After the enjoyable session last week I thought I would head back to the same venue and this week try to single out a grass carp. I guess you could call me a species chaser at the moment. In the past few weeks I have become less concerned with individual weights and am simply getting a lot of enjoyment trying to single out specific species of fish. I’m sure this will change but for now I think I will be fishing varying methods and trying out some new waters to see just exactly what is in them. From there I can build a better picture and then maybe set myself some target weights.
I arrived at the water well before dawn. I had got up early to attend to something and there was no point wasting petrol driving home and then returning later so I made up my mind to catch a few hours sleep in the car whilst I waited for first light. It arrived splendidly, over the hills in the distance the sun slowly made its way out, revealing a thick, white frost covering everything. A little mist rolled over the fields at the foot of the hills and further added to this wonderful scene. Setting up slowly I watched the water. Very important in fishing, but even more so when its cold and the fish will be hard to catch. I spotted a decent swirl close the the margins underneath a tree to the left of my peg. It looked like a grass carp. And again, before a small patch of bubble rose from the bottom. Sure sign of a fish. My confidence was boosted and I felt confident of a fish or two, even in achieving my target for the session.
In my last entry I outlined how I like fish this water and today was no different. At least in terms of rigs and method. Even the bait was the same, but the way I fished the rigs would have to be a little different. In my experience on this water, the grass carp tend to swim in the upper layers of water and seem to follow a bait down through the water, and take on the drop. Therefore I needed to fish my rigs with a strung out shotting pattern and not leave my rig too long in the water before resetting it. Lets face it, its better to be active especially when it is cold. Not only will it keep you a little warmer but this active style of fishing does, I believe, get more bites. Not just on this water but others too. A little movement in the hookbait can more often than not spark a take from fish, especially lethargic carp.
I fed the line sparingly, little and often, trying to keep at least a few tiny pellets and odd grain of corn traveling through the water column. First put in with a corn hookbait produced a sail away bite just after the hookbait touched the bottom. A powerful, lunging battle ensued, the responsible fish could only be one thing. A very welcome tench weighing roughly 3lb. Its nice to get your first bite on a difficult day but when it is converted into a nice fish its even better. The session however was proving to be a tough one. The lake wasn’t fishing well at all with many other anglers struggling for bites. I counted my blessing, at least feeling there was a few fish near me and continued in much the same way, feeding very sparingly and moving my rig a lot.
The lakes resident were tempted by my tactics and I was happy for any bites given the conditions. I was sure there was some grass carp moving occasionally under the tree where I had seen one setting up in this morning. I’m good at persisting with things so if nothing else I was sure I would eventually bore a grassie to the bank! In all seriousness I was catching the odd decent fish to single grain of sweetcorn and they were coming soon after moving the bait, or just as it settled. I was fishing correctly I just had to hope that a grass carp decided to turn up. And eventually it did. Only a small one of around 3lb but success tastes sweeter than failure.
The fish gave a good account of itself, a typical energetic fight and a real flap-fest once in the landing net. It fell to a grain of corn and took the bait on the drop. As well as the pictured fish I did have a few small carp, a true and very dark brown goldfish, some of the crucian/hybrids and plenty of those troublesome, tiny rudd. A nice mixed bag of fish, all in lovely condition, caught on a bitterly cold day when keeping active and thinking about what you are doing, and why, was of utmost importance.
Oh and plenty of these are usually needed too!
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Until next time,