I had a lie in on Sunday morning. The clocks had gone forward the night before; the start of British summertime. With one hour lost, getting up at nine o’clock seemed like a false luxury. Technically, it was eight o’clock. Stop thinking like that, I told myself as I put the kettle on for a brew. A few slices of toast to accompany and I pondered where to go fishing. It had been a mild few days previously, and it looked as though the sun would be shining once more. Surely, the carp in lakes all around the country would be taking note. The sun acting like a carp magnet; these sun seekers silently slipping into shallow margins or basking at the surface. To the same club lake I ended the session on last week then. Once there I would see what areas were available and then let the conditions, and the carp, dictate where I would fish.
On my arrival half the pegs were taken, and this came as no surprise, but I did have a choice at least. With a gentle breeze blowing in, I decided to follow it and hope the carp had done the same. I sat in the peg for a few minutes and scanned the water. Sure enough, a carp or two were present in the shallower water. Out with the rods. A quick lead around and I had found two spots to fish over. Both in shallow water over a soft bottom. With rigs attached and cast out, I fed a few boilies over each area with the catapult. Within minutes I had a line bite. Then another. It really is exciting when you are sure fish are present. I guess it’s similar to the patches of bubbles that accompany a tench fishing dawn. A further twenty minutes went by before a proper bite materialised. The alarm sounded. Initially the fish swan towards me towards me and it was hard to judge its size. I soon realised though it was a hefty fish, and on fairly light rods, was giving an amazing account of itself. One of the best fights I have had for a long time. As it drew nearer to the net, I could see it was a common with a little bit of ghost in it. A few more powerful lunges soaked up by the rod and the fish was drawn over the waiting landing net.
What a chunky fish it was and in immaculate condition. A brilliant start to the session. After a few photos I made sure the fish was put back safely in the margins and then the best bit; watching her slowly make her way back to her home, none the worse for wear. Rather than get the rod back out quickly, I thought it best to put in a few more freebies and let any fish return and feed undisturbed. I also fed a few more over my second rod, which had been quite quiet since casting out, despite regularly seeing fish in the area. Checking my mainline before casting the rod back out I noticed it was heavily frayed. Something it’s important to get in the habit of doing, especially when fishing near snags or rocks, on rivers in particular. You don’t want to wait for another bite for your line to give because it is damaged. I speak from experience, ignore rough spots and unwanted knots at your peril! Over the next hour it was quiet. The hazy sun was warming though and it was a pleasure just to be sat by the water. In fact, I would have been happy enough not to catch another fish for the rest of the day. This wasn’t to be the case however but for now I watched a mallard and her seven young chicks foraging for food in the tall grass.
Just after the cloud cover increased, I caught my second fish of the session, the slightly smaller mirror pictured above. This time on the rod that had, until now, lay quiet. With a regular trickle of bait being fed it appeared that the swim that had been the quietest, was now gaining more attention from hungry carp. Despite my best efforts to pin the line down safely, I was getting quite a few line bites. I think this was to do with the depth of water and the amount of fish patrolling more than anything else. An occupational hazard. With the rod cast back out, and some more boilies fed, I went back to sitting and generally enjoying the wonderful landscape. I wondered what this place would have looked like a hundred years ago, even longer. It’s in quite a historic location and is something I might try to find out more about in the future. Once more however, my thoughts were interrupted by an angry alarm screaming into life. I found myself playing another powerful carp. This one charged around, going on powerful runs, clutch screaming and angler hanging on for dear life. Similar to the first fish once it neared the bank I could see it was another ghost carp. Much whiter than the first, displaying their trademark metallic scales and patterned head. Eventually, after several more tearing runs, the fish was mine.
Another stunning looking fish, and again, pristinely conditioned. Once photographed and returned I fed the area and decided to have a wander. Drink a well needed cup of tea too. I pretty much always take my camera with me when doing so. What I photographed was a sight that is sadly becoming an all to common one. I am not going to moan about the threat our fisheries face on a day to day basis. Rather, that from an anglers point of view point, it hammers home the need to take care of the fish we catch. I know I say this a lot but only because it’s super important. It’s quite literally the future in our hands.
My legs now stretched and my belly full of tea, it was back to the rods and I hoped that in the last hour of light, I might catch one more fish. It really didn’t matter of course at this stage. The evening was another stunning one. It felt like summer was just around the corner and I watched the myriad of animal life that was around me. It was clear from the water waking that a few fish were still present in the swim. Just before the sun sank below the horizon the alarm steadily sprung into life. The fish I lifted into was much more of a plodder than a fighter, a sure sign of a bigger specimen. Without much too difficulty, in comparison to the hard fighting ghost carp, a plump mirror was soon wallowing on the surface. Ready to be netted.
It was the largest fish caught today, a high double, and a fitting way to end the session. After the photo, like the others, I made sure the fish was returned safely. I debated casting the rod out once more but in the end decided against it. To be honest, I had been rewarded with some fantastic fish, in picturesque surroundings. Would a bigger fish or simply another fish make it any more memorable? The answer was no and I took that as my cue to leave.
There will not be an update next week as I am away on holiday for a few days. Business will be resumed in two weeks.
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Until Next time tight lines