The dynamic duo of Nathan Fowles and Jordan Cain AKA The iPhone Carpers kick-off their brand-new blog with a look back over their recent angling adventures...
Hello all, we are the iPhone Carpers - two mad-keen carp anglers from the North of England that capture our angling adventures on our iPhones. We started out making videos around two years ago now after being inspired by the content we were seeing on YouTube. We had fished together for years and thought why not create the best quality videos we possibly can, just using a device that the majority of people have access to nowadays, a smartphone. We’ve continued producing videos ever since, staying true to our ethos by solely using an iPhone to film our sessions, hopefully portraying our love for carp fishing in a good light and inspiring others to get out there and angle, no matter what mad locations we end up in. In reality though (and in contrast to our slogan) it’s hard to capture all of our fishing adventures so we will be keeping you guys up to date with everything we’ve been up too via these monthly blogs too. We hope you enjoy them!
Above: The iPhone Carpers started out capturing content on their phones for You Tube.
Well my winter fishing this year has been somewhat non-existent up until mid-February. The 'angling fire' within me was akin to just a mere pilot light over the winter months as the desire to get out just wasn't there. I suppose we all go through this phase with our carp fishing at some point. Sometimes the flame just isn't burning as brightly as other times, especially during winter when cold miserable weather and long nights seem very unappealing. Well that's what happened in my case anyway.
After a few months spent away from the bank I was soon getting the urge to get out and do a bit of angling. It was February and it was still very cold with temperatures fluctuating around 3 degrees. However, after exchanging a few messages with a guy called Ryan on Instagram, in which he sent me images of some lovely scaly carp that had been caught on slow sinking bread and corn from a very urban location in the middle of winter, I was raring to get out and have a go.
Next thing I know I’m on my way down to meet Ryan to do some inner city carping around 2 hours from where I live. I've fished a fair few urban places across the years but this was something else. Three small lakes connected via mini waterfalls, surrounded by tall glass buildings, a hotel, restaurant, library plus lots of people walking around. A mad location but there were some banging uncaught carp swimming around in this urban jungle that I just had to try and catch. Above: Freelined bread on an Edges Zig & Floater hook - simple as!
Armed with a small rod and reel, a size 6 new Edges Zig & Floater hook and a loaf of bread I had all I needed to catch a carp out of one of these shallow lakes. I started out on the lake that was quite heavily stocked and after a short lap I stumbled across a group of around 15 carp quite close to the margin. Visibility was perfect as the water is so clear so I could literally pick out the 2 scaly mirrors I wanted to target amongst the wide variety of colourful koi and commons in the group. I waited anxiously for one of the mirrors to venture slightly away from the group before lowering my slow sinking bread in front of its nose so the others couldn't have a sniff. I watched as it slowly fluttered down through the water and just before it hit the bottom the mirror quickly snaffled it and bang, she was hooked. After a short scrap I was holding up a bad boy scaly for the cameras with an immense urban backdrop of glass panes behind me. Result!Above: Perfection in miniature for Jordan.
With the group of fish startled from the disruptions I decided to move onto another of the lakes, which contains fewer fish but of a much better size. After a couple of laps I failed to spot any signs of carp until my third one where out of nowhere a ghostie of around upper double ventured out from underneath a pontoon into the shallow margin where I was stood. With my rod in hand ready to go I employed the same tactic as used on the previous lake and fluttered a piece of slow sinking bread right in front of its nose. It was interested but it was very wary and just completely ignored the bread, cruising straight past it. After a couple more failed attempts I decided to cast the bread around 2 rod lengths in front of its path and let it sink down to the lake bed in the hope that my line would sink and everything would be more concealed. As the carp continued on its path it clocked the bread sat amongst the silt and slowly made a b-line for it. At this point I was mega excited, my heart going ten to the dozen. I watched as it tilted its head, extended its over-slung mouth and engulfed the bread. I quickly struck and bang, I was in again. This time though the carp really didn't know what had happened and I quickly managed to steer it over the net cord.
