Thursday, 2 October 2014

Surface Magic..

When the wife asked if I fancied going fishing after work today, I thought intensely for all of half a second, swerved past Dad’s to collect a rod and couldn’t wait till 4pm. The plan was to visit Carron Row, wander around with my bucket of dog biscuits and hope the carp were hungry.

I set the rod up in the car park, just a size 4 hook and with my unhooking mat under my arm and camera over my shoulder I set off in search of ripples. I stood on the causeway and spotted some rings of water leaving the bank practically under my feet. I stepped back, looked closer and spotted a carp just under the surface between the fallen reeds.

With two mixers on the hook I gently lowered the hook-bait into position and only had to wait a few seconds for the take. As it rolled on the surface I clocked a wonderfully coloured flank with irregular scaling, it lunged off away from the causeway but I soon gained control and before long had her ready for the net.

It was a true warrior for sure, snub nosed and with tatty fins, yet noble and gracious in defeat. I took a quick self photo and lowered her into the margin, holding until she gathered her thoughts and swam strongly away. A great start, I’d only been there 10 minutes.

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After releasing the fish I was on my toes and looking for another opportunity. I decided to try pond 3, home of the bigger carp, but there was an angler fishing near to my usual spot and upon asking where his rods were and being told that one was near the island and one just off the pads, I left him to it and bade him good luck.

Back on 2 I dropped my kit into the disabled swim and fired a few free offerings towards the tree along the margin. A few minutes later the carp started swirling and taking a few, although the seemed to be smaller commons. Once I saw a few swirls that looked to be caused by slightly better fish, I made a cast.

It was one of those casts that lands on the surface after travelling over a wispy branch. Those are the best kind of cast when floater fishing as the line comes straight down leaving no line on the water. A fluke of course, but if anyone was around, it was aimed for and executed perfectly.

The smaller fish nudged the two mixer hook-bait, but it took a slightly larger one to swallow the hook-bait and give me enough indication to strike, pull the line from the branch and make contact with the fish. As the rod hooped I walked quickly left in order to keep the carp away from the snags. It worked and soon I was playing the fish in open water.

It lunged around under the rod tip without showing itself for a good while, so I knew it was a half decent one. A slightly pale common somewhat into double figures soon found its way into the awaiting ash teardrop and was hoisted ashore for a photograph.

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Two fish banked and things were looking good for another. I got round to the bramble swim and upon approaching the front boards I noticed some ripples. I peered over the edge and spotted a common sat in shallow water inches from the bank. I attached a worm to the hook, dangled it in front of the fish and watched as it sucked it in. I struck, but somehow missed, the fish bolted off taking a massive bow wave with it.

Next door I began feeding half mixers under the rhododendron bush. Small commons started taking the floating baits and soon there were half a dozen all fighting over when I was throwing in. As it was a fun session wanted to catch one of them, so side hooked a single mixer and cast just past the bush and drew it back. I was shocked when a carp 3 times the size of the others shot out and snaffled my hook-bait!

It took a lot of effort avoiding the snags under the bush, especially with the 6lb free line I got from the Angling Times. But the line has done me proud and one again I was playing a ponderous carp off the rod tip, one that just ploughed round and round for what seemed an age. When I caught another glimpse of the fish I was surprised at the length of it, no wonder it gave me so much grief.

Once I’d netted it I was just thinking about the best place to take a photo when a chap setting up next door came to help. He took a few snaps and after releasing the carp I thanked him and wished him good luck. It was a lovely common, superbly coloured and very long.

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I was losing light fast. Out in front of the middle swim I there were carp still taking free mixers whilst I sat on my bucket and watched. I made a cast and could just make out 4 feet of zig zag line coming from my rod tip. I watched for ten or so minutes and as soon as it tightened I struck and connected with carp number 4.

It was the smallest of the carp I caught, but perhaps the strongest going off on long runs in the dark, and without a head torch I really had to use all of my senses to work out when the fish was ready and perform the landing ritual. With next to no light I took a quick mat shot and slipped her back. Thanked the lake for being so kind and headed home for dinner.

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1 comment:

  1. Ah, the mystical qualities of a spool of generic 6lbs line found taped to the cover of a weekly angling publication!

    I have an old reel loaded with some grey/brown 6lbs breaking strain line that I got on the cover of Anglers Mail a few years ago now - it's magnificent! Fine, very strong and not at all prone to coiling up.

    I've used it for years and had countless good fish, from barbel to bass and it's honestly never let me down...