Angling is full of challenges and it has certainly been a challenging couple of weeks for me of late.
Now don't get me wrong I love Carp fishing but they are a species I rarely fish for by design. The only time I will target them is in the Summer when they can be caught off the surface using floating baits. I don't think there is a more exciting way of fishing, a wee dog biscuit merrily bobbing away on the surface when suddenly a huge pair of rubber lips sucks it below the surface. The angler strikes and all hell breaks loose as the shocked fish makes a mad dash for freedom.
Thats how it's supposed to happen but for the previous three sessions were a case of what could go wrong did gone wrong. The venue where I most enjoy this kind of fishing is not a chocolate coloured overstocked puddle, commercials are far too easy. This lake is gin clear, in fact it is clearer than that, if that's possible. There is never a bivvy in sight which suits me, in fact there is rarely another angler. This means that the Carp are super spooky of any human presence so concealment is paramount.
The water is choked with weed which is a positive in that there is loads of natural food for the Carp to grow big on but it's also a negative in that it gives the fish an excellent means of escape. And the final problem to overcome is the birdlife, swans, moorhens and bloody loads of ducks live here. As soon as they hear the pang of the catapult elastic they come running thinking that there will be a nice easy meal for them to mop up.
On my first attempt the line I used was way too heavy. The Carp could see it a mile off and consequently never went near the bait. The second session I employed lighter line but just couldn't keep the bait away from the ducks. The Carp didn't have a chance, in fact I nearly caught a Duck as it took off with my bait but thankfully the hook didn't get a hold and the bird dropped it mid-air!
Last night I spent a few hours water-side. I managed to get a few bites but didn't hook any of them. I had been using pop-up boilies cut down to the shape of the loose fed dog-biscuits and the size twelve hooked nicked into one side. For some reason every time I struck I hit thin air.
I was seeing plenty of fish, big ones too but I just couldn't catch one for love nor money. It was really beginning to annoy me. All I have thought about was how I could beat these Carp. It became an obsession. Despite the rivers being open I had to continue chasing my new found nemeses until I beat them.
Today I was fully prepared. I had a bag full of all the bread I could find in the cupboard, plus some Raspberry cake(hope the kids weren't hungry!). That was to fill the duck's bellies and to keep them away from mybait and loose feed. I had a brand new spool of eight pound line to use as hooklength and a tube of superglue(only 49p from home bargains) to hold the dog biscuit to the hair rig.
Thankfully, fourth time lucky it worked.Within minutes of arriving I was playing a thirteen pound Common to the net. No mangled mouth, no missing scales and lovely dark colouration, a proper Carp.
The disturbance meant I had to wait a while before I could tempt one of its mates, this time a little bit bigger weighing 13lb 9oz and not a boilie-belly in sight.
The majority of the stock here are Commons but there are a few Mirrors and a large Ghostie that I stalked for a while but to no avail. Got to save something for next time.
The next hook up resulted in a hook pull but then finally I landed the real reason for my concerted effort on this water, a stunning long lean Common, 20lb 9oz of pure muscle.
With the monkey off my back my next session will be on in flowing water but no doubt I will return to the lake every now and then for some more action with these stunners.
|Back she goes|