Achieving Goals

Posted by: Trakker on November 7th, 2016

Achieving Goals

2016 is well upon us and this marks my 10th year of carp fishing. What an incredible journey it has been up to this point. I have caught an insane amount of fish over those years and some have been very memorable for myself. The one thing that stands out the most for me are all of the friendships along the way. I have met people both in person and on the internet spanning the globe and it is always amazing how fishing can allow you to meet so many people who share the same interest as you. It reminds me of my skateboarding days. It didn’t matter what age, race or beliefs you had because none of that mattered much like fishing. The common goal of fishing is the most important aspect of the friendship and it opens your world to new ideas and thoughts to help you to get to the next level.

With that said, this will be my first blog for Trakker and of course many more to come in my experiences while out on the banks. I wanted to talk about goals. We all have goals in our fishing from size, numbers or just certain things that you strive to achieve and often times they are things to help you improve yourself and not so much competing against another angler. Every year I make a list of things I would like to achieve and I strive for them.

This particular article focuses around a lake that I found myself to have more bad luck on than any other lake I have ever fished. Between trying to learn the lake, fish and other factors there were also some flat out bad experiences that were beyond my control.

The first year I had gone there was in 2010 with three of my fishing buddies. I had heard about the lake from my other friend and it was off the radar of most anglers at the time. I had actually been to the lake before knowing about it as my sister and aunt live nearby to it. In my home state there are over 4,000 lakes to fish and would take a lifetime to target them all. The biggest lake in my home state is close to 10,000 square miles if you can wrap your head around that one! This would actually be my first proper session ever believe it or not. I really did not have the proper gear at the time and I can remember it vividly. I left my house wearing jeans and a shirt. It was 80F when I had left and when I arrived at the lake hours later an extremely heavy thunderstorm had come through in the middle of me unpacking my gear. I was soaked to the bone and did not bring any spare clothes other than my hooded sweatshirt. After that front came through I had realized I was totally screwed because the temperatures kept falling and falling and hit in the low 30F range at night and all I had was a very cheap brolly that barely covered my bedchair. I had brought a small heater but it was useless with the constant winds through the night. I could not sleep all night and by morning I was concerned for my health as my toes had curled back and I could not uncurl them. I was shaking so badly from the cold. It was at first light my friend had the first fish but I knew I just could not physically handle another night. I decided to call the session off for myself and better prepare for next time. Having no sleep made for a very scary drive home as I had almost driven off the road. I had the radio blasting and windows down and it could still not keep me from nodding off some.

Anything in life you live and you learn from. The best thing that came out of the first session was experience and also a lasting friendship. I have been friends with my buddy Zach for over six years now. Even in the worse of scenarios something positive can always be found.

Onto my second trip out. Still not being able to afford the proper gear needed for a good session my friend and I opted for a hotel room and did day sessions. I finally tapped into what the fish wanted bait wise but the heavy weeds that occur in the summer left me missing fish or losing them in the weeds. After day two we packed it up and left for home. Little by little I was learning more about the lake and little tips to better myself for a future session.

After the 2nd session my friend and I had planned for another trip out the following year. I had finally bought the necessary gear to make it a comfortable session. I was driving close to 4 hours and my friend 6 hours to arrive at the lake. When we finally got there we were baffled as the main gate was closed which was never shut. We parked the cars and walked into the lake area only to see emergency tape roping off everything. Apparently a tornado had come through the day before and knocked over 20-30 trees in the main fishing area. The park was closed and a heavy disappointment had set in. It is not like this is an hour drive so we knew we were screwed to say the least. I saw the park ranger and tried to offer him a friendly donation to allow us to fish but for safety reasons he could not. The real heart breaker was when I first walked down to the lake I saw two huge orange koi feeding near the bank. They were in excess of 20lbs and amazing. I was not even able to make it back to my car to sneak in before being asked to leave the area. The curse had begun apparently with strike three happening.

