Sometimes you just want to say “Bugger!!” at the top of your voice, and this afternoon I did it, twice.
I finished work early at around 11am, headed to Tithe Barn and after parking next to just the one car in the layby I made my way along the path and to the top pond. At the head of the pond is the weedy end, and in gaps in the weed I spotted a few carp moving around. The wind was heading for me quite strongly and pretty much every cast I made (free-lined crust) went wayward. The ones that did stay on course resulted in the fish moving of course before I could drag the bait back. So, with all that and the added bonus of a mother mallard and six ducklings scurrying around all over the place, the first part didn’t go too well. But there’s always the middle pond.
The middle pond had three bivvies on the left hand bank but the head of the pool was free and after standing like a heron for a few minutes I was exciting to see a couple of fish to cast at. The first three casts I made were perfect and each resulted in the carp sucking in the hook-bait, but for some unknown reason I managed to miss each strike. The last one looked a bit special, the coloured water meant I couldn’t see properly, but I was sure it was a fully scaled mirror. I made the cast and waited a little longer for the fish to take the crust in properly, it did and when I struck I felt an immense lunge on the rod tip.
The fish felt a god one and certainly knew how to call the shots where weed was concerned, but I was starting to get the upper hand and as the fish rolled two rod lengths out I was stunned by the sheer beauty of it. A big plated mirror of around 20lbs was boring away into the weed head down and tail waving. I reached for the net just as the hook slipped and the rod flew back over my shoulder. I threw the rod into the reeds in disgust and stomped off up the bank muttering a few unpleasant words. That loss hurt, a lot.
I stood a while longer but failed to spot anything so I had a quick fruitless peek into the bottom pond and returned to the top pond for one last try. The head of the pond was now being stalked by another angler so I concentrated on the dam end near a snaggy bush. There were ripples coming from under it and after watching a while I was certain they were carp. The trouble was, the bush was just out of casting range, unless I hooked a massive crust and dipped it, but then the carp had trouble taking it, and at that range I couldn’t see properly whether it was gone or not. God I wish I’d had some babybell wax with me.
So, a larger crust was chanced which landed a few inches off the bush. I looked at my watch and realised I’d have to be getting off in ten minutes, look struck, hoping the fish had the bit with the hook in its mouth and was soon old it was when line started to pour from the 300, and pour very fast. I held on trying to apply as much pressure as possible in the hope of slowing it down, this end of the lake is clear apart from the iron bar ad snaggy bush on the dam margin, but it isn’t too far until you reach the head of the pool and lots of weed.
Moving three swims to my right, lifting the rod high over four short trees to keep the angle, I eventually found myself winding like mad to keep up with the fish, it was headed right for me. When made contact again it was headed back to the right and as I had so much line out I just couldn’t stop it getting dangerously close to the snaggy bush, that’s when the hook slipped out and my world came crashing down. The rod was once again thrown into the reeds and with my head in my hands I stormed along the bank muttering more choice words, I actually think I may have scared the other angler a little in doing so.
Enough was enough, when I retrieved the rod I broke it down and made my way back to the car, apologising to the other guy for my language on the way. I now have some more crust, some babybell wax and a few other things I could have done with today, and at the crack of dawn I intend to get back to the pond and put right what went horribly wrong for me today.......