Towards the end of a hot summer day, Shelley & I arrived at the 'pretty puddle' for an evening chilling out by the lake. This is actually the first time I've been fishing in almost six weeks. Firstly lack of success saw my Tench fishing at 'the Marsh' just run out of steam. In hindsight I made loads of mistakes, I fished it all wrong but I'll have another crack next spring and won't make the same mistakes again. Secondly summer time is party time, there is only so much leisure time available so something has to give. I've spent many happy days and nights in the company of some of my favourite people; Parties, BBQ's, music festivals, cricket matches, eating and drinking too much. It's been a busy time, spice of life.
Anyway tonight I just wanted to chill out in a shady waterside place and put a bend in the rod. We settled in a large comfortable swim in one of the bays and I began feeding chum mixers which were soon being slurped down by greedy Carp. After almost an entire summer of being hammered these fish are a lot more wary than they were earlier in the year. Getting a take requires a lot more patience but to be honest it's nowhere near as frustrating as the floater fishing I used to do in years gone by. Here you know the fish will make a mistake sooner or later.
Shelley began fishing with a floating bait on a powerful whip. I'm not a lover of pole fishing for Carp as I've seen the damage done to Carp's mouths by bullying them into the net on these things. Shelley would not be hurrying to drag the fish in, the elastic would be allowed to do it's job. I had a rod set up to freeline a floater but to begin with I was just content to feed the swim, watch and wait. However, when a Carp began taking baits from literally beneath my feet, I couldn't resist dropping a bait on it. This was taken almost immediately and I found myself attached to a fish that pulled my arms off in an attempt to escape...but didn't. The fish was a nicely coloured Mirror but had half it's tail missing, a battered dorsal fin and a mouth that was ripped to pieces. My views on irresponsible match fishing for Carp are hardening....
After that the fishing became harder. Small groups of Carp would move into the swim, slurp a few floaters down and then move out again. At this stage of the season they have developed the nack of ignoring the bait with the hook in. Still the evening was warm and pleasant and we were chilling out in a nice place. Shame the two idiots fishing in the next bay weren't a little quieter and a lot less dramatic. However it became easier to tune them out as time went by.
The next action came to Shelley, a nice little common hooked on a floater. The whip was handled nicely, the elastic allowed to do it's job and after a few patient minutes the Carp was coaxed into the net. At around seven pounds possibly a personal best for Shelley? I decided to sneak out an extra rod, fishing a pop up boilie and a PVA bag of pellets. This eventually produced the next fish of the night, a small common. I'm sure I'm not imagining it, baits fished on the bottom seem to catch the smaller fish at this place.
As the light slowly faded the Carp became more confident feeding on the surface. A bait swung under the over hanging trees would be taken with confidence almost every time and I landed more than I lost. By the time it was too dark to see the bait my total was up to four or was it five? All were commons of 3 to 6 pounds. Sadly more than half of the fish landed tonight showed signs of damage caused by bad angling practice.
By nine o'clock it was too dark to see our baits so we packed in for the night. It was nice to be fishing again after a long lay off. This type of easy fishing gives instant gratification but would never hold my attention for long. Next week I'll hopefully be trying my hand at something more challenging in wild waters. After that it'll be time to start preparing for the real thing.