Onwards to session 4 and what would become the most intense session to date. A few of my friends from all over the state decided to meet up so we got all set up and settled in for the night. Around 2am I heard my friend saying they are here. Half asleep I was thinking what he is on about. Well bowfisherman had shown up and started to shoot the fish in front of us. Talk about a gut wrenching feeling watching fish that are claimed to be over 30-40 years old being shot in front of you. We called the police as the area we were fishing you are not allowed to fire a weapon. I was livid and yelling profanities at them and my one friend had to pull me away. Having arrows shot in your direction is not a good feeling to have along with the fish you are going for being killed over and over in front of you. The police came and also the ranger and they escorted them out. The damage was done with quite a few trophy fish being shot. Sadly enough these fish were dumped in the forest up the road and found by the ranger. They weighed the one fish and it was 40lbs along with other trophy fish. This was by far the worst experience so far. Later the next day we packed it in as the feeling of disgust had left us in a mood that did not involve fishing.

Session 5 would turn out to be positive and on the upward swing. We decided to have a weekend social at the lake after hearing good news of the placement of signs on the lake not allowing the bows. This was already in place due to it being close to the city but now a sign would make it more enforceable. We had a good amount of anglers attend and even though fishing was tough we had a really fun time and shared a lot of great stories and memories. Even though I did not catch this time at the lake I at least left with a positive outlook.

Session 7 was starting to have a good feel to it. Again a few of my friends met up and my friend had prebaited to give ourselves a better chance at some action. The lake was never a numbers lake because most times only a few fish would come out on a weekend. Now that quite a few were removed sadly enough the odds were a little less. Into the first night it turned cold and we really did not see signs of fish. The next morning as the sun came up we saw some signs of fish but no action was to be had. A few boaters started to troll over our lines and snagged us up so it started to become annoying. Later in the day I started to feel ill and did not think another night was in order as my stomach started to have some really intense pain. Right before I was about to leave my friends canopy that he just bought had been picked up by the wind and blew against a tree stump. It ruined it instantly and it felt like the curse had come alive again. On a positive note right before I left my friend had managed a very nice koi so we left on a good note.

A few years went by and fast forward to fall of 2015. I had just had my 37th birthday and I was determined to catch a fish. I had stopped by the lake in the spring to look around but did not fish. My one friend Brian and I decided to go out for 3 days to see what we could do. Up until this point I had a good idea of what I wanted to do but never implemented it into action. With so many bad things that had happened at this lake before I was crossing my fingers for some luck to be on my side. As soon as I got to the lake I took a walk around and spotted a koi 10 feet off the bank in the same spot where I had begun my adventure at this lake. For some reason it felt like a sign that this was the place I need to be at. I tossed in some bait and decided to walk the banks some just to make sure I did not see any other more promising areas of interest. I did see a 30lb plus common at the other section of the lake but decided on that koi spot as it just felt right.

My friend finally arrived and we set up the area we would be spending the next few days at. I chose to have a baited area 10 foot off the bank where the koi was, a spot right before midway and finally a spot on the opposite bank to cover more area as the fish cruised by. This was also the full moon weekend and I have usually had something special come out on those full moon weekends more times than not. I was hoping for the same. For the spots on the opposite bank we boated over about 5 gallons of particles including bird seed and hemp, CC Moore Equinox boilies in various sizes and matching pellets. I had pva bags ready to drop over the baited areas. I decided on a 24mm Equinox boilie with a Dairy Supreme Pop Up as this had been working really well on my local waters. When we would boat baits over we would dump over a little extra pellet before dropping the rig.

It was funny because straight away the ducks and geese had moved in over the spots. We almost welcomed it because the spots were deep enough they could not dive for the baits and anywhere the ducks and geese were we observed the fish also followed them around as the locals would feed them.

Achieving Goals – Brian Wingard – Blogs – Trakker

The ducks and geese weren’t too much of a pain, and sometimes even aided us in locating fish!

As we got everything prepped the day was turning fast into night. Everything was in place and felt right. There were no other fisherman or boats and this was really surprising as this lake is usually packed. The full moon had come out and till morning I was hoping for some magic to happen over the spots.

Morning came and went and that same exact koi came over the spot that I had baited but so did the ducks. They spooked the koi off of the spot and two other koi had moved in but were extremely cautious and would not take the bait. I decided to walk around taking photos as the scenery was amazing. On the first day I kept observing a squirrel preparing for winter by gathering nuts. He hung around our bivvies all weekend.

Achieving Goals – Brian Wingard – Blogs – Trakker

This little fella certainly had a busy weekend, and provided great entertainment while the carp weren’t playing ball.