Below: An awesome ghostie that fell to the freelined bread. As I lifted up the net I revealed an absolutely corking zip linear ghostie that has probably never seen a hook before. What a result for mid-Feb! I got some mega pics rattled off and left the venue to do the night on a canal basin not too far away. It was an uneventful night, merely just somewhere to flick the rods out and get a few hours sleep before the drive back home in the morning. It’s definitely a place I’ll be heading back too though as it holds some lovely old canal carp. After a blank night down the cut I was still buzzing with the days result, my first two carp of the year. The flame was well and truly lit now. Roll on spring!Above: An uneventful night on the canal but the flame was well and truly lit.
Much similar to Jordan, over the recent winter, my fishing has been on hold to be honest. With the rugby season in full swing and the weather not being the best I've not been able to get out much. However, I have started to do some major preparation on a big campaign I have lined up for the forthcoming season and potentially longer. With a new 2 year contract negotiated and agreed, I set my sights on an almost 200 acre, wild, windswept pit in search of something very special indeed. With a stock of approximately only 80 carp this is going to be some task but one that I cannot wait to sink my teeth into and get to grips with.
Driving down to the lake for the first time, to say I was buzzing would be an understatement. With it being 86 miles away from my front door my imagination was taking over in the car but I couldn't have imagined anything like what I was about to see. As the Sat Nav ETA counted down and I made my way down the open country roads into the valley I got my first glimpse of the lake. I couldn't take my eyes off it. As I pulled up in the car park and walked down to the water’s edge, the atmosphere of the place gripped me immediately. It was a perfect morning; flat calm and an eerie mist rolling across the water. Not another angler in sight. I began to do a lap around the lake, stopping in each cut out around the reed lined margins, taking note of various potential swims. I was looking for swims that would matchup with certain wind directions so that I knew for future reference where the warmer winds would blow into. The day passed quickly and before I knew it I was back in my car heading home. Throughout the journey back all I could think about was the lake and how I was going to approach it. I knew there would be a few vital pieces of kit I would need to purchase in order to fish the lake with the precision and style I wanted too so as soon as I got through my front door I set about ordering said items of tackle.
Below: A boat was needed for the challenge I was about to face.
Before I knew it I had a boat, aqua scope, some H block markers and a GPS app at my disposal and I was back up at the lake ready to explore. I decided to start in the shallowest part of the lake, a weedy bay that was roughly 60 acres in size. As I peered through the aqua scope for the first time it was a big eye opener to say the least. The bottom of the lakebed was magnified but unfortunately for me all I came across was weedbed after weedbed.
Eventually (several hours later) I came across a clear area, which looked to be of a sandy consistency with patches of low lying weed. As I circled the spot with the boat, my eyes permanently fixated down the scope, it became apparent that the spot would be large enough to fit 3 rods on comfortably and it ticked a lot of boxes. I marked the spot on my GPS and with that saw the end of another day, although I felt happy that I'd found a good enough spot to present rigs and bait in that area of the lake.Above: The aquascope revealed weed - and lots of it!
The next few trips to the lake saw me repeating the process in various areas, noting spots, changes in topography on the lakebed and noting depth changes. I was slowly starting to build up a picture of options I would have in various swims, weather dependent. The sheer size of the place was really starting to hit home, however, I couldn't help but feel like I needed to concentrate my regular baiting in one area. From this preparation so far, I was still drawn towards the first spot I had found in the weedy bay. I just thought that with it being relatively shallow (5/6ft) compared to most of the lake and it also being surrounded by areas of weed I felt that the fish would be in and out of there, especially when the weather warms up and the natural food comes to life.
So that brings you up to date with my current goings-on. I am in the process of deciding what bait combination to start introducing onto my spot and how much to go in with. I will be keeping a close eye on the weather and hopefully my first fishing session shouldn't be too far away...