A Good Soaking and Tricky CarpPallatrax Angling
After ten days’ hard graft decorating our through lounge, I was well and truly sick of the sight of wallpaper and paint and looking forward to a couple of days at a local carp water. For family reasons I didn’t want to be away overnight so the local water was ideal. No night fishing is allowed there and the hours of fishing are from 6.00am until dusk. It is a very pretty water with a good head of doubles, quite a few twenties and at least two fish of 30lbs plus. So there is no chance of a personal best, but ideal for a none too serious chill out session.
Having arrived at 6.00am I made my way to a swim that has been good to me in the past, where a 60 yard cast places baits close to the central island. The right hand bait is fished under the trailing fronds of a weeping willow on the right hand point of the island, with the left hand bait ten yards to the left close to an overhanging line of alders. There is a two rod maximum rule on the fishery. It is also a barbless only fishery so I had opted for size 6 Gripz hooks, coupled with a short Snaglink hook link. This was stripped back to give a supple hair and about half an inch of exposed dyneema at the hook eye. Before setting up, 100 Multiworm boilies were catapulted to each area. Ten minutes later, with two baits in position, I was enjoying the first cup of tea of the morning, which was mild and muggy. I was hoping it would stay dry as I soon realised I had left my umbrella at home and I certainly was not setting up a bivvy for a short day session!
The first bite was not long in coming, probably no more than five minutes after the cast, and a pretty and very fat little common of about 8lbs dropped into the net. I took that as a sign of a good day to come but that early success flattered to deceive because things then went very quiet for hours. Quiet, that is, as far as bites were concerned but not quiet as far as carp activity. It soon became obvious that the fish were heavily into their annual spawning ritual. Fish were crashing in the margins and around the island constantly. When the bailiff stopped for a chat around midday, it transpired that my early common had been the only fish caught that day so far.
In mid-afternoon, I was made to pay for my forgetfulness concerning my umbrella as it began to rain steadily. As it became heavier the left hand rod suddenly burst into life and another heavily spawn bound common soon nestled in the net. Again, I guessed around 8lb or so. That turned out to be the end of the action. My intentions to stay until dusk were put to one side as I was completely soaked and getting quite cold at 6.00pm. I called it a day and headed form home.
In view of the fish spawning, I did wonder whether it was worth going again the following day but in the end decided to make the effort. Although the two fish I had caught were not very big they had proved that the occasional carp was willing to pick up a bait despite the spawning activity. So, once again I was at the gate at 6.00am. I headed for a different swim this time, from where my biggest fish of 25-10 from the venue had been taken in 2014. This swim gives access at quite short range to a secluded little corner overhung with willows. Importantly, no other lines can be cast into the area from other swims so the carp there face little disturbance.
Again I baited two areas at no more than thirty yards with perhaps a hundred Multiworm boilies, before casting paste wrapped hook baits. It was a much more pleasant and warm morning and by about 7.00am spawning in the margins was again in full swing. The hours passed and no one on the lake was experiencing any action whatever. Then, at 2.00pm, a sudden screaming take took me by surprise. What followed was an epic battle from a fish that just did not want to give up. Continuously it tried to tie me up in the trailing branches along the right hand margin. Soon it was plunging around under the rod top and I could see that it was a big common; I estimated a scraper twenty.
After about ten minutes of ebbing and flowing, the fish eventually capitulated and sank into the net. At that moment, the bailiff appeared and together we weighed and photographed a lovely common, soon verified at 21lbs 2ozs. It appeared to be a male, judging by spawning tubercles adorning its head.
That was my only action of the second day but I was well pleased to have taken a good fish against all the odds. Again, I found out later that no other carp were caught that day so I have to be pleased.
21lbs 2ozs Common Carp
Tench fishing next week and I’ll let you know how I get on.
Tight lines, Tony.