The day came and went and before dinner we decided to bait up the areas again as we could see activity and no takers. I did have a few beeps and I should have checked my rigs sooner. The one had become tangled leaving it rendered useless. We refreshed all of the spots and then ordered some delivery. We were so hungry at this point and some good local pizza was all that we needed to take away that craving. As night approached again the full moon was really blazing and lit up the banks. It almost felt like daytime with everything illuminated.

Achieving Goals – Brian Wingard – Blogs – Trakker

The moon was big and bright that evening!

With the full moon out and clear skies the temps had went from mid 60’s into the upper 20s. Thankfully I had the proper gear this time. I have a Tempest V2 bivvy and an AS365 sleep system. I did not even have to turn the heater on throughout the night as I was so warm and comfortable. Having the proper gear and ensuring you are comfortable makes all the difference on a session. From the first time I had come to this lake up until now was a world of difference in upgrades and how comfortable I was fishing. A good night’s rest is so crucial in keeping your head in the game and focusing on your fishing.

Achieving Goals – Brian Wingard – Blogs – Trakker

My trusty Tempest v2 Bivvy amongst an autumnal carpet of fallen leaves. Next to it is my X-Trail Gravity Barrow, in which I usually leave some items such as my rod holdall, bivvy bag, spare gas canisters, etc., and cover with the NXG Barrow Cover to keep them dry until required.

Tempest v2 Bivvy

A couple of bleeps on day two had me crouched by the rods, half expecting a run to materialise… but it wasn’t to be on this occasion.

On day two I had a few beeps as mentioned and I was so anticipating a run but it never came.

As we went to sleep I found myself jumping out of my Levelite in the early morning hours. Would this be the end of my bad luck at this lake? Would I finally land what I have come here before so many years ago? My bite alarm was screaming and the fish headed right towards a downed tree. I was scared the fish was going to get locked up in the branches so I held firm until I could leverage the fish away from the snag. Finally once the fish was in open water I knew I had her as it was a battle of merely taking my time and not rushing it. This lake does have a good amount of commons and my friend Brian had one the night before.

As the fish was getting closer I shined my headlamp close to the fish and could see the beautiful scales of the Israeli carp. The fish that I had set out to catch was close to gracing the net. As I finally lifted up on the net I felt the relief of finally breaking the curse that had plagued me on this lake so many times. Being early morning and only the moon for light I decided to place the fish in the retention sling until first light. I knew it would be a really cool photo with all of the amazing fall foliage on the trees and would make for a great background. I was so excited that I could not sleep and filmed the sun rise upon the horizon. It was such a magical morning that I will never forget.

I had to laugh because while all of this was going on my friend was out sleeping in his brolly. Mike Tyson must have got a hold of him because he was out like a light. Lol When morning came we got ready for photos and the moment when the fish was released to be caught another day was very special. The goal that I have tried so long for was finally met and I was all smiles from ear to ear.

Achieving Goals – Brian Wingard – Blogs – Trakker

I rested my prize in the Sanctuary Retention Sling while I waited for dawn to break.

When morning came I got to truly see the beauty of the aged fish and how all of the scales and colors just popped out at me as I was looking over the fish.

Achieving Goals – Brian Wingard – Blogs – Trakker

My prize looked stunning in the dappled light of an autumn morning.

Achieving Goals – Brian Wingard – Blogs – Trakker

I was amazed by it’s beauty.

 

Achieving Goals – Brian Wingard – Blogs – Trakker

It’s always a joy to watch them swim off strongly to live another day.

I am always fascinated by how amazing fish can be and much like a snowflake everyone has a unique characteristic about them that sets them apart from the next fish.

In closing no matter what your goal is for yourself do not give up. Every session leaves you with more information to better yourself for the next even if it is the worse session ever. Never give up and keep on trying. It took myself many trips and many disappointments along the way but in the end it made that fish much more special than if I would have caught it the first time there.

