Back at the beginning of April I wrote the immortal words; “it feels
like it’s never going to rain again”.
Now after four weeks of monsoon it feels like it’s never going to stop! I think we’ve had rain on twenty one out of
the last twenty five days here in Suffolk.
A couple of days ago I had a letter through my door offering advice
about saving water in the drought…The rivers will certainly benefit from a
flush through although on the other hand it may be bad news for early spawning
This last week has been particularly sodden which made life
uncomfortable for the JRC & Berkley team doing a tackle display at Suffolk
Waterpark this week. I visited the show
on the final day and all seemed in good spirits despite their weather endurance
and most had banked some good fish during their down time. The gear on display was pretty impressive
too. I was interested to see a new ‘big
pit’ reel made by Mitchell of all people.
Like many people I grew up fishing with Mitchell reels, 300’s & 410’s
were the height of sophistication and fashion in the early eighties. Then along came Shimano…
With a wet weekend forecast I was determined to take Madi and Isaac out
and about and not let them go stir crazy around the house. As forecast the rain let up a little in the
early afternoon so I coerced the children into an hour or so by the water. We chucked a minimum of tackle into the car
then headed off to the puddle. I was on
a mission, catch a couple of fish, take a few photos then get back home before
the rain returned permanently.
While the kids explored surroundings that were new to them, I had a
wander with a bucket of floaters, scattering a few here and there. For some reason the Carp in these lakes are
happy to feed off the surface whatever the weather. The sky was lighter than it had been but
still a threatening grey and the North Easterly wind whipped light rain into
our faces from time to time. A little
uncomfortable but we only planned a short trip and this did have the advantage
of blowing our freebies back into our corner of the lake.
Between the three of us we shared two rods, well a whip and a rod to be
precise. We used simple free line rigs
and soft hook-able floaters. Groups of small
Carp would drift into our swim, take a few floaters (with loud slurps which
amused the children), then drift away again.
These fish seem a lot more wise than they were a year ago, they are more
able to detect the bait with a hook in it but every now and then a bait was
taken. The first few strikes met thin
air but eventually Isaac hooked a fish which stayed on. The weight and power of this fish surprised
him after the small silver fish he’s been catching this spring. He hung on to the rod, let the reel’s clutch do
its job and with a bit of encouragement soon had his best ever carp in the
I managed to strike thin air a couple of times before Isaac took the
rod back, what do I have to do to catch a Carp this year? Madison was next to actually set a hook using
the whip. The fish tore off stretching
the elastic but she doesn’t have as much recent fishing experience as her
brother and tried to rush this one, resulting in a hook pull. Finally it was my turn again, with my recent experience
I probably took this one too careful and played it far too long but eventually managed
to net my first Carp of the year. We had
time for a few more spectacular misses, greeted by a boil of water and a panicking
Carp. After ninety minutes or so the
rain became more persistent and it looked like it had set in for a while so
we retreated to the car.
I am able to finish this entry with a little bit of encouraging news
from Norfolk. Firstly there have been no
further reports of fish in distress.
Secondly the Broads Authority has taken on board the advice of the Environment
Agency and has postponed it’s dredging planned for May. This will now take place in cold water
conditions, not before November. Lastly
the BA is reported to be looking into the possibility of suction dredging which
is a much safer method. I should point
out that anglers sat down with a BA employee and recommended this course of
action two years ago but at least they’ve taken it on board eventually. Reward for the patient lobbying of John
Currie and the guys at Norfolk PAC. All
Broadland anglers owe them a huge debt.