed to go. He thanked me for all the help and he set off home. James was a good angler that just needed a few things fine tuned and although he didn’t catch he certainly learnt a lot to take to his syndicate water.

My session continued but to no avail. The carp of Kingfisher don’t give themselves up easily but i will be going back for them in the near future.

James kindly wrote this review on my carp page when he returned home

I want to say a massive Thank you to Stuart for my 36 hour tutorial, I have learnt so much about rig presentation, baiting up a spot, developing my water craft and improved my casting ability, Stuart was patient he also didn’t fish during my tutorial so his focus was with me and he certainly knows his stuff will be a pleasure to have another session soon, but for now I’m going to take my new tactics and dominate my club waters, tight lines bud I’ll see you on the bank soon

Thank you very much James and thank you to Kingfisher, no carp but lots learnt.

If you would like to book a tutorial with me then find me on facebook (Stuart Broadbank – Carp Angler) and send me a message. Prices vary depending on venue of choice.

Remember, even when the reels aren’t turning you’re always learning.

See you soon.