Wednesday, 15 September 2010

A Fish, At Last

Monday night saw me back on the lake that is home to The Common, it was grey and windy. I like to fish in these conditions as they are perfect for Carp and it also tends to keep the 'fair weather' angler at bay, thus leaving more choice of pitch and less angler pressure.
 I was fortunate to have a companion for the nights proceedings, that being the good Lady Sarah.
 On arrival at the lake I was pleased to find only one other ardent piscator present, another carp angler with just one fish on his mind.
 I decided to fish on the back of the wind in deeper water and as Lady Sarah re-parked the car in a safer area I set about erecting the bivvy and setting up rods. The lake throws up many challenges, not least vehicle security and I have had my car broken into twice previously as I indulged in my quest.
  Having suffered a baren spell fishing with boilies(as are the other anglers) I decided that the fish may be dining on their natural larder. With this in mind I set up one of my two rods on a maggot rig , this being Rob Maylins simple but effective Mag-Aligner rig. I'm not a fan of those metal clips and Rob's rig seems much less fussy.
Fishing maggots for Carp on this lake was a trip into the unknown for me, not less because of the numerous other species that inhabit the lake, including some rather large Tench, Bream and Crucians. All very nice of course but we must remember that on this lake I am targetting one specific fish.
 I cast both rods to areas I new were weed free (another of the lakes challenges) and wait, tentatively a while to see if the maggots would be savaged by all sorts of 'ne'er do well's'. It didn't happen and night fell.
 Lady Sarah seemed quite pleased with her new bedchair and sleeping bag and it was nice to have her share my 'special time'. She had seen the weather forecast, it wasn't great. "Welcome to my world", I said.
 We chatted until our eyes became heavy and we both fell soundly asleep. OK, in the morning she did say I snored a bit, but yes we were both in deep slumber when at 1-00am my left alarm sang at it loudest monotone voice into the cool night air. The maggot rod was away. It was such a surprise that I tipped my bedchair trying to exit the sleeping bag, but was soon on the rod and looking up at a satisfying bend.
  The fish took line, going far out in the lake, Sarah emerged bleary eyed and a tad excited as I retreived some line back. The fish had spirit though and was off again, then, in open water, everything went solid.
 This is the worst scenario for me, do I give it 'the old heave-ho' or place the rod back on the rest and let the fish find its own way out of the snag?.(no boats allowed on this water)....I decided on the latter..there then followed around forty minutes of uncertainty as I tried to work out what to do next. The fish wasn't moving...I got my kit off!!!
 Entering a lake in the hours of darkness is a stupid thing to do, I know that, but I was not alone,I also know this lake extremely well and was only wading a little way out. I would NEVER swim out for a fish.
 The water was cold, I knew the margins were shallow and manoevred myself to try to get a better angle on the fish, it stayed solid,stubbornly refusing to move and as I made my way back to the swim and my clothing, I wondered if the fish was even still attached.
 After more deliberation and about an hour after the run I decided on the 'straight line,rod pointing at the fish and walking backwards slowly' tactic, which always holds the risk of line breakage or lead hurtling towards you at some velocity. As I walked back, I whinced, when suddenly..... I felt the line slacken, the fish surfaced and the fight was back on.
 A few minutes later I was bringing a nice Mirror carp over the net and Lady Sarah raised it to engulf our prize. The fish was the only action of the night, I did have two massive Bream at first light, I wonder if this suggests they are better sight feeders than Carp. The whole episode has given me much food for thought and I will definitely persist with natural baits, though I did also have an aborted run on the boilies at first light.
 Anyway, here is the fine creature we landed, and another piece in the jigsaw that is, my quest for The Common........and it didn't rain either...wahey!!!


  1. A ball shrinking wade in the wee small hours - gotta love carp fishing Gurn. Keep the quest going mate.

  2. Top stuff mate, a really lovely looking fish after a midnight dip.

    Top stuff mate

  3. At least ya put yer kit back on for the photo.