Everything is starting to change over the lake now, the weed is a major factor in where you can fish and the clear spots are slowly being engulfed by acres of Canadian pondweed.
The swim that has been so kind to me over recent weeks is starting to resemble a football pitch and fishing over the top of 100yrds of weed does not come without it own problems, particularly boats and geese, in which the lake is now covered.
It seems as if every Canadian goose within a hundred mile radius has decided to roost on this one lake and the noise at night is astronomical as they all argue about who is sleeping where!
The fish have been behaving differently as well, I think the weed is actually putting them off a bit and I have been seeing more activity in deeper areas, where the weed is not so established and the carp have got somewhere to actually swim about without battling through the underwater forests.
As a result I spent my next session in an area that I have named South Park, a large deep bay at the southern end of the pit, an area where I was seeing more and more early morning shows, mostly at range over the deep water.
My first session produced two fish, which was an encouraging start but, after having a good look from the boat, I realised I was actually fishing the wrong side of the bay. I was casting huge distances to land in slightly shallower water, just up against the weed but, by fishing the opposite bank, I could fish over the weed and half the distance which, in turn, increased my accuracy no end.
Next trip down I knew exactly where I wanted to be and, luckily, the swim was free when I arrived.
With the spots already noted from the previous week is was a relatively easy task to get all three rods sorted, even taking in to account a near gale force wind that was whipping across the surface. Setting up the new Hardcore Bivvy was a bit of fun as the gusts must have been in excess of fifty miles an hour but, once up and pegged out, it was as solid as a rock which was a good test for a new product and one that it passed with flying colours.
The first bite came a couple of hours later and by then the wind was savage, so savage in fact that I could hardly hold the rod up straight. All of my braided mainline was out of the water and being held up in a huge bow by the wind, even with a lively carp on the end. The poor fish spent most of the fight on the surface, being pounded by the waves and he was probably quite relieved when he ended up in the comparative calm of the landing net. At twenty pounds he wasn’t the biggest in the world but a great start and what a blinding looking carp as well, a real pearler and one for the future.
Despite managing to get the bait back in position it was well into darkness before it ripped off again, the wind had abated a tiny bit by then and the fight was a little more predictable, especially when it ended up buried in the weed a short way out. Because of the conditions I had to enlist the help of another angler but, between us, we soon had matters under control and lovely, old looking thirty pound mirror was hoisted into the cradle in the bottom of the boat.
I was happy with my two fish for the session, my plan had come together nicely and I don’t think I would even have been able to reach them from the original swim, especially with a hooligan wind blowing in from the side the whole time.
Before leaving I managed one more trip in the boat and treated all my marks to a fair scattering of free bait, something to keep the carp interested and the swim primed for the next week, a method that seems to pay off really well at this time of year, I couldn’t wait to get back for another go.
BELOW THE SURFACE
Towards the end of summer the weed is at it’s most prolific and finding clear spots is paramount to success. I am lucky at the moment as in I can use a boat to see what is going on and, with the help of a glass bottomed bucket, I can really see the difference between different areas and how the weed layout effect the fish. From the bank this is a bit more difficult but it’s worth investing a bit of time with a marker or just a lead on a braided line to ensure that the spots you are fishing are really as good as the first might seem. We are now getting a lot of silkweed appearing, stifling previously clear areas but, more importantly, stifling the weed and this is often the beginning of the end for the larger weed beds as the silkweed will choke the light and kill of the weed below. This is when the fun really begins as huge areas of uprooted weed start to drift around the lake wiping out your lines, I can hardly wait!
I mentioned the Hardcore bivvy earlier and, now the weather is starting to cut up a bit, it’s important to have a house you can trust. The Hardcore bivvy is a fantastic bit of fishing gear and I’m not just saying that because I designed it either. It has everything that I thought was important and all the components are interchangeable or removable so, in essence, you can build everything from the basic pram hood umbrella up to a porched two man shelter with overwrap. It also has a removable front section that you can exchange for a full mozzie panel with just one zip movement.
The main thing for me though is the strength, I like to be able to use one shelter all year around and be safe in the knowledge that it will still be there when I wake up, no matter what the British weather can throw at it and the design agle of the poles on the Hardcore Bivvy ensure maximum strength with minimum weight.