Every now and again you just have one of those sessions, sometimes it can be the worst session of your life when, for no apparent reason, everything just goes completely wrong. Occasionally though, when the carp gods are smiling, it can be the complete opposite and it seems as if you can do no wrong. I was fortunate enough to experience one of these golden trips on the big pit not so long ago, although it certainly didn’t start out that way. I arrived to find that the river had burst it’s banks and the entire lake was flooded out, all the pathways were under water, and I really mean underwater, they were more like tributaries to the raging torrent feeding the lake. The level must have risen at least a foot and a half in a couple of days and that’s a lot of water!
Pushing the barrow from the car was a nightmare as, not only did the wheel sink into the mud under the weight of my carp fishing tackle, but so did my boots and a brisk Easterly wind greeted me as I eventually popped out of the trees at the lakeside. The things we do to go carp fishing! It didn’t look ideal and I spent the first few hours just looking around, walking and squelching my way in and out of the bays, hoping to see a sign or two. About lunchtime the sun broke through and, despite the wind, it was actually quite warm. All of the fish caught up until now had been at range in the main section of the lake and it was to there that my gaze was fixed when a movement at my feet caught my attention. Looking down, straight into the extreme and waved lashed flooded margin I was amazed at the sight that greeted me, there on the shelf, not three feet away were four carp all busy exploring the extra little bit of lake that the floods had provided.
I didn’t need telling twice, I was off for the rods and pretty soon had my traps set, just on the drop off of the marginal shelf, no more than two rod lengths from the bank. The fish had disappeared but, considering how close they had been I knew they wouldn’t be far away and, ten minutes later, I was proved right. Obviously, at such close range, the run was pretty impressive and I sprayed muddy water everywhere as I charged through the flood to reach the rod. The fish was horrified at being tripped up so easily and tried it’s hardest to reach sanctuary back out in the middle of the lake but at close quarters the tip section of the TF Gear Nan-Tec rods really comes into play and it easilly absorbed the initial surge and I turned the fish over within the first ten yards and it was then just a case of keeping him off balance, leading him one way and then the next until he waved the white flag and came up spluttering at the net.
At twenty four pounds he was a perfect start to the session, a long common from under the rod tips, a far cry from the previous week when I had been struggling to add every extra inch possible to the cast in an attempt to reach the horizon.
Although the fish activity quietened down after this, the wind kept up its assault and I knew the fish wouldn’t stray beyond the boundaries of the swim so I set up the bivvy in the bushes on the only piece of comparatively dry ground I could find and settled in for the night.
The next morning I was up at very first light, as usual, as I find this first hour so important for fish spotting and this day was to be no different. During the first forty five minutes of daylight I saw two fish show, both of them straight in front of me at about twenty five yards range, a sighting I would have missed if I’d got up at six instead of five am. I instantly re-positioned all my rods and the results came almost immediately. In fact I was still firing out some freebies when the first rod ripped and, over the next few hours I banked a further three carp to add to my tally. This was incredible fishing, four carp in twenty four hours for a big old pit like this, and all of them close to the bank fishing straight into a big easterly wind. To me that just reinforces what a difference location makes as, apart from the two fish at dawn, I didn’t see another single carp roll the entire time I was there. I’ll definitely be keeping my eyes peeled on my next trip and not just setting up on a hunch in a good looking swim, location, location, location, it really is the key.