May 22, 2019

Lows and Highs

If you've read my last blog you will know that I am on something of a blank run and that, with a trip to France coming up, I am eager to get this monkey off my back. That then is why I turned up at my little slice of heaven yesterday intent on spending a couple of nights rectifying my slump and scraping the last bits of rust off my fishing before the big event.

I chose a spot that required a big chuck (for me), and where I hoped some decent fish would be patrolling. It's done well for me in the past but, with the lengthy spell of easterly winds, would the fish be elsewhere?

Regardless, I set up two distance rods and one to fish for anything cruising the near bank - a good bet in May. I deposited some bait over a wide area which I like as it gets the fish mooching around and because it helps with my awful casting. I could never hit a dustbin lid sized spot like some carpers seem to do at twice the distance I was fishing.

The wind dropped, the lake was calm with only birdlife disturbing it's surface. It got dark and I nodded off only to be shocked back into consciousness by an urgent alarm. My popped up bait had been taken and I bent into a very, very ponderous and heavy weight.

I pumped and wound it slowly back towards me. Occasionally there was a kite this way or that but the overwhelming feeling was of weight. I'd dropped the second rod tip into the margin to avoid crossed line and everything was going well until the fish headed for a reed bed. I turned it and felt it coming my way, I was also convinced that it was fairly hooked and not a foul hooked smaller fish. I was celebrating inside - what a way to end my dearth of fish. Then.... the fish rolled and was gone.

I stood there, gutted. I had hooked the second line after all and although the lead of that rod hadn't been disturbed, it seems that the pressure from that line acting upon the bend of the hook was just enough to effectively disgorge it.

I was really shattered by the experience but quickly got myself together and recast both rods to make certain they were a little farther apart. That done I flopped onto my bed and having committed my despair to my diary, dropped off again.

90 minutes or so later and the same rod roared off again. This fish came in like a mouse on a lead. It swam toward me making me wonder if it may be a bream or even that it had gone. Again on reaching the reeds it started to slap about a bit. Now I was happy that it was a carp albeit a modest one and I hurriedly netted it and rested it.

Having wetted the cradle and sorted the scales, camera etc I lifted the fish from the water and felt a sharp pain in my back. I soon realised it was a bit bigger than I'd expected and weighed a 29lb 3oz mirror.

The trouble was, it was so lively now that it would not settle. A selfie was out of the question and it wouldn't even stay still for a quick snap so, I just clicked a bad picture for the record and slipped it back.

That was the last of the action. Come the morning the lake was flat calm and had vast areas covered by tree pollen but, as the morning progressed so the wind came around westerly and will doubtless get the fish on the move for a day or two. I however, was feeling the effects of lifting my prize and decided to retire and rest rather than commit to a move. I can now relax and prepare for the first week of June and a week of immersive carping abroad. I can't wait.

May 17, 2019

Consistent...... unfortunately

Three trips and three blanks. Not my usual May carping story but I seem to have slipped into something of a bad run. Funny, it's usually Neil that makes a hash of the early trips then comes good with a fabulous run of big fish, he's now dreading our up and coming trip to France as it may see him fall flat on his face. Me, I just want to work these bugs out of my game before driving off to the ferry.

Two of my three trips have been very short day visits. The first to a gap in the trees to a spot Neil and I have targeted. He lost a fish there on his first trip and then took a small common from another little creepy crawly hole in the foliage.

A gap big enough for a rod

I followed him to these swims a few days later when it was decidedly cooler and found number one to be void of all finned life and two much the same. Not to worry, trip two was to be a night, maybe two, I'm bound to catch something.

Neil went again and landed a fine 21lb common, I have some catching up to do.

I was suffering with my back which made everything else ache and, with a relative gravely ill, was suitably distracted and lacking any verve or energy to fish intently. I really just went through the motions but at 1:30am I was staggering down the bank to the glare of blue lights and the tone of my  alarm. Having negotiated the dog, his lead, the steep step down and various debris I bent into a fish that had already found a snag. There are a lot of branches around the margins after the winds of winter and this fish had found one I was unaware of. It was immovable and eventually the line parted. My rod landed in a bush and I went back to bed.

The morning came and I was so disheartened that I packed and drove home via a tackle shop where I bought a chair that I hope will be less torturous to sit in.

Today I was back. Neil's doing an overnight but I just wanted to have a poke about and took a single rod and very little else - but still managed to fill my car.

 I found a couple of doubles in the margin. One was just hanging but the other was rooting about which was likely to stimulate it's mate. I did not want to aim at smaller fish so baited a little away from them and scattered my broken boilies over a wide area so that should they go on the munch it may draw out one or two of the biggies that live close by.

All went well and my trap was set. I saw the line tremble without moving the bobbin then, as I approached the rod an hour and a half after casting, the line pulled up then released. I felt that the bait and or lead were buried in the thick bed of leaves and crap that cover this spot and, as I reeled in, so it was all clogged in silty debris and hardly presented efficiently.

I cast a little farther toward some lilies where it was a little clearer and again spread some bait over the area. I sat back on my new chair (Trakker RLX Combi) which I have to say is the most comfortable I have used in eons.

A swim?

Soon after the alarm shrieked and I bent into a fish determined to get amongst the weeds. I was quickly in the margins (waders on) and heaved it clear. There followed a fine scrap which saw the fish wrap itself around yet another newly fallen branch but I soon had it tamed and the head and impressive shoulders of a common approached the net. I was making that last heave to secure my catch when the bloody hook hold gave and I was left to watch it slowly turn and swim away. I maybe could have stabbed at it with the net but I don't fish with a net do I? No, rod and line only.

I was gutted as this is always a one chance spot. I packed, had a quick look around for a new target but nothing showed so I went and sat for a while with my lad who had taken a 24 pounder on a long chuck.

I'm not unduly worried by my misfortunes and I shall be back again next week to hopefully make amends. Mind you, if I'm still struggling come June and our holiday.......