After my lost fish disasters on the big pit I decided on a return to the North Met last week for a spot of carp fishing, to try my hand and, hopefully, find it a bit less crowded than it was in the spring.
Well it was certainly a lot quieter and, surprisingly, a lot more scenic than the last time I was there. The trees had all leafed up nicely and the undergrowth had spread profusely, filling in all the gaps in the bankside and leaving the whole lake looking a lot more ‘carpy’ and nice.
I started off with the customary walk around the lake, climbing a few trees and peering into every nook and cranny but, after about two hours, I was still no closer to finding anything to fish for. I figured that, if they weren’t in the margins, then they must be further out into the lake out of sight so I found a nice swim that gave me a good view of the open water and just sat and watched for a while.
It wasn’t overly long before I saw a fair sized mirror carp slide up out of the water at about one hundred and twenty yards range so I loaded up the barrow and grabbed the bivvy and made my way around to the nearest swim.
One thing I had noticed on my travels around the banks was the proliferation on daphnia clouds, huge swaths of red slowly undulating in water like massive natural larders for the fish.
Daphnia is a massive source of protein for carp and it so easy for them to just swim through it like a big old whale shark, filter feeding as they go through. Quite why they would choose to ignore it in preference for an angler’s bait that they know may be dangerous I wasn’t sure and, going by the reports of how the lake had been fishing, I wasn’t convinced that they would.
As with all carp fishing though you have to take the rough with the smooth and, even if a lake is not on its best form, it’s still a lot nicer sitting out there trying your best than it would be sitting at home moaning about it.
Although my trip ended up being quite frustrating, as I watched carp just idly milling about in an edible environment, I still enjoyed every minute of it and, I found out later, somebody managed to bag a nice mid thirty just after my departure, from the other end of the lake.
Over the last week or so however, we have had a noticeable change in the weather, the evenings are turning cooler and damp and the mornings are refreshing, dew soaked and feeling a lot more conducive to catching carp.
I predict that the next few weeks will really start to pick up nicely and I am confident of a few good fish coming to the net.
In a couple of days’ time I am off to Oxfords Linear fisheries for the annual charity fish-in, held to raise funds for the Motor Neurone Disease association.
Basically it works by anglers paying to fish with the better known and mainly professional anglers in the industry (who give their time and help for free) this raises funds, as does a raffle on the last night.
The whole event is very light hearted and informal although there is a great chance for the paying anglers to pick up many tips and methods to take away to their own local waters and, hopefully, a few personal bests to be caught a swell.
Last year I had a lovely young lad called Sam to look after for the three days and I took him off stalking around the complex for most of the time. We eventually settled on Oxlease lake where I helped him to find a few fish and get them feeding on the surface.
It’s always an exciting method but, when he hooked into a very big fish indeed, it become a nerve wracking experience for me. I don’t think he quite realised what he had hooked until it rolled into the net.
At thirty two pounds it was, by far, his biggest ever carp and a real old warrior to boot.
I just hope I manage to send this years ‘visitor’ home with a smile on his face to match the one that Sam was sporting as he eventually headed off, tired but happy.