Friday, 14 May 2010

Spring Stocky

Friday 14th of May, a warm day and after a weekend off fishing I was eager to get to the lake. I had already been food shopping and collected my bait on Thursday evening so I left work at 12:30pm and headed straight for the motorway. I got to the lake at around 1:15pm, grabbed my stove bag and did a circuit of the lake. There was a steady and fairly chilly breeze blowing down towards the Party swims but once out of the wind it was warm. I walked past the Point and stopped for a look; it was flat calm down this end of the lake and looked lovely.
I carried on round stopping at Golf Tee’s, this swim also looked nice but I really fancied the Point, I’d been wanting to fish that swim for a while, so I dropped the stove bag in the swim and fetched the rest of the gear. 2 rods were obvious; one under a overhanging tree to the left of the island, this one was on the Chod. The other was hard up against the island on the right hand side of it, this one was on the Sausage Oil critical. I catapulted a few baits between both rods and set up the marker rod. At about 40 yards dead inline with the Split Beach swim I found a nice hard gravely spot, clipped up and cast another critical onto this spot, followed by a few freebies.

View towards the island

View towards Split Beach
I set up the bivvy, got the kettle on and awaited activity. There were a pair of Mallards in the margin making a pest of themselves, out in midwater a Great Crested Grebe fished and somewhere between the tree tops and the clouds were House Martins chatting to each other with their squeaky chirps. At around 5:30pm I received a lift ion the left had rod in open water, the bobbin dropped a little and slowly started to rise again, I struck and felt a fish on, albeit not a powerful fish, there was a resistance there and the rod tip was doing lots of bouncing around. After a minute or so the hook pulled, they often do when the tip bounces around a fair bit. On inspection the hook link had a small ball of slime on it pointing to a Tench, Bream or a small Cat as the culprit. I recast the rod, introduced a few more baits and sat back to enjoy the evening. Just then a Damsel fly landed on my bivvy, the first one I’d seen this year and a sure sign of good weather on its way.

Until dark I sat and watched fish boshing just off the mangrove just as they did on my last visit. At 10pm I climbed into the bag and I immediately started getting liners on the open water rod. The bobbin would lift to the top but drop before I reached it.

At 12:30am the same rod produced a flyer, I ran out and bent into a Carp, a scrappy little affair it was and 5 minutes later I landed a nice looking Mirror, not big but back on the Sausage Oil and back amongst the fish. It weighed 13lb and I was well pleased, A sparsely scaled Mirror. I returned the fish after a few snaps, repositioned the rod and sat back to update the report and have a celebratory cuppa.

The rods remained quiet for the rest of the night, at 5am I woke to the sun shining through the trees on the island and into my bivvy. At 5:30 I received a slow take on the left hand rod, struck and landed a new PB Bream at 10lb 3oz. I did a couple of self takes, returned the impressive looking slab and made tea. Whilst drinking I sat back and marvelled at the wonderful morning as it formed, the kind of morning I’d grown accustomed to, the real deal.

At 10:30 am I decided to bait the spots and leave them for a while whilst I went for a wander to see if I could find anything to stalk. I strolled around the lake looking for signs of Carp but it all looked very quiet. I stopped and had a chat and a cuppa with Spike for a while; he’d had no luck through the night. I left him after an hour and continued my trek around this lake in search of fish. I got to the margin opposite Common corner and through the branches saw a double figure Common, then a slightly bigger Mirror glided through, well up for a floater I thought and well worth an hour as there was nobody fishing Common Corner. I watched these two fish for ten minutes of so and decided to go back to my swim for the floater gear, just as I did someone barrowed their gear into Common Corner, typical!!

Back in my swim it was time for lunch, Pasta with tuna, sweetcorn and salad cream, followed by the FA Cup Final on the radio. The breeze that had been blowing from behind me was now blowing left to right. I decided to put 2 rods on the open water spot so I pulled the one off the island and found a spot 10 yards to the right of the already productive one. Most of the day had been cloudy with the odd sunny spell, by 5pm the rods had received the odd liner and the day was looking good. With a couple of fish already the pressure was off but I still hoped for some more action and was quietly confident.

Ready for action
As afternoon merged into evening the wind subsided and I marvelled at how a Coot could find my baited area through 8 feet of water, either the water was extra clear or somehow they have a way of smelling through the water. The night was a mild one and the 2 rods in open water received a few liners. At 12:30am my right hand rod under the island tree was away, and in all my fishing I have never experienced a run quite like it, my poor alarm had trouble keeping up with it! I struck and the run just continued, obviously one of the big Cats. The line just kept pouring from the reel and I had no control whatsoever over what was happening. It was headed in the direction of the Middle of the Road swims at a rate of Knots, that meant other anglers and a large snaggy tree, there was nothing else to do but to clamp down on the spool and hope to turn it, the inevitable happened and I was well and truly smashed. I retackled, recast and rebaited and all the while shell shocked at the immense power the big Cats have, they go to well over 60lbs in The Match and going by the previous ones I’d landed I kind of guessed this one tonight was up there with the largest.

At 2:30am I had a series of single bleeps on the middle rod. This went on for a few minutes until I heard the reel let out a little line, I crouched over the rod and saw the bobbin struck in the alarm and the rod tip bent round, it was as if the fish was hooked but was oblivious to the fact. I struck and made another big catfish very angry, I found myself once again holding on for dear life!! That one headed in the same direction as the last one but before it reached the snags the hook pulled. I sat on the bed attaching a new bait just realising just why people fish solely for these beasts.

At three am the rods were back out and I returned to my slumber. I slept, undisturbed, until 7:30am, which was when I heard the first of the rain falling. The rods lay motionless. I did feel a little dejected, not for the loss of the Cats but that no Carp came knocking through the night or early morning, somehow I had felt the most confident I’d felt for a while but that’s Carp fishing for you.

At 9am I made breakfast and watched the water. Just out over one of my spots I saw a funny swirl on the surface. Thinking it could have been a fish cruising by I reeled in one of the rods, tied on a 6 foot zig and cast back out on the spot. The days don’t usually fish as well as the nights on here, hardly anything comes out between 10am and 3pm, but this is the time they show themselves so zigs and surface fishing must be the way forward. At 10:30am, with the rain stuill coming down I sat and hoped one may slip up during the final few hours of my visit. At a little after midday nothing had happened to the rods so while there was a break in the wather I decided to start to pack away and start to think about heading home. The journey home was spent thinking about the plan of action for the next session. The following weekend couldn’t come soon enough!!

Just how can I stay away from this!!???

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