Every now and again you just have one of those sessions, the sort where everything goes exactly right even though, at first, you haven’t got a clue where to fish or what to do to get a bite.
This was my most recent trip down to a tee. I had decided in advance on the area I wanted to be fishing which is something I never do and would always advise against. After all, how can you know from the comfort of the living room exactly where the fish are going to be, metcheck, that’s how!
I had been watching the weather online all weekend and I’d pretty much formulated a plan before I even loaded up the motor but, that old adage about ‘the best laid plans of mice and men’ was to come true, I hadn’t allowed for four other anglers already being in my top choices of swims. The whole area I fancied was stitched up so I loaded up the barrow and went off on a long walk around to the other side of the pit. There I found a swim I really liked, nestled in the bottom of a bay and looking very good indeed but the main thing I liked was that there was nobody else anywhere near. Surely all the disturbance on the other side of the island, in the big sailing club bay I had originally fancied, would push some fish through to this nice quiet area, at least that’s how I comforted myself as I set up my carp rods and flicked a couple of baits out under the big overhanging trees on the adjacent bank.
Because of the traffic on the M25 I had left home at 3am so, even after a walk round and a slow set up, it was still quiet early when I sat back for my first cup of tea and to take stock of the situation around me. I could see the odd fish drifting in just under the surface and, by the look of the sky; it was going to be a very hot day ahead. By midday it was boiling so I stripped one of the rigs off and cast a zig rig out, fishing it two feet under the surface in the mouth of my bay, hoping to intercept a fish on his way in. It turned out to be a good move because, only half an hour later the tip whipped around and I was in.
It was the strangest of fights really, but zig battles often are, the result was good though as a nineteen pound scaley mirror rolled into the net, I was off the mark.
As evening rolled in I scrapped the zig and concentrated on the far bank tree line for the night, and what a night!
I had takes at, half past eleven, half past one, and half past three in the morning, meaning I got practically no sleep whatsoever but, with two mid twenties and a stunning thirty four pound zip linear to show for it, I was not in the slightest bit worried about tiredness.
As I expected the fish didn’t hang around for too much more punishment but I did manage one more twenty pound common before the swim died on me, and the best thing was that, during my stay, the bay I had fancied only produced one fish.
As I’ve said before, wind direction and weather conditions can be crucial during the summer but it’s important not to become a slave to the conditions as this last session proved.
Sometimes the swim you pick purely on wind direction may not be the right choice on the day. Obviously if you can see no evidence of carp anywhere then the weather is an edge to be used but don’t forego a quick look around because of it. I would favour bagging the swim that looks the best by parking your barrow or a water bottle in there and then go for a good look about, safe in the knowledge that you already have the best swim but still willing to swap it if the fish are evident elsewhere.
Along the same lines it’s important to know when a swim has had it, dried up as it were. I think in hindsight I should have moved out after the first four fish of my last session rather than sat put and waited for a repeat performance on the second night.
On the subject of tackle and bits that have been recently released I must just tell you about my new jacket.
Summer nights can drop dramatically in temperature and a cold wet wind can cut through you at times, particularly if, like I recently was, you are out there for half the night re-casting and setting traps. I hate carrying clothes for every eventuality but I have now solved this problem with the Thermo-Tex survivor jacket, it’s a pull-on style, showerproof top, filled with micro fibres that puff up as you wear it and form your own mini-sleeping bag. It really is as warm as toast and totally windproof but, the best part about the jacket is that it crushes down really small into its own little stuff sack and you can just leave it on the barrow with the other fishing gear, for whenever it’s needed. I probably only wear it once every other session during the summer but, when it is needed it’s a real life saver, instantly warming me up and making me ready to battle the elements once more.