Monday, 15 April 2013

Oaks Melt Round 1

This weekend’s short session was just that, short. But it signified something very special, not only the first visit and fish from a new venue, but it was the first time I fished without being dressed like an Eskimo. The six month long winter finally looked to be waving the white flag, squirrels were spotted, two herons flew overhead and one of the trees at work was clad in pink blossom. Things were on the change, and the world was ready for it.

For a couple of weekends I’d been dipping my toe into the realms of my beloved carp stalking, but I hadn’t planned on any more angling for another couple of weekends. Little did I know that Corrinna would ask if I wanted to spend Friday afternoon fishing as she was taking Jessica to the Airport to see her father off, an out of the blue chance and one I agreed to rather rapidly, and I had just the venue in mind.

Oaks Melt Pool (as I’ve named it) is set amongst woodland; dense woodland which at present is clad in its winter colours, but woodland I just know will look splendid when summer arrives. The pool is split through the middle by a long causeway making it a horseshoe shape. The water is deep and clear and there are bays aplenty. Soon the weed will start to grow, pads will appear and I will spend many lazy days there, sitting, thinking, writing and, perhaps, angling from time to time. It’s quiet down there, doesn’t get crowded and is, I think, the place I’ve been searching for.

I was told of carp, old carp that have lived there for years. Mostly common carp they don’t grow to huge proportions, but those are the fish I want to angle for, fish with character, wily old carp that have seen it all. They are carp that, because of their size, aren’t hunted by the local specimen hunters, but they are carp I wish to see out the season with, sharing the pool with them, watching them, learning from them and, perhaps, catching one or two for a closer look at their ancient features.

I travelled too heavy on Friday; I always do when first I visit a new location. Unsure of what I’ll find, what they like to eat, where they like to eat, whether they like what I have brought with me. I had visited briefly once before, but that was during the winter and nothing moved. Now I would have to work it all out, their hiding places, best times of day, that sort of thing. One thing was for sure though, with my new surroundings it was going to be a fun time working it all out, and even if I didn’t emerge successful in my angling, I would love every minute spent at this new found paradise.

As I said previously, I had already enjoyed some spring carp action with some fish being taken from the bottom and some on the surface, so with the practice sessions done and the rustiness removed it was time to test my skills on these dinosaurs of the deep. I carried a creel, rod holdall with two rods and net handle, unhooking matt, camera and a bucket of floaters. I now know that I will get away with much less kit, but for that session I had to make sure I had everything at my disposal, just in case.

The sun shone intermittently and showers were frequent, the wind blew in gusts and circled the valley meaning it could come at me from any angle. I started on the end of the causeway; a narrow channel which separated each side of the horseshoe and seemed to be a patrol route from one side to the other. Whilst I stood there during the first half hour I spotted half a dozen or so fish cruise through, but they did just that stopping for nothing. Along the back left hand corner I threw out a few pieces of crust and let them drift close in under the cover of overhanging trees, but nothing showed interest to the surface baits I offered. Over to the right there seemed to be some activity so I removed myself from the causeway and started the trek around the perimeter for a better look.

When I got there my eyes were immediately drawn to a white fish, a koi of some description that swam with a group of four others, all dark commons and all good fish, the ones I’d come for. If they stayed with this white intruder then at least they would always be fairly easy to locate. For the rest of the afternoon I kept spotting this fish, althought it wasn’t always with others, spending much of its time alone, but it was fairly pleasing to watch anyway.

So, this bay had two pitches, one to the right with a deep margin that shelved off quickly and a reed bed to the left. The next was the other side of said reed bed and was an open space with a shallow silty bottom with many undulations culminating in a snaggy bay to the left. When I got there I thought I’d hit the jackpot, a dozen good carp milling around, some sifting through the silt, other keeping a look out whilst their friends fed and the white one looking quite odd. Very quietly and in slow motion I flicked out a few mixers, sat back and watched them get blown onto the snaggy bay by the gentle breeze. Nothing took, they all ended up getting washed up on the beach at the end of the bay.

Next up I tried bread, six small pieces of crust were deposited in the same area, drifted along over the top of the carp and were, once again, ignored. Back in the right hand swim and away from the fish I put a Mark IV together, added a Delmatic, quill float, two AAA shot and a size 4 hook. I set the float well over depth, attached a chunk of luncheon meat to the hook and crept back into the bay swim. I cast my float half way across letting the meat rest between to silty bars (with the hook-bait visible), let the quill lay flat on the surface and sat down to see how the fish reacted to the whole thing.

