OZ EXPLAINS HOW TO EFFICIENTLY PREPARE
FOR A SESSION - long or short.

OZ EXPLAINS HOW TO EFFICIENTLY PREPARE FOR A SESSION - long or short.

There is nothing more satisfying than having a good sort through your kit every now and then. It certainly gives me a great sense of wellbeing to freshen everything up and get organized for any new adventures that I have planned in and being ‘best prepared’ is always staying a step ahead of the game in terms of organization and efficiency. Surely, we would all like to be more focused on the lake and carp location, rather than thinking about that mountain of kit we are carrying about, ‘just in case’…

I have always taken great pride in keeping as organized and minimal on the bank as possible. It generally suits my style of angling and allows me to keep alert to my surroundings and those signs I want and need to be in-tune with. Of course, as with everything, there are trade-offs and considerations to be made. What works for me may not be suitable for everyone, or every venue for that matter, and so we must remain open minded and most importantly adaptable. There are no hard and fast rules in carp fishing, and we all do things in our own ways to suit our current situation.

Each venue we fish has a different set of circumstances to deal with and a necessary tackle ‘payload’ to think about. For example, big, remote, overgrown pits require a different approach to a small day ticket water with easy access and a lovely gravel track round the perimeter - and maybe even the potential for plenty of bites too! These are two different scenarios that could require different volumes of tackle and bait.

Most of my angling these days is generally done on the less busy, lower stock type of venues, where I am looking at the chances of a handful of bites a month at the right times of year, and there is every chance I’ll be moving around the venue dropping into different swims during the course of my trip, and so my kit and style is generally tailored around this sort of scenario.

I still base my whole angling style around fishing 24-hour periods. This was developed from my early days in the fire service when I would fish two separate overnight trips during the week, and never did any real session angling to speak of. Of course, when I began fishing further afield longer than 48-to-72-hour trips became necessary due to added fuel costs and time spent travelling, but I always kept that same mindset, of the 24 hour or overnight style of angling, as I felt it is the most efficient and effective one for me and the places I fish.

So, it’s all based around pre-planning and getting an understanding of the particular venue and the main approach/style of angling that will dictate the finer details of the pack, but the root of everything I take pretty much stays the same. I base my kit around the capacity of the TA Rucksack and will fine tune the contents to my specific needs and the venue, as I will explain.

There is nothing more satisfying than having a good sort through your kit every now and then. It certainly gives me a great sense of wellbeing to freshen everything up and get organized for any new adventures that I have planned in and being ‘best prepared’ is always staying a step ahead of the game in terms of organization and efficiency. Surely, we would all like to be more focused on the lake and carp location, rather than thinking about that mountain of kit we are carrying about, ‘just in case’…

I have always taken great pride in keeping as organized and minimal on the bank as possible. It generally suits my style of angling and allows me to keep alert to my surroundings and those signs I want and need to be in-tune with. Of course, as with everything, there are trade-offs and considerations to be made. What works for me may not be suitable for everyone, or every venue for that matter, and so we must remain open minded and most importantly adaptable. There are no hard and fast rules in carp fishing, and we all do things in our own ways to suit our current situation.

Each venue we fish has a different set of circumstances to deal with and a necessary tackle ‘payload’ to think about. For example, big, remote, overgrown pits require a different approach to a small day ticket water with easy access and a lovely gravel track round the perimeter - and maybe even the potential for plenty of bites too! These are two different scenarios that could require different volumes of tackle and bait.

Most of my angling these days is generally done on the less busy, lower stock type of venues, where I am looking at the chances of a handful of bites a month at the right times of year, and there is every chance I’ll be moving around the venue dropping into different swims during the course of my trip, and so my kit and style is generally tailored around this sort of scenario.

I still base my whole angling style around fishing 24-hour periods. This was developed from my early days in the fire service when I would fish two separate overnight trips during the week, and never did any real session angling to speak of. Of course, when I began fishing further afield longer than 48-to-72-hour trips became necessary due to added fuel costs and time spent travelling, but I always kept that same mindset, of the 24 hour or overnight style of angling, as I felt it is the most efficient and effective one for me and the places I fish.

So, it’s all based around pre-planning and getting an understanding of the particular venue and the main approach/style of angling that will dictate the finer details of the pack, but the root of everything I take pretty much stays the same. I base my kit around the capacity of the TA Rucksack and will fine tune the contents to my specific needs and the venue, as I will explain.

