What a wonderful week to be British!
The British and Irish Lions have won the tour in Australia; and had me leaping all around the room like an over excited schoolboy, Andy Murray has become Wimbledon champion and, hopefully, we will win the ashes as well in a few days’ time to ice the cake off nicely.
To top it all off the sun is shining and it looks like staying that way for a week or two, I am off on holiday to even sunnier Spain and everything is at one with the world, well my little world anyway!
The carp fishing hasn’t been exactly fantastic though and, in true British style, I think we can blame a lot of that on the weather leading up to this current hot spell.
I think this burst of summer however, will be exactly what the doctor ordered and I am expecting to return to lakes that have finally seen a proper spawning and are full of hungry carp.
Now is the time to be out there looking at what the lakes contain, getting to know your quarry and, hopefully, nicking the odd fish out of the edge or, even better, off the top.
I love surface fishing and I hope there is still a bit of nice weather in store for me to try my hand at it this year.
Nothing is quite as exciting as watching a set of lips close around the hook-bait and feeling that wall of resistance as you set the hook. The explosive nature of a fish hooked at close quarters off the surface is awesome and I can’t wait to give it a try.
I have been getting amongst a few lately though, mainly from shallow water spots in the margins or on bars as the carp have seemed reluctant to feed at all in the deeper water, although I am sure this will soon change.
I had a close encounter with a couple of bigger fish on my new pit the other day, not monsters but still a better stamp than I have been seeing although it didn’t end the way I had planned.
I had just spent hours getting my carp fishing baits into position without spooking the fish and I was pacing the banks waiting for the inevitable bite.
When it did come however, it turned out to be a small mirror that had somehow impaled the hook in its flank. Needless to say he then managed to spook every decent fish in sight and I was left right back where I started.
I moved the next morning and managed to find a few more carp to fish for but, unfortunately, they were not of the same ilk, although I did bag my biggest so far at 23lb pictured above.
The previous week was also an exciting trip when I spotted a group of carp milling around a weed-bed next to a small island. A shallow bar connects the bank to the island so I was able to put on my thigh waders and wade right out to them and place bait with deadly accuracy. Back on the bank I could sit there in total confidence that I was fishing as well as I possibly could.
It’s so hard not to keep checking a spot, even when you know everything is spot on, I just need to see the fish and know what they are up to at all times.
Luckily I didn’t have to wait too long, although it seemed like days at the time, and by the time it grew dark I had managed to land three carp, two twenties and a nineteen pounder.
So, even with the weather keeping the fish in a strange mood, it is still possible to trick the odd one into feeding; it’s just a matter of finding the right spot on the day.
Keeping the bait to a sensible level also helps, if the fish are lethargic for most of the time then there is no reason to assume they will suddenly eat ten kilos of bait just because it has grown dark. Quite often when it is as hot as this they hardly move from their daytime haunts throughout the night and can often be found in the same spots as soon as it is light enough to see.
Anyway, I am off to lay in the sun for a while so tight lines while I am gone and, hopefully, stalk yourselves out a few monsters while I am away.