Carp were again my target this week as I headed back to the venue I fished last week. The conditions facing me were completely different however with Britain once again in the midst of an icy grip. There were probably much better options for a days fishing, chasing some chub on a small river or maybe trying to find some pike no doubt gathering in the shallows and getting ready for spawning. I chose to stick with my original plans however, and see if I could once again tempt a carp from the freezing water.
I arrived at the venue, which is usually a busy one with overnight carp anglers, to find just one brave soul there from the previous night. His bivvy was still closed up tight against the elements . I decided not to risk disturbing him and had a wander around the lakes on the complex. Set on an old estate ground its picturesque to say the least. But there was no time for pictures like that today, I kept my hands firmly in my pockets as I wandered the banks, trying to keep them from the biting north easterly wind that was running wild across the fields.
With a quick surveying of the waters done I headed back to collect the tackle and made my way to the quieter end of the lake, a little more sheltered from the wind than the rest, and luckily also where the deeper water is. A quick lead around with a light lead, so as to cause as little disturbance as possible, and I had located the marginal slope, from 18 inches to a little under four feet of water over the distance of around six feet. An inviting, gradual slope that I decided to fish halfway up or down, depending on which way you want to look at it. Not too far down though to avoid the leaf sediment that is prevalent on this water. I felt confident this was a good starting point.
I fished the exact same tactics as last session so I wont go into it again but if you want to have a read the link is here. The only difference this week is that I added a generous helping of glug to the PVA bag mix of pellets a few days before the session to add to the attraction. Enough for any passing or nearby carp to hopefully be interested in having a munch and with all the rotting leaves I felt I needed bring a strong smelling element to the presentation. That and a bright colour to attract attention. A lot has been written about bright pop ups in cold weather I really have a lot of confidence on the them. I sometimes trim them down a bit in poor conditions but today I decided to leave them as they were.
The first fish fell on the second cast after roughly an hour and half of fishing. A small crucian hybrid of maybe 10oz but a very welcome one considering the very harsh conditions which, by the way, started to take a turn even worse with a generous helping of light snow starting to fall. Not to be put off though I re-baited and recast slightly further out but on the same line. Maybe the fish were further away from my bank? The water was a little clearer than last week. I sat back down and waited. Sure enough as midday approached, a slow, lethargic take began. The bobbin raised slowly and I lifted into a fish. It felt much better than the first fish as it plodded around without any real pace. In fact it felt like quite a decent carp. I played the fish carefully, I didn’t want to rush what could be the only carp of the day. The soft action of my rod soaked up any sudden lunges under the rod tip. After a lovely little fight I netted a chunky common that I was sure would be a mid double, maybe 14lb or so.
It weighed less than I thought at 11lb 9oz but I’m sure you will agree, a lovely conditioned fish. It certainly warmed me up and I became immune to the cold wind for a time. Its funny how we can forget about out own comfort when we catch a good fish or some such. We’re fickle creatures for sure. I returned the fish and watched it swim off strongly. Deciding to have something to eat before casting out again, I sat watching the water, trying to spot any signs of fish, which was easier said than done in 40mph winds. Suddenly something caught my sight moving on my unhooking mat. On closer inspection it turned out to be a caddisfly larvae which had no doubt been swept up in the net as I landed the carp. I’ve never seen one in the flesh before, and quite honestly the case or shell that they make and live in, from bits of debris and stones from the bottom woven into a silk like substance that they produce, is amazing. I tried to capture it on my camera but with it being so small I struggled. I’ve included it none the less for anyone interested. In terms of fish action there wasn’t much more for the rest of the afternoon. It took a lot of will power to stay until dusk and just a little either side of it but there was no reward from the fish. Just a lovely sunset that I couldn’t take a picture of as my camera told me it was too cold and wouldn’t turn on. Technology!
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Until next time,