Brian Wingard

 

If you would like to follow my fishing on social media my links are as follows

YouTube https://www.youtube.com/user/bwingy

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/BrianWingardCarpAngler

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/carpfishinglifestyle

Twitter https://twitter.com/accordbw

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Achieving Goals

Posted by: Trakker on November 7th, 2016

Achieving Goals

2016 is well upon us and this marks my 10th year of carp fishing. What an incredible journey it has been up to this point. I have caught an insane amount of fish over those years and some have been very memorable for myself. The one thing that stands out the most for me are all of the friendships along the way. I have met people both in person and on the internet spanning the globe and it is always amazing how fishing can allow you to meet so many people who share the same interest as you. It reminds me of my skateboarding days. It didn’t matter what age, race or beliefs you had because none of that mattered much like fishing. The common goal of fishing is the most important aspect of the friendship and it opens your world to new ideas and thoughts to help you to get to the next level.

With that said, this will be my first blog for Trakker and of course many more to come in my experiences while out on the banks. I wanted to talk about goals. We all have goals in our fishing from size, numbers or just certain things that you strive to achieve and often times they are things to help you improve yourself and not so much competing against another angler. Every year I make a list of things I would like to achieve and I strive for them.

This particular article focuses around a lake that I found myself to have more bad luck on than any other lake I have ever fished. Between trying to learn the lake, fish and other factors there were also some flat out bad experiences that were beyond my control.

The first year I had gone there was in 2010 with three of my fishing buddies. I had heard about the lake from my other friend and it was off the radar of most anglers at the time. I had actually been to the lake before knowing about it as my sister and aunt live nearby to it. In my home state there are over 4,000 lakes to fish and would take a lifetime to target them all. The biggest lake in my home state is close to 10,000 square miles if you can wrap your head around that one! This would actually be my first proper session ever believe it or not. I really did not have the proper gear at the time and I can remember it vividly. I left my house wearing jeans and a shirt. It was 80F when I had left and when I arrived at the lake hours later an extremely heavy thunderstorm had come through in the middle of me unpacking my gear. I was soaked to the bone and did not bring any spare clothes other than my hooded sweatshirt. After that front came through I had realized I was totally screwed because the temperatures kept falling and falling and hit in the low 30F range at night and all I had was a very cheap brolly that barely covered my bedchair. I had brought a small heater but it was useless with the constant winds through the night. I could not sleep all night and by morning I was concerned for my health as my toes had curled back and I could not uncurl them. I was shaking so badly from the cold. It was at first light my friend had the first fish but I knew I just could not physically handle another night. I decided to call the session off for myself and better prepare for next time. Having no sleep made for a very scary drive home as I had almost driven off the road. I had the radio blasting and windows down and it could still not keep me from nodding off some.

Anything in life you live and you learn from. The best thing that came out of the first session was experience and also a lasting friendship. I have been friends with my buddy Zach for over six years now. Even in the worse of scenarios something positive can always be found.

Onto my second trip out. Still not being able to afford the proper gear needed for a good session my friend and I opted for a hotel room and did day sessions. I finally tapped into what the fish wanted bait wise but the heavy weeds that occur in the summer left me missing fish or losing them in the weeds. After day two we packed it up and left for home. Little by little I was learning more about the lake and little tips to better myself for a future session.

After the 2nd session my friend and I had planned for another trip out the following year. I had finally bought the necessary gear to make it a comfortable session. I was driving close to 4 hours and my friend 6 hours to arrive at the lake. When we finally got there we were baffled as the main gate was closed which was never shut. We parked the cars and walked into the lake area only to see emergency tape roping off everything. Apparently a tornado had come through the day before and knocked over 20-30 trees in the main fishing area. The park was closed and a heavy disappointment had set in. It is not like this is an hour drive so we knew we were screwed to say the least. I saw the park ranger and tried to offer him a friendly donation to allow us to fish but for safety reasons he could not. The real heart breaker was when I first walked down to the lake I saw two huge orange koi feeding near the bank. They were in excess of 20lbs and amazing. I was not even able to make it back to my car to sneak in before being asked to leave the area. The curse had begun apparently with strike three happening.

