Well, this week I committed a classic schoolboy error and lost at least 3 carp as a consequence; but more of that later. The decision to fish the Car Peg came out of the fact that Dave was firmly tucked up in the Sand Bank (literally so, as he was sound asleep, when I peered into his bivvy) and a high profile angler was bagging up, good and proper, in the Super-Cast. You have to hand it to the guy, his angling skills are nothing short of phenomenal - he'd only been there since 6.00 pm on Sunday evening and by Monday morning he'd engineered around 30 takes and lost only 5 carp. Top angling, mate! The rest of us mere mortals can only gaze on with total admiration!
Anyway, back to the plot, I settled into the Car Park peg and fanned out 3 rods (left of centre, middle and right of centre), all at around 40 yds. The middle rod was baited with a couple of Tiger Nuts, plus 6 free offerings, whereas the other two rods were fished with double Krill boilies, over a light scattering of Active Maple 8 freebies. Nothing occurred until 10.25 am when the RHS rod sprang into life. However, the carp to which I was connected, chose to swim back towards my own bank at a tremendous rate of knots. It was clearly aiming for a point some 30 yards to my right, a projectile that would put it firmly on the wrong side of the tree clad peninsular. My attempts to steer it to my side of the structure failed dismally and the culprit dropped off. This was followed at 11.15 am by an abortive take on the central rod (possibly, a bream had run off with the bait, but not the hook in its mouth). Then at 1.20 pm a ferocious take on the central rod and a determined dash towards the snag bushes (the carp, not me) resulted in another dropped fish. Not a good start! At 2.35 pm, a 12 lb 10 oz Mirror finally graced my landing net, after a more relaxed take and playing experience on my LHS rod. Thence followed a near 3 hour quiet spell, before things kicked off again after 5.00 pm. Another abortive take at 5.10 pm (central rod) was prelude to a lively Mirror of 13 lb 6 oz at 5.30 pm to my LHS rod. Action was pretty much at a rate of 1 take per hour thereafter, apart from a roughly 3 hour lull between 7.00 pm and 10.45 pm. The catch log reads thus:
[10.25 am - Dropped off - RHS 40 yds]
[11.15 am - Abortive run - Centre 40 yds]
[1.20 pm - Dropped off - Centre 40 yds]
2.35 pm 12 lb 10 oz Mirror - LHS 40 yds
[5.10 pm - Abortive run - Centre 40 yds]
5.30 pm - 13 lb 6 oz Mirror - LHS 40 yds
[6.40 pm - Dropped off - LHS 40 yds]
7.30 pm - 4 lb 12 oz Mirror - Centre 40 yds
10.45 pm - 8 lb 10 oz Common - LHS 40 yds
11.10 pm - 13 lb 2 oz Common - LHS 40 yds
00.05 am - 14 lb 12 oz Common - LHS 40 yds
1.45 am 12 lb 10 oz Common - LHS 40 yds
2.15 am - 7 lb 10 oz Common - RHS 40 yds
[2.20 am - Dropped off nr net (LHS 40 yds)]
[3.50 am - Dropped off (LHS 40 yds)]
5.00 am - Dropped off (LHS 40 yds]
Now for the schoolboy error. If a "10 Commandments of Carp Fishing" were put together, one of the key rules would, without doubt, be this; ALWAYS CHECK THE HOOK POINT AFTER EVERY FISH!
You've guessed it, in my early morning, half asleep state, I failed to do the necessary and was rewarded with the inevitable miserable consequences. Having established that curved hooks, seem to stay in better than most other patterns for weed and snag fishing, I had recently searched through my mountain of storage boxes and put aside any that fitted that description. In among my prizes were a couple of packets of 10 year old Gardener Penetrator Ones in size 6, and it was these that I had employed to construct the rigs of the day. It wasn't until the 3rd dropped fish of the morning, that the penny finally dropped and I bothered to take a good hard look at the hook points. My eyesight isn't what it used to be, so this activity requires high levels of concentration, intense squinting and much prodding with the finger tip. To my horror, two out of three hook points were well bent over, resulting in a point that was as blunt as a Yorkshire mans wife! Hook technology has moved on significantly in the last 10 years, particularly regarding the quality and temper of the metals used in hook manufacture. When I got home and tested the offending hooks, I discovered that they had amazing pliability - you could bend them into any shape you desired with a pair of pliers, unlike modern hooks which remain rigid until excessive force causes them to snap cleanly.
So this week it was 8 carp banked, 6 lost and another valuable lesson learned the hard way.