"The best laid plans..........." and all that! You can almost guarantee, that if you choose a peg a week in advance, and then spend the preceding days working feverishly towards that end, the actual outcome rarely matches the intention.
And such was the case on this occasion.
Nevertheless, providence stepped in and exceeded expectation by a significant margin. As I came through the gates early on Monday morning, I had it in mind to give it the 'two fingers', so to speak, (i.e. to fish the 'Supercast') and headed purposefully in that direction, only to have my hopes dashed instantly. An olive green mound draped across the wood chippings turned out to be a huddled-up Dave sleeping without a bivvy, and next door in the 'Pipe' peg was a young angler, complete with mobile home and female attendant. Neither angler had had much overnight activity (of the carpy kind that is), with a couple of captures each being recorded.
A suitable plan B was therefore needed. Two anglers fishing the 'Hide' had enjoyed a productive night, with around 15 carp under their collective belt, but they weren't due to leave until midday. The adjacent Peg 4 had allegedly produced a dismal blank, just a few days earlier. Nevertheless, the predicted, fresh southerly wind was currently blowing directly into that area and I figured that the fish might by now be mopping up any remaining bait, in the safety of a moderately rested peg. Decision made!
The prompt appearance of a match angler, who settled onto a platform to my left, restricted my options, such that two rods were fished almost straight out in front and the third dropped into the tiny bay to my right. The morning passed without incident and by 2.45 pm, just when I was wondering if I would have to await nightfall before any action came my way, the rod fished at 40 yds in front rattled off, in style. In fact that signaled the start of a hectic 15 hr period in which 17 carp were banked and a further 7 were lost.
Here is the log entry:
14.45 pm - 14 lb 2 oz Common (40 yds - centre right).
[15.45 pm - Hook pull (30 yds - centre left)].
[16.00 pm - Hooklink parted (30 yds - centre left)].
16.45 pm - 11 lb 0 oz Mirror (40 yds - centre right)
17.00 pm - 13 lb 2 oz Mirror (ditto).
17.45 pm - 15 lb 12 oz Mirror (ditto)
.[17.45 pm - Hook pull (LHS Bay)].
18.00 pm - 6 lb 10 oz Mirror (30 yds - centre left).
19.00 pm - 7 lb 0 oz Common (40 yds - centre right).
19.05 pm - 5 lb 8 oz Common (30 yds - centre left).
20.30 pm - 10 lb 8 oz Fully Scaled Mirror (40 yds - centre right).
20.55 pm - 5 lb 14 oz Common (40 yds - centre right).
21.20 pm - 10lb 4 oz Common (ditto).23.00 pm - 7 lb 8 oz Common (ditto).
23.35 pm - 4 lb 10 oz Common (30 yds - centre left).
00.30 am - 17 lb 10 oz Leather (margin).
02.30 am - 16 lb 0 oz Common (margin).
03.20 am - 12 lb 14 oz Common (40 yds - centre right).
03.50 am - 6 lb 2 oz Common (40 yds - centre right).
[04.30 am - Abortive run - LHS Bay]
[04.40 am - Abortive run (40 yds - centre right)]
05.20 am - 11 lb Common (margin).
[05.50 - Hook pull (40 yds - centre right)]
[06.05 Hook pull (ditto)]
One or two comments are worth making here. It was clear by 17.00 pm that the RHS bay was not producing, so the rod placed there was now swapped over to the LHS bay, given that match angler had now departed. And it would have paid off too, were it not for the fact that at 17.45 pm I had a double take and inevitably lost the LHS carp, as it made it to the sanctuary of the central channels, before I could give it my attention. All of the carp caught between 18.00 pm and 23.35 pm were single figure and mostly Commons, suggesting that they were part of a large shoal of smaller fish that was present in the area. Towards midnight, in my exhausted state, rather than re-cast the 30 yds, centre-left rod, I simply under-armed it into the margin and much to my delight, was rewarded with the largest carp of the session at 17 lb 10 oz. It took absolutely ages to bring the culprit under control. It just plodded round and round in the margin and showed no sign of tiring or coming up to the surface. The same placement produced the next largest carp of 16 lb, a short while later.
Finally, this brings me to a matter of concern, in that the 13 lb 2 oz Mirror caught at 5.00 pm, had a size 6, barbed hook firmly embedded in its mouth, along with a trailing length of leadcore. The latter, instead of being properly spliced (to give a smooth profile), had been been formed into a very large and untidy knot at either end. Fortunately, the lead had been ejected from its clip and the main line had parted at its attachment to the leadcore, otherwise the consequences could have been disastrous. I was certainly pleased to return the Mirror to its watery home with the unwanted clutter removed.
So there you have it - plenty of action and near zero sleep, once again!
Best fishes, Kelvin