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A couple of the fish got slightly nervous and swam out of the bay, but they soon returned. Then to my utter amazement one of them approached the float, upended and went straight for the bait. I could see it for a second but then it was gone and a puff of silt rose from the bottom like a mini underwater explosion. I think I let the excitement get the better of me as the most obvious thing to do was to strike, and upon doing so the float ended up in the tree behind me and the fish charged off into the pool.

I cursed my amateur attempt at catching a fish and retrieved my float from the tree. Funny thing was that most of the fish were still there in front of me, and a couple were sniffing around the area where the meat was lying previously. I attached another chunk of meat, cast back to the spot with a gentle splash and sat back as the same thing happened right down to my float ending back in the tree again. I watched the mouth open, I watched it close and I watched the meat disappear, but still I failed to make contact.

There were less fish in the bay now, but there were still fish present, and still there were fish visiting for a looksy. I made another cast, but this time decided to watch the float instead of the hook-bait. I waited a while, maybe twenty minutes until a carp came a-sniffing. It upended under the float and my gaze stayed fixed on the quill, which slowly started to right itself and then slipped away under the surface. I struck, but this time made contact and with the rod bent double and the reel singing the battle commenced.

It was immense watching the whole thing, the bay was shallow enough to watch the fishes every twist and turn as it tried to break free. A few times I had it close to the awaiting net but each time it powered off with a series of swipes of that big old tail. The wrist of the tail was quite prominent, thick and powerful and the old Mark IV knew all about it. It took about ten minutes to finally beat that fish, a stunning common carp, with withered fins and the look of something that had probably been around longer than me.

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I managed to stop admiring it for a few seconds, long enough to set up a self-take and watch her return to the water watching every flick of that huge tail as she made her way out into the centre of the pool to sulk. It felt electrifying, the perfect start to my campaign, a fish on my first visit, I felt very honoured. I sat there for a while, just watching the water, enjoying the afternoon and hoping they’d come back, but they didn’t, and it was a good thing, it meant I could explore more of the pool and hopefully find other such holding areas, or just nice spots to while a few hours away.

The terrain was tricky to manoeuvre, especially as we’d had a few showers making the clay under foot slippery. I lost my balance a few times and fell over once, but then I fall over quite a lot so I find it odd if I don’t these days. I did a couple of tours of the pool and failed to spot much until I got to a bench but the beginning of the left hand side of the pool. Here, as with everywhere else, the margin sloped away quite steeply and disappeared into nothingness. I was attracted to the spot by the white fish, he wasn’t alone this time but had a couple of really nice commons with him, so I laid my tackle down, sat on the bench and watched a while.

These were the same fish that had vacated the bay I was fishing beforehand, still a little spooky but happily cruising around and coming quite close to the bank. I wondered if they might go down for a chink of meat so broke off a few pieces and deposited them at various depths down the margin. Although the fish continued to cruise, they ignored the bait I’d put down for them so I decided to try the surface baits again. Half an hour I sat and watched various baits drift the length of the pool, only to be washed up on the shallow margin opposite me without so much as a second look.

Back on my travels I was starting to get tired, my shoulders were aching with the amount of tackle I was dragging around with me and I made the decision there and then that next time it would be one rod, net and mat and a pocketful of tackle. I found a few likely spots along the way, spots I made a mental note of, perhaps for next time, but I felt myself being drawn back to the bay thinking perhaps that the time spent away, without disturbance, would mean the fish had started to gather back in there.

When I got there I had a warm feeling inside, for there were a couple of bigger fish than I’d seen previously milling around searching for food. I attached a chunk of meat to the size 4 withy trembling hands and cast out beyond the two fish. Ever so gently I drew it back until it was within smelling distance and sat back to watch their movements. The larger of the two fish vacated the bay but the other, still a good fish, turned and moved towards the bait. It was slightly deeper here and I couldn’t quite make out the hook-bait but the float twitched, up righted and slowly moved off.