I like to keep all my kit in one place as much as possible whilst on the bank, as this frees me up from having a swim full of different bags and clutter that all need packing up and sorting out in the event of a quick move, one that could possibly be in the middle of the night! The Rucksack is compact but swallows up the bulk of what I need, like a Tardis almost!

At a quick glance the contents generally consist of my DLSR and prime lens with the self-take kit, scales, tea kit with a kettle (into which fits a small folding stove), compact bino’s, a pouch containing overnight essentials such as toothpaste, mouth wash (the travel-size ones) toilet paper, headache pills, etc. Then there is a Compact Tackle Pouch with all terminal accessories and a selection of leads that I may need, plus a couple of tubs of mixed hook-baits. I use carefully chosen items, such as a titanium kettle, cup, a ‘spork’ and a reliable stove sourced from the mountaineering industry as they are incredibly robust and light weight. Petzl rechargeable headlamp, receiver, and a compact power pack.

1. Original Solid Zip Pouch - Large.
2. Latest Camfleck Solid Zip Pouch - Large.
3. Camfleck Compact Tackle Pouch.
4. 120lb Scales.
5. Binoculars (essential).
6. Power pack for devices.
7. Clear Front Zip Pouch.

8. Torch.
9. Head torch, spare batteries, lighter etc.
10. DSLR, with spare lenses and flashgun.
11. Tea and coffee pots.
12. Gas canister.
13. Dissolving foam.
14. Fluoro pop-ups.

15. Match the hatch hookbaits.
16. Uber lightweight stove.
17. Cooking pans.
18. Ceramic mug.
19. Polarised sunglasses.

1. Original Solid Zip Pouch - Large.
2. Latest Camfleck Solid Zip Pouch - Large.
3. Camfleck Compact Tackle Pouch.
4. 120lb Scales.
5. Binoculars (essential).
6. Power pack for devices.
7. Clear Front Zip Pouch.
8. Torch.
9. Head torch, spare batteries, lighter etc.
10. DSLR, with spare lenses and flashgun.
11. Tea and coffee pots.
12. Gas canister.
13. Dissolving foam.
14. Fluoro pop-ups.
15. Match the hatch hookbaits.
16. Uber lightweight stove.
17. Cooking pans.
18. Ceramic mug.
19. Polarised sunglasses.

ANYTHING SPARE STAYS IN THE VAN TO REDUCE CLUTTER DOWN AT THE SWIM.

My buzzers are either on buzzer bars stored in the top pouch, or on single sticks in the side loops of the rucksack. This means that everything I need to get fishing is available and to hand straight away, without having to empty the contents of several bags or turn the barrow inside out!

A spares pouch is kept in the van with a variety of leads, along with a small box of batteries/catty elastic/Spomb/marker float and a few tins of gas. There are also floaters in a bucket and a pouch containing floater/zig terminal kit for those surface opportunities as they present themselves. I also keep a small variety of mixed pellet and some tins of corn, as these can stay in the van for extended periods of time until needed.

My fresh boiled bait and particle is stored in a variety of large buckets and kept in the van. I then decant what I require into a much smaller bucket that sits on my barrow handle and is enough bait to fish with for 24 hours in most of the situations I’m faced with. Of course, I would take bigger buckets onto the lake if I was fishing more heavily stocked venues and expecting blistering action where you could possibly get through a lot of bait very quickly! For my type of fishing, it’s there if I need it, but it would be pointless carrying it all round the lake with me just for the sake of it.

Oh, and I’ve also cut down the handle of an old catapult, so it fits perfectly in my small bucket, which is great for little baiting missions around the lake.

I usually carry three fishing rods plus a spomb/leading rod in my quiver alongside two nets, a carbon throwing stick, and some wrap sticks. My brolly then straps to the back of the Slim Quiver so everything is kept together, and I carry six pegs in the webbing loops of the rucksack.

The barrow is then free for a bedchair and mat on the mainframe and water/waders/tripod etc. that will sit in the under-barrow bag.

My buzzers are either on buzzer bars stored in the top pouch, or on single sticks in the side loops of the rucksack. This means that everything I need to get fishing is available and to hand straight away, without having to empty the contents of several bags or turn the barrow inside out!

A spares pouch is kept in the van with a variety of leads, along with a small box of batteries/catty elastic/Spomb/marker float and a few tins of gas. There are also floaters in a bucket and a pouch containing floater/zig terminal kit for those surface opportunities as they present themselves. I also keep a small variety of mixed pellet and some tins of corn, as these can stay in the van for extended periods of time until needed.

