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Tony Locke

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About Tony Locke

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  1. Been there., done that. I fished a seriously swollen river in NW Georgia...rod suddenly lurched over and pretty quickly it was obviously a big log rolling down the river. I pulled for a break, but then the log turned and went upstream! I was fishing 20lb line straight through and could do nothing with it...neither turn it or slow it down. Eventually the line broke. I reckon I was (foul) hooked into a lake sturgeon...either that or a log that could swim!
  2. I am getting VERY fed up...every weekend arrives with absolutely horrible weather and I haven't got a decent session in for an age. So I got to thinking about similar times long ago. The scene: A cold snowy Germany( Frankfurt Am Main to be precise) in the winter of 1985. I had been stuck inside during the harshest winter I had ever endured. Snow was on the ground for seemingly months- it had frozen solid and when you went out driving pretty much all you could do was follow the ruts...which might not be the way you wanted to go. Temperatures had been well below freezing for a long long time and I was getting serious cabin fever. The "highlight" of the past few weekends had been my Sunday walk through the icy city streets to the Hauptbahnhof to buy a British newspaper so i could read the sports pages. Even this was fraught with danger because the city apartment blocks were typically 4 floors high and hanging off the gutters were monstrous icicles that would drop without warning and shatter on the pavement below. While one never actually hit me, a few came perilously close. Finally a weekend had arrived with air temperatures hovering around freezing and, over the past few days, the snow on the roads had finally begun to clear up and so I just had to get out fishing. I chose a spot in the city where I could park close by and thus retreat quickly when frostbite started to set in. The concrete bank was frozen solid but my plan was to work a stick float right down this bank with maggot as the bait. So it was that I set up a 4x #4 shot stick float on 2.6lb main line with a #18 hook to 1.5lb hooklength and a single maggot as bait. Fpr Americans, I am talking about a float attached top and bottom taking 4 very small sinkers...this type of float gives brilliant presentation if fished close in. The water flow at the bottom of a river is slower than higher up due to friction and so the idea is to slow the baits passage downstream until it exactly matches the flow in the bottom few inches of the river. The target species were small roach, a fish somewhat like a shiner, although they can reach a few pounds. A bonus fish in these conditions would probably not be a pound in weight. So it was that I sat there in the freezing cold inching my float downstream and chucking a couple of maggots in every cast. The result was ....nothing....not a sniff of a bite. So I kept addinga couple of inches to the depth and worked the bait through slower and slower as I held the float back harder and harder. Finally though, my feet and hands felt like blocks of ice and it was time to call it quits. Thus I decided that this cast was to be my last cast and would it please hurry up because my hands were really hurting by now. So I stopped holding the float back and as a result hooked bottom and the float slowly sank. GOOD! That is it ..pack up, go home to a warm bath. However my hook was firmly snagged on the bottom and I could lose a precious float if I rushed now. So it was that I walked along the concrete bank to where I was hooked up BUT I took my landing net with me in case I needed to net my float or possibly dislodge my hook. I slowly added pressure to the system and was pleased when the crap to which my hook was attached began to slowly com up off the bottom. Fully expecting a log. I was shocked to see a large carp come to the surface, clearly totally oblivious to what was happening! Luckily I had the net in hand and so before it woke up, I had it safely in the net. It weighed in at a shade over 22lb and still holds the record for the following : It is the only snow carp 20 I have ever caught; it is the twenty that I have landed the fastest; it is the only twenty I have landed with line below 2lb and hook size less than a 12. If that capture wasn't lucky, then I dont know what is!
  3. OK It looks like I wont be registering_ spent what seemed like an age trying to pay my annual subscription and was sent round and round in circles. I give in ! Tony Locke
  4. Count me in...fished it for a few years now. Blew out last year...catching several channel cats but not a sniff of a carp. This year.... Tony Locke GA
  5. Give it a rest, stay home and stay dry! The rivers are over the banks and more rain seems to be in the forecast every Friday to totally screw up fishing at the weekend! It has been a struggle and, at least for me, the carp haven't been showing in the side streams like they normally do when the river is in flood. So any success has come from fishing a back-swim on the main river, but the fishing has been tough!
