Sunday, 9 June 2013

More of the same

A day in London saw me ending up totally stir crazy but Sunday came around and I had time for a few hours at a lake, but which lake? I ended up driving to the easy place on a hot sunny afternoon, praying there wouldn’t be too many cars parked up. Thankfully there wasn’t. I headed for the oldest lake, which holds the bigger fish, apparently. Three anglers were pole fishing close to the first car park but my favourite area was completely free and I had plenty of choice. I heard one of them complain "Here comes the method feeder brigade..." as I walked past, not sure what that means?  I walked around and found fish quickly, plenty in the middle bay and a few in the end bay. I opted to fish the channel connecting the two with a couple of snowman rigs to the marginal trees while I fed a few floaters. After an hour I was fishless so could no longer ignore the large group of fish in the snags to my right, time for a move.

The fish soon began responding to the floaters I was feeding, there were one or two bigger ones amongst the group too. Meanwhile I dropped a snowman rig along the margin to my right with about a dozen freebies chucked on top. At first the Carp slurped down the floaters eagerly and I was soon into a decent fish, a nice Common wallowed around and allowed me to draw it into the net. My best fish of the season so far for sure so out came the scales but it was not as heavy as I expected. Another slightly smaller common soon followed but then the fish became more wary. I switched to using a pop up boilie as bait so I could cast further which got me a couple more fish including a nice Mirror but ducks interrupted my feeding and the bigger fish that were beginning to look very catchable drifted away.

The boilie rod had remained untouched to begin with so I moved it to a clear area on the far bank, hoping fish would drift along out of the snags. I was feeding the first of a dozen free boilies when the bait was taken almost straight away but I lost a small fish. Takes came fairly regularly on this spot but angles and snags saw me losing a couple more through hook pulls it really was hit and hold stuff. Eventually I landed one which freed itself from a snag after putting the rod back on the rests and waiting. I moved the bait to the right a bit more and managed to land a couple more by giving myself a bit more free water to play with. After each take I fed 10 or so more boilies. Eventually with the floater fishing drying up I moved back to my original swim as this gave me a better angle to land fish off this spot and it worked with one more fish. I packed up with 7 Carp in as many hours, good fun and plenty learnt. 

After my quick fix at the easy place it was back to the hard water for another short evening trip tonight. Once again I settled into the quiet area after a warm sunny day to find the breeze blowing into my face. As usual I cast a snowman heli rig to the reeds and baited the area with about 30 frees. For my other rod I changed tactics and fished a Zig rig a foot down. I was settled and chilling by 1845.

At 1925 I had a twitchy pull on the reedbed rod and as I hadn’t had anything like this so far this season I struck in desperation. Probably a liner… I recast with another dozen freebies then the same rod ripped of an hour later. A proper take this time but it had stopped before I reached the rod. Was the lead too light? Probably not as the Baitrunner should have negated that. A positive sign at last, my methods and bait will work! I baited up with another dozen boilies, just in case. A little after nine I noticed a patch of bubbles in the open water off the reeds so wound in the Zig rig and replaced it with a chod and a dozen more frees scattered over the area. Rudd swirled at dusk and something larger rolled near the reeds but no more fishy pulls. I packed up as the first bats arrived at 2145, hopefully there’ll be time for another go at the weekend.

For once my run of good fate continued and with Isi for company I arrived at the lake to find my preferred swim available. I took my time setting up and we were settled by 2000. I had no doubts about tactics either, my usual helicopter/snowman rig received the addition of a small PVA mesh bag filled with crushed boilies and a couple of pieces of dissolving foam into which I pushed the hook. I was hoping this would help my hookbait land cleanly. I was happy with my first cast so I scattered about 40 boilies over this area and the first part of plan A was ready for the night. My second rod took rather longer as I kept buggering up the cast but I eventually settled for one of many that fell just slightly short. This was a Chod rig and pop up as I couldn’t be sure of what would lay below the water here. I had intended to bait this area up from the adjacent bank but my lively ten year old needed distracting with his float and maggot set up. By the time all was ready there were a group of anglers socialising within sight and I didn’t want to draw too much attention to what I was doing. In the end my hookbait was the only food in the area. Fish were splashing in the snaggy area beside me, were they spawning? Were they Tench or Carp? I hoped not.

The day had been warm and bright with a North Easterly wind which didn’t abate and the temperature began to drop. The evening passed quickly with me setting up camp and Isaac catching a Rudd every chuck. It was nice to see him doing it pretty much all himself, baiting up and unhooking his own fish. We heard a Cuckoo from time to time as well as the laughing Woodpeckers. Rather less welcome were the Swans swimming into our lines. Isi got bored with catching Rudd and demanded food so the stove was fired up and sausages soon sizzled. With the whip out of the way I baited the margin area with hemp  & maize  then plopped a pop up rig baited with plastic onto the spot. The Bats were out by the time we’d eaten so with a hot dinner and a mug of tea in his belly Isaac retired to his bedchair in the bivvy and I settled into mine out under the stars. 

I took a while for me to drift into slumber land, I ran things through my head and for some reason I was confident I’d got things right, I was confident things would happen tonight. The sky darkened for a while and then began to lighten but save from a couple of beeps to each of the boilie rods, nothing occurred. I was out of the bag for a slash at 0530 but felt the cold so climbed back in and drifted back to sleep.

At 0725 a series of beeps on the chod rig found me out of the bag with bleary eyes, what was going on? A couple more beeps to the same rod, ‘that has to be a fish?’ I staggered over and wound down, fish on! Something plodded on the long line and didn’t want to come in. All went solid but I kept the pressure on and walked backwards…the line freed suddenly and I had to gain line quickly, something was plodding on the end again, then went solid for a second time. I tried to keep pressure on…then everything went slack, the short hooklength had parted.

We left the lake an hour later after a hasty fried breakfast. Isaac caught a few more Rudd while I tidied things away and that was that. On winding in the reedbed rod I found the bait and hair wrapped round the back of the hook and tangled, no chance there! Live and learn. Despite the fish loss I felt upbeat, two consecutive trips where I’ve had takes so I’m getting things right. Best of all I’m learning from my mistakes, back at home I fine-tuned my leaders, getting everything spot on as opposed to ‘that’ll do’. Then after a trip back to work for supplies I tied up new rigs with bigger hooks and stronger breaking strain hook lengths. I’m relearning stuff I’d long forgotten about all aspects of Carp fishing and the next time I fish I’ll be better prepared. Hopefully that will be soon!

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