Isn’t it funny, a few years ago we would have all taken this week off and crammed the lakes to capacity for the glorious 16th of June and the start to a new season. After an enforced lay off of three whole months, we would have all been champing at the bit to get back out there and wet a line.
I know a lot of carp fishing waters still hold fast to the old rules but, even so, there are very few anglers who don’t find somewhere to fish in the meantime.
Personally I am all in favour of a close season, I would just like it to be for three weeks in January so that I had a decent reason to stay at home in the warm.
I’m glad that things have changed though, the spring is such an exciting time to fish and, even though this year was not so good, we get to see everything waking up and the fish starting to feed once again.
More often than not the middle of June is spawning time and the beginning of the season often used to be marred by the carp starting their rituals just as we all turned up to fish.
I saw a little attempt at spawning a week or so ago, on a new and extremely large pit I have just started fishing.
The lake itself is roughly two hundred and fifty acres and location is obviously the main aspect of success on a place like this. I am not entirely sure of the stock in there but I know it could possibly have a few old original carp left somewhere in its depths, mixed in with two sets of stock fish, both of which are at least six or seven years established and could also be a fair size by now.
I was over the moon to find a group of carp within a couple of hours of my arrival for my second session; they were cruising around in some shallow water next to a huge reed-bed that stretched along a hundred yards of bank.
Within half an hour of watching I had seen at least six or seven different fish and that was all the incentive I needed to haul my gear up to the top end of the lake and get a couple of rigs into position.
Big pit angling is my favourite form of fishing and, if you add the fact that I had no real idea of what I might catch, you have the perfect water in my book. The excitement when that magrunner bite alarm screams out its battle cry is electrifying and I still visibly shake when I am playing fish from a lake like this, even though I have been carp fishing since god was a little lad!
The first take came mid-afternoon and was a double figure common, looking a bit on the plump side.
The next fish managed to hold off until the early hours of the morning but then it all seemed to go a bit mad. By the time I packed up the following day I had managed to up the tally to seven fish, most of them were male mirrors in the eighteen to twenty two pound bracket, obviously ganged up before spawning as this constituted a real red letter day on a pit this size and with not a huge stock.
All of the carp I banked were in mint condition and stunning examples of what a carp really should look like, huge scales and fantastic colours and every one of them fighting fit.
On my last morning they started to show the odd sign of getting a bit ‘jiggy with it’ and, although they didn’t actually start to spawn, there was the odd little thrash about in the reeds.
I did hear from the bailiff that, a day or two after I left, they absolutely smashed the reeds to pieces in a wild sexual frenzy, lucky buggers, and I am sure that the fishing will now return to a normal state.
I am under no illusion that it will get a lot harder as the fish start to split up into smaller groups and I will be walking my legs down to stumps in an attempt to keep on top of them but I am looking forward to every minute of it and, who knows, maybe I will be lucky enough to hook a long forgotten monster one day soon.