  6. Count me in Name : Tony Locke State : Georgia Zone: South
  7. Count me in! Name : tony Locke CAG name: Tony Locke State :GA Under 17 ...I wish...is there a category for the over 60's???
  8. My first trip to North America from England....there was a large pond/ small lake in the middle of Kitchener, Ontario. So armed with some corn and bread I set off to see what I could catch out of it. The answer was GOLDFISH..big ones, little ones, orange ones, yellow ones, white ones! I was not pleased...I hadn't come 3000 miles to catch bloody goldfish. So I put a big worm on the hook and cast it out into the middle. What did I get ? An 18lb snapping turtle!! Not the best start to fishing in America!
  9. I used to live in Africa...we had giant african land snails that had shells to 6inches in length. They loved beer..and so leave a glass of beer overnight and it would be full of snails come morning. So....maybe a bit of alcohol in your packbait or soaking your corn in Jack Daniels might help you beat your pb snail! And if it fails, you can drink the JD to drown your sorrows...its a win/win situation!
  10. I would say B and C hold the best chances if extra water and color is in there. It would also mean less rubbish on the line if the river is in flood. Having said that, I have read several articles that have stated that we catch fish in the backwaters in those conditions because that is where we fish when the river is high. The fish, I am told, tend to stay in the main flow. So I put that to the test last weekend...I used a grippa 87g feeder out in the main flow and lighter feeders in the baskswim. Only bites were in the backswim, but then I gave up on the main flow due to the collection of leaves and twigs on my line. I would opt for A in "normal" conditions, but make A a bit downstream and not too far out. Carp tend to hug the margins and so I target water with a depth I think they would be comfortable in ...and that depends on river color. Most of the food is going to be falling off the overhanging branches or entering from side streams, hence the carp will be where the natural food is. So I would look for an A area where downstream is quiet and where there are some nice overhanging trees/snags. The idea then is to pull feeding carp up from the snags onto my feed..so some nice scents and a few freebies. Cheers Tony
  11. Sorry...no idea. Let us know how it goes. I could find nothing about carp catches there as it all was about bass and crappie. The lake carp of GA can be tough to catch but I see there you could camp and get a feeding regimen started. that would boost your chances. I find these GA lake carp very "seasonal" in where they roam and what is a hot spot in March can be dead the rest of the year. I have tried several GA lakes based upon people claiming to see "loads of massive carp" and have typically drawn a blank. In the north, lakes attached to the Coosa and Chattahoochee system have carp in them (Alatoona, Lanier for example) and then there are the lakes of East GA on the Oconee system that have carp (Sinclaire). Each lake seems to have its own peculiarities...Ft Yargo and carp rarely over 2lb; Salacoa with its high % of fully scaled mirrors; Lanier with its large head of 6lb( +/-2) carp and Jackson with its small head of very large ( for GA) carp. Some lakes have some massive grass carp in them and no common carp ( Varner?) and so us GA carpers try to share our info to help each other...so as I said, let us know how you did. The basic thing here form my point of view is that, suppose you have a bit of action down there, then maybe a consolidated attack by a group of us might yield some good results..we could host a GA fish in there possibly. Cheers Tony
  12. Franky...I am with you on this. What makes the events of last Saturday sort of frustrating is I dont know if I snagged that buff or hooked it fairly. Luckily, as it wasn't a pb then it doesn't really matter!
