Having had some success on my last visit I decided to try the same lake again. I waited until it was a bit warmer and didn’t mind the wind as I knew that it would be sheltered as this water is down a steep bank. I arrived late morning with my feeder rod, float rod and a cheap spinning rod which I had set up with a bubble float and hair hook size 10 in case I could get carp to come on the surface again. After my last session I decided to buy a stalking rod and ordered an 8ft NGT rod with a 4000 baitrunner reel which was being sold as a set for £25 including delivery! I had looked at several reviews and they all were positive so I went for it. I had an email that it was being delivered on the day I was going fishing and a link to a map showing where the delivery van was. It got across the county to my town but then spent ages delivering to various places so I gave up and went fishing instead. You might have guessed it, just after I arrived and was setting up I had an email to say it had been delivered! Of course, if I had waited at home for it………
Anyway, back to the lake. There were half a dozen cars there when I arrived and I wondered if my swim would be free. Fortunately it was and I quickly settled down with the feeder rod with a small method feeder with corn as a bait and the float rod out. I had put some groundbait in and decided to start fishing shallow and deepen the rig if I wasn’t getting any bites. I also threw some bread and dog mixer biscuits out to see if the carp would arrive. Not much happened except that slowly people began leaving and I wondered if it was too late to catch anything but then remembered that the carp had not arrived until later last time so didn’t give up hope.
Then the float dipped and I had my first silverfish for a few months, a little roach. I took his picture then quickly popped him back in. I was using maggots on the float and soon changed to them on the feeder as I was having no joy with the corn. The float dipped again and it was another small roach then it went quiet so I decided to have lunch. Nothing through lunch but then another roach and a few minutes later the quiver tip bent and I was into a carp of a few pounds. Looking back at my photos I saw that this one was half an hour later than my first carp on the last session but it gave me hope! By now I was hearing the distinctive sound of carp slurping but couldn’t see where they were. I threw some more bread and biscuits in and waited patiently and eventually, about an hour and a half later than last time they started feeding on the surface and coming closer towards me, time to get the surface fishing gear out.
I had wondered if the bubble float would spook the fish but they didn’t seem to take any notice of it, in fact they would nose up to it and see if was something they could eat! The rest of the session was much the same as the last. I found that the spinning rod was a bit heavy for the size of fish I was catching, the heaviest went up to five and a half pounds. I also found that the fish were getting easier to catch as the session went on especially if there were two or three around the same piece of bread when they became a bit competitive. Single fish would sometimes nose up to the bait and ignore it so I wondered whether the hook was spooking it and so did my best to cover it up with bread. I was also surprised that the carp would still be feeding in the swim as I was playing and netting a fish, it didn’t seem to bother them at all. By now it was mid-afternoon and everyone had gone home, even the bailiff who had dropped by earlier and expressed surprise that I had caught some roach as they hadn’t been seen since the summer.
I was thinking of calling it a day when I had another fish and was playing it when the line went slack. It had broken just where it was attached to the bubble float and looking at it, it was quite sharp where it was riveted together and had obviously worn the line, into the bin for it then! I still had a few minutes to go so decided to put the float rod back into the water while I did a bit of tidying up to see if I could catch another roach but instead the float shot away and it was another carp, quite small but easily landed on my light tackle. Then it was time to go home and reflect on an afternoon where I had caught twelve fish and further boosted my catching confidence after a poor end to last year. I could get bored with fishing like this every time but for now it is just what I need!
I will leave you today with a video of the carp feeding off the surface making that lovely slurping noise!