I made a firm strike and upon feeling the fish noticed that it was heading for the snaggy bay rather rapidly. With a fair amount of side strain I tried my best to coax the fish out of the danger area but the line and fish became attached to some trailing line hanging from an over slung bush. It was stuck, over twenty pounds of old common carp was thrashing around with my line and someone else’s being tested to the limit. I was thinking about stripping off and wading out to it when I heard a snap and the fish charged off into the pool free from the bush and free from me.

I was left attached to the bush and the trailing line, pulled for the break and luckily managed to get my float back….but that fish. It would have been quite something to capture two on my first visit, and although I was more than happy with the one I’d landed, this one I’d just lost was a special one. I guess you can’t win them all, and I will be back soon enough.

I wandered around the pool a few more times, spotted the white one again and a couple of others cruising through the centre of the pool, but I never felt the urge to cast again. I was just happy to see out the last hour of daylight watching and thinking.

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

TFF Annual Board Meeting - Fernhill Farm

The annual TFF board meeting was due and we were busy looking for a suitable venue finally settling upon the linear complex in Oxfordshire. I’d fished there the year before and had some good sport during mild conditions at Hardwick Lake when I spent a pleasant day’s floater fishing with Chris Ball.

A few days before the event the weather looked to be unseasonably cold but with the chance of some sunshine, so my plan of teasing those Hardwick carp with surface tactics was looking to be a good one. The day before the meeting (Saturday) the spring sunshine made an appearance and was forecast to continue into the following day, so I was rubbing my hands together at the prospect and readying the tackle for a day spent stalking them off the top.

When we arrived, however, and assessed the situation, all was far from ideal. Some of the lake had patches of ice where seagulls stood. We took a quick tour looking for signs of cruising fish but it looked to have been a wasted journey. Those who were there for the duration, with bivvies and multiple rods were struggling, so things didn’t bode well for the piscators in tweed sporting wooden rods and little floats.

We decided to have a look at the pond on site. Hunts Corner Pond, as I was lead to believe, was stocked with smaller fish and I thought we could probably have a decent day there catching silvers and small carp. We drove across to the other side of the complex, left the cars in the car park and headed for what we hoped would be a little tucked away paradise where we could spend the day having fun. But when we got there we were far from inspired. It didn’t look fishy at all, didn’t look very accommodating and with this we all agreed that a half an hour drive to Fernhill Farm would be a much better option.

We followed Nigel to the lake and parked our cars full of optimism. Set up camp in the point we pitched up in last time we were there and whilst Mark and JT tackled up I set off towards the match lake to see if I could find something that wanted to feed. “I’ll just go catch a carp and then we can have tea”, I said confidently. Opposite the first swim there was a gap between the islands, here I spotted a couple of fish cruising, small carp, and with Mark IV, Delmatic, net and bucket of mixers I fought my way through the veritable jungle until I was opposite my previous observation point and on top of the fish I’d seen.

I deposited a few free baits close to a weed bed and tackled up the rod. This coincided with the sun appearing and all of a sudden things felt more spring like, which, in turn, made the enthusiasm levels raise considerably. Soon enough a small mirror carp started to trough the free baits and after gently lowering a single soft pellet in its path it was only a few seconds until the fish was hooked and the battle commenced.

A mirror carp of around 3lbs was landed and returned to the pond. Happy that my craving for carp was satisfied for now, I returned to the others and proceeded to light the Kelly Kettle and make a pot of tea. We all had the cups mark gave us before Christmas, branded with the forum logo and our usernames so once tea was made and poured I saw a lovely photo opportunity.

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After tea and a bite to eat (it was close to lunchtime by now what with all the kerfuffle) we all wandered off with rod in hand, sun on head and a watchful eye for anything that moved beneath the surface. Things were always going to be tricky with a colony of Canada Geese to deal with, following our ever move, plus a few mallard just for good measure, but with constantly moving I was sure we could get to see something pretty on the bank.

Mark was first into a middle pond fish, a gorgeous scaly mirror carp he landed very close to the bank after seeing a group cruising along the margins, creeping up on them and gently lowering a crust in their path. As great feat of angling and the benchmark was set.

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Next up was my turn, and just opposite the island I spotted a good number of fish of all shapes and sizes milling around the weed and decaying pads looking as though they were waiting for me. The bread I pinched from mark was fresh, too fresh to cast any distance, so while I waited for it to stale up a tad I started fishing with my lunch, Tiger Rolls, who doesn’t like Tiger Rolls!?

