Well, the summer is marching on now although you could be forgiven for thinking it was still spring as the weather has been atrocious.
I have been having a few fish out of the big gravel pit though so I suppose the winds and rain are more conducive to catching carp than a traditional summer would be. We have had a few periods of hot weather and, during these; I have had a chance to pursue my favourite form of angling, stalking with light carp fishing tackle.
There is nothing quite like the thrill of watching a fish as it takes your bait at close quarters. During one recent spell of sunshine I stumbled across a small group of carp just feet from the bank, in an area that I had hardly paid any attention to in the past. It was literally just a gap in the bushes right up against the path where walkers and dogs charge past for most of the day, hardly the secluded location I expected to find them in.
It was a cruising fish that led me to them, I simply followed its progress down the lake, curious as to where it was headed and he led me straight to the spot where five other fish were already milling around some emerging grass weed on the bottom.
There were only about a dozen shoots showing through the bottom and the longest a mere twelve inches long but the fish seemed to find them interesting enough and I could clearly see small white stones glowing on the bottom, a sure sign of recent feeding activity. I always get excited when I find areas like these as the shiny stones are caused by cleaning when the fish suck them in and blow them back out again. This coupled with suspended particles of silt in the water is the biggest give away of all so I knew I was onto a winner.
When I walk circuits of the lake, even if I don’t have a rod with me, I always ensure I have a pocket full of boilies for just this sort of situation and I broke a handful up into small pieces and flicked them piece by piece onto the spot, carefully so as not to spook the fish. With the spot baited I quickly ran back to my swim for a rod a net and a sack, that’s how confident I was.
Back at the spot I noticed straight away how much more colour there was in the water and the presence of tiny pin prick bubbles on the surface told me they had found the bait.
Getting a rig into position was the hardest part and I had to patiently wait until the fish were circuiting the area, twice aborting the drop as one ghosted out of nowhere directly where I had intended the lead to land.
Finally though, I managed to lower the rig, so close that the bail arm didn’t even need opening, and then I set the rod up as far back as the path would allow, with just the rod tip poking out over the water. The hardest part was staying back myself, I was desperate to watch but, at the same time, nervous about the carp catching sight of me and bolting out of the area.
Luckily I didn’t have to wait too long anyway as the tip whipped around as a fish made the big mistake of thinking the bright yellow bait looked the most appetising!
Bolting straight off from the area as he did he left the other fish totally unaware of the danger and I could see them still down there stirring up the bottom but that didn’t last for long. The fish managed to find a snag buried out there in a weed bed and it soon became apparent that I’d need to get the rescue boat out to land him and, as soon as I paddled through the swim to retrieve the rod I saw carp bolting off in all directions. It was obvious then that this was to be my only chance of success for that particular swim so I used every trick in the book to free him from the unseen obstacle and, after a great deal of persuasion the line came free and I was back in contact. Although I could clearly see that it wasn’t a huge fish he certainly fought like one and dragged the boat about all over the place before I eventually managed to bundle him in the net.
All told it was a very exciting couple of hours fishing and a lovely mid twenty mirror was the result although I knew I’d have to find a new spot for the next bite. As it happened the remaining bait stayed in that spot for two days without being touched so I’d definitely put the cat amongst the pigeons so to speak.