I fancied a change of scenery this week having been on the river the majority of weeks for the last month or so. Come the spring, which really isn’t that far away, I will be trying to up my PB tench, and hope to land a fish of 8lb plus. So for the next few weeks before that begins, as well as getting all the end tackle tied up and ready for that campaign, I fancy fishing a few waters that hold some smallish, but beautiful carp. Hard fighting common and ghost carp to mid double figures. The majority are single figure fish, so landing a double will be an achievement. A good fish for the water you’re fishing and all that.
With the air temperature getting a little warmer in the days preceding my trip, my confidence was boosted. The nights however were still cold, with cat ice forming on surrounding waters. I didn’t see the need to make an early start so I arrived just before midday and had a quick walk around the waters. Luckily none had been frozen that night although the temperature hovered around freezing. The hazy sun that was filtering through the clouds was certainly raising the temperatures. I decided to fish the shallowest pond on the complex, hoping the water would warm up quicker and spur any hungry carp to have a mooch around, and with it being relatively small, if no bites were forthcoming, moving to try and find some fish wouldn’t be an arduous task.
I settled towards the shallower end as I have fished it before and could vaguely remember where any weed beds were. Sure, they are not visible at the moment from above the water, but underneath they are still attractive areas to fish. I had a quick lead around and found an area which gave a nice thud as the lead landed and came back pretty much free of any sediment. Small leads and an underarm cast was all that was needed to reach the area, and allowed me to keep any disturbance to a minimum. It is a shallow venue after all. I fished a simple rig, which I have annotated in the next picture, and decided to introduce feed initially only through small PVA bags. Bright coloured, but small, hookbait sitting near a little pile of attractive pellets. If there were any carp nearby I was sure they would respond.
I decided I would leave the rig in position for about 45 minutes maybe leaving it a little longer once a few piles of pellets had been deposited from previous casts. I didn’t want to overdo the feed as the fish would still be pretty lethargic. My first cast was not rewarded with a fish. I didn’t expect it to be. Reeling in I checked the rig, dried it, threaded another PVA bag, re-attached the hooklength, and made my second cast of the day to the same area, maybe slightly further to the right this time. The rod had been in the rest for about ten minutes when the alarm screamed off, I dont think I have had such a violent take from a carp before, even with slack lines it was so aggressive. Unsurprisingly the fight matched the take, for a high single figure fish, it put up a tremendous account of itself. Something about shallow water and fighting fit common carp that almost guarantee a brilliant fight! Eventually I netted the fish, and lay in its folds was a lovely brown/gold late winter common. Perfectly formed and I was really thrilled to catch it. After a few pictures I returned the fish, fighting fit, to the water and watched it swim strongly off.
It was approaching two o’clock now, and I was happy the way the session was going. A few silver fish started topping towards the other, deeper end of the pond, I felt sure that it might be worth moving and having a look if the swim didn’t produce another fish after another hour or two. But the longer I stayed in the swim, the more bait went in with each cast, until I started to get a few slow, deliberate line bites. I didn’t know if they were from carp or from a shoal of a crucian/goldfish hybrids that are aplenty in the water. I decided on this occasion to stick it out in this swim and hope it paid off. Around 4 o’clock I had another run, not as violent as the last, more of stuttering series of bleeps as apposed to a one toner. Lifting into the fish I could tell it was a crucian/goldfish hybrid. I played the fish in carefully and treated it with the same respect I would any fish. Just because it wasn’t my intended quarry doesn’t mean that its any less welcome. To me a fish is a fish and they will never be a nuisance, and as it turned out, turned out to be a lovely fish of around 12-14oz.
After returning the fish I had one last fleeting think about moving to try the deeper water but I managed to put it to the back of my mind. I would leave it for another day. Besides I was confident of another bite as darkness fell and if not then, then an hour after it or maybe two. I sat it out until about 7 o’clock, the temperature dropping quickly once soon as the sun set . No further fish were caught in fact after that last fish, the line bites stopped and in the deeper area the silvers stopped topping. I was happy enough, a lovely carp and hybrid in a few hours fishing. It was a change from the river as I said in the opening paragraph and I enjoyed it immensely. Maybe I’ll head back next week and try the deeper section or maybe a different lake. Who knows? That’s the beauty of angling, the mystery. I love it.
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Until next time,