The fifth week of the drought saw even more heavy rain and the floods the river craved back in December came with a splash. In fact I’ve lived in this little Town for nearly ten years and it’s the highest I’ve ever seen the water, all a little bit dramatic by Suffolk standards. The ‘Marsh’ is currently flooded which ruled out any attempt at catching Tench so I decided to have a lazy day at the Puddle. No alarm clock, get up when I wake up, chuck some gear in the car and go. And all was going to plan until I arrived at the Puddle to find the place full of cars and anglers. I don’t know why I’m always surprised to find it like this?
I managed to find a quiet corner all to myself and with Carp showing that would do for me. The forecast had promised a dry grey day but it lied, I sat through light rain all day. First week of May and I haven't heard a Cuckoo and I'm still wearing my winter jacket. This didn’t discourage the Carp from feeding on the surface however, far from it. I set up three rods; a freelined floater, a method feeder & a pop up rig with fake Corn and fished with two at a time. Mostly the floater and one of the bottom rigs, I only used two baits on the bottom when I wanted a rest and a cup of tea. The fish were ’having it’ on the surface and after a while it became too easy.
But not so to begin with, after catching a couple quickly the Carp became wary and were adept at ignoring the bait but slurping down all the free offerings. And I do mean slurping, these fish had no table manners at all. I was able to watch these fish close in and a couple of the noisiest had deformed mouths (almost certainly caused by hooks and carelessness), and these fish seemed to be struggling to take the baits. I hope I’m wrong. Not only were the fish largely rejecting my hookbaits, when they did take I was missing them. On more than one occasion a fish was on for a few seconds then off, on one such example I wound in to find a scale impaled on the hook.
After trying various baits and hooking arrangements I found that two 10mm pop up boilies on a short hair done the trick. More takes and more hook ups. I’d started off by feeding little and often, a few mixers at a time but found that the more freebies I chucked out, the more confidently the fish would feed. I suppose it took me a couple of hours to work that out but for the rest of the afternoon I caught fish regularly. I landed a dozen fish, only one on the method feeder, all the rest off the surface. There were commons, mirrors and a couple of those horrible ‘ghostie’ things. None was bigger than six pounds or so, all looked under nourished, shaped like ‘wildies’ and most had signs of angler damage. However I did catch one lovely little mirror which was almost perfect.
Did I enjoy myself? I did to begin with but to be honest the fishing was boring after a while, I really wanted to catch something bigger. I did hook something that felt more substantial. It powered off, fighting strangely and I wondered if it was foul hooked, I suspect it was but it did fight harder than anything else I hooked that day. Interesting but when the line went slack after a minute or two I didn’t really care. If that had been a big water Pike…. I suppose I can kind of see why some people like to fish matches, It's the only way to create much interest in this type of fishing. But I’d had a well needed fix of fishing and caught a few fish. My surroundings were OK and I saw a pair of Bullfinch which was nice as I can’t remember the last time I’d seen one. I couldn’t see another angler and Rabbits ran along the banks but compared to a winter on the broads it was all too bland and unexciting. However it is a good place for Isaac to learn a little more so I‘ll probably be back again soon.