Friday, 6 December 2013

An Afternoon to Remember

This morning I thought it might be a good idea to have a couple of hours fishing after work. I finish at midday on Friday’s and with nothing else planned this afternoon I decided to grab minimal kit from the shed on the way to work, enough to see if I could tempt a winter river Wallington carp. My friend Robbie caught a nice one quite recently which gave me the idea and the inspiration. I did also think about gudgeon fishing back at Cheeseman’s bridge too, but the challenge of a carp won the day.

I left work a little after noon and headed for the stretch upstream of the motorway where Rob had his success. I tried the big pool with no takers and no sign of fish present. Then I fished a smaller pool upstream a couple of hundred yards and the weir pool but still, I had no bites. I took a wander above the weir pool and although the water was fairly low and very clear I could spot no fish. With the lack of sightings I opted for leaving that stretch and made for the urban stretch near Fareham.

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I’d been there a couple of weeks previously and spotted some carp sitting among some snags, they were mostly commons but there were two dark mirrors with them. It was low tide then and I could see the fish quite clearly in and around the sunken branch. This afternoon I arrived at the wrong time completely, the tide was up, in fact, it was still rising when I got there and the water was coloured and deep. I stood by the wall and fixed my gaze on the far bank. I could see the ledge with around 18 inches of water over it and I on watched as two commons cruised along it. A patrol route was found as minutes later one more fish did the similar but the other way.

I was using a 10ft glass carp rod with a 300 and the set up was very basic with a small float, one AAA shot and a size 6 hook. I attached a piece of bread flake and cast onto the ledge. Three heart stopping moments occurred when fish swam past the bait and ignored it, but finally one stooped down, picked up the hook-bait and as the float slid away I set the hook and prepared for battle. It was a fish of around 5lbs, long and dark, quite wildie looking too. For its size it scrapped well but soon found itself in the bottom of my net. It was a true warrior and after a quick self take I released it back to the river.

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After the capture I angled in much the same way, but no more bits came from the ledge. I watched the world go by for the best part of an hour and was quite pleased when finally the water over the ledge appeared to be getting shallower. Fish now began to cruise mid channel, and as two commons came past I let my flake flutter down which enticed the largest one to suck in the bread and continue on its way. As I struck I could tell this one was a bigger fish, the rod arched and the spool sang as another long, lean common carp headed off for the sanctuary of the snags. I avoided danger and steered my prize clear and into the net at the first time of asking. Yet another wonderful dark and prehistoric looking fish blessed my mat, it was already a great afternoon.

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At half three I started to clock watch, I needed to get home and the snag spot was still a long way from becoming exposed. This meant I couldn’t see the bulk of the fish and therefore couldn’t ‘Hand Pick’ the larger mirrors I wanted to catch which was my original plan. Back on the corner I watched a while longer as the channel got ever shallower. Then, much to my amazement, one of the mirrors appeared and hung around directly below me, it was as though he knew I was there for him and didn’t want to disappoint me. I dangled a flake over the edge and watched as it disappeared into the carp’s mouth.

This fish had a think wrist and a fairly large paddle, and I knew all about it. For ten whole minutes I tried to get the upper hand, an immensely powerful fish for its size. It was quite a moment when it slipped into the mesh. I hoisted it ashore and admired its wonderful features, its shape and colours. A quick self take and I gently lowered the incredible fish back down to the water and watched as it swam slowly out of my net.

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Soon after I broke the rod and net down and set off for home one very happy angler...

1 comment:

  1. Excellent looking fish, they all look like old warriors ! Well done, nice session.