A crust cast into a gap in the weed soon got the attention of a group of small carp that were weaving through the dark green candy floss and at the third attempt one of the little critters managed to get the bait in its mouth and a common carp of about 4lbs was landed and returned. Soon after I was into a bigger fish and a mirror carp was swiftly netted, laid on the soft ground and photographed. Just then Trevor arrived for a look around and was surprised to see us there.

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Another small common was caught before Nigel arrived to angle to my right. After pleasantries were out of the way we both resumed angling just as a group of better, darker fish came into view. I watched them for a while, worked out that they liked to swim through the large gap in front of me and as soon as they’d moved on I placed my crust into position.

A few minutes passed (whilst watching a scaly mirror of high double figures just basking half way to the island) until they came back towards the gap, paused for a second and continued towards the trap I’d laid. The first two fish ignored it but the third one tilted upwards, opened its mouth, swallowed the crust and turned away. I struck and immediately had to give line. Although the weed was old and practically dead, I was still mindful that it could still pose a problem, along with the old pad stems, so pressure was applied with a view to keeping the fish on the move.

Nigel came across to me just in time to slip the net under an old character, the kind of carp that really gives me the buzz these days. Not big, size is irrelevant these days, but it was weathered, dark and scaly. Nigel did the honours with a few snaps and as she swam away I felt that if I didn’t catch another fish for the rest of the afternoon it wouldn’t matter at all.

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The scaly mirror I’d kept seeing and trying to catch appeared further out. It sat high up in the water and its big plated scales were very highly visible in the bright sunshine. A few times I cast a crust just beyond it and teased it back only for the fish to totally ignore it. I was beginning to think it was either on a wind up or on its last legs. I made a new cast across the weed bed a metre or so in front of the beast, only this time instead of ignoring it, the fish bolted towards it and swallowed the crust in one gulp. For a split second I just watched in amazement, then just as soon as I’d realised what had just happened I struck and pulled the hook from its mouth. The chance had gone begging and I was rather cross with myself I must say.

As it happened I did catch more carp, and two superb looking common carp came in quick succession. The first was a real scrapper, twisting and turning and giving me the fight of something twice its size, it wasn’t a long fish, built was very deep and built for power. It didn’t much like being on the bank either so we were as quick as we could be with the snaps and she was soon back with her friends.

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The second of the two was a pearler. Commons don’t hold as much appeal to me as mirrors, mainly due to fishing ponds in my early days with nothing but commons, but this one was special. Again, not a big fish, but the scales were like polished coins shining in the early spring sunshine. Yet another glorious fish was photographed and released, the day was just getting better and better.

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Soon after the capture of that last common the swim went quiet, geese moved in and mallards followed soon after. Nigel caught a superb looking linear mirror though, again a very pretty fish regardless of its size.

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I decided to leave the swim and head opposite and to the corner of the island where it seemed the fish had moved off to. I stood in position for a few minutes scanning the surface and watching the movements of the wild fowl and then suddenly the carp appeared. A group of mirrors, all touching double figures were swimming along the back of the island and circling the entrance of the weed bed. I made a cast as close to the weed as possible and was pestered at first by a group of smaller fish that couldn’t quite get the crust in their little mouths.

Then a much larger pair of lips surfaced and encompassed the bait, a swift strike and a long, lean mirror was chugging around doing a great impression of a twenty pounder. It took what seemed like an age to land that fish, even to get it under some kind of control. In the net it looked tiny considering the scrap I’d just had with it. I’d guess it was somewhere around 8lbs, but boy did it had attitude. I slipped it straight back whilst still in the net and cast another crust back out to the same spot.

Mark came into view just as my hook bait disappeared and came around to help with netting and photographs. Another long mirror carp with bags of energy, perhaps it was the sunshine that had given them so much oomph, but it was almost as if they been at the tins of spinach.

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By now the geese had twigged that every time I made a cast there was a little meal in it for them. So another spot was overrun by winged hooligans. Back at base I called the others and another pot of tea was made and helped nicely with washing down more of Mark’s fruit cake. I bumbled off to the match make again for one last cast and caught a small mirror of a couple of pounds before winding down camp and having one last natter before heading for the cars.

Yet another TFF Board Meeting was over, and again not much was discussed. Our time together was spent fishing, drinking tea, eating cake and talking about all of the above. Perhaps now the sun has woken up we can set about planning some gatherings…..

