With their distinctive plop the boilies broke the surface sending the few carp that were present ghosting back down the shelf. I hope I hadn’t scared them away. I had faith that their stomachs would get the better of their instinct. Moments passed. Ones that felt much longer than they actually were. My eyes strained through the murky water, willing a dark shape to fade back into view. A few more seconds slipped by before a carp could resist the tasty morsels no longer. Perfect I thought and slowly crept away from the edge and back to the car, leaving the carp to gain confidence. I went about setting up my Avon rod. A short hooklength was made up. Boilies baited on the hair. I was soon back at the swim creeping into position. The tuft of grass I used for cover was heavily out of proportion for the job but it was better than nothing. A few more boilies thrown in had a similar effect to the first time only now, when the carp left, I was able to lower my free-lined hookbait into the shallow water. It was then a case of waiting for the carp to return. I was sure they would. They had been happily feeding in the interim. Sure enough, they made their way back up the shelf, looking a little more nervous than last time it has to be said. Maybe I’d ruined the opportunity. No sooner were these thoughts filtering through my head, than a fish bolted out into the lake. In one, blurred motion a carp had up ended, waved its tail and made the mistake of taking my bait.
My prize; a stunning old mirror carp. Long, lean and very powerful. I took a quick picture and made sure the fish was well rested before release. And although on the actual day this is where the story ends, for this week’s blog it’s not where the story began.
I got up early. Any tasks for the day were to be dealt with in super quick time. After all, the quicker I did them, the sooner I would be out on the bank. Let me say that conditions looked perfect. A little cooler than last week, overcast mostly with a few brighter spells mixed in. The wind, which was light at the moment was predicted to get stronger as the day wore on. That settled it. There was only one place I would be heading. Back to the water I finished up on last week in the hope that some more of its lovely, slab sided bream would come my way. I was super excited now. A good meal eaten and car loaded, I was soon hurtling down the motorway, with visions of deep bronze flanks mooching around in the gloom of the deep, clear water. As any fisherman will know it’s a dangerous game to let you mind wander like this for these are the moments when you let your guard down. Hopes and expectations for the day rise up. But all too often the reality rarely matches. When it does, however, that is when memories are made. Only when they match up? Hmm. On arrival I chose a peg and found a lovely weed free area which I would bait up with a mixture of groundbait, pellets and sweetcorn. No casters this week as I had no time to collect them from the shop. Once the fifteenth feeder load of the sweet fishmeal concoction had been deposited, it was time to tie up two hooklengths and then settle back for the wait. I was joined for a few minutes by a turquoise and black damselfly.
A stunning looking creature but once more my mind drifted to what might be about to happen out in the lake. Had any bream picked up on the scent? Were they nervously starting to feed on the bait at the very edges of the area? Making their way ever closer to my hookbait. Time would tell. For now only patience was needed. That and casting the feeder full of attractive goodies every ten or fifteen minutes. Four casts went by. Roughly an hour then, I deduced. No line bites as yet and certainly no proper bites. A change of hookbait to a banded pellet and the feeder filled for a fifth time. Rig cast and the rod back on the rest. From nowhere the rod tip dropped back, and in the time it took me to unfold my arms, had pulled into one hell of a curve. Fish on! A gentle fight ensued culminating in a net full of bronze ‘beauty’. Excellent.
Well over six pound and a cracking fish to start the session with. As I returned the fish I noticed that the area I had fed was beginning to fizz. Not tiny, tench-like bubbles. Slightly larger. Obviously a few bream had found the bait and were eagerly feeding. I couldn’t wait to get the rig cast back out there. There was definitely a few fish on the cards here! Now here’s where I learnt a valuable lesson about expectation and reality. On that very next cast a horrible sound of snapping line sent my hopes of a bumper session nose-diving dramatically. Looking down in disbelief I could see that the line had unfortunately caught itself in the line clip. I didn’t check before casting of course. Curse you excitement! To make matters worse I then remembered I hadn’t counted how many turns of the reel handle it was to the baited area. Luckily the fish were feeding well so I had a visual clue. Then the nail in the coffin. On going to my bag for another swimfeeder it appeared, as you would now expect, that I had left them on the garden table. Well done me. Expectation. What happens in reality. Rarely meeting. A memory made but not the kind I’d hoped for.
With no way of getting any amount of bait out in the swim I decided, as frustrating as it felt, that it was best to leave. It’s a horrible feeling leaving feeding fish. I’d like to think I’ll learn from this. In what seemed like the blink of an eye I was in the car and homeward bound. After a few miles, I decided to call into another club fishery on the way. A place that if I am honest I am not hugely fond of but I wasn’t ready for home yet. I honestly don’t know what made me choose this venue but no sooner had I arrived I noticed a few carp feeding in the shallow margins. It would be rude not to introduce a little bait and see how they reacted. Well, you know the story from here.
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Until Next time tight lines