  13. Cannonball... For me, the point of our way of fishing is to get the fish to take a baited hook and thus catch them. I would not for example aim to snag a large carp in the way that people fish for paddlefish. I suppose you could say that as long as I am trying to get the fish to take a baited hook then any foul hooked or snagged fish are fairly caught and thus count as caught. The fact that I am not sure that my hook ever entered that buff sort of takes away from its capture. Tony
  14. Seems like a stupid question, but see if you feel the same way by the end of this story. Of course the obvious answer is when you land it, but even that is not a given, at least for me. I fish pretty much exclusively barbless hooks...or microbarbed if I have trouble keeping a bait on. So when I have a fish that is nothing special, I will try to shake it off rather than go to the hassle of netting and unhooking it. I do this especially with trout as they are so delicate and how I HATE catching them out of the 'Hooch here in Atlanta. What about foul hooked fish? I tend to count them as caught if the hook is around the mouth, but not if it isn't. However I have never landed even a half way decent foul hooked carp and so the moral dilemma remains unanswered. Now onto the events of last weekend, Saturday to be precise. Barry ( needsmoretimetofish) and I were at Twin Bridges paylake in Lawrenceville GA. Things had started off as usual as we were pestered by catfish...and me by turtles, which is why I rather dislike lake fishing in the summer. Then one of my rods shot round and I was into what was clearly a very decent fish...and then the other rod did the same thing and I was into 2 fish, the 2nd of which was indeterminate in size. So, as I couldn't fight both fish, I gave the 2nd rod to Barry and went on fighting the big fish. The thing went out into the middle of the lake , but steady pressure brought it back slowly to me. The fight was normal and I had no reason to doubt I had hooked it in the mouth. When it surfaced, it was clear I had hooked into a very decent small mouthed buffalo, but as it came slowly towards the net it was also clear that there was a whole heap of rubbish around its mouth, which also included my feeder. In its mouth was a large rusting hook attached to strong line which was attached to weights that were snarled around my feeder. So I extracted the large hook and cut the old line to free mine. Then I went after my size 12 barbless hook, but it wasn''t in the fish, it was underneath it. The fish looked all the world like a pb GA buff to me( My pb stood at 24lb 8oz caught in the same lake...and possibly even, is the same fish. Luckily it only weighed in at 21lb 12oz but did I catch it? Having barbless hooks come out in the netting process is not unusual, as the tension on the line is suddenly decreased, but was my hook ever in the fish? As I said, the fight was normal...but if my feeder snagged the line that was attached to that big old hook in the buff's mouth, then the fight would be normal. If it had been a pb, should it have counted? Tony with a definately caught 20lb + buff
  15. As I watched the progress of Irma an article caught my eye: "5 things not to do in a hurricane"...and going fishing was not mentioned. So no problem then? As Irma battered Florida, my thoughts went to those who suffered and back home we were getting a car load of supplies ready to take to a central point for further distribution. Our dog looked particularly sad because one donation was a 50lb bag of dried dog food. However Irma was weakening significantly and by the time it reached me in Atlanta on Monday afternoon, the winds were down to gusts of up to 60 mph and heavy rain was coming down. Luckily and sensibly school was closed for Monday...and also Tuesday. By Tuesday, it was still a bit (??) wet and windy, but I had a cunning plan...all the weak trees and rotten branches would surely have come down in the much stronger winds of Monday and so it would be safe for me to go and fish the 'Hooch in the forest. I chose my forest spot because when the flow is fast and the river is high, there is a decent backswim there that gives you a chance of catching. So off I set...yes there were lots of areas without power and so traffic lights were a problem and delayed my arrival. What also delayed my arrival was a big pine tree across the river road, which totally closed it. No problem I knew a 3 mile detour around it. When I got to the river, shock of shock...it was very high and the same color as my morning cup of coffee, possibly even a bit darker. Strangely enough nobody else was down by the river...I was to see not one soul either by or on the water. The forest hole was not as inviting as I thought it would be- it sort of resembled my hot tub with the (weaker) jets on. However I was there and so for 3 hours I would give it my best shot. In these conditions I put my faith in spam and worms...and the method feeder. So my mix was bread based with about 25 chopped up worms, a can of corn and half a can of minced spam. I had about 8 feet of water in front of me so I put 3 big balls of the mix into to quietest area of the water. Then out went the method feeder and a cube of spam. I dont hair rig this but I do use a baiting needle to pull the hook through and then I use a "natural" stop ...a 1/3 inch piece of grass under the bend of the hook. First cast a decent channel catfish that was maybe 7lb and then the wind started and then the rain and then the flaw in my cunning plan became obvious as small branches came crashing down...and somewhere not too far behind me a loud splintering crash as a tree came down. While this was going on the rod decided to try and go for a swim, but luckily I wasn't too distracted and soon banked a small carp. A few more followed with the best just making 10lb and that I thought will do me. Ten pounds of spam eating "hurricane carp" Getting home was a challenge and a half,as more trees had come down, blocking my detour route as well. So I ended up going on an even longer detour...a journey that normally takes 20 minutes took me over an hour. Was it worth it? No...sometimes it is better to stay home by the fire!
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