Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Stealth and good terminal camouflage are the route to success at Bin el Ouidane

Bin el Ouidane is a hugh water supply reservoir situated at 800 m (2400 ft) in the middle Atlas mountains of Morocco. The lake is nearly 20kms long and around 5 km at its widest.
The crystal clear waters are fed by two high Atlas mountains rivers and the Carp feed by sight giving them an extremely developed sense of vision and are extremely spooky. The carp are large and plentiful if you can find them and in my experience a mobile and stealthy approach gives better results than sitting tight on a mound of corn.

Atomic Morocco Carp leads, rubber and clips

This stealth approach has brought me some cracking fish over the last two months and Ive refined my rigs and traps based on my experience on the banks. Here's how I approached a new swim with quiet spectacular results.:

Available in 3-6oz and 5 models

French Ramp swim is situated on the west side of the hotel and its a 3 man swim with the river gulley, old river bed and sunken island to fish to, it makes for an interesting and exciting swim.

Diagram of French ramp and hotel bay

I planned to fish 2 long range rods out to the old river gulley at around 250 m and beyond that on the slope off coming from sunken island at around 380m. these rods would be fished solo, without a great deal of bait, perhaps 1 kg of maize scattered in the area. The bait, a floro green Opal 18mm and 12mm pukka pineapple popups anchored by a shot on the hair.

Carp fishing for records demands the best tackle and technology

I was fishing a rig that Paul Russell from Essex Angling holidays had shown me. Basically the shot is placed on the hair just under the popups and the hook is tied with a knotless complicated knot. This is basically your standard knotless knot with the hair passed over the first 5 turns of the knotless knot and a further 5 turns laid down, then finished in the standard way. It allows the hair to pop straight off the middle of the hook shank and I like the hooking capabilities of this rig.

A size 6 Atomic Claw and a 6 inch stealth skin link, a 5 oz Atomic Morocco carp lead, 1 meter of brown lead core and 7 metres of brown 45lbs quicksilver snag leader to finish off the set up.

I boated my 2 long range rods out till I hit the 45 foot mark dropped 1 kg of maize off the back and followed it with the rig.
The third rod was fished beyond the river gulley on the long sloping drop off from the sunken island at around 400m.

The carp in Bin el Ouidane don't often really feed at night, which is a relief in some ways as I was absolutely knackered. Im still getting used to this life as a guide and the high altitude of the lake makes everything physical seem so much harder than normal. So with the rods out I made up my bed and pretty soon I was out, confident, very confident of a run at first light.

6AM like an alarm clock, off went my inside long range rod, I jumped in the boat straight away to avoid snagging the lead and was soon in deep water and out of danger. The fish made some impressive runs stripping 30-40 yards of line at a time and putting up a dogged resistance all the way through. After about 20 minutes I managed to slip the net under an absolutely mint common carp. I unclipped the landing net from its pole and wedged it off the back of the boat and made the slow pull back to shore, confident that I had a new PB common.
The scales confirmed it, 45lbs and also my biggest fish to date from Bin el Ouidane.

Fish were moving on the 200 metre line and I soon had the rod out again on the spot. The sonar showed a fairly typical bottom, about 4 inches of brown silt over a fairly hard clay and rock base. A small weed bed showed and I new it was more or less in the same spot as the night before so I dropped the bait and scattered some maize then rowed to shore with the line spooling out behind. A fish crashed twice right over my bait and I was sure it would go, and sure enough off it screamed. A fine 32lbs comon to give me my PB brace and an unforgetable morning.

I am sure the use of red/brown snag leaders, brown leadcore to keep it down in the silt, lead core hook links and camouflaged Atomic Moroccan leads and clips gave me the edge and caused these two fine fish to make a mistake, and that's what we are talking about, 1 mistake, just 1 mistake by a carp in Bin el Ouidane and it could be your PB, your fish of a lifetime, or even the new World Record.

Many people wrongly assume that because the lake has been lightly fished the carp will be stupid, this is not the case. The carp in Bin el Ouidane are extremely sensitive to noise of any kind and particularly tight lines in the water. These fish have been pursued since birth by the local fishermen using crude long line tactics and more commonly, seine nets. The fish are crafty, resourceful and very very sure that a tight line, net or tense cord spells danger.
The road to success on Bin el Ouidane is not easy but a big step down the path is using good camouflaged terminal tackle.

Radcarper 2007.

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