My fresh boiled bait and particle is stored in a variety of large buckets and kept in the van. I then decant what I require into a much smaller bucket that sits on my barrow handle and is enough bait to fish with for 24 hours in most of the situations I’m faced with. Of course, I would take bigger buckets onto the lake if I was fishing more heavily stocked venues and expecting blistering action where you could possibly get through a lot of bait very quickly! For my type of fishing, it’s there if I need it, but it would be pointless carrying it all round the lake with me just for the sake of it.

Oh, and I’ve also cut down the handle of an old catapult, so it fits perfectly in my small bucket, which is great for little baiting missions around the lake.

I usually carry three fishing rods plus a spomb/leading rod in my quiver alongside two nets, a carbon throwing stick, and some wrap sticks. My brolly then straps to the back of the Slim Quiver so everything is kept together, and I carry six pegs in the webbing loops of the rucksack.

The barrow is then free for a bedchair and mat on the mainframe and water/waders/tripod etc. that will sit in the under-barrow bag.

Food wise I have a simple system. I carry three 5 litre water cans in the van and take one of these for every 24 hours or so, which usually does me amply unless I get a few tea punishers visiting!

I use two TA Cool Bags that are kept in the van during my trips with cool blocks inside. At the start of each month, I make up meals at home and freeze them in Tupperware containers. These will be various simple things to heat on the bank in my single pan. So, curry/bolognaise/chili/casserole/stew etc. and I use the easy Tilda rice or just boil some pasta before heating my meal. So, one cool bag will contain these items and the other will be for milk/biscuits/fruit snacks/beverages etc. I also take a couple of sachets of porridge and some nuts/fruit for my breakfast and a few snack bars/protein bars that are stored in the zip pouch position on the top of the rucksack.

I will usually try to prepare my main meal and do any cooking back at the van around early afternoon, when I will also have a walk around the venue and stop off to resupply with anything I need, such as fresh water/spare leads/bait etc. I cook my food and then have a clean-up, before heading back to my chosen swim. This way all the rubbish is left in the van rather than around your swim attracting vermin. I can then spend the rest of the afternoon/evening looking for fish or chilling out back at the swim with a cool beer!

Of course, if I am fishing for a few days and plotted up on baited areas I still love to take the old BBQ gear and have some lovely grilled meats and a few ales! It just very much depends on the venue and the situation. As I said earlier it’s all about being adaptable and enjoying yourself too of course!

So, it’s all pretty straightforward and common sense really. Free yourself up from of a lot of the clutter you don’t regularly use, organize your kit and streamline it to suit your venue of choice, and then it’s a simple case of fine tuning as you move forward and as the seasons change. For instance, swapping the spring/summer brolly for a full bivvy in the autumn/winter, warm clothes and water proofs, etc.!

Food wise I have a simple system. I carry three 5 litre water cans in the van and take one of these for every 24 hours or so, which usually does me amply unless I get a few tea punishers visiting!

I use two TA Cool Bags that are kept in the van during my trips with cool blocks inside. At the start of each month, I make up meals at home and freeze them in Tupperware containers. These will be various simple things to heat on the bank in my single pan. So, curry/bolognaise/chili/casserole/stew etc. and I use the easy Tilda rice or just boil some pasta before heating my meal. So, one cool bag will contain these items and the other will be for milk/biscuits/fruit snacks/beverages etc. I also take a couple of sachets of porridge and some nuts/fruit for my breakfast and a few snack bars/protein bars that are stored in the zip pouch position on the top of the rucksack.

I will usually try to prepare my main meal and do any cooking back at the van around early afternoon, when I will also have a walk around the venue and stop off to resupply with anything I need, such as fresh water/spare leads/bait etc. I cook my food and then have a clean-up, before heading back to my chosen swim. This way all the rubbish is left in the van rather than around your swim attracting vermin. I can then spend the rest of the afternoon/evening looking for fish or chilling out back at the swim with a cool beer!

Of course, if I am fishing for a few days and plotted up on baited areas I still love to take the old BBQ gear and have some lovely grilled meats and a few ales! It just very much depends on the venue and the situation. As I said earlier it’s all about being adaptable and enjoying yourself too of course!

So, it’s all pretty straightforward and common sense really. Free yourself up from of a lot of the clutter you don’t regularly use, organize your kit and streamline it to suit your venue of choice, and then it’s a simple case of fine tuning as you move forward and as the seasons change. For instance, swapping the spring/summer brolly for a full bivvy in the autumn/winter, warm clothes and water proofs, etc.!

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