After reading Sean’s post, and seeing the scale perfect roach he caught, I knew I had to have a day chasing them soon. I finished work today at the usual midday, and returned home hoping I could take Jessica to the park; it was a gorgeous sunny afternoon. As it turned out, the park was a no go, Jessica was fast asleep.
After applying a coat of varnish to the rod I’m restoring, mum told me that she’d be fine looking after Jess if I’d like to pop round the lake for an hour or two. It was almost 2pm by now, and the Chinese takeaway didn’t open till 5, so I had a good couple of hours to kill. It didn’t take me long to throw a few bits together, load the boot and set off for Lakeside.
I pulled up in the first car park and had a quick look into the first few swims. When I got to 5 I noticed the reeds moving some, and quickly fetched my tackle from the car. With some sweetcorn deposited onto the spot next to the reeds I set up the Chapman 500, an Altex with 5lb line and opted to fish a float I’d made from reed I’d gathered from this very lake. I made a cast and sat back to enjoy the sunshine. Half an hour passed and with no twitches on either the float or the reeds, it was time to move on.
I drove round to the point, the spot I’ve had most of my better roach, and fished close to the reeds with a single grain of sweetcorn on the hook and catapulting a few grains out every few minutes. The pair of great crested grebes were busy among the reeds, as were the swans and coots. Long tailed tits hummed busily around me and gulls were noisy as they jostled for position on the lake surface. It didn’t take long for the float to start twitching, and all the while I daydreamed of big roach. The first time I connected with a bite I really thought I’d done it, but a bream of around 3lbs came flipping its way ashore.
Soon after another similar bream was caught and unhooked without too much fuss. I’ve got nothing against bream; I’d just rather not touch them if I can help it. Bubbles rose all around the spot and the reeds moved, quite like in Jurrasic Park when T-Rex came bounding through the trees. Now the carp had discovered the baited patch, I prepared myself for fireworks.
The float dipped, I struck and the rod took on an alarming curve as the hooked carp tried its best to make it back to the sanctuary of the reeds. I managed to keep it away though, and saw out the remainder of the battle in open water. It was an immensely powerful carp, for such a small one anyway. I landed the fish, a common of around 3-4lbs, took a quick matt shot (making sure I got the reed float in) and released the fish in the next swim along.
Another few missed bites later the same thing happened. Again I managed to keep the fish clear of danger, and again the fish tore around boring deep sending up great plumes of silt and bubbles as it went. It was another scale perfect mini carp, similar in size to the last, perhaps not quite so deep, but very welcome on such a beautiful afternoon.
Mick stopped by for a quick chat. We spoke about this and that, roach, carp, lakes, you know the sort of conversation. Mick said he’d have to be going as it was 4:30pm. I’d completely lost track of time I was having so much fun. I had 2 more casts, Mick laughing at each one as I missed a lovely bite on both times. I bid my friend farewell, threw the kit in the boot and drove home wondering……beef chow mien or sweet and sour chicken?