A Return Visit

This week I thought I would fish a water that I have only fished once before to see if I could do any better than last time. It is one of the furthest away from home and one of the reasons I haven’t fished there much is that I have to drive by other waters to get there! Another reason is that it is at least 300 yards from the car park to the water along a rough track and a field and until I had a barrow it was just too difficult to get my gear to the bank.

So, the forecast was for a dry day with rain later and some wind. I woke up earlier than usual but despite my best efforts I didn’t get to the bank until gone nine o’clock. There was only one couple fishing and they had had some luck so after a chat I walked round to see where to fish. Although way out in the country this water was clearly an old gravel pit as it had steep sides. Due to the rain the water was high and a number of the swims had no flat area from which to fish. I ended up down the far end where I fished before and just caught small roach and rudd but it was sheltered from both the wind and sun and the bank was not too steep. I set up my carp rod with a method feeder and pineapple boilie and feeder rod with maggots and sat down for a well-earned rest and a cuppa.

For the second week running nothing much happened. I kept rebaiting the rods and casting out but nothing, there was the occasional twitch on the quiver but there looked like line bites. I had brought some chick peas which I had prepared earlier and also soaked some dog feeder as I thought that I would bait up an area to attract carp for later so spent some time doing this before bringing the feeder rod in and trying the float rod. Immediately I was into a fish, a small rudd about the size of the width of my hand! I spent a few minutes catching these before getting bored and putting the float rod away. They were so voracious that even when I let the line falling the water while sorting things out they were going for the naked hook. I figured that if the small ones were around their bigger brothers must be there somewhere so it was back to the feeder rod this time with sweet corn. 

Cloud had started to build during the morning and as it did so the fish began to bite and I started to catch on the quiver. I am still getting used to the best time to strike and was missing fish but the quiver was giving much better bite indication and I soon landed a nice rudd of about three quarters of a pound. I then lost a couple of fish before landing my only bream of the day at one and a half pounds. Catching fish had cheered me up after a slow start but I was still worried about the number of bites I was missing and wondered whether using a hair rig would help. While I was thinking I got snagged and there was no movement at all. I am used to pulling branches out of the water but this snag was solid. Suddenly the line came free and I was wondering how much terminal gear I had lost. It all looked OK but when I looked at the hook it had broken at the shank something that had never happened before. I now had the chance to try the hair rig and soon had a size 16 attached to the Guru swivel and had cast in. A few minutes later I was into another fish but then the line went slack. Reeling in I found the hooklength had gone and blamed the swivel so put on another rig and tried again.

I am happy to catch rudd like this!

Then, out of the blue the carp buzzer sounded and I was into a fish. I could tell from the shaking that it was a carp and it was giving me a good fight. Unlike last week I was more confident in my gear and was soon able to bring the fish towards the net. It, however was having none of it and made off several times before being landed. It was a nice looking leather/mirror which weighed in at 9lb. As I lifted him out I heard a crack and one of the sides of my landing net splintered but didn’t come completely apart so I was still able to land the fish. He quickly went back in the water and was off and I then discovered that the top of my bobbin had come off and gone in the water too far for me to reach without getting wet! All was quiet on the carp front so it was back to the feeder and I was finding that the hair rig was working and I was bringing more fish to the bank, that is until I lost another hooklength. Fed up I decided to change the swivel and continued catching until I lost another hooklength from that one. There was no way that the hooklength could have come off that swivel so I think it must have been the hooklengths themselves, perhaps they weren’t tied properly.

At last, a carp on my carp rod!

Anyway, it was lunchtime and I had caught some more rudd, carp and possibly ide. I have been able to eat my lunch in relative peace recently but not today. As soon as I put the feeder rod out the quiver was twitching and I didn’t have time to even open my sandwich box! In the end I took the rod out of the water and opened my sandwich box then the carp alarm sounded. I had just recast the rod and seen the groundbait drop off the feeder as I cast it but left it as I wasn’t too worried about getting a bite during lunch! This time it was a common, a bit smaller than the last one so I didn’t weigh it and after taking a photo I gently slipped it back. Now with both rods out of the water I had the chance to eat my lunch in peace. While I was sitting there I noticed a carp swim right into my swim and nearly up to the bank and wondered if he had been attracted to the mixture I had thrown in so after lunch put some more in. During the afternoon I tried fishing there but without any luck.

So pretty!

It was now well into the afternoon due to a delayed lunch and I was still catching on my feeder rod and landing more often than not. Then I cast out and something went shooting down the line. Looking at the rod I could see that it looked shorter than usual, the quiver tip had disappeared! When I reeled in I found that it was still attached to the line and being a push fit it had just come out, that had never happened before either! Replacing it I cast out and almost immediately had a big bite. It was a big fish and when it came to the surface I could see that it was a carp but it wasn’t putting up much of a fight. I was quite pleased as the feeder rod only had 6lb line on it so I had to take it easy. I soon got it into the net without much fuss although when I came to lift it the broken bit was complaining so had to be supported. I got the fish onto the mat and then the fun started, he seemed to wake up and was thrashing about all over the place. Being on a slight slope he kept sliding off the end of the mat and I had to put him back. I tried several times to photograph him and eventually managed it but not before he had splashed mud and water all over me and the camera! He went back and I wiped myself down and decided to call it a day. As I packed up I was quite pleased with myself. I had had a better day than last time I came in the autumn and had caught a variety of fish, some even on my carp rod! I was walking back to the car when the rain started, not bad timing!

There won’t be a fishing blog next weekend as I will be off sailing next week and don’t have any sea fishing gear! I might write something about all the tackle I have bought off ebay although it would be great to have a guest blog from one of my readers. If you would like to give it a go them send it to me on the contacts page. 

As you can see I had to hold him still to photograph him!

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