With the day off on Friday and Fennel meeting me once he’d finished work in the afternoon I was looking forward to a day of good weather, quiet banks and great company later. I was in no rush to get there arriving at the crack of half ten. There was only one angler present, we had a quick natter and after our fare-de-wells I pushed on to where I’d been catching the perch and carp on recent sessions.
I kind of thought the perch might be a little shy; the sun was shining brightly so I reckoned that late afternoon once the sun begins to dip might give the best chance. The carp were certainly there though, and I spotted that wonderful fully scaled I caught before sat among some snags not too far away. I fed the margins of four swims and sat back with a cuppa and a sandwich whilst the fish found the bait, got confident and started to feast.
After lunch I set up my Mark IV, small Aerial and began to fish the middle pitch where some carp were feeding well on the pellets I’d put down. They were very preoccupied with the tiny morsels and tended to ignore the large lunch of luncheon meat on my hook. I tried prawns and worms but everything was ignored. This went on for the best part of an hour until one of the mirrors snaffled the bait on the drop and fled left and behind the bushes causing the line to grate and snap.
One hooked and lost, not a great start. With the nature of the snags on my mind I beefed things up slightly, opting now for a glass fibre carp rod and the Altex with 8lb line. I free-lined a slither of meat once the carp came back (which didn’t take long) and within 5 minutes one of the smallest of the bunch was hooked, played close and scooped up. It was a miniature marvel, all deep brown and streamlined, just as a carp should look. I took a quick mat shot and let it go.
In the other swims they also started to feed, and I had three more chances over the next two hours, but I managed to fluff all of them. All the while I never spotted a single perch, perhaps they were hiding, perhaps they’d moved to another area on the pond, but they certainly weren’t prowling like they had been a couple of weeks previous. Finally from my bush spot I managed to hook, play and land a slightly better carp, better as in size, and just as pretty as the last. Just as I was trying to balance my camera on top of my creel to take a self take Fennel arrived and did the honours, it was perfect timing.
I lent him a rod and reel, a float and some shot and a hook and soon enough he was fishing away for a perch. I let him acclimatise himself whilst I nipped back to the car for the Kelly Kettle and Victoria Sponge; I like to look after my guests. We chatted over tea and cake and hid from quite a deluge from the gods. Once the rain stopped falling he grabbed the free-line rod and was tormented, much the same as I’d been all day, for the next half hour: returning back to base camp waving a white flag and opting for another bash at the perch. We sat in the same swim, floats side by side and we nattered until dark whilst he caught three or four wonderful perch to about 12oz.
Now that’s how all Friday's should be!!!