I’ve spent two days up there. I think I’ve lost a stone in sweat alone.
Tonight I announced to the whole house (my wife, a small child with headphones on and a dirty cat) that the attic could ‘do one’, and that I was off to the lake and I was taking my sweat rash and dirty fingernails with me. To be frank I was expecting some resistance, but none was forthcoming. So, Kato-like, I leapt through the front door, brandishing my car keys in a dramatic fashion and back-flipped my way to the kerb before anyone could sense I was missing.
On the way to pick up worms, I called a friend that I fish with occasionally to see if he’d like to join me. Apparently I woke him up. He mumbled something about ‘maggerts’ and ‘sleepy’ and finally showed up two hours later without his gear. This is why I love him. The sad fact is, he’s my only real friend and I don’t get to see him very often, but being a solitary type anyway, this arrangement suits me fine. He’s miserable too.
I arrived at the lake to find my usual peg free of piles of gear, ducks and serious looking overnight type carp fishermen. Excellent. I’d seen two of them rigging up their barrows for transit in the car park and as soon as they spotted me unpacking my gear, they hightailed it to the gate. Unfortunately for them (but fortunately for me) they didn’t realise that barrows won’t fit through the stile, so when I arrived at the gate they were hastily unpacking them to try and squeeze them through. I smiled and said ‘Hi’, walking to my peg whilst musing about the tale of the hare and the tortoise.
My rod was in the water by 5:00pm but the tow on the lake prevented me from fishing more than a rodlength out without going heavier on the float. The peg I fish at is only around 3ft deep close in, but there seemed to be some activity so I opted to fish right off the rod tip.
Conditions for perch were definitely not ideal tonight with the weather changing literally every five minutes from sunny to windy to overcast. The promised thunder thankfully, however, stayed away.
To start I went for double dendrobena on a size 10 wide gape and picked up a nice 2.5lb fish within the first hour, along with a few small commons and F1s. The roach were voracious, and in the shallow water continued to batter my worms relentlessly, even when shotted down. With this in mind, I switched to a size 12 around 7:00pm and decided to clear the swim of roach, then switched back to worm.
One particularly funny moment occured when my friend almost got stung by a hornet whilst netting a large common for me. Well, I laughed anyway.
Unfortunately the swim went dead after that, so for the last hour I hugged a very small patch of lilies to the right and fed the last of my groundbait and some chopped worm into the very perchy looking margin.
After a few minutes the swim went bonkers. Carp descended from everywhere and I ended up with several nice fish, the best of which was just over 9lb, along with a small mirror which was so prettily marked, I felt it warranted a photo. The large carp was a fun and protracted fight. Using 6lb line and with only a size 12 on I was on and off the drag for a good six to seven minutes. Luckily the plump little female didn’t attempt to dive for the lilies, but kept her head down and bolted for the middle of the lake. She wasn’t particularly long, just very chunky.
The more I ‘accidentally’ catch carp, the more the fascination that carp anglers have with them is revealed to me. The variation in morphology, colours and temperament is incredible and I have to admit, I definitely have a soft spot for mirrors. The little one above was only pushing 2lb, but it fought like buggery. There aren’t many in my lake, so catching one is always a bit special.
I think I’m going to add carp to my fishing bucket list. Nothing too ambitious. Maybe a double figure fish to start and see where we go from there.