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

And so it begins....

With the river season over it was time to start looking at the local ponds, spring time meant carp time. The rivers had been kind, and that side of my angling had improved nicely with another good season on flowing water under my belt. This time last year the carp had woken from their winter rest and were showing all the usual signs, this year was somewhat different. Freezing conditions still gripped the country and an overnight stay was going to be an uncomfortable one. But with the right gear it would be just like any other winter trip, just at the wrong time of year.

Throughout the cold winter months I’d been playing around with my fishing kit, chopping and changing various items. My reels of choice were now Allcocks Delmatics, for the lighter bottom work anyway, the 300s will still feature for the heavier work. My beloved 11ft Tom O’Reilly Mark IV made way for a new 10ft original version to match my other and I’d acquired some delightful Crabtree style ash hoop landing nets, for crucian and tench fishing through the summer months.

I mentioned to Steve that I had a pass from Corrinna to fish Easter Sunday into Bank holiday Monday and that I quite fancied Vale Farm for the chance of a few fish. I phoned the owner, Nick, for an update and was told that, although very cold, fish were being caught. Steve decided to join me for the social as it had been a while since we’d fished together, and that Claire would be joining us. Good job I recently purchased the larger Base Camp Kelly Kettle as I knew that most of the trip would be about how much tea we could drink. We planned to meet at McDonalds in Cosham at 1pm on the Sunday and head down together.

We arrived around 2pm and just as soon as we left the cars we felt the cold wind on our faces. It was bitter and blowing from an easterly direction. We headed down to the bottom pond, the trickiest of the three and found that nobody was fishing there, which suited us just fine. The other ponds had anglers dotted around, and it seemed we weren’t the only mad ones willing to spend the night. We unloaded the cars and made our way to our chosen spots, which took some time to decide upon due to having the place to ourselves. With the wind on our backs we made camp, fixed up our tackle and began fishing. A light bed of pellets were scattered where I thought the fish might be, around a third of the way across and with sweetcorn as bait I cast my two rods out and readied the KK for a nice pot of tea. I always opt for sweetcorn early season; there aren’t many spring carp that will turn their noses up to a couple of grains of gold.

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I think it was around 5pm when we had the first of the action, my right hand rod was doing its best to go for a swim and after a spirited battle on my new Mark IV, Steve netted a lovely common carp for me. The colours were amazing, especially against the drab backdrop. We took a few snaps on the camera and released her into the margins. It was a wonderful feeling to have one on the bank, so early into the session too when we wondered if we would catch at all. But fish or no fish, we were just happy to be there, have a catch up and a good few laughs too. Holding that fish up for the camera was chilly work, it was like holding up a block of ice, but I really didn’t mind too much.

First blood…
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With the rods back out we returned to the jolly, it was a great atmosphere despite the harsh conditions, and much laughter was had. An hour or so after the carp I caught a bream of around 4lbs, and although it was another fish on the bank, I kind if hoped they’d leave me alone through the night. There is nothing worse than leaving a warm sleeping bag only to venture out into the arctic to do battle with a bream. I have nothing against bream, when I’m fishing for them. Soon after returning Mr Smelly back to the water I set about making another pot of tea which coincided with Steve getting a flurry of activity to his rods.

Steve with one of his common’s…
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…and Claire holding up another…
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In quick succession he landed no less than three carp, two of which were only minutes apart. The action certainly warmed the soul and with five fish landed already it looked to be gearing up for an excellent session. None of the fish were big, but what they lacked in size, they more than made up for in appearance with a real show of splendid winter colours. With things quietening down the fish front and the sun eventually beginning to set at around 8pm, we began making our evening feast.

Fun with the Kelly kettle..
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Job Done…
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Steve brought the chilli sauce and nachos and I provided the mince, chopped onions, grated cheese and brought it all together creating a meal perfect for taking our minds off the plummeting temperature. With dinner over, washing done and another pot of tea on the go we sat back and did our best to keep warm until it was time to retire to our shelters. The day was fabulous; we had such a good time and caught a few fish along the way. Now it was time to rest up, to keep warm and to look forward to the following day’s angling.

