This week saw the start of the closed season. The rivers are now off limits which I suppose makes deciding where to go a little easier. I still have a whole host of venues to consider though and, a sometimes overwhelming, variety of species to target. From month to month, season to season, the species change, and with each passing week so do the methods. This time of year is a great time to be an angler. Enjoying the first signs of life emerging from the winter sleep. The snow drops, crocuses and daffodils; the queen bee finding a suitable place to start her colony. Yes, its an optimistic time for sure. The fish too are waking up and are quick to move into shallower water. The margins warmed by any sun at this time of year, and hungry carp will begin to seek out food there. Well, that sounds like an opportunity for a quick afternoon session, doesn’t it?
I arrived the waters edge well after three o’clock and planned to fish until the sun sank behind me in a haze of red and orange. Before then though, I hoped to get a few carp feeding in the margins. Just a small palmful of pellets were fed in three likely looking spots. I would stay well back from the edge and visit the swims in rotation, looking for signs of feeding carp; bubbles on the surface or water moved by waving tails. The fish were certainly active, with several fish jumping clear of the water on the far bank but for the time being they seemed to ignoring the near margins. Still, I hoped they would eventually succumb. Whilst I waited I prepared my rig, which consisted of a size twelve hook tied directly to my 8lb mainline. The rod was a 1.75lb avon. Perfect. You really couldn’t get much simpler. Two grains of sweetcorn would be threaded onto the hook. I watched and waited. As four o’clock came and went, the carp began to move over the pellet offerings, one swim in particular looked to have a good number of fish present. I crept into position and carefully lowered in the hookbait just short of them. A whole 30 seconds went by before the line tightened and the rod began to head towards the far bank. I lifted into an angry weight as the fish surged away towards deeper water. With gentle and steady pressure I slowly got the fish under control. There was no need to rush. Savouring every moment and before too long, the solidly built carp was cradled in the mesh of my landing net. A low double at a guess but it didn’t matter one bit. A truly exciting way to catch a carp. For me, the simpler it is, the purer the experience.
I unhooked the fish in the margins and took a quick picture, giving the fish a few seconds to get its breathe back after such a spirited fight, before lowering the net and letting it swim away. I tried the two other swims but had no other success. It was great fun nonetheless and I got to see this beautiful sight as I packed away.
The next day it was all change as I set off for an intimate little pool to see if any of its residents were waking up. Possible species were crucians, goldfish, roach and rudd. Maybe even the odd bream, chub or perch. Not one of these fish was expected to be above eight ounces but I couldn’t wait to get started. Again nothing complicated here. A light float and line, small hooks and red maggots for bait. The first fish on the bank was a little palm sized brown goldfish. With rich, golden brown colours, it was a lovely start to the day. I wonder how many bloodworm have quivered at the sight of this?
It was a case of feed sparingly and cast often. Bites seemed to come quickly after doing so. The longer the bait was left the less chance of bite. I am assuming the maggots were dropping through any gaps in the weed and detritus on the bottom. Hidden from view so to speak. Still, it was an enjoyable way of fishing, keeping me active, searching the swim throughout the day.
I ended up with 10 brown goldfish, a solitary, tiny crucian and over two dozen rudd. It had been a relaxing and enjoyable day. Bringing back many happy memories of years gone by and times spent on the venue. I hope to make this little water a focus of mine this year. I can’t wait to visit it again once the weather warms up and the plants and weed have grown on. Somehow, the less water you can see, the greater the magic.
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Until Next time tight lines