Onwards to session 4 and what would become the most intense session to date. A few of my friends from all over the state decided to meet up so we got all set up and settled in for the night. Around 2am I heard my friend saying they are here. Half asleep I was thinking what he is on about. Well bowfisherman had shown up and started to shoot the fish in front of us. Talk about a gut wrenching feeling watching fish that are claimed to be over 30-40 years old being shot in front of you. We called the police as the area we were fishing you are not allowed to fire a weapon. I was livid and yelling profanities at them and my one friend had to pull me away. Having arrows shot in your direction is not a good feeling to have along with the fish you are going for being killed over and over in front of you. The police came and also the ranger and they escorted them out. The damage was done with quite a few trophy fish being shot. Sadly enough these fish were dumped in the forest up the road and found by the ranger. They weighed the one fish and it was 40lbs along with other trophy fish. This was by far the worst experience so far. Later the next day we packed it in as the feeling of disgust had left us in a mood that did not involve fishing.

Session 5 would turn out to be positive and on the upward swing. We decided to have a weekend social at the lake after hearing good news of the placement of signs on the lake not allowing the bows. This was already in place due to it being close to the city but now a sign would make it more enforceable. We had a good amount of anglers attend and even though fishing was tough we had a really fun time and shared a lot of great stories and memories. Even though I did not catch this time at the lake I at least left with a positive outlook.

Session 7 was starting to have a good feel to it. Again a few of my friends met up and my friend had prebaited to give ourselves a better chance at some action. The lake was never a numbers lake because most times only a few fish would come out on a weekend. Now that quite a few were removed sadly enough the odds were a little less. Into the first night it turned cold and we really did not see signs of fish. The next morning as the sun came up we saw some signs of fish but no action was to be had. A few boaters started to troll over our lines and snagged us up so it started to become annoying. Later in the day I started to feel ill and did not think another night was in order as my stomach started to have some really intense pain. Right before I was about to leave my friends canopy that he just bought had been picked up by the wind and blew against a tree stump. It ruined it instantly and it felt like the curse had come alive again. On a positive note right before I left my friend had managed a very nice koi so we left on a good note.

A few years went by and fast forward to fall of 2015. I had just had my 37th birthday and I was determined to catch a fish. I had stopped by the lake in the spring to look around but did not fish. My one friend Brian and I decided to go out for 3 days to see what we could do. Up until this point I had a good idea of what I wanted to do but never implemented it into action. With so many bad things that had happened at this lake before I was crossing my fingers for some luck to be on my side. As soon as I got to the lake I took a walk around and spotted a koi 10 feet off the bank in the same spot where I had begun my adventure at this lake. For some reason it felt like a sign that this was the place I need to be at. I tossed in some bait and decided to walk the banks some just to make sure I did not see any other more promising areas of interest. I did see a 30lb plus common at the other section of the lake but decided on that koi spot as it just felt right.

My friend finally arrived and we set up the area we would be spending the next few days at. I chose to have a baited area 10 foot off the bank where the koi was, a spot right before midway and finally a spot on the opposite bank to cover more area as the fish cruised by. This was also the full moon weekend and I have usually had something special come out on those full moon weekends more times than not. I was hoping for the same. For the spots on the opposite bank we boated over about 5 gallons of particles including bird seed and hemp, CC Moore Equinox boilies in various sizes and matching pellets. I had pva bags ready to drop over the baited areas. I decided on a 24mm Equinox boilie with a Dairy Supreme Pop Up as this had been working really well on my local waters. When we would boat baits over we would dump over a little extra pellet before dropping the rig.

It was funny because straight away the ducks and geese had moved in over the spots. We almost welcomed it because the spots were deep enough they could not dive for the baits and anywhere the ducks and geese were we observed the fish also followed them around as the locals would feed them.

Achieving Goals – Brian Wingard – Blogs – Trakker

The ducks and geese weren’t too much of a pain, and sometimes even aided us in locating fish!

As we got everything prepped the day was turning fast into night. Everything was in place and felt right. There were no other fisherman or boats and this was really surprising as this lake is usually packed. The full moon had come out and till morning I was hoping for some magic to happen over the spots.

Morning came and went and that same exact koi came over the spot that I had baited but so did the ducks. They spooked the koi off of the spot and two other koi had moved in but were extremely cautious and would not take the bait. I decided to walk around taking photos as the scenery was amazing. On the first day I kept observing a squirrel preparing for winter by gathering nuts. He hung around our bivvies all weekend.

Achieving Goals – Brian Wingard – Blogs – Trakker

This little fella certainly had a busy weekend, and provided great entertainment while the carp weren’t playing ball.