I’m not sure what time it was but I woke to a stuttery run and hoped it would go away. It was warm in my sleeping bag and not so outside. I actually called across to Steve asking what the temperature was (he has the weather app on his iPhone) and he called back that it was minus three. The stuttery take continued for a few more seconds, not a full blown run, just a series of random bleeps and I knew exactly what it was long before I peeled myself from the bed.

With the bream released and the rod recast I climbed back into the bag which had now returned to its icy state, it was like climbing into a chest freezer. The best you can do in this situation is hold still and wait for your own body temperature to warm the fibres of the bag, thus regaining the heat you had before. I continued to receive line bites through the night but no more fish were caught. We woke on Monday morning to overcast skies, a stiff breeze and although it was up to 2 degrees, the wind chill felt more like minus 2.

Steve prepared bacon rolls for breakfast and I provided yet another pot of tea, which went down very well. As well as topping up my spots with pellets and sweetcorn, I wandered along the bank and baited a few marginal spots in the hope of doing some float fishing later on if anything materialised. It got to almost lunchtime, the rods remained quiet and the margin spots were devoid of fish. Then a guy arrived, sat in the opposite corner and began fishing under a willow in the teeth of the breeze, which had now gained in strength quite considerably.

Within half an hour of his arrival he had two carp on the bank. Scratching our heads Steve and I realised that they must be following the wind, which we didn’t think would be likely due to it being such a cold easterly. With this I made a cast all the way across the pond to a willow opposite me and within a few minutes I had carp number two on the bank, a lovely little mirror of around 5lbs. after a couple of quick photos I decided that the best plan of action would be to bite the bullet and stalk the carp from the far bank. It would mean sitting with it full in my face but I was sure it was the best way of putting a few more fish on the bank.

From the willow…
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With the two rods, unhooking mat, net and pocketful of bits, I trudged round until I was opposite my pitch and dropped the two sweetcorn baited hooks into the margin either side of me and loosened the clutches. First it was the tip of the right hand rod near the willow which pulled round and another pretty common carp was landed. Next up was the left hand rod, although that one threw the hook before I saw it. By now Steve had joined me and was fishing along to my right, and soon after he had gotten settled my willow rod was arching over again and yet another superb looking common was brought to shore and released without too much fuss.

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By now my belly was rumbling and every exposed part of my anatomy was freezing, so a pot of tea, lunch and some respite from the harsh weather was the plan. I cast the two rods back onto my usual spots and tucked into my meat and potato pie whilst waiting for the KK to boil. I didn’t much fancy going back round the other side after lunch, so decided to see out what time we had left sheltering from of the wind and drinking more tea.

At the ready…..
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With an hour to go I found myself dashing to my rods and playing a lovely looking mirror in the deep margins, it came in quite easily but didn’t much fancy slipping into the net in a hurry, but soon enough the fish tired, Steve scooped my prize up and was snapping away with the camera. Again, holding the fish was hard work, they were just as angry out of the water as they were in it, and were so cold that when the fish was returned my fingers were well and truly numb.

Nice Mirror…
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At 3pm we decided to call it a day and pack up ready for the 50 minute journey home. Steve and Claire made one trip to the van as they had lots more kit than I did, and I had started to dismantle camp and ready for the inevitable. With only the rods, that were still fishing, left to put away I had a final take on my right hand rod and lifted into what was obviously a much better fish. It was real heart in the mouth stuff as the fish got closer and we could see a really lovely common twisting and turning in the gin clear water trying to free itself from the size 8 hook.

The fight lasted an eternity and with every few feet gained another few feet were taken. Finally, and with both anger and fish exhausted Steve slipped the net under the last carp of the session, and what a fish. Classic colours, well-proportioned and just the send-off we needed. It was smiles all round, the photos were taken, the fish was released and with the rods broken down we headed back to the car laughing and giggling.

Last knockings…
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Slipping her back…
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Off she goes…
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Before setting off we said our goodbyes, it was a marvellous 24 hours, great company, great fishing and at one of my favourite places. I had taken a tin loaf, some mixers and the float fishing gear hoping we could partake in more seasonal methods, but it wasn’t to be, nothing visited our margins and nothing cruised around the surface. That said, we still had our fair share of fish, so all was not lost. I’m now looking forward to conditions improving so that I can apply some of my favourite methods to my angling.

As soon as we left the country lanes and joined the motorway the sun appeared for the first time…..typical!