I arrived on Monday morning, 15 minutes before Richard opened the gates, in the company of my old (literally) mate Pete.
He's an ex-match angler, relatively new to carp fishing and looking for some experience/guidance (why on earth did he choose me - you ask!).
The cunning plan was to fish the "Super-cast", with me targeting the more snag-bound areas and Pete tackling the less arduous spots. However, it turned out that overnight anglers already occupied both the "Super-cast" and the "Car Park" pegs. A quick scan revealed that numerous carp were making 'v' shaped furrows across the surface of the open water in front of the Sand Bank and Hide pegs.
Decision made - we settled in front of the Meerkats and Pete fished across to the left-hand Willow tree and a corner bush (at the boundary of the connecting channel), whilst I concentrated on the open water directly in front of me.
The day turned out to be an absolute scorcher, classic high pressure conditions and predominantly blue skies. Needless to say, it took a while, before any 'carpy' action transpired, in the shape of an 11lb 12 oz Common from 40 yds out front at 11.30 am. The afternoon proceeded to drift by without any action, other than a hook pull to Pete and an abortive run to me (i.e. it screamed off - but there was nothing there when I lifted into it!). Oddly enough, around mid afternoon, several spots in open water began fizzing like a veritable 'jacuzzi', including some right where my baits were. I sat there willing the rods to burst into life, but nothing happened until after 4.00 pm, when finally I received a series of 5 takes up until just after 7.00 pm.
Unfortunately, Pete left at 5.00 pm, having blanked. No further action occurred for me, until after midnight when steady action kicked off and continued into early morning. The biggest netted was a 13 lb 4 oz Common at 03.20 am. As usual, I suffered the obligatory early morning hook-pulls (3 to be precise), but in each case the hook was suspended upside-down, due to a tangled hair. Mmm... this may call for a stiffer hair and/or whipping the knot-less knot further down the shank of the hook.
Here's the catch log:
11.30 am - 11 lb 12 oz Common (40 yds).
[14.30 pm - Hook-pull].
[15.00 pm - Abortive run].
16.10 pm - 6 lb 6 oz Common (20 yds).
16.20 pm - 9 lb 8 oz Linear Mirror (40 yds).
17.30 pm - 10 lb 14 oz Leather Mirror (40 yds).
18.30 pm - 8 lb 12 oz Common (40 yds).
21.10 pm - 6 lb 12 oz Common (40 yds).
00.50 am - 5 lb 10 oz Common (40 yds).
03.20 am - 13 lb 4 oz Common (40 yds).
[05.20 am - Hook-pull @ net].
05.45 am - 4 lb 8 oz Common (40 yds).
06.00 am - 11 lb 8 oz Common (40 yds).
[08.00 am - Hook-pull].
You will notice that a high proportion of this catch were small Commons under 10 lbs. This got me thinking about the fact that I tend to have multiple hits of smaller carp, yet the larger specimens consistently elude me. Definitely, food for thought. As a starter for 10, I have analysed my results for the year 2014 to date and put the catch into size brackets, thus:
0 to 5 lbs = 6 carp (4% of total).
5 lb 1 oz to 10 lbs = 56 carp (37% of total)
10 lb 1 oz to 12 lbs = 40 carp (27% of total).
12 lb 1 oz to 15 lbs = 29 carp (19% of total).
15 lb 1 oz to 20 lbs = 20 carp (13% of total).
Above 20 lbs = 0 carp
TOTAL (banked) = 151
Lost carp = 72.
I'll leave others to draw whatever conclusions they wish from the statistics and possibly do the odd 'pie chart'. From my perspective, perhaps a change of approach is called for, namely, to target the beefier specimens?