The old adage; "All's well that ends well", might have applied rather nicely to last weeks session, but that certainly wasn't the case this week.
Last week, I got off to a disappointing start, but things picked up towards the evening and ended on a high note. This week, the reverse was true. I got off to a cracking start, with an early capture of a 16lb 12oz Mirror and caught steadily throughout the day and night. However, there was a sting in the tail, which left me gutted and regretful at the end of the session. All will become clear. Anyway, I was pleased to be first through the gate on Monday morning, to find the place devoid of overnight anglers. I didn't take long to opt for Peg 3, as I could see plenty of carp moving to and fro, through the channel between the Pegs 3 and 7. A suitable hijack point (at the mouth of the channel on my side) was duly elected and served with a bottom bait in among a light scattering of 15 mm boilies. It didn't take long (well, a couple of hours, actually) before the aforementioned Mirror slipped-up and my account had been opened in fine style.
It seems that the disturbance spooked any nearby carp, such that no more takes occurred until 2.30 pm. Throughout the morning, I had been moving my middle rod progressively to the right, away from the channel entrance, in case the residents had become wary of that spot. By the time a take occurred, the terminal tackle was directly in line with the Hide, just in front of the three closed off bays. To my horror, the hooked carp kited left, with such velocity that it was around a mini island tree, before I could attempt to steer it away. Inevitably, the culprit was lost! When a similar take happened an hour later, I was ready for it this time and landed an 11 lb 8 oz Common without any further drama. Only 15 minutes later, an identical take occurred and all seemed to be going to plan, when my opponent burrowed deep and found a submerged object that enabled it to shed the hook.
Around 5.00 pm, it was as if someone had suddenly flicked a switch and the carp became turned on for a feed. Steady action continued unabated until nearly 5.00 am on the following day. Even the LHS margin rod, which had been quiet all day, burst into life and produced steady action. In contrast, my RHS rod, placed near the corner snag, remained lifeless throughout the day (apart from one small Common), and for the night was moved to what turned out to be a more productive point, namely 20 yards to the left.
The Catch Log reads thus:
09.40 am - 16 lb 12 oz Mirror (mouth of channel)
[2.30 pm - Lost carp around mini island]
3.30 pm - 11 lb 8 oz Common (opposite Hide @ 30 yds)
[3.55 pm - Lost carp - underwater object/hook pull]
5.15 pm - 7 lb 14 oz mirror (opposite Hide @ 30 yds)
5.25 - 8 lb 8 oz Common (RHS Corner Snag)
6.10 pm - 11 lb 4 oz Common (LHS Margin)
[7.55 pm - Abortive take - hook tangled/upside-down]
8.00 pm - 11 lb 6 oz Common (opposite Hide @ 30 yds)
8.10 pm - 13 lb 12 oz Common (LHS Margin)
9.00 pm - 11 lb 12 oz Mirror (LHS 20 yds)
9.45 pm - 11 lb 8 oz Common (ditto)
[10.20 - Hook pull from LHS Margin]
11.05 pm - 9 lb 10 oz Common (LHS Margin)
11.20 pm - 11 lb 0 oz Mirror (LHS 20 yds)
00.50 am - 12 lb 8 oz Common (opposite Hide @ 30 yds)
1.20 am - 14 lb 14 oz Mirror (ditto)
2.30 - 12 lb 4 oz Mirror (LHS Margin).
[04.50 - Lost carp at net]
As you can see, by 2.30 am I had caught 14 and lost 4, and was feeling quite satisfied with my efforts. However, as we all know; "Pride comes before a fall". At 4.50 am my LHS margin rods signaled a slow, but steady take that had me scurrying from the comfort of my bed-chair, straight into full-on battle with an immensely strong and angry carp, that took an absolute age to bring anywhere near me. Every time I heaved it to within two rod lengths distance, it set off on yet another powerful run. Eventually, after a series of such runs, I got it up to the surface and within netting distance. Clearly, it was a very long carp that glowed white in the light of my head torch. Such was its length, in fact, that it exceeded the diminutive 36 inch span of my spare landing net by at least 6 inches. Somehow, it held itself in a position parallel to the bank, such that I struggled to turn its head in towards the waiting net. Twice I got its head and half a body over the net chord, only for it to flip out again with a defiant gesture. Unfortunately, "Third time lucky" didn't deliver the goods, this time round. On the third attempt, the hook pulled and my adversary sank deep into the water and was gone in a moment! No words can describe the sense of loss and frustration that accompanies such a catastrophe. I just shook my head in disbelief. So near, and yet so far! Oh well! The law of averages must be stacking up in my favour. Sometime soon, a "mahoosive" carp will be mine!