The day came and went and before dinner we decided to bait up the areas again as we could see activity and no takers. I did have a few beeps and I should have checked my rigs sooner. The one had become tangled leaving it rendered useless. We refreshed all of the spots and then ordered some delivery. We were so hungry at this point and some good local pizza was all that we needed to take away that craving. As night approached again the full moon was really blazing and lit up the banks. It almost felt like daytime with everything illuminated.

Achieving Goals – Brian Wingard – Blogs – Trakker

The moon was big and bright that evening!

With the full moon out and clear skies the temps had went from mid 60’s into the upper 20s. Thankfully I had the proper gear this time. I have a Tempest V2 bivvy and an AS365 sleep system. I did not even have to turn the heater on throughout the night as I was so warm and comfortable. Having the proper gear and ensuring you are comfortable makes all the difference on a session. From the first time I had come to this lake up until now was a world of difference in upgrades and how comfortable I was fishing. A good night’s rest is so crucial in keeping your head in the game and focusing on your fishing.

Achieving Goals – Brian Wingard – Blogs – Trakker

My trusty Tempest v2 Bivvy amongst an autumnal carpet of fallen leaves. Next to it is my X-Trail Gravity Barrow, in which I usually leave some items such as my rod holdall, bivvy bag, spare gas canisters, etc., and cover with the NXG Barrow Cover to keep them dry until required.

Tempest v2 Bivvy

A couple of bleeps on day two had me crouched by the rods, half expecting a run to materialise… but it wasn’t to be on this occasion.

On day two I had a few beeps as mentioned and I was so anticipating a run but it never came.

As we went to sleep I found myself jumping out of my Levelite in the early morning hours. Would this be the end of my bad luck at this lake? Would I finally land what I have come here before so many years ago? My bite alarm was screaming and the fish headed right towards a downed tree. I was scared the fish was going to get locked up in the branches so I held firm until I could leverage the fish away from the snag. Finally once the fish was in open water I knew I had her as it was a battle of merely taking my time and not rushing it. This lake does have a good amount of commons and my friend Brian had one the night before.

As the fish was getting closer I shined my headlamp close to the fish and could see the beautiful scales of the Israeli carp. The fish that I had set out to catch was close to gracing the net. As I finally lifted up on the net I felt the relief of finally breaking the curse that had plagued me on this lake so many times. Being early morning and only the moon for light I decided to place the fish in the retention sling until first light. I knew it would be a really cool photo with all of the amazing fall foliage on the trees and would make for a great background. I was so excited that I could not sleep and filmed the sun rise upon the horizon. It was such a magical morning that I will never forget.

I had to laugh because while all of this was going on my friend was out sleeping in his brolly. Mike Tyson must have got a hold of him because he was out like a light. Lol When morning came we got ready for photos and the moment when the fish was released to be caught another day was very special. The goal that I have tried so long for was finally met and I was all smiles from ear to ear.

Achieving Goals – Brian Wingard – Blogs – Trakker

I rested my prize in the Sanctuary Retention Sling while I waited for dawn to break.

When morning came I got to truly see the beauty of the aged fish and how all of the scales and colors just popped out at me as I was looking over the fish.

Achieving Goals – Brian Wingard – Blogs – Trakker

My prize looked stunning in the dappled light of an autumn morning.

Achieving Goals – Brian Wingard – Blogs – Trakker

I was amazed by it’s beauty.

 

Achieving Goals – Brian Wingard – Blogs – Trakker

It’s always a joy to watch them swim off strongly to live another day.

I am always fascinated by how amazing fish can be and much like a snowflake everyone has a unique characteristic about them that sets them apart from the next fish.

In closing no matter what your goal is for yourself do not give up. Every session leaves you with more information to better yourself for the next even if it is the worse session ever. Never give up and keep on trying. It took myself many trips and many disappointments along the way but in the end it made that fish much more special than if I would have caught it the first time there.

Brian Wingard

 

If you would like to follow my fishing on social media my links are as follows

YouTube https://www.youtube.com/user/bwingy

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/BrianWingardCarpAngler

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/carpfishinglifestyle

Twitter https://twitter.com/accordbw

 

 

 

 

 

 

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