After last week's headbanger, in which a last ditch 5 lb 2oz Common narrowly avoided a blank session, I arrived on Monday morning full of trepidation and hope. I badly needed a decent haul to put matters right!A quick spin around the lake revealed a bit of movement in the corner at Peg 2 - nothing major, but surface cruising, nonetheless. A slight mild breeze had just started blowing into this corner, so this seemed like the best choice. Besides which, Dean and his mate were already set up in the Fingers and Pipe pegs and most other pegs had received a fair bit of angling pressure of late. So Peg 2 it was.I fanned out 3 rods as usual, one under the margin tree to the left, one towards the central channel and the third into the little bay to the right. Not expecting much in the way of daytime activity, I was surprised when the central channel rod screamed off at 10.00 am. Unfortunately, the culprit set off at an amazing pace and was deep into a snag and lost in the blink of an eye. Clearly, some drastic tactics were required, so it was case of fishing totally locked up, with no back lead and sitting on the rods, with a plan in mind to walk backwards down the causeway, the moment a take was registered. At 12.30 pm an opportunity to test the plan arose and it would have worked, were it not for the fact that my 15 lb line parted.Ahh! the best laid plans... and all that. However, at 13.15 pm and at 15.15 pm two more opportunities came my way and this time I was rewarded with a 10 lb mirror and a 13 lb 8 oz Common. By this time it was clear that the left hand rod had not produced even a single bleep, so it was time to rove it around a bit, in the quest for a more productive spot. First up, was the observation that a cheeky little common was sat under the tree in the pool behind me, with a nice clear patch of water in between it and me. At the right moment, a 1 oz lead, bearing a salty squid ready-made, was gently under-armed into the target zone. At 16.00 pm frenzied 'hook and hold' tactics brought the 8 lb 4 oz Common into the folds of my waiting net, before it realised what was happening. Then at 19.40 pm and 20.00 pm two further losses occurred, when my 2.5 lb TC Sonik SK3 and Shimano Aero reel were incapable of stopping a couple of fierce runs, that ended when one carp made it around the RHS tree at the entrance to the central channel and another found sanctuary in the tree branches in the LHS margin.The rod was duly substituted with a 3.5 lb TC Chub Outcast in combination with a Daiwa Emblem reel that has a clutch as tight as my wife's hold on our bank account. Believe me, this set up was not going to give an inch of play to the most determined of scaled beasts. At this point, my roving rod was replaced with a Century FMA, graced with a 3.5 oz distance lead and a Chod rig, bearing a pineapple pop-up. I wondered if I could cast all the way across the unoccupied hide peg towards the end bush (opposite the willow). To my amazement, the end tackle actually landed just past the end of said bush, right on a known hot-spot. Blindin' cast! Within minutes a flurry of bleeps indicated the presence of a carp. However, it quickly became clear that something was wrong, when a large tail hit the surface only 20 yds away and I concluded that the carp had traveled most of the way back down the line towards me, leaving the lead where it first landed, in all probability plugged in silt. I then had the impossible task of winding all that spare line back before the carp could make it to any number of nearby snags. Needless to say, the owner of that tail came backwards around the opposite side of the mini entrance island and at 20.50 pm was lost! As darkness fell, the action continued and things went much more to plan, other than to say that I literally sat on the rods all night, with hardly a wink of sleep.The night time action was as follows:21.40 pm - 13 lb 6 oz Mirror22.20 pm - 11 lb 0 oz Common23.20 - Hook pull @ net.02.00 am - 9 lb 10 oz Leather02.25 am - Hook pull @ net03.30 am - 10 lb 10 oz Leather05.30 - 9 lb 6 oz Common07.30 - 8 lb Common.
Perhaps one amusing incident that should be recounted was that at around 2.30 in the morning whilst attempting to re-cast my middle rod, I accidentally hooked onto a spare rod that was propped up against my bivvy. The result was that I sent it hurtling over my head and into the water in front of me with a huge splash! Fortunately, it remained attached and I was able to hand line it back to safety, whereupon I let out a huge sigh of relief. So there you have it, a final tally of 17 bites of which 10 were banked and 7 lost.Certainly, there were some triumphs, but a number of key learning points along the way.
Best fishes, Kelvin