At last the temperature is beginning to creep up and it’s even getting to the stage where I might start thinking about believing spring really is around the corner. The lazy wind is still stuck firmly in the east though, still blowing straight through us. Despite this I was becoming desperate to wet a line as I hadn’t managed to fit a trip in for weeks, when I’ve had the time I haven’t had the inclination, due mainly to the shitty weather. So a few weeks later than scheduled my spring season finally started with a short trip after work.
I decided some time ago to have a crack at catching a decent Carp this spring. Yes I know Carp and Carp anglers are usually the butt of a little piss taking from this direction but I haven’t caught a proper Carp for nearly twenty years and it’s time I put that right. I have two waters in mind, one easy the other more challenging, tonight I picked the former as I just wanted to see the indicators flying and a bend in the rod to help me get back into the swing of things. I pulled into the car park at around six thirty and was pleased to find I had the whole place to myself.
One of the basic principles of angling is to first locate the fish you’re trying to catch. Often this is done through experience based on the conditions amongst other things but with Carp, probably more than any other fish, this can often be done visually. Tonight was a classic example, it didn’t take very long before I saw a couple of bow waves under some overhanging trees and my choice of swim was made. The next principle of fishing is to present these fish with something they like to eat, preferably remaining undetected whilst doing so. Two snowman rigs were under-armed into position with a dozen or so freebies thrown around each one. I didn’t want to put too much bait out as this is a mistake I probably make more than any other and the water is still pretty cold, in theory the fish won’t be eating much. Bait was some boilies from Crafty Catcher which are brand new on the market this spring. With everything set up all I had to do was make a brew and chill out.
Literally five minutes after starting my right hand rod was away and I found myself attached to my first Carp of the season which fought hard in the shallow water. Unlike most real Carp anglers I like to bend my rods so it didn’t take too long to get this fish in the net, a nice plump Common of above average size for the water but not big enough to get a real Carp angler excited. The hook hold was in the middle of the bottom jaw (is that the right terminology?) which I’m led to believe is exactly where it should be, there is a Carpy cliché for this but I refuse to use it! I was feeling pretty pleased with myself, everything had gone to plan just like clockwork. The only dampener was damage to the Carp’s tail and a few other scratches which suggested a close encounter with an otter at some point.
It had been cloudy all day and rain had been forecast but only now in the fading light did it arrive, just a little drizzle, not worth bothering with the shelter. For a while Carp continued to move in my swim but as the light faded these became less frequent and I scanned the water wondering if it was worth moving. An hour had passed by then but my mind was made up when the same rod rattled off and another Carp was hooked. This one was smaller and soon in the net; a plump, humpbacked ghostie looking thing which like the first was hooked perfectly in the bottom of the mouth. Out went the rig again with another handful of freebies. I decided to check the left hand rod and found a bit of rotting leaf attached to the hook, was this the reason nothing had happened on this one? Note to self, put some dissolving foam in the bag next time out, I’m learning.
Another hour passed, it got properly dark and the drizzle kept coming and going. To really relax when fishing after dark I have to be well organised and comfortable, to be honest I was neither. I’d achieved what I set out to do, so decided enough was enough, time to pack up and head for home. Things won’t always be so easy this spring, that’s for certain!
In the past I’ve been highly critical of one of the local angling clubs in my area. Like the post here for example; http://fishingsgreat.blogspot.co.uk/2009/09/nostalgia.html
The ‘Gipping Angling Preservation Society’ was the first fishing club I ever joined and I spent most of my youth fishing this club’s waters but this club has always been at least a decade behind the times and I’ve only been a member for two of the last twenty seasons. I’m happy to report that there has been a major change in the personnel running this club and I have high hopes it will become an organisation worth joining once again. There’ll be more news on this as